Were the cals mfp gave you accurate?

I'm going to be entering maintenance here soon... I have about 5 more pounds to go! (Yay!)
Anyway, for those of you maintaining- were the calories mfp gave you for maintaining weight pretty accurate? Or did you calculate your cals somewhere else and manually enter them in instead?


  • nutmegoreo
    nutmegoreo Posts: 15,532 Member
    The maintenance calories MFP gave me were too low even after I increased my daily activity level. I used my own weight loss history to determine what I should be eating. I knew how much I'd been eating and how quickly I'd been losing weight. I used that information to figure out my maintenance.

    I'm not at maintenance (or near it yet), but this is what I plan to do. Both MFP and FitBit have been a bit low when compared to my results. I plan to use my results along the way to extrapolate my maintenance goals. The programs are algorithms and individuals will have some variability. Your personal data will be much more accurate.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,876 Member
    By the time I went to maintenance I didn't require this or any other calculator to tell me anything as I had my own data to work with as per what I was eating to lose and my rate of loss. Your own data is going to be more accurate than anything else.

    These calculators are only meant to give you a reasonably good starting point...but nobody has a TDEE of exactly XXXX calories and really, your maintenance calorie requirements are going to be a range, not a fixed number of calories.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
    Another vote for using your own data (either by calculation of just very simply from your recent rate of weight loss).
    That will put you in the right area, then fine tune as required.

    You may find your numbers end up a little low as just feeling more energetic when "fully fuelled" can add some activity and also increase the intensity of your exercise.

    Enjoy maintenance, it's great.
  • wykkedtruth
    wykkedtruth Posts: 47 Member
    i do not log exercise at all. I hired a personal trainer who worked out what I needed for calories and what ratio that was for protein/carb/fat and MFP is spot on, I of course paid for the premium account because before it wasnt spot on.
  • ipastorsally
    ipastorsally Posts: 28 Member
    I manually enter my calorie goal. My doctor told me fitness pal would be too low. So I entered what he suggested as a daily calorie goal. I began maintaining on 12/24/15. Fitness pal's suggestion caused weight gain, so I'm entering my personal goal manually and looking for the balancing point between what I ate to lose and need to eat to maintain. There is a place under the goal tab to enter different goals.
  • Skytha
    Skytha Posts: 8 Member
    The MFP calories I was given to lose were too low and what I was given to maintain seemed way too high. My boot camp instructor told me to go to Katy Hearn's site and use her calculator. I did that, and another one I tested out confirmed those numbers, so I use what I got from those sites.
  • BurnWithBarn2015
    BurnWithBarn2015 Posts: 1,026 Member
    edited January 2016
    I am also in the "own data" team.
    ( and so can you, you have still 5 lbs to go...so record how much you exercise and eat daily keep track of it and you know pretty good what your maintenance will be)

    But i switched to TDEE when i went to maintaining. To my surprise ( but according to my own data so projected there in my sheets) all sites were a bit low to me. But this one....

    This site is for me pretty much spot on till now. It match up with my calculations and data... when i use the Mifflin St Jeor calculation

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,907 Member
    MFP's too low for me. I'm not quite at maintenance yet, but I'm still losing on around 200 more net calories than MFP thinks I should be on to maintain. If I set my activity level to "active", I get a value that works for me (and I'm definitely sedentary, outside of intentional exercise: retired, sedentary non-exercise hobbies, etc.).

    +1 to everyone who says to use your own data to calculate maintenance (or calories you need for a given loss rate, once you have enough data). That's what I did.
  • jenilla1
    jenilla1 Posts: 11,118 Member
    When I first went on maintenance I found that I continued to lose. I just kept adjusting my calories up slightly until I reached equilibrium. It took me about 6 weeks to figure it out, but I've been on maintenance for a few years now and it's still working just fine for me. I don't remember, but I think my real maintenance calories ended up being about 150-200 above what they gave me. It's easy enough to experiment to find your ideal level.
  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,575 Member
    Yep. I used my own data and a few calculators to get a better estimate but the MFP calories were about right. I don't do cardio so MFP gives me my TDEE.
  • __Wolf__
    __Wolf__ Posts: 137 Member
    There is no way MFP is going to be accurate for everyone especially since people's caloric needs will fluctuate slightly. This is a good tool to get "directional" insight into how to control your diet for your desired activity level. The best way to get a more accurate number is to use trial and error with an appropriate timeframe.
  • The_Enginerd
    The_Enginerd Posts: 3,982 Member
    +1 to using your own data. It will get you closer than any online calculator which is based on population averages and assumptions about your activity.

    MFP initially gave me 2200 calories/day, and I had to up my intake to 2300 or I slowly lost weight. 3 year later, and now 15 lbs lighter than my initial maintenance weight for running performance, I still have to net 2300 calories to maintain, about 300 calories higher than MFP thinks I should be eating.
  • reachingunder120
    reachingunder120 Posts: 21 Member
    For maintaining MFP said I should eat about 1600 calories + exercise but really I can eat about 1900 + exercise
  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,575 Member
    Dang...I wish MFP had been wrong for me. I was really hoping it would be.
  • I'm finding it's not about the cals that MFP gives me, but properly watching the food cals. My husband is using the scan-the-barcode ap on his phone and that's incredibly more accurate. Being from Canada, I know there are differences in certain American/Canadian versions of food (i.e. Kraft dinner!) However, MFP will never go below a certain number of calories for maintenance/weight because it's just not nutritionally sound theoretically. I would suggest going with their recommendation and adjusting your exercise accordingly and then personally adjusting your own intake (so what if you are "over" by 200 calories if that's what it means to be maintaining and not losing/gaining?).... Everyone's metabolism is different. Great job on getting to the maintenance stage!
  • jaga13
    jaga13 Posts: 1,149 Member
    If you are using mfps calculation right now to lose weight, then you already know if it's accurate! It's simply going to give you another 250 or 500 calories to eat (depending on your current deficit).
  • devil_in_a_blue_dress
    devil_in_a_blue_dress Posts: 5,214 Member
    I just checked the number MFP gives me to maintain -- it is 1,910. That is about 200-300 lower than what I know my maintenance number is from years of tracking my food/exercise/weight. The best way to is analyzing your own data and setting your goals.

    But if you cannot do that...

    I don't know how fast you are losing, if you are losing a pound a week, but MFP only gives you 250 a day more to maintain, you know that's going to be low. If you are losing .5 pounds a week and MFP gives you 500 more a day, you know that is probably going to be too high. Make sense?
  • hgycta
    hgycta Posts: 3,013 Member
    Either I've been cursed with an unusually slow metabolism or mine was high by about 100-200 calories Dx
    Just play around, don't freak out if your weight fluctuates, and see what works for you. Focus on how you feel, how hungry you are, and how much energy you have and things will balance out :) Congratulations on getting this far!!!
  • vivmom2014
    vivmom2014 Posts: 1,647 Member
    The calories MFP gave me were too low. Maybe because I set my own deficit from the start. I've gone by what I want, not what they tell me. *rebel* hahaha
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,372 Member
    MFP calories will only be as accurate as your exercise calories are... I see people logging 1000+ calorie burns in 1.5 hour.. just no.

    I just use TDEE and adjust as needed.