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Why do beginners change their settings?

kommodevarankommodevaran Posts: 17,960Member Member Posts: 17,960Member Member
I see this all the time: Help, I'm hungry/not losing/eating clean, work out like a champion, I eat 1000 calories per day and my macros are 50P/20F/30C. What am I doing wrong. Help, help.

The settings are easy to change, but why don't we just follow the default for a while and see how that goes? I know, people are strange, and we are impatient. But why do we trust some random friend/guy at the gym and not a sensible, reasonable program like MFP?
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Replies

  • punkrockgothpunkrockgoth Posts: 534Member, Premium Member Posts: 534Member, Premium Member
    I think that blindly following MFP on the basis that "it says" is probably just as dangerous, if not worse. I agree that "buddy who calls himself a trainer" is not much better.

    I think the most annoying part of beginners spazzing out over not losing weight is that 80% of the time, it's been like 2 days, the rest of the time, they're not logging accurately.

    My biggest concern though is the number of beginners who ask the internet for advice and then really take it to heart. The internet is probably not the most appropriate place to ask for health advice, yes, even (especially?) the MFP community.
  • yarwellyarwell Posts: 10,573Member Member Posts: 10,573Member Member
    Good question. There have been times where the forums were not helpful in this regard - you didn't often see people helping with using the app as intended it was all about going to other sites to get different settings and BS like that.

    The levels of Brotein promoted in the "fitness industry" obviously don't fit MFP's standard macros and from there it's all downhill.
  • LHWhite903LHWhite903 Posts: 208Member Member Posts: 208Member Member
    Perfectionism. They want the perfect formula for super-weight-loss and feeling satiated on as few calories as possible while being in the peak of health. They've read somewhere that such-and-such a ratio is best and if they only follow it 200% to the letter it will be a panacea. Then, boom! It happens, they find something that contradicts that on the internet, feel extremely guilty and change everything to those settings instead, hoping to undo the damage...except there's a better way that's different from both of the previous paths!

    I used to be that way. Gave me no end of stress. Now, I listen to my body, with regards to macros, and just eat things with high nutrient density. I do try to balance carbs, though, as too much or too little makes my head hurt.
  • kommodevarankommodevaran Posts: 17,960Member Member Posts: 17,960Member Member
    I admit to doing this myself - looking back into my diary, I can see that before I even entered my first food item, I changed the macro settings. I can't really remember my reasoning, it's two years ago. But - the whole reason I joined MFP in the first place, was that I was dissatisfied with the program I used, which had a quite rigid low fat approach, and I had become interested in, though wary, trying to eat more fat and less carbs, without being "yelled" at. So the ability to tweak macros appealed to me instantly. I never tried anything extreme, though; my ranges have been 35-54%F, 30-45%C and 17-25%P, and my lowest calorie goal 1400.

    I think being a beginner is a bit Catch 22 - it's important to focus on the important things first and ignore the details, but as a beginner, it's very difficult to know what's essential and what's negligible, and it's easier to grasp simple exciting details than getting the whole boring picture. Weight management is difficult because it's unpleasant to be fat and you want to lose as fast as possible, and you need to be determined and make an effort, but it's a very slow process that easily backfires if you overdo it, so you must also be patient and realistic, and let go of the black/white/all-or-nothing mentality - exactly the traits that contribute to obesity! I know I got fat because I got lazy and fuckit I want all the foods NOW.
  • CollieFitCollieFit Posts: 1,683Member Member Posts: 1,683Member Member
    The standard setting has most people eat 1200 cals. Then they come on the forum and get screamed at that they're not eating enough! :D
  • kommodevarankommodevaran Posts: 17,960Member Member Posts: 17,960Member Member
    CollieFit wrote: »
    The standard setting has most people eat 1200 cals. Then they come on the forum and get screamed at that they're not eating enough! :D

    I agree the user manual could have been better :p
  • LHWhite903LHWhite903 Posts: 208Member Member Posts: 208Member Member
    CollieFit wrote: »
    The standard setting has most people eat 1200 cals. Then they come on the forum and get screamed at that they're not eating enough! :D

    I agree the user manual could have been better :p

    The standard setting is "female losing 2 pounds per week"?
  • kommodevarankommodevaran Posts: 17,960Member Member Posts: 17,960Member Member
    LHWhite903 wrote: »
    CollieFit wrote: »
    The standard setting has most people eat 1200 cals. Then they come on the forum and get screamed at that they're not eating enough! :D

    I agree the user manual could have been better :p

    The standard setting is "female losing 2 pounds per week"?

    I had a look at the "guided setup". Question to fat, desperate person: "What is your goal?" Alternatives:
    Lose 2 pounds per week
    Lose 1.5 pounds per week
    Lose 1 pound per week
    Lose .5 pounds per week
    Maintain my current weight
    Gain .5 pounds per week
    Gain 1 pound per week
    That's it - no explanations, no hints, no nothing.
    What would fat, desperate person choose? Let's see:
    Congratulations! Your personalized diet and fitness profile is now complete. Based on your answers, here are your suggested nutrition and fitness goals.
    Net Calories Consumed* / Day 1,200 Calories / Day
    If you follow this plan...
    Your projected weight loss is 1.5 lbs/week
    "Oh noes!" (Cue: Panic! This isn't working!)
  • AgentFlexAgentFlex Posts: 209Member Member Posts: 209Member Member
    For what it's worth, when I was losing weight I followed MFP's method exactly in the beginning. Ate back all of my exercise calories, etc. The only think I never did was reset my calorie goal to something lower as I lost weight. My goal was set to lose 1 pound a week. I lost 50 pounds in one year. So...yeah, it pretty much worked. I was at roughly 1400 calories and burned 200-400 calories about 3 days a week back then. Looking back I would have probably tried to lose the weight at a slightly higher calorie goal, because even know, after 4 years of keeping the weight off I struggle with eating larger meals at times because I am still stuck on the 300-500 calories for a meal mindset. I fill in all my needed calories with snacks...which aren't always the greatest choices and some snacks lea me to binge a little. The eating part is an ongoing process that has to be reinvented at times depending on your goals!
  • Nikion901Nikion901 Posts: 3,058Member Member Posts: 3,058Member Member
    LHWhite903 wrote: »
    CollieFit wrote: »
    The standard setting has most people eat 1200 cals. Then they come on the forum and get screamed at that they're not eating enough! :D

    I agree the user manual could have been better :p

    The standard setting is "female losing 2 pounds per week"?

    I had a look at the "guided setup". Question to fat, desperate person: "What is your goal?" Alternatives:
    Lose 2 pounds per week
    Lose 1.5 pounds per week
    Lose 1 pound per week
    Lose .5 pounds per week
    Maintain my current weight
    Gain .5 pounds per week
    Gain 1 pound per week
    That's it - no explanations, no hints, no nothing.
    What would fat, desperate person choose? Let's see:
    Congratulations! Your personalized diet and fitness profile is now complete. Based on your answers, here are your suggested nutrition and fitness goals.
    Net Calories Consumed* / Day 1,200 Calories / Day
    If you follow this plan...
    Your projected weight loss is 1.5 lbs/week
    "Oh noes!" (Cue: Panic! This isn't working!)

    So true!
    I started using MFP in 2012 ... 4 years ago, under a different member ID ... and was very confused for a long time abou those settings. It was, actually, reading the forums and the MFP Blog Hello Healthy that helped me to understand better.
    edited February 2016
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Posts: 20,809Member Member Posts: 20,809Member Member
    LHWhite903 wrote: »
    CollieFit wrote: »
    The standard setting has most people eat 1200 cals. Then they come on the forum and get screamed at that they're not eating enough! :D

    I agree the user manual could have been better :p

    The standard setting is "female losing 2 pounds per week"?

    I had a look at the "guided setup". Question to fat, desperate person: "What is your goal?" Alternatives:
    Lose 2 pounds per week
    Lose 1.5 pounds per week
    Lose 1 pound per week
    Lose .5 pounds per week
    Maintain my current weight
    Gain .5 pounds per week
    Gain 1 pound per week
    That's it - no explanations, no hints, no nothing.
    What would fat, desperate person choose? Let's see:
    Congratulations! Your personalized diet and fitness profile is now complete. Based on your answers, here are your suggested nutrition and fitness goals.
    Net Calories Consumed* / Day 1,200 Calories / Day
    If you follow this plan...
    Your projected weight loss is 1.5 lbs/week
    "Oh noes!" (Cue: Panic! This isn't working!)

    Yeah, when I set up my account I chose two pounds a week (my weight was around 150). Who wouldn't want to lose two pounds a week? So I had a few weeks of low calorie misery until I figured it out.
  • juggernaut1974juggernaut1974 Posts: 6,212Member Member Posts: 6,212Member Member
    But why do we trust some random friend/guy at the gym and not a sensible, reasonable program like MFP?

    Because MFP doesn't have rockin' biceps and a six pack, brah
    edited February 2016
  • OishiiOishii Posts: 2,629Member Member Posts: 2,629Member Member
    I should not have chosen mfp's set up so blindly. I chose 2lb a week, even though I had little to lose, because in the UK I'd always read that you should aim to lose 1-2lb a week (with never more detail than that). I logged almost every time I moved (washing up, even!) and I still lost faster than 2lb a week, and rather than question whether that was a good idea, I just kept going. I ignored macros because I had no idea about them at all, and just ate small portions of whatever I liked. I lost weight, but I also became anemic for the first time in my life.

    Now I would recommend people start at mfp's maintenance calories and see what happens. Personally, I would have lost weight at a decent rate and probably more healthily.

    I came to mfp because I wanted a slow and safe way to return to my lowest weight, rather than the low calories I had done before, but by following the advice too blindly I did exactly what I was trying to avoid!
  • bigorange70bigorange70 Posts: 60Member Member Posts: 60Member Member
    Well I have done this before and I weighed 240 at the time. I was eating almost 2040 calories a day at the time but I don't remember what amount of weight I had set to lose per week. I am on 2 lbs now per week and weigh 181. I now consume 1500 calories a day. Not sure what all the math logistics are but I just follow what it says unless I have one of my meltdown days and eat a bunch of ice cream or chocolate. HA HA I don't adjust the macros.
  • myjourneyfromsize30to16myjourneyfromsize30to16 Posts: 3Member Member Posts: 3Member Member
    I increased my calories, because i was still feeling hungry on the amount mfp recomended
    ive always found through past cal counting, that i can roughly eat about 400 cals more than is recomended for my weight loss & i still lose weight
    If im hungry, i bloody eat something (but make it healthy)
    Reguardless of how many cals i have left x
  • EricaABarnesEricaABarnes Posts: 20Member Member Posts: 20Member Member
    i feel like this is kind of a rude post... wasn't everyone a beginner at one time? everyone doesn't automatically know everything there is to know about nutrition and losing/maintaining weight. personally I never had an issue with weight until a few years ago and I'm still very ignorant and figuring it out. with so many different articles diets and opinions its hard to know whats the right or best way to achieve your goals. I think most newbies are willing to post about their issues on the forum and take a "personal trainer buddies" advice because their hoping that you guys or "personal trainer buddy" have more experience and advice on what works and what doesn't.
  • yarwellyarwell Posts: 10,573Member Member Posts: 10,573Member Member
    LHWhite903 wrote: »
    CollieFit wrote: »
    The standard setting has most people eat 1200 cals. Then they come on the forum and get screamed at that they're not eating enough! :D

    I agree the user manual could have been better :p

    The standard setting is "sedentary female losing 2 pounds per week"?

    I added a bit you missed ;-)
  • kommodevarankommodevaran Posts: 17,960Member Member Posts: 17,960Member Member
    hanoge wrote: »
    i feel like this is kind of a rude post... wasn't everyone a beginner at one time? everyone doesn't automatically know everything there is to know about nutrition and losing/maintaining weight. personally I never had an issue with weight until a few years ago and I'm still very ignorant and figuring it out. with so many different articles diets and opinions its hard to know whats the right or best way to achieve your goals. I think most newbies are willing to post about their issues on the forum and take a "personal trainer buddies" advice because their hoping that you guys or "personal trainer buddy" have more experience and advice on what works and what doesn't.

    Good thing rudeness is allowed in this subforum :D Did you read my followup? It's very hard to be a beginner. Learning is difficult, and de-learning is almost impossible. Critical thinking isn't easy when we are flooded by conflicting information, everything claiming to be the most important.
  • rockstargreatnessrockstargreatness Posts: 23Member Member Posts: 23Member Member
    I see this all the time: Help, I'm hungry/not losing/eating clean, work out like a champion, I eat 1000 calories per day and my macros are 50P/20F/30C. What am I doing wrong. Help, help.

    The settings are easy to change, but why don't we just follow the default for a while and see how that goes? I know, people are strange, and we are impatient. But why do we trust some random friend/guy at the gym and not a sensible, reasonable program like MFP?

    Because we don't know everything. This is new to beginners.

    For me I went with what MFP recommend and within a week, had absolutely no energy whatsoever. Even talking took to much energy.

    So I changed it for that reason. I didn't really need advice. I knew what I had to do, I was increasing calories either way.

    But not all know that.
  • kimny72kimny72 Posts: 14,075Member Member Posts: 14,075Member Member
    It's also important to remember, just because someone is new to MFP, doesn't mean they come here with absolutely zero guidance, knowledge or experience with nutrition.

    Plenty of PTs, nutritionists, & dietitians recommend MFP to their clients, and often give calorie goals macro ratios to aim for.
    TDEE sites like Scooby etc give you suggested macro breakdowns based on your goals.
    Diet books, fitness magazines, and workout programs give recommended breakdowns.
    I personally did my own research on different goals I had and was surprised when I first set up my account how low the protein number was based on my stats. So I changed my macro %s to get my protein number closer to where I thought it should be.

    Granted, none of those reasons mean their numbers are correct or optimal, but those are some likely reasons I think.
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