# Confused??? I Need clear cut answers not opinions

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• Posts: 14 Member
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If your MFP daily calorie goal is 2800 that is the number you need to stay at or under to lose weight.
If you eat 3200 cals and burn 1,200 cals your deficit for the day will be 800 over the intended built in deficit.
Here's the equation 2800 food allowed + 1200 exercise calories earned = 4,000 available cals for the day. If you only eat 3,200 of cals available you end up 800 cals below what you were allowed on top of the built in deficit that MFP already gave you. Hope this helps. Feel free to friend me.
• Posts: 30,886 Member
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DawnNathan wrote: »
If your MFP daily calorie goal is 2800 that is the number you need to stay at or under to lose weight.
If you eat 3200 cals and burn 1,200 cals your deficit for the day will be 800 over the intended built in deficit.
Here's the equation 2800 food allowed + 1200 exercise calories earned = 4,000 available cals for the day. If you only eat 3,200 of cals available you end up 800 cals below what you were allowed on top of the built in deficit that MFP already gave you. Hope this helps. Feel free to friend me.

No, not really.

His goal is 2800 for a 2 lb loss. If he eats 3200, he's still on track for a bit more than a 1 lb loss, even without exercise.

If he adds in 400 calories of exercise (even assuming his 1200 calories is way overstated), he's back on track for 2 lbs.

Exercise counts.

OP is a big guy and will burn quite a bit more than most when exercising, although I tend to think it's safer for him to half the exercise calories to not count the amounts you would have burned during that time anyway.
• Posts: 5,468 Member
edited October 2016
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grmckenzie wrote: »
I think he mis-typed. Maintenance is 3,800, goal is 2,800 so weight loss would be 2 lbs per WEEK.
How do you plan to burn 1,200 today? And how accurate is that measurement? All I'm reading here is that most fitness gear overstates calories burned so be careful in eating them all back as you may not burn the 1,200 you think you are.
I'm trying to lose +100 lbs and am using exercise calories for wine (I love wine) but only drinking back ~ 1/2.

This

And I am interested in the bolded. Burning 1200 through exercise is freakin hard. I can burn 300-400 an hour with jog/walk intervals.
• Posts: 6,771 Member
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grmckenzie wrote: »
I think he mis-typed. Maintenance is 3,800, goal is 2,800 so weight loss would be 2 lbs per WEEK.
How do you plan to burn 1,200 today? And how accurate is that measurement? All I'm reading here is that most fitness gear overstates calories burned so be careful in eating them all back as you may not burn the 1,200 you think you are.
I'm trying to lose +100 lbs and am using exercise calories for wine (I love wine) but only drinking back ~ 1/2.

This

And I am interested in the bolded. Burning 1200 through exercise is freakin hard. I can burn 300-400 an hour with jog/walk intervals.

I don't think it's beyond the realms of possibility when OP is big enough to maintain without exercise at 3800 calories per day.
• Posts: 167 Member
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DawnNathan wrote: »
If your MFP daily calorie goal is 2800 that is the number you need to stay at or under to lose weight.
If you eat 3200 cals and burn 1,200 cals your deficit for the day will be 800 over the intended built in deficit.
Here's the equation 2800 food allowed + 1200 exercise calories earned = 4,000 available cals for the day. If you only eat 3,200 of cals available you end up 800 cals below what you were allowed on top of the built in deficit that MFP already gave you. Hope this helps. Feel free to friend me.

I understood the first part but the last two sentences threw me off. I'm just going to not eat dinner tonight and stay under 2,500 calories for rest of day
• Posts: 7,122 Member
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I'm going to be totally honest ..I'm not off to a good start as far as food selection for today. Definitely regretting having that Cheeseburger especially right after eating a PB & J. Does exercise calories not matter If I go over my calories goal of 2,800?

I plan to burn at least 1,200 calories today but i'm trying to figure out why doesn't that count? I've been told that If I eat over 2,800 calories and burn 1,200 of them I still will not lose weight.. I will be just maintaining my weight. Someone let me know

By the way for dinner I plan on eating pot roast and mixed vegetables

I'm not sure who told you that but that certainly isn't true. You can burn calories through exercise and those calories do come off of your total.
• Posts: 30,886 Member
edited October 2016
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DawnNathan wrote: »
If your MFP daily calorie goal is 2800 that is the number you need to stay at or under to lose weight.
If you eat 3200 cals and burn 1,200 cals your deficit for the day will be 800 over the intended built in deficit.
Here's the equation 2800 food allowed + 1200 exercise calories earned = 4,000 available cals for the day. If you only eat 3,200 of cals available you end up 800 cals below what you were allowed on top of the built in deficit that MFP already gave you. Hope this helps. Feel free to friend me.

I understood the first part but the last two sentences threw me off. I'm just going to not eat dinner tonight and stay under 2,500 calories for rest of day

This isn't necessary or a good idea, as it will likely make it harder for you tomorrow. You can eat a pretty low cal dinner (300-400 calories, easily) if you focus on meat and vegetables.

Also, this poster is wrong in telling you that you won't lose if you go above 2800 and also wrong in telling you that exercise does not count. The important thing for you is to figure out a sustainable way to eat that you can follow consistently, and adding back in some exercise calories is totally fine.
• Posts: 29,136 Member
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you want to make sure that you are NETTING 2800 calories...so if you burn 1200 you would eat 4000 calories - 1200 burned = 2800 which puts you at your target calorie goal.

Now, most calories burned estimates are way off, so you should only eat back half of your calories. So if you think you burned 1200 you only eat back 600, which means that you eat 3400 calories - 600 burned = 2800 net.

MFP method already has your deficit built in.

• Posts: 167 Member
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thanks guys and ladies for all the knowledge
• Posts: 810 Member
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I won't be eating dinner tonight and will make sure to burn over 1,000 calories

Why are you skipping meals? Just log your food and exercise and mfp should show you how much you went over or under the goal. Try looking at your weekly stats and don't panic is you go over for the day. Calories consumed- exercise calories= total calories. You can eat back exercise calories, consumed 3200 calories exercise 1200 calories (3200-1200=2000) so if your goal is 2800 you can consume up to 800 calories more.
• Posts: 1,403 Member
edited October 2016
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I'm going to be totally honest ..I'm not off to a good start as far as food selection for today. Definitely regretting having that Cheeseburger especially right after eating a PB & J. Does exercise calories not matter If I go over my calories goal of 2,800?

I plan to burn at least 1,200 calories today but i'm trying to figure out why doesn't that count? I've been told that If I eat over 2,800 calories and burn 1,200 of them I still will not lose weight.. I will be just maintaining my weight. Someone let me know

By the way for dinner I plan on eating pot roast and mixed vegetables

Who told you that? If you NET 2800 calories per day,and your measurement of those calories is correct, you will definitely lose weight. I think someone who doesn't understand how weight loss works may have your ear.

That being said...the salt in those two meals has probably already toppled your sodium limit and you haven't even thought about dinner yet.
• Posts: 2,745 Member
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Going over one day is not a big deal, it happens. Persistence is the key. You will never be perfect but over time the sensible days will outweigh the days you ate too much.
• Posts: 6,771 Member
edited October 2016
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This is what the user sent me in a message

"I am worried about you. Please reevaluate your eating. Just because you exercise and fitness pal adds extra calories to your food diary doesn't mean you should eat extra it means you are burning up what you have eaten. I want to help you get on a track that will work for you. What do you think is your worst problem you are dealing with? Most of this is a mind set. Please I want to help you however I can. You are too nice of a looking young man to carry all these extra burdens. Maryanne

I did some google research and it looks like you should be eating from 2000 to 2400 calories per day regardless of how much exercise you do. Fitness pal confuses people by adding calories according to exercise. Exercising uses up the calories you are eating and adding more calories because you exercised does no more than maintain your weight rather than cause you to lose. Your sodium is really high and when we are as heavy as we are our fat cells absorbs the salt and we retain water twice as fast as someone trying to lose 50 pounds. I totally understand the portions and feeling hungry. When I was your age I weighed over 400 pounds, loved to eat and could eat two barbecued chickens, a big bag of cheetos and a six pack of grapette pop in one sitting. It is a mind set. Not an easy one. I still have lots of bad days. I have lost almost 70 pounds since I started on May 5th. I have done that by changing everything about how I eat. I eat lots and lots of vegetables, no fried food, no bread and no butter. I know you can do this, you just have to figure out what your own magic bullet is. If I can help with food selection, portion control or anything else, I am happy to do that for you.

I'm sorry, but you will not lose weight at 3000 calories a day unless you are working out all day long. It is hard to stay on a diet and on track but I am worried for you. You have too many temptations in your house and your portions leave me worried about you. I would love to help you but you also need to want to help yourself. I know you can do this but it take lots of effort. I feel like a momma shaking my finger at a child that you have done something very wrong and you will have to forgive me for that. If I upset you I am sorry and you are more than welcome to delete me as a friend if you don't feel that I am trying to help you. Please, please evaluate what you are eating. You can do this but it will take more effort that you are currently putting in. Maryanne

Right. You are maintaining, not losing....you have to burn more calories than you are taking in. According to my research, no matter how much you exercise you still should only be taking in no more than 2500 calories a day for your weight and age. "

That is what she told me...

This user doesn't understand how MFP works. MFP uses the NEAT method, so it sets goals based without exercise. Exercise uses energy, extra energy that is not included in your goal, therefore in order to maintain the set deficit, you should be eating at least some exercise calories.

If you were using the TDEE method, then no, you wouldn't eat back exercise because it would already be included in your calorie goal.

I guess the other question to ask, is when you set up MFP, did you manually set your goal to 2800 or did MFP do this? And what do you have your daily activity set to?

Edit to add: I eat my exercise calories. I lose as expected and have done since I started 555 days ago.
• Posts: 6,592 Member
edited October 2016
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DawnNathan wrote: »
If your MFP daily calorie goal is 2800 that is the number you need to stay at or under to lose weight.
If you eat 3200 cals and burn 1,200 cals your deficit for the day will be 800 over the intended built in deficit.
Here's the equation 2800 food allowed + 1200 exercise calories earned = 4,000 available cals for the day. If you only eat 3,200 of cals available you end up 800 cals below what you were allowed on top of the built in deficit that MFP already gave you. Hope this helps. Feel free to friend me.

I understood the first part but the last two sentences threw me off. I'm just going to not eat dinner tonight and stay under 2,500 calories for rest of day

No need to skip dinner!! The person who sent that email doesn't understand how MFP is set up.

Ignore the discussion in here about TDEE and the rest; if you're confused right now those things will only confuse you further. Trust MFP. You gave it your personal information and it gave you a calorie goal of 2800. That means you should eat 2800 calories per day for a 1000 calorie deficit each day which should have you on track to lose 2 pounds per week. All of that is understood, right?

So now you do exercise. You were planning on exercising 1200 calories above and beyond what you would have burned if you'd spent the day sitting on the sofa, right? That means you can eat 2800 + 1200 calories today. That's 4000 calories!! If you eat 4000 calories today you'll still be at a 1000 calorie deficit for the day and still be on track to lose 2 pounds per week. MFP is designed so that you already have your 1000 calorie deficit as a goal. When you exercise you burn extra calories and you're supposed to eat those calories so that you MAINTAIN the 1000 calorie deficit. Calories eaten - exercise = goal calories

Use MFP. Enter your food, enter your exercise and trust the numbers. Right now you have enough weight to lose that if you stick to those numbers you'll lose weight. It will get more complicated later on as you get closer to a healthy weight but you'll learn as you go along. By the time you hit your first plateau you'll have learned a little more about how your body works and some of the science behind weight loss so that you can make adjustments. Speaking of adjustments... every 10 or 20 pounds be sure to revisit your profile and update your current weight so your calorie goal is adjusted downward. The less you weigh, the less you can eat and still lose weight.

Good luck!!
• Posts: 35,719 Member
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Who is "she"?
• Posts: 2,745 Member
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I agree, when you're just starting out don't try and do complicated stuff, just use the numbers mfp gives you, log what you eat, log your exercise and try not to let the number go red. If it does, hey, tomorrow is another day.

Leave the fancy stuff for a few months down the line when you've got the hang of the basics. It's really not as complicated as people make it sound, it's just a way of eating less and moving more, that's all.
• Posts: 228 Member
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Who is "she"?

Maryanne is at the bottom of the message?
• Posts: 25,763 Member
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This is what the user sent me in a message

"I am worried about you. Please reevaluate your eating. Just because you exercise and fitness pal adds extra calories to your food diary doesn't mean you should eat extra it means you are burning up what you have eaten. I want to help you get on a track that will work for you. What do you think is your worst problem you are dealing with? Most of this is a mind set. Please I want to help you however I can. You are too nice of a looking young man to carry all these extra burdens. Maryanne

I did some google research and it looks like you should be eating from 2000 to 2400 calories per day regardless of how much exercise you do. Fitness pal confuses people by adding calories according to exercise. Exercising uses up the calories you are eating and adding more calories because you exercised does no more than maintain your weight rather than cause you to lose. Your sodium is really high and when we are as heavy as we are our fat cells absorbs the salt and we retain water twice as fast as someone trying to lose 50 pounds. I totally understand the portions and feeling hungry. When I was your age I weighed over 400 pounds, loved to eat and could eat two barbecued chickens, a big bag of cheetos and a six pack of grapette pop in one sitting. It is a mind set. Not an easy one. I still have lots of bad days. I have lost almost 70 pounds since I started on May 5th. I have done that by changing everything about how I eat. I eat lots and lots of vegetables, no fried food, no bread and no butter. I know you can do this, you just have to figure out what your own magic bullet is. If I can help with food selection, portion control or anything else, I am happy to do that for you.

I'm sorry, but you will not lose weight at 3000 calories a day unless you are working out all day long. It is hard to stay on a diet and on track but I am worried for you. You have too many temptations in your house and your portions leave me worried about you. I would love to help you but you also need to want to help yourself. I know you can do this but it take lots of effort. I feel like a momma shaking my finger at a child that you have done something very wrong and you will have to forgive me for that. If I upset you I am sorry and you are more than welcome to delete me as a friend if you don't feel that I am trying to help you. Please, please evaluate what you are eating. You can do this but it will take more effort that you are currently putting in. Maryanne

Right. You are maintaining, not losing....you have to burn more calories than you are taking in. According to my research, no matter how much you exercise you still should only be taking in no more than 2500 calories a day for your weight and age. "

That is what she told me...

This person (who is just another MFP user, no special qualifications) may be trying to help, but she just isn't right. The idea that nobody, no matter their activity level, will lose weight if they eat more than 2,500 just isn't accurate. Anyone telling you that you should eat "x" regardless of activity just doesn't understand how weight loss works.

• Posts: 4,138 Member
edited October 2016
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Be careful of internet 'experts'. Do some research to understand what your body needs in terms of calories. MFP does much of this work for you, but if you're confused you may find learning how/why your body uses energy will clear some of that up.

Our bodies use energy just to function. For things like digesting food, pumping blood & oxygen, etc. How much a body uses is based on size, gender and somewhat affected by age. A larger body uses more energy than a smaller body. If all else is equal, a male tends to use more than a female. (I think because men naturally have a higher % of muscle but I'm not entirely sure of the rationale behind that.) Then we also use energy to move thru our day. More or less depending on the lifestyle of course. MFP estimates the bodily function + daily activity energy use when we enter our stats: gender, age, weight, height and choose an activity level. We burn additional energy when we exercise. How much is hard to know for sure, and its easy to overestimate. But it is still a factor of gender and size.

If you google your BMR - this is an approximation of how much your body uses for bodily functions. Add 15-25% (conservative amount) if you are not very active. This is a good starting base # for how much energy your body uses in a day. From your statement, I assume this is about 3800. If so, that means if you eat under 3800: you should lose weight. 2800 is a goal for losing 2 pounds/week on average. Keep in mind it is an estimate, and losing weight is over time. You won't see a change each day. Water weight can mask results, so check your weight once a week, or once a month and compare the trend over time.

If you do exercise, you can use those calories burned to eat more than the MFP recommendation. Just be careful not to overcompensate. You may think you're burning 1200 in exercise but machines and such tend to give unrealistic burn #s. Consider eating back a portion of those earned calories to avoid eating too much.
• Posts: 7,122 Member
edited October 2016
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This is what the user sent me in a message

"I am worried about you. Please reevaluate your eating. Just because you exercise and fitness pal adds extra calories to your food diary doesn't mean you should eat extra it means you are burning up what you have eaten. I want to help you get on a track that will work for you. What do you think is your worst problem you are dealing with? Most of this is a mind set. Please I want to help you however I can. You are too nice of a looking young man to carry all these extra burdens. Maryanne

I did some google research and it looks like you should be eating from 2000 to 2400 calories per day regardless of how much exercise you do. Fitness pal confuses people by adding calories according to exercise. Exercising uses up the calories you are eating and adding more calories because you exercised does no more than maintain your weight rather than cause you to lose. Your sodium is really high and when we are as heavy as we are our fat cells absorbs the salt and we retain water twice as fast as someone trying to lose 50 pounds. I totally understand the portions and feeling hungry. When I was your age I weighed over 400 pounds, loved to eat and could eat two barbecued chickens, a big bag of cheetos and a six pack of grapette pop in one sitting. It is a mind set. Not an easy one. I still have lots of bad days. I have lost almost 70 pounds since I started on May 5th. I have done that by changing everything about how I eat. I eat lots and lots of vegetables, no fried food, no bread and no butter. I know you can do this, you just have to figure out what your own magic bullet is. If I can help with food selection, portion control or anything else, I am happy to do that for you.

I'm sorry, but you will not lose weight at 3000 calories a day unless you are working out all day long. It is hard to stay on a diet and on track but I am worried for you. You have too many temptations in your house and your portions leave me worried about you. I would love to help you but you also need to want to help yourself. I know you can do this but it take lots of effort. I feel like a momma shaking my finger at a child that you have done something very wrong and you will have to forgive me for that. If I upset you I am sorry and you are more than welcome to delete me as a friend if you don't feel that I am trying to help you. Please, please evaluate what you are eating. You can do this but it will take more effort that you are currently putting in. Maryanne

Right. You are maintaining, not losing....you have to burn more calories than you are taking in. According to my research, no matter how much you exercise you still should only be taking in no more than 2500 calories a day for your weight and age. "

That is what she told me...

Yeah, she is wrong.

I mean this is pretty simple math really. I'm going to make up some numbers so no need to correct the numbers I chose if they are off, its the process that is important.

Lets say you maintain at 3800 calories and you want to lose 2 pounds per week. That means you should eat 1000 calories less than your maintenance which would be 2800 calories. Lets say your maintenance is based on you being sedentary but in addition to restricting your calories you want to start working out regularly so you take daily walks for 1 hour at a time. On this 1 hour walk you burn 400 calories. That means that with those walks your maintenance is now 4200, 3800 (what is was without that activity) + 400 calories (the extra from your activity). To lose 2 pounds per week you would therefore want to eat 3200 calories, 1000 less than 4200 your new maintenance. That basically means you eat back what you burned in exercise.

That is how MFP works. You provide it your information, it calculates what you should maintain at. You tell it how much you want to lose, it subtracts from that number to give you your goal. If you exercise then that is going to increase your deficit and if you want to maintain a specific deficit then you eat back those calories.

People seem to think dieting is about eating as little as you can force yourself to eat while exercising as hard as you can force yourself to do and frankly that is just a recipe for early burn-out and quitting. Better to set yourself a reasonable deficit and adjust your calories by eating more if you exercise above your normal level.