Does anyone else set their calorie goal to their TDEE and just make sure to eat beneath it?

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toxikon
toxikon Posts: 2,384 Member
Just curious. Has anyone tried using MFP like this?
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  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
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    I prefer MFP's approach to tdee because my calorie burns change so much with half marathon training. I wouldn't want to eat the same amount of calories on a rest day as long run day.
  • Stella3838
    Stella3838 Posts: 439 Member
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    Like @TavistockToad my activity level from day to day varies widely. If you are fairly consistent, this could certainly work for you. I can go from hardly moving one day to never sitting still. Can't eat at the same level with that variability with much success.
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,488 Member
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    I do use TDEE but TDEE for me is still a moving target. I just completed 1/2 marathon training (2 races in March) and no more training like this for the rest of the year except some 10K's in the summer.

    Training this summer will be fairly consistent running and fairly consistent calorie burns for those runs. It takes about 3 weeks for me to completely get my TDEE dialed in when changing goals, but being comfortable with this process did take quite a while to figure out for myself.
  • JeepHair77
    JeepHair77 Posts: 1,291 Member
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    I'm actually pretty close to doing this now. When I was actively losing and running a lot, the MFP method made sense. But now I'm in maintenance and I'm shifting to a focus on strength training - the calorie burn from exercise is really not something I can calculate or think too hard about - so I put MFP on "maintenance" which calculates my calories a touch below the Scooby TDEE - but I still log one or two cardio exercises per week, so the result ends up just about the same, on a weekly basis.
  • diannethegeek
    diannethegeek Posts: 14,776 Member
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    Yep, this is how I do it. I set my diary to 2200 calories (my TDEE based on trial, error, and time) with custom macros and create my own deficit below it. Psychologically, it works for me.
  • toxikon
    toxikon Posts: 2,384 Member
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    Thanks for the feedback.

    I like the idea of taking a looser approach and just aiming to eat below my TDEE each day. Some days I might be only 100 cals under, but other days might be 400 under. Depending on how hungry I am that day. I'm not in a big rush to lose weight anyway, and my lifestyle is mostly sedentary so my TDEE wouldn't change a whole lot day-to-day.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,868 Member
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    When I was still logging I experimented with this...it didn't work too well for me though as intuitively I knew the number I needed to eat at...but I'd see the maintenance number and just be like, "meh...it's just one day at maintenance" Physiologically that was more difficult for me...but that was a long time ago and I was in a much different place with all of this.
  • inertiastrength
    inertiastrength Posts: 2,343 Member
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    I use my own data. I observe my tdee for a month or so and eat a steady 500 below that figure. You can put it all the calculations you want but if you have good data your own observation is best.
  • Theo166
    Theo166 Posts: 2,564 Member
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    I expect most people on maintenance take this route. Don't think it would work for me, trying to lose 100 lbs in a year.
  • TimothyFish
    TimothyFish Posts: 4,925 Member
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    I don't think you quite understand the concept of TDEE. If you use MFP as intended, the goal they give you is in fact your TDEE (or pretty close to it). Your TDEE isn't constant. What you are talking about is using an Average TDEE. That's what most people do if they aren't using MFP. Personally, I think logging the exercise calories separately is better because it gives you an incentive to be more active.
  • toxikon
    toxikon Posts: 2,384 Member
    edited April 2017
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    I don't think you quite understand the concept of TDEE.

    What makes you think that?

    I'm basically just proposing a slightly different (and looser) weight loss method. After checking a few TDEE calculators, I can estimate my TDEE is approx. 1700 calories and my BMR is approx. 1400. This probably isn't going to change much day-to-day for me, because my daily routine is the same. And I don't work out.

    So on MFP, I can set my calorie goal to 1700 and simply eat below it at different values day-by-day to lose weight (albeit at a less regular pace and probably more slowly).

    Or I can go the standard route and calculate TDEE -20% and set my calorie goal to 1360. If I was interested in eating the same amount of calories every day.

    So it's not really a huge difference. It just would give me more wiggle room to eat slightly more some days and slightly less on other days. But never above maintenance.
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,261 Member
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    I don't think you quite understand the concept of TDEE. If you use MFP as intended, the goal they give you is in fact your TDEE (or pretty close to it). Your TDEE isn't constant. What you are talking about is using an Average TDEE. That's what most people do if they aren't using MFP. Personally, I think logging the exercise calories separately is better because it gives you an incentive to be more active.

    It's only your TDEE at the end of the day if you tell MFP that you want to maintain your current weight. I believe that the OP is talking about setting it to maintenance and choosing a lifestyle activity setting that reflects both lifestyle and exercise activity.

    I haven't done this, OP, but I like the idea of it. I do not like logging exercise separately so I usually use TDEE less a few hundred calories. I may try this idea though.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    That's what I basically do, and it's working for me for maintenance, but not for weight loss, since I can't seem to care if I'm at maintenance one day and then the next and then the next (or if I build up a deficit I think it means I have extra calories to use on the weekend). But that's probably more related to me being okay where I am and not that motivated to lose more. I found it easier to aim for a 500 cal deficit when I was losing, though, and hit it consistently.
  • toxikon
    toxikon Posts: 2,384 Member
    edited April 2017
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    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    That's what I basically do, and it's working for me for maintenance, but not for weight loss, since I can't seem to care if I'm at maintenance one day and then the next and then the next (or if I build up a deficit I think it means I have extra calories to use on the weekend). But that's probably more related to me being okay where I am and not that motivated to lose more. I found it easier to aim for a 500 cal deficit when I was losing, though, and hit it consistently.

    I think that's the main downside - if you see that maintenance number, you will probably mentally slip into the mindframe that eating that number of calories is fine most (or every) day - and thus, you won't lose weight. It takes a lot of the strictness away. On the flip-side, maybe it will help me learn to intuitively eat better, so when maintenance time does come around, I will be better prepared.

    I just find that I'm inconsistently hungry day-to-day, so having an eating "window" instead of a strict number to follow sounds nice to me.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    I'd definitely try it and see how it works for you.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,371 Member
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    Try it. When I switched from TDEE-20% to 'just try to stay under', eventually the 'just try to stay under' just got closer and closer to my TDEE until I stopped losing altogether (and a slip up would make me gain).

    Now I keep a 250 calorie deficit no matter what (I still go over, but I'm less likely to go for that extra scoop of ice cream if I show 400 calories for dinner instead of 500).
  • WakkoW
    WakkoW Posts: 567 Member
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    I've recently switched to this, except I have it set to my TDEE - 250 calories. I'm just trying to lose two pounds. My weeks are pretty consistent, and I like not having the daily swings in calorie. It makes sense to me because I was just trying to meet the weekly goal before anyway.

    I find it much easier, but I also had a good idea of what I need to eat to lose and maintain. I think the NEAT method used by MPF works to educate people and works for those whose activities vary significantly week to week.
  • TimothyFish
    TimothyFish Posts: 4,925 Member
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    jemhh wrote: »
    I don't think you quite understand the concept of TDEE. If you use MFP as intended, the goal they give you is in fact your TDEE (or pretty close to it). Your TDEE isn't constant. What you are talking about is using an Average TDEE. That's what most people do if they aren't using MFP. Personally, I think logging the exercise calories separately is better because it gives you an incentive to be more active.

    It's only your TDEE at the end of the day if you tell MFP that you want to maintain your current weight. I believe that the OP is talking about setting it to maintenance and choosing a lifestyle activity setting that reflects both lifestyle and exercise activity.

    I haven't done this, OP, but I like the idea of it. I do not like logging exercise separately so I usually use TDEE less a few hundred calories. I may try this idea though.

    Setting the activity setting to include exercise activity would yield what MFP calculates as your TDEE, but that is just a wizard that sets the calorie goal for you. You can set the goal manually, if you like. Whether you set your goal using a wizard or you type it in yourself makes no difference to weight loss.
    toxikon wrote: »
    I don't think you quite understand the concept of TDEE.

    What makes you think that?

    I'm basically just proposing a slightly different (and looser) weight loss method. After checking a few TDEE calculators, I can estimate my TDEE is approx. 1700 calories and my BMR is approx. 1400. This probably isn't going to change much day-to-day for me, because my daily routine is the same. And I don't work out.

    So on MFP, I can set my calorie goal to 1700 and simply eat below it at different values day-by-day to lose weight (albeit at a less regular pace and probably more slowly).

    Or I can go the standard route and calculate TDEE -20% and set my calorie goal to 1360. If I was interested in eating the same amount of calories every day.

    So it's not really a huge difference. It just would give me more wiggle room to eat slightly more some days and slightly less on other days. But never above maintenance.

    You can eat what you want whether MFP shows your goal as 1,360 or as 1,700. I don't understand why you would want to set MFP to show your goal as higher than your actual goal is. Being disturbed by seeing red numbers is a good thing because it discourages people from continuing the behavior that resulted in the red numbers.

    As for not exercising. You really should be. There is a strong correlation between those who exercise regularly and those who maintain their weight at a healthy level. You don't find many fat people in bicycle shops.
  • Erfw7471
    Erfw7471 Posts: 242 Member
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    I actually switched to this way sort of this year and am finding psychologically it's working better for me now I'm inching towards goal. But I still use the NEAT method.

    So I'm set to sedentary maintenance. I wear a tracker. Anything green left at the end of the day is my deficit and while red numbers don't freak me out it is nicer to see a healthy green number whilst knowing that's not an unhealthy green! In fact any green is satisfying, even if it's only 100. And if I get my exercise in then hurrah I get to eat even more without hitting maintenance.

    But this approach certainly doesn't work for everyone.

    This is just fantastic - exactly what I need to do with only 3-4 lbs left to lose.