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Posts: 323 Member
If you are actually burning what you estimate, your defict may be too high. If you don't eat enough you won't lose weight, your body will kick into starvation mode. If your base is 1700 calorie, you should be eating about 1200 a day to lose weight. If you exercise and burn 600 calories, you should eat 1800 calories to keep your deficit at 500 (1700-1200=500 and 1200+600eaten - 600 burned = 1200) Hope this makes sense. Your body needs fuel to exercise, if you exrcise without replenishing those calories you are actually doing more harm than good as far as metabolism and weight loss go.

Here is where I am really confused - maybe one of you can explain to me. According to MFP, my BMR is 1384 - based on female, 53 yrs, 5'4" and currently 175.8 lbs. I initially said I was primarily sedentary for activity since I wasn't exercising with any regularity. Checking other online calculators, my BMR varies from a low of 1119 to 2370 - huge difference. But assuming 1384 for the moment, to lose approx 1 lb a week, I would need to eat 884 (1384-500). But I know, and from what I keep reading on the posts that you all know too, is that eating less than 1200 a day is actually counter productive. I am currently eating between 1200 - 1450 net calories, excersing 5 days a week 45-50 min session, usually doing something like zumba, turbo jam or brisk walking.

So - how am I supposed to lose weight when my BMR has me near what is simply needed to stave off starvation as it is?

Any help at all is greatly appreciated.

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• Posts: 595 Member
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Is the 1390cals what MFP has set for you to have each day? That is not your BMR that is your BMR minus the 500cal (or different amount depending on what you said you wanted to lose) deficit that MFP automatically calculates so that you lose weight. Ie in the original scenario - the 1390 would be the 1200, not the 1700.
• Posts: 12,293 Member
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BMR what you need to not loose weight in a coma, MFP calculates your maintenance calories above that based on a sedentary setting would add about 400 calories per day, so If you BMR is 1384 your maintenance calories wold be about 1800 to loose 1 pound per week you would have to eat 1300 (1800-500) calories per day. If you exercise and burn 400 calories you should eat 1700 (1300+400) and still loose 1 pound per week.

You seem to be confusing BMR and maintenance calories, they are not the something. You should loose weight just eating your BMR and technically should not go below that amount.
• Posts: 595 Member
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Oops, yes I also meant maintenance calories not BMR... stupid MFP getting me into bad habits! Everyone talks of maintenance calories here as BMR... I hope the post still made sense!
• Posts: 6,754 Member
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You seem to be confusing BMR and maintenance calories, they are not the something. You should loose weight just eating your BMR and technically should not go below that amount.
Yes.

It doesn't help that many websites use the term "BMR" to actually describe your Total Daily Calorie Expenditure (TDEE).

For me, my BMR is around 1600 calories a day. My TDEE is around 2000. Without exercise, I should eat 1500 calories to lose 1 pound a week (TDEE - 500 calories). With exercise, I should eat whatever I burned through exercise plus that same base 1500 calories to lose 1 pound a week. So, if I exercised and burned 500 extra calories in a day, I should eat 2000 calories that day. Otherwise my calorie deficit would be increased from 500 to 1000 and if I did that every day, I could expect to lose 2 pounds in a week instead of 1 pound assuming my metabolism kept pace (mine doesn't -- I have learned the very hard way that I have to keep my calorie deficit smaller than that).
• Posts: 664 Member
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My BMR is 1,336, but my cals from daily activity is higher (in the 1,700s) because I don't just lie in bed all day. your BMR barely keeps you alive, so you need more than that for even sedentary activites. At my desk job I've gotten up like 4 times to use the fax or go to the restroom, that takes calories. MFP starts us out with calories from daily activity then subtracts the appropriate number of calories based on what we want to lose (500 for 1 pound per week). If we exercise we are alloted more calories to maintain an even deficit.

So- for me, my goal is 1,300 calories because I want to lose .7 lbs a week. This means I have a deficit of something like 400 calories a day. (but in reality I never stick with this because.... I run so-) I get bonus calories for exercise- so I ran 5 miles and earned 500 calories for today. That gave me 1800 calories for today. I will eat those, and if everything goes right I will lose .7 pounds. So far this has been how it has worked out for me.

HTH.
• Posts: 329 Member
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I would just go by the calories that MFP says to go by. I figured my BMR on my old health insurance website and it says I should have 1,826.87 just to maintain. I wouldn't have lost weight going by that amount. The MFP worked great for me.
• Posts: 323 Member
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it has my calorie goal at 1200.. and no matter what values I put (custom mode, desire weight loss 1 lb, 1 1/5, 2 lbs per week), it calculates at 1200.. so weird .. I am going to review all these responses and see if I can make some sense out of it.. after I work out that is..

thanks in advance to everyone though. I really do appreciate it.
• Posts: 12,293 Member
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it has my calorie goal at 1200.. and no matter what values I put (custom mode, desire weight loss 1 lb, 1 1/5, 2 lbs per week), it calculates at 1200.. so weird .. I am going to review all these responses and see if I can make some sense out of it.. after I work out that is..

thanks in advance to everyone though. I really do appreciate it.

MFP will not put you under 1200 calories so you may only burn 1 pound per week at 1200 and if you change your goal to 2 pounds per week MFP will not allow you to.
• Posts: 323 Member
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it has my calorie goal at 1200.. and no matter what values I put (custom mode, desire weight loss 1 lb, 1 1/5, 2 lbs per week), it calculates at 1200.. so weird .. I am going to review all these responses and see if I can make some sense out of it.. after I work out that is..

thanks in advance to everyone though. I really do appreciate it.

MFP will not put you under 1200 calories so you may only burn 1 pound per week at 1200 and if you change your goal to 2 pounds per week MFP will not allow you to.

That is pretty much what I thought. So, if I understand this correctly - my MFP BMR (which is how many calories I need just to stay alive - no exertion) is 1384. And that value is used in part to calculate how many calories a day I should be consuming - if I wanted to lose weight, I should consume my BMR less 500 (500 calories x 7 days a week should equal a lb a week). However, since eating less than 1200 calories is not recommended, if I hold to the 1200 calories, my weight loss will be extremely gradual - if at all. But I am not just laying here either - so as long as I really try to adhere to 1200 or so calories, I should just be patient. I may not see a lb a week but I should see about 1 lb a month.