government USDA food & exercise tracker is incorrect

Before I saw MyFitnessPal I was using this Government website
But I have one concern...why don't they subtract the daily calories burned from exercise from daily calorie goal like MFP does?
Example On MFP your daily calorie goal is say 1800. Say you eat 1600 calories of food/drink by dinner time...according to the MFP calculation, 1800 Goal: 1600 Food (consumed by Lunch time) - 400 Exercise (completed in the morning) = 600 Net food/drink calories allowable for the remainder of the day to meet the daily goal.

The USDA site doesn't account for this...they do not subtract exercise from your daily caloric intake...This is a considerably different tracking approach than MFP and I got to thinking shouldn't the government website be accurate?

Accordingly if I use their "tracker" I am allowed only 1800 calories per day including any exercise I have completed. MFP subtracts the calories burned from exercise and allows me to consume 2200 calories to achieve this daily goal based on the above example. That's a pretty big stretch to someone who is trying to lose which one is accurate?


  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 33,832 Member
    Most sites use a different calculator than MFP does.

    MFP uses the Mifflin St Jeor calculator. USDA likely uses Katch-McArdle or some other method. You just have to understand how each one works - one is not better than another, they all end up at the same place once you understand how they work.

    Google the different calculators.

    I like the one here because my exercise is not consistent and I prefer to eat a little more on exercise days. Other calculators give a set number and expect you to be consistent.

    Just use one, keep good records and adjust after a month based on your results. It's an experiment we all have to run.
  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,565 Member
    edited July 2017
    Maybe both, maybe neither. I would assume the USDA tracker already includes exercise in their goal, therefore calculating your TDEE. Plus, with what @cmriverside said, there are different TDEE formulas.
  • collectingblues
    collectingblues Posts: 2,540 Member
    Most sites that aren't MFP don't do NEAT + exercise -- they focus on TDEE instead. TDEE includes your exercise, and it's expected that you'll either be consistent in your daily activity/exercise, or that it'll average out. So it's not going to count your exercise calories, because that's double dipping. Instead, your TDEE presumes that you're up and moving, and gives you a baseline accordingly.

    So like eating back calories? Go for MFP. Want to have a consistent number, or be OK with averages? Go with TDEE.