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How to Find Your Maintenance Calorie Level



  • PAV8888PAV8888 Member Posts: 7,109 Member Member Posts: 7,109 Member
    CoachJen71 wrote: »
    @PAV8888 Thanks! Also, at 5'2" I just need to get more steps to equal a similar burn for someone taller.

    Now that's something I've never considered.

    That # of steps may vary based on height.

    Maybe because the multipliers run off Mifflin St Jeor BMR which already takes height into account.

    But that doesn't mean that there is no possibility that stride length would have an additional effect.

    There is a concept of corrected MET values (most activity trackers including Fitbit that I use and MFP make use of published MET values to estimate burns).

    A brief search says that the met corrections predominantly have to do with BMI but that other issues including gender and age come into play.

    "Kozey et al. found that the standard MET misclassifies the intensity category 12.2% of the time compared to measured MET values with greater misclassification in individuals that are overweight, older, low fit, or women"

    But again, stride length may have something to do with it even though i personally think that there is also a very high probability that some of the additional step requirement in your particular case may be a consequence of exercise adaptation and AT due to weight loss.
  • whosshewhosshe Member Posts: 593 Member Member Posts: 593 Member
    edited February 2018
  • raeann_991raeann_991 Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
    I am just starting maintenance. Currently I weigh myself weekly. Should I weigh myself more often to help learn the proper amount of calorie for me to maintain?
  • LivingtheLeanDreamLivingtheLeanDream Member Posts: 12,823 Member Member Posts: 12,823 Member
    raeann_991 wrote: »
    I am just starting maintenance. Currently I weigh myself weekly. Should I weigh myself more often to help learn the proper amount of calorie for me to maintain?

    If you've been happy before with weekly weigh ins there's no reason you need to move to daily ones. Some people like the data and to see the trends.

    You'll know what calories you maintain on according to what your weekly loss has been until now. E.g If it was 0.5lb a week loss then you'd have an extra 250 cals a day.
    edited February 2018
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member Posts: 14,998 Member Member Posts: 14,998 Member
    cypressfey wrote: »
    I just started maintenance a few weeks ago, and what you say, AnnPT77 is *super* helpful, thank you. I'm going to start weighing every day, with a long term overview, as you say.

    If you're not currently using a weight trending app, I'd consider it. These, too can be alarming or misleading, especially before you get 3 months or so of data in the app, and 3 months or so of experience with understanding the app in your head.(They can show an upward trend sometimes for a short period when you're not actually gaining!).

    You need to understand that they don't really predict anything magically, they just apply statistical formulas to history to guess what might likely happen next. But that can provide insights about patterns that are harder to see in other ways.

    Libra for Android, Happy Scale for iOS, Trendweight (you need a free Fitbit account but don't need a Fitbit device) are some examples.
  • CarvedTonesCarvedTones Member Posts: 2,340 Member Member Posts: 2,340 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    If you're not currently using a weight trending app, I'd consider it

    I am avoiding this by having my goal be the upper limit; if spikes reach it, then I need to lose a little more.
  • StarBrightStarBrightStarBrightStarBright Member Posts: 96 Member Member Posts: 96 Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    I found that I just stopped losing. I'm still 1-2 pounds away from goal weight and have been for months, so I'm at maintenance for the weight I'm at.

    I'm actually still set to lose .5 a week in MFP but have been at the same weight for about 6 months so this is clearly my maintenance level.

    I think once you get close enough to goal (and if you are relatively short and at a healthy weight) maintenance is often not giving you as many calories as you hope you are going to get :)

    For what it's worth, I had something similar happen a couple of years ago. I had an original goal weight of 125 lbs and I hit that and kept right on going, to about 123; then, with no other changes, I just sort of stopped losing. I stuck there for quite a while, several months, and also decided - well this must be my actual maintenance number, and since I'm a couple pounds below my goal weight - I will officially declare myself "in maintenance". I changed my status, but not my calorie goal, and settled into maintenance. Funny thing was, a few weeks later, I started losing again, really slowly, 0.25-0.5 lb/week. I ended up losing another 5 lbs and my new "maintenance" number is 118 lbs (with a 2 lb range on either side of it). I figured out that back when I felt like I was still actively losing, I mentally had a buffer in my mind so going over cals a day or two a week wasn't a big deal. When I accepted "maintenance" even though nothing else changed, I no longer felt like I had a buffer so I was more diligent about tracking my weekly intake to make sure I didn't go over my numbers. By doing that, even subconsciously, I tightened things up and started losing again.

    I am one of those fortunate people for whom my maintenance number is higher than calculators would suggest - I'm 5'2 and 118 and my TDEE according to FitBit and results is about 2100-2200 (lower this winter but should go up when weather is warmer and I'm more active again).

    Good to know - that is super interesting! I don't generally track on weekends to give myself a break but I wonder if I also was a stickler on Saturdays and Sundays if I would see movement again.

    I do think I'm one of those people on the low side of the calculators (5'5.5", 142 and I eat between 1400 and 1500 a day - and I'm pretty consistent with tracking and honesty).

  • lightenup2016lightenup2016 Member, Premium Posts: 1,013 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,013 Member
    My calculated maintenance calories is higher than I would have expected. I have several months of data from 2016, and also from the last 6 weeks. From my calculations, I get somewhere between 2165-2250 to maintain, before exercise. I'm female, 44, height 5'6", and currently 147-ish pounds. I'm in the middle of a diet break right now while my mom is visiting, and I upped my avg calories from 1550 to 1850 (had thought maintenance was closer to this), but I've gone over each day due to PMS, so I'm averaging more like 2050 the past several days. I'll be curious to see what my weight is like after TOM is gone, and the diet break is over. But I guess a week and a half is hard to tell for maintenance?

    ETA: Thank you AnnPT77 for the breakdown! I pretty much knew how to get the numbers, but was confused on whether or not to use net calories for the final calculation.
    edited February 2018
  • momofosho2015momofosho2015 Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member
    Thank you! Saving :)
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 6,960 Member Member Posts: 6,960 Member
    Bumping this, having just seen it linked. Awesome info for new maintainers.
  • SummerSkierSummerSkier Member, Premium Posts: 1,252 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,252 Member
    I sent a note to have this stickied but for some reason I guess the powers that be decided that it was not "worthy". So bizarre. Bumping
  • DamienAngelicaDamienAngelica Member Posts: 281 Member Member Posts: 281 Member
    This is such good information. Thank you, Ann!

    And I agree; it should definitely be stickied.
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