Calories and Fat Loss

Has anyone ever repeatedly exceeded the caloric intake MyFitnessPal recommends for Weight/Fat LOSS, and still lost weight/fat, or at least did NOT experience weight/fat gain?

I don't mean being in a surplus for one day only, but rather consistently. (Not in major amounts, of course, but roughly 500 calories more than what MyFitnessPal recommends for steady weight loss?)

**** I want to note that I tried to search the archived discussions and groups, but I have yet to find an answer that satisfies me. I genuinely appreciate any and all responses, advice, and knowledge from Everyone.

Thank you, so very much for your time, patience, and concern.

May God continue to bless you All!!

Replies

  • kami3006
    kami3006 Posts: 4,978 Member
    If you're under maintenance (calories you need to maintain weight) then you'll lose. So if you're trying to keep a 500 calorie deficit, for example, and you eat over that but still under maintenance, you'll lose, just slower.

    If you keep a surplus over maintenance then you'll gain.

    I've eaten various amounts of calories between my weight loss goal and maintenance and still lost and I've intentionally bulked by eating over maintenance.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,373 Member
    Yes. MFP underestimated my calorie needs, even when I set up my profile accurately according to the instructions, and estimated/ate back all exercise calories. (Before you even ask: I could speculate, but I don't know why. I just happily eat the extra calories.)

    This is not a very common experience; in fact, it's statistically unlikely. But it can happen . . . in either direction (estimate is too high, or estimate is too low).

    That's why people in the forums usually recommend to use the MFP estimate as a starting point, follow it for 4-6 weeks, then adjust based on actual results. That process allows for lots of sources of variance, from being an unusual case with respect to calorie needs like we're talking about now, to over/under estimating food and/or exercise, or guessing wrong about daily life activity level.
  • shadow2soul
    shadow2soul Posts: 7,692 Member
    edited December 2018
    geiznekcm wrote: »
    Has anyone ever repeatedly exceeded the caloric intake MyFitnessPal recommends for Weight/Fat LOSS, and still lost weight/fat, or at least did NOT experience weight/fat gain?

    I don't mean being in a surplus for one day only, but rather consistently. (Not in major amounts, of course, but roughly 500 calories more than what MyFitnessPal recommends for steady weight loss?)

    **** I want to note that I tried to search the archived discussions and groups, but I have yet to find an answer that satisfies me. I genuinely appreciate any and all responses, advice, and knowledge from Everyone.

    Thank you, so very much for your time, patience, and concern.

    May God continue to bless you All!!

    Out of curiosity:

    Are you logging exercise?
    Are you 500 over the base goal? Or are you saying base goal + exercise and then 500 over that? (I hope I am making sense)

    The reason I ask is that I know some people won’t log or eat their exercise calories, because they believe it to be counter productive. However, MFP is designed for those calories to be consumed and so the base goal is on the lower side.

    Of course then there is also the question of having the correct activity level selection. I’ve read posts of users who select Sedentary or Lightly Active even when they are getting 10k+ steps a day.

    It’s been years since I used MFPs calculations alone (by that I mean I have been using an activity tracker to adjust my numbers on MFP) and as such I can’t say much about the accuracy. I’ll have to do some digging, but I think the short time I used MFPs numbers I lost faster than expected.

    Edit: Found the information. I was losing an average of about 2.5lbs a week even though I was set to 1 lb per week for almost 2 months while using MFP numbers. I was also eating my exercise calories at the time. I had my activity level set to Sedentary, but I really was Sedentary. I’m talking less than 3k steps a day.
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,942 Member
    Yes for me, both in the smaller deficit/slower loss mentioned by @kami3006 and the higher-than-predicted calorie requirement mentioned by @pinuplove and @AnnPT77. I have a desk job, and telecommute most days. Set as lightly active and counting pretty much step I take outside my door as "exercise" (my inside steps are usually 3,000 or fewer), plus logging any intentional "real" exercise, my maintenance level is about 250 calories higher than MFP thinks they should be. I'm very grateful for being an outlier. Like AnnPT77, I have my speculations as to things that may be contributing to that, but I don't know way.
  • apullum
    apullum Posts: 4,838 Member
    There are a few ways I can think of that this could happen:

    1) Your metabolism is actually faster than average.
    2) Your calorie goal is very aggressive. If you set MFP at a 2 pound per week loss, you can likely exceed that calorie goal yet still lose weight, especially if you have a lot to lose. Over the long term, you would just not lose as quickly as predicted.
    3) You're underestimating your activity level. For example, if you walk a lot at work yet don't account for those calories in your MFP activity level or via other methods, then you're actually burning more calories than MFP gives you credit for.
    4) You're overestimating your calories eaten. This is not a common reason. Almost everyone tends to underestimate their calorie intake if they're not weighing and logging all their food.
    5) You are losing water weight rather than fat. This is especially common if you've just begun eating less, or if you have a menstrual cycle and are at certain points in the month where you're retaining less water, or you've recently decreased your sodium intake. All of those might cause the body to get rid of some extra water in the short term.
  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,023 Member
    Not me, but yes of course some people have. MFP, along with any other calorie calculator, is just an estimate. Some people will be a little higher than expected, some a little lower. Also, your results depend on how accurate your logging is. If your logging is a little off, or your exercise calories aren't being estimated well, your numbers will be a little off.
  • FlyingMolly
    FlyingMolly Posts: 490 Member
    I consistently lost weight faster than expected over 5 months, based on the difference between my Fitbit-estimated burn and my MFP-logged intake. Everything has a margin of error: calories per serving, serving size, your food scale, MFP’s activity levels, your HR monitor, burn calculations based on your HR monitor or whatever else ...every step of the way the numbers are inexact. Most of the time those errors cancel each other out, but sometimes they’ll break one way or another. I scored the lucky kind of break, and if I’d been trying to eat at “maintenance” I would’ve wound up slowly losing.