One pound equals 3,500 calories?

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  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
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    If you are losing around 2 lb/week (after the first couple of weeks), you ARE at a 1000 cal deficit. Maybe your activity or other factors of TDEE is higher than you assumed.
  • nooboots
    nooboots Posts: 480 Member
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    I am logging everything diligently and am the most lazy person you could ever imagine. I put my exercise in when I do it and I have put sedentary as my level. I dont know what a tdee is. I just used what the MFP told me. I suspect that without making any changes I will drop down to 1lb a week over the next month.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,537 Member
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    nooboots wrote: »
    I am logging everything diligently and am the most lazy person you could ever imagine. I put my exercise in when I do it and I have put sedentary as my level. I dont know what a tdee is. I just used what the MFP told me. I suspect that without making any changes I will drop down to 1lb a week over the next month.

    There doesn't need to be an obvious reason why MFP or a "calculator" is wrong. They just are, sometimes. (It's statistics, which I think I explained as clearly as I know how, a couple of posts back . . . and I'm not saying that statistics are a lie, or without value; quite the contrary. It's just important to understand what they tell us, and what they don't.).

    I have no idea why I lose weight like a house afire at a calorie level that both MFP and my always-worn, good-quality fitness tracker say should make me maintain weight, and maintain at a calorie level that should have me gaining at least a pound a week. But I do. And I'm not mis-logging my food/exercise by literally hundreds of calories a day over the course of 4 years. There's no obvious reason it's inaccurate. It just is.

    Unless you have had some serious medical problem that leads to very substantial, unusual water retention, you aren't at all likely to be losing enough water weight on a continuing, multi-month basis to account for the difference between a pound a week and two pounds a week on the scale.
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
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    What Ann said.

    When I started (I had already been losing weight for a month, so not a water weight thing), MFP estimated that I would lose a max of 1.8 lb/week at 1200. I ate more than 1200 (and ate back exercise cals), and yet lost more like 2.5 lb/week, sometimes more. I eventually figured out that what I had thought was sedentary based on my job and MFP's description was not really sedentary (I live in a city and walk more than 10K steps per day, often more like 15K).

    So MFP's estimate of my calorie burn per day was wrong.

    Sometimes it's not even activity, your burn is just naturally somewhat higher than expected.

    (TDEE is just your total calorie burn per day.)
  • nooboots
    nooboots Posts: 480 Member
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    Well I'll enjoy it while it lasts but have calculated all my goals and timescales on 1lb a week. I would doubt I even make around 2000 steps a day. I am double the weight I should be so it always comes off quicker at he start when someone is very big
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
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    nooboots wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    nooboots wrote: »
    Sorry, its 9lbs in the past 4 weeks.

    That is 2.25 pounds per week which is not really a problem at your current weight and with only a month of data. Are you sure you are only eating a 500 calorie per day deficit not a 1000?

    Definitely not!!! I wouldnt survive. It also includes a 10 day holiday where I ate my way through the week. I was 3500 cals over maintenance for that week but made it up the second week.

    I am on around 1800 cals a day. Yesterday I took in about 3k.

    I still maintain that its water is coming off but the fat will be being lost at the same rate as the actual deficit, which is around 3500 per week. I reckon the water will soon stop being lost and therefore the weight loss will then be 1lb per week.

    I dont see it as a problem by the way!


    So at some point during these 6 weeks you were on a 10 day holiday? How recent was that?

    I think it is pretty uncommon to lose large amounts of water weight past week 2 without medication but I won't say it is impossible.

    I wouldn't change anything right now because you don't seem to be at any risk. In another 4 weeks you can look at your numbers again and see if you can determine your true rate of loss.
  • nooboots
    nooboots Posts: 480 Member
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    It was the 18th May and we returned 10 days later.
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
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    nooboots wrote: »
    It was the 18th May and we returned 10 days later.

    Well you have had a very relaxed beginning to your journey which is a far better than a very uptight and restrictive start.

    I don't really have any other advice for you other than keep learning and working on logging accuracy. I have had a food scale since I started at MFP but it still took time to refine my logging. I still occasionally go back to basics to see if I am making any errors. 6 weeks ago I found one that I have been making about once a week all along. It was an error making me log too high so it never hurt me but it was an error nonetheless.
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,994 Member
    edited June 2019
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    kimny72 wrote: »
    1 lb. = about 454g
    1g of fat = approximately 9 kcalories
    454 X 9 = 4,086 kcalories

    My guess: Someone thought they would cut 15% off to make fat loss sound easier, and it stuck.

    I've read that "body fat" isn't 100% fat which is supposed to explain the difference. I have no idea whether that's true or not, it's just in my head from somewhere, so reader beware.

    Makes sense. Body fat is living tissue, organized into cells, so it can't be pure fat. And there have to be capillaries, or whatever you call the smallest blood vessels, serving the tissue.

    ETA: sorry, I see other people have come along with actual studies, instead of mere logic. :smile:
  • yukfoo
    yukfoo Posts: 871 Member
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    nooboots wrote: »
    Oh dear, so its actually a 4k calorie deficit to lose a lb?

    Actually I read a study some years ago and that calculated a pound closer to 4400 or 4700 calories. I didn't pay much attention at the time but I've thinking in the back of my mind that it's closer to 4000+ than 3500 as well.
  • pretttyflamingo
    pretttyflamingo Posts: 1 Member
    edited June 2019
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    .
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,994 Member
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    yukfoo wrote: »
    nooboots wrote: »
    Oh dear, so its actually a 4k calorie deficit to lose a lb?

    Actually I read a study some years ago anIF td that calculated a pound closer to 4400 or 4700 calories. I didn't pay much attention at the time but I've thinking in the back of my mind that it's closer to 4000+ than 3500 as well.

    If that's true, I'm a late-middle-aged, just-shy-of-middling-height woman with a desk job who burns 2900 to 3600 calories a day (depending on whether a pound is 4000 or 47000 kcal) without exercise (and I've got nearly six years of data to prove it).