Oh, arithmetic!!! I'm losing "too fast"

HeidiCooksSupper Posts: 3,831 Member
edited June 2020 in Health and Weight Loss
I'm seeking some advice as I consider the arithmetic to raise my daily calorie intake a bit.

Okay, so for the last 6 weeks, I've been losing steadily at 1700 to 1750 calories per day at the rate of 3.5 pounds per week. I've gone from totally sedentary to walking a little over a mile most days, pushing a walker, slowly so that's only ca. 250 calories per day max and I haven't been adding them in. Based on the usual calculations for my size and age, I should be losing at about 1 pound a week on that calorie rate. I just started taking Jardiance and am on 2000 mg of metformin per day.

I wasn't worried because I seemed to hit a plateau but it was just that my scale needed a new battery. It was hiding the 7 pounds I lost over a couple weeks. So, now it is looking consistent again: a little over 3.6 pounds per week.

I did some calculations and to actually lose 3.5 pounds per week one's calories out would need to exceed one's calories in by 1750 per day! That can't be true.

Oh, when you see under days on my diary it's usually because I left something out and actually at closer to goal of 1725 (earilier 1750) than that. Also, in all previous weight loss journeys TDEE worked perfectly for me. Every 3500 calories not consumed resulted in a pound lost.

So, should up my daily caloric intake? If so, by how much? Or should I just enjoy the ride while it lasts?


  • bmeadows380
    bmeadows380 Posts: 2,981 Member
    500 calories per day gets you 1 lb loss/wk, so multiply that by 7 to get to 3500 calories of deficit per week. If you are losing 1.5 lbs too fast a week, that would be 3500 x 1.5 = 5,250 calories too little per week, which divided by 7 is 750 calories too little each day. I think where your math went wrong is that you are forgetting to subtract back out the 1,000 calories for the 2 lbs/wk. That 1,750 calories you have is from your maintenance level, not off your deficit :)

    So your deficit is still too far under by 750 calories. 3.5 lbs/wk is definitely too fast. I'd definitely suggest upping your calorie intake. Losing too fast is stressful on the body, so I personally wouldn't recommend just letting it ride out while it lasts.

    I had the exact same problem starting in early March when I started exercising regularly - ended up losing at 3.5 lbs/wk over 6 weeks, so I had to start raising my calorie limit to slow things down to a safer, more reasonable loss rate. Same thing - according to calculations, I was undereating by 750 calories. I didn't add all 750 back at once, especially since my new activity was still very new and not routine. I prefer to use MFP's NEAT method, so where I had been only adding back 50% of my exercise calories, I've raised it up to 75% and have changed my loss rate to 1.5 lbs/wk instead of 2 lbs/wk. I'm just coming off a diet break, though, so the new deficit level has only been in effect for about 2 weeks; I'm giving it to the end of July to see what the average has been over several weeks. I'm probably going to have to tweak it up, though - I lost around 2 lbs last week and if the scale doesn't bump up badly tomorrow morning, I'll have dropped about 2 lbs this week, which is telling me I'm probably still too far under myself. I have a hard time getting myself to believe I'm really burning the calories that MFP says I am at 100% :)

    In your case, that 250 days max that you haven't been adding in is the difference between sedentary and lightly active. If you prefer to use the TDEE method and just have 1 number a day to deal with rather than MFP's NEAT method where you must eat back exercise calories, you could raise your activity setting to lightly active, especially since it may be difficult to truly estimate your calorie burn during your exercise unless you are using a fit bit and allow it to make automatic adjustments. Raising yourself from sedentary to lightly active may be an easier way to estimate TDEE and start adding those calories back in. You could eat at that level for a bit without adding back in exercise calories and see where that gets you. If its still too low, you can either start adding in a portion of exercise calories or just knock yourself up to the next category.
  • corinasue1143
    corinasue1143 Posts: 7,467 Member
    You said you just started taking Jardiance. I don’t know anything about it, but the website says you will lose a lot of water weight when you start taking it. Maybe a lot of what you lost was water? Maybe it will level out in the next few weeks?
    Not offering advice, just thinking out loud. I agree with talk to your Doctor.