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Starting over again

digidoomeddigidoomed Member Posts: 144 Member Member Posts: 144 Member
Hello. Not new to the forums, but a different person nonetheless. I have a few questions. I've been back on my fitness journey since my gyms reopened. I had surgery the previous year and had to take a while to recover, and admittedly stopped paying attention to my journey. I'm back around 156 lb right now and want to get to 140. I feel like I'm doing things right this time, but I haven't seen much change. I like to post here because everyone is encouraging and helps me see what I'm doing wrong.

With that out the way. I try to stick to 1300 cals per day. My goal is the gym 5x a week, 3 minimum (sometimes work is busy). I start with weights, then about 20-30 mins cardio to end. I let myself have a cheat meal Friday night, whatever I want. On weekends, I don't eat as frequently as the week, so I usually just keep track mentally of my meals. And I'll enjoy a drink sometimes after the day to relax or socially on the weekends. I find I've been at 156 since I started working out again maybe about 4 weeks back. Sometimes during the week I don't reach my 1300 goal and come below it. I'm not sure if I'm just not eating enough during the week, or if maybe I need to be stricter on weekends, although I wouldn't say I eat junk all weekend. I just don't track. Any help is appreciated. I want to reach my goal this time. I'm not sure if I'm just being over critical and need to give more time to see weight loss, but still want to make sure I'm starting off right.
edited July 28
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Replies

  • Talan79Talan79 Member Posts: 749 Member Member Posts: 749 Member
    Are you using a food scale?

    Not tracking cheat meals & over the weekends can be derailing your progress during the week depending on what you are eating. After 4 weeks you should be seeing some loss if you are in a calorie deficit.
  • digidoomeddigidoomed Member Posts: 144 Member Member Posts: 144 Member
    Talan79 wrote: »
    Are you using a food scale?

    Not tracking cheat meals & over the weekends can be derailing your progress during the week depending on what you are eating. After 4 weeks you should be seeing some loss if you are in a calorie deficit.

    I meal prep during the week and use a scale to measure my food. I've been thinking of trying to track during the weekend. I'm usually out the house so I'll grab a sandwich or something I consider a healthy option until I get home. I know alcohol/mixed drinks can creep up there
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,019 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,019 Member
    The answer is to log every bite you eat and every beverage you consume to the best of your ability so you have data to resolve the mystery. Remember that a decent guess at restaurant food is almost always going to be more accurate than logging nothing at all.

  • digidoomeddigidoomed Member Posts: 144 Member Member Posts: 144 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    The answer is to log every bite you eat and every beverage you consume to the best of your ability so you have data to resolve the mystery. Remember that a decent guess at restaurant food is almost always going to be more accurate than logging nothing at all.

    You're right, I should start logging on the weekend as well. I have another question. I keep hearing mixed answers on if you're supposed to eat your exercise calories. I think I asked this in the past and someone said I should since my calories are low and I would be hurting myself in the long run. I'm just afraid of breaking my deficit. I think they explained it as if I eat 1300 and then burn 200 I've only eaten 1100 for the day which can get dangerous.
  • alung2k3alung2k3 Member Posts: 74 Member Member Posts: 74 Member
    You should be eating your exercise calories back for sure. The tricky bit is that the estimated calorie burn isn't always that accurate. The general rule would be to eat back atleast half.

    E.g. 400 cals burned so eat back approx 200 cals.
  • nanamerriman2020nanamerriman2020 Member Posts: 325 Member Member Posts: 325 Member
    Track everything - to see where your calories really land. It is really easy to eat more than you think by eyeballing it. And of course the alcohol could be anywhere from about 70-300 per drink. Possibly more depending on the size of the drink of course.
    edited July 29
  • nanamerriman2020nanamerriman2020 Member Posts: 325 Member Member Posts: 325 Member
    As to whether or not to eat your 'exercise' calories...

    What is the 1300 target based on? For example, did you put in your stats/activity level and choose 1 pound per week weight loss? Or did you select 2 pounds per week? Or did you come up with this on your own? In my opinion it matters, because if you choose an aggressive goal (2 pounds) and/or you're doing major exercise, you will need to eat more. But if you choose a moderate goal or your exercise is somewhat light/moderate, AND you feel ok/satisfied with how much you're eating: you are fine.

    20-30 minutes cardio? Not burning a whole heck of a lot at 156 pounds. Perhaps 5-8 calories per minute extra depending on what you're doing and how hard you're going at it? And strength training does not burn a huge level of calories. So probably not a concern for that 100-240 calories 3-5 times per week.

    But
  • digidoomeddigidoomed Member Posts: 144 Member Member Posts: 144 Member
    As to whether or not to eat your 'exercise' calories...

    What is the 1300 target based on? For example, did you put in your stats/activity level and choose 1 pound per week weight loss? Or did you select 2 pounds per week? Or did you come up with this on your own? In my opinion it matters, because if you choose an aggressive goal (2 pounds) and/or you're doing major exercise, you will need to eat more. But if you choose a moderate goal or your exercise is somewhat light/moderate, AND you feel ok/satisfied with how much you're eating: you are fine.

    20-30 minutes cardio? Not burning a whole heck of a lot at 156 pounds. Perhaps 5-8 calories per minute extra depending on what you're doing and how hard you're going at it? And strength training does not burn a huge level of calories. So probably not a concern for that 100-240 calories 3-5 times per week.

    But

    I got the calorie goal by putting my weight into MFP with a goal of 1lb loss each week. My activity level during the day is low as I work a desk job. I tracked my intake yesterday and I was just about at 1300. I wear a monitor while I work out and it says I usually burn 400 in a session, but I'm not sure how accurate those are. I mainly just use it to track my heart rate. I just wanted to avoid eating too much because I think I'm supposed to eat my exercise calories back, but don't want to be in a position where I'm burning so much from working out that I'm putting myself at an unhealthy deficit. There have been days where I'm below the 1300 goal. Not that I'm intentionally trying to eat little, I just get distracted by work. I don't feel like I'm starving or anything.
  • Go_DeskerciseGo_Deskercise Member Posts: 1,327 Member Member Posts: 1,327 Member
  • nanamerriman2020nanamerriman2020 Member Posts: 325 Member Member Posts: 325 Member
    The 1300 goal means that based on your activity setting, MFP estimates your normal energy use is about 1800 per day. (1800 - 500 = 1300.) With exercise, if you're burning 200-400 that puts you at 2000-2200, so a 1300 intake level is still less than the maximum deficit of 1000/day but above the minimum level of 1200 per day for a female to get adequate nutrition.

    SO... If you feel fine eating at this level, go with it.

    For reference, our calorie stats are not terribly different. I'm 45, 5'5" and desk job. Now 142 aproximately and heading for about 130. My current goal is to get in 6,000+ steps per day (normal daily activity is pretty minimal, but I walk some in the morning before work and at lunch). With that intentional effort, my total burn is approximately 1700-1800 per day. My calorie goal is around 1400. I am often 'more active' on weekends. I've lost 6 pounds since mid June. :)

    So if you're like to add me as a friend, you're more than welcome to. I do have an open diary. I don't eat any particular 'plan' but just fit what I need/want in. I do consume alcoholic beverages on occasion - and I try to log everything with as much accuracy as reasonably possible. So times when I want to have more calories, I make the effort to earn them. :)
    edited July 29
  • digidoomeddigidoomed Member Posts: 144 Member Member Posts: 144 Member
    The 1300 goal means that based on your activity setting, MFP estimates your normal energy use is about 1800 per day. (1800 - 500 = 1300.) With exercise, if you're burning 200-400 that puts you at 2000-2200, so a 1300 intake level is still less than the maximum deficit of 1000/day but above the minimum level of 1200 per day for a female to get adequate nutrition.

    SO... If you feel fine eating at this level, go with it.

    For reference, our calorie stats are not terribly different. I'm 45, 5'5" and desk job. Now 142 aproximately and heading for about 130. My current goal is to get in 6,000+ steps per day (normal daily activity is pretty minimal, but I walk some in the morning before work and at lunch). With that intentional effort, my total burn is approximately 1700-1800 per day. My calorie goal is around 1400. I am often 'more active' on weekends. I've lost 6 pounds since mid June. :)

    So if you're like to add me as a friend, you're more than welcome to. I do have an open diary. I don't eat any particular 'plan' but just fit what I need/want in. I do consume alcoholic beverages on occasion - and I try to log everything with as much accuracy as reasonably possible. So times when I want to have more calories, I make the effort to earn them. :)

    Do you think I got 1300 because of my height? I am 5'2 so I notice I usually get lower numbers. I just ask because I know people will adjust their numbers sometimes to get more calories during the day, but that might play into activity level
    I suppose I should just stick to the 1300 and track more of my intake and see what happens in the next 3 weeks or so.
  • Talan79Talan79 Member Posts: 749 Member Member Posts: 749 Member


    [/quote] Do you think I got 1300 because of my height? I am 5'2 so I notice I usually get lower numbers. I just ask because I know people will adjust their numbers sometimes to get more calories during the day, but that might play into activity level
    I suppose I should just stick to the 1300 and track more of my intake and see what happens in the next 3 weeks or so. [/quote]

    I’m also 5”2. Sucks being short lol. Don’t fully trust an activity tracker. I had Fitbit then got an Apple Watch. My watch puts my TDEE at over 2,000 calories a day. My TDEE is more like 1,800. Fitbit was the same....I’ve tracked for years & used excel to document. Best thing is to track everything, your cheat meal & alcohol too. I’ve logged an entire bottle of wine before. You need to get a good understanding of your entire week. Not just when you are compliant to your macros.
  • digidoomeddigidoomed Member Posts: 144 Member Member Posts: 144 Member
    Talan79 wrote: »
    Do you think I got 1300 because of my height? I am 5'2 so I notice I usually get lower numbers. I just ask because I know people will adjust their numbers sometimes to get more calories during the day, but that might play into activity level
    I suppose I should just stick to the 1300 and track more of my intake and see what happens in the next 3 weeks or so. [/quote]

    I’m also 5”2. Sucks being short lol. Don’t fully trust an activity tracker. I had Fitbit then got an Apple Watch. My watch puts my TDEE at over 2,000 calories a day. My TDEE is more like 1,800. Fitbit was the same....I’ve tracked for years & used excel to document. Best thing is to track everything, your cheat meal & alcohol too. I’ve logged an entire bottle of wine before. You need to get a good understanding of your entire week. Not just when you are compliant to your macros. [/quote]

    What do you think is the best way to track food from restaurants? For example, let's say I get a ham sandwich from my Bodega and they don't have the nutritional information by their food. Should I just look up the item itself and add it?
  • digidoomeddigidoomed Member Posts: 144 Member Member Posts: 144 Member
    The 1300 goal means that based on your activity setting, MFP estimates your normal energy use is about 1800 per day. (1800 - 500 = 1300.) With exercise, if you're burning 200-400 that puts you at 2000-2200, so a 1300 intake level is still less than the maximum deficit of 1000/day but above the minimum level of 1200 per day for a female to get adequate nutrition.

    SO... If you feel fine eating at this level, go with it.

    For reference, our calorie stats are not terribly different. I'm 45, 5'5" and desk job. Now 142 aproximately and heading for about 130. My current goal is to get in 6,000+ steps per day (normal daily activity is pretty minimal, but I walk some in the morning before work and at lunch). With that intentional effort, my total burn is approximately 1700-1800 per day. My calorie goal is around 1400. I am often 'more active' on weekends. I've lost 6 pounds since mid June. :)

    So if you're like to add me as a friend, you're more than welcome to. I do have an open diary. I don't eat any particular 'plan' but just fit what I need/want in. I do consume alcoholic beverages on occasion - and I try to log everything with as much accuracy as reasonably possible. So times when I want to have more calories, I make the effort to earn them. :)

    I just sent you a friend request :) I also realized I ate WAAAY less yesterday than I thought I did. I logged an extra meal I had planned out but never actually ate. I think I need to be careful about that. I never believed in the whole "starvation mode" thing but I'm definitely starting to get worried. All more reason to start logging more accurately now
  • nanamerriman2020nanamerriman2020 Member Posts: 325 Member Member Posts: 325 Member
    Your daily burn is based on height, weight, gender age and activity level. Being female is a big impact.
  • nanamerriman2020nanamerriman2020 Member Posts: 325 Member Member Posts: 325 Member
    For local restaurants you can try to deconstruct the meal and log components. Like the meat, cheese, mayo, focacia bun, etc.

    I would suggest to limit the meals where you must estimate. Having them occasionally rather than frequently.
  • Talan79Talan79 Member Posts: 749 Member Member Posts: 749 Member
    Your daily burn is based on height, weight, gender age and activity level. Being female is a big impact.

    This & how much you want to lose weekly.
    I don’t know your age, but at 156, your BMR is most likely in the 1400’s.

    What is your weekly weight loss goal set to?
    What is your activity level in MFP?

    As far as eating out. I just don’t do it. Last fall I was in South Florida. I was with my friend had gastric sleeve so she eats low carb and only about 1200 calories a day. Any restaurant we went to I’d pull up their website and look at their nutrition info for their meals. There are so many hidden carbs and fats in dishes that you think wouldn’t be as high. I was always aware of how high, but eating out daily and looking everything up was like whoa.

    Just do the best you can with estimating. Over estimate vs underestimate if you aren’t sure which entry is correct.
    edited July 29
  • digidoomeddigidoomed Member Posts: 144 Member Member Posts: 144 Member
    Talan79 wrote: »
    Your daily burn is based on height, weight, gender age and activity level. Being female is a big impact.

    This & how much you want to lose weekly.
    I don’t know your age, but at 156, your BMR is most likely in the 1400’s.

    What is your weekly weight loss goal set to?
    What is your activity level in MFP?

    As far as eating out. I just don’t do it. Last fall I was in South Florida. I was with my friend had gastric sleeve so she eats low carb and only about 1200 calories a day. Any restaurant we went to I’d pull up their website and look at their nutrition info for their meals. There are so many hidden carbs and fats in dishes that you think wouldn’t be as high. I was always aware of how high, but eating out daily and looking everything up was like whoa.

    Just do the best you can with estimating. Over estimate vs underestimate if you aren’t sure which entry is correct.

    I'm 24 and my goal is 1lb loss a week. My activity level outside the gym is low. I work in an office. I try to limit how many times I eat out. I let myself do a cheat meal Friday night just so I don't feel like I'm being overly restrictive which has been an issue in the past. On the weekend I'm usually running errands or just out the house in general so I'm likely to pick up a sandwich someplace but I've been trying to cut down on that
  • Talan79Talan79 Member Posts: 749 Member Member Posts: 749 Member
    Ok. Got it. If you select 1/2 pound a week, your calories would be higher. Keep in mind MFP is designed to let you eat back your exercise calories, so that’s why it gave you such a low number. With no loss after 4 weeks, my suggestion would be to tighten up your logging. Prep your own meals so you know exactly how many calories you are eating. Weigh everything by the gram on a scale. I’d skip grabbing a sandwich somewhere. Take a look at the nutrition info on a site like Panera. A turkey bacon sandwich with an Apple has like 690 calories, 21 grams of fat and 68 carbs. That’s half of your daily calories in one meal. If you skip the bacon, it’s still 550 calories.
    Be strict for like two weeks and you should see the scale move.
  • digidoomeddigidoomed Member Posts: 144 Member Member Posts: 144 Member
    Talan79 wrote: »
    Ok. Got it. If you select 1/2 pound a week, your calories would be higher. Keep in mind MFP is designed to let you eat back your exercise calories, so that’s why it gave you such a low number. With no loss after 4 weeks, my suggestion would be to tighten up your logging. Prep your own meals so you know exactly how many calories you are eating. Weigh everything by the gram on a scale. I’d skip grabbing a sandwich somewhere. Take a look at the nutrition info on a site like Panera. A turkey bacon sandwich with an Apple has like 690 calories, 21 grams of fat and 68 carbs. That’s half of your daily calories in one meal. If you skip the bacon, it’s still 550 calories.
    Be strict for like two weeks and you should see the scale move.

    Thanks, I'll try that. Maybe it would even be better if I made my own sandwich at home and just kept it in my bag if I know I'm going to be out the house by the time I'm ready to eat. And I'll start tracking my cheat meal. Like I said I only let myself do it Friday night for dinner, but even that is important to keep track of
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