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Activity level help

eclecticdreamereclecticdreamer Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
I currently work a desk job. 8 hours a day but I use walking as my exercise 6 or 7 days a week. Average about 5- 5.4km per hour is my pace.
I usually walk about 5km per day on weekdays and longer at weekends. Would this mean I should select lightly active?

Replies

  • 4legsRbetterthan24legsRbetterthan2 Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 18,544 MFP Moderator Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 18,544 MFP Moderator
    MFP is designed for you to only account for basic activilty throughout your day in your activity level, then you log intentional exercise in in the exercise part and get extra calories for it. So in your example you would probably put lightly active as your activitiy level, and then log your walks when you do them.
  • heybalesheybales Member, Premium Posts: 18,385 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,385 Member
    Welcome to MFP.

    The MFP activity levels have nothing to do with exercise if you read the descriptions carefully.
    But it also includes all day and weekend life, not just 45 hrs at a desk job.

    If outside of those walks you hit the couch evenings and weekends all day and have no household responsibilities due to kids, pets, family - then yes to sedentary.

    If you do not come home and hit the couch and then bed all night & weekends - you are Lightly-Active.

    Then the walks are added when actually done.
    Due to the fact they are low calorie burns for longer periods of time - you could call that part of your daily activity and just set yourself to Active (lightly-active for normal life, active with walks thrown in).

    Or use MFP as designed and add the walks as workouts, but again since low calorie burn and MFP already expected you to be some level of active - only take 50% of the suggested calorie burn before adding it.
    Then eat more on the days you actually do more - in case sick or busy and don't get the walk in.
  • lgfrielgfrie Member, Premium Posts: 1,299 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,299 Member
    As others note above, MFP is designed to have you log your intentional workouts separately and to set an activity level which excludes those workouts. Then you eat however many calories MFP tells you to eat for the target caloric deficit, PLUS some or all of the calories you "earn" with your workout. From what you describe, using this approach, Sedentary is probably the right call.

    It is possible to do it differently, in which you include the workouts in your overall caloric quota and don't log them separately. This is called the TDEE method. It works just as well, but is a little different. With this method, you'd set your activity level to Lightly Active, which will give you more calories to eat each day, but NOT eat any of your exercise calories back.

    Walking an hour a day at 3mph as you are doing is actually a good representation of the fact that you basically get the same amount of food either way. A 3 mile walk is around 200 calories of workout for most people. You can either eat the 1800 (or however many MFP gives you) on the Sedentary setting PLUS the 200 from your workout, or you can eat the 2,000 which MFP will likely give you on the Lightly Active setting. The difference between Sedentary and Lightly Active is, in fact, in most cases around 200 calories.

    So, it doesn't matter much which method you use, as long as you don't double count the calories by doing Lightly Active and then adding in your workout calories. It's one or the other. Otherwise, you'll end up eating too much and losing less weight than you want to.

    Most people, at least at the beginning, just use MFP's system as designed, which in this case would mean setting your activity level to Sedentary, logging your exercise, and eating some or all of those calories back. Later on, you may decide the TDEE method is more convenient. I use the TDEE method, but I started with MFP's method (for about 6 months?). I think many are in the same boat.

    edited January 13
  • StressedChaosStressedChaos Member Posts: 83 Member Member Posts: 83 Member
    I can't decide what my activity level should be either. I'm a sahm with 2 toddlers and 2 teens. I'm randomly doing household chores and playing with kids all day. Without exercise I normally average 6-7k steps per day. Then some days is only 4k. I linked my fitbit and eat about 50% of exercise calories. I'm currently set to sedetery.
  • WomonaWomona Member Posts: 654 Member Member Posts: 654 Member
    I can't decide what my activity level should be either. I'm a sahm with 2 toddlers and 2 teens. I'm randomly doing household chores and playing with kids all day. Without exercise I normally average 6-7k steps per day. Then some days is only 4k. I linked my fitbit and eat about 50% of exercise calories. I'm currently set to sedetery.

    SAHM to toddlers and teens? No way are you sedentary! I’d go with lightly active.
  • heybalesheybales Member, Premium Posts: 18,385 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,385 Member
    And those are not exercise calories, though the adjustment is on the exercise page.

    With a Fitbit linked, that is merely MFP trying to correct the fact you selected the wrong activity level because you are NOT sedentary.
    Shoot, moms at 45 hr desk jobs discover they are lightly-active when using trackers - because all the same family stuff has to be done.

    Now - since linking the Fitbit - stay at sedentary - but eat more because you ARE doing more - take the adjustment to your eating goal.
    You are trusting MFP and it's calorie goal - why are you not trusting the adjustment to that goal?

    That whole 50% thing is for some people using the workout database for some exercise entries - that's not what you are getting.

    If you had selected Lightly-Active correctly from the start - you'd likely be seeing little to no adjustment, and be eating that given amount. Why not now?
    edited January 14
  • sijomialsijomial Member, Premium Posts: 17,592 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,592 Member
    I can't decide what my activity level should be either. I'm a sahm with 2 toddlers and 2 teens. I'm randomly doing household chores and playing with kids all day. Without exercise I normally average 6-7k steps per day. Then some days is only 4k. I linked my fitbit and eat about 50% of exercise calories. I'm currently set to sedetery.

    @StressedChaos
    "I'm a sahm with 2 toddlers and 2 teens." - not sedentary
    "I'm randomly doing household chores and playing with kids all day." - so that's not sedentary
    "Without exercise I normally average 6-7k steps per day." - definitely not sedentary

    Why use your Fitbit and not trust it? (At the very least for a trial period.)
    Deliberately undercutting all your estimates is a surefire way to make them poor estimates.

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