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Activity level for maintaining weight

Rubyhelena8Rubyhelena8 Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
Hi I just wanted to ask for advice on my activity level or just some general advice on calorie counting. The past couple of weeks I’ve been doing light yoga for 30 mins a day and generally I get around 5k steps a day but this month it’s been more so 6-8k and this past week I’ve just discovered walking on the spot lol which has been allowing me to get 15k+ steps (I don’t know if this is actually equivalent to normal walking steps though in terms of calories burned ?!). What should my activity level be. I really want to increase my TDEE So I am not too sure whether it’s just me wanting to eat more saying I should choose a higher activity level or if I actually am lol!

Replies

  • charmmethcharmmeth Member Posts: 748 Member Member Posts: 748 Member
    Hi Ruby Helena, I don't think it is possible to answer that question without knowing a bit more. How tall are you? How do you manage your diet? What are your weight trends at this level of activity? Obviously if you increase your activity level you can eat (a bit) more, but when you do the calorie calculation you will realise that it is not much. There is a greaat thread with tips for increasing your TDEE by increasing your NEAT (daily activity) here: https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10610953/neat-improvement-strategies-to-improve-weight-loss/p1.
    edited January 26
  • Rubyhelena8Rubyhelena8 Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
    Thanks for the reply charmmeth. I’m 5ft9, I’m consistent with tracking my calories, I am vegan and tend to eat what I crave but it’s still mostly healthy. My weight has seemed to be consistent, but back in early December I was eating 200 below maintenance for a fair amount of time as I would have a once a week takeaway but I saw my weight kept decreasing so I’ve been upping my calories since. I just get pretty paranoid about weight gain, a I also lost a LOT of muscle but the past month or so I’ve been doing some resistant workouts/yoga to strengthen up so I don’t know if that may cause me to gain in the scale with muscle - I can’t figure out if I can gain muscle at maintenance though? Thank you for link!
    charmmeth wrote: »
    Hi Ruby Helena, I don't think it is possible to answer that question without knowing a bit more. How tall are you? How do you manage your diet? What are your weight trends at this level of activity? Obviously if you increase your activity level you can eat (a bit) more, but when you do the calorie calculation you will realise that it is not much. There is a greaat thread with tips for increasing your TDEE by increasing your NEAT (daily activity) here: https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10610953/neat-improvement-strategies-to-improve-weight-loss/p1.

    edited January 26
  • sijomialsijomial Member, Premium Posts: 17,953 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,953 Member
    Keeping in mind that on MyFitnessPal there is absolutely no overlap between activity setting and purposeful exercise when used as designed it's important to know if you intend logging your yoga and walking/steps as exercise or just rolling them up into your activity setting.
    e.g., my exercise volume is far higher in summer but I wouldn't change my activity setting due to that because I log my exercise to estimate the burn.

    Yes, people can and do gain muscle while eating at maintenance although without more rigorous strength/weight training that will be limited and depend where you are starting from.

    Walking in place steps can be similar to walking steps or they can be very different!
    Just barely lifting your feet or exaggerated knee lift?
    Just like walking up a hill is very different to walking on the flat.

    An alternative to the fairly blunt instrument of changing activity settings is simply to manually adjust your daily base calorie goal according to what your weight trend is doing. If you are gaining weight month on month you know you are in a surplus, if your weight is broadly stable you have found the sweet spot of maintenance.

    Elevating your TDEE with more movement is a great aim and can be a real benefit to long term health.
  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 30,891 Member Member Posts: 30,891 Member
    I agree with sijomial.

    Another thing to consider is just general weight fluctuations that all people have due to food in the system, salt, exercise, hormones, stress, sleep, etc.

    Here's a good little article we link a lot here about that:

    https://physiqonomics.com/the-weird-and-highly-annoying-world-of-scale-weight-and-fluctuations/


    I really don't think you have lost (or gained) muscle in a couple months - at least not enough to have showed up on the scale because of light resistance, walking, and yoga. Muscle gains would take some consistent progressive lifting. More than likely water fluctuations. See above. :)
  • Rubyhelena8Rubyhelena8 Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    Keeping in mind that on MyFitnessPal there is absolutely no overlap between activity setting and purposeful exercise when used as designed it's important to know if you intend logging your yoga and walking/steps as exercise or just rolling them up into your activity setting.
    e.g., my exercise volume is far higher in summer but I wouldn't change my activity setting due to that because I log my exercise to estimate the burn.

    Yes, people can and do gain muscle while eating at maintenance although without more rigorous strength/weight training that will be limited and depend where you are starting from.

    Walking in place steps can be similar to walking steps or they can be very different!
    Just barely lifting your feet or exaggerated knee lift?
    Just like walking up a hill is very different to walking on the flat.

    An alternative to the fairly blunt instrument of changing activity settings is simply to manually adjust your daily base calorie goal according to what your weight trend is doing. If you are gaining weight month on month you know you are in a surplus, if your weight is broadly stable you have found the sweet spot of maintenance.

    Elevating your TDEE with more movement is a great aim and can be a real benefit to long term health.

    The thing is that I’ve been consistently getting 5k steps a day from actually going out and walking Or going out for long walks/several smaller walks which is what is supposed to be lightly active. And on top of my sedentary TDEE mfp automatically adds in about 50ish calories for that so I’m confused at whether I should be eating my sedentary TDEE plus these 50 cals or eating a lightly active TDEE, (which is 200 extra calories) on the days I definitely get these steps/walks in? I think the part I’m confused on is the fact it’s a fairly big difference between 50 to 200 calories. I don’t log yoga in on mfp but it does take my iPhone steps and automatically translates it into calories like I explained above.
    If I’m doing steps indoors I’ll either do side to side steps or jog on the spot or march/try and lift my leg high but I won’t lie I’ve been prone to half arseing it lol.
    Thanks for the reply much appreciated!
  • sijomialsijomial Member, Premium Posts: 17,953 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,953 Member
    The idea of the activity setting on MFP is to average it out rather than to adjust daily. I'm not sure that trying to micro-manage different days is going to be sustainable long term and that is what you need to keep your eye on.
    If you think the difference from 50 to 200 is a large difference what do you think the average is over the course of a month? You could for example just try a 125cal adjustment to split the difference and see what happens in a month.

    I don't link any devices to give calorie adjustments for what I regard as normal parts of my (highly variable) days - that's a choice you need to make for yourself but if it's causing you angst I'd be inclined to reduce some of the daily "noise" you are getting. What happens in a day is of trivial importance, making things easy and sustainable is however very important.

    Part of the adjustment from losing to maintaining is to stop looking at your feet and start looking at the horizon.
  • Rubyhelena8Rubyhelena8 Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    The idea of the activity setting on MFP is to average it out rather than to adjust daily. I'm not sure that trying to micro-manage different days is going to be sustainable long term and that is what you need to keep your eye on.
    If you think the difference from 50 to 200 is a large difference what do you think the average is over the course of a month? You could for example just try a 125cal adjustment to split the difference and see what happens in a month.

    I don't link any devices to give calorie adjustments for what I regard as normal parts of my (highly variable) days - that's a choice you need to make for yourself but if it's causing you angst I'd be inclined to reduce some of the daily "noise" you are getting. What happens in a day is of trivial importance, making things easy and sustainable is however very important.

    Part of the adjustment from losing to maintaining is to stop looking at your feet and start looking at the horizon.

    Wow thank you I really appreciate the response! So do you think perhaps it would be a good idea to just ignore the calories I’m burning day to day on different steps etc. And just add 125kcal to my sedentary TDEE?

    Thanks again
  • sijomialsijomial Member, Premium Posts: 17,953 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,953 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    The idea of the activity setting on MFP is to average it out rather than to adjust daily. I'm not sure that trying to micro-manage different days is going to be sustainable long term and that is what you need to keep your eye on.
    If you think the difference from 50 to 200 is a large difference what do you think the average is over the course of a month? You could for example just try a 125cal adjustment to split the difference and see what happens in a month.

    I don't link any devices to give calorie adjustments for what I regard as normal parts of my (highly variable) days - that's a choice you need to make for yourself but if it's causing you angst I'd be inclined to reduce some of the daily "noise" you are getting. What happens in a day is of trivial importance, making things easy and sustainable is however very important.

    Part of the adjustment from losing to maintaining is to stop looking at your feet and start looking at the horizon.

    Wow thank you I really appreciate the response! So do you think perhaps it would be a good idea to just ignore the calories I’m burning day to day on different steps etc. And just add 125kcal to my sedentary TDEE?

    Thanks again

    That's a perfectly valid choice. Try for a month and adjust if required.
    There's many ways to manage your weight, some people love technology and complication, some thrive on simplicity.
    One of the many good things about maintenance is that you are free to experiment and adjust.
  • heybalesheybales Member, Premium Posts: 18,537 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,537 Member
    What device is tracking these steps?

    Is it also giving a daily calorie burn estimate?

    Can you focus in on 15-30 min of activity to compare inside steps to outside walk?

    Steps don't actually add calories unless you are asking the MFP app to use your phone say - then it's super rough calculation because it doesn't know distance.
    A tracker gets distance from the steps, distance and time and mass are very good calculation of calorie burn.

    You may have a good estimate right now to follow.
  • spiriteagle99spiriteagle99 Member Posts: 3,010 Member Member Posts: 3,010 Member
    If you walk 5000+ steps daily and don't count them in your exercise, then you aren't sedentary. You are lightly active. I would either change the activity setting or start adding exercise to your log. then pay attention to the results and see if your weight stays stable.
  • Rubyhelena8Rubyhelena8 Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    What device is tracking these steps?

    Is it also giving a daily calorie burn estimate?

    Can you focus in on 15-30 min of activity to compare inside steps to outside walk?

    Steps don't actually add calories unless you are asking the MFP app to use your phone say - then it's super rough calculation because it doesn't know distance.
    A tracker gets distance from the steps, distance and time and mass are very good calculation of calorie burn.

    You may have a good estimate right now to follow.

    I just know that my iPhone counts my steps and somehow mfp puts those steps into calories in the exercise bit automatically. What can I use for a tracker? I hear that they tend to overestimate a Lot? Thanks
  • heybalesheybales Member, Premium Posts: 18,537 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,537 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    What device is tracking these steps?

    Is it also giving a daily calorie burn estimate?

    Can you focus in on 15-30 min of activity to compare inside steps to outside walk?

    Steps don't actually add calories unless you are asking the MFP app to use your phone say - then it's super rough calculation because it doesn't know distance.
    A tracker gets distance from the steps, distance and time and mass are very good calculation of calorie burn.

    You may have a good estimate right now to follow.

    I just know that my iPhone counts my steps and somehow mfp puts those steps into calories in the exercise bit automatically. What can I use for a tracker? I hear that they tend to overestimate a Lot? Thanks

    You've been listening to the wrong people, because like so many things - it depends.
    If no other details but saying overestimates then they are wrong for general statement.

    What can you use as a tracker? Depends on your budget, goals, desire for info from it, ect.
    Fitbit, Garmin, Polar and others have range of devices cheap to expensive.
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