Myfitnesspal

Message Boards Motivation and Support
You are currently viewing the message boards in:

Going back to basics and I need help..

KMAF21KMAF21 Member, Premium Posts: 2 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2 Member
Evening everyone

Bit of background...I'm 36, have followed numerous "diet" plans such as slimming world, weightwatchers, low carb...used numerous calorie counting apps including MFP...I've read (or more like bombarded myself) with books/videos on Fasting, Keto, low carb, plant based diets, lowering meat consumption, meats bad for me, carbs are bad for me and now here I am with an unhealthy relationship with food, always viewing food groups as "good" or "bad" and just stuck in this awful cycle of good one day, bad the next...I eat something from my view of "bad" and I then feel crappy! During lockdown I've gained 1st and just feeling urrgghhh!

So I thought I just need to go back to basics of calorie counting, enjoying all food groups and not feeling bad!

So my worries are...Do I literally just follow the calorie goal that MFP has given me which is 1660? I'm 36, 5ft 3in and 13st 13lb, I selected "Light Activity" level as I do have a desk job but I do between 12k - 15k steps per day as I go for a morning and afternoon walk!

My "exercise" is not that great at the moment meaning I don't currently workout other than my steps...

Does my calorie goal sound about right at 1,660 per day aiming to lose 1lb per week?

Any other advice would be greatfully welcomed too 😁

Replies

  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 263 Member Member, Premium Posts: 263 Member
    I would recommend coming at this from a research angle - work with the MFP guidelines as your data set for a few weeks and see what happens! You don't say if you're male or female, but if you have a cycle, I'd recommend going through one entirely because there are natural weight fluctuations due to that.

    When I started calorie counting I did no intentional exercise at all, but I have added it in as I lose weight and have more energy. I started at a sedentary level because I had no idea how much I was moving at all, but since then I have moved up to "lightly active" (those walks you mention would be part of your everyday activity, not intentional exercise.) My fitness tracker still adds calories for me, but the swing is less than it was when I was set at a lower activity level. That works for me for now. If I need to, I'll change it later!

    You might find after a few weeks that you actually can eat more to lose 1lb/week, or you might find it's right on (given the number of steps I doubt it would be too many calories). It will also trend down as an average, so it might not be 1lb on the scale every single week.

    Welcome! I have learned so much since I started reading and posting on the forums. :smiley:
    edited April 7
  • LietchiLietchi Member Posts: 1,950 Member Member Posts: 1,950 Member
    12 to 15k steps a day is beyond lightly active actually, more likely active or even very active.
    A weight loss rate of 1lb per week sounds very sensible for your current weight.

    Aside from the activity level perhaps not being high enough as mentioned above, I would suggest following MFPs calorie goal for 4 to 8 weeks and following your weight trend. If you're losing weight at the expected rate, no need to change anything. If you're losing faster than expected, eat more (for example increase your activity level setting). If you're losing slower, eat a bit less (for example decrease your activity level setting).

    PS great idea to focus just on the calories. Eating a balanced diet is a good idea for health, but classifying foods as 'bad' or 'good' isn't the best mindset, especially when the list of bad foods is very long 😉
    Eat a bit of everything and you'll be fine! (Barring medical issues like allergies or diabetes of course)
  • KMAF21KMAF21 Member, Premium Posts: 2 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2 Member
    Thanks everyone for your responses!

    Seeing different views is why I get so confused...I read "walking 10k steps a day" is classed as active and I do those steps intentionally as theres no way I would do those steps on a normal sedentary day i.e yesterday I felt under the weather, worked from home all day, saw to my Son (school holidays) i.e up, down and around the house doing the normal household activities (breakfast, lunch, loo breaks etx) and never left the house and I didnt even manage 1,800 steps for the whole day right up until I went to bed hence why I selected Lightly Active as other than days like yesterday where I felt under the weather I ensure I get at least 10k steps but my count is more like 13,658 like right now at 8.30pm at night!

    Thanks so much for taking the time to respond...I'm female by the way 😂...For now I will focus on calorie counting and hoping I get there haha
  • nanastaci2020nanastaci2020 Member Posts: 883 Member Member Posts: 883 Member
    A few thoughts that do not directly answer your questions but relate to things you mentioned that I identify with.

    For thinking of calories as good vs bad: perhaps it would help to think of caloric needs more of a budget. Similar to your financial budget. You probably have a certain monthly income, and from that you need to pay rent, utilities, transportation costs, food and such. If you spend more than you earn, your debt grows. If you spend less than you make, then you can choose to put money in savings or pay off debt or even spend some on things you want but don't necessarily need. Assuming your bills are paid and you're meeting your basic expenses, do you feel guilty about putting money in savings or buying something for yourself that you want but don't need?

    Food can be thought of in the same way. Your body needs a certain amount of calories to fuel it with energy daily. If you eat more than you need (eat over maintenance, or at a surplus) you gain weight/increase fat stores. If you eat under maintenance (deficit) then your body uses those fat stores and you lose weight. HOW you spend your calories is not terribly important, though you do need to meet some basic needs. Such as eating food that fits in your calorie target and also keeps you energetic and satisfied thru the day. If you do that and have calories to 'spare' on a treat, go for it. Instead of feeling guilty about having the treat, be proud of yourself for budgeting well.


    Second: thinking of exercise needs can be a bit overwhelming. It is for me. Instead I think of ways to increase my daily activity. I sit at a desk for work. There are little things I do, like bringing in groceries by myself (making multiple trips) instead of getting the kids to help - unless its a really big load lol. Parking and going in rather than using drive thrus. (That is somewhat limited these days due to Covid.) Parking at the back of a lot when it is safe to do so, and walking to the store - rather than looking for the closest space. For 'exercise' I walk. My focus there is mainly heart, lung health. I am trying/needing to work in some simple strength exercises but have not managed to get a consistent routine going yet!
    edited April 7
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member, Premium Posts: 25,227 Member Member, Premium Posts: 25,227 Member
    KMAF21 wrote: »
    Thanks everyone for your responses!

    Seeing different views is why I get so confused...I read "walking 10k steps a day" is classed as active and I do those steps intentionally as theres no way I would do those steps on a normal sedentary day i.e yesterday I felt under the weather, worked from home all day, saw to my Son (school holidays) i.e up, down and around the house doing the normal household activities (breakfast, lunch, loo breaks etx) and never left the house and I didnt even manage 1,800 steps for the whole day right up until I went to bed hence why I selected Lightly Active as other than days like yesterday where I felt under the weather I ensure I get at least 10k steps but my count is more like 13,658 like right now at 8.30pm at night!

    Thanks so much for taking the time to respond...I'm female by the way 😂...For now I will focus on calorie counting and hoping I get there haha

    10k steps a day IS active under most estimations, it's just the MFP has a particular way of thinking about activity levels.

    If you think about it, it makes sense for some kinds of people.

    If my goal is to walk 10k steps a day, but there are some days when I just don't do it, getting a calorie goal that ASSUMES I will be getting 10k steps just about every day will result in a calorie goal that doesn't quite fit. That is, I won't be as consistently hitting my goal to be in a calorie deficit even if I eat the amount of calories that MFP tells me to.

    Since many of us really do want to exercise but sometimes struggle to make that intention a reality every single day, it makes more sense to have our calorie goal based on our everyday routine life without exercise and then treat the exercise as a "bonus." When it happens, we log it and eat more. But if we have a really busy day or just don't want to do it, we're still eating the "right" amount of calories and not getting frustrated at a slow pace to our weight loss.

    This is MFP's method of determining calories. Other websites do it differently and include your exercise from the get go. For people who do the same amount of exercise very consistently, this can sometimes be more convenient. There's really no "right" or "wrong" to it, it's just two different paths to get to the same place.

    So don't feel like people are critiquing you or saying that you aren't really active. Your steps do count! It's just the way MFP considers "activity level" as something apart from exercise.
Sign In or Register to comment.