Calorie goal feedback

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I have been doing MFP on and off for many years. I lost 30 pounds back in 2016-17. Since 2018 I put most of that back on. I started back with MFP around April of this year and seriously started working on the weight loss. I have been eating at 1300 calories and was able to drop 16 pounds. I'm stuck right now and bouncing up and down on the scales. After reading another discussion, I'm not certain I have my goals set properly. My mind tells me to eat fewer calories to lose these last 5-10 pounds, but at the 1300 calories, it seems like I am always hungry.

My details:
54 years old ( not sure age matters)
5'6' tall
I have my activity level set at sedentary. I have an office job and sit pretty much 8 hours. When I'm home it is basic household chores. Cooking, dishes, laundry, etc., etc. I try to get walks and exercise in and when I do, I list those as separate activities.

What recommendations do you all have as far as calorie goal? I really want to get these last 5-10 pounds off but not feel hungry all the time.

Thank you!
«1

Replies

  • boilerdawg2009
    boilerdawg2009 Posts: 979 Member
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    You can always try to eat more water filled foods. The calorie count will be lower and the water will help you feel more full. Drinking more water throughout the day can also help accomplish this.
  • 4legsRbetterthan2
    4legsRbetterthan2 Posts: 19,590 MFP Moderator
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    how long have you been stuck?

  • TinaLeigh67
    TinaLeigh67 Posts: 669 Member
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    You can always try to eat more water filled foods. The calorie count will be lower and the water will help you feel more full. Drinking more water throughout the day can also help accomplish this.

    The water drinking is the only reason I get movement at work :D
    Good suggestion. I eat those items but I could always increase how much of them I do eat.
  • TinaLeigh67
    TinaLeigh67 Posts: 669 Member
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    how long have you been stuck?

    I have been bouncing around the same 3 pounds for about 4 weeks now.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,461 Member
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    I didn't see where you said how much you weigh now, but if it were 150 pounds, your sedentary TDEE ought to be in the 1550-1650 range (if you're average for your demographics), so 1300 would be about half a pound a week loss in theory. Half a pound a week is reasonable at 5-10 pounds to go.

    The thing about slow loss is that the scale can extra much be a lying liar that lies, when it comes to *seeing* fat loss, even when it's actually happening. Most of us bounce around a couple of pounds because of random water weight/digestive contents fluctuations day to day. Half a pound a week fat loss can play peek-a-boo on the scale with that for weeks at a time, sadly. I was losing a few vanity pounds in maintenance over a period of months super-slowly recently (on purpose, didn't feel like doing a big cut). There was around a month in there where even my *weight-trending app* thought I was maintaining, sometimes even gaining, let alone what things looked like based on day-to-day scale readions. However, based on long logging experience, I was quite confident that I was still losing fat slowly. Sure enough, eventually it showed up on the scale, as expected . . . in about week 6, if I recall correctly.

    A complicating factor in your scenario is that it's possible for a long-ish period of loss to lead to relatively more slowly creeping water retention, as a stress effect. Have you taken any maintenance breaks, or had any meaningfully over-goal days along the way since April?

    You mention listing exercise separately. Since your diary is open (helpful!) I see that you're also synching a Garmin. The totals don't look unreasonable, to me (again, this is a guess without knowing your current weight). I don't synch my Garmin (long story), so others may have better insights about whether there could be pitfalls there in some way.

    Since you have the device synched, your MFP activity level setting doesn't matter to your final calorie goal (assuming you also have negative adjustments enabled). The activity level setting will just trigger bigger or smaller calorie adjustments when MFP and the tracker synch, depending on whether the setting is closer to or farther from your what your tracker sees as your calorie burn.

    As far as satiation, it appears that you're coming in well below your protein goal quite frequently. It's not universal, but many people find protein filling. Experimenting with increasing that might be fruitful.

    I'm sure I'm biased by my personal experience, but if I ate that little protein at breakfast, I'd be hungry all day. It may be idiosyncratic, but I discovered early on that I need a good amount of protein at breakfast, then more spread through the day, to feel full.

    Your fiber's up and down a bit, it looks like, but usually pretty close to the recommended level (IIRC that's 25g for women, though I don't pay much attention to that as I always exceed it 😉). That's another factor that affects satiation for a lot of people.

    You do seem to be getting a good assortment and reasonable quantity of veggies/fruits and so-called whole foods generally, which is another thing many people find helpful for satiation.

    Overall, based on posts here, it seems like satiation can be quite individual, but maybe more protein and more consistent fiber levels would be things to experiment with.

    Sometimes, too, people find that eating timing matters, i.e. how many meals/snacks, what time of day, what relative size, what nutrient composition of each, so that could also be a thing to experiment, starting with noticing if there are days when you're more/less hungry, and if so what's different about those days; or noticing when during the day you tend to be most hungry, and using that to identify food timing variations to try. Everyone's different, but I found it more effective to eat a bit of something (usually protein in my case) if I was getting really hungry and mealtime wasn't soon, vs. letting that hunger advance. YMMV. (Some do better with rigid time schedules, I do better with flexible ones.)

    In your situation, I'd be inclined to stick with slow loss, expect it to require patience, and do some eating experiments to see if satiation can be improved. (Maybe throw a maintenance break** in for a couple of weeks, just to take some pressure/stress off.)

    Just some thoughts. Hope you're able to find a satisfying solution!

    ** http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10604863/of-refeeds-and-diet-breaks/p1 for info about the science and practice of maintenance breaks, in case you haven't previously seen it.
  • TinaLeigh67
    TinaLeigh67 Posts: 669 Member
    Options
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I didn't see where you said how much you weigh now, but if it were 150 pounds, your sedentary TDEE ought to be in the 1550-1650 range (if you're average for your demographics), so 1300 would be about half a pound a week loss in theory. Half a pound a week is reasonable at 5-10 pounds to go.

    The thing about slow loss is that the scale can extra much be a lying liar that lies, when it comes to *seeing* fat loss, even when it's actually happening. Most of us bounce around a couple of pounds because of random water weight/digestive contents fluctuations day to day. Half a pound a week fat loss can play peek-a-boo on the scale with that for weeks at a time, sadly. I was losing a few vanity pounds in maintenance over a period of months super-slowly recently (on purpose, didn't feel like doing a big cut). There was around a month in there where even my *weight-trending app* thought I was maintaining, sometimes even gaining, let alone what things looked like based on day-to-day scale readions. However, based on long logging experience, I was quite confident that I was still losing fat slowly. Sure enough, eventually it showed up on the scale, as expected . . . in about week 6, if I recall correctly.

    A complicating factor in your scenario is that it's possible for a long-ish period of loss to lead to relatively more slowly creeping water retention, as a stress effect. Have you taken any maintenance breaks, or had any meaningfully over-goal days along the way since April?

    You mention listing exercise separately. Since your diary is open (helpful!) I see that you're also synching a Garmin. The totals don't look unreasonable, to me (again, this is a guess without knowing your current weight). I don't synch my Garmin (long story), so others may have better insights about whether there could be pitfalls there in some way.

    Since you have the device synched, your MFP activity level setting doesn't matter to your final calorie goal (assuming you also have negative adjustments enabled). The activity level setting will just trigger bigger or smaller calorie adjustments when MFP and the tracker synch, depending on whether the setting is closer to or farther from your what your tracker sees as your calorie burn.

    As far as satiation, it appears that you're coming in well below your protein goal quite frequently. It's not universal, but many people find protein filling. Experimenting with increasing that might be fruitful.

    I'm sure I'm biased by my personal experience, but if I ate that little protein at breakfast, I'd be hungry all day. It may be idiosyncratic, but I discovered early on that I need a good amount of protein at breakfast, then more spread through the day, to feel full.

    Your fiber's up and down a bit, it looks like, but usually pretty close to the recommended level (IIRC that's 25g for women, though I don't pay much attention to that as I always exceed it 😉). That's another factor that affects satiation for a lot of people.

    You do seem to be getting a good assortment and reasonable quantity of veggies/fruits and so-called whole foods generally, which is another thing many people find helpful for satiation.

    Overall, based on posts here, it seems like satiation can be quite individual, but maybe more protein and more consistent fiber levels would be things to experiment with.

    Sometimes, too, people find that eating timing matters, i.e. how many meals/snacks, what time of day, what relative size, what nutrient composition of each, so that could also be a thing to experiment, starting with noticing if there are days when you're more/less hungry, and if so what's different about those days; or noticing when during the day you tend to be most hungry, and using that to identify food timing variations to try. Everyone's different, but I found it more effective to eat a bit of something (usually protein in my case) if I was getting really hungry and mealtime wasn't soon, vs. letting that hunger advance. YMMV. (Some do better with rigid time schedules, I do better with flexible ones.)

    In your situation, I'd be inclined to stick with slow loss, expect it to require patience, and do some eating experiments to see if satiation can be improved. (Maybe throw a maintenance break** in for a couple of weeks, just to take some pressure/stress off.)

    Just some thoughts. Hope you're able to find a satisfying solution!

    ** http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10604863/of-refeeds-and-diet-breaks/p1 for info about the science and practice of maintenance breaks, in case you haven't previously seen it.

    A lot of great information. First, I weighed in this morning at 134. My goal is 128-130. I agree I do not get enough protein. Struggling with that. I use to eat much better in the morning but I started a new job several months back and I have to be there earlier than my past job and I end up grabbing and going instead of thinking through my breakfasts. Fiber is something I hadn't even thought to consider. I will try to increase that and see how that works. I do need to work on my timing as well. I guess I need to start experimenting. Things that worked in the past don't seem to work now.

    Thank you for your input @AnnPT77
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,461 Member
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    langstontl wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I didn't see where you said how much you weigh now, but if it were 150 pounds, your sedentary TDEE ought to be in the 1550-1650 range (if you're average for your demographics), so 1300 would be about half a pound a week loss in theory. Half a pound a week is reasonable at 5-10 pounds to go.

    The thing about slow loss is that the scale can extra much be a lying liar that lies, when it comes to *seeing* fat loss, even when it's actually happening. Most of us bounce around a couple of pounds because of random water weight/digestive contents fluctuations day to day. Half a pound a week fat loss can play peek-a-boo on the scale with that for weeks at a time, sadly. I was losing a few vanity pounds in maintenance over a period of months super-slowly recently (on purpose, didn't feel like doing a big cut). There was around a month in there where even my *weight-trending app* thought I was maintaining, sometimes even gaining, let alone what things looked like based on day-to-day scale readions. However, based on long logging experience, I was quite confident that I was still losing fat slowly. Sure enough, eventually it showed up on the scale, as expected . . . in about week 6, if I recall correctly.

    A complicating factor in your scenario is that it's possible for a long-ish period of loss to lead to relatively more slowly creeping water retention, as a stress effect. Have you taken any maintenance breaks, or had any meaningfully over-goal days along the way since April?

    You mention listing exercise separately. Since your diary is open (helpful!) I see that you're also synching a Garmin. The totals don't look unreasonable, to me (again, this is a guess without knowing your current weight). I don't synch my Garmin (long story), so others may have better insights about whether there could be pitfalls there in some way.

    Since you have the device synched, your MFP activity level setting doesn't matter to your final calorie goal (assuming you also have negative adjustments enabled). The activity level setting will just trigger bigger or smaller calorie adjustments when MFP and the tracker synch, depending on whether the setting is closer to or farther from your what your tracker sees as your calorie burn.

    As far as satiation, it appears that you're coming in well below your protein goal quite frequently. It's not universal, but many people find protein filling. Experimenting with increasing that might be fruitful.

    I'm sure I'm biased by my personal experience, but if I ate that little protein at breakfast, I'd be hungry all day. It may be idiosyncratic, but I discovered early on that I need a good amount of protein at breakfast, then more spread through the day, to feel full.

    Your fiber's up and down a bit, it looks like, but usually pretty close to the recommended level (IIRC that's 25g for women, though I don't pay much attention to that as I always exceed it 😉). That's another factor that affects satiation for a lot of people.

    You do seem to be getting a good assortment and reasonable quantity of veggies/fruits and so-called whole foods generally, which is another thing many people find helpful for satiation.

    Overall, based on posts here, it seems like satiation can be quite individual, but maybe more protein and more consistent fiber levels would be things to experiment with.

    Sometimes, too, people find that eating timing matters, i.e. how many meals/snacks, what time of day, what relative size, what nutrient composition of each, so that could also be a thing to experiment, starting with noticing if there are days when you're more/less hungry, and if so what's different about those days; or noticing when during the day you tend to be most hungry, and using that to identify food timing variations to try. Everyone's different, but I found it more effective to eat a bit of something (usually protein in my case) if I was getting really hungry and mealtime wasn't soon, vs. letting that hunger advance. YMMV. (Some do better with rigid time schedules, I do better with flexible ones.)

    In your situation, I'd be inclined to stick with slow loss, expect it to require patience, and do some eating experiments to see if satiation can be improved. (Maybe throw a maintenance break** in for a couple of weeks, just to take some pressure/stress off.)

    Just some thoughts. Hope you're able to find a satisfying solution!

    ** http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10604863/of-refeeds-and-diet-breaks/p1 for info about the science and practice of maintenance breaks, in case you haven't previously seen it.

    A lot of great information. First, I weighed in this morning at 134. My goal is 128-130. I agree I do not get enough protein. Struggling with that. I use to eat much better in the morning but I started a new job several months back and I have to be there earlier than my past job and I end up grabbing and going instead of thinking through my breakfasts. Fiber is something I hadn't even thought to consider. I will try to increase that and see how that works. I do need to work on my timing as well. I guess I need to start experimenting. Things that worked in the past don't seem to work now.

    Thank you for your input @AnnPT77

    OK, at 134 your sedentary TDEE would be estimated around 100 lower than I guessed above (maybe 1450-1550), but you still may be in the half a pound per week zone, or a bit less, at 1300, if you're statistically average.

    Coincidentally, I'm not far off your size (5'5"), was at about your current weight in mid-March 2020, losing at about the most ridiculously slow rate you can imagine (slower than half a pound a week), still got to around 128 by mid-August 2020. The great beauty of it was that it was nearly painless, in my case . . . but I'd sort of experimented with the satiation variables long ago and found my personal strategies, so that's where my easy spot was. In your case, since you're already hungry . . . well, I'd stay on the slow side, rather than making it harder. But I'm not you.

    You're eating the Belvita often for breakfast now: Maybe consider protein bars or something like that, if you like a convenience product? I don't personally enjoy protein bars (or Belvita 😉) so don't eat them, but there ought to be some ready-to-eat commercial options in the 200-or-so calorie range with much more protein.

    My go-to morning breakfast when in a hurry is crunchy peanut butter on an Ezekiel pita, some half hot skim milk/half coffee (5 oz each), and 6oz of kefir, but that might be too high calorie for your situation (comes in at around 434 calories, 29g protein). Couple lowfat string cheese in a small Ezekiel tortilla (can you tell I like the Ezekiels? 😆) would be 240 calories, 17g protein, only slightly more effort. But those are things I'd eat, not necessarily things you'd eat.

    Since you eat meat (as I don't), would it be an option to prep some breakfast burritos or egg muffins/mini-frittatas or something like that, keep them in the freezer, zap in microwave for breakfast? The MFP blog has had some decent-looking protein-rich recipes for things like that, or Pinterest or internet search will turn up lots. I used to prep breakfasts of that sort back pre-retirement, when I had to fit one of those annoying job things into my daily schedule. 😉 The egg muffins are really quick to make, a batch of a dozen baked on a weekend will last at least a week, maybe two, depending on the recipe.
  • MargaretYakoda
    MargaretYakoda Posts: 2,627 Member
    edited August 2021
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    langstontl wrote: »
    I use to eat much better in the morning but I started a new job several months back and I have to be there earlier than my past job and I end up grabbing and going instead of thinking through my breakfasts. Fiber is something I hadn't even thought to consider.

    If you like oatmeal, you might want to have a look at refrigerator oatmeal recipes.

    Basically, it’s a bit of regular oatmeal, soaked overnight in various things. Milk. Yoghurt. Applesauce and/or other fruits/purées/etc.
    A bit of cinnamon. Maybe some berries. Or walnuts.

    Google has tons of recipes.

    You can make enough for a week in a few minutes, and it keeps great in the fridge. Mason jars are handy containers, but with the current shortage you might want to use something like the ziplock containers.

    It makes an excellent grab and go breakfast or lunch.
  • TinaLeigh67
    TinaLeigh67 Posts: 669 Member
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    @MargaretYakoda
    I have set oatmeal out to make in the morning. I own plenty of plastic containers so that is a great option.

    I really need to make time to meal prep.

    @AnnPT77 so in your opinion, do you think I should set my activity level at sedentary or just manually put in a calorie amount. Sedentary at .5 pounds loss set me at 1280 if I remember correctly. I had someone in another post comment that no one is truly sedentary, so I started questioning my settings.
  • TinaLeigh67
    TinaLeigh67 Posts: 669 Member
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    I have made the egg muffins in the past. Completely forgot about those!
  • MargaretYakoda
    MargaretYakoda Posts: 2,627 Member
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    langstontl wrote: »
    @MargaretYakoda
    I have set oatmeal out to make in the morning. I own plenty of plastic containers so that is a great option.

    I really need to make time to meal prep.

    @AnnPT77 so in your opinion, do you think I should set my activity level at sedentary or just manually put in a calorie amount. Sedentary at .5 pounds loss set me at 1280 if I remember correctly. I had someone in another post comment that no one is truly sedentary, so I started questioning my settings.

    Some are truly sedentary.
    But the scuttlebutt I have heard around here is “sedentary” = 3000 steps a day.

    Up and down to the kitchen and bathroom. Across the street to grab the mail. That sort of thing.

    Personally I need to keep that in mind because I don’t even get that much with my balance disorder. 3000 steps is maybe 150 calories? Enough to mess with the math if you’re close.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,608 Member
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    Try just eating your BMR. I calculated it at 1391 calories.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,461 Member
    edited August 2021
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    langstontl wrote: »
    @MargaretYakoda
    I have set oatmeal out to make in the morning. I own plenty of plastic containers so that is a great option.

    I really need to make time to meal prep.

    @AnnPT77 so in your opinion, do you think I should set my activity level at sedentary or just manually put in a calorie amount. Sedentary at .5 pounds loss set me at 1280 if I remember correctly. I had someone in another post comment that no one is truly sedentary, so I started questioning my settings.

    It looks like you have a Garmin tracker synched to MFP?

    As long as that's true (and I'd advise having negative adjustments turned on), you'll get calorie adjustments that should reconcile your MFP activity level with what the tracker sees, by end of day.

    Conceptually, if you have your MFP activity level set on sedentary (or whatever), and are more active than that, you'll get a positive adjustment (on net, by end of day, though it could go up and down during the course of the day, I think, before the full day is reconciled). If you have MFP set on a higher activity than your actual activity (as seen by the tracker), and you have negative adjustments enabled, you'll get a negative adjustment.

    If your MFP activity setting is far off from what the tracker sees, you'll get big adjustments. If it's close, you'll get small ones.

    If the adjustments seem annoyingly big, maybe think about tweaking your MFP activity level (if possible) to make them smaller. If the size of the adjustments is fine with you, don't worry about what your MFP activity level is, just let MFP and the tracker have fun doing their math, and eat to the goal that results (unless or until experience tells you that you should do otherwise**).

    ** A caveat I add because my Garmin is so far off for me that I don't synch it, but that's an unusual problem to have. (I sort of know why it's true for me.) If you think your Garmin is materially off for you, based on experience, that's a different discussion.

    FWIW, from other threads here, I think most people find that "sedentary" tops out somewhere in the 3000-4000 daily steps kind of range. A lot of people with just normal home chores get to that boundary, maybe beyond. Heck, I usually get to that even on non-exercise days, and I'm practically a fully inert lump, outside of exercise. 😆
  • frankwbrown
    frankwbrown Posts: 12,327 Member
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    Seems like you're already getting some excellent advice here.
    Regarding the topic of protein and fiber:
    Oatmeal can be a great breakfast, and as already mentioned, you can make overnight oats ahead of time.
    You can also add protein powder and/or fiber supplement to it.
    I also enjoy Premier Protein drinks. An 11 oz bottle contains 30g of protein, and it satisfies my hunger quite well. I will sometimes grab a bottle in the morning, in lieu of breakfast, if headed to the gym.
  • MargaretYakoda
    MargaretYakoda Posts: 2,627 Member
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    AnnPT77 wrote: »

    FWIW, from other threads here, I think most people find that "sedentary" tops out somewhere in the 3000-4000 daily steps kind of range. A lot of people with just normal home chores get to that boundary, maybe beyond. Heck, I usually get to that even on non-exercise days, and I'm practically a fully inert lump, outside of exercise. 😆

    Nah. I’m an actual inert sentient lump.
    I get something like 1000 steps on an average day. Not including my NuStep. On my bad days it’s drastically fewer steps. A good day might get me to 3000 steps.

    I’ve been beginning to differentiate between “sedentary” and “sedentary-disabled” on the forums.

  • 93Turkey03
    93Turkey03 Posts: 15 Member
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    I'm having trouble meeting my daily sugar goals (seems I'm always over the allowed amount). I'm not adding sugar - I'm getting most of it from fruit. Any suggestions?
    Thanks.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,461 Member
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    93Turkey03 wrote: »
    I'm having trouble meeting my daily sugar goals (seems I'm always over the allowed amount). I'm not adding sugar - I'm getting most of it from fruit. Any suggestions?
    Thanks.

    It would be better to start your own thread for your question, since it's different from the topic of the thread. You'll probably get more/better answers, and technically changing topics on someone else's thread is against the rules here.

    Brief answer: Assuming you don't have a relevant health condition like diabetes, going over on sugar isn't typically a major problem, as long as that doesn't make you exceed your calorie goal, or prevent you getting adequate protein/fats/fiber/micronutrients within your calorie goal. Many of us change our diary settings, drop the sugar column, substitute something else of more interest. I'm over the default sugar goal often, too, with minimal added sugar; I don't worry about it in the slightest as long as my overall nutrition and calories are where I want them. I lost weight fine, maintain fine since.
  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,627 Member
    edited August 2021
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    the thing that stands out to me is some of your logging. most of it looks reasonably accurate (and THANK YOU for having an open diary!) but some of it could be better, and with so little left to lose, logging accuracy becomes super important.

    a cup of cooked rice, a cup of mashed potatoes.... use a weighed cooked gram entry for EVERYTHING POSSIBLE, and if the potatoes are home made and not the instant variety (in which case you should find the applicable database entry), use the recipe maker to input your recipe then weigh out your portion in grams.

    the popcorn measured in tablespoons is weird but the calorie count looks (probably) correct- do you mean... cups? find a correct database entry.

    ice cream - always weight that one out!

    The quick add things are hard (impossible) for us to tell if its right or not, but you know.

    just remember - all solid foods should be weighed out on a food scale, and liquids in measuring cups/spoons. like i said, with as little as you have to lose, the accuracy becomes really important.

    x1n8kucd980r.jpg

    vz7bkzl5aotm.jpg

  • TinaLeigh67
    TinaLeigh67 Posts: 669 Member
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    @callsitlikeiseeit
    I tend to weigh most things, but I see what you mean by the cup of mashed potatoes and such. I need to work on that. I hate the quick adds but not sure what else to do. Yesterdays was a smoothie purchased at a local place and that was the calorie count they gave me. Thank you for the picture example and advice.
  • TinaLeigh67
    TinaLeigh67 Posts: 669 Member
    Options
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Try just eating your BMR. I calculated it at 1391 calories.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Thanks! 😊