Having trouble figuring this out

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miztrezzlyn
miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
I've been eating less and moving more since March of 2013. In that time, I've gone from 205 pounds to 130 pounds. I am 5'3 and 40 years old, stay at home mom who homeschools 2 children. I get up at 5 am every morning to fit in my walks/jogs and workouts.

According to my scale (which I know is not really going to be accurate) it says I am at 23% bodyfat (when weighed in the morning) and 21% (after being hydrated and/or shower). I don't even know what to do with its estimates hah

When I put in my measurements on the spreadsheet by heybales, it says the 2 estimates are

22.06% - US Navy
16% - Covert Bailey

The estimate using those 2 plus the 23% from my scale gives me 20.35%, which I really don't believe. I just think I have more fat than that, which is why I lean towards the 23% being closer to correct, but who knows.

I've gone from eating at 1200 and exercising like a fiend and not eating my calories back (wrong I know but its when I first started over a year ago) to eating back all of my exercise calories and attempting to eat at a higher calorie goal (generally anywhere from 1500-2100 depending on what I did that day).

My problem is that for the past few months my weight has really just gained and lost the same 1 or 2 pounds or so. I think MAYBE a half pound loss per month but at the deficit that I was supposed to be at was half a pound a WEEK. I'm trying to reduce my bodyfat and I think that if I were to lose another ~10 pounds, that I'd be at a good goal.

Currently I walk 5 miles - 4 times per week (4mph pace), lifting heavy weights (full body x 40 minutes) - 3 times per week, and yoga for 30 minutes - 3 to 4 times per week ***EDITED TO ADD*** also jog (c25k style) 5 miles - 3 times per week.

I put all of this information into the spreadsheet and it tells me that my TDEE is approx 2100 and with a deficit of ~15% that my TDEG is 1775. That should be approx. 0.6 pounds per week of loss. I am just not getting that.

My weight jumps wildly around, I'll hit a new low (like 0.2 less than my last low of 2 weeks ago) and then it'll jump up 2 pounds in 2 days. I know that it isn't fat weight but then it seems to take me a couple of weeks to go back down again and it is such a miniscule loss, which then immediately jumps back up 1.5-3.0 pounds in a day or two. The jumps are probably related to being sore from working out and / or sodium, since that is so hard for me to keep under 2500 sometimes.

I have all kinds of records, my daily calories since I began, Fitbit alleged calorie burns for the day, HRM data for my lifting and other workouts, my weight daily.

I don't want to overload you all with a whole lot of data about me so, what I really want to ask is this:

How can I find out what my actual TDEE is?
I think Fitbit underestimates me? I average about 19k steps per day with low days of about 12k and high days of 28k steps.
I fear that I'm actually eating not enough?
Right now I'm trying to average about 1750 and adding a little more when I have any exercise that is above what my "norm" is. Am I right to take any calories that Runkeeper or HRM gives me and subtract my bmr calories and then take 15% off of that for what I should eat back for the day?
And I understand about "valid weigh ins" but it always seems there is SOMETHING that makes my weight jump up so most of the time I have weight bouncing from 129.1 to 131.something.

So frustrating :( I just want to get this last bit off, it does NOT want to come off. I feel pretty good with the way clothes fit me (currently in a size 5) and all but I have this last bit of belly flab that is so stubborn!

Help?
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Replies

  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    I hate to bump this up, but I'd really like to see if anyone has any suggestions or advice for me. I was 129.0 on April 18, my previous low was 129.1 on March 30th. Then the next few days went like this:

    4/18 - 129.0
    4/19 - 129.7
    4/20 - 130.4
    4/21 - 130.0
    4/22 - 131.0
    4/23 - 129.9
    4/23 - 130.2

    Maddening!
  • KaterinaTerese
    KaterinaTerese Posts: 345 Member
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    You should consider focusing weight training at this point, and lower the cardio. Building up your LBM is what will help lower BF%, and being an active homeschool mommy, you may not want to restrict calories anymore than you have to (I really wish my own homeschooling mommy, my mom, would listen to this advice!). Average out your TDEE estimates, eat there and really work on your protein macros for a few weeks. If nothing else, it'll be a great mental break from "dieting!"

    Getting rid of fat is more important than the number on the scale, but can only be achieved if muscles are given a chance to grow. Eat, train, progress. Weigh all your food, and eat the meat. [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3I_IE5aNM4 ]

    I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than I can offer more advice than this, but this would be what I would try first if I were in your situation (I still have almost 10% BF to lose)
  • wilsoje74
    wilsoje74 Posts: 1,720 Member
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    I hate to bump this up, but I'd really like to see if anyone has any suggestions or advice for me. I was 129.0 on April 18, my previous low was 129.1 on March 30th. Then the next few days went like this:

    4/18 - 129.0
    4/19 - 129.7
    4/20 - 130.4
    4/21 - 130.0
    4/22 - 131.0
    4/23 - 129.9
    4/23 - 130.2

    Maddening!
    it appears you are eating at maintenance.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    I hate to bump this up, but I'd really like to see if anyone has any suggestions or advice for me. I was 129.0 on April 18, my previous low was 129.1 on March 30th. Then the next few days went like this:

    4/18 - 129.0
    4/19 - 129.7
    4/20 - 130.4
    4/21 - 130.0
    4/22 - 131.0
    4/23 - 129.9
    4/23 - 130.2

    Maddening!
    it appears you are eating at maintenance.

    That's what I am afraid of :( This is supposed to be at a 15% deficit.

    1343 bmr
    2072 tdee
    1768 tdeg
    304 avg daily deficit calories (14.7% deficit)

    If it IS maintenance, then that means I'd have to lower my calories even more to about 1450 calories per day WITH all of my exercise and that just seems wrong and would put me at eating too little :(
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    You should consider focusing weight training at this point, and lower the cardio. Building up your LBM is what will help lower BF%, and being an active homeschool mommy, you may not want to restrict calories anymore than you have to (I really wish my own homeschooling mommy, my mom, would listen to this advice!). Average out your TDEE estimates, eat there and really work on your protein macros for a few weeks. If nothing else, it'll be a great mental break from "dieting!"

    Getting rid of fat is more important than the number on the scale, but can only be achieved if muscles are given a chance to grow. Eat, train, progress. Weigh all your food, and eat the meat. [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3I_IE5aNM4 ]

    I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than I can offer more advice than this, but this would be what I would try first if I were in your situation (I still have almost 10% BF to lose)

    The problem with lowering the cardio is that I really ENJOY my walks...a lot. Its about the only "me" time I get that is quiet and relaxing :) The jogging is a personal fitness goal of mine, I was at 35 minutes of straight jogging last year and so far this year I am back up to 20 minutes of straight jogging. I really enjoy it and it gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

    I used to do TurboFire and while I did love to do it, it was wearing me down. I wasn't really willing to drop the walking/jogging so after a few months of TF, I dropped it. I'm lifting for about 45 minutes a day, 3x a week. I hope that it will help with lowering the bf% and raising lbm, but I've read such conflicting information about accomplishing that.

    I've been eating at a calorie deficit for over a year and frankly am quite tired of it but apparently what I thought was deficit is not and has now become maintenance. I don't get it! My weight jumps up 1-2 pounds then drops down a bit then jumps up again 1-2 pounds and then down again. I guess that's maintenance but I didn't want maintenance yet :p
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    I would like to add something, though! Last month around our anniversary I tried on some size 5's (was in a 7 at the time) and they fit but were a bit snug. Last week, I went back to the same store and tried on the same jeans and they fit great. So...something is happening.

    My waist measurement didn't really go down but I suspect that fat is coming off from somewhere (my upper hips I suspect)! So, rationally I should know that progress is being made but not showing on the scale. In my head though, its not completely making it through though :/

    For full disclosure, I want to mention that I struggled with EDs as a teenager and have always had a very bad body image. I was underweight but still thought that I was fat and saw lots of "problem areas". I did end up pretty overweight though for most of my adult life and that didn't help with body image either. Both extreme ends, I just want the middle or "normal".

    I have talked with my husband about it, fearing that I'm leaning too close to my earlier years, as far as body image goes, NOT the ED. He thinks that I see my body too negatively and that he doesn't see the things that I see. I just don't feel all that confident about the way I look in clothes or out of them.

    That was why I was trying to go more by bf% than weight on a scale. I want to lose about 3%-ish more bf and see where that puts me.
  • sarahorange55
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    just in case this helps - have not read everything so sorry if got it wrong - however I was told that every 6/7 weeks you needed to eat at your full TDEE for 1 or maybe 2 weeks - to do a mini reset or rather to stop your body thinking your cut is your new TDEE - does that makes sense?

    So maybe yes your -15% your body NOW sees as your TDEE because you have been eating at that value for so long (ie over 7 weeks)? pop it back up to TDEE (adding 100cals per day maybe?) and see what happens then when weight stablises again - go back to a 10% cut?

    Does that make sense?
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    just in case this helps - have not read everything so sorry if got it wrong - however I was told that every 6/7 weeks you needed to eat at your full TDEE for 1 or maybe 2 weeks - to do a mini reset or rather to stop your body thinking your cut is your new TDEE - does that makes sense?

    So maybe yes your -15% your body NOW sees as your TDEE because you have been eating at that value for so long (ie over 7 weeks)? pop it back up to TDEE (adding 100cals per day maybe?) and see what happens then when weight stablises again - go back to a 10% cut?

    Does that make sense?

    Yeah that does make sense. I may try that as it has definitely been over 7 weeks, it's been 13 months :) Its a little scary since I don't want to put fat weight on but it would be nice to have the break.

    Who knows, maybe (hopefully!), I'll still have progress via my weight training and jogging. I just don't want to add to the fat that I've been working so hard to get rid of :)

    Thanks :) I was/am nervous posting here, as I've seen some people get really mean lol

    Ultimately, I am very happy with what I've accomplished, as I wouldn't have walked a quarter mile before and now its nothing to get in approx 8 miles a day, with my walks/jogs and just general life moving :) Oh and the smaller clothes are nice too!
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    Sorry I missed this. Several questions below to answer.

    If you have the Fitbit, and this close to goal weight, even if not goal fat or where it's at, just a quick compare.
    Because while many have found the activity calculator to match their Fitbit right on, you could be much more active outside exercise and TDEE is indeed higher.

    Looking at the Fitbit tab in spreadsheet, how close are the BMR's there, Katch and Mifflin? (delete the yellow RMR if not known)
    You may have decently more muscle mass than expected with all your lifting, and your Fitbit is underestimating.

    Do you manually log your strength training in MFP to sync to Fitbit?
    Because it is grossly underestimating those workouts, so deflated TDEE right there.
    Don't use the inflated HRM calorie burn for lifting though, MFP is correctly smaller than that.
    You can indeed correct Fitbit for the running time using HRM or other if those are close.
    But Fitbit for walking is just fine.

    What does Fitbit TDEE look like for normal week if those correctly are made, compared to 2100?

    Walking is great cardio for how you are using it.

    If indeed around same 1-2 lbs back and forth, sounds like glycogen stores.
    You weighing on only valid days to determine that gain or loss.
    Morning after rest day eating normal sodium levels, not sore from last workout.

    If correctly adjusted Fitbit TDEE is close to what spreadsheet says using the activity calculator, then the fluctuations are normal.
    If big difference, probably more active than you think.
    So deficit could be bigger than you think, and bigger than body wants.

    After seeing how that plays out, may need to move up in calories for diet break, though you are at one now, but going back up to potential TDEE, or maybe you burn less daily than you think.

    But's lets see if Fitbit is trustworthy first in it's TDEE estimate, with answers to questions above.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    Sorry I missed this. Several questions below to answer.

    If you have the Fitbit, and this close to goal weight, even if not goal fat or where it's at, just a quick compare.
    Because while many have found the activity calculator to match their Fitbit right on, you could be much more active outside exercise and TDEE is indeed higher.

    Looking at the Fitbit tab in spreadsheet, how close are the BMR's there, Katch and Mifflin? (delete the yellow RMR if not known)
    You may have decently more muscle mass than expected with all your lifting, and your Fitbit is underestimating.

    Do you manually log your strength training in MFP to sync to Fitbit?

    The BMRs listed there:

    Katch - 1343
    Mifflin - 1224

    I don't use MFP to track at all, I use MyNetDiary and just watch how it compares to what Fitbit tells me I end up with. I used to adjust MyNetDiary to more closely match what Fitbit says. The past 2 weeks, however, I've been following your spreadsheet. It doesn't matter as it seems to have the same result anyway. Since about November or December, I have lost about 1/2 pound to a pound a month. Not much movement in the last month at all.

    I do track my exercise in Fitbit for what it isn't good at measuring. BUT, I use my HRM values. For a 30 minute strength session it was showing 175-200 (which I then put into the fitbit app), for my now current 45 minute sessions its showing 250-300. I assume that isn't correct? Yoga is negligible but I do even do it for that as well, though that is only about 100 calories for 45 minutes.


    Because it is grossly underestimating those workouts, so deflated TDEE right there.
    Don't use the inflated HRM calorie burn for lifting though, MFP is correctly smaller than that.

    Walking is great cardio for how you are using it. Not real useful for heart health as probably not intense enough, but still good.

    If indeed around same 1-2 lbs back and forth, sounds like glycogen stores.
    You weighing on only valid days to determine that gain or loss.
    Morning after rest day eating normal sodium levels, not sore from last workout.

    I have been trying to weigh on Mondays, I only walk on Sunday BUT my sodium level on the weekends tends to be higher than during the week. At least for this last week, my lifting on Saturday left me quite sore on Sunday AND Monday so it can't be trusted either :/

    That has been my problem really, its sodium levels, soreness, way more activity on the weekend. I never know if its water weight or actual maintenance as it would seem. It's got to be though, right? After all this time really shifting only those 1 or 2 pounds over and over?

    If correctly adjusted Fitbit TDEE is close to what spreadsheet says using the activity calculator, then the fluctuations are normal.
    If big difference, probably more active than you think.
    So deficit could be bigger than you think, and bigger than body wants.

    After seeing how that plays out, may need to move up in calories for diet break, though you are at one now, but going back up to potential TDEE, or maybe you burn less daily than you think.

    But's lets see if Fitbit is trustworthy first in it's TDEE estimate, with answers to questions above.

    How do I know if the Fitbit's TDEE is accurate? I put in the information for the last 7 days into the Fitbit tab on the spreadsheet and it says:

    1931
    1816
    2017
    1886
    1835
    1856
    1631

    Average exercise included TDEE: 1,853

    Katch BMR: 1,343
    BMR multiplier: 1.38


    Its confusing to me though because the activity of yesterday (the 1631 number) was the same as the day that the Fitbit said was 1831)

    Wait! That includes 250 deficit (it thinks that I have) so the new numbers for TDEE the Fitbit is reporting is actually

    2181
    2066
    2267
    2136
    2085
    2106
    1881

    Average exercise included TDEE: 2,103

    Katch BMR: 1,343
    BMR multiplier: 1.57

    Sorry I'm just confused :/ Is that what you wanted to know?

    BTW, thank you so much for replying :)
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    One other thing, not sure if it is helpful but on a day where there is absolutely NO exercise it says that my daily calories burned was 1497 and that I could only eat 1247 that day with a 250 deficit. I had to go back a month to find a day like that lol

    As I said above, my avg steps over a weekly period is 17-18k steps daily with my "low" days being about 13-14k steps, high days being 22K or so steps. I get that information weekly from fitbit emails telling me my avg daily burn, steps, active minutes, etc.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    My figures aren't matching up with yours, so your weight must be below 130 right now, and I used the 20.35 BF%. I'm guessing your view of where the fat is may be skewing your perception of it being 23%. So I'm going for that avg of 3 measurements.

    So Katch BMR slightly higher, and that means the Fitbit is underestimating your non-moving time.
    May not amount to much, but it is under.
    Might adjust the height to what is suggested on Fitbit tab there.

    The other correction to Fitbit to obtain better accuracy, don't use HRM values for lifting - they are inflated.

    If the yoga doesn't get above average 90 bpm for whole session, HRM wrong tool again, inflated values.

    When you log those in MFP and it syncs to Fitbit, or in Fitbit, it replaces what it estimates, which includes resting calories.
    So using the whole value is correct.
    If you were looking at right amount to eat back, then removing resting would apply.

    So that's how we decide if the Fitbit TDEE is accurate, is it using best BMR for non-moving time (height correction), and is it aware of calories it's underestimating (lifting, but not HRM inflated either).

    So you can find a past week and correct those values for lifting, you'll get a better idea of Fitbit TDEE right now.

    You are correct, over long enough period of time false gains/losses would still show general weight loss over several months of doing the same program.

    As to Fitbit having 2 different TDEE's on 2 days your workouts were the same - were all your other steps during the day exactly the same?
    This is where I'm wondering if the spreadsheet is underestimating your TDEE, because you have more movement during the day then you know about and told it.

    Then again, with inflated lifting calorie burn, the TDEE may be lower, you may be less active outside exercise than assumed.

    Also, confirm you are pulling the right numbers off Fitbit - if you are looking at Daily calories on Activities tab that is correct.

    I didn't understand your adjustment of those stats because of 250 cal deficit.

    Doesn't matter at this point, because you should adjust the Lifting calories.

    On MFP just select Strength Training, gotta get the time the same, and use it's estimate of calories burned. It'll seem low, but thats true.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    One other thing, not sure if it is helpful but on a day where there is absolutely NO exercise it says that my daily calories burned was 1497 and that I could only eat 1247 that day with a 250 deficit. I had to go back a month to find a day like that lol

    As I said above, my avg steps over a weekly period is 17-18k steps daily with my "low" days being about 13-14k steps, high days being 22K or so steps. I get that information weekly from fitbit emails telling me my avg daily burn, steps, active minutes, etc.

    And that could have been an odd day, much less active than normal outside of exercise.

    And steps isn't as useful for deciding anything as you might think. It's good easy goal, but doesn't say much.

    The calorie burn difference between 10K steps in short period of time and 10K steps over the whole day is very different, as stride was different and distance was different.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    Ok I went back and used the Fitbit suggested calorie burns for the weight lifting and yoga for the past week (which were less than what I had overridden it with).

    2100
    2033
    2232
    2136
    2049
    2077
    1874

    Average exercise included TDEE: 2,072

    Katch BMR: 1,343
    BMR multiplier: 1.54
    _______________________________________

    What do you mean that you didn't get the same weight that I listed?

    I listed what my weights have been for the past week. Its probably because I am not using the 20% bf number but the 23% bf number?

    As of this morning my scale told me that I am 130.2 pounds and 23.7% bf, yesterday it was 129.9 and 23.5% bf and at my last lowest weight it said (6 days ago) 129.0 and 23.8% bf. I have also had it tell me 21.6% bf LOL

    I'm guessing the only way to really know would be to get a DEXA scan or whatever but I can't really afford to do that.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    Another thing, when I first started I was eating at 1200 calories a day and NOT eating exercise calories for about 2 or 3 months. Then I started to lift weights and started going by what my Fitbit told me to eat and that was what I was doing the entire time since then. Problem is, I was overriding calories for weight lifting and all of my TurboFire workouts (via HRM).

    Actually what started to happen is less and less I went by fitbit and just entered the calories straight into MyNetDiary what my HRM said that I burned but it was not adjusting for what I would have burned anyway had I not done the exercise. So problem #1 right there, over estimating calorie burn on a couple of fronts. HRM for weight lifting + not accounting for BMR calories. On top of that, there was a while there that I was snacking on small things here and there and not counting them or not weighing properly. So probably underestimating calories eaten. That was also all around the same time as my lowering my deficit as I was getting closer to goal and thus really with those problems wiping out my deficit probably?

    For the past few weeks, however, I've been careful to log every single thing that I eat. AND for the past two weeks, I've been eating according to your TDEE worksheet. So, maybe, I just have to give it all more time to adjust? Since my current workout routine is only about 2 weeks old, also following the 1750 calorie goal is recent?
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    Just want to confirm because of the words you used.
    "used the Fitbit suggested calorie burns for the weight lifting and yoga"

    So my point was HRM will be inflated, but I also mentioned that Fitbit is badly underestimated for non-step based activities.
    I suggested using the MFP entry for Strength Training from their database. Can use the Fitbit database too of course.
    TurboFire is probably fine from HRM since that'll be better than other estimates.
    Yoga from database is fine too, as low as it is.

    Is that what you mean you did to get better estimates on Fitbit?

    Indeed with workout routine being 2 weeks old, some changes are being masked by body changes.

    I was getting different Mifflin BMR using 130 lbs, 63", 40 yr, and I guessed using different BF% like I explained to get different Katch BMR, you may be viewing it to extreme. 20.35%
    The BF% changing 5% doesn't change the TDEG that much anyway, so either doesn't matter too much, that's why I like average better than extreme view.


    So you could indeed have been wiping out a deficit, but that also should mean you had no problem going too low.

    If you did that Fitbit adjustment like I mentioned, then you got good figures there.
    Which sounds like it's awfully close to the spreadsheet TDEE then.

    In which case, time for a diet break.
    Take several weeks eating 100 more daily each week, until at TDEE for a week.
    Then take the deficit again.

    Because indeed, if you came from too far down going up, it will take longer than if you come down from above.

    So here's another confusing part, and partly a bummer part.
    If you want to eat to single number daily, you'll have to unsync your Fitbit, and just make those corrections for exercise on their site directly. They list weight lifting, and power lifting would be correct if you lift about as heavy as you can using sets and rests between them.
    Then every so often, see if their TDEE matches the spreadsheet which is basis for your eating level. If still about the same, good.

    Using that method, nothing to enter on MFP side, except manually changing your eating goal and macros.
    Then done until it changes enough to worry about.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    Just want to confirm because of the words you used.
    "used the Fitbit suggested calorie burns for the weight lifting and yoga"

    So my point was HRM will be inflated, but I also mentioned that Fitbit is badly underestimated for non-step based activities.
    I suggested using the MFP entry for Strength Training from their database. Can use the Fitbit database too of course.
    TurboFire is probably fine from HRM since that'll be better than other estimates.
    Yoga from database is fine too, as low as it is.

    Is that what you mean you did to get better estimates on Fitbit?

    Yes, I used the Fitbit database to get better estimates. I didn't use MFP because I don't log anything on MFP at all.

    Indeed with workout routine being 2 weeks old, some changes are being masked by body changes.

    I was getting different Mifflin BMR using 130 lbs, 63", 40 yr, and I guessed using different BF% like I explained to get different Katch BMR, you may be viewing it to extreme. 20.35%
    The BF% changing 5% doesn't change the TDEG that much anyway, so either doesn't matter too much, that's why I like average better than extreme view.


    So you could indeed have been wiping out a deficit, but that also should mean you had no problem going too low.

    If you did that Fitbit adjustment like I mentioned, then you got good figures there.
    Which sounds like it's awfully close to the spreadsheet TDEE then.

    Yes, it does end up being very close to the TDEE spreadsheet.
    In which case, time for a diet break.
    Take several weeks eating 100 more daily each week, until at TDEE for a week.
    Then take the deficit again.

    Because indeed, if you came from too far down going up, it will take longer than if you come down from above.

    You think I DO need to do a diet break? and increase my calories? Go from current 1750 a day, 100 calories at a time, up to 2050? How much would I expect to gain doing that? And that means about 3 weeks to get up to my TDEE, then eat at 2050 for a week, then back down to 1750?
    So here's another confusing part, and partly a bummer part.
    If you want to eat to single number daily, you'll have to unsync your Fitbit, and just make those corrections for exercise on their site directly. They list weight lifting, and power lifting would be correct if you lift about as heavy as you can using sets and rests between them.
    Then every so often, see if their TDEE matches the spreadsheet which is basis for your eating level. If still about the same, good.

    Using that method, nothing to enter on MFP side, except manually changing your eating goal and macros.
    Then done until it changes enough to worry about.

    My Fitbit is not synced to anything, I will continue to adjust the calories from the Fitbit database for the exercise it doesn't track well and monitor what it says for my TDEE. The listing that I use in Fitbit database IS powerlifting and yes I lift heavy with sets and rest.

    I REALLY appreciate all of the advice and help I got today. I will follow the advice on increasing calories up to TDEE and then taking it back down. I'm only afraid of my weight swings, and that they'll get larger and I'll freak out and want to abandon it. I will probably be back with other questions/concerns lol

    Thank you :)
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    Well, got good news and bad news about the weight swings, which do you want first?

    Ok, Bad news first - you were eating at suppressed maintenance level, not potential. if you had been at potential maintenance, there would have been no glucose stores to top off and deplete back and forth to cause that effect.
    You will gain some water weight with however depleted you have been in those stores, same as the big weight drop when you first started a diet, or went back in to a diet.

    Good news then - this moving back up will help. That increased water is extra LBM and requires energy to manage it - increased metabolism. Your muscles with more stored water will appear bigger. Your lifting will get better fast, take advantage and increase weight on the bar. You'll likely hold on to the gains even when you go back in to diet.
    Should be only 2-3 lbs max.

    First week at TDEE, get your new measurements and TDEE value just in case it changes enough to matter.

    Depending on how much you've enjoyed that lifting, really feel the difference in your workouts with getting closer to TDEE. Notice if pace or performance goes up too, or easier at same pace.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    Okay then :) 2-3 pounds is manageable. I'll give this a try and see where it takes me. I really only have this loose fat around my abdomen that is giving me trouble, that's my only reason for wanting to drop more weight. I am really happy with my shoulders, arms, back. I can see some ab definition, not a 6 pack or a 4 pack but a line in the middle and two outer lines, if that makes sense :)

    I really want to thank everyone who offered advice. I get wrapped up in numbers (calories in, calories out, weight on scale, bodyfat %) and it starts to mess with my head and I feel like I'm flopping around and accomplishing nothing.

    A few weeks ago, I got frustrated and cut calories even more, giving myself only 950 per day NET calories and I was making myself miserable. Luckily that only lasted for a week and a half :p Didn't see any weight loss at all from that either, just up and down the same 2 pounds, infuriating. Who knows, I may have been off on logging calories eaten and burned and it wasn't what I thought it was.

    Anyway, I'll stick to this method and work the numbers like you said and see what happens.
  • miztrezzlyn
    miztrezzlyn Posts: 44 Member
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    So, it's still too early for me to get all excited but even though my calories have been going up and my activity has really decreased a bit(due to crappy weather) my weight has been slowly climbing down.

    Previously my lowest weight was 129.0, but I've been hovering at 130 and even 131 for a couple of weeks and the last week its been headed back down toward 129.0. I was 129.3 for the last 2 or 3 days and today it was 128.6. This is also after a day of sort of higher than normal sodium AND I lifted weights doing some new stuff last night.

    Aside from my weight moving finally, I feel so much better too. I was eating at 1450 (more activity), then 1750 for a couple of weeks, to 1850 (at your suggestion heybales) and yesterday I started on 1950. I'm trying to work my way up to what the spreadsheet thinks my TDEE is and that's 2050. I've been trying to hit my macro goals more, especially protein.

    4-24 1872 calories 130.2 pounds
    4-25 1830 calories 130.1 pounds
    4-26 2123 calories 129.3 pounds (had extra activity this day)
    4-27 1867 calories 130.3 pounds
    4-28 1692 calories 129.5 pounds
    4-29 1875 calories 129.3 pounds
    4-30 1963 calories 129.3 pounds
    5-1 (will be about 1950 calories) 128.6 pounds

    The really weird thing to me is when I was eating 1450, I struggled with cravings and wanting to eat more high sugar things like cookies and such. (I have always allowed myself these things as long as they were within my calorie goal) 1750 wasn't quite so bad and now at 1850-1950, I don't feel those strong cravings to want to eat ALL the food. I do still of course allow myself my ice cream sandwich every day :) and won't remove things from my diet but I find I want them less than before.

    I want to watch for a while longer while I take my calories up to 2050 and I'll stay there for a bit and see what my weight does. I also have to watch what my Fitbit records for TDEE. My weight HAS done a bit of this before, dropping to new lows then climbing up a couple of pounds so I don't want to get my hopes up too much but the fact that my weight is going down while my calories are going up is a good sign, right?

    Thanks so much for all of the help! :) I'll let you know what happens over the next couple of weeks.