Are MY calories too low?! So confused :(

Ok so I've been on MFP on and off for over a year...most recently I've been logging hardcore since January. When I weighed in at the beginning of this stint I was 140 (Jan 3rd), and got down to 133 by March 8th. Since then, however, I have COMPLETELY stalled! To be honest, even though 133 is my recorded lowest weight, most days I'm more like 134-135. Could my net calorie intake be set too low? I have it set to lose 1 lb. a week, which according to MFP = 1330 net calories per day. This doesn't seem THAT low to me, considering most ppl I hear talking about this problem had their net cals set to 1200. I've been assuming for the past 2 months that I just haven't been trying hard enough, but now I'm starting to wonder...I mean I definitely have my fair share of cheat days, and who knows how accurate some of my entries are when I'm trying to "guesstimate" calories, but for the most part, I think I've had way more "on" days than "off" days. I workout pretty hardcore 4-5 times per week, so I thought maybe eating ALL my exercise calories back was the culprit (if I didn't really burn as much as MFP said), but even when I try to leave some extra, the scale doesn't seem to budge. I am SO frustrated. Could my calories be set too low? Or should I REALLY try and buckle down for a week or two (i.e. not even 1 calorie over) and see if that jump starts things? I mean, I had my cheat days even in the beginning and still lost, and I really don't think my cheating has gotten worse since then. I am nervous that upping my cals will make me gain the 5-8 pounds I have worked so hard to lose, but on the other hand, I am starting to train for a half marathon, and I don't want to be depriving myself of needed calories. So pretty much, I'm confused and a bit desperate for answers...anyone have advice? Thanks!

P.S. I'm 5'3", in case that makes a difference.


  • DaBossLady24
    DaBossLady24 Posts: 556 Member
    having the same issue and I'm a little over 5'6"... I'd love to see the responses you get!
  • SCR56
    SCR56 Posts: 64 Member
    Bump... I feel like I haven't been losing the way I used to.
  • rileysowner
    rileysowner Posts: 7,797 Member
    I would suggest you eat at your BMR, or figure out your TDEE and take 20% off.
  • klc519
    klc519 Posts: 5 Member
  • cbbn11
    cbbn11 Posts: 125 Member
    It is hard to tell without seeing your diary. Sounds like you might be guessing wrong on your calories consumed and calories burnt.

    I know that I was stalled for about 6-7 weeks so I took one week off the gym and did not watch what I ate. When I went back to the gym I changed up my workout and started to drop weight again.

    Also make sure to take measurements, there are weeks I do not lose on the scale but I do lose inches.

    If you open your diary it will be easier to see whats going on but be ready for some hard truth on what your eating.
  • TheIzella
    TheIzella Posts: 8 Member
    Check out the group "Eat more to weigh less" there is a ton of helpful information there on this topic. I'm still new at all this, and don't feel like I can realy give people advice, but the people in this group. They can definitely help you! They've helped me a lot! Hope you find what you need!
  • wendi105
    wendi105 Posts: 27 Member
    I am having the same issues. I am also 5'3: and 133 lbs. My lowest recorded weight was 127 and am trying to get back there. The advice that was given to me was be as accurate with caloreis and ensure you include strength training into your workout as well as cardio. If not more strength than cardio.
  • delonda1
    delonda1 Posts: 525 Member
    I've been through this.. The best thing is play around and see what works best for you.... I would up your calories for a bit and DONT eat back exercise and see what happens...that worked for me...If you see gain then go back lower by maybe 100 or so until you find that magic number..But stick with everything for atleast 2 or 3weeks so you can determine a serious change

    Most of the time MFP overestimates calories burned so be careful of that. But every individual is different so what works for one may not work for another. Just play around. You are around the same height as me and im currently eating 1628 a day without eating back anything and losing maybe 1-2lbs every 2weeks.

    Also change up your workouts..sometimes it gets use to it and so you need to throw something else in there it doesnt know

  • cbbn11
    cbbn11 Posts: 125 Member

    Dead link, it brings you to the main forum page.
  • Allic1971
    Allic1971 Posts: 145 Member

    Please check out

    Input the HOURS you work out and step 6 should be 15% max 20%, I have found that this website gives nearly the same reading as my bodymedia and set macros to 40% carbs, 30 protein and 30 fat

    I now eat over 2000 cals and have just started to lose weight again, I was eating at below my BMR for some time and stalled not a good way to lose weight, this is a far better way!

    good luck
  • mathjulz
    mathjulz Posts: 5,514 Member
    I was struggling to lose another pound for a long time too. Set to lose 1/2 lb a week and netting 1430 calories a day. I eat back my exercise calories and also 300 extra for breastfeeding. When I started tracking EVERY DAY, even my "cheat days" and made sure I was as close as possible, exercising 5-6 days a week, and drinking 8 glasses of water every day, I saw a change. I lost about 7 pounds in 8 weeks. I'm not sure which of them contributed to the difference, or if it was all of them together. (I was in a challenge, so I had major motivation to keep it up!)

    As far as calories, I would say it's okay to go over by 50 or so on some days, but try to stay as close as possible. It's probably better to be over by 50 than under by 200! And I think the water is really helping, both in not feeling as hungry (did you know when we're thirsty, we "crave" sweets? at least I do) and in keeping water retention down.

    Oh, I'm 5'0" and currently 129.5 lbs (after losing the 7.5 or so)
  • I am in the exact same boat!! I wonder if it's just harder to lose weight when you don't have much more to lose? I was 138 now i am 128. I haven't moved from this weight for over 4 weeks... I workout like crazy and still stay around 1200 calories... is eating the workout points the problem? I don't want to lose much more, but i just don't know why the sudden stop? Does anyone know????
  • spammyanna
    spammyanna Posts: 871 Member
    You probably have your calories set too low. Depending on how much you have to lose, you should probably only have your goal set to lose .5-1 lb per week.
  • hbuckholz
    hbuckholz Posts: 5 Member
    I'm not sure if they're too low, that starvation mode idea is partly a myth but also partly true. Maybe you have hit a point where your body is content at that weight and is trying to maintain it. My intake is lower than 1200 and I haven't had any problems with weight loss stopping, though I tend to have shorter term results that last a while. Good luck and keep at it though!
  • Colbyandsage
    Colbyandsage Posts: 751 Member
    Have you calculated your TDEE and BMR? Try if you have not. I have read to never net below your BMR and calculate your TDEE then subtract 15% to lose but make sure that 15% never gets below BMR.

    I am 5'3. I am 139 as of this week. I did Insanity now, I am running and training for half marathon as well. Up until a week ago, I had MFP set to 1350 and I ate back every single exercise calorie. I have a HRM so I knew that was pretty accurate. My goal is 137. If I get to 135, I wont cry but I know that I look sorta gross at 130. I have a broad build and I am muscular. That's just me, I wear a size 4 now in most clothes. I have been losing 1 pound or more a week and never stalled.i have lost 19.6 total :)
  • Awkward30
    Awkward30 Posts: 1,927 Member
    I think you are probably at maintenance. I am not an expert by any means, but I think when you are relatively lean, the best way to do it is to just eat at your BMR (which puts at 1420 for you with the age I made up for you of 23) and not eat back exercise calories. So on a sedentary day, your deficit will be small, like 0.5 lbs/week, and on exercise days it will be a bit higher depending on how hard your workouts are. You can eat more on days you're still hungry, but at least with this, you know you are in a deficit, regardless of the overestimation of calorie burns.
  • I was thinking that but i just wasn't sure. THANK YOU!
  • How do you like Insanity????
  • caitles14
    caitles14 Posts: 89
    Award30, you were close, I'm 24! Hehe. I do like the idea of setting my calories a bit higher and eating the same amount each day regardless of exercise...I'll play around with some of these websites ppl suggested.

    As for my food diary, I do have it open but to ppl I'm "friends" with only...I have chosen to close it to the public, just because it kinda freaks me out having millions of ppl know what I eat everyday haha. (I know this is totally irrational, but I can't help it ;))

    Thanks for the advice guys!!! :)