The Numbers Are Driving Me Crazy!

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bound4beauty
bound4beauty Posts: 274 Member
I will just go ahead and apologize up front because I know this has been discussed to death. I am just really struggling trying to come up with the correct number of calories. I will try and be as succinct as possible :)

Age: 51
Current Weight: 199
Height: 60 inches
Body Fat: 40%
Goal weight: 130 (for now)

History: 5 weeks ago I did two weeks of clean eating, gave up diet soda, wheat, sugar, dairy, etc... I didn't count calories, I just focused on cleaning up my diet. The first week I lost almost 3 pounds, the second week I gained back almost 2 pounds. On May 6th I started counting calories. Week one my gross calories were on average, 1654 and if I calculated my burn right, my net calories were 1261 and I lost two pounds. Last week I had a lot of social engagements and my gross calories were 1814 with a net of 1506 and I gained 3 pounds (TOM, alcohol, etc...may have played a factor).

A typical week at the gym for me is 20 minutes of medium to high intensity cardio six days a week, two days a week I do the cardio then work out with a trainer. It's hard for me to determine calorie burn with her because we do so many different things. I also plan on adding one more day of heavy lifting on my own.

Using the handy, dandy spreadsheet, I'm told to set my net calories to 1500 and set calories burned to zero if not logging them. I'm confused about that. Should I be logging my exercise calories and eating them back?

I'm driving myself crazy trying to figure out how to set up and use this site. I'm eating very healthy now and exercising but the scale is just not cooperating. No real change in measurements either. I know this is a process and I'm not in a rush but I would really like to get a handle on how many calories I should be eating without getting obsessed with it. I have ordered a Fitbit which I should get in a couple of weeks.

Sorry this is so long winded. I am so grateful for this group and any help I can get. I'm very determined to get the weight off and keep it off for good.

Thank you!

Replies

  • bound4beauty
    bound4beauty Posts: 274 Member
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    I crunched the numbers again, this time using the Scooby website. I know I'm being totally anal about this but I really want to get it figured out! LOL.

    When I plug in my stats:

    Female
    199 pounds
    60 inches tall
    51 years old

    Activity level: I chose 3 - 5 hours of moderate activity which is probably an underestimate since I'm doing 3 hours a week of high intensity cardio (80% of max. heart rate), not including my two training sessions with my trainer. The next level up may be too much though and I'd rather err on the side of under reporting exercise.

    My Goal: Lose fat with a 25% calorie restriction (I think this is safe since I have so much to lose)

    I changed the macro nutrients to

    carbs: 45%
    protein: 30%
    fat: 25%

    This puts my BMR at 1558
    TDEE: 2413
    Daily calories: 1811

    So, 1800 calories still seems high to me but since I've only included my cardio in the equation and not the calorie burn from my workouts with the trainer, and the extra day of lifting I plan to add...this may be about right? I'm not even sure I can eat that much but if I supplement with protein shakes I should get close.

    It was so easy to eat upwards of 2000 calories a when I was eating fast food and crap. It's harder to do when you eat clean!
  • DoxieLove10612
    DoxieLove10612 Posts: 145 Member
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    Don't feel terrible. I am at the point I am doing the math every single day. I am an accountant so its not too terrible for me and I enjoy it but good grief charlie brown I just want an answer at this point! Haybales will see this eventually and help. Like a magical MFP unicorn with all the answers!

    Edit: here is the spreadsheet haybales would recommend.
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Amt7QBR9-c6MdGVTbGswLUUzUHNVVUlNSW9wZWloeUE#gid=14
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    I will just go ahead and apologize up front because I know this has been discussed to death. I am just really struggling trying to come up with the correct number of calories. I will try and be as succinct as possible :)

    Age: 51
    Current Weight: 199
    Height: 60 inches
    Body Fat: 40%
    Goal weight: 130 (for now)

    History: 5 weeks ago I did two weeks of clean eating, gave up diet soda, wheat, sugar, dairy, etc... I didn't count calories, I just focused on cleaning up my diet. The first week I lost almost 3 pounds, the second week I gained back almost 2 pounds. On May 6th I started counting calories. Week one my gross calories were on average, 1654 and if I calculated my burn right, my net calories were 1261 and I lost two pounds. Last week I had a lot of social engagements and my gross calories were 1814 with a net of 1506 and I gained 3 pounds (TOM, alcohol, etc...may have played a factor).

    A typical week at the gym for me is 20 minutes of medium to high intensity cardio six days a week, two days a week I do the cardio then work out with a trainer. It's hard for me to determine calorie burn with her because we do so many different things. I also plan on adding one more day of heavy lifting on my own.

    Using the handy, dandy spreadsheet, I'm told to set my net calories to 1500 and set calories burned to zero if not logging them. I'm confused about that. Should I be logging my exercise calories and eating them back?

    I'm driving myself crazy trying to figure out how to set up and use this site. I'm eating very healthy now and exercising but the scale is just not cooperating. No real change in measurements either. I know this is a process and I'm not in a rush but I would really like to get a handle on how many calories I should be eating without getting obsessed with it. I have ordered a Fitbit which I should get in a couple of weeks.

    Sorry this is so long winded. I am so grateful for this group and any help I can get. I'm very determined to get the weight off and keep it off for good.

    Thank you!

    Use the TDEG of 1500 (guessing that is BMR because you have a lot to lose and/or planned weight lifting), and follow the instructions.

    Did you read the tips under Your Results?

    That one instruction to set calories burned to 0. That is a fitness goal, totally unrelated to your diet goals. No math is exchanged between those even using MFP's method. Perhaps you thought it was.
    Most aren't even aware there is Fitness goals, which only show up on the Exercise tab, hence the reason to say 0 calories, don't even use it.

    But indeed, as the instructions say - do NOT log and eat back exercise calories you already included in the Activity Calculator.
    Few other options mentioned there too though.

    Please read through those, it's very clear about logging and eating back exercise calories, so I think you skipped that whole section.

    If you do more, eat those back, with the same deficit really.
    If you miss a planned workout, it says what to do.

    You need to wait minimum 4 weeks to see a change, sadly you got other hormone changes that will make it impossible to see anything fast on the scale.

    Remember, any tool is only going to be as useful as your willingness to use it correctly. Go for quick and you think you know it, it won't work well.
  • bound4beauty
    bound4beauty Posts: 274 Member
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    Thank you heybales. I did read it. Over and over again...trust me. I guess I'm just so afraid of making a mistake. I'm usually pretty smart but this is just so overwhelming for me. I will look at it again.