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What are your real maintenance calories?

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135

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  • anna1m
    anna1m Posts: 29 Member
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    A lot of people find this TDEE calculator more accurate for estimating maintenance calories.

    http://iifym.com/tdee-calculator/

    I'm not on maintenance yet but for me it estimates my maintenance calories to be 1800 before accounting for exercise and I currently eat between 1300 and 1400.

    When I use your TDEE calculator my BMR is 1136 and my TDEE is 1561. From what I have been reading on this site, that seems pretty low. How accurate is this?

    Any calculator is just an estimate. That one is low for me. But also keep in mind that it's super vague-- 3 times per week exercise could mean 20 minutes of walking to one person and 90 minutes of lifting to another. Also if you're looking at the maintenance levels other people are listing they probably are including a good bit of physical activity. That looks like a sedentary TDEE level.

    The best strategy imo is to pick one to start with and then adjust every 4-6 weeks as needed.

    Nope it is for activity 3 times a week!
  • ILiftHeavyAcrylics
    ILiftHeavyAcrylics Posts: 27,732 Member
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    A lot of people find this TDEE calculator more accurate for estimating maintenance calories.

    http://iifym.com/tdee-calculator/

    I'm not on maintenance yet but for me it estimates my maintenance calories to be 1800 before accounting for exercise and I currently eat between 1300 and 1400.

    When I use your TDEE calculator my BMR is 1136 and my TDEE is 1561. From what I have been reading on this site, that seems pretty low. How accurate is this?

    Any calculator is just an estimate. That one is low for me. But also keep in mind that it's super vague-- 3 times per week exercise could mean 20 minutes of walking to one person and 90 minutes of lifting to another. Also if you're looking at the maintenance levels other people are listing they probably are including a good bit of physical activity. That looks like a sedentary TDEE level.

    The best strategy imo is to pick one to start with and then adjust every 4-6 weeks as needed.

    Nope it is for activity 3 times a week!

    You must be tiny. What are your stats? Are you trying to lose weight?
  • SharpieV
    SharpieV Posts: 26 Member
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    I find that MFP plus eating back exercise cals has been spot on for me. Then again, my 'true' TDEE may well be higher but I probably underestimate the portions that I consume and put into MFP too, so they at least cancel out to spot on, which is good enough for me!
  • anna1m
    anna1m Posts: 29 Member
    Options
    A lot of people find this TDEE calculator more accurate for estimating maintenance calories.

    http://iifym.com/tdee-calculator/

    I'm not on maintenance yet but for me it estimates my maintenance calories to be 1800 before accounting for exercise and I currently eat between 1300 and 1400.

    When I use your TDEE calculator my BMR is 1136 and my TDEE is 1561. From what I have been reading on this site, that seems pretty low. How accurate is this?

    Any calculator is just an estimate. That one is low for me. But also keep in mind that it's super vague-- 3 times per week exercise could mean 20 minutes of walking to one person and 90 minutes of lifting to another. Also if you're looking at the maintenance levels other people are listing they probably are including a good bit of physical activity. That looks like a sedentary TDEE level.

    The best strategy imo is to pick one to start with and then adjust every 4-6 weeks as needed.

    Nope it is for activity 3 times a week!

    You must be tiny. What are your stats? Are you trying to lose weight?

    I am almost 5 foot 2 and about 103-105lbs. I am trying to maintain and in the fall start a bulk. I would like to be and look stronger!
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,330 Member
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    A lot of people find this TDEE calculator more accurate for estimating maintenance calories.

    http://iifym.com/tdee-calculator/

    I'm not on maintenance yet but for me it estimates my maintenance calories to be 1800 before accounting for exercise and I currently eat between 1300 and 1400.

    When I use your TDEE calculator my BMR is 1136 and my TDEE is 1561. From what I have been reading on this site, that seems pretty low. How accurate is this?

    Calculators are formulas based on population averages. Unless you happen to fall right into the average chances are your TDEE is different. See how some people here mentioned they burn more than what MFP tells them (metabolism faster than average) and how I said I actually burn less (metabolism slower than average). You may be in either team. The only way to know is to pay for it or test it out for yourself.

    I did it through scooby spreadsheet, but you will have to be very diligent eating as close to target as you can manage for a whole month.

    Here is how I did it step by step:
    1. Go here:
    http://scoobysworkshop.com/accurate-calorie-calculator/
    Enter your data, pick "lose fat gain muscle" if you are maintaining and base your activity level on your job/daily activity other than exercise ( you will be adding exercise later). It doesn't matter which formula you pick, you are going to be coming up with your own number anyway so just keep it at default.

    2. Go here and follow instruction:
    http://scoobysworkshop.com/calorie-calculator-calibration/

    3. Download the spreadsheet from here:
    http://scoobysworkshop.com/download/WeightCharting.xls

    4. Go here and save it to your bookmarks:
    http://www.shapesense.com/fitness-exercise/calculators/net-versus-gross-calorie-burn-conversion-calculator.aspx

    5. Log your weight every single day in the spreadsheet religiously and keep the calories you eat every day as close to the target given to you in the first step as you can humanly manage. Eat back your NET exercise calories. To find out your net calories: 1) Enter your exercise into MFP 2)Take the calories it gives you 3) Enter them into the website you bookmarked in step four, into the "gross" field 4)Eat back the resulting number.

    6. After a month the line in your spreadsheet needs to be completely horizontal if you are maintaining, if it's not then your metabolism is faster/slower than average. Enter your info into the page from step 2 and get your "Calorie Correction Factor". Add it to your TDEE number from step 1 and you will get your own individual maintenance calorie value.

    Edit: If you feel it's hard to eat the exact same calories every day go for weekly calories. Just multiply your given TDEE by 7 and that would be your budget for the week.
  • themedalist
    themedalist Posts: 3,215 Member
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    Thanks for sharing your experiences!
    I't really interesting to hear how everyone differs... I must admit that I'm a bit scared of ever reaching my goal because quite a few people have told me that maintaining is even more difficult than losing...

    I think there is a perception that maintenance is harder than losing weight because maintenance has no endpoint. If you've changed the underlying habits that led to your weight gain and have healthier habits in place, maintenance can be pretty easy.

    I maintain on 1800 to 2400 calories a day, depending in my activity level. I am 52 years old.
  • butterbear1980
    butterbear1980 Posts: 234 Member
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    MFP was about right for me. I did 12 weeks at maintnence. I'm 5'3" 140 lb large frame female. Very active. 2300-2500/day. Currently loosing.5lb/week at 2030. Active job + 3 kids+ cross fit 4xs/week. I hope a few years from now for my maintnence calories to be higher.... getting the metabolism on fire is one of my goals. Training hard and with consistent nutrition I have a lofty goal of gaining 5# of muscle in the next two years. I've run the numbers and if I cut 10# fat and added 5# muscle ending up with around 18% bf and maintain at 150 cals more per day...like an extra glass of milk....so it won't be a huge difference but I'll take it!
  • ForecasterJason
    ForecasterJason Posts: 2,577 Member
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    MFP underestimates mine by about 250-300 calories, and a lot of other calculators underestimate mine as well. I think there are enough variations from person to person that make calorie estimates very subject to a fairly wide margin of error.
  • Linnaea27
    Linnaea27 Posts: 639 Member
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    When I went into maintenance last spring, I found that it was 50-100 calories too low for me, which made sense since I'd been losing weight at a slightly faster rate than predicted by MFP calculations all along.

    I'm trying to lose a bit again and so far haven't lost anything (in a month or so). It is strange but I did just take up heavy (for me) weightlifting, so I am hoping this is water weight.

    It's interesting to see that most others who have posted here found MFP maintenance calories to be a little too low for them, too.
  • popsicklestar
    popsicklestar Posts: 166 Member
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    According to online calculators, my maintenance calories are 1560 to 1780, and I've found that to be extremely accurate. Was really hoping they would by higher, but no such luck.
  • Rose6300
    Rose6300 Posts: 232 Member
    edited November 2014
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    MFP sets me at 1510. My actual is 1850 (based on 3 months of maintaining, which ties in with most TDEE calculators). I am a 5'5.5, 128 lb., 51 year old female who lifts 4x a week and does no intentional cardio.
  • Joanjett88
    Joanjett88 Posts: 87 Member
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    I'm still trying to figure mine out so it helps to see what everyone else is experiencing. I'm 5'7" @ 135 lbs and MFP has me at 1970 for lightly active. I've just recently hit my goal weight so I've been trying to increase by 100-200 calories for a week at a time and then reassess. I just hate waiting through the fluctuations to see a trend, lol.

    I know that my activity level has dropped do to busy schedule and cold weather, so I'm thinking that I might top out at around 1700-1800 due to the fact that I work a desk job.

    One thing that I have noticed is that I am definitely hungrier now. I used to be able to eat 1200-1300 calories and be FULL, but now that I'm increasing my calorie intake all I want to do is eat more. I think it's because I've increased my carb intake and all I want to do is eat more carbs. If all I eat is meat and veggies it's hard to meet my calorie goal, however I'm a sucker for carbs and if I eat some I want to eat a lot, lol.
  • williams969
    williams969 Posts: 2,528 Member
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    I've got months upon months of food and daily weigh in data. Analysis of my personal data points to a TDEE range of around 2000-2100 (as long as I'm doing my 3-4 hrs of training per week), which is darn close to what most online calculators predict for a "moderately active" person with my stats (5'6", 138-141 lbs range, 38yo).



  • JagerLewis
    JagerLewis Posts: 427 Member
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    MFP tells me 1660, my TDEE tells me more, so for me to avoid confusion I went with MFP and eat my exercise calories. I've been maintaining for a little over a month now, I know it's not long, but so far so good. :)
  • 47Jacqueline
    47Jacqueline Posts: 6,993 Member
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    MFP gives me about 1970 on a very active level, but usually my activity level increases that by about 1000kcal.
  • LivingtheLeanDream
    LivingtheLeanDream Posts: 13,342 Member
    edited November 2014
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    I'm maintaining on 2000 cals. Fitbit tells me I can eat 2400. MFP tells me I can eat at 1750 plus exercise cals which then would average 2300 when it syncs with Fitbit. I am not brave enough YET to eat that much nor do I feel I need extra cals.

    I'm 5 ft 3 and 135lbs
  • pkw58
    pkw58 Posts: 2,038 Member
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    I am 5'8", 56 years old and my maintenance range is 125-135, but I generally stay within 128 to 131 after 3 years of losing and maintaining. Because my activity is set to sedentary, my stay at this weight calories is about 1530. I am losing a few extra pounds with fear of holidays coming upon us. I try to get between 300 and a 1000 calories of exercise/activity burned every day.
  • firefoxxie
    firefoxxie Posts: 381 Member
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    Depending on how active I am...2100-2400
  • FrankieFrench1
    FrankieFrench1 Posts: 289 Member
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    My maintenance is ment to be 1800 but given im 5'11' that doesn't seem right.
  • nxd10
    nxd10 Posts: 4,570 Member
    edited November 2014
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    The first year I maintained on 250 calories less than MFP said I should. Then I suddenly lost 5 pounds and have maintained that at exactly what MFP says I should. That's been another 8 months.