BMR / TDEE? Starvation mode? Overwhelmed & CONFUSED!

2

Replies

  • vs1023
    vs1023 Posts: 417 Member
    Figure out your TDEE and subtract no more than 500 calories from that. I'd start modestly at around a 10-15% deficit. Again it's just an estimation and you will have to be very accurate for a month and then assess by weighing yourself and also take measurements before and after. If you maintain on whatever # you chose you can take each of your days total cals, add them and then average them to figure out your "true" TDEE. So if you have maintained on that # subtract some off of that again, do it for a month, rinse and repeat.

    I did this experiment for a month at one time and it gave me a TDEE of 2500 based on my own experience, so taking 500 from that would be 2000 cals/day everyday. Re-assess in a month. I don't like doing 500. I typically start with 2-300. Baby steps, slow ..because who wants to eat LESS food if they don't have to?

    When I do it this way I override MFP's settings and input my own caloric goal, I don't enter my exercise cals burned and just eat that # of calories or close to it everyday. I also specfied my macros (Protein, carb and fat) grams instead of percentages. This is a bit more involved, but another option (IIFYM - if it fits your macros).

    Eat less + do more doesn't always work.
  • vismal
    vismal Posts: 2,463 Member
    Why has no one mentioned that's its a little suspicious she knows her exact BMR and TDEE down to the calorie? Maybe she used a calculator and got an ESTIMATION of what someone her height and weight would likely have if she was average. The thing about BMR and more so TDEE is it's not a static number.

    IMO the OP needs to start again fresh. If I was her I'd slowly up calories to 2000 then eat that level for A MONTH! Be extremely strict with your calorie counting and do not do any cheating. At 2000 calories you should not feel deprived or the need to do any cheating. Weigh 100% of what you put into your mouth. Watch what your weight does over the course of this month. If it goes up DONT reduce calories. It's likely water weight or glycogen.

    After the month goes by we can assume a few things. Any metabolic slowdown should have reversed. Hormones like cortisol and leptin should have returned to normal. At this point you can begin to reduce calories. Maybe by 250 or so at first. If you lose weight, great, stick to that number. If you do not after about 3 weeks go by, drop another 250 calories. The biggest key in all of this will be consistency in your counting. If you aren't extremely confident in how much you are eating, this entire method WON'T WORK.

    At the end of the day, even taking into account metabolic slowdown, calories in vs calories out still apply. Also people who experience 20% slowdowns have been on large caloric deficits for long periods of time. Most people don't see that kind of slowdown from typical dieting for typical periods of time. One way to avoid such massive slowdowns is to take diet break every 8-12 weeks. Raise calories back to maintenance for 2 weeks for every 8-12 weeks of dieting. This provides a good mental break as well. It may make it seem like dieting takes forever but when you compare it to being stalled for months, it's really not that bad.
  • dluckylucas
    dluckylucas Posts: 23 Member
    Why has no one mentioned that's its a little suspicious she knows her exact BMR and TDEE down to the calorie? Maybe she used a calculator and got an ESTIMATION of what someone her height and weight would likely have if she was average. The thing about BMR and more so TDEE is it's not a static number.

    IMO the OP needs to start again fresh. If I was her I'd slowly up calories to 2000 then eat that level for A MONTH! Be extremely strict with your calorie counting and do not do any cheating. At 2000 calories you should not feel deprived or the need to do any cheating. Weigh 100% of what you put into your mouth. Watch what your weight does over the course of this month. If it goes up DONT reduce calories. It's likely water weight or glycogen.

    After the month goes by we can assume a few things. Any metabolic slowdown should have reversed. Hormones like cortisol and leptin should have returned to normal. At this point you can begin to reduce calories. Maybe by 250 or so at first. If you lose weight, great, stick to that number. If you do not after about 3 weeks go by, drop another 250 calories. The biggest key in all of this will be consistency in your counting. If you aren't extremely confident in how much you are eating, this entire method WON'T WORK.

    At the end of the day, even taking into account metabolic slowdown, calories in vs calories out still apply. Also people who experience 20% slowdowns have been on large caloric deficits for long periods of time. Most people don't see that kind of slowdown from typical dieting for typical periods of time. One way to avoid such massive slowdowns is to take diet break every 8-12 weeks. Raise calories back to maintenance for 2 weeks for every 8-12 weeks of dieting. This provides a good mental break as well. It may make it seem like dieting takes forever but when you compare it to being stalled for months, it's really not that bad.

    Yes, I did use two separate calculators found online :) I thought it would be good to get as much info as I could for my OP.
    And for added info. regarding my activity.... I am doing a weekly spin class (I burned 643 calories according to the heart monitor today), boot camp (very intense), interval / circuit training / weight training classes at the gym 4 times a week plus yoga and walking 2 -3 times a week. My walks are about 45 minutes. I wear a fitbit daily and hit my 10k step and all of my calories on fitbit each day. My fit bit says I burn 2000+ calories a day and I don't log my exercise classes. I do this in addition to chasing my 2 year old around our 1 acre of land (we live in the country). I also garden and keep house. I am an active person. All of this activity for at least the past 6 months, except the gym. I added the gym classes 2 months ago. Prior to the gym I was walk/ jogging pushing the toddler in stroller. Sometimes I will start to lose a few pounds and then hit a social function on the weekend and I am right back where I started on Monday. So with eating more on the weekend I gain.
  • vismal
    vismal Posts: 2,463 Member
    Why has no one mentioned that's its a little suspicious she knows her exact BMR and TDEE down to the calorie? Maybe she used a calculator and got an ESTIMATION of what someone her height and weight would likely have if she was average. The thing about BMR and more so TDEE is it's not a static number.

    IMO the OP needs to start again fresh. If I was her I'd slowly up calories to 2000 then eat that level for A MONTH! Be extremely strict with your calorie counting and do not do any cheating. At 2000 calories you should not feel deprived or the need to do any cheating. Weigh 100% of what you put into your mouth. Watch what your weight does over the course of this month. If it goes up DONT reduce calories. It's likely water weight or glycogen.

    After the month goes by we can assume a few things. Any metabolic slowdown should have reversed. Hormones like cortisol and leptin should have returned to normal. At this point you can begin to reduce calories. Maybe by 250 or so at first. If you lose weight, great, stick to that number. If you do not after about 3 weeks go by, drop another 250 calories. The biggest key in all of this will be consistency in your counting. If you aren't extremely confident in how much you are eating, this entire method WON'T WORK.

    At the end of the day, even taking into account metabolic slowdown, calories in vs calories out still apply. Also people who experience 20% slowdowns have been on large caloric deficits for long periods of time. Most people don't see that kind of slowdown from typical dieting for typical periods of time. One way to avoid such massive slowdowns is to take diet break every 8-12 weeks. Raise calories back to maintenance for 2 weeks for every 8-12 weeks of dieting. This provides a good mental break as well. It may make it seem like dieting takes forever but when you compare it to being stalled for months, it's really not that bad.

    Yes, I did use two separate calculators found online :) I thought it would be good to get as much info as I could for my OP.
    And for added info. regarding my activity.... I am doing a weekly spin class (I burned 643 calories according to the heart monitor today), boot camp (very intense), interval / circuit training / weight training classes at the gym 4 times a week plus yoga and walking 2 -3 times a week. My walks are about 45 minutes. I wear a fitbit daily and hit my 10k step and all of my calories on fitbit each day. My fit bit says I burn 2000+ calories a day and I don't log my exercise classes. I do this in addition to chasing my 2 year old around our 1 acre of land (we live in the country). I also garden and keep house. I am an active person. All of this activity for at least the past 6 months, except the gym. I added the gym classes 2 months ago. Prior to the gym I was walk/ jogging pushing the toddler in stroller. Sometimes I will start to lose a few pounds and then hit a social function on the weekend and I am right back where I started on Monday. So with eating more on the weekend I gain.
    I stick by my original advise then. Completely reboot. Be more consistent with your calories. If you are going to eat more on the weekend, eat less through the week. You only need to average your daily calorie limit, not hit it every day. If your goal is 2000 you can eat 1700 M-F then have 2750 on Saturday and Sunday. When you reduce calories after you reset, you can reduce them from your M-F or your weekend. I would advise not going crazy with this deviation though. While you technically can do something like eat 1000 calories M-F and have a lots of calories over the weekend, massive swings like this make consistency and compliance an issue.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    Yes, I did use two separate calculators found online :) I thought it would be good to get as much info as I could for my OP.
    And for added info. regarding my activity.... I am doing a weekly spin class (I burned 643 calories according to the heart monitor today), boot camp (very intense), interval / circuit training / weight training classes at the gym 4 times a week plus yoga and walking 2 -3 times a week. My walks are about 45 minutes. I wear a fitbit daily and hit my 10k step and all of my calories on fitbit each day. My fit bit says I burn 2000+ calories a day and I don't log my exercise classes. I do this in addition to chasing my 2 year old around our 1 acre of land (we live in the country). I also garden and keep house. I am an active person. All of this activity for at least the past 6 months, except the gym. I added the gym classes 2 months ago. Prior to the gym I was walk/ jogging pushing the toddler in stroller. Sometimes I will start to lose a few pounds and then hit a social function on the weekend and I am right back where I started on Monday. So with eating more on the weekend I gain.

    Not sure why you aren't using your tools properly then. You obviously know you burn much more than 2000 calories then, since Fitbit can't estimate calorie burn on non-step based activity.
    If you gain that much over the weekend to show up - it's water weight. That just shows how muscle glucose depleted you are.

    You have a device that can help greatly in determining your TDEE, if you use it correctly.

    I just did a 39 day review of my Fitbit stats compared to actual weight loss and amount eaten during some training for event.
    Calculated TDEE based on results was 3528 (42 hrs of training during that time), Fitbit with corrected manually logged workouts was 3494. That's 1% difference.

    So you have a HRM to get perhaps better estimate of calories burned in your workouts.
    Manually log all your workouts but the walking, you burn more doing that stuff then Fitbit is aware of.
    Log on Fitbit or MFP, doesn't matter, causes the same effect.
    Sync up MFP and Fitbit in case you don't, negative and positive adjustments.
    Set the MFP activity level to Lightly Active, since you obviously are with kid at home outside of all that exercise.
    Set your weight loss goal to reasonable amount on MFP, the 1lb for now, 1/2 lb when down to last 10 lbs.

    And you do need to follow the reset advice above first, the Fitbit calorie burns are based on a healthy body, so is HRM. Yours isn't right now, so those estimates are off.
    Increase eating by 100 a day, for a week at a time. Get up to what a corrected Fitbit daily burn says.
  • dluckylucas
    dluckylucas Posts: 23 Member
    Why has no one mentioned that's its a little suspicious she knows her exact BMR and TDEE down to the calorie? Maybe she used a calculator and got an ESTIMATION of what someone her height and weight would likely have if she was average. The thing about BMR and more so TDEE is it's not a static number.

    IMO the OP needs to start again fresh. If I was her I'd slowly up calories to 2000 then eat that level for A MONTH! Be extremely strict with your calorie counting and do not do any cheating. At 2000 calories you should not feel deprived or the need to do any cheating. Weigh 100% of what you put into your mouth. Watch what your weight does over the course of this month. If it goes up DONT reduce calories. It's likely water weight or glycogen.

    After the month goes by we can assume a few things. Any metabolic slowdown should have reversed. Hormones like cortisol and leptin should have returned to normal. At this point you can begin to reduce calories. Maybe by 250 or so at first. If you lose weight, great, stick to that number. If you do not after about 3 weeks go by, drop another 250 calories. The biggest key in all of this will be consistency in your counting. If you aren't extremely confident in how much you are eating, this entire method WON'T WORK.

    At the end of the day, even taking into account metabolic slowdown, calories in vs calories out still apply. Also people who experience 20% slowdowns have been on large caloric deficits for long periods of time. Most people don't see that kind of slowdown from typical dieting for typical periods of time. One way to avoid such massive slowdowns is to take diet break every 8-12 weeks. Raise calories back to maintenance for 2 weeks for every 8-12 weeks of dieting. This provides a good mental break as well. It may make it seem like dieting takes forever but when you compare it to being stalled for months, it's really not that bad.

    Yes, I did use two separate calculators found online :) I thought it would be good to get as much info as I could for my OP.
    And for added info. regarding my activity.... I am doing a weekly spin class (I burned 643 calories according to the heart monitor today), boot camp (very intense), interval / circuit training / weight training classes at the gym 4 times a week plus yoga and walking 2 -3 times a week. My walks are about 45 minutes. I wear a fitbit daily and hit my 10k step and all of my calories on fitbit each day. My fit bit says I burn 2000+ calories a day and I don't log my exercise classes. I do this in addition to chasing my 2 year old around our 1 acre of land (we live in the country). I also garden and keep house. I am an active person. All of this activity for at least the past 6 months, except the gym. I added the gym classes 2 months ago. Prior to the gym I was walk/ jogging pushing the toddler in stroller. Sometimes I will start to lose a few pounds and then hit a social function on the weekend and I am right back where I started on Monday. So with eating more on the weekend I gain.
    I stick by my original advise then. Completely reboot. Be more consistent with your calories. If you are going to eat more on the weekend, eat less through the week. You only need to average your daily calorie limit, not hit it every day. If your goal is 2000 you can eat 1700 M-F then have 2750 on Saturday and Sunday. When you reduce calories after you reset, you can reduce them from your M-F or your weekend. I would advise not going crazy with this deviation though. While you technically can do something like eat 1000 calories M-F and have a lots of calories over the weekend, massive swings like this make consistency and compliance an issue.

    Thank you VISMAL, nice body by the way ;) & at 118 lbs lost seems you know what you are doing! I will seriously consider your advice! I meet with a dietician today and will discuss further. Thanks again to all that have helped me try and get a handle on this.
  • dluckylucas
    dluckylucas Posts: 23 Member
    Additionally, it would be really challenging for me to eat 2000 calories a day. I would be afraid of a few things:

    1. Feeling really crappy from all of the food, eating "too much" makes me feel sluggish.
    2. My pants won't fit in a week or less, I would have nothing to wear!
    3. Gaining more weight from the experiment and having even more to lose in the long run? Plus I would be used to eating a lot, wouldn't that "stretch the stomach?"
    4. I don't see how I would even ingest that much food on a busy day? That would be almost twice as many calories as I am currently eating. I am a busy mom and currently using protein bars and shakes (lunch and snacks) to get to my 1200 calories. Would I be doubling up on all my snacks and shakes?
    5. Those who advised this method are men, have any women tried this "re-set?" I would love to hear from you.

    Again, I will ask the dietician..... but these are all thing things that pop up in my head when I hear 2000 calories. Am I over thinking this whole thing?
  • vismal
    vismal Posts: 2,463 Member
    Additionally, it would be really challenging for me to eat 2000 calories a day. I would be afraid of a few things:

    1. Feeling really crappy from all of the food, eating "too much" makes me feel sluggish.
    2. My pants won't fit in a week or less, I would have nothing to wear!
    3. Gaining more weight from the experiment and having even more to lose in the long run? Plus I would be used to eating a lot, wouldn't that "stretch the stomach?"
    4. I don't see how I would even ingest that much food on a busy day? That would be almost twice as many calories as I am currently eating. I am a busy mom and currently using protein bars and shakes (lunch and snacks) to get to my 1200 calories. Would I be doubling up on all my snacks and shakes?
    5. Those who advised this method are men, have any women tried this "re-set?" I would love to hear from you.

    Again, I will ask the dietician..... but these are all thing things that pop up in my head when I hear 2000 calories. Am I over thinking this whole thing?
    I can address all of those points.

    1. If you choose your foods right, 2000 calories doesn't have to feel any more or less then 1500 calories. Use calorie dense foods like peanut butter, avocado, nuts, etc.
    2. You will not gain fat eating 2000 calories a day if your maintenance is higher then 2000 calories a day. You must eat 3500 calories above maintenance to gain 1 lb of fat. Any gained weight would be water and glycogen
    3. See number 2
    4. You can increase calories any way you want. Meal timing is largely irrelevant. Also, how accurate is that 1200 count. Do you weigh all your food on a scale or do you use things like cups and tablespoons (those are meant for liquids) or even worse, do you just estimate? Sometimes a poorly counted 1200 calories is almost the same as an accurately counted 2000. How often do you eat out or have food you do not prepare? Most people, especially active people need more then 1200 calories and feel hungry if they truly go that low.
    5. Being a women vs. a man doesn't make a difference here. We all lose weight if we eat less then we burn. We all gain weight if we eat more then we burn (in the long run of course). All the reset is for is to attempt to establish your actual maintenance calories. If you TDEE is really around 2200 then any weight gained cannot be fat. You will technically still be in a deficit.

    I think the most important thing here is how accurate your calorie count really is. Your diary is not public so I can only speculate (if you make it public I can look at it and be more precise). Like I mentioned above, if your calorie count is off, it would literally explain everything. Are you still strict with counting on the weekends as well? They count just as much and it's quite easy to eat/drink away the entire weeks deficit during the weekend. At the end of the day, even if metabolic slowdown has occurred, calories in vs calories out will always determine long term losses or gains in weight.
  • dluckylucas
    dluckylucas Posts: 23 Member
    "t's quite easy to eat/drink away the entire weeks deficit during the weekend." Yes, as mentioned before this could be my problem. I wouldn't be surprised if it is my only problem. I tend to have social events on the weekend that always include a glass or two of wine and some snacking. I am always at least 2 pounds up on Monday morning. I don't eat dairy or gluten and try to keep the snacking protein based. I own a seafood restaurant, so if I am eating out, I will eat my restaurant food but again I keep it to just fish and veggies, prepared in a "dietary" way. I mostly do my protein shakes for breakfast and lunch and go by the calorie count on the cartons. I do measure also but you are right I use measuring cups and tablespoons. I also graze a lot out of my garden and then estimate my salad / greens & veggies intake. For snacks, i count out my almonds or eat a protein bar and the nutrition info is on the back so I use that in my calculations. Sounds like I need to not have so much fun on the weekend and use my food scale! Do you think if I do these things I should still do the reset???
  • shortntall1
    shortntall1 Posts: 333 Member
    Ok my TDEE is 2385 and my BMR is 1735 and I eat around 1300 - 1400 a day. Am I too low? I have it set for 2 lbs a week loss.
  • Chain_Ring
    Chain_Ring Posts: 753 Member
    Slow down there, tiger. Breathe easily for a few minutes..............ha ha
  • dluckylucas
    dluckylucas Posts: 23 Member
    Slow down there, tiger. Breathe easily for a few minutes..............ha ha

    Ok breathing ;)
  • dluckylucas
    dluckylucas Posts: 23 Member
    Ok my TDEE is 2385 and my BMR is 1735 and I eat around 1300 - 1400 a day. Am I too low? I have it set for 2 lbs a week loss.

    Sounds like you are doing fine to me based upon 65 pounds lost! Congrats!
  • shortntall1
    shortntall1 Posts: 333 Member
    TY!
    Ok my TDEE is 2385 and my BMR is 1735 and I eat around 1300 - 1400 a day. Am I too low? I have it set for 2 lbs a week loss.

    Sounds like you are doing fine to me based upon 65 pounds lost! Congrats!
  • vismal
    vismal Posts: 2,463 Member
    "t's quite easy to eat/drink away the entire weeks deficit during the weekend." Yes, as mentioned before this could be my problem. I wouldn't be surprised if it is my only problem. I tend to have social events on the weekend that always include a glass or two of wine and some snacking. I am always at least 2 pounds up on Monday morning. I don't eat dairy or gluten and try to keep the snacking protein based. I own a seafood restaurant, so if I am eating out, I will eat my restaurant food but again I keep it to just fish and veggies, prepared in a "dietary" way. I mostly do my protein shakes for breakfast and lunch and go by the calorie count on the cartons. I do measure also but you are right I use measuring cups and tablespoons. I also graze a lot out of my garden and then estimate my salad / greens & veggies intake. For snacks, i count out my almonds or eat a protein bar and the nutrition info is on the back so I use that in my calculations. Sounds like I need to not have so much fun on the weekend and use my food scale! Do you think if I do these things I should still do the reset???
    Part of doing the reset (diet break is a better term) is to establish a baseline. You really have no idea what you maintain at because you really don't know how much you are eating. It sounds like M-F you have a fair estimate of calories though it could be tighter and the weekend sounds like its basically a guess. You seem very nervous and apprehensive about a 2 week bump in calories. Again I must stress that any weight gained is NOT going to be fat. Even if your maintenance was as low as 1800 (which is next to impossible with your activity level), you'd still only gain at max 0.8 lbs of fat. Just use the two weeks to help establish better calorie counting habits and get a real idea of what you eat in a week. You honestly may find that 2 weeks of eating a strictly counted (weekends included) 2000 calories is not all that much more then what you are consuming now.
  • Mr_Knight
    Mr_Knight Posts: 9,532 Member
    I have my goal at 135 and I am 5'7", 152 lbs. Female, 40 years old. My calorie limit on MFP is 1200 My BMR is 1,397 and my TDEE is 2227. I am not losing weight and honestly have been stuck at 152 for years.

    Your logging is broken, and you are eating more than you think.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    "t's quite easy to eat/drink away the entire weeks deficit during the weekend." Yes, as mentioned before this could be my problem. I wouldn't be surprised if it is my only problem. I tend to have social events on the weekend that always include a glass or two of wine and some snacking. I am always at least 2 pounds up on Monday morning.

    Just so you understand - it's not the matter of gaining weight over 2 days. That merely proves you topped of glycogen stores.

    Did you log accurately though on the weekend?

    All kinds of people purposely eat bigger meals on the weekend, or breakdown and binge - but the still log it accurately.

    If you aren't logging the wine, and the snacks are totally unknown and not even logged as guesses, then yes, that could be the total problem.
    But if you are estimating - then it's obviously not.
    Not logging garden greens accurately isn't going to add up to much. As it was mentioned, calorie dense foods would be needed. Break out the healthy fats. Almonds good, high fat.
  • BusyRaeNOTBusty
    BusyRaeNOTBusty Posts: 7,166 Member
    Additionally, it would be really challenging for me to eat 2000 calories a day. I would be afraid of a few things:

    1. Feeling really crappy from all of the food, eating "too much" makes me feel sluggish.
    2. My pants won't fit in a week or less, I would have nothing to wear!
    3. Gaining more weight from the experiment and having even more to lose in the long run? Plus I would be used to eating a lot, wouldn't that "stretch the stomach?"
    4. I don't see how I would even ingest that much food on a busy day? That would be almost twice as many calories as I am currently eating. I am a busy mom and currently using protein bars and shakes (lunch and snacks) to get to my 1200 calories. Would I be doubling up on all my snacks and shakes?
    5. Those who advised this method are men, have any women tried this "re-set?" I would love to hear from you.

    Again, I will ask the dietician..... but these are all thing things that pop up in my head when I hear 2000 calories. Am I over thinking this whole thing?

    I haven't done a "reset" but I do eat 2000 calories a day to lose weight and I am female. 5'9" and 160lbs, so not much bigger than you are.
  • dluckylucas
    dluckylucas Posts: 23 Member
    "t's quite easy to eat/drink away the entire weeks deficit during the weekend." Yes, as mentioned before this could be my problem. I wouldn't be surprised if it is my only problem. I tend to have social events on the weekend that always include a glass or two of wine and some snacking. I am always at least 2 pounds up on Monday morning.

    Just so you understand - it's not the matter of gaining weight over 2 days. That merely proves you topped of glycogen stores.

    Did you log accurately though on the weekend?

    All kinds of people purposely eat bigger meals on the weekend, or breakdown and binge - but the still log it accurately.

    If you aren't logging the wine, and the snacks are totally unknown and not even logged as guesses, then yes, that could be the total problem.
    But if you are estimating - then it's obviously not.
    Not logging garden greens accurately isn't going to add up to much. As it was mentioned, calorie dense foods would be needed. Break out the healthy fats. Almonds good, high fat.

    Thank you for the explanation. I am slowly starting to get it. It is a lot of information to "digest." (lol) I am now thinking I have not been logging well on the weekends, I have tried but in retrospect it is more of an estimate. I usually come out about 1500 calories with that estimation, which in the past I have thought of as me being "really bad".... now after this discussion I see I was probably just hungry!! TODAY I ate 1500 today of healthy, protein rich food (no wine) :) and I feel great! This is 300 more calories than I have done on a weekday for a long time. I am being really careful and weighing everything now and I changed the settings on MFP so that helps. Baby steps...
  • kvansanity
    kvansanity Posts: 108 Member
    I already said that in my post, how did you miss that part?