# I AM SO CONFUSED

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Posts: 72 Member
edited December 2015
I have been looking at other sites and the calorie allowance is so inconsistent. How do you know how many calories you are supposed to eat? This site says 1500 and Lose it says 1800. That is a big difference in calories. Just wondering where the most accurate place to find how many calories to eat are.

## Replies

• Posts: 14,261 Member
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Every calculator is an estimator built on generalized formulas. None are on-the-nose accurate for everyone. Pick one. Use its number for several weeks. Then review your results and increase/decrease your calories if necessary.
• Posts: 1,917 Member
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2catslover wrote: »
I have been looking at other sites and the calorie allowance is so inconsistent. How do you know how many calories you are supposed to eat? This site says 1500 and Lose it says 1500. That is a big difference in calories. Just wondering where the most accurate place to find how many calories to eat are.

I am so confused now - last I checked 1500 = 1500 ??

• Posts: 645 Member
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Is that a typo? You've got that both sites show 1500.

MFP works by giving you a base calorie goal and you log any and all exercise you do and eat back at least part of those calories. I don't know how other sites do it, but if one requires logging and adding back in exercise calories and one assumes a certain number of calories burned from exercise -- there's your difference.

A site that many use for calculating calorie needs is Scooby's Workshop.

Do keep in mind that it's all an estimation. The best approach is generally to pick a goal, do that for a couple of weeks or a month and see how it works for you. Then re-evaluate if necessary.
• Posts: 269 Member
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Maybe you typed something wrong but you said that both sites said 1500 calories. There are other calculators out there and they are all going to give you slightly different answers. The amount of calories is going to depend on your current weight (age and height as well) and your goal weight and the time frame that you want to get to your goal weight. None of them are magic and you can adjust yourself if you feel like you aren't seeing the results that you want (although the recommendation is that women do not go below 1200 a day NET unless supervised by a doctor for nutritional and health reasons).
• Posts: 2,694 Member
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I did a bunch of sites. And what MFP gave me seemed to be the average. So go with what this place sets for you?
• Posts: 2,408 Member
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2catslover wrote: »
I have been looking at other sites and the calorie allowance is so inconsistent. How do you know how many calories you are supposed to eat? This site says 1500 and Lose it says 1500. That is a big difference in calories. Just wondering where the most accurate place to find how many calories to eat are.

How many calories you should consume depends on your goals and your body profile. Enter your data into MFP, set a goal, and eat to the given calorie limit.

In order to lose one pound per week you need to eat 500 fewer calories than you burn per day. Example; If you burn 2000 calories per day then you need to consume 1500 calories per day in order to lose one pound per week.

Regardless, just enter your data and goal into MFP and have at it.
• Posts: 72 Member
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Sorry it is supposed to be Lose it is 1800
• Posts: 5,446 Member
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This one's always spot on for me. Subtract 10-20% from the number you get, and don't add exercise calories in, since you'll already have included them. (TDEE method)

• Posts: 1,303 Member
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Different calculators may be using different methods. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Also, there are multiple BMR estimators, which will be the basis for any of those tools. None of them will be perfect, most will be close enough.

Pick whichever one you want (it doesn't matter), and then do it. Log the results and see what happens. In 6-8 weeks (assuming you were as accurate as you could be and weren't lying to yourself) if you lost more than expected then you know the tool estimated to low and you should increase your calories. If in 6-8 weeks you lost less than expected then the tool estimated to high and you should decrease your calories.
• Posts: 9,488 Member
edited December 2015
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Lose it factors in your exercise calories. Mfp expects you to add them separately and eat them back. So if you exercise much they're saying pretty much the same amount.
• Posts: 14,261 Member
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Lose it factors in your exercise calories. Mfp expects you to add them separately and eat them back. So if you exercise much they're saying pretty much the same amount.

It does? I added the app last night and it looks like you log exercise calories just like MFP.
• Posts: 41,868 Member
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2catslover wrote: »
I have been looking at other sites and the calorie allowance is so inconsistent. How do you know how many calories you are supposed to eat? This site says 1500 and Lose it says 1800. That is a big difference in calories. Just wondering where the most accurate place to find how many calories to eat are.

first of all, any of these calculators are just a reasonably good estimate to get you started. secondly, you have to know what methodology you're using (TDEE - Total Daily Energy Expenditure or NEAT - Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). most calculators use TDEE which will include some estimate of calories required to fuel exercise activity as well as your day to day...MFP on the other hand gives you a calorie target that is exclusive of exercise...meaning you eat to that target and do no exercise (not recommended) you will lose weight. exercise is accounted for with MFP by logging that activity and then MFP will bump up your targets based on that activity.

i don't know what method Lose It uses...but again, it's all an estimation; what's ultimately important is getting started and making adjustments as per your real world results. also, when you're comparing calculators make sure you're comparing apples to apples in regards to your rate of loss goals...some calculators use a % while others ask you how many pounds per week you would like to lose. a % cut from maintenance may or may not be equal to another calculator giving you a 1 or 2 Lb per week target.
• Posts: 15 Member
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One that has worked for me is the Mifflin St-Jeor theory. Started using it in May and right now I have lost 46# and still falling. Yes I have a workout that after 45min burns anywhere from 900-1500calories.

I adjust my caloric intake every 5# and manually enter the goal in MFP from the formula and go off that.

I have utilized excel to have my own adjustable version of the Mifflin StJeor formula to use it and adjust where needed.
• Posts: 15 Member
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Feel free to message me and I'll send you a copy
• Posts: 32 Member
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Don't stress over the differences. EVERY one of these calculators, including what the machines show as burnt calories is an estimate. You should focus on macros (carbs, protein, sugar, salt, fiber and fat) versus calories to see best/quicker results. If you absolutely need a "number" try 1200, see how you do on that and increase in increments of 100 if need be but DO NOT drop below the 1200. Also, as your are testing these out, learn to distinguish real hunger signs. When tempted to eat, drink water and see if you're still hungry.
Snacks in between your 3 meals help a lot too! Also, DO NOT EAT BACK YOUR CALORIES EARNED FROM EXERCISE. They are just an estimate to be used as an emergency reserve and mitigate any guilt from going over your daily allowance.
You got this!✌️
• Posts: 1,865 Member
edited January 2016
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RAmelia63 wrote: »
Don't stress over the differences. EVERY one of these calculators, including what the machines show as burnt calories is an estimate. You should focus on macros (carbs, protein, sugar, salt, fiber and fat) versus calories to see best/quicker results. If you absolutely need a "number" try 1200, see how you do on that and increase in increments of 100 if need be but DO NOT drop below the 1200. Also, as your are testing these out, learn to distinguish real hunger signs. When tempted to eat, drink water and see if you're still hungry.
Snacks in between your 3 meals help a lot too! Also, DO NOT EAT BACK YOUR CALORIES EARNED FROM EXERCISE. They are just an estimate to be used as an emergency reserve and mitigate any guilt from going over your daily allowance.
You got this!✌️

I disagree with a lot of this. I do agree that all calculators are estimates. However, to say OP should focus on macros vs calories to see faster results, well . . . I agree focus on macros can be important for "best" results, if by best you mean it may contribute to how a person feels on a certain ratio of macros, but that's it. And a person should eat as many meals and/or snacks as they like and fits their lifestyle and calories.

• Posts: 32 Member
edited January 2016
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There will clearly be differences of opinion and that's what makes these forums great (albeit confusing) because we can only speak as experts based on what we've individually have found to work.
My point is that if you are eating your calories back in (hungry or not) then there is no deficit per se.
But all great points, of course.
• Posts: 1,865 Member
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RAmelia63 wrote: »
There will clearly be differences of opinion and that's what makes these forums great (albeit confusing) because we can only speak as experts based on what we've individually have found to work.
My point is that if you are eating your calories back in (hungry or not) then there is no deficit per se.
But all great points, of course.

If OP is using MFP, and she entered a goal to lose weight when she started, then eating exercise calories does not mean she is no longer in a deficit. By eating those calories, she still maintains the deficit she asked MFP for. I think it's very important for new users to understand how MFP works. Telling OP otherwise is giving her misinformation.
• Posts: 4,978 Member
edited January 2016
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RAmelia63 wrote: »
There will clearly be differences of opinion and that's what makes these forums great (albeit confusing) because we can only speak as experts based on what we've individually have found to work.
My point is that if you are eating your calories back in (hungry or not) then there is no deficit per se.
But all great points, of course.

If you're using MFP and eating back your exercise calories then you are in the deficit you set yourself when you registered on the site. Yes, this assumes accurate burns but they're easy enough to pin down over a few weeks. MFP gives you a value without any exercise accounted for.

ETA: adding them greatly improved my workouts and energy levels when I was in deficit and never impacted my losses.
• Posts: 380 Member
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MFP has been pretty accurate for me. I got to maintenance losing 0.25-0.5/week, being honest about my daily living activity level, weighing and measuring all foods (or estimating high when eating out), and eating 100% of my exercise calories. I had a loose six month goal and got where I wanted to be about two weeks early, so just about dead on. I understand some people only eat 50-75% of the exercise calories, and that's probably fine if you've got a small deficit (0.5/week rather than 1 or 2/week), but I'd give it a chance at 100% for at least a month first. Exrcise should be fueled.