Calories In / Calories Out

Hi Everyone,

I have started and quit and started again and quit. A couple of times. This time I am determined and Focused to keep up with MFP. I have a question on Calories. My Calories IN allowed is 1,200 Calories a Day. I am trying to lose 2lbs a Week. I have attached my fitbit tracker to MFP and when it calculates my days activities and Calories Burned. It keeps adding to my Calories Left. I have ate some more on some days to try and keep the Bar at "In Zone" on my Fitbit App. When I do that I feel like I am over eating. My question is Should I continue with My 1,200 Calories IN. Even though Fitbit reads it as too low due to the Calories OUT? I hope this makes sense. I know in order to lose 2lbs a week I need to be burning at least 1,000 Calories a Day over my Daily IN or 7,000 calories a week.

Please Help....

Thank You All in Advance...

Lizz

Replies

  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    edited April 2018
    MFP's goal gives you an estimate based on your activity level. When you sync a fitness tracker, you will "earn" more calories to eat if you move more than would have been estimated given your activity level. The intention is for you to eat back these calories so that you are *netting* your original 1,200.

    Example:

    You eat 1,200 and move enough to burn 200 more calories than MFP would have anticipated. You are now netting 1,000 calories. If you eat back the 200 calories you "earned, you are back to your original goal, 1,200, for your net.

    You do not need to burn 1,000 calories over your "daily in" to lose 2 pounds a week. To lose 2 pounds a week, you need to consume 1,000 fewer calories each day *than your body is using*. Your MFP goal is given with that in mind.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,076 Member
    edited April 2018
    1200 calories is for sedentary individuals. You're getting adjustments up because FitBit is saying that you're not sedentary. The more you move, the higher your calorie requirements are...so as you move more, your maintenance calories go up which also means you can eat more to lose the same amount of weight.

    The only people who should stick to 1200 gross calories per day are people who are very short, old, and/or people who do basically nothing in regards to moving.

    MFP gives you your deficit...1200 is your deficit from maintenance with no exercise and an overall sedentary lifestyle. You cut 1,000 calories from your TDEE, not your "daily in"

    For example, I need around 2800-3000 calories to maintain my weight. If I eat 2300-2500 calories per day, I'll lose about 1 Lb per week. If I eat 1800-2000 I will lose about 1 Lb per week.
  • LAlvarado273
    LAlvarado273 Posts: 4 Member
    Thank You all so much. This makes sense. I had set up my activity level to Sedentary becasue I work in an Office and I am sitting all day. Which was the description provided for Sedentary. But I also have 3 little girls and they keep me moving when we get home and in the morning rush. So, it makes sense why it is telling me I am burning more calories than anticipated. This is also a relief since I was losing my mind trying to figure out "How to burn an extra 1000 calories after getting home from work?" I switched the activity level to a little more active and it is telli me 1,450 Calories now. Lets see how it goes now. I think with my activity level and healthier eating choices I should be headed in the right path.

    Thank You All Again...
  • WinoGelato
    WinoGelato Posts: 13,456 Member
    How much weight are you trying to lose? 2 lbs/week is the most aggressive goal and is usually reserved for people with 75 lbs or more to lose.

    As others have explained, the way the FitBit and MFP tools are designed is that when they are synced, you should be eating back some of those calories to account for the fact that you are more active than what MFP estimated. This will help fuel your busy lifestyle, will help avoid too rapid loss of lean body mass, help you get adequate nutrition and have enough room for foods you enjoy too.
  • LAlvarado273
    LAlvarado273 Posts: 4 Member
    I am trying to lose 80 lbs by my Birthday Feb 2019, so 10 months from now. I never really understood the Calories IN and OUT. You have all been very helpful. Thank You.
  • gophermatt
    gophermatt Posts: 129 Member
    If you’re using the Fitbit adjustment to your intake, then leave your MFP setting at sedentary. If you’re letting them sync but have exercise calories turned off in MFP, then your adjustment is correct.

    Hav fun and good luck!
  • WinoGelato
    WinoGelato Posts: 13,456 Member
    gophermatt wrote: »
    If you’re using the Fitbit adjustment to your intake, then leave your MFP setting at sedentary. If you’re letting them sync but have exercise calories turned off in MFP, then your adjustment is correct.

    Hav fun and good luck!

    Not necessarily. Rather than go with sedentary for the default activity setting, if activity is as OP described (desk job with Mom Job following) them you’re better off going with lightly active if step count is 7,500 or more and then enabling negative adjustments to account for the rare day when you really are Sedentary (which on Mom Job means you are bedridden and you won’t be needing the calories anyway).

    Sticking with Sedentary for activity when you really aren’t just leads to higher than average exercise adjustments which people have a natural tendency to distrust.
  • WinoGelato
    WinoGelato Posts: 13,456 Member
    I am trying to lose 80 lbs by my Birthday Feb 2019, so 10 months from now. I never really understood the Calories IN and OUT. You have all been very helpful. Thank You.

    Not sure whether you are still confused by Calories In Calories Out (CICO) or not but just in case you are...

    It’s not a diet, or way of eating. It isn’t anything that you “do”. It isn’t a specific number. It’s just an energy balance concept that says that every individual burns a certain number of calories and that if you take in less than you burn, you’ll lose weight. If you take in roughly what you burn, you’ll maintain weight, and if your CI is higher than your CO you’ll gain weight. That’s all there is to it. Whether you count calories, do keto, follow paleo, are vegan, or eat all things in moderation - CICO applies to you. It applies to everyone, at all times.

    Hope that helps.