Daily steps and calories

I take anywhere from 10k to 20k steps a day. For example yesterday I took 14,935 and that’s without exercise. When I exercise my steps range from 13k to 20k. So I know I’m considered lightly active to active. I have my account set at lightly active with losing 1 pound a week. My question is when my steps sync over to MFP it gives me more calories for the amount of steps I’ve taken. Yesterday it gave me around 150 extra calories. Does that seem about right? Or should I just ignore those calories. Normally when I workout I only eat back about half of my exercise calories. I’ve been doing the same thing with the calories I get from my steps. I use a Apple Watch not a Fitbit.

Replies

  • gamerbabe14
    gamerbabe14 Posts: 876 Member
    I eat them back and have lost pretty consistently. Some days that's my only form of exercise but I'm set to sedentary so I like all of the extra calories I can get.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,736 Member
    clobern80 wrote: »
    It is generally best practice to put your MFP activity to sedentary and let your watch add up how active you are. I am not positive, but I think the same thing happens even if you are set to lightly active or active, you just get fewer calories from your watch (due to having extra calories due to your active setting).

    NO, it's not.

    OP, 10K puts you at active+ so MFP will still start adding step calories when you exceed that.
  • gophermatt
    gophermatt Posts: 129 Member
    Be sure to have negative calorie adjustments enabled as well.

    By choosing an activity level, your calorie goal is taking into account the expected burn for that level each day. If you don’t reach it, the app will adjust your intake down for the day to compensate if you have negative adjustments enabled.

    My preference is to set to sedentary and eat back a portion of my exercise calories I get from my Fitbit activity. There are many here who do it the other way and have success. It likely depends on how much variance you have in your activity level from day to day. If you’re very consistent, your current approach is likely great, as it can help you plan your intake. For me, it varies quite a bit based on work, kids’ activities, etc., so I like to plan conservatively and “earn” the free exercise calories as I go. It’s what has worked for me, but different strokes, etc., etc..

    If you change your approach, give a few weeks before re-adjustment to see if you’re on the pace that you can accept and is reasonable for the amount you have to lose.
  • workinonit1956
    workinonit1956 Posts: 1,043 Member
    gophermatt wrote: »

    My preference is to set to sedentary and eat back a portion of my exercise calories I get from my Fitbit activity. There are many here who do it the other way and have success. It likely depends on how much variance you have in your activity level from day to day. If you’re very consistent, your current approach is likely great, as it can help you plan your intake. For me, it varies quite a bit based on work, kids’ activities, etc., so I like to plan conservatively and “earn” the free exercise calories as I go. It’s what has worked for me, but different strokes, etc., etc..
    .

    I do this also, my days are not consistent so I like this approach.
  • alid8333
    alid8333 Posts: 233 Member
    I had my settings at sedentary at losing 1 pound. It had me at 1200 calories a day. That’s just to low for me. I bumped it up to lightly active and it gave me 1470 a day.

    Last year I lost 44 pounds by working out 3 to 5 days a week and eating within my calorie allowance. I lost all my weight from eating at 1330 a day and ate 50% of my exercise calories back. BUT I wasn’t no where near as active as I am now. Last year I was lucky to hit 8k steps even on the days I worked out. Typically took 4 to 5k steps on days I didn’t workout. So I know since my activity has went up quiet a bit and I still workout 4 to 5 days a week for 40 min, I need to at least be set to lightly active. I figure if I have a down day due to being sick or just want to be lazy for a day lol I’ll just eat 1330 calories instead of the 1470. But my steps are very consistent.
  • gophermatt
    gophermatt Posts: 129 Member
    alid8333 wrote: »
    I had my settings at sedentary at losing 1 pound. It had me at 1200 calories a day. That’s just to low for me. I bumped it up to lightly active and it gave me 1470 a day.

    Last year I lost 44 pounds by working out 3 to 5 days a week and eating within my calorie allowance. I lost all my weight from eating at 1330 a day and ate 50% of my exercise calories back. BUT I wasn’t no where near as active as I am now. Last year I was lucky to hit 8k steps even on the days I worked out. Typically took 4 to 5k steps on days I didn’t workout. So I know since my activity has went up quiet a bit and I still workout 4 to 5 days a week for 40 min, I need to at least be set to lightly active. I figure if I have a down day due to being sick or just want to be lazy for a day lol I’ll just eat 1330 calories instead of the 1470. But my steps are very consistent.

    How much more are you looking to lose? That’s a lot of steps, maybe some with the happy looking dog in your pic.

    I know for me that last 10 or so pounds have been painfully slow, seems to be consistent with other users as well. Just curious if you’re getting close to your goal and a slow down in the rate of loss is to be expected.

    Good luck!
  • WinoGelato
    WinoGelato Posts: 13,456 Member
    clobern80 wrote: »
    It is generally best practice to put your MFP activity to sedentary and let your watch add up how active you are. I am not positive, but I think the same thing happens even if you are set to lightly active or active, you just get fewer calories from your watch (due to having extra calories due to your active setting).

    Nothing is 100% accurate with calories so you just have to work with what you have and find out what works for you. Many will swear that you have to eat your calories back completely while others swear to eat NONE of them. I tend to find that it is best to start with eating back 50% of the excess calories you gain for a week or 2 and see what happens. If you are losing too fast, eat back a little more until you find that sweet spot. If you are losing too slow or actually gaining, then eat less until you find that spot. Everyone is different so you want to find what works for you.

    I don't agree that this is best practice at all. I can't tell you how many new FitBit users I've seen on these boards who automatically distrust the adjustments they are seeing because they've chosen sedentary for their activity level when they are averaging 8K-12K or even more steps/day which is NOT Sedentary. Because the adjustments are large, they think they shouldn't be eating back those calories, and then end up underfueling their activity level which makes it difficult to sustain - a self fulfilling prophecy.

    For me, getting the activity level more representative of my true activity, and enabling negative calorie adjustments, meant that I had a higher baseline calorie target, which enabled me to plan my calories appropriately, and then the adjustments from MFP became more representative of my true exercise above and beyond the day to day activity I get from running around after small children, running errands, etc.

    Also trusting and eating back the full adjustments worked for me while losing and still works for me in maintenance. I do agree with the advice to monitor and adjust based on actual results.
  • Clobern80
    Clobern80 Posts: 716 Member
    Okay, I apologize for the "best practice" statement. I know that it works best for me and I know many who do the same. It is easier for me to start from 0 and move up rather than get those extra calories from setting it to active and maybe/maybe not making it to that level. Personal preference, then :)
  • anthonybibbs520
    anthonybibbs520 Posts: 2 Member
    Okay I'm trying to lose weight and it's been hard, so can y'all help me out I'm new to this and my doctor told me about this app.
  • mbaker566
    mbaker566 Posts: 11,234 Member
    i also set it to sedentary and let garmin sort it out. somedays i get less than 5k steps, another day 36k
  • gophermatt
    gophermatt Posts: 129 Member
    Okay I'm trying to lose weight and it's been hard, so can y'all help me out I'm new to this and my doctor told me about this app.

    Pinned to the top of this forum list is a link to some of the most helpful threads you’ll find on the topic. Take a look there to start. Feel free to post things like CW (current weight), GW (goal weight), description of goals or stats from the setup process like your goal for rate of loss, calorie budget, activity and the like.

    Best of luck! If you’re unsure of whether or not to invest time in learning, go hit the “success stories” thread. That one always gets me back on track.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,832 Member
    clobern80 wrote: »
    Okay, I apologize for the "best practice" statement. I know that it works best for me and I know many who do the same. It is easier for me to start from 0 and move up rather than get those extra calories from setting it to active and maybe/maybe not making it to that level. Personal preference, then :)

    It is best if someone can't figure out how to handle the adjustment that comes the day after, and you go to bed or hit the couch/chair for TV/computer time early in evening.

    Really - either you figure out pretty quick what the daily burn is going to be and plan appropriately, or
    You figure out pretty quick what that next day removal of calories is going to be and plan appropriately.

    Because if you have your MFP level set to Active, and hit the couch at 7pm and try to have your goal eaten by then - the next day there is going to be 5 hrs that MFP figured your burn rate as BMR x 1.6.
    But Fitbit is going to sync the next morning and inform MFP it was only BMR level.
    You'll lose calories, and you ate well over your goal.

    But if that is normal night time hours - you can plan on leaving about the same number of calories in the green, so when removed you'll be close to actually having eaten to goal.

    Then if your daily activity calories fluctuate all over - you can have those amounts not so much in mind.

    @alid8333 - of course those 1200 calories was ONLY if you did no exercise and were truly sedentary for that day.
    In other words - it would likely rarely if ever be only eating 1200. Just as you'll discover it'll infrequently be only 1470 calories.

    Those adjustments based on just the increased daily activity - is merely MFP correcting itself to almost infinite levels - rather than just the 4 you could choose from.

    Think of it this way if concerned about eating those back - what if MFP had extra levels and you selected the correct one, and got no adjustments, those extra calories were just built into the base calories.
    Would you still trust MFP then?
    Trust what it's trying to do now.

    As long as your average daily pace distance has been confirmed against a known distance walk (not grocery store shuffle, not exercise level pace), then likely nothing to fear.
    Well, unless you drive a truck and get 15K extra steps from vibrations.