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How to determine maintenance calories?

purple4sure05purple4sure05 Posts: 284Member Member Posts: 284Member Member
Hey guys. I'm approaching maintenance and I'm wondering how to figure out my maintenance calories. I've lost 21.1 pounds in 10 weeks, which suggests that I'm eating a 1000 calorie deficit. However, the last month I've lost 1.2, again 1.2, 2.4, and 1.6 pounds each week, so I'm wondering if this makes my maintenance lower than 2200. I eat 1200 calories per days gross (and yes I'm going to be increasing this). I work out 6 days a week doing 30 minutes of strength training, 25 minutes running 2.5 miles, and 20 minutes walking quickly on an incline. This is at least 300 calories but potentially more. I dont wear a Fitbit.

Any tips or insight?
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Replies

  • MaxxittMaxxitt Posts: 1,084Member Member Posts: 1,084Member Member
    If it was me, I'd add back 500 calories/day now and ease into maintenance from there if you are within 5-10# of your goal.
    edited March 15
  • Talan79Talan79 Posts: 538Member Member Posts: 538Member Member
    You’ll need to reverse diet and figure out maintenance based on how your body responds.
    You may want to add 50-100 calories a week and monitor your weight. If you aren’t gaining, keep adding as the weeks go by. Look up Holly Baxter and reverse diet on YouTube. She is a dietitian who has done bodybuilding shows and documented her reverse diets.
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Posts: 4,538Member Member Posts: 4,538Member Member
    Maxxitt wrote: »
    If it was me, I'd add back 500 calories/day now and ease into maintenance from there if you are within 5-10# of your goal.
    This, start gliding into maintenance now. You don’t need to be losing 2 lbs a week this close to goal anyway, the maximum recommended rate of loss is 1% body weight per week.
  • purple4sure05purple4sure05 Posts: 284Member Member Posts: 284Member Member
    Maxxitt wrote: »
    If it was me, I'd add back 500 calories/day now and ease into maintenance from there if you are within 5-10# of your goal.

    I'm nervous adding that much will make me stop losing since I lose 1.2 to 1.5 pounds per week. I've considered it but I'm just afraid to mess up a process that's been working. It's the fact that it suddenly started slowing down so significantly that makes me hesitate to start eating more. I dont mind losing the last pounds slower if it works eventually.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,201Member Member Posts: 12,201Member Member
    FWIW, there's a thread about it here with several options and discussion:

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10638211/how-to-find-your-maintenance-calorie-level

    If over the last 4 weeks, week by week, you've lost 1.2, 1.2, 2.4, and 1.6 pounds, 6.4 pounds total that would suggest a daily of ((6.4 pounds x 3500 calories)/28 days)) = 800 calorie daily deficit. If you've been eating 1200 calories and doing about the same daily activity throughout your weight loss, I'd expect your weight loss to slow down, because it takes fewer calories to move a lighter body through the world, all day long. (Eating the same, burning fewer = slower weight loss).

    You might also have a little adaptive thermogenesis (subtle energy downregulation, oversimplifying) going on from being in a deficit for a long time, so experience a higher maintenance calorie number than that would suggest.

    I did the slow add method (more description in the thread linked above) when I was around 10 pounds above goal. It worked fine.
  • lorrpblorrpb Posts: 10,678Member Member Posts: 10,678Member Member
    Set your MFP goal to maintenance to get a starting point. You should be losing only .5 per per week at the end. By the time I got to my goal range, I just stopped losing so adjusting calories was a non-issue.
  • firecat1987firecat1987 Posts: 801Member, Premium Member Posts: 801Member, Premium Member
    gradually adding back calories seems to alleviate some people's anxiety about maintenance. Can you try increasing your calories a little at a time and see how you feel?
  • laurenhugs23laurenhugs23 Posts: 159Member Member Posts: 159Member Member
    Hey guys. I'm approaching maintenance and I'm wondering how to figure out my maintenance calories. I've lost 21.1 pounds in 10 weeks, which suggests that I'm eating a 1000 calorie deficit. However, the last month I've lost 1.2, again 1.2, 2.4, and 1.6 pounds each week, so I'm wondering if this makes my maintenance lower than 2200. I eat 1200 calories per days gross (and yes I'm going to be increasing this). I work out 6 days a week doing 30 minutes of strength training, 25 minutes running 2.5 miles, and 20 minutes walking quickly on an incline. This is at least 300 calories but potentially more. I dont wear a Fitbit.

    Any tips or insight?

    My Fitbit really alleviated my anxiety about all of this. I got my Fitbit flex 2 for $60 on Amazon. If you can, save up and buy one. The peace of mind that comes with buying one is priceless.

  • laurenhugs23laurenhugs23 Posts: 159Member Member Posts: 159Member Member
    Oh and my personal experience, I went from 1200 Cal day like you to 1800 call day and I'm still losing weight (slowly). According to my Fitbit I should be eating ~1950 to be at homeostasis.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,201Member Member Posts: 12,201Member Member
    Hey guys. I'm approaching maintenance and I'm wondering how to figure out my maintenance calories. I've lost 21.1 pounds in 10 weeks, which suggests that I'm eating a 1000 calorie deficit. However, the last month I've lost 1.2, again 1.2, 2.4, and 1.6 pounds each week, so I'm wondering if this makes my maintenance lower than 2200. I eat 1200 calories per days gross (and yes I'm going to be increasing this). I work out 6 days a week doing 30 minutes of strength training, 25 minutes running 2.5 miles, and 20 minutes walking quickly on an incline. This is at least 300 calories but potentially more. I dont wear a Fitbit.

    Any tips or insight?

    My Fitbit really alleviated my anxiety about all of this. I got my Fitbit flex 2 for $60 on Amazon. If you can, save up and buy one. The peace of mind that comes with buying one is priceless.

    Fitbit (and like devices, even good ones) is still just a statistical estimate, sadly, so not guaranteed to be accurate. More personalized, and close for most people, but it's still estimating calories, not measuring them.

    I agree with your point that it could be an excellent and reassuring strategy for OP, but it's important, IMO, to understand the limitations. Way too many people think they're going to be fully accurate if you get them set up right. It's true for many people, but not all.
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 5,862Member Member Posts: 5,862Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Hey guys. I'm approaching maintenance and I'm wondering how to figure out my maintenance calories. I've lost 21.1 pounds in 10 weeks, which suggests that I'm eating a 1000 calorie deficit. However, the last month I've lost 1.2, again 1.2, 2.4, and 1.6 pounds each week, so I'm wondering if this makes my maintenance lower than 2200. I eat 1200 calories per days gross (and yes I'm going to be increasing this). I work out 6 days a week doing 30 minutes of strength training, 25 minutes running 2.5 miles, and 20 minutes walking quickly on an incline. This is at least 300 calories but potentially more. I dont wear a Fitbit.

    Any tips or insight?

    My Fitbit really alleviated my anxiety about all of this. I got my Fitbit flex 2 for $60 on Amazon. If you can, save up and buy one. The peace of mind that comes with buying one is priceless.

    Fitbit (and like devices, even good ones) is still just a statistical estimate, sadly, so not guaranteed to be accurate. More personalized, and close for most people, but it's still estimating calories, not measuring them.

    I agree with your point that it could be an excellent and reassuring strategy for OP, but it's important, IMO, to understand the limitations. Way too many people think they're going to be fully accurate if you get them set up right. It's true for many people, but not all.

    But, if your activities are well detected, a Fitbit type device can become a consistent external reference point against which you can adjust even if it is not 100% accurate for you.

    And, also, of course, because of the nature of statistical estimates, it will be close to accurate for way more people than not...
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,201Member Member Posts: 12,201Member Member
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Hey guys. I'm approaching maintenance and I'm wondering how to figure out my maintenance calories. I've lost 21.1 pounds in 10 weeks, which suggests that I'm eating a 1000 calorie deficit. However, the last month I've lost 1.2, again 1.2, 2.4, and 1.6 pounds each week, so I'm wondering if this makes my maintenance lower than 2200. I eat 1200 calories per days gross (and yes I'm going to be increasing this). I work out 6 days a week doing 30 minutes of strength training, 25 minutes running 2.5 miles, and 20 minutes walking quickly on an incline. This is at least 300 calories but potentially more. I dont wear a Fitbit.

    Any tips or insight?

    My Fitbit really alleviated my anxiety about all of this. I got my Fitbit flex 2 for $60 on Amazon. If you can, save up and buy one. The peace of mind that comes with buying one is priceless.

    Fitbit (and like devices, even good ones) is still just a statistical estimate, sadly, so not guaranteed to be accurate. More personalized, and close for most people, but it's still estimating calories, not measuring them.

    I agree with your point that it could be an excellent and reassuring strategy for OP, but it's important, IMO, to understand the limitations. Way too many people think they're going to be fully accurate if you get them set up right. It's true for many people, but not all.

    But, if your activities are well detected, a Fitbit type device can become a consistent external reference point against which you can adjust even if it is not 100% accurate for you.

    And, also, of course, because of the nature of statistical estimates, it will be close to accurate for way more people than not...

    Not the slightest disagreement with that.

    I'm just pre-emptively coming in to set expectations, before the "Eating Fitbit Calories - Still Losing/Gaining!!!" thread. ;)
  • laurenhugs23laurenhugs23 Posts: 159Member Member Posts: 159Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Hey guys. I'm approaching maintenance and I'm wondering how to figure out my maintenance calories. I've lost 21.1 pounds in 10 weeks, which suggests that I'm eating a 1000 calorie deficit. However, the last month I've lost 1.2, again 1.2, 2.4, and 1.6 pounds each week, so I'm wondering if this makes my maintenance lower than 2200. I eat 1200 calories per days gross (and yes I'm going to be increasing this). I work out 6 days a week doing 30 minutes of strength training, 25 minutes running 2.5 miles, and 20 minutes walking quickly on an incline. This is at least 300 calories but potentially more. I dont wear a Fitbit.

    Any tips or insight?

    My Fitbit really alleviated my anxiety about all of this. I got my Fitbit flex 2 for $60 on Amazon. If you can, save up and buy one. The peace of mind that comes with buying one is priceless.

    Fitbit (and like devices, even good ones) is still just a statistical estimate, sadly, so not guaranteed to be accurate. More personalized, and close for most people, but it's still estimating calories, not measuring them.

    I agree with your point that it could be an excellent and reassuring strategy for OP, but it's important, IMO, to understand the limitations. Way too many people think they're going to be fully accurate if you get them set up right. It's true for many people, but not all.

    But, if your activities are well detected, a Fitbit type device can become a consistent external reference point against which you can adjust even if it is not 100% accurate for you.

    And, also, of course, because of the nature of statistical estimates, it will be close to accurate for way more people than not...

    Not the slightest disagreement with that.

    I'm just pre-emptively coming in to set expectations, before the "Eating Fitbit Calories - Still Losing/Gaining!!!" thread. ;)

    Yeah, so a good strategy could be continuing the slight deficit (E.g. like my 150 daily deficit), then after a couple of weeks compare your weight change to that predicted by the Fitbit calorie expenditure. (E.g. for my deficit, in 3 weeks I should lose 0.9lb). If it's roughly accurate eat the Fitbit cals. If it's over or under adjust as needed.

    I think we all agree that given the amount of anxiety O.P. is expressing, it could be a valuable security blanket.
  • laurenhugs23laurenhugs23 Posts: 159Member Member Posts: 159Member Member
    Oh and I do weight every last thing to the gram, so when I say 150, I mean 150.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,201Member Member Posts: 12,201Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Hey guys. I'm approaching maintenance and I'm wondering how to figure out my maintenance calories. I've lost 21.1 pounds in 10 weeks, which suggests that I'm eating a 1000 calorie deficit. However, the last month I've lost 1.2, again 1.2, 2.4, and 1.6 pounds each week, so I'm wondering if this makes my maintenance lower than 2200. I eat 1200 calories per days gross (and yes I'm going to be increasing this). I work out 6 days a week doing 30 minutes of strength training, 25 minutes running 2.5 miles, and 20 minutes walking quickly on an incline. This is at least 300 calories but potentially more. I dont wear a Fitbit.

    Any tips or insight?

    My Fitbit really alleviated my anxiety about all of this. I got my Fitbit flex 2 for $60 on Amazon. If you can, save up and buy one. The peace of mind that comes with buying one is priceless.

    Fitbit (and like devices, even good ones) is still just a statistical estimate, sadly, so not guaranteed to be accurate. More personalized, and close for most people, but it's still estimating calories, not measuring them.

    I agree with your point that it could be an excellent and reassuring strategy for OP, but it's important, IMO, to understand the limitations. Way too many people think they're going to be fully accurate if you get them set up right. It's true for many people, but not all.

    But, if your activities are well detected, a Fitbit type device can become a consistent external reference point against which you can adjust even if it is not 100% accurate for you.

    And, also, of course, because of the nature of statistical estimates, it will be close to accurate for way more people than not...

    Not the slightest disagreement with that.

    I'm just pre-emptively coming in to set expectations, before the "Eating Fitbit Calories - Still Losing/Gaining!!!" thread. ;)

    Yeah, so a good strategy could be continuing the slight deficit (E.g. like my 150 daily deficit), then after a couple of weeks compare your weight change to that predicted by the Fitbit calorie expenditure. (E.g. for my deficit, in 3 weeks I should lose 0.9lb). If it's roughly accurate eat the Fitbit cals. If it's over or under adjust as needed.

    I think we all agree that given the amount of anxiety O.P. is expressing, it could be a valuable security blanket.

    Absolutely do agree, including that that would be a reasonable strategy.

    Oh and I do weight every last thing to the gram, so when I say 150, I mean 150.

    . . . but if I underate my Garmin estimate by 150, I'd lose 1.5-2 pounds a week, not a good plan at goal weight. (This is very rare.)

    Anyone who has some even semi-decent intake logging and weight loss data can use it as a rough reality check on a device's estimate, even if said logging isn't perfectly meticulous. But I'd agree that lacking any logging data, and if one were very anxious about gain, the "eat 150 under" idea is quite reasonable.

    Eating 100 calories every single day in excess of one's real (not estimated) TDEE is going to be less than a pound gain in a full month, assuming they could see it amongst daily fluctuations. Ideally, that possibility (of overshooting maintenance calories a bit, and seeing a < 1-pound gain) wouldn't be very anxiety-provoking for someone coming off from a sucessful weight loss effort, who's demonstrated that they do know how to lose . . . but I recognize that it can be a mental struggle, regardless.
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 15,423Member Member Posts: 15,423Member Member
    I wonder what the OP decided to do......
  • KevHexKevHex Posts: 136Member Member Posts: 136Member Member
    Keep us posted on how it works out pls :-)
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