How much of a gap do you leave for calories?



  • bspringer544
    bspringer544 Posts: 155 Member
    I keep a 300 calorie buffer, but not because of logging errors. I keep it in case I get the munchies after dinner. 😂
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,402 Member
    Hollis100 wrote: »
    weight3049 wrote: »
    Obviously you can't get an exact count for daily consumed calories, I was curious if it's normal to leave a gap in calorie count.

    So for example if my max calories is 1,500 I'll just eat up to 1,200 in case of error.

    For me, it depends on how accurately I can count the calories and track my exercise. I never eat all my exercise calories back for that reason (if it matters, I went from obese to normal this past year).

    I own a food scale, but don't use it for restaurant food, other people's food, takeout salads, etc. I use the numbers at the gym, but I don't own any devices to measure my exercise when I walk or run outside. I can use a math formula with time and distance to come up with average speed and calories burned, but that isn't exact. I've also read that the exercise numbers on MFP are often inflated.

    Like you, I leave a margin of calories.

    I find that MFPs numbers for walking and running are good for me. If anything, they undercount my calorie burn since I live in a hilly area. All my runs and walks include hills, which burns more calories. I eat back 100% of my walking and running calories, as given by MFP, and it has worked very well both for losing weight and maintaining it.
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,460 Member
    sgt1372 wrote: »
    My target for maintenance is 1800 cal/day.

    I set my cal "goal" on MFP at 1500 which red flags any cals over that amt and reminds me that I "only" have a "gap" of 300 cals left 4 the day.

    Sometimes I'm over but usually I'm under and, since I weigh myself daily, I always know whether I'm on track or going too hi or too low from day to day.

    Because the weight of water and food passing through your system is going to have a greater effect on your weight from one day to the next than your calorie deficit will, you can't really rely on daily weigh-ins as a check. You need to look at trends over time, and if those are appropriate in direction and rate, you need to just trust the system.
  • ChickenKillerPuppy
    ChickenKillerPuppy Posts: 275 Member
    Rather than leave a margin, if I am eating out and am guessing at calories, I will often just add 100 “quick add” calories to account for calories I fear I miss, but then I eat to my goal. I don’t do this when I’m eating my “normal” meals where I weigh and measure everything.
  • OAS5
    OAS5 Posts: 374 Member
    I usually eat up to my goal of what's tracked. But I over track my portions if that makes sense. If something is a 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup then i just track it as 1 cup.

    I do the same thing. I always estimate higher.
  • VegjoyP
    VegjoyP Posts: 2,149 Member
    I do leave a gap, depending ion my activity, appetite and food choices. I iusefood scale, pre measure and since I started counting calories at about 13 ( I'm 47) I have years of experience. I do allow myself go up to 1270( my matenance) but generally leave some space
    Here is why
    It works for me
    Many foods say less calories than they have.. Some " calorie free" foods do have calories with more than the serving size measured. Truvia and Erytherol have some. I use a good amount. I chew sugar free gum all day too. Either way I have maintained for awhile and I am happy.
    I do not eat the exercise calories back either. I stay at my goal very consistantly.Again for me this works.
  • fitnessguy266
    fitnessguy266 Posts: 150 Member
    edited December 2019
    Slightly below maintenance (300 calories) 5 days a week, 2 days a week I "close the gap" with alcohol consumption ;) usually end the week total at maintenance. My sustainable approach to maintaining single digit bf...don't judge me lol!
  • Sharon_C
    Sharon_C Posts: 2,133 Member
    Eat to your calorie goal. If you're not losing after 4-6 weeks then adjust down. There is no reason to leave a gap