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Newbie (with probably frustrating questions, sorry)

alionsheadalionshead Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
Hey there,

I'm relatively new to my weight loss journey (in earnest about 2 months now). After experimenting with different apps and products I've finally settled on the below setup:

MFP App
Apple Watch 3

For some context, I'm looking to lose about a stone and tone up my body. After that I just want to maintain my fitness and be able to treat myself to an occasional takeaway (not the 2-3 I was having a week before!).

I'm not hugely over my healthy weight, but enough to get me down and times. This is all very new to me - I've played around with counting step calories/making some up etc. but I think I've finally settled on a system which should meet my needs. This forum has been super helpful from reading, but I'm just looking for a bit of reassurance I guess that I'm doing the right things?

Just as another caveat, I suffer from OCD pretty badly and am wary about becoming too obsessed with this. I feel good about things as they are, but I'm very much aware of what I could spiral into with it. I just want to stick to my calorie goal, log my exercises and eat those extra calories when I earn them.

So..I'm:

1) Keeping to my daily goal of 1800 calories (set by my PT)
2) I am loading in all of my food/portions etc accurately
3) I have turned off step counting on my Apple watch and MFP as the adjusted calories were confusing me/stressing me out and I'm not that fussed about steps anyway
4) On days where I don't do any exercise (i.e. no gym or no walks over 1 mile), I stick to 1800
5) On days where I log exercises (via 'workout' on my watch - for example a gym workout set to 'Open' or my 2k walk to work marked as 'Outdoor Walk'), I sometimes eat back those extra calories

At a high-level, does that all sound ok? I don't want to be in a position where I'm counting more calories than I've actually earned if that makes sense?

Sorry that this is a painfully lengthy and specific post.

Thanks :)

M

Replies

  • Pipsqueak1965Pipsqueak1965 Member Posts: 353 Member Member Posts: 353 Member
    That sounds pretty sensible - you can always re-assess after a few weeks and see how the weight loss is proceeding.
  • tinkerbellang83tinkerbellang83 Member, Premium Posts: 8,750 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,750 Member
    Only thing I would check with your PT is if the 1800 cals they have suggested is based on TDEE calculation, because if it is, they are already accounting for your exercise.

    MFP uses NEAT and eating back the gym workout and walk to work wouldn't be an issue, but if you have added a manual calorie goal based on TDEE, this could mean you're in less of a deficit than intended.
  • alionsheadalionshead Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
    Thanks for your replies. Those acronyms don't mean a lot to me (sorry), but my PT has encouraged me to log any workouts I do, so I would assume exercise isn't included in that 1800?
  • tinkerbellang83tinkerbellang83 Member, Premium Posts: 8,750 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,750 Member
    alionshead wrote: »
    Thanks for your replies. Those acronyms don't mean a lot to me (sorry), but my PT has encouraged me to log any workouts I do, so I would assume exercise isn't included in that 1800?

    MyFitnessPal uses the NEAT method of calculation for a calorie goal if you go through guided set-up. That is Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.

    Many other websites/calculations are done using TDEE which is Total Daily Energy Expenditure.

    Both use your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which is your calorie burn for basic human functions at rest, i.e. if you were to lay in bed all day long.

    NEAT is basically BMR x Work/School/Homelife Activity Multiplier. Then you add exercise separately.

    TDEE is basically BMR x (work/school/homelife activity + exercise)Multiplier. You do not log exercise.

    Rather than assuming, probably best to check as most PTs do use TDEE. Better to send a quick message to them and find out for certain, than wonder why in 5-6 weeks your weight isn't doing what you expect it to if you've assumed wrong.

  • alionsheadalionshead Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
    Ah great, thank you, I will.

    I haven't actually set anything up in MFP for tracking calories though - I'm essentially using it as a food log and calculation tool.

    Set calories - food + calories from exercise (synced from watch)
  • SilentpadnaSilentpadna Member Posts: 1,305 Member Member Posts: 1,305 Member
    If you are willing to share your current height/weight/age, we can check out which one your PT is referring to fairly easily (as an alternative)
  • alionsheadalionshead Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
    Ah thanks :) So, current weight: 85kg, age: 31, height: 5.8 (weight may have shifted down a bit)
  • alionsheadalionshead Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
    Oh, apparently the 1800 is my "resting metabolic rate with a deficit"
  • tinkerbellang83tinkerbellang83 Member, Premium Posts: 8,750 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,750 Member
    alionshead wrote: »
    Ah great, thank you, I will.

    I haven't actually set anything up in MFP for tracking calories though - I'm essentially using it as a food log and calculation tool.

    Set calories - food + calories from exercise (synced from watch)

    But the calculation will be wrong if your PT has already accounted for your exercise and you're eating calories back from exercises logged.

    You're paying the PT, so don't be afraid to ask questions about what you're paying for.

    You can also run your numbers through a TDEE calculator so you can understand for yourself what you're eating vs what you're approximately burning. It also means if something changes in your activity level you know how to adjust up/down as necessary.

    https://www.tdeecalculator.net is a simple one.
    https://www.sailrabbit.com/bmr/ is a bit more in-depth.







    edited February 2020
  • tinkerbellang83tinkerbellang83 Member, Premium Posts: 8,750 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,750 Member
    alionshead wrote: »
    Oh, apparently the 1800 is my "resting metabolic rate with a deficit"

    Well that then doesn't account for any steps or exercise.

    Resting Metabolic Rate is more or less the same thing as BMR, it's if you didn't move all day. So yes keep logging your exercise and keep an eye on how much weight you're dropping, if you're dropping faster than expected, you might want to add some of the calories in from steps.

    They may have set it that way to give you a bit of margin of error, as most people don't log very accurately when they start out calorie counting.

    edited February 2020
  • alionsheadalionshead Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
    Fantastic, thank you. Apologies for the constant questions. It's really appreciated.
  • SilentpadnaSilentpadna Member Posts: 1,305 Member Member Posts: 1,305 Member
    alionshead wrote: »
    Oh, apparently the 1800 is my "resting metabolic rate with a deficit"

    I ran your numbers through this website (the one I use): https://www.niddk.nih.gov/bwp with the assumption that your activity level is very light - i.e. desk job with light activity. Its output was about 2250 kcal per day.

    Given your numbers, 1800 calories would already have a built-in deficit of roughly 450-500, which would look totally reasonable if my assumptions about activity are correct (just a baseline assumption). If your activity levels are higher, you can adjust those upward.

    The sites the @tinkerbellang83 provides will do the same thing.
  • alionsheadalionshead Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
    Brilliant thank you. A final question...

    As I’ve turned steps off, can I also disable negative calorie counting?

    My calculation should be simple:

    Calories - food + exercise from watch

    But when I put it in I’m getting negative calories in. Is there a way to disable it as presumably that isn’t accurate?
  • tinkerbellang83tinkerbellang83 Member, Premium Posts: 8,750 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,750 Member
    You can do it in the web version, settings>diary settings and untick the box.
  • alionsheadalionshead Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
    You can do it in the web version, settings>diary settings and untick the box.

    Great, thanks. And that won’t give me an inaccurate reading based on my spec above?

    Thanks - regards from the constantly asking man.

  • tinkerbellang83tinkerbellang83 Member, Premium Posts: 8,750 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,750 Member
    alionshead wrote: »
    You can do it in the web version, settings>diary settings and untick the box.

    Great, thanks. And that won’t give me an inaccurate reading based on my spec above?

    Thanks - regards from the constantly asking man.

    No because you've a manual calorie goal.
  • alionsheadalionshead Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
    Great, thanks!
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