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Over Exercising? What is going on?

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  • lydiapassthedonutslydiapassthedonuts Member Posts: 71 Member Member Posts: 71 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    How are you estimating that you're burning 1,000 calories at the gym?

    Are you using a food scale to weigh your food?

    I'm using a fitbit, I know it's not accurate, but I use it as a guide.

    I weigh my food.

    Just to be clear - that is what Fitbit is saying the workout is burning?

    Or that is the calorie adjustment you see on MFP?
    (which is more than just the workout calories, but any increase in activity above whatever level you told MFP)

    And if you selected say Sedentary on MFP - that adjustment of extra calories may not be dead on correct for the high number you see - but 0 extra is also dead on wrong.

    You do more, you eat more.

    Yes, that is what my fitbit is telling me I have burned during my workouts.

    I'll add my workouts to MFP and I always record the lower estimate of my workouts.

  • lydiapassthedonutslydiapassthedonuts Member Posts: 71 Member Member Posts: 71 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    I wouldn't consider that over-exercising, but you may indeed be over-estimating your calorie burns.

    Please change your Diary Sharing settings to Public: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/account/diary_settings

    done.

    I'm seeing things that look like cup measurements, including for higher calorie foods like nuts and croutons. There are some meals that look like they might be estimates for restaurants or takeout (the Chinese, for example) and stuff like "1/12th of a cake" and "2 slices of bacon." We've got this: "Apple Pie - Apple Pie, 0.09375 slice." This is an example of an entry that is very unhelpful for you (what is a "slice" and how do you know you got .09375 of that amount?).

    I would encourage you to weigh all your solid food. If you're eating out and estimating the calorie content, that's potentially going to slow down your weight loss. This isn't to say "don't do it" (most of us ate out sometimes when losing weight), but it's something to take into account when the scale doesn't respond like you thought it might.

    When I cannot be accurate and have to guess, I try to take the higher calorie items listed in MFP. And that apple pie you mention was a bite. I try to overestimate the calories instead of underestimating them.

    I don't know how else to do it? This is my best guess. How else could I do it?

  • bearly63bearly63 Member, Premium Posts: 576 Member Member, Premium Posts: 576 Member
    Hi, Lydia. Take a breath. I am you.

    I started almost a year and a half ago at 58 year old, and 221 pounds (and admittedly, I hadn't weighed in a while). I did yoga regularly, and easily met the 10k steps a day, but other than that was totally sedentary.

    My doctor kept encouraging me to lose weight, and put me on thyroid medication. When I got the prescription, there was a freaking encyclopedia of warnings included in the sack. I never read those things before, but this behemoth caught my attention, and I sat down and did read it. Thank God I did. The one that said "Once you go on this medication (which can cause everything from hair on your feet to arms falling off and everything in between) you can never go off" scared the bejesus out of me.

    A visit to the dietician was extremely helpful. My local health club (which is attached to a major hospital) offered a free initial visit for an hour, and $25 for each 30 minute visit after that. She was worth her weight in gold. I listened and absorbed everything I could, taking extensive notes.

    She suggested MFP. It was hard to get a handle on at first, but I eventually learned to enter every ingredient that entered my mouth. I convert everything listed in cups and spoons on the site into grams, and then divide it til I get the exact fraction of the portion I am eating, and enter it as a percent. I know it sounds difficult, but once you get the hang of it, it's simple and very quick and very accurate.

    I weight everything. I eat a cup of blueberries every day. If one blueberry sends it over the 140 grams serving, it comes out of the bowl.

    If I make beef jerky (great for protein and very filling), I weigh and enter all the ingredients as a "recipe", and then weigh the final batch to see how many servings it will make. My last batch made 25 ounces, so I record a serving of beef jerky as ".04" in my diary.

    I found substitutions. Instead of chocolate bars, I add 7-11 grams (depending on how I feel) of ghirardelli sweet chocolate powder to my smoothie. I also use molasses to sweeten it, or may use a sugar free syrup.

    I taught myself to limit sweets, and to learn to love vegetables. I am eating an orange as I type this. It is incredible how sweet one tastes these days.

    My Apple Watch is amazing. I find it to be very accurate recording exercise. It has been worth every penny to me on this journey for weight loss alone, never mind all the other fabulous things it does.

    I average walking 7 miles a day. I do an average of ten hot mat classes a week, and I weight train twice a week. I literally work out 3-5 hours a day. I very seldom approach 1,000 calories burned. I agree with others that your calories burned rate seems out of whack. That's the device, not a whack at you, btw, so please don't feel people are pecking at you.

    I've posted here often, for better or for worse, and I have read this forum religiously, learning many wonderful things along the way - food ideas, NEAT strategies, how weight yo-yo's no matter how you stick to plan, how to avoid injuries, how to cope with finding a trainer. (MFP's women who lift gave me the bump I needed to get off my bottom and try weight training. I'm not the best, but I'm consistent for the win.) MFP has been like a college course in nutrition, advice (both good and learning to recognize the "not good"), and most of all, encouragement. There were days I felt like "screw this and hand me the family sized M&Ms". Those days, I would go to the Success Stories threads and read and read. These days, I save those up for the bad days, but they don't come very often.

    I lost ten pounds a month for the first five months. It's taken twelve months to lose the next thirty. That was crazy HARD after the initial success, but you have to stick to it and claim your goal.

    This morning's weight is 140. (Go figure, it was 144 yesterday, but because I follow MFP closely, I know this too shall pass.)

    My advice to you would be, crack down on the food weighing, find a device that gives you more accurate and consistent results, and consider weight training. It doesn't have to be testosterone grunt ridden stinky weight lifting to get results. And of course, I can never recommend Vinyasa yoga and Pilates enough. They say you can't get "long lean muscle" but I am here to tell you it's possible.

    Best of luck to you. My food diary should be open.



    What a fantastic and informative post! Thank you! I agree with everything you said. I finally got an apple watch and feel better about my calorie burns but still try not to eat back all of my calories.

    Also, measuring cups lie unless its liquid. Use bowls, tare, measure out everything, tare again, and so on. It's so easy to under estimate. I even eat an apple and measure before and after to remove the core. Same with artichokes. And I find that the more I can control my food and ingredients the more accurate it is.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,444 Member Member Posts: 17,444 Member
    I guess for now I will start over in the kitchen and be patient. I have seen an improvement, maybe I'm just not giving it enough time.

    I get stuck and I compare this time to the younger me when I lost 160 lbs in my late 20's. I KNOW how to do this journey. At least, I know how it worked the first time.

    This time has been very different. AGE REALLY DOES CHANGE THINGS!!! I've had a *kitten* time with the whole pausal of men time. It's really done a number to my life.

    And I do have thyroid issues. And last year my liver was bad, doctors couldn't figure out why. But, last numbers on my blood work were ok. Guess I could get that looked at again just so I can rule that out.

    Those even with no thyroid are rarely outside the 5% estimate of formula for BMR.
    It affects your TDEE because of being more tired.

    And MFP correcting itself to the Fitbit would pickup on that if happening.

    Daily activity is by distance calculated from steps - so stride length could be tweaked if daily stuff is inflated.
    Workouts are by HR and that is commented well by magnusthennerd
    edited February 7
  • edhbadgeredhbadger Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
    Something no one mentioned (that I saw)...

    With all the exercise, you are potentially building some muscle while losing the fat. So your WEIGHT in pounds may not be changing (dropping) as fast as you like, but you may be "re-comping" slightly and are in reality moving in a healthy direction. The 'weight loss' will come, give it some time, if you are truly tracking and logging correctly.

    Sometimes it is easy to get tunnel vision with the # on the scale, especially EARLY in the process, and miss the larger picture.


    edited February 7
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Member Posts: 7,140 Member Member Posts: 7,140 Member
    Stop a sec.

    Do you have your Fitbit connected to MFP? Integrated?

    Do not post your Fitbit exercises manually if you do.

    You are polluting your data and overriding what Fitbit detected by what you manually enter on MFP.

    Again. This is if they are connected.

    If you want to do things manually, consider what MFP told you your activity level will burn.

    Example:

    a sedentary you is expected to burn 1800 Calories (MFP)

    To lose 1lb a week your eating goal is 1300 Cal (MFP)

    Now look at your Fitbit at the end of the day.

    It says after exercise and what not that you burned 2200 Calories. Not the 1800 you told MFP you would (based on the activity level you selected).

    Your adjustment (manual or automatic) would and should be to add 400 Calories to your MFP expenditure estimate and eating goal.
    2200-1800=400=adjustment 1300+400=1700=new eating goal.

    Cross-check: daily expenditure (Fitbit) 2200. Deficit 500. Eating goal: 1700

    You're inadvertently adding calories you burn just by existing and which MFP has already accounted for by adding the exercises manually the way you described and I understood

  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Member Posts: 1,128 Member Member Posts: 1,128 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    I wouldn't consider that over-exercising, but you may indeed be over-estimating your calorie burns.

    Please change your Diary Sharing settings to Public: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/account/diary_settings

    done.

    I'm seeing things that look like cup measurements, including for higher calorie foods like nuts and croutons. There are some meals that look like they might be estimates for restaurants or takeout (the Chinese, for example) and stuff like "1/12th of a cake" and "2 slices of bacon." We've got this: "Apple Pie - Apple Pie, 0.09375 slice." This is an example of an entry that is very unhelpful for you (what is a "slice" and how do you know you got .09375 of that amount?).

    I would encourage you to weigh all your solid food. If you're eating out and estimating the calorie content, that's potentially going to slow down your weight loss. This isn't to say "don't do it" (most of us ate out sometimes when losing weight), but it's something to take into account when the scale doesn't respond like you thought it might.

    When I cannot be accurate and have to guess, I try to take the higher calorie items listed in MFP. And that apple pie you mention was a bite. I try to overestimate the calories instead of underestimating them.

    I don't know how else to do it? This is my best guess. How else could I do it?

    Like Jane said, there's a balance. Chances are you don't want to end up like the bodybuilding pros who don't leave the house besides going to the gym and the grocery store for fear of putting unmeasured calories in their mouth (this isn't a joke, there are ones literally living like that). Luckily, you also probably don't need the kind of accuracy that is necessary for winning competitions and earning endorsements to keep that lifestyle going.
    Somewhere less than that, but with more tracking than you did before you started will be a balance you'll strike.

    The big advantage of weighing everything is how calibrated you become, and how much you end up thinking about what you're taking in. As both of those become more internalized, it becomes easier and more accurate the times you don't do them.
    I was at a point where I could pick up fruit and know to about 5 grams what it was going to weigh as I lost around 120 pounds. This year when I did a cut, I logged next to nothing but kept track in my head, and occasionally weighed things that were odd to size, or if I was portioning out batch cooked meals. I still lost, and at a rate predictable enough for me to feel fine with it. It is a skill that one can build, but it is understandably frustrating at the beginning.
  • csplattcsplatt Member Posts: 477 Member Member Posts: 477 Member
    I don't see Zumba burning 1000 calories. If I keep my heart rate at 180 for 60 minutes, I burn 500. I know that all people aren't the same, different body types and different amount of muscle burn different levels of calories, etc. But I'm certain that's where you're getting tripped up.

    I say change your estimate and assume you're burning less, then see how the next 4 weeks go.
    edited February 7
  • gothchiqgothchiq Member Posts: 4,529 Member Member Posts: 4,529 Member
    Oh yeah age changes things. It's easier to lose muscle, slower to build it, and our metabolism gets slower. I'm 51 and things have changed a lot over time. It seems to me that we have to be much more scrupulous in weighing and logging foods than when we were young.
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 16,429 Member Member Posts: 16,429 Member

    I'll add my workouts to MFP and I always record the lower estimate of my workouts.

    Why are you manually adding your workouts when you have your Fitbit linked?

    (TBH I don't think your Fitbit is a actually helping you at all.)
  • lydiapassthedonutslydiapassthedonuts Member Posts: 71 Member Member Posts: 71 Member
    Thank you for all your comments! I have a few things to improve and change. Hopefully, something will budge soon!
  • Machka9Machka9 Member Posts: 16,561 Member Member Posts: 16,561 Member
    My schedule:
    Monday: body works with abs class (no impact, uses 5 lb weights at most, 50 minutes), treadmill 30 minutes
    Tuesday: water aerobics / water walking, 2 hours
    Wednesday: zumba 50 min, yoga 50 min
    Thursday: water aerobics / water walking, 2 hours
    Friday: day off, just a short walk, errands stuff
    Saturday: zumba 50 min OR water aerobics / walking walking 90 min
    Sunday day off

    I am limited to my activity due to injuries (old knee injuries and plantar fasciitis), so many modifications are needed during land classes. I try to burn around 1000 calories while at the gym. If I eat those back I'll only eat half.

    How is 30 minutes on the treadmill or 50 minutes of zumba 1000 calories???

    It's a good thing you're only eating half of that because half of 1000 calories would be the highest amount you're burning with those activities.

    How are you estimating that you're burning 1,000 calories at the gym?

    Are you using a food scale to weigh your food?

    I'm using a fitbit, I know it's not accurate, but I use it as a guide.

    I weigh my food.

    It's not accurate. It's not even a guide.

    I burn about 200-250 calories per hour when I walk. I might manage 250 calories if I ran for 30 minutes.

    I climb stairs (real ones) ... a solid 20 minutes of climbing stairs might be about 250 calories.

    For me to reach 1000 calories would be a whole lot more effort than that!

    edited February 9
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,444 Member Member Posts: 17,444 Member
    Weight matters when comparing calorie burn.
    What may seem totally bogus may indeed be wrong - and yet reality may still be well above what you burn at your weight.
    I burn more than you - but different and higher doesn't mean incorrect.
  • Machka9Machka9 Member Posts: 16,561 Member Member Posts: 16,561 Member
    Weight sometimes matters when comparing calorie burn, but not always.

    The way you tell if your calorie burns are accurate or not is if you are losing weight. If you're not ... then probably not. If you are, then go with them.
  • sarabushbysarabushby Member Posts: 621 Member Member Posts: 621 Member
    Everyone has already made so many helpful suggestions. My only addition...
    You mention injuries hence the water aerobics / water walking but I would be wary of these exercises if you’re looking for calorie burn - I doubt they burn much at all. My own experience was no weight loss whatsoever despite twice weekly double aquarobics classes.

    If you want to see faster weight loss by burning more calories I would recommend switching to swimming although even then be aware it’s not a massive burn. I do a tough Triathlon coached swim training class, 1hr long, typically 100 lengths of a 25m pool and my burn is usually 450 cals max despite HARD efforts, race pace sprints that leave you gasping etc. So casual breaststroke for an hour would be far far less, maybe literally just 100-200 calories for me on top of BMR.
  • 42Amy42Amy Member, Premium Posts: 76 Member Member, Premium Posts: 76 Member
    Hey I hear you completely! Age, injuries, and type of exercise do change things. I went to a nutritionist for the same problems. She suggested tracking my macros which is now why I do MFP instead of Weight Watchers. She also said instead of all the cardio I was doing to try more weight training. It took a while for me to follow through on the macros and right now I am nursing a knee injury so it will wait for me to heal.

    I started at 230, just like you. Right now I am 178. I usually have over 12K steps and do 30 min of exercise videos every day. I eat 1500 calories every day and if I am hungry my exercise calories too. I'm in perimenopause and may get flo at random intervals and this plays havoc with my motivation and moods. Sounds like a lot of opinions on this post and not much true support. Friend me if you would like an accountability partner!
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