MFP’s suggested calorie goal

Do you all use the daily calorie amount suggested by MFP? Do you find you lose the amount they say you will of you hit those goals? I’m over 50 and menopausal and wondering if their suggestions work for someone in my demographic.


  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,030 Member
    edited June 2020
    I follow the goal MFP gives me and eat the exercise calories my tracker gives me. It has worked fine so far, 40lbs down.
    The calculations are based on averages. To find out if you're average, stick to the goal for 4 to 6 weeks and then reassess and adapt if needed :smile:
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,626 Member
    It's usually a reasonable start point.
    You may have to make some adjustments once you are able to see your actual weight trend (about a month perhaps) - but that it just as likely to be that your logging accuracy is off as it is that the original goal was inaccurate.

    " I’m over 50 and menopausal and wondering if their suggestions work for someone in my demographic." - Yes.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,353 Member
    Yes, it works, provided you've used a realistic weight loss goal for your current weight.
  • Lillymoo01
    Lillymoo01 Posts: 2,868 Member
    Assuming you are accurate with logging both your calorie intake and your exercise burn and you haven't set yourself a goal where your required deficit has you going under 1200 calories, the amount given by MFP should be reasonably accurate for most people.

    The best bet is to give it a go and after a month adjust as needed when you compare your actual results with your expectations.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,379 Member
    I was in my late 50s when I started with MFP. I had already lost a fair amount of weight, but wanted to get the last few pounds to disappear. I lost about a pound a week until I reached my goal, then went into maintenance and continued to lose weight as I had to adjust my calorie goal upwards. I do about 2 hours a day of deliberate exercise (walking, running, bike) so my metabolism burns a bit hotter than average for a 60+ year old otherwise sedentary woman. I eat back all my exercise calories.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,289 Member
    The numbers are derived from generally accepted calculations across all demographics. So the short answer is, yes.

    The more accurate answer is: you need to log food and exercise using those predicted numbers. Do that as accurately as you can for the next 4-6 weeks. At the end of that time, look at your results and adjust. The algorithms are not correct for every single person.

    We all had to run that same experiment. Luckily you have a great tool here to record your data. :)
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,825 Member
    edited June 2020
    It's a statistical estimate based on research: Basically, it assumes you're average for your age, size, etc. Presumably you've been accurate in making those settings.

    If you really are close to average, it'll be close to right. If you're somehow a little atypical (maybe for inobvious reasons), it'll be somewhat off, could be high or low, but not crazy far off. (There's a pretty small standard deviation, putting it in statistical terms.) In that case, you'd lose just a little faster or slower than it would estimate. For a rare few people, it can be quite far off, but since those people are rare, you're unlikely to be one of them.

    That's the nature of statistical estimates.

    That's also why we suggest people follow the recommendation as a starting point for 4-6 weeks, and see what your average weekly weight loss rate is, then adjust your calorie goal if needed. (If you weren't menopausal, we'd suggest comparing the same relative point in at least 2 different monthly cycles.)

    FWIW: I'm one of the oddballs. I lost much faster than sensible at the calories MFP predicted would cause sensible loss, because it underestimates my calorie needs - even with accurate profile settings - by 25-30%. That doesn't happen for most people. Usually, it's pretty close.

    So, believe it, run the personal experiment for 4-6 weeks (if the first couple of weeks look like a water weight roller coaster, which can happen for some, ignore those and go for the last 4 of the 6 weeks). If you seem to be losing too slowly before the time is up, hang in there (because of the water weight weirdness potential, mostly).

    Only adjust before 4-6 weeks if you seem to be losing very fast, and start to get weak or fatigued for otherwise unexplained reasons. Those would be the symptoms that it underestimates your needs in a potentially risky way.

    I lost about 50 pounds at age 59-60 using MFP, and have maintained a healthy weight since (I'm now 64), after a 30+ preceding years of obesity. So, yeah, it can work after 50. :)

    Best wishes!