Help setting calorie goal

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changing4life
changing4life Posts: 193 Member
edited August 2020 in Getting Started
Hi — was looking for guidance on setting a calorie goal. Am 62 pretty sedentary (no intentional exercise) and Type 2 diabetic. I weigh 211 pounds. The goal MFP set for me is 1390. Grateful for any suggestions.

Replies

  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,145 Member
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    That sounds good if you're fairly short (like under 5'9") and female?

    Try it for a month and see how you do.

    Here, this will be important:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/1234699/logging-accurately-step-by-step-guide/p1
  • hly2002
    hly2002 Posts: 2 Member
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    Pahla B of Pahla B Fitness suggests going to 5 different calorie calculator websites (I think MFP might be one of them), putting in that you want to lose 1 lb a week, set your exercise level, and then take an average of the 5 target calorie goals they give you as your target. She has an interesting free e-book available as well - she preaches moderate daily exercise, tracking calories and staying within 25 of your target in either direction, drinking water = half your weight in ounces, getting enough sleep, and managing stress. She emphasizes the importance of consistency so your body knows what to expect each day re: fuel and output. I've been at it only since July 1 and have lost 5 lbs. I'm a little over 5'3 and started this particular weight loss journey (I've had very many in my 63 years, starting at age 1) at 200.2 lbs. My target calorie counted calculated to 1678. But as I have been eating very healthfully (and trying to keep starchy carbs low) I am finding I haven't had cravings (yay!) and am not hungry for 1678 calories a day (and I was losing at a very slow rate). So I'm changing my target to 1600 which still might be too high - I've been averaging more in the 1500 - 1550 range. Pahla specializes in weight loss for menopausal and post-menopausal women. She emphasizes it is very important to eat ENOUGH calories so your body doesn't think it is being starved, and to have moderate activity every day. She has a lot of enthusiastic followers, many of whom have had great success - so you might want to look into it. Just google Pahla B. Fitness and you'll find her.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,960 Member
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    hly2002 wrote: »
    Pahla B of Pahla B Fitness suggests going to 5 different calorie calculator websites (I think MFP might be one of them), putting in that you want to lose 1 lb a week, set your exercise level, and then take an average of the 5 target calorie goals they give you as your target. She has an interesting free e-book available as well - she preaches moderate daily exercise, tracking calories and staying within 25 of your target in either direction, drinking water = half your weight in ounces, getting enough sleep, and managing stress. She emphasizes the importance of consistency so your body knows what to expect each day re: fuel and output. I've been at it only since July 1 and have lost 5 lbs. I'm a little over 5'3 and started this particular weight loss journey (I've had very many in my 63 years, starting at age 1) at 200.2 lbs. My target calorie counted calculated to 1678. But as I have been eating very healthfully (and trying to keep starchy carbs low) I am finding I haven't had cravings (yay!) and am not hungry for 1678 calories a day (and I was losing at a very slow rate). So I'm changing my target to 1600 which still might be too high - I've been averaging more in the 1500 - 1550 range. Pahla specializes in weight loss for menopausal and post-menopausal women. She emphasizes it is very important to eat ENOUGH calories so your body doesn't think it is being starved, and to have moderate activity every day. She has a lot of enthusiastic followers, many of whom have had great success - so you might want to look into it. Just google Pahla B. Fitness and you'll find her.

    Good advice, though there is a possible pitfall in the bolded.

    MFP is a "NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) calculator": You're supposed to put in your activity level *excluding* intentional exercise, then it expects you to log exercise separately and eat those calories back, too. Most other calculators are "TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) calculators". You tell them your activity level including planned intentional exercise, and it averages in the exercise, intending you to eat the same amount every day.

    It would be confusing to try to average together a NEAT estimate and a TDEE estimate. For anyone who exercises, a base TDEE estimate will be inherently higher than a NEAT estimate, because of the different ways exercise is handled in the two scenarios - they're not comparable

    If a person wants to use the TDEE method, and eat the same amount every day, there are calculators, such as Sailrabbit (https://www.sailrabbit.com/bmr/) that will run several different research-based formulas all in one pass, so you can compare the results of several different TDEE estimation methods. Sailrabbit will even average them together for you, if you want to go that route.

    Personally, I prefer the MFP NEAT method, because my exercise is inconsistent (weather & season dependent).

    Either way, a calculator is just a starting point. It's useful to stick with the estimate for at least a full month (full menstrual cycle for the premenopausal women) and adjust based on average weekly results. MFP can provide a good initial estimate, as long as you set the activity level based on pre-exercise life, and add the exercise when you do it. After a month of sticking with it, you'll have a good idea whether it's pretty close, or somewhat high/low. Different people find out different answers on that point.

    Weight loss is very achievable at our age, and MFP (for calorie counting) can be a great tool. Back in 2015, at age 59-60, I lost 50+ pounds in somewhat under a year, and have maintained a healthy weight ever since (I'm now age 64, around 130 pounds at 5'5"), after several previous decades of obesity. Obviously, I was post menopausal, I'm also severely hypothroid (properly medicated), but not insulin resistant or diabetic.

    In my case, a moderate-carb, adequate protein/fat, way of eating worked just fine. I logged what I was eating, then gradually adjusted portions, proportions and food choices to hit my calorie goal while feeling full and happy, eating foods I enjoy, and improving my nutrition, without putting any individual food off limits. I feel like that set me up well to maintain a healthy weight over the long haul.

    For me, MFP's initial estimate was too low - I lost faster than was healthy for me at first - but once I got everything dialed in based on experience, the process was pretty straightforward. I wish I'd done it years earlier!

    You've come to a good place to be successful, and I wish you all the best!
  • changing4life
    changing4life Posts: 193 Member
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    Thanks so much!!!