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is it possible to ''save'' some of your calories for a time (such as a meal out or birthday)?

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  • globalc00globalc00 Member Posts: 103 Member Member Posts: 103 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    globalc00 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »

    The probable error from BIA scale estimates of body fat is really too big to rely on distinctions that fine. Some sources say it they can be up to 8-9% off, in home models. Any home body fat "measurement" to hundredths of a percent is false precision. Of course our bodyfat changes daily . . . tiny amounts, under most real-world conditions.

    I agree it may not be accurate number. But it’s a consistent inaccuracy. At 20%. I can’t see abs. At 15% I can. Maybe if I used dexa, it would say I was really 19% to 14%. Point being as it was dropping week over week. Abs showed more and more. So it wasn’t just making up small number drops day over day just to keep me motivated. The fat did come off. So why would it be unreasonable to say I lost .05 a day, but believe in 3 month I lost 2 -3%? Change has to be gradual.

    No you are not seeing body fat changing daily - you are seeing your electrical resistance changing daily which is what those scales measure.
    And that's primarily a function of changes in hydration.

    And the biggest problem with BIA devices is inconsistent inaccuracy.

    You really do need to better understand the tool you are using and its many limitations. They (some at least, some are just horrendously inaccurate all of the time!) can provide a usable trend over an extended period but no you can't put that level of belief in individual readings.
    Then how do you pick and choose which day is a reliable. Again, over say 2 month , I can make a drastic difference I believe that day 1 is some what accurate. And the end of 2 month is somewhat accurate cause I can see and feel the difference. So if you go from 20 to 15%. None of the 60 days in between that is showing a drop is reliable? But on day 61. It’s reliable?

    Fat definitely disappeared off my body in those 60 days. And the readings say the same thing.
    Also. Everyone agrees 3500 calories = 1 lbs of fat. So if I burn 3500 calories and the scale shows the drop in body fat, why would you say it’s not accurate?

    The scale is a machine that does same thing over and over. It’s your body that’s inconsistent.
    edited October 2020
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 18,875 Member Member Posts: 18,875 Member
    globalc00 wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    globalc00 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »

    The probable error from BIA scale estimates of body fat is really too big to rely on distinctions that fine. Some sources say it they can be up to 8-9% off, in home models. Any home body fat "measurement" to hundredths of a percent is false precision. Of course our bodyfat changes daily . . . tiny amounts, under most real-world conditions.

    I agree it may not be accurate number. But it’s a consistent inaccuracy. At 20%. I can’t see abs. At 15% I can. Maybe if I used dexa, it would say I was really 19% to 14%. Point being as it was dropping week over week. Abs showed more and more. So it wasn’t just making up small number drops day over day just to keep me motivated. The fat did come off. So why would it be unreasonable to say I lost .05 a day, but believe in 3 month I lost 2 -3%? Change has to be gradual.

    No you are not seeing body fat changing daily - you are seeing your electrical resistance changing daily which is what those scales measure.
    And that's primarily a function of changes in hydration.

    And the biggest problem with BIA devices is inconsistent inaccuracy.

    You really do need to better understand the tool you are using and its many limitations. They (some at least, some are just horrendously inaccurate all of the time!) can provide a usable trend over an extended period but no you can't put that level of belief in individual readings.
    Then how do you pick and choose which day is a reliable. Again, over say 2 month , I can make a drastic difference I believe that day 1 is some what accurate. And the end of 2 month is somewhat accurate cause I can see and feel the difference. So if you go from 20 to 15%. None of the 60 days in between that is showing a drop is reliable? But on day 61. It’s reliable?

    The trend - not the individual data points. Trending smoothes out the bad data.
    To a degree the advantage of home BIA units (if they achieve a level of reasonableness in the first place, many do not - I had some that made me 32% fat with visible abs...) is that you get many data points and the other advantage is that you can at least make the some of the variables in hydration consistent.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,559 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,559 Member
    globalc00 wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    globalc00 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »

    The probable error from BIA scale estimates of body fat is really too big to rely on distinctions that fine. Some sources say it they can be up to 8-9% off, in home models. Any home body fat "measurement" to hundredths of a percent is false precision. Of course our bodyfat changes daily . . . tiny amounts, under most real-world conditions.

    I agree it may not be accurate number. But it’s a consistent inaccuracy. At 20%. I can’t see abs. At 15% I can. Maybe if I used dexa, it would say I was really 19% to 14%. Point being as it was dropping week over week. Abs showed more and more. So it wasn’t just making up small number drops day over day just to keep me motivated. The fat did come off. So why would it be unreasonable to say I lost .05 a day, but believe in 3 month I lost 2 -3%? Change has to be gradual.

    No you are not seeing body fat changing daily - you are seeing your electrical resistance changing daily which is what those scales measure.
    And that's primarily a function of changes in hydration.

    And the biggest problem with BIA devices is inconsistent inaccuracy.

    You really do need to better understand the tool you are using and its many limitations. They (some at least, some are just horrendously inaccurate all of the time!) can provide a usable trend over an extended period but no you can't put that level of belief in individual readings.
    Then how do you pick and choose which day is a reliable. Again, over say 2 month , I can make a drastic difference I believe that day 1 is some what accurate. And the end of 2 month is somewhat accurate cause I can see and feel the difference. So if you go from 20 to 15%. None of the 60 days in between that is showing a drop is reliable? But on day 61. It’s reliable?

    Fat definitely disappeared off my body in those 60 days. And the readings say the same thing.
    Also. Everyone agrees 3500 calories = 1 lbs of fat. So if I burn 3500 calories and the scale shows the drop in body fat, why would you say it’s not accurate?

    The scale is a machine that does same thing over and over. It’s your body that’s inconsistent.

    Is this some kind of Zeno's Paradox of body fat estimation?!

    With respect to the daily values, it's inconsistently inaccurate, as Sijomial says. It's a little under, a little over, sees a change in fat when only hydration/dehydration level changed: Imprecise. Over time, in something loosely akin to the Law of Large Numbers, it averages out (though these are not, strictly speaking, large numbers 😆).

    At the same time, in *addition* to being inconsistently inaccurate in daily estimates, it may - as you say - *also* be consistently inaccurate, i.e., *tend* to be a point or few high or low overall, if you could compare multiple observations to dexa (which is also not 100% spot-on IMU, though it's more accurate than BIA). However, with both those inaccuracy factors, the *trend* can still deliver somewhat accurate information (not data: information). If the change in values tends to cluster around body fat being - picking a random number here - 5% lower after 90 days, then there's a decent chance the actual change is probably somewhere around 5%.

    Like so many things about weight management, the longer-term trend is close enough to be useful, even though it's an error prone estimate, not a precise measurement. Most of this stuff we rely on for calorie counting and weight management is approximations and estimates. It works anyway . . . close enough for gubmint work, as the cliche goes.

    Some of this "things average out over the long term" effect is also why calorie banking 150 calories a day can work, even though the 150-calorie (or whatever) estimate is imprecise. It can be close enough to be useful.

    With respect to the bolded: Yes, the machine does the same thing over and over. It shoots some electricity through our body (part of our body, actually) and measures resistance. Yes, our body is inconsistent. So, the machine takes the resistance as measured and applies an algorithm to produce a body fat *estimate*. Measuring one thing, and using it to estimate another, is also super-common in the data and informaion we rely on for weight management and fitness improvement. It's good to be clear about what's being measured, what's being estimated, and what potential there is for sources of variation in the measurement that could result in inaccuracy of the estimate. Here again, the estimates can be useful, even though we know they're estimates, approximations, subject to error. Knowing things about their precision and accuracy is part of making them useful, if you ask me.
  • globalc00globalc00 Member Posts: 103 Member Member Posts: 103 Member
    @annpt77 If a person weighs 100 lbs has exactly 20% body fat at and is in a 500 calorie deficit per day, what would you expect the most accurate body fat scale to say what their body percentage is each day they are in 500 calorie deficit?
    By the 7th day after they burned off 500, they should weigh 99 lbs and body fat of 19.19% body fat according to the 3500 calorie = 1 lbs.
    Each day should be a minor change to eventually get to 19.19%.
    In my case, my scale weight shows that I lost significant weight. My eyes tells me I lost significant weight. My clothes shows I lost significant weight. My weight training tells me I didn't lose significant muscle. My diet supports the theory I shouldn't have lost all muscle. My scale shows that my body fat has gone down. So if all the tools support the fact that the fat is gone, at the end of the day, I will continue to believe that the small trends downward is somewhat accurate.

    I am not saying it's down every day. Just like weight, there are day it fluctuates, but over say 10 out of 14 days, it is down and align with my calorie deficit from the day before. Such as 19.0, 18.96, 18.91, 18.89, 19.94, 18.92, 18.88, 18.74, 18.69 and so forth.
    edited October 2020
  • globalc00globalc00 Member Posts: 103 Member Member Posts: 103 Member
    If the op said I would like to eat a piece of 140 calorie cake at the end of this week. So I plan to bank 20 calories a day. What would you say. I would say. Don’t worry about it and just keep doing your thing because that 140 is so small it’s not worth trying to figure out where you need to try to figure out how to bank it each day.
    Now if the op says I’m going to eat 4000 calorie pizza. I would say. Yes. You need to figure out how to bank that 4000 ahead of time.
    So really it’s at what point is it worth the effort. My opinion is 200 isn’t there yet. But if op wants to make 1400 big meal a weekly thing. Then I would say yes you need to just adjust your plan. But if your only doing it 3 or 4 times a year for special occasions, then I don’t see a need.
  • phoenixrb35phoenixrb35 Member Posts: 23 Member Member Posts: 23 Member
    carliejmm wrote: »
    Hi all

    I've noticed in recent days that I have calories ''left over'' (even accounting for a bit of a buffer that I tend to leave myself for un-noted bits of food, such as that 1/2 a sugar in a coffee whilst out or similar). Is there an ''official way to apply them to a certain day or meal to show that I'm using them within a reasonable time frame? I realise the point is to eat enough, not to starve yourself and then binge eat, but I mean that extra 200 calories at the end of the week type of thing.

    If you eat a little less one day, you can eat a little more the next day. I say this from personal experience as it is has been working for me. On Friday evenings for instance, I like to go for Wafflehouse style platters (not to say that is unhealthy) and milk shakes that total to well above my maintenance calories on myfitnesspal, but then over the weekend, I truly do rest--my gut that is--by eating lighter meals lower in overall calories, so the calories balance out over the course of the whole week. I prefer this over eating the same meals and the same number of calories everyday for the rest of my life.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,559 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,559 Member
    globalc00 wrote: »
    If the op said I would like to eat a piece of 140 calorie cake at the end of this week. So I plan to bank 20 calories a day. What would you say. I would say. Don’t worry about it and just keep doing your thing because that 140 is so small it’s not worth trying to figure out where you need to try to figure out how to bank it each day.
    Now if the op says I’m going to eat 4000 calorie pizza. I would say. Yes. You need to figure out how to bank that 4000 ahead of time.
    So really it’s at what point is it worth the effort. My opinion is 200 isn’t there yet. But if op wants to make 1400 big meal a weekly thing. Then I would say yes you need to just adjust your plan. But if your only doing it 3 or 4 times a year for special occasions, then I don’t see a need.

    TBH, I'm more interested in clarity about the principles, less interested in telling others exactly where to draw the line.

    Supposed to all be adults here, over 18. They know their logging meticulousness and personality type better than I do. If someone is a very careful logger, and motivated by sticking closely to the rules, maybe they'd want to bank the 20 calories for the cake. S'OK by me.

    Personally, when maintaining, I just bank the 150 or so calories most days, and if a 4000 calorie pizza presents itself, and I decide it's worth it, I'd eat it. If I do that sort of thing too often, my weight starts to drift up, so I'll start sticking more closely with the 150 calories as a deficit, not a bank account, until the scale weight drifts down again. It's been working OK for a few years now, so I'm pretty relaxed about it, personally. The principle is still "it's fine to eat a little less some days, and eat a little more other days, as long as it balances out".

    I am kind of curious where your hypothetical person gets their 140 calorie cake, and whether it's good, though: Even the nice (not very sweet) whole wheat rhubarb upside down cake I made in the Spring was 150 calories for a tiny piece. 😆 Tasty, though.

    I'm out, from here. I think we've digressed far enough from OP's question. Cheers!
  • charmmethcharmmeth Member Posts: 923 Member Member Posts: 923 Member
    On Friday evenings for instance, I like to go for Wafflehouse style platters (not to say that is unhealthy) and milk shakes that total to well above my maintenance calories on myfitnesspal, but then over the weekend, I truly do rest--my gut that is--by eating lighter meals lower in overall calories, so the calories balance out over the course of the whole week. I prefer this over eating the same meals and the same number of calories everyday for the rest of my life.

    Err what? The same number of calories can be constituted by all sorts of different meals. I eat something different almost every day in any given week (though I have particualr evening meals that would eat most weeks, and my breakfast i pretty stable, and lunch definitely less varied). Most days I am within my calorie goal; sometimes not, but that is an entirely different question. I am not knocking your Fridays nights at all, by the way: if that works for you, that's great. But don't think that eating within your calorie goal means that you have always to eat the same meal(s)!
  • age_is_just_a_numberage_is_just_a_number Member, Premium Posts: 486 Member Member, Premium Posts: 486 Member
    Short answer - yes, you can save calories from one day and eat them on a different day. Why? Because it is consistency over time that matters. One day of higher calories is not going to result in weight gain.
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 7,043 Member Member Posts: 7,043 Member
    I have used the Go by Weekly Calories method for years (in both weight loss phase and maitenance) - not really for special occasions, just for everyday life differences - like going out for coffee/cake on weekends

    In the app version you can see how many calories you consumed per day and how many you have left for rest of week so is easy to make sure your weekly amount is on target.

    and of course whether you go only by daily or by weekly, your weight will fluctuate - not really getting how that is any more of an issue here. :*
  • VeryKatieVeryKatie Member Posts: 5,838 Member Member Posts: 5,838 Member
    I use a spreadsheet to do exactly that.
  • carliejmmcarliejmm Member Posts: 2 Member Member Posts: 2 Member
    Lietchi wrote: »
    I'd say weekly is a reasonable time frame. You can switch to a weekly view of your calories on MFP to see if you're on target on average.
    Thanks for this tip, much appreciated!

    Thank you very much ladies and gents, this is very helpful. I do take the point that several people have made, where in fact, we tend to underestimate how much we're actually eating, so I'd be careful to not mentally ''bank'' every 10 calories I have left over, but I meant for a noticeable quantity (perhaps 200 is a bit few, though it does add up over time).

    The main thing is to note what is being eaten as accurately and truthfully as possible to really get a good picture, and to really understand that ''just a bit of'' (whatever) is in fact a large proportion of the daily allowed total, even with a generous allowance!

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