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Calorie recommendation too high?

jimbotunacanjimbotunacan Member, Premium Posts: 2 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2 Member
I’m 5’ 9”, 172 lbs. I set my activity level as very active (I am a cyclist and runner) and my goal weight to 152, and rate at 1.5 lbs per week. MyFitnessPal set my daily calories to 2,320 and then any exercise I log on Garmin gets added to that. Doesn’t that seem a bit high? So If I didn’t exercise at all this week and took in 2,320 calories a day, I would lose 1.5 lbs? Yesterday I ran 6 miles and walked the dogs and it told me to eat almost 3,100 calories.

If this all seems right, let me know but I felt like I was eating a lot yesterday and still ended up 598 calories under my target.

Replies

  • tiptoethruthetulipstiptoethruthetulips Member, Greeter Posts: 3,270 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 3,270 Member
    When you set your activity levels its based on non exercise activity. So if you sit at a desk all day you would choose sedentary or low.

    Then your exercise calories are added back in, some people don't eat all their exercise calories but if a cyclist and a runner you'd need to be eating back some I'd imagine.

    With only a little weight to lose you'd be best to set your weight loss goal to 1lb a week, anything more is probably a little ambitious.
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 908 Member Member, Premium Posts: 908 Member
    Your activity level is supposed to be for not intentional exercise, so it might be a bit high for you. I'm still not entirely clear how the trackers sync with MFP, but I have a Garmin too and sometimes I will start with a big adjustment in the morning that shrinks as the day goes on (I assume I move less than it assumes I will?) I typically exercise in the morning (running or strength training), and my activity level is set to "lightly active."

    With exercise and breastfeeding, (I'm 5'6", female and 180 lbs at present), I lose around 1.5 lbs/week eating 2100-2400 calories/day. Based on my data collection I estimate my current maintenance calories to be just over 3,000. That will go down as my baby weans and I lose more weight, even with a lot of exercise.

    Some good default advice is to try things for a month and then reassess once you have a month's worth of data. I wouldn't force yourself to eat if you're not hungry, though.

    It is kind of alarming for me to think about just how many calories I must have been consuming to gain this much weight, sometimes!
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,698 Member Member Posts: 6,698 Member
    Are you a man? You're very tall, and assuming your not too old then this doesn't seem to be awfully high. However, like others have said: all exercise is not part of your activity level in MFP. It gets logged additionally.
  • BarbaraHelen2013BarbaraHelen2013 Member Posts: 1,677 Member Member Posts: 1,677 Member
    Basically, by including your cycling and running in your base activity level and connecting a fitness tracker you’re counting your exercise calories twice, which is why the calorie goal seems higher than you expected.

    Set the activity level to whatever represents your daily routine only and allow your Garmin to feed over your exercise calories.
  • thisvickyrunsthisvickyruns Member Posts: 173 Member Member Posts: 173 Member
    I’m 5’ 9”, 172 lbs. I set my activity level as very active (I am a cyclist and runner) and my goal weight to 152, and rate at 1.5 lbs per week. MyFitnessPal set my daily calories to 2,320 and then any exercise I log on Garmin gets added to that. Doesn’t that seem a bit high? So If I didn’t exercise at all this week and took in 2,320 calories a day, I would lose 1.5 lbs? Yesterday I ran 6 miles and walked the dogs and it told me to eat almost 3,100 calories.

    If this all seems right, let me know but I felt like I was eating a lot yesterday and still ended up 598 calories under my target.

    No, that isn't right.

    MFP's activity level doesn't include intentional exercise. So you set it to your activity based just on work/home life, and then sync your Garmin to get additional exercise cals, or add them manually when you work out.

    You can do as you have done, however, set your activity to include exercise, but then you wouldn't need to add exercise cals, as it'd be double counting.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,622 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,622 Member
    The tracker synch works the same no matter how you set your activity level. Essentially, it just compares MFP's expected total burn with the tracker's estimate, and "believes" the tracker's estimate. As long as no exercise is logged manually in MFP, there's no double counting, in that scenario.

    If someone includes exercise in their MFP activity level setting, *doesn't* synch their tracker, does log the exercise manually, that *would* double count the exercise calories.

    OP, that calorie estimate is plausible for you: Test it for a month and see. There are a lot of diet myths about ultra low calories being essential in order to lose, but it's not universally necessary. (I've lost eating well above 2000 most days, admittedly slowly (intentionally so), but I'm 4" shorter, now almost 50 pounds lighter, very likely much older (65)).

    Undereating, especially with a strong exercise program and fitness goals in the picture, is a bad plan.
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