Counting macros/calories

I find it really hard do lose weight these days. I’m almost 40, workout 4-6 days a week burning around 600-700 calories each workout. I do a mix of cardio and lifting. I try to maintain a 1500 calorie diet with proteins higher than fats and carbs. Some people say that’s not enough calories or carbs (I try to stay around 80-100g of carbs). Every macro calculator I’ve tried says to eat 1500 calories. I’ve downloaded apps that say more though. What is your advice my fitness pal?
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Replies

  • penguinmama87
    penguinmama87 Posts: 945 Member
    How are you measuring your intake? If you're stuck, you might be eating more than you realize. I have been much more accurate using a food scale (both for individual items and using the MFP recipe builder feature) than using volume measurements or eyeballing.

    You might also be overestimating your calorie burn from exercise. These estimations are based on averages and particular formulas that might not be well suited to you or your routine, even if you're getting the estimated burn from a fitness tracker. Some people opt to eat only a portion of their exercise calories back if they suspect the estimations are too generous.

    Calories are what really matter for weight loss. Satiety and nutrition are where the macros come in - I feel more satisfied if I'm eating enough fat and protein, and I don't miss carbs (I still eat some, but if I have to choose pasta or a few more grams of butter...I'm picking the butter). But other people are different.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,497 Member
    How tall are you? How old are you? How much weight do you have to lose to be in a healthy weight range? Are you female? Do you work? Take care of kids? How are you keeping track of your food?

    We don't know enough to help.

    Put your stats into the Goal wizard, follow the directions.

    This link explains how this site calculates:
    https://support.myfitnesspal.com/hc/en-us/articles/360032625391-How-does-MyFitnessPal-calculate-my-initial-goals-

    1500 and all that exercise does sound low.
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,270 Member
    burning 600-700 calories a work out seems quite high.

    as well to the question how are you measuring your intake?

    for example yesterday you recorded 4 oz of ground sirloin at 160 calories....

    nope....3oz of ground sirloin per USDA is 207 calories.

    and 2 large eggs @120...probably closer to 140...

    all those missteps add up.

    and you aren;t really logging everyday so unless you are doing it elsewhere you don't really know how much you are eating...

    tl;dr you are eating more than you think and your exercise is over estimated.


  • tllincoln
    tllincoln Posts: 14 Member
    SezxyStef wrote: »
    burning 600-700 calories a work out seems quite high.

    as well to the question how are you measuring your intake?

    for example yesterday you recorded 4 oz of ground sirloin at 160 calories....

    nope....3oz of ground sirloin per USDA is 207 calories.

    and 2 large eggs @120...probably closer to 140...

    all those missteps add up.

    and you aren;t really logging everyday so unless you are doing it elsewhere you don't really know how much you are eating...

    tl;dr you are eating more than you think and your exercise is over estimated.


    I log everyday using MFP, I use a food scale. I don’t know how to be more accurate than that. Thanks for replying.
  • tllincoln
    tllincoln Posts: 14 Member
    I use a good scale, MFP, and an Apple Watch. I’ve been successful at keeping my weight down until this last year. I’m a nurse, a mom, very active, 39. Thanks for your responses.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,497 Member
    edited July 2021
    So your calories on your FOOD diary are set to 1800ish. That sounds like a better base level than 1500. Why are you trying to stick to 1500? I assume you only have a few pounds to lose?


    Eat the 1800, not 1500. When you exercise, add that into the Exercise section here. I doubt your Apple watch wants you to eat 1500, total but I don't know how you have it synced or even if it is reporting accurately. Historically Apple doesn't play well with Myfitnesspal.

    You still didn't mention your height, but with your active lifestyle I'd say you need somewhere around 1900-2100 calories on exercise days, to lose 1/2 pound per week (if you're 5'2" - 5'5".) That's the weight loss you can reasonably expect if you have 20 pounds or less to lose.

    Read that link I posted above.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,497 Member
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  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,861 Member
    edited July 2021
    How are you estimating your cardio and what form does it take?

    How are you estimating your lifting?

    What happens on the days you haven't logged any food?

    Is your Apple Watch synced (it doesn't work well with MyFitnessPal)?

    Are you aiming for a same every day goal or using the eat back exercise cals method?

  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,270 Member
    edited July 2021
    tllincoln wrote: »
    SezxyStef wrote: »
    burning 600-700 calories a work out seems quite high.

    as well to the question how are you measuring your intake?

    for example yesterday you recorded 4 oz of ground sirloin at 160 calories....

    nope....3oz of ground sirloin per USDA is 207 calories.

    and 2 large eggs @120...probably closer to 140...

    all those missteps add up.

    and you aren;t really logging everyday so unless you are doing it elsewhere you don't really know how much you are eating...

    tl;dr you are eating more than you think and your exercise is over estimated.


    I log everyday using MFP, I use a food scale. I don’t know how to be more accurate than that. Thanks for replying.

    I looked at your diary and I don't see evidence of logging everyday, for example nothing July 2, 4-12th, 15, 16,19-22, nor logging using a foodscale...you might use one but you aren't logging it as such.

    As I said, yesterday you record 4oz of ground sirloin at 160...when in fact 3oz is 207 per usda website so you are off by at least 140calories on that one item along let alone other errors I see....1cup of this etc.

    so you can get more accurate than you are being....so...yah...

    tl;dr you are eating more than you think for sure....
  • JBanx256
    JBanx256 Posts: 1,356 Member
    I'm also roughly 5'5", female, 39 years old, a mom, and I typically train 5-6 x per week. I'm a cop, not a nurse, and I don't know how much you weigh (I may have missed it somewhere in the thread) but it seems like we have fairly similar stats.

    I don't wear an Apple watch (or any other fitness tracker) but I am 100% positive I don't burn 700 calories per workout (and I am of the opinion that my training would qualify as "hard").

    If I only ate 1500 cal/day I'd be losing at an unhealthy/unsustainable rate (I know this from experience).

    Something is amiss on one, if not both, sides of your equation. I think other people have pointed out significant inconsistencies in your logging but also consider that your estimated calorie burn is...well, an estimate. Technology is great but at least be open-minded to the possibility that it's not 100% accurate.
  • Pipsqueak1965
    Pipsqueak1965 Posts: 397 Member
    Something is amiss for sure. You are either (or both) eating more or burning less calories. I'm 5 foot tall, 46 kg, 56 years old, with a desk job and workout for half an hour 4-5 times a week and maintain on around 1600.
  • tllincoln
    tllincoln Posts: 14 Member
    JBanx256 wrote: »
    I'm also roughly 5'5", female, 39 years old, a mom, and I typically train 5-6 x per week. I'm a cop, not a nurse, and I don't know how much you weigh (I may have missed it somewhere in the thread) but it seems like we have fairly similar stats.

    I don't wear an Apple watch (or any other fitness tracker) but I am 100% positive I don't burn 700 calories per workout (and I am of the opinion that my training would qualify as "hard").

    If I only ate 1500 cal/day I'd be losing at an unhealthy/unsustainable rate (I know this from experience).

    Something is amiss on one, if not both, sides of your equation. I think other people have pointed out significant inconsistencies in your logging but also consider that your estimated calorie burn is...well, an estimate. Technology is great but at least be open-minded to the possibility that it's not 100% accurate.

    I have always tracked my workouts with a watch, Fitbit or Apple, Apple being the last few years. I work out for 2-2.5 hours 4-5 days a week. Cardio and weights. Sometimes spin, I run a lot, stairclimber, depends on the day. I had a trainer last year and still follow her workouts. I generally eat the same things so I don’t always input it into MFP. I meal prep for a week at a time and eat that. We usually eat out on Sundays. I’ve had the same lifestyle for about 10 years now, minus some running miles. I backed off a few years ago due to and injury and that’s when I started lifting. It’s just been the last few months that my weight is creeping up. I’m up to 142, would like to be around 130. I know I’m getting older and that plays a huge part. Thanks for responding!

  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,826 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    tllincoln wrote: »
    JBanx256 wrote: »
    I'm also roughly 5'5", female, 39 years old, a mom, and I typically train 5-6 x per week. I'm a cop, not a nurse, and I don't know how much you weigh (I may have missed it somewhere in the thread) but it seems like we have fairly similar stats.

    I don't wear an Apple watch (or any other fitness tracker) but I am 100% positive I don't burn 700 calories per workout (and I am of the opinion that my training would qualify as "hard").

    If I only ate 1500 cal/day I'd be losing at an unhealthy/unsustainable rate (I know this from experience).

    Something is amiss on one, if not both, sides of your equation. I think other people have pointed out significant inconsistencies in your logging but also consider that your estimated calorie burn is...well, an estimate. Technology is great but at least be open-minded to the possibility that it's not 100% accurate.

    I have always tracked my workouts with a watch, Fitbit or Apple, Apple being the last few years. I work out for 2-2.5 hours 4-5 days a week. Cardio and weights. Sometimes spin, I run a lot, stairclimber, depends on the day. I had a trainer last year and still follow her workouts. I generally eat the same things so I don’t always input it into MFP. I meal prep for a week at a time and eat that. We usually eat out on Sundays. I’ve had the same lifestyle for about 10 years now, minus some running miles. I backed off a few years ago due to and injury and that’s when I started lifting. It’s just been the last few months that my weight is creeping up. I’m up to 142, would like to be around 130. I know I’m getting older and that plays a huge part. Thanks for responding!

    Honestly, I don't think aging is all that huge. (I mostly think it has a bad publicity agent.) Even the so-called calculators only estimate around 5 daily calories of penalty per year of aging, for me . . . zero calories at constant body fat percent. 🤷‍♀️

    If I were you, I'd keep looking for other possible explanations.

    Signed,

    5'5", female, 125 pounds, age 65

    Cosigned due to my 83 year old mother who has a hard time staying above Underweight due to her very active lifestyle and lack of calorie dense foods in her diet.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,497 Member
    I eat a full 500 calories per day more than Myfitnesspal thinks I should eat. I lost 80+ pounds at age 54-55. That was over a decade ago. I'm not saying it was particularly easy, but I'd never tried to lose weight before. Once I figured out how much to eat and what to eat it hasn't been difficult for me - and I don't even do crazy amounts of exercise. Just an hour a day.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,836 Member
    tllincoln wrote: »
    JBanx256 wrote: »
    I'm also roughly 5'5", female, 39 years old, a mom, and I typically train 5-6 x per week. I'm a cop, not a nurse, and I don't know how much you weigh (I may have missed it somewhere in the thread) but it seems like we have fairly similar stats.

    I don't wear an Apple watch (or any other fitness tracker) but I am 100% positive I don't burn 700 calories per workout (and I am of the opinion that my training would qualify as "hard").

    If I only ate 1500 cal/day I'd be losing at an unhealthy/unsustainable rate (I know this from experience).

    Something is amiss on one, if not both, sides of your equation. I think other people have pointed out significant inconsistencies in your logging but also consider that your estimated calorie burn is...well, an estimate. Technology is great but at least be open-minded to the possibility that it's not 100% accurate.

    I have always tracked my workouts with a watch, Fitbit or Apple, Apple being the last few years. I work out for 2-2.5 hours 4-5 days a week. Cardio and weights. Sometimes spin, I run a lot, stairclimber, depends on the day. I had a trainer last year and still follow her workouts. I generally eat the same things so I don’t always input it into MFP. I meal prep for a week at a time and eat that. We usually eat out on Sundays. I’ve had the same lifestyle for about 10 years now, minus some running miles. I backed off a few years ago due to and injury and that’s when I started lifting. It’s just been the last few months that my weight is creeping up. I’m up to 142, would like to be around 130. I know I’m getting older and that plays a huge part. Thanks for responding!

    Both those devices are going to be using HR-based calculations for calorie burn during workouts.

    The formula is most accurate for steady-state aerobic exercise - same HR for long periods of time gentle changes.
    Not anaerobic, not interval in nature.

    The farther you are away from that best fit for formula - the more inflated the calorie burn.
    Since you are doing so much exercise, that may start to matter more.
    So think about your workouts - examine the HR graphs if available.
    Interval, HR up and down? lifting is anaerobic, how long for that?
  • JilBells82
    JilBells82 Posts: 8 Member
    tllincoln wrote: »
    I find it really hard do lose weight these days. I’m almost 40, workout 4-6 days a week burning around 600-700 calories each workout. I do a mix of cardio and lifting. I try to maintain a 1500 calorie diet with proteins higher than fats and carbs. Some people say that’s not enough calories or carbs (I try to stay around 80-100g of carbs). Every macro calculator I’ve tried says to eat 1500 calories. I’ve downloaded apps that say more though. What is your advice my fitness pal?

    You can be over doing it and not eating enough. If so your body will hold on and go into starvation mode. When counting macros what is your percent that you are eating? Carbs vs fat vs protein. Try a lighter workout day and keep your calories where they are. How much water are you drinking? That plays a role too. Feel free to add me if you would like. I struggled with the same thing like you. 39 years old, mom, wife, MA. My husband is fit and his thought was that I was overtraining. I backed off and switch it up and it helped tremendously. Good luck!
  • Onedaywriter
    Onedaywriter Posts: 318 Member
    edited August 2021
    AnnPT77 wrote: »

    Honestly, I don't think aging is all that huge. (I mostly think it has a bad publicity agent)

    I say we fire the publicity agent.
    AnnPT77- you should apply for the job!! You’d be great at this and we need you!
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,270 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    tllincoln wrote: »
    JBanx256 wrote: »
    I'm also roughly 5'5", female, 39 years old, a mom, and I typically train 5-6 x per week. I'm a cop, not a nurse, and I don't know how much you weigh (I may have missed it somewhere in the thread) but it seems like we have fairly similar stats.

    I don't wear an Apple watch (or any other fitness tracker) but I am 100% positive I don't burn 700 calories per workout (and I am of the opinion that my training would qualify as "hard").

    If I only ate 1500 cal/day I'd be losing at an unhealthy/unsustainable rate (I know this from experience).

    Something is amiss on one, if not both, sides of your equation. I think other people have pointed out significant inconsistencies in your logging but also consider that your estimated calorie burn is...well, an estimate. Technology is great but at least be open-minded to the possibility that it's not 100% accurate.

    I have always tracked my workouts with a watch, Fitbit or Apple, Apple being the last few years. I work out for 2-2.5 hours 4-5 days a week. Cardio and weights. Sometimes spin, I run a lot, stairclimber, depends on the day. I had a trainer last year and still follow her workouts. I generally eat the same things so I don’t always input it into MFP. I meal prep for a week at a time and eat that. We usually eat out on Sundays. I’ve had the same lifestyle for about 10 years now, minus some running miles. I backed off a few years ago due to and injury and that’s when I started lifting. It’s just been the last few months that my weight is creeping up. I’m up to 142, would like to be around 130. I know I’m getting older and that plays a huge part. Thanks for responding!

    Try inputting for a full month into MFP, using a food scale for everything, and see what happens. Do let us know :)

    let me just add in the correct entry too...I've seen some pretty "too good to be true" entries in diaries lately...