You’re not eating enough…

I often get “you’re not eating enough” when I complain that I don’t lose weight, but if I let MFP set my nutrition based on my goals, it gives me 1200 calories. What gives? How do I figure out how much is right? When I do the BMR stuff is suggests WAY more than 1200 calories.


  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,294 Member
    How much weight do you need to lose to be in a healthy BMI range?

    How tall are you? What do you do on a daily basis (house chores, job, school?) I'm assuming by your username that you're female? How old?

    MFP will give you whatever you ask it to, but 1200 is the lowest for females.

    Set it for, "Lose 1 pound per week," and be as honest as you can with the "Activity Level" - what does it give you?
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,626 Member
    How many pounds do you need to lose to reach your weight loss goal? What is your weekly weight loss goal set to?

    Many of us when we first start MFP choose the most aggressive weekly weight loss goal but don't have the fat reserves to support that. MFP does a terrible job explaining that. Here's a chart a member made:

  • nooshi713
    nooshi713 Posts: 4,839 Member
    If it has been at least 6 weeks since you weighed yourself and you are not losing, the answer is almost always because you are eating too much. The problem is, some people may think they are eating 1200 calories, for example, but they are really eating 1800 because of logging errors, cheat days, etc.
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 797 Member
    edited April 11
    People say a lot of things, especially about weight loss. It's best to ignore 99.9% of what people say.

    You say you aren't losing right now, does that mean you are consistently maintaining? How much are you eating now? Have you measured and calculated what your current maintenance intake is?

    If you are currently maintaining, then congrats, you are 99% of the way there to losing. Now work on tweaking your eating and/or activity until you start seeing some loss, and go from there and adjust according to your results and goals.

    If you are methodical about you, you can figure out exactly what you need to do to lose consistently.
  • debtay123
    debtay123 Posts: 1,318 Member
    do you have a food scale- THIS saved me because you can't just eyeball it-- and a half cup is so different-- the food scale is most accurate for me- good luck
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,888 Member
    Your MFP outputs are only as good as your inputs. Common issues include selecting a target rate of loss that is overly aggressive for the amount of weight that needs/wants to be lost. Selecting an activity level that isn't accurate...usually too low. Not properly accounting for exercise.

    If a woman selects 2 Lbs per week and sedentary, she is pretty much always going to get 1200. But that is also 1200+ exercise calories...which again many people fail to realize or fail to actually implement out of irrational fear of calories.
  • westrich20940
    westrich20940 Posts: 505 Member
    edited April 12
    If you put your info into MFP and say that you want to lose 2lb/week (this is usually the culprit - as for many it is too aggressive of a weight loss rate) it will calculate how much of a deficit you need to be in and default to 1200 cals/day if it's lower than that.

    Also, I'm just gonna say that based on TDEE calculators and my own weight loss journey --- MFP is a little bit lower of an estimate (by ~150-200 calories) as far as calorie goal. Like if I put my current stats in MFP and say I want to maintain, the calories it gives me I know for sure I'd slowly lose weight on.

    So my advice would be to do a TDEE calculator (which the activity level you put in SHOULD include any intentional exercise you do --- that is different from MFP). This will give you a BMR estimate (which you should never eat at or below. It will then give you estimates for how many calories per day you require based on the activity level you chose (and depending on which link you use, it'll also list other activity level calorie needs).

    Pick whichever one you think best suits you and then create your deficit from there. So for example - if my TDEE is ~1800/day....then I'd manually put 1600/day into MFP and use that as my deficit.

    Most people have heard the '500 cal/day deficit' because math-wise, this adds up to losing a lb/week. But the truth is that a lot of people simply don't have 500 cals/day to take away in a safe/maintainable way.

    Edit: Other ways on MFP to not being eating enough is that people struggle with the idea of eating back the calories burned through exercise -- but this is how MFP is set up - so you SHOULD eat them. **If you use your TDEE (if it includes an activity level above sedentary) then you would probably not want to log your exercise cals in MFP. If you do use 'sedentary' then you can. That part gets a little confusing but they are calculated differently.