Right activity settinf

Hi can anyone help with picking the right activity setting? I weight train 5 days about 45 minutes and do daily walking our cycle for hour. According to Apple Watch this is usually around 450-550 active calories and about 2,450-2,600 total calories.

If I want to lose .5lb or even maintain which active setting should I choose?

Replies

  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 5,961 Member
    If you want to use MFP the way it's intended, none of what you posted is relevant: your activity level should reflect only your non exercise activity, and exercise should be logged separately.

    So the question is: how active are you outside of exercise? Job, commute, chores, hobbies,...?

    And whatever activity level you choose, I recommend monitoring your weight over 4-6 weeks (or 1-2 cycles for menstruating women) and adjusting your calorie goal upwards or downwards if necessary. MFP's calorie goal is calculated based on population averages and you may or may not be average.

    Totally alternative strategy: you could use Apple as a starting point. So eat between 2,450-2,600 (for maintenance) and 2200-2350 calories (0.5lbs loss per week). And, because Apple also estimates based on averages, monitor and adjust if necessary.
  • nxd10
    nxd10 Posts: 4,571 Member
    With an Apple Watch set it to minimum activities, link it to MFP, and let it take the calorie reduction from there. It is much more conservative than the Apple Watch but seems to work better for me in my calorie adjustment.
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 5,961 Member
    nxd10 wrote: »
    With an Apple Watch set it to minimum activities, link it to MFP, and let it take the calorie reduction from there. It is much more conservative than the Apple Watch but seems to work better for me in my calorie adjustment.

    I'm not sure I understand your explanation correctly.
    With an activity tracker correctly linked to MFP, the tracker's TDEE minus the necessary deficit should be the same as following MFP's calorie goal.
    From what I've heard though, Apple doesn't sync correctly with MFP which would explain why one method would appear more conservative than the other.
  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 1,381 Member
    edited December 2022
    You're supposed to track specific exercise separately. You may take days off from working out for whatever reason, and you probably need more calories on workout days than days off.

    The weight training probably doesn't burn many calories, and I doubt the watch is accurately tracking calories lifting weights. Personally, I choose Sedentary in the goals, and I estimate my additional calories burned in weights workouts on an estimated MET basis, minus 1 MET for what I'd burn doing nothing instead. The MFP estimate for strength training is 27% higher than the estimate I enter manually, which isn't far off. Maybe the MFP estimate is more accurate, I don't know, but I'm fine with being conservative there.
  • justanotherloser007
    justanotherloser007 Posts: 578 Member
    edited December 2022
    Can I piggy back here? I don't have an apple watch or anything fancy like that. I have lost 130 lbs and wanted to maintain starting Thanksgiving. I ate back exercise calories and even though I have had some events that are water retaining, I am pretty sure I have gained 5 lbs.

    That being said, is there a way I can make it track half my exercise calories... or do I have to have sedentary calories + half exercise every day math (like do it myself every day?) I can only see a way to turn calories on or off.. but .5 would be nice!! How do others do this when maintaining?
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 12,639 Member
    Can I piggy back here? I don't have an apple watch or anything fancy like that. I have lost 130 lbs and wanted to maintain starting Thanksgiving. I ate back exercise calories and even though I have had some events that are water retaining, I am pretty sure I have gained 5 lbs.

    That being said, is there a way I can make it track half my exercise calories... or do I have to have sedentary calories + half exercise every day math (like do it myself every day?) I can only see a way to turn calories on or off.. but .5 would be nice!! How do others do this when maintaining?

    I think if you go to your diary you can manually change the calories assigned to the exercise you input.

    You also could observe for some time and just adjust your calorie goal so that it all works out.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,444 Member
    edited December 2022
    Can I piggy back here? I don't have an apple watch or anything fancy like that. I have lost 130 lbs and wanted to maintain starting Thanksgiving. I ate back exercise calories and even though I have some events that are water retaining, I am pretty sure I have gained 5 lbs.

    That being said, is there a way I can make it track half my exercise calories... or do I have to have sedentary calories + half exercise every day math (like do it myself every day?) I can only see a way to turn calories on or off.. but .5 would be nice!! How do others do this when maintaining?

    I gather you're adding your exercise by hand?

    As mtaratoot says, you can just change the calories on the exercise when you add it . . . I do that routinely, not to halve it but to use estimates from sources I think are more likely to be close to accurate than the MFP database for certain exercises.

    Alternatively, if you want to continue having a record of your total exercise calories, you could consider adding your exercise, then adding a custom food (fake) at half the calories of that exercise session. You'd still be doing the math, but you could do it once per exercise, not multiple times of mental math during the day to see where you are.

    If you set up the fake food as 1 calorie per serving, you can just "serve" yourself the number of servings that match half your exercise calories, maybe even sequester that "food" in a special custom meal, if you have open meal slots left in your diary settings. You can add a food without macros/micros either on the web or in the app (at least the Android version, I assume also Apple/iOS). In the app, you'll get some warning messages and you have to tell the app you really want to do it anyway. The web just allows it straight off.

    ETA: Even in Premium, I don't see a place where you can set a % of exercise calories to eat back, though you can turn off adding exercise calories altogether in premium, or decide how to allocate them to macros (vs. evenly by percents). If you have premium, you could suggest percent eat-back as a feature here:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/categories/feature-suggestions-and-ideas
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 12,639 Member
    An easy way to do what @AnnPT77 suggests is even pretty darn easy. Rather than a "fake" food, look in the food diary for something called "adjustment." There are actually several options. Some even are set up with macros. Add back some "adjustment" calories. Another easy way to do it.

    I do something sort of like that when I go on raft trips. I have a recipe in my "box" called "Rafter Rations." It's simply a mix of carbs, protein and fat to equal 3300 calories. It's my estimate of what I eat when rowing. I have a SCUBA rations recipe too that has more calories. But no need to do this yourself as an adjustment, because the adjustment is already in the public database.

    Thanks for pointing out that method @AnnPT77