Can you kindly look at my food diary for logging errors?

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Hey guys,
Being a little more vulnerable than I'd like to be here but my calorie deficit is not adding up to my weight loss. I have been consistently losing but I am about 8lbs up from where I should be based on my deficit and apple watch energy burned. I've been holding my breath for some kind of whoosh where I catch up, but its been a month and the "catch up" number is growing. I know it has to be a logging error somewhere.

So before you look:
- I am 5'5, 248lbs, female, sedentary, I take a 30 minute walk a day and that is it for exercise. My Apple Watch says I burn 2900 calories a day.

- My calories are set to 1200 a day. I have one ginormous cheat day a week that I log as 3000-4000 calories. I've set it to 1200 temporarily because I wanted to be sure I was in a deficit and compare my info to what the scale said to set my future deficit.

- I weigh most everything, but I eyeball my lower calorie vegetables. When I create recipes I also follow this rule and since I am the only one who eats my meal prep, I just divide the recipe by however many days I eat it.

Anyways, I saw that I've been logging chicken breast at 4 oz for 120 calories. But when I look it up on google, I see that it should be 180 calories... I thought it might be helpful to have some more experienced loggers take a look.

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Replies

  • JustaNoob
    JustaNoob Posts: 147 Member
    Options
    It’s very doubtful that you burn 2900 cal a day and having a ginormous cheat day every week is a really bad idea. You want to set your weekly calories so that you meet your target loss. Cheat days overall really aren’t necessary provided you fit the food you love into your weekly menu in an amount to where you don’t go over your calorie targets.

    Overestimating calories burned and under estimating calories consumed are the reasons that people end up not meeting their goals. Once you know how many calories you’re really taking in a week you can reverse engineer your diet to where you get the math right

    Hmmm.. when I type in my information in a TDEE calculator, I get 2738 for total calories a day. Do you think that could be wrong based on my weight and height?

    For now, I am keeping the cheat day but I am working towards scaling it back. It definitely could be eating into my deficit. I've done moderation in the past where I fit a little yummy things in every day and upped my calories, but it still left me feeling deprived. I want a good cheese burger and a slice of cake once a week (which easily can add up to 2000 calories)... not 1/8 of a cheese burger and cake every day. I definitely respect those who can do that-- but I'm just not at the point now and this is the most consistent I have ever been.
  • MrsHovvels
    MrsHovvels Posts: 10 Member
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    JustaNoob wrote: »
    It’s very doubtful that you burn 2900 cal a day and having a ginormous cheat day every week is a really bad idea. You want to set your weekly calories so that you meet your target loss. Cheat days overall really aren’t necessary provided you fit the food you love into your weekly menu in an amount to where you don’t go over your calorie targets.

    Overestimating calories burned and under estimating calories consumed are the reasons that people end up not meeting their goals. Once you know how many calories you’re really taking in a week you can reverse engineer your diet to where you get the math right

    Hmmm.. when I type in my information in a TDEE calculator, I get 2738 for total calories a day. Do you think that could be wrong based on my weight and height?

    For now, I am keeping the cheat day but I am working towards scaling it back. It definitely could be eating into my deficit. I've done moderation in the past where I fit a little yummy things in every day and upped my calories, but it still left me feeling deprived. I want a good cheese burger and a slice of cake once a week (which easily can add up to 2000 calories)... not 1/8 of a cheese burger and cake every day. I definitely respect those who can do that-- but I'm just not at the point now and this is the most consistent I have ever been.

    As far as eyeballing/weighing - until you get a handle on portion sizes and are somewhat happy with your progress then I'd definitely not recommend eyeballing. A trainer once asked me how long I'd had a scale in my arm... he was so right! For example, when tracking a portion of oats in the uk the packaging advises anywhere between 35-50g is 1 portion. Most people who pour a portion freely would easily pour 3/4 times that amount. With your chicken example, you need to check that your tracking the meat by weight, whether it is cooked, raw or fried. Little things like adding milk/cream to a drink over a day, week or month can be the difference between not actually having a deficit at all. Also, are you tracking the oil you use for cooking? Sauces added to your meals? The grapes you've picked at slowly over a few days that are in the fridge. I'm sure you see what I'm trying to say. Furthermore, 1200cals a day is super restrictive! Unless your macros are decent (high protein, excellent nutritious food to keep you full) most people would not find it sustainable and the 'cheat day' coupled with tracking errors/omissions would really derail any decent progress.
  • tomcustombuilder
    tomcustombuilder Posts: 1,822 Member
    edited February 2023
    Options
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    It’s very doubtful that you burn 2900 cal a day and having a ginormous cheat day every week is a really bad idea. You want to set your weekly calories so that you meet your target loss. Cheat days overall really aren’t necessary provided you fit the food you love into your weekly menu in an amount to where you don’t go over your calorie targets.

    Overestimating calories burned and under estimating calories consumed are the reasons that people end up not meeting their goals. Once you know how many calories you’re really taking in a week you can reverse engineer your diet to where you get the math right

    Hmmm.. when I type in my information in a TDEE calculator, I get 2738 for total calories a day. Do you think that could be wrong based on my weight and height?

    For now, I am keeping the cheat day but I am working towards scaling it back. It definitely could be eating into my deficit. I've done moderation in the past where I fit a little yummy things in every day and upped my calories, but it still left me feeling deprived. I want a good cheese burger and a slice of cake once a week (which easily can add up to 2000 calories)... not 1/8 of a cheese burger and cake every day. I definitely respect those who can do that-- but I'm just not at the point now and this is the most consistent I have ever been.
    Any number of calories that the calculator tells you to consume is strictly a starting point and it’s not meant to be the holy grail of what you should be doing longer than necessary in order to determine the outcome.

    Now that you know what your body does with X amount of calories you can scale things back accordingly and also get your tracking a little bit more defined. Nothing wrong with a cheeseburger and fries once a week as long as you engineer your diet to where your weekly calories end up being your target calories for the loss that you want to see.

    Food choices are a priority in order to keep calories at bay. Minimizing ultra processed foods, liquid calories and alcohol will go a long way in helping to keep you in a deficit

  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 6,291 Member
    Options
    You don't seem to be weighing your foods on cheat days? Just a blanket 4000 calorie day I saw? Could be very wrong?

    On regular days:
    - are you weighing your foods?
    - creating Recipes/meals? I see a "Auju Chicken, 1 serving" for example, is that something you bought premade or made yourself?
  • JustaNoob
    JustaNoob Posts: 147 Member
    edited February 2023
    Options
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    It’s very doubtful that you burn 2900 cal a day and having a ginormous cheat day every week is a really bad idea. You want to set your weekly calories so that you meet your target loss. Cheat days overall really aren’t necessary provided you fit the food you love into your weekly menu in an amount to where you don’t go over your calorie targets.

    Overestimating calories burned and under estimating calories consumed are the reasons that people end up not meeting their goals. Once you know how many calories you’re really taking in a week you can reverse engineer your diet to where you get the math right

    Hmmm.. when I type in my information in a TDEE calculator, I get 2738 for total calories a day. Do you think that could be wrong based on my weight and height?

    For now, I am keeping the cheat day but I am working towards scaling it back. It definitely could be eating into my deficit. I've done moderation in the past where I fit a little yummy things in every day and upped my calories, but it still left me feeling deprived. I want a good cheese burger and a slice of cake once a week (which easily can add up to 2000 calories)... not 1/8 of a cheese burger and cake every day. I definitely respect those who can do that-- but I'm just not at the point now and this is the most consistent I have ever been.
    Any number of calories that the calculator tells you to consume is strictly a starting point and it’s not meant to be the holy grail of what you should be doing longer than necessary in order to determine the outcome.

    Now that you know what your body does with X amount of calories you can scale things back accordingly and also get your tracking a little bit more defined. Nothing wrong with a cheeseburger and fries once a week as long as you engineer your diet to where your weekly calories end up being your target calories for the loss that you want to see.

    Interesting... Soo that is what I feel I have done, which is why I am seeking advice for my diary logging.

    2900 burned a day. 1200 a day 6 times a week. 10,200=2.9lbs a week. Then I add my cheat day. 4000 calories max= 1100 calorie surplus=.31lbs gained on a cheat day. My total week loss should be about 2.58lbs a week-- which is a safe loss at my weight.

    I have lost 20lbs since January but 7lbs was water weight in the first week. So 1.85lbs a week. And I am totally happy with this.

    I am just a numbers geek and I am trying to see where I am logging wrong so that when I increase my calories, I am actually still in a deficit. I hope that makes sense.

  • JustaNoob
    JustaNoob Posts: 147 Member
    Options
    Lietchi wrote: »
    You don't seem to be weighing your foods on cheat days? Just a blanket 4000 calorie day I saw? Could be very wrong?

    On regular days:
    - are you weighing your foods?
    - creating Recipes/meals? I see a "Auju Chicken, 1 serving" for example, is that something you bought premade or made yourself?

    Thanks so much for looking at it! Auju chicken is something I made. Its like 1.5lb of chicken with a packet of auju, butter, and some peppers. I weighed out the chicken and butter. Then I just split it into how many days I ate it (4 servings).

    I haven't been logging my cheat days because I eat out but I try to overestimate it. So that day I had a chicken sandwhich from chickfila and fries-- about 1000, plus a nothing bundt cake 650, sushi 1000 and eggs and bacon-- 400. So I actually guess that I am eating 3000, but for safe measure I throw another 1000 just incase someone added some extra butter somewhere or something like that.
  • StaciInGa
    StaciInGa Posts: 65 Member
    Options
    If you're losing at 2 pounds a week, but expect to be losing at 2.5: I would say there is nothing wrong with your methods for now. The actual is close enough to the expected that the difference can be chalked up to human inefficiency. I don't mean anything negative about that - but all the TDEE and calorie burned calculators are estimates for some average person, and any one person's true results can be a little above or below.

    If keeping to 1200 daily calories 6 days, and one bigger day weekly works for you: no issues as long as your bigger day is not blowing your deficit out. If you're eating 3000-4000 on those days, with your stats, it works. If you're eating 18,000 and calling it 4,000, it does not! You may find in time that you need to make changes, and that is ok also. If you pick up your daily activity, for example, you may find that sticking to 1200 six days a week is a bit of a challenge. In that scenario you may want to bump up to 1500 x 6 and cut back to 2500 on the 7th day.
  • MelodyandBarbells
    MelodyandBarbells Posts: 7,725 Member
    Options
    I think it could feel a bit strange to give you feedback like “weigh your slices of bread” while you have a process that tolerates a margin of 1000+ calories.

    I did want to look in your diary, though. Unfortunately I can’t seem to figure out how to do it on iOS mobile
  • JustaNoob
    JustaNoob Posts: 147 Member
    Options
    StaciInGa wrote: »
    If you're losing at 2 pounds a week, but expect to be losing at 2.5: I would say there is nothing wrong with your methods for now. The actual is close enough to the expected that the difference can be chalked up to human inefficiency. I don't mean anything negative about that - but all the TDEE and calorie burned calculators are estimates for some average person, and any one person's true results can be a little above or below.

    If keeping to 1200 daily calories 6 days, and one bigger day weekly works for you: no issues as long as your bigger day is not blowing your deficit out. If you're eating 3000-4000 on those days, with your stats, it works. If you're eating 18,000 and calling it 4,000, it does not! You may find in time that you need to make changes, and that is ok also. If you pick up your daily activity, for example, you may find that sticking to 1200 six days a week is a bit of a challenge. In that scenario you may want to bump up to 1500 x 6 and cut back to 2500 on the 7th day.

    Thanks and you're right-- I may be looking at the numbers a little too much. I have a whole spreadsheet with my calories burned and intake and what I should weigh vs. what I weigh now.
    g250v0r6hbru.png

    And my goal is actually to do something more of a 1500 x 6 and 2500 on the cheat day-- I just wanted to track my trends for a few months with something that I knew for sure was a calorie deficit. In the past, I did 1800 with inaccurate logging and felt super discouraged at not losing anything.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,082 Member
    edited February 2023
    Options
    What tom said is what you need to listen to.

    2900 is simply too high, and/or your cheat day or daily intake is more than your estimation. Probably both.

    I never gave up treat foods like cheeseburgers, fries and treats but I logged them as accurately as I could, not just a random number. I tried very hard to make that the one meal I ate that day.

    Your Apple watch and ANY ONLINE CALCULATOR is just a guess...and Apple doesn't really play well with Myfitnesspal so you may have a synching or compatibility issue at play here as well.

    Since you know your calories, reverse engineer your *actual* calorie needs. Add up your intake and divide it by number of days and your weight change.

    3500 calories is generally equal to one pound of weight loss (or gain.) Figure it out from there, using YOUR data - not Apple or online calculators.

    ((edit))
    Also, this I'm quoting is what I did. 1500 + 300 on exercise days. I'm 5'7" so you would be fairly close if you did this:
    And my goal is actually to do something more of a 1500 x 6 and 2500 on the cheat day-- I just wanted to track my trends for a few months with something that I knew for sure was a calorie deficit. In the past, I did 1800 with inaccurate logging and felt super discouraged at not losing anything.

    1800 with accurate logging is about where I was for all of my 80 pounds of weight loss. I didn't have a designated "cheat day" but I worked in my treat foods by cutting back for the rest of that day.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,759 Member
    edited February 2023
    Options
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    StaciInGa wrote: »
    If you're losing at 2 pounds a week, but expect to be losing at 2.5: I would say there is nothing wrong with your methods for now. The actual is close enough to the expected that the difference can be chalked up to human inefficiency. I don't mean anything negative about that - but all the TDEE and calorie burned calculators are estimates for some average person, and any one person's true results can be a little above or below.

    If keeping to 1200 daily calories 6 days, and one bigger day weekly works for you: no issues as long as your bigger day is not blowing your deficit out. If you're eating 3000-4000 on those days, with your stats, it works. If you're eating 18,000 and calling it 4,000, it does not! You may find in time that you need to make changes, and that is ok also. If you pick up your daily activity, for example, you may find that sticking to 1200 six days a week is a bit of a challenge. In that scenario you may want to bump up to 1500 x 6 and cut back to 2500 on the 7th day.

    Thanks and you're right-- I may be looking at the numbers a little too much. I have a whole spreadsheet with my calories burned and intake and what I should weigh vs. what I weigh now.
    g250v0r6hbru.png

    And my goal is actually to do something more of a 1500 x 6 and 2500 on the cheat day-- I just wanted to track my trends for a few months with something that I knew for sure was a calorie deficit. In the past, I did 1800 with inaccurate logging and felt super discouraged at not losing anything.

    I'm repeating someone else above, but:

    Let go of "should be losing . . . based on calculator and fitness tracker".

    Either of those just gives you an estimate for people who are similar to you on the few characteristics (data points) they know about. Humans vary. Even being fidgety vs. not fidgety has been estimated by researchers to be in the low hundreds of calories in otherwise similar people. (I'm not telling you to fidget! I'm saying small differences between people add up to meaningful differences in calorie burn.)

    The fitness tracker is also a statistical estimate, but a more nuanced, detailed one. It can still be wrong. I've been logging for almost 8 years now, loss then 7 years of maintenance. My good brand/model tracker - one that estimates others here within reason, by their reports - is literally hundreds of calories off for me, compared to my logging experience and weight results. (Its estimate is similar to MFP's by the way, 25-30% off in all day calories.) I can predict my weight changes from my food/exercise log data quite accurately now . . . but I ignore the tracker and MFP for that purpose. Most people aren't that non-average, but it's possible.

    You have a spreadsheet. Log as accurately as you can without obsessing, including the cheat day. Use your own data to predict your actual calorie needs, in context of your logging practices. Even doing that now, with some approximation in there, is likely to be a better guide than some calculator/tracker. Tighten up the logging, and it'll get even more useful.

    It's like a fun science fair experiment for grown-ups, with potential for a huge payoff. You can do it!

    P.S. If I were you, I'd avoid losing more than 2 pounds a week for now, even if you can manage it. Sustainability is important - sticking with it long enough to lose a meaningful total amount of weight, then ideally use habits you've learned to keep it off forever. It's even fine to lose slower than 2 pounds weekly, if that means losing steadily and reliably. Sometimes a slow loss we can stick with consistently gets us to calorie goal in less calendar time than an aggressive goal that triggers the need for cheats, causes breaks in effort, or maybe even makes us give up altogether for long time periods.


  • Carriehelene
    Carriehelene Posts: 178 Member
    Options
    I think it could feel a bit strange to give you feedback like “weigh your slices of bread” while you have a process that tolerates a margin of 1000+ calories.

    I did want to look in your diary, though. Unfortunately I can’t seem to figure out how to do it on iOS mobile
    Can’t see it on iOS, computer only. Which is annoying af.
  • JustaNoob
    JustaNoob Posts: 147 Member
    edited February 2023
    Options
    What tom said is what you need to listen to.

    2900 is simply too high, and/or your cheat day or daily intake is more than your estimation. Probably both.

    I never gave up treat foods like cheeseburgers, fries and treats but I logged them as accurately as I could, not just a random number. I tried very hard to make that the one meal I ate that day.

    Your Apple watch and ANY ONLINE CALCULATOR is just a guess...and Apple doesn't really play well with Myfitnesspal so you may have a synching or compatibility issue at play here as well.

    Since you know your calories, reverse engineer your *actual* calorie needs. Add up your intake and divide it by number of days and your weight change.

    3500 calories is generally equal to one pound of weight loss (or gain.) Figure it out from there, using YOUR data - not Apple or online calculators.

    So I guess this is where I am really confused because this is what I am trying to do.

    I set my calories to 1200 because I knew it had to be a deficit so that I could track my trends over a few months time. Then based on what I actually lose, I'll adjust my intake. I am using Apple calories and tracking the margin of error... but I only have 2 months of information... so it is the only information I have to go on. Apple says 2900, TDEE says 2700-- I thought it would be somewhere around there. But even if it is not and I'm only burning 2000 calories any given day, I want to make sure my logging isn't off.

    I posted because I found an error in my logging and thought others who have done this for a while might be able to immediately notice errors in my logging. One thing others have pointed out is trying to log my cheat days more accurately-- which I will try to do going forward.

    Edit: Just saw your edit! You actually used to be on my friend's list on an old account that I had like 10 years ago here. Congrats on keeping the weight off for this long.
  • JustaNoob
    JustaNoob Posts: 147 Member
    Options
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    StaciInGa wrote: »
    If you're losing at 2 pounds a week, but expect to be losing at 2.5: I would say there is nothing wrong with your methods for now. The actual is close enough to the expected that the difference can be chalked up to human inefficiency. I don't mean anything negative about that - but all the TDEE and calorie burned calculators are estimates for some average person, and any one person's true results can be a little above or below.

    If keeping to 1200 daily calories 6 days, and one bigger day weekly works for you: no issues as long as your bigger day is not blowing your deficit out. If you're eating 3000-4000 on those days, with your stats, it works. If you're eating 18,000 and calling it 4,000, it does not! You may find in time that you need to make changes, and that is ok also. If you pick up your daily activity, for example, you may find that sticking to 1200 six days a week is a bit of a challenge. In that scenario you may want to bump up to 1500 x 6 and cut back to 2500 on the 7th day.

    Thanks and you're right-- I may be looking at the numbers a little too much. I have a whole spreadsheet with my calories burned and intake and what I should weigh vs. what I weigh now.
    g250v0r6hbru.png

    And my goal is actually to do something more of a 1500 x 6 and 2500 on the cheat day-- I just wanted to track my trends for a few months with something that I knew for sure was a calorie deficit. In the past, I did 1800 with inaccurate logging and felt super discouraged at not losing anything.

    I'm repeating someone else above, but:

    Let go of "should be losing . . . based on calculator and fitness tracker".

    Either of those just gives you an estimate for people who are similar to you on the few characteristics (data points) they know about. Humans vary. Even being fidgety vs. not fidgety has been estimated by researchers to be in the low hundreds of calories in otherwise similar people. (I'm not telling you to fidget! I'm saying small differences between people add up to meaningful differences in calorie burn.)

    The fitness tracker is also a statistical estimate, but a more nuanced, detailed one. It can still be wrong. I've been logging for almost 8 years now, loss then 7 years of maintenance. My good brand/model tracker - one that estimates others here within reason, by their reports - is literally hundreds of calories off for me, compared to my logging experience and weight results. (Its estimate is similar to MFP's by the way, 25-30% off in all day calories.) I can predict my weight changes from my food/exercise log data quite accurately now . . . but I ignore the tracker and MFP for that purpose. Most people aren't that non-average, but it's possible.

    You have a spreadsheet. Log as accurately as you can without obsessing, including the cheat day. Use your own data to predict your actual calorie needs, in context of your logging practices. Even doing that now, with some approximation in there, is likely to be a better guide than some calculator/tracker. Tighten up the logging, and it'll get even more useful.

    It's like a fun science fair experiment for grown-ups, with potential for a huge payoff. You can do it!

    P.S. If I were you, I'd avoid losing more than 2 pounds a week for now, even if you can manage it. Sustainability is important - sticking with it long enough to lose a meaningful total amount of weight, then ideally use habits you've learned to keep it off forever. It's even fine to lose slower than 2 pounds weekly, if that means losing steadily and reliably. Sometimes a slow loss we can stick with consistently gets us to calorie goal in less calendar time than an aggressive goal that triggers the need for cheats, causes breaks in effort, or maybe even makes us give up altogether for long time periods.


    Thanks! This is helpful! My goal is to lose 1% of my weight a week-- I read that that was a safe number... but honestly as long as it trends down I am happy. I think I should probably drop the column on what I *should* weigh and just celebrate my losses. I started tracking it like that because I went like 3 weeks without losing even though I was in a deficit. It turned out to just be water weight masking my loss.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,082 Member
    Options
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    What tom said is what you need to listen to.

    2900 is simply too high, and/or your cheat day or daily intake is more than your estimation. Probably both.

    I never gave up treat foods like cheeseburgers, fries and treats but I logged them as accurately as I could, not just a random number. I tried very hard to make that the one meal I ate that day.

    Your Apple watch and ANY ONLINE CALCULATOR is just a guess...and Apple doesn't really play well with Myfitnesspal so you may have a synching or compatibility issue at play here as well.

    Since you know your calories, reverse engineer your *actual* calorie needs. Add up your intake and divide it by number of days and your weight change.

    3500 calories is generally equal to one pound of weight loss (or gain.) Figure it out from there, using YOUR data - not Apple or online calculators.

    So I guess this is where I am really confused because this is what I am trying to do.

    I set my calories to 1200 because I knew it had to be a deficit so that I could track my trends over a few months time. Then based on what I actually lose, I'll adjust my intake. I am using Apple calories and tracking the margin of error... but I only have 2 months of information... so it is the only information I have to go on. Apple says 2900, TDEE says 2700-- I thought it would be somewhere around there. But even if it is not and I'm only burning 2000 calories any given day, I want to make sure my logging isn't off.

    I posted because I found an error in my logging and thought others who have done this for a while might be able to immediately notice errors in my logging. One thing others have pointed out is trying to log my cheat days more accurately-- which I will try to do going forward.

    I don't believe a chicken breast should be 180 calories, honestly, unless you are eating the skin. I log boneless skinless (frozen) chicken breast as 110 calories for 112g (which is four ounces.) That's what the package says, I don't know about fresh chicken. Rotisserie chicken or chicken cooked in the skin is probably closer to 180 calories.

    The other thing about your logging is...and this is not what you asked...where are the fruits and vegetables? I went back 10 days and found very few fruits or vegetables other than potatoes or beans. I know we always say, "Calories calories calories!" but my personal experience taught me that I need good nutrition along with correct calorie intake in order for my body to release its fuel (fat.) I personally believe that I hold on to weight when I'm lacking in some nutrients.

    I notice that you are tracking potassium, but you don't often get close to that goal. Myfitnesspal doesn't always have the correct data in its food items, but I tracked potassium for a long time and I know that fruits and vegetables are the way to higher potassium. If you're above goal on sodium and low on fruits and vegetables that is going to cause water retention because your electrolytes are out of balance. Calcium is an electrolyte too, and I don't see many foods that have sufficient calcium.

    Just something to think about down the line.
  • JustaNoob
    JustaNoob Posts: 147 Member
    Options
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    What tom said is what you need to listen to.

    2900 is simply too high, and/or your cheat day or daily intake is more than your estimation. Probably both.

    I never gave up treat foods like cheeseburgers, fries and treats but I logged them as accurately as I could, not just a random number. I tried very hard to make that the one meal I ate that day.

    Your Apple watch and ANY ONLINE CALCULATOR is just a guess...and Apple doesn't really play well with Myfitnesspal so you may have a synching or compatibility issue at play here as well.

    Since you know your calories, reverse engineer your *actual* calorie needs. Add up your intake and divide it by number of days and your weight change.

    3500 calories is generally equal to one pound of weight loss (or gain.) Figure it out from there, using YOUR data - not Apple or online calculators.

    So I guess this is where I am really confused because this is what I am trying to do.

    I set my calories to 1200 because I knew it had to be a deficit so that I could track my trends over a few months time. Then based on what I actually lose, I'll adjust my intake. I am using Apple calories and tracking the margin of error... but I only have 2 months of information... so it is the only information I have to go on. Apple says 2900, TDEE says 2700-- I thought it would be somewhere around there. But even if it is not and I'm only burning 2000 calories any given day, I want to make sure my logging isn't off.

    I posted because I found an error in my logging and thought others who have done this for a while might be able to immediately notice errors in my logging. One thing others have pointed out is trying to log my cheat days more accurately-- which I will try to do going forward.

    I don't believe a chicken breast should be 180 calories, honestly, unless you are eating the skin. I log boneless skinless (frozen) chicken breast as 110 calories for 112g (which is four ounces.) That's what the package says, I don't know about fresh chicken. Rotisserie chicken or chicken cooked in the skin is probably closer to 180 calories.

    The other thing about your logging is...and this is not what you asked...where are the fruits and vegetables? I went back 10 days and found very few fruits or vegetables other than potatoes or beans. I know we always say, "Calories calories calories!" but my personal experience taught me that I need good nutrition along with correct calorie intake in order for my body to release its fuel (fat.) I personally believe that I hold on to weight when I'm lacking in some nutrients.

    I notice that you are tracking potassium, but you don't often get close to that goal. Myfitnesspal doesn't always have the correct data in its food items, but I tracked potassium for a long time and I know that fruits and vegetables are the way to higher potassium. If you're above goal on sodium and low on fruits and vegetables that is going to cause water retention because your electrolytes are out of balance. Calcium is an electrolyte too, and I don't see many foods that have sufficient calcium.

    Just something to think about down the line.

    I actually needed someone to tell me that. I've definitely been slacking on my fruits and veggies. Some of my recipes have veggies, but my crisper drawer tells the sad story of veggies gone bad. I just started looking into my sodium/potassium balances and I have been seeing that my sodium is way high (and doesn't even include some of my table salt) and my potassium is low. I think I begin the day with good intentions for veggies, but end up sacrificing them for something else.
  • MelodyandBarbells
    MelodyandBarbells Posts: 7,725 Member
    Options
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    StaciInGa wrote: »
    If you're losing at 2 pounds a week, but expect to be losing at 2.5: I would say there is nothing wrong with your methods for now. The actual is close enough to the expected that the difference can be chalked up to human inefficiency. I don't mean anything negative about that - but all the TDEE and calorie burned calculators are estimates for some average person, and any one person's true results can be a little above or below.

    If keeping to 1200 daily calories 6 days, and one bigger day weekly works for you: no issues as long as your bigger day is not blowing your deficit out. If you're eating 3000-4000 on those days, with your stats, it works. If you're eating 18,000 and calling it 4,000, it does not! You may find in time that you need to make changes, and that is ok also. If you pick up your daily activity, for example, you may find that sticking to 1200 six days a week is a bit of a challenge. In that scenario you may want to bump up to 1500 x 6 and cut back to 2500 on the 7th day.

    Thanks and you're right-- I may be looking at the numbers a little too much. I have a whole spreadsheet with my calories burned and intake and what I should weigh vs. what I weigh now.
    g250v0r6hbru.png

    And my goal is actually to do something more of a 1500 x 6 and 2500 on the cheat day-- I just wanted to track my trends for a few months with something that I knew for sure was a calorie deficit. In the past, I did 1800 with inaccurate logging and felt super discouraged at not losing anything.

    I think I much better understand what you’re working on now! Your spreadsheet reminded me of a similar spreadsheet I made eons ago but for debt repayment. I was calling around to understand interest rates, bill dates on which the next interest would be calculated and charged etc and I remember one of the call center ladies saying something to the effect of, “you owe so much money, why does all this matter?” But it does! I was building a process and needed to understand the inputs so I could a) determine if they were a good fit to the process as I designed it, and b) process those inputs correctly.

    You’re also doing something that’s often recommended which is to just log what you’re doing for a few weeks, then analyze and make changes. I’m just not sure I’ve ever seen that play out in real life 😁



  • JustaNoob
    JustaNoob Posts: 147 Member
    Options
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    StaciInGa wrote: »
    If you're losing at 2 pounds a week, but expect to be losing at 2.5: I would say there is nothing wrong with your methods for now. The actual is close enough to the expected that the difference can be chalked up to human inefficiency. I don't mean anything negative about that - but all the TDEE and calorie burned calculators are estimates for some average person, and any one person's true results can be a little above or below.

    If keeping to 1200 daily calories 6 days, and one bigger day weekly works for you: no issues as long as your bigger day is not blowing your deficit out. If you're eating 3000-4000 on those days, with your stats, it works. If you're eating 18,000 and calling it 4,000, it does not! You may find in time that you need to make changes, and that is ok also. If you pick up your daily activity, for example, you may find that sticking to 1200 six days a week is a bit of a challenge. In that scenario you may want to bump up to 1500 x 6 and cut back to 2500 on the 7th day.

    Thanks and you're right-- I may be looking at the numbers a little too much. I have a whole spreadsheet with my calories burned and intake and what I should weigh vs. what I weigh now.
    g250v0r6hbru.png

    And my goal is actually to do something more of a 1500 x 6 and 2500 on the cheat day-- I just wanted to track my trends for a few months with something that I knew for sure was a calorie deficit. In the past, I did 1800 with inaccurate logging and felt super discouraged at not losing anything.

    I think I much better understand what you’re working on now! Your spreadsheet reminded me of a similar spreadsheet I made eons ago but for debt repayment. I was calling around to understand interest rates, bill dates on which the next interest would be calculated and charged etc and I remember one of the call center ladies saying something to the effect of, “you owe so much money, why does all this matter?” But it does! I was building a process and needed to understand the inputs so I could a) determine if they were a good fit to the process as I designed it, and b) process those inputs correctly.

    You’re also doing something that’s often recommended which is to just log what you’re doing for a few weeks, then analyze and make changes. I’m just not sure I’ve ever seen that play out in real life 😁



    LOL I'm working it out over here! I do understand the concern around large deficits. My original thought was that eating at 1200 would have the pounds just melting off me. Then, I would increase my calories after a month of seeing what the scale did and build my plan from there. But nope... just losing a modest amount. I am 8 weeks in and working through all my user error issues, tracking my cycle, water retention, electrolytes and living on a prayer. :D

    I plan to continue with my current plan until the end of this month then I'll adjust. I also have a doctor's appointment scheduled this month so they can look at all my labs and make sure I'm not hurting myself lol.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,082 Member
    edited February 2023
    Options
    JustaNoob wrote: »

    Edit: Just saw your edit! You actually used to be on my friend's list on an old account that I had like 10 years ago here. Congrats on keeping the weight off for this long.

    Really? I was on your FL? I've taken most people off mine who stopped logging on and I don't add people any more. "Friends" used to be a lot more fun when they posted friends' forum activity in the feed. Now...meh. I don't even go to the feed.

    The weight, yeah. That's a thing I still need to watch. I have a fancy spreadsheet like yours - over 3000 days logged on it with very few blank entries. On my birthday week I just don't log, but that's the only intentional freebie I really take. I gain five pounds usually every winter and lose it in the spring. Jump on the scale. Log food. Do dishes. Such is my very exciting life. :)