# Calories

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Posts: 9 Member
Has anyone had to adjust calories to loose weight on own or does the amount the app gives you help and accurate?

• Posts: 170 Member
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There is a bit of give and take. The app will give you a rough estimate based on your activity level, I've adjusted both ways when I've hit plateau's. Overall its fairly decent, but you can get better data using more data through other sites. Another thing to keep in mind, you daily steps is for the most part counted in the baseline calculation, so while it may be exercise outside of what you had normally been doing there is a baseline activity baked into MFP. This is why I typically don't eat back exercise calories either.
• Posts: 34,147 Member
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You have to run your own experiment.

I find MFP to give me too few calories to maintain my current weight. I know that because I logged food and exercise and learned from my experiment.
• Posts: 1,607 Member
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Everyone has to run their own data to figure out their own TDEE, and if you are consistently taking in less than your TDEE, then you'll lose weight.

Every calculator assumes a number for you based on your sex (i.e. assumed body fat %), age (again, assumed body fat %), activity level (two people can do three workouts a week, one of them giving it their all every time, the other doing a handful of easy sets between phone use), one may be walking a ton in their usual daily activity, another may be walking half as much, one may be up and down like a yoyo at home doing chores and other things, another may be a couch potato.

Start with the calculator estimate. It's a reasonable guess. Track your calorie inputs diligently. Your rate of loss from there will then inform you what your actual TDEE is.
• Posts: 84 Member
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Agree with others, it has taken me a little trial and error.

I have mine set at 2 lbs per week, which gives me 1200 calories. I find it impossible to eat 1200 calories and my real goal is .5 lbs per week. However, I like to start at 1200 and eat my exercise calories back.

I generally end up with 500-800 exercise calories to play with each day. Also through trial and error, I have figured out that exercise calories aren't 100% accurate, so I try to end up with 200-300 calories left over at the end of each day. This basically means I'm aiming to eat 1500-1800 calories per day, and I have figured out (through trial and error) that I lose weight slowly in that range, which is my goal.

I calculated my maintenance calories at 1,920, so this all makes sense to me.

I've started and stopped many times with MFP and others, and this is the first time I feel like I'm going to keep it up. Why I do it all this way instead of just setting an appropriate calorie goal in the first place, I can't explain...it's just a mental game and it's working for me, lol.

In the end my advice is use MFP as a good baseline but expect to have to try different things as you go, until you find the formula that works for you.
• Posts: 32,975 Member
edited November 2023
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As others have said, I also recommend that you start with the MFP estimate, follow it for 4-6 weeks (whole menstrual cycle if that applies). That's the best starting point.

Then, use your calories logged and weight changes to adjust your goal if necessary. Use the assumption that 500 calories daily (on average) is about a pound a week weight change, and use arithmetic if it's fractional pounds.

A statistical estimate from MFP or a TDEE calculator is essentially an average of people similar to you based on whatever data you told it. You're an individual, and individuals can vary from average. The reasons why may not be obvious.

Your own results are the best estimate, the closest you'll have to an actual measurement of your calorie needs.

The above is what I did. My actual calorie needs are 25-30% off from MFP's estimate, which is hundreds of calories daily. Nonetheless, once I had established my calorie needs based on my personal results, my weight change (as a multi-week average) became very predictable as a function of my calorie intake and activity. So far, that's held true through about a year of loss, and 7+ years of maintenance.
• Posts: 3,202 Member
edited November 2023
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Really serious about weight loss 3 times. Adjusted the first (higher) and third (lower) time. Spot on the second time.