Help with determining TDEE and Macros

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Hello! I'm female, 30, and currently weigh 172.5lba, I went up from yesterday which was 171.9. I started out at 180lbs.

I'm struggling to figure out my macros and tdee. I try to input my weight into a tdee calculator, but when it comes out, its below the recommended 1200 in deficient. I also don't know what macros to use.

I'm trying to stick to the 30/35/30 plan, or is it the 35/30/35? Anyways I need help. I am sedentary mainly. Also, if I put my fat% in I'm also way low in regards to calories.

Answers

  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,012 Member
    edited November 2023
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    Just use myfitnesspal's Goal setup.

    Set it to "Lose 1 pound per week."
    Be honest as to your "activity level." This is the daily movement you do other than purposeful exercise.
    When you exercise enter that into "Exercise" and eat those additional calories.

    Here's a great (longer) explanation:
    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/819055/setting-your-calorie-and-macro-targets/p1

  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,434 Member
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    Use the MFP setup and use 1lbs goal per week. Everything higher is for people that are a lot heavier than you. The calculator you used demonstrates that you wanted too much too quickly.

    Also, your weight fluctuates, up to 4-5lbs from day to day just due to hydration, water weight due to a hundred reasons (including cycle), digestive content, etc. None of this has anything to do with bodyfat. Which means it can take a while to see results.
  • ahoy_m8
    ahoy_m8 Posts: 3,053 Member
    edited November 2023
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    Patience will be your strongest ally in weight loss.

    It takes several weeks (at least one full cycle if you are menstruating) to observe your own personal water weight fluctuation pattern. Weigh daily, naked, first thing in the morning after using the restroom. If you want to experiment, drink a glass of water and weigh again, or note the difference sleeping in an extra 2 hours makes. Presumably you are looking to lose fat, not water weight. There is nothing at all wrong with being fully hydrated. The most frustrating thing about fat loss is natural, healthy water weight variability. Get a weight trend app or build your own. Don't wig out about data points in isolation. Context, as in all things, makes all the difference. Save yourself angst; focus on trend instead.

    About TDEE, patience will help here, too. As the others suggested, start with the MFP defaults and track your weight. After a month, if you are losing too fast or too slow, tweak the formula TDEE accordingly. Your own data is your best guide. And it gets better (larger data set = more accuracy) over time.

    About macros, I think it makes sense to start with roughly equal percentages, see how you feel, and tweak from there. Macros will not change how fast you lose weight, but they could impact how you feel while doing it. Also, and only because I am a numbers nerd, percentages aren't really helpful to me. Macro total weights in grams is more helpful to me. I try to hit these minimum macros while staying at my calorie target. I'll start by saying it totally is not necessary to count macros, and no doubt most humans who successfully lose weight do not, but FWIW here are the macro minimums:
    • protein - depends on losing/maintaining/gaining goal and activity level, but if the goal is fat loss, a decent rule of thumb is 1g protein per 1 pound LBM (if you know your body fat composition). If you do not, 0.8g protein per 1 pound body weight is almost certainly enough.
    • fat- 0.35g fat per 1 pound body weight. Don't skimp here. It impacts hormone synthesis and many feel contributes to satiety.
    • fiber - 20g for women, 25g for men. Also contributes to satiety and digestive health.
    • sugar & total carbohydrate - I don't track these at all. There is no minimum for either.

    eta punctuation
  • evileyefirefly
    evileyefirefly Posts: 104 Member
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    Hello! I'm female, 30, and currently weigh 172.5lba, I went up from yesterday which was 171.9. I started out at 180lbs.

    I'm struggling to figure out my macros and tdee. I try to input my weight into a tdee calculator, but when it comes out, its below the recommended 1200 in deficient. I also don't know what macros to use.

    I'm trying to stick to the 30/35/30 plan, or is it the 35/30/35? Anyways I need help. I am sedentary mainly. Also, if I put my fat% in I'm also way low in regards to calories.

    So, if you really want an accurate TDEE you will need to do 2 things.
    1. Go get a body scan or similar thing that will give you an accurate body fat measurement.
    2. Have some sort of wearable that tracks your activity throughout the day.

    The body fat will go into the more accurate of the calculations for your BMR, then you add your average calories burned from a week or two average on your wearable. This will give you your accurate TDEE you can then reduce calories from.

    There are some threads on here about the suggested calories and such and how while MFP is decent at averaging them, it is still not a one size fits all. If the MFP recommended is working for you then keep with it. Also keep in mind there are a lot of things that will impact your weight day to day. Especially mensural cycles for women. Me as a guy I can flux 3-5lbs day to day due to water weight, so you really need to try and keep your sample time larger when looking at weight loss due to cycles.

    As far as macros go, I don't get too far into it outside of eating what keeps me full (more protein and fiber) But I find the heavier I am on protein the less hungry I am and the easier it is to maintain my eating at a reasonable level.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,012 Member
    edited November 2023
    Options
    So, if you really want an accurate TDEE you will need to do 2 things.
    1. Go get a body scan or similar thing that will give you an accurate body fat measurement.
    2. Have some sort of wearable that tracks your activity throughout the day.

    This is not necessary, and body scan is expensive and not really about TDEE..

    Wearable devices are also expensive and not necessary - and not any more accurate than an online free calculator. They are guesstimates, all of them.

    All you need is this (free) website and the ability to log food, and then two months of trending data. :drinker:

    That's what I did. I lost 80ish pounds 16 years ago and I've kept it off. No devices or special tools. I did get a $20 digital food scale when I had 20 pounds left to lose, because that's when accuracy becomes much more important and I do have an old-school analog body weight scale. I use them both and log my food, exercise and weight.
  • evileyefirefly
    evileyefirefly Posts: 104 Member
    Options
    So, if you really want an accurate TDEE you will need to do 2 things.
    1. Go get a body scan or similar thing that will give you an accurate body fat measurement.
    2. Have some sort of wearable that tracks your activity throughout the day.

    This is not necessary, and body scan is expensive and not really about TDEE..

    Wearable devices are also expensive and not necessary - and not any more accurate than an online free calculator. They are guesstimates, all of them.

    All you need is this (free) website and the ability to log food, and then two months of trending data. :drinker:

    That's what I did. I lost 80ish pounds 16 years ago and I've kept it off. No devices or special tools. I did get a $20 digital food scale when I had 20 pounds left to lose, because that's when accuracy becomes much more important and I do have an old-school analog body weight scale. I use them both and log my food, exercise and weight.

    I did not say it was necessary, but OP asked for ways to get a better TDEE. Yes a body scan depending on where can cost $25-200, and wearables are actually fairly decently priced nowadays. You don't need a $300 fitbit or iwatch. There are many that will work just fine. I was just giving the OP the info that was asked, not if it was necessary or not.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,012 Member
    Options
    So, if you really want an accurate TDEE you will need to do 2 things.
    1. Go get a body scan or similar thing that will give you an accurate body fat measurement.
    2. Have some sort of wearable that tracks your activity throughout the day.

    This is not necessary, and body scan is expensive and not really about TDEE..

    Wearable devices are also expensive and not necessary - and not any more accurate than an online free calculator. They are guesstimates, all of them.

    All you need is this (free) website and the ability to log food, and then two months of trending data. :drinker:

    That's what I did. I lost 80ish pounds 16 years ago and I've kept it off. No devices or special tools. I did get a $20 digital food scale when I had 20 pounds left to lose, because that's when accuracy becomes much more important and I do have an old-school analog body weight scale. I use them both and log my food, exercise and weight.

    I did not say it was necessary, but OP asked for ways to get a better TDEE. Yes a body scan depending on where can cost $25-200, and wearables are actually fairly decently priced nowadays. You don't need a $300 fitbit or iwatch. There are many that will work just fine. I was just giving the OP the info that was asked, not if it was necessary or not.

    You said:
    So, if you really want an accurate TDEE you will need to do 2 things.

    ....? Sounds like you think it's the only way, the "necessary" way.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,434 Member
    edited November 2023
    Options
    So, if you really want an accurate TDEE you will need to do 2 things.
    1. Go get a body scan or similar thing that will give you an accurate body fat measurement.
    2. Have some sort of wearable that tracks your activity throughout the day.

    This is not necessary, and body scan is expensive and not really about TDEE..

    Wearable devices are also expensive and not necessary - and not any more accurate than an online free calculator. They are guesstimates, all of them.

    All you need is this (free) website and the ability to log food, and then two months of trending data. :drinker:

    That's what I did. I lost 80ish pounds 16 years ago and I've kept it off. No devices or special tools. I did get a $20 digital food scale when I had 20 pounds left to lose, because that's when accuracy becomes much more important and I do have an old-school analog body weight scale. I use them both and log my food, exercise and weight.

    I did not say it was necessary, but OP asked for ways to get a better TDEE. Yes a body scan depending on where can cost $25-200, and wearables are actually fairly decently priced nowadays. You don't need a $300 fitbit or iwatch. There are many that will work just fine. I was just giving the OP the info that was asked, not if it was necessary or not.

    A scan does not determine TDEE as it involves activity and you just lay about for such test. It offers an estimate for BMR, provided the test is done properly.

    And a smart watch or other device is also just offering an estimate, and even more so than a scan. In order to get half ok exercise calories you need to determine your maxHR because a deviation from the standard, which isn't uncommon will result in too high or low estimates. Also, how well a device guesses depends on how the producer implemented this. HR is not really a way to estimate workout calories. For me, walking is both grossly overstated on Garmin and Fitbit, running quite ok on Garmin and cycling possibly too low. But this will be different for everyone.

    EDIT: very important type corrected.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,012 Member
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    It offers an estimate for BMI, provided the test is done properly.

    or...is it BMR?
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,406 Member
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    So, if you really want an accurate TDEE you will need to do 2 things.
    1. Go get a body scan or similar thing that will give you an accurate body fat measurement.
    2. Have some sort of wearable that tracks your activity throughout the day.

    This is not necessary, and body scan is expensive and not really about TDEE..

    Wearable devices are also expensive and not necessary - and not any more accurate than an online free calculator. They are guesstimates, all of them.

    All you need is this (free) website and the ability to log food, and then two months of trending data. :drinker:

    That's what I did. I lost 80ish pounds 16 years ago and I've kept it off. No devices or special tools. I did get a $20 digital food scale when I had 20 pounds left to lose, because that's when accuracy becomes much more important and I do have an old-school analog body weight scale. I use them both and log my food, exercise and weight.

    I did not say it was necessary, but OP asked for ways to get a better TDEE. Yes a body scan depending on where can cost $25-200, and wearables are actually fairly decently priced nowadays. You don't need a $300 fitbit or iwatch. There are many that will work just fine. I was just giving the OP the info that was asked, not if it was necessary or not.

    Following a calorie goal for 4-6 weeks (or whole menstrual cycle, for those who have them), then adjusting calorie goal based on the average results over the whole time: That's more accurate than any so-called calculator or tracker.

    Using either the MFP method (eat back exercise separately) or TDEE method (average in exercise), or taking a calorie deficit off a good fitness tracker's all-day calorie estimate: Yes, any of those are good starting point to use for that initial trial period.

    The question isn't so much whether trackers are accurate, it's whether individual people are close to average in calorie needs or not. MFP, TDEE calculators, or fitness trackers all produce estimates based on statistical averages. Most people are close to average, a few are noticeably off average (high or low), and a rare few are surprisingly far off (still in either direction).

    I've counted calories quite meticulously for 8+ years now. MFP and my good brand/model fitness tracker (one that gives reasonable estimates for others) is 25-30% off daily. That's around 500 or so calories. Is the tracker or MFP inaccurate? No, I'm not average. Once I quantified how non-average I am - i.e., got an experience-based estimate of my calorie needs - my weight loss and maintenance became very predictable (in multi-week average terms).

    As long as a person logs carefully, runs a solid multi-week experiment, then adjusts, any of these methods can work fine.

    P.S. Body scans give BMR estimates, too, not measurements. There's a lab-based resting metabolism rate (RMR) estimating method that involves measuring exhaled gases under controlled conditions that would likely be more accurate than a scan-based estimate, though still just a point in time estimate. (RMR is very close to BMR.) If a person uses the "trial period" method, they don't need any explicit personalized, expensive estimate of BMR/RMR at all. (There will be a BMR estimate built into the algorithms of MFP, TDEE calculators, or a fitness tracker. That'll be close enough, for a starting point. It's zero cash outlay.)
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,406 Member
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    Hello! I'm female, 30, and currently weigh 172.5lba, I went up from yesterday which was 171.9. I started out at 180lbs.

    I'm struggling to figure out my macros and tdee. I try to input my weight into a tdee calculator, but when it comes out, its below the recommended 1200 in deficient. I also don't know what macros to use.

    I'm trying to stick to the 30/35/30 plan, or is it the 35/30/35? Anyways I need help. I am sedentary mainly. Also, if I put my fat% in I'm also way low in regards to calories.

    The first few replies gave you good advice.

    FWIW, I started out around your starting weight (183 pounds in my case), used methods like the first few suggest, and lost from class 1 obese (which 183 was at my height) to a healthy weight in less than a year, have been at a healthy weight for 7+ years since.

    I echo the advice not to try to lose weight fast: I lost too fast at first by accident, because MFP underestimates my calorie needs by a rare large extent. I got weak and fatigued, then it took multiple weeks to recover normal strength and energy, even though I corrected as soon as I realized there was a problem. No one needs that!

    A pound a week would be a good starting goal. As long as you're average in needs (not higher like me), and as long as you're non-tall (so have a good bit of weight to lose), 1.5 pounds a week might be OK for a while. If you have other sources of stress in your life, the 1 pound is probably better. (A big calorie deficit is a stressor; stress is cumulative from all sources in our lives; and over-stress can have bad consequences for health and well-being.)

    Macronutrients are for health, energy level, body composition, and that sort of thing. They have only indirect effects on weight loss, through fatigue or appetite. Any of the percents you suggest would be OK, as long as they add up to 100. (But 30/35/30 doesn't, and suggests you'd be eating only 30+35+30 = 95% of your food.) The MFP defaults of 50% carbs, 20% protein, and 30% fats are also fine, as long as a person doesn't cut calories crazy far for fast loss. There's no universal perfect split, though we do need a certain minimum of protein and fats. Ahoy_m8 gave you good advice about those minimums above.

    Best wishes!
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,434 Member
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    It offers an estimate for BMI, provided the test is done properly.

    or...is it BMR?

    Woops, that one! Nearly the same, no? 😬🙈 Thanks a lot @cmriverside
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,874 Member
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    Hello! I'm female, 30, and currently weigh 172.5lba, I went up from yesterday which was 171.9. I started out at 180lbs.

    I'm struggling to figure out my macros and tdee. I try to input my weight into a tdee calculator, but when it comes out, its below the recommended 1200 in deficient. I also don't know what macros to use.

    I'm trying to stick to the 30/35/30 plan, or is it the 35/30/35? Anyways I need help. I am sedentary mainly. Also, if I put my fat% in I'm also way low in regards to calories.

    You've been losing weight, so I don't see why you're finding some kind of need to change whatever it is you're doing. Going up on the scale a little bit in a day isn't fat, it's normal bodyweight fluctuations at work.

    Also, with this calculator or any TDEE calculator, the outputs are only going to be as good as your inputs. The calorie target a calculator gives you is just math based on your stats (height, weight, sex), your activity level designation, and your rate of loss designation. A lot of people who get really low calorie targets to lose weight put sedentary or otherwise the very lowest activity level (regardless of whether that's factually accurate) and the fastest rate of loss target regardless of whether or not they actually have the size and fat stores to support that kind of loss