Exercise! - Questions About Calories -Help?

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Is that really me
01-03-2007, 01:23 PM
I started a log on Fitday but am confused about the calories burned on the Activity Link. It gives basal - what you burn just existing; lifestyle -- what your basic lifestyles burns each day (they don't give a lot of choices here); and activities (exercise).

My basal is 1477; lifestyle is 1230 and exercise varies. If I do not do any more exercising today by tonight I will have burned approx. 2780 calories total.

My confusion is, just how many calories am I suppose to eat in a day? I thought you were suppose to eat like 250 below your basal in then burn another 250 exercising for a total of 500 calorie deficit? That would mean I should only eat about 1250 calories per day. I was originally thinking if I stuck to 1500 calories a day and got in the exercise I'd been looking at a average 1 to 1.5 lb. loss per week. I'm looking at the numbers they give me and if I ate say 1700 calories per day, I'm still burning 1000 calories per day times 7 days is 7000 calories, which is two pounds! Am I missing something or is 1200 too low? (Please say yes! ;) ) As of now (b-fast, snack and lunch) I've eaten just under 1000 calories. I'm not sure how many calories to eat in a day!! Can someone help? Thanks!!


01-03-2007, 01:39 PM
In order to lose weight, you need to eat less than your TOTAL calories burned, from basal, daily activities AND exercise.

The problem is that Fitday's estimates for calories burned during exercise seem to be high for most people. In fact, all of the numbers are just estimates.

But that can be okay -- estimates are a good place to start.

Lets say that, with exercise, you need 2300 calories/day to maintain your current body weight (THAT IS AN ESTIMATE! I took your number and moved it down a little). If you want to lose 1 pound/week, you would eat 500 calories less than that/day.

The only way to really know is to track your eating and watch the scale. Pick a number to start. I think it helps to pick a higher number and see what happens. Then as you lose weight you can drop it a bit more. Say that number IS 1800/day. Track your calories and weight for a few weeks and see what happens (give it a little time - -weight loss is not a linear process!). If you start to lose, great! If you seem to be stuck, move DOWN the calories a bit OR INCREASE the exercise a bit.

It's kind of a guessing game. Estimates can give you a place to start.

01-03-2007, 01:55 PM
wyellen gives some good advice! Take all online and exercise equipment calculators as an estimate and with a HUGE grain of salt.

Try logging a normal PRE-DIET day's worth of eating into fitday (you dont have to actually eat the stuff but figure out how much you were eating on an AVERAGE day before you started trying to lose). Start by cutting that number by several hundred calories, but do NOT go so far away from that number that your body thinks its being starved or that causes you to be so hungry that you cannot sustain your weightloss. You dont want to slow down your metabolism or make such huge and impossible changes that you cant sustain them. This has got to be a maintainable lifestyle, NOT a diet. This seems to be the biggest mistake of those on 3FC that have lost tons of weight only to regain more weight. Eating too little or eating gimmicky foods from some diet just cant be sustained forever.

Check out the calorie counters forum!

01-03-2007, 02:17 PM
Ummm, Mami you've seen people at 3FC lose a ton of weight and then gain it back and through gimmicky diets? I haven't noticed that. In fact just the opposite. I am amazed, simply amazed at just how many people seem to be losing weight by eating healthy foods in reasonable portions and adding exercise to their lives and really do view this as a lifestyle change, one that can be done forever and ever. Because in my opinion that is the ONLY way to go.

Anyway, a VERY BASIC rule of thumb that I've heard is to start at 1400 calories and see how you tolerate that. Try not to worry about how much you will lose every week. That will vary greatly, even if you do the same EXACT thing week after week. It's just impossible to guess how much someone will lose in a week. There is much more to it then calories in/calories out. We are not precise beings. We are HUMAN beings.

Is that really me
01-03-2007, 02:22 PM
Hey thanks so much you guys! I simply cannot do 1200 per day. I've tried b/4 and just get too hungry. I also was thinking if I could lose 1lb. per week eating around 1700 calories per day, then when I hit a brick wall ;) I have some wiggle room to drop the calories down to get the process rolling again. Again, thanks for your advice. I must not have seen the calorie counters link (there is TONS of info on here, just haven't gotten through it all yet!)

I also thought that Fitday's lifestyle was off. They only give you 5 choices and I can't see that "standing, housework" (the only choice that comes close for me) burns 1200 calories cause there is NO WAY I do any kind of housework for any length of time to burn that many calories. :)


01-03-2007, 02:30 PM
Robin, that came out wrong! I've heard LOTS of stories on 3FC about people who USED to diet the "wrong way" by starving oneself and then regaining. I really had no idea about this phenomenon until I joined 3FC. What's wonderful about 3FC and its members is that the many people on here constantly try to warn about the quick fix/regain diets and try to push healthy eating and exercise as a lifestyle.

01-03-2007, 03:10 PM
Okay, Mami. I understand now. I was just really confused and wondering what forum you were hanging out on LOL. Thanks for clearing it up.