Weight Loss Support - Struggling with fitness pal calories can anyone help?

08-11-2013, 08:45 AM
I really duno how many cals i should be on ive set mine at 1500.
R you really meant to eat them back?

Im working out and still not losing weight FRUSTRATED

08-11-2013, 08:47 AM
My fitness pal tends to greatly over exaggerate how many calories you burn through exercise. Also, calories you put in are generally estimates and usually people unless they are weighing their food are also under exaggerating how many calories you eat. Most people I know don't eat back their calories and consider exercise a bonus. Unless you are doing something which requires you to exercise for multiple hours per day, then eating back your calories is probably non productive.

08-11-2013, 08:50 AM
Thanks Im going to stay 1500 and not eat back any and see how i go , if still struggling im gona drop cals

08-11-2013, 10:26 AM
I use fitness pal too and was wondering the same thing...I would not log in the exercise and stick to the 1500 calories. I haven't been losing weight with it either. I'm going to try another calorie counter and see if it makes a difference.

08-11-2013, 11:42 AM
What are you eating? A calorie is not a calorie. If you calorie is nutritious food, your body burns it for fuel. If its junk and too many at one one sitting its stored as fat.

08-11-2013, 11:45 AM
what are your stats?

I am 5'9, 249, sedentary except for whatever exercise I do that day. To lose 2lbs a week my daily calories are at 1380.

I also do not eat back my calories. I may use a small portion as a buffer but at max 100-150

08-11-2013, 01:22 PM
I also do not eat back my calories. I may use a small portion as a buffer but at max 100-150

I am like this myself. I use a Fitbit One to measure my cardio activity (it's a pedometer that keeps track of your steps, an estimated amount of calories burned through the day, sleep patterns, floors climbed, etc), and I consider the exercise calories to be a bonus. If I need them, I'll use them, but if I can avoid using them I will.

When I wasn't using my Fitbit, when I would log exercise I would take the estimated amount Myfitnesspal gave me and cut it in half. I knew it overestimated the amount of calories burned, so I didn't want to fall into the trap of giving myself too much buffer room for eating (this was also when I was eating back my exercise calories) and stall with weight loss.

A calorie is not a calorie. If you calorie is nutritious food, your body burns it for fuel. If its junk and too many at one one sitting its stored as fat.

I disagree with this...a calorie from candy is the same amount of energy as a calorie from vegetables (as far as I've read). Your body is going to burn either for fuel as long as you're not eating a surplus of calories (more calories than what your body can burn in the day). Now I do agree that eating healthier, more nutritious food is going to keep you full longer and the nutrients you get from it are going to help more than just weight loss, but saying that an "unhealthy" calorie is just going to get turned to fat seems to go against what I've been reading on calorie counting. What matters is that there is a calorie deficit overall.

08-16-2013, 07:49 AM
just stuck on calories grr.

Im 5,4 228lbs and work at a desk job but when i work out ill do 45mins weights 8min HIIT and 30-45min swim x

08-16-2013, 11:02 AM
When you say you're stuck, do you mean that it's difficult to stay at 1500 calories or that you are eating 1500 calories and it's not coming off?

What is a typical menu for you? Maybe we can make some suggestions at how to stay around 1500 without hunger - some foods will give you much more volume for the amount than others, which keeps you satisfied and able to stick to it.

08-16-2013, 01:18 PM
Based on your height and weight, with a sedentary job 1500 cals should burn about 1lb of fat per week. exercise (if you dont eat back the cals) will work you towards more than that.

I would definitely avoid eating the calories back at all. If you are still hungry on 1500 cals then, yea, post a sample menu and we can see if we can help you tweak it a bit to make it more filling.

08-17-2013, 01:04 PM
A calorie is not a calorie. You body burns carbs and if there are too many for immediate needs they are immediately stored as fat. It takes more calories for your body to process protein. If you Goggled it, you'd see a calorie is not a calorie.

08-17-2013, 01:19 PM
QuilterInVA -

I am sorry, QuilterInVA, but I am science teacher and I vehemently disagree with your statement. I also have watched numerous documentaries recently with experts in nutrition/obesity saying the exact opposite of what you are saying.

Studies Where Calories are Rigorously Controlled

The first set of studies, which tend to be in the minority are those studies where subject’s caloric intakes are strictly controlled. These are usually the studies that the ‘a calorie is a calorie’ folks use to support their argument.
These studies are typically done by locking subjects in a hospital type of situation and measuring their food intake or by giving them pre-made food packets to use at home. Sometimes, studies are done in hospital patients being fed through a feeding tube. As you might imagine, these studies are hellishly expensive (especially if they are done over more than a few days) and, for that reason, aren’t being done as often anymore.

There is also the question of whether or not they have relevance to the real-world but that’s a separate issue. I should also mention that frequently very short-term studies (looking at a single meal or a day or two of intake) sometimes find differences for different diets but these have no bearing in the real-world where you’re looking at intakes over weeks or months.
However, in those studies, you generally see minimal (if any) differences in terms of the amount or composition of the weight lost when you vary the different nutrients. Studies have compared high to low-carbohydrate diets and even varying low-carbohydrate diets. With minor variation (maybe a pound or two here or there), any differences in the total amount of weight loss or the composition of the weight lost (again this assumes adequate protein intake in the first place) are very minor. Rather, the majority (easiliy 90% or more) of the change can be attributed directly to the caloric intake of the diet. Macronutrient composition makes a tiny, approaching negligble difference.


Summing up this mini-section: for the most part, studies where protein is adequate (or at least close to it), varying carbs and fats within the context of an identical caloric intake tends to have a minimal overall effect. What effect is occasionally seen tends to be small and highly variable (some subjects do better with one diet than another but there’s no consistent advantage). With the possible exception of extreme conditions (folks looking for super-leanness or folks who are super-obese), caloric intake is the greater determinant of results than the macronutrient composition.

Studies Where Calories are not Rigorously Controlled

As you might have guessed, these are generally the studies that the ‘a calorie is NOT a calorie’ folks refer to. In actuality, there are two different sets of studies in this group. The first is studies which are looking at nutrient intake on various diets. In such studies, subjects are simply given dietary guidelines (such as reduce fat to below 30% or reduce carbohydrates to 50 g/day or less) and intakes are examined.

Another data set of relevance to this discussion is studies comparing different diets (for example, recent studies have compared low-carbohydrate diets to the American Heart Association diet) under more real-world free-living conditions. Generally, in those studies, the subjects are given recommendations for the diet and let go. They typically report back to the researchers at some interval and frequently food intake is determined by means of self-reporting (which I’ve mentioned can be notoriously misleading). I want to look at each since both are illuminating to this discussion, as well as to how to choose a given diet.

The studies that look at average intakes given various recommendations are important because they often point to the real reason that a given diet works. For example, in studies where folks are told to reduce fat intake below 30% (or some other value), there is frequently an initial reduction in total caloric intake. That is, when they reduce dietary fat, their total energy intake generally goes down (at least initially). This is accompanied by weight loss. But this is not because of some magical effect of dietary fat, it’s simply because they are eating less calories. Of course, longer term studies show that most people end up compensating, eating more of other foods, so the result is pretty short lived.

More here : http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/is-a-calorie-a-calorie.html

08-18-2013, 12:38 AM
The amount of calories you need is definitely something that you need to play around with to determine what works for you. And what works for you isn't going to work for anyone else.

Having said that I'll tell you what worked for me. I lost 35 pounds eating 1600 calories a day without exercising. I ate anywhere from 1200-1700 for a couple weeks before sticking with 1600. I found anything less than 1600 wasn't enough for me. I started off at 211. After losing that 35 pounds I started exercising while keeping my calorie intake the same. After 3 months I lost nothing. It was frustrating but I kept at it because my fitness level was improving. Anyway I finally upped my calories to around 1800 on days I exercised (4-5 a week) and kept it at 1600 on days I didn't. Once I did that I lost an additional 7 pounds in about 3 weeks.

As you can see what worked for me was different from what others have said so you really just have to experiment and see what works best for you.

Also to add to the is a calorie a calorie argument, I'm a firm believer that it is. I didn't cut out any foods from my diet which meant I could eat anything as long as it fit into my daily allowance. There were days I ate 80% carbs and lost weight, days where alcohol made up half my intake, and a lot of chocolate, milk not the healthy dark stuff, was eaten. It didn't seem to make a difference and I lost 35 pounds in 4.5 months.