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Maintenance Calories

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Old 02-16-2013, 06:13 PM   #1
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Default Maintenance Calories

So, as maintenance for me is right around the corner, I had a question about calorie counting for maintenance and working out. I know MyFitnessPal has that thing where you "earn back" the calories you burned, and I usually ignore this feature because I figure I don't want to eat my deficit for the day. However, as maintenance approaches, I intend to keep tracking my calories on MFP. For maintenance purposes, should I "eat back" my calories to make sure I'm not losing unnecessarily? Is maintenance as exact of a science as weight loss is? It's kind of confusing, lol.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:33 AM   #2
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Welcome . I have never "eaten back my calories" so can't help you there. Maintenance is so not an exact science, it may take some experimenting to what works best for you.
Here is a chart that might be helpful in finding the right calories for you
Start with your GOAL weight.....
Goal weight
" X 10 if sedentary.
" X 11 if you get little exercise.
" X 12 if moderately active.
" X 13 Fairly Active.
" X 14 Very Active.
" X 15 Extremely Active.

As an example if your goal weight is 120 and you never get off the couch your maintenance calories would be 1200.
But if you are training for the Olympics and your goal weight is 120 your maintenance calories would be 1800.
I think most of us will fall somewhere in between.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:48 PM   #3
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Maybe its just me, but those seem to be awfully low maintanance calories, haha. I eat 1500 now to lose a little less than 2 pounds a week, and that puts me at 1600-1700 for maintenance. O.o
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:35 PM   #4
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The sad truth is the lower our weight the less calories it takes to maintain. Just like dieting it takes a bit of trial and error to get the right amount. I have seen other weight charts that give the same or about the same as this one. Try googling calories per pound for more info. Congratulations on losing 88.5 pounds.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:08 PM   #5
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Congrats on your loss! I would suggest you read the "how many calories maintainers eat" thread at the top of this forum. It can help give you an idea of how many calories many maintainers eat, and the large range of calories maintainers eat. I think that to figure out their maintenance calories, many maintainers slowly added back calories to their daily intake, 100-200 per week or so, until their body told them they were "there".

I would caution paying attention to calories burn by exercise trackers like those on myfitnesspal, or on cardio machines, etc. I have found myfitnesspal GROSSLY innacurate, and if I ate all of the activity calories it tells me I've early, well, it wouldn't work. I just ignore that feature, too. Or the elliptical machine that tells me I burned 700 calories in an hour... yeah. No. (If you are really interested in figuring out how many calories you burn I believe a heart rate monitor with a band that really tracks your heart rate is much more accurate.) And stick around! We love new maintainers.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:13 PM   #6
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I reached goal and was thinking about maintenance cals too. I decided to lose a few more pounds in case I fudge maintenance up and end up gaining a few. I used some maintenance calculators and was surprised at the amount of calories they suggested. I think I will slowly add some and track my weight to see what works. I usually don't eat my workout calories, usually because I work out before bed and dont want to over estimate. Depending on how much energy I have my elliptical will say between 400-800. I don't believe it is too accurate but know I am doing something right. Congrats on your loss
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:06 PM   #7
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That chart possibly works for other weights, but not for smaller folk. No one would expect me to eat 1050 calories to maintain - I got enough flak for losing on that.

To get my maintainance calories, I gradually added up to 500 calories and found it worked.
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