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Only calorie-calculators - are they accurate?

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Old 08-24-2012, 11:40 AM   #1
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Default Only calorie-calculators - are they accurate?

I went to a website that calculates what your calorie intake should be to lose weight. I plugged in all my parameters, and even played it safe by indicating that I was less active than I actually am. It told me that if I consumed no more than 1859 calories a day, I'd lose .5-2 lbs. a week. But I'm only consuming 1600 calories a day AND exercising regularly (biking and working out with weights). And I seem to be stuck at 185 for weeks now. I dropped down to 182 for a day *bam!*, then jumped back up to 185 where I'm now lodged.

How can I not move down in weight *scratches his head in puzzlement*. I calorie-count, I'm drinking more water than ever before (I'm NOT a natural water-drinker), and I exercise almost daily (I feel like a slacker couch-potato if I don't). Even if the calculator had told me to only eat 1700 a day, I'm below that, too.

I hate these plateaus.
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Old 08-24-2012, 12:14 PM   #2
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I think you have to take what those calorie counting sites say with a grain of salt. Everyone is different, but they will give everyone who is the same weight, height, etc the same answers.
If you've hit a plateau, I think as long as you keep calorie counting, exercising, all that fun stuff, the scale will move eventually. I know it's really hard riding these out though.
I have seen some people suggest eating more, changing up your exercise routines, stuff like that to break a plateau. For me though, none of that stuff works...I just have to be patient, which sucks!!
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:01 PM   #3
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The only way to know your BMR is to go to a lab and get hooked up to their fancy machines.

Calculators are estimates developed from studies where people of varying sizes were tested. Most people fall somewhere close to the average but there are deviations from the mean and then there are true outliers.

Short of going to the lab ... careful tracking over time is the only way to know.
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:11 PM   #4
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Agree with what everyone else says, take it with a grain of salt.

One thing that bothers me in the modern calorie tracker programs, including the one I use, which is great and pretty accurate if I were a 22-year-old sedentary woman, which I am not, is that those programs use net calories. They estimate your RMR and and add in an estimate of how many calories you theoretically burn through exercise (if you log it) and tell you you can eat those extra calories. This just doesn't work for a lot of people as without knowing your true RMR, you can't know how many calories you are burning in those workouts.

I like the tracker I use because it shows me net calories and seems to think I can eat them and lose weight, but it also shows me a separate section of data just for food calories and that is the only thing relevant to me.
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