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Old 04-18-2013, 11:47 PM   #1
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Hey John, I've got a question. I would normally PM you, but I figured someone else might benefit from your answer.

I've seen you recommend articles from bodyrecomposition.com before. I was reading an article you linked and then clicked on a linked article within that article. here is that article

So I used the calculations he offered and I got totally whacked out numbers. Can you help me make sense of it?

I'm trying to calculate maintenance calories and deficit calories.

Thanks!!!
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:17 AM   #2
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Mozzy, great question. I'm right with you in trying to decide where to start with maintenance calories. I've been losing at 1270 calories and by the calculations I do according to this article, I would start out at an estimated 1960. I can't even imagine that right now! It sounds pseudo-unsafe! (Just kidding--only to my waist line.) John, or any other maintainers out there, what do you think about the drastic difference here between my weight loss and potential maintenance calories?
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:31 AM   #3
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I guess I don't understand what you're asking. He uses the formula of 13-14 calories per lb to estimate starting maintinence calories assuming someone is exercising an hour a day.

He is saying for women you start with 10 calories per lb. So if you weigh 200lbs you start with 2000 calories. (200 x 10)

Assuming you're exercising an hour a day you add 3-4 calories per lb. So a 200lb female would be at 2300-2400 calories. (200 x 13 - 14)

You're eating plenty and digesting food takes energy so you add 1 calorie per lb so you end up at 2400-2500 calories to maintain your weight. (200 x 14-15)

He goes on to say that you can set a moderate deficit of 20% and see how things go from there.

A key point he makes later is that even if you exercise daily if you're sitting at your computer all day you may need to drop calories to 8 cal/lb (1600) to lose fat effectively and that small movements over the course of a day can really add up over time.

Hope this helps. Lyle really knows his stuff.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:38 AM   #4
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Ok... According to the math. To maintain my current weight (194), it'll take 2716 calories. A moderate reduction (for fat loss) would put me at 1940 cals a day.

That's 600 more calories a day than I currently eat! Am I not eating enough???
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moving Forward View Post
John, or any other maintainers out there, what do you think about the drastic difference here between my weight loss and potential maintenance calories?
I'm not someone who has worked with a lot of people in person, just someone who has read a lot of what people have said. With that in mind - it seems that one variable is how people's bodies adapt and react to lowered or increased calories.

NEAT and SPA (non exercise movements) can vary quite a bit between individuals and how calories are lowered or increased also seems to have a variable effect on different people.

What this means is - someone who maintains on 2,000 calories might need to go down to 1200 calories to lose only 1 lb a week.

This is confounded by how water loss is not the same thing as fat loss and lack of patience.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Ok... According to the math. To maintain my current weight (194), it'll take 2716 calories. A moderate reduction (for fat loss) would put me at 1940 cals a day.

That's 600 more calories a day than I currently eat! Am I not eating enough???
Eating enough for what? You have to keep in mind Lyle's writing is primarily geared towards performance - as in people who are trying to improve their athletic performance. So if you're trying to increase your endurance, you might not be eating enough. If you're just trying to lose fat - I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:46 AM   #7
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according to that calculator (assuming 1 hr of exercise per day), I'm only allowed 1890 cals per day for maintenance...this is a lot lower than than TDEE calculations I've done which put me at ~2200 cals per day. Which one makes more sense to trust?
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:23 AM   #8
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I go by this formula and it may need to be altered a little to fit each individual

Start with your goal weight to get the calories per pound that you will need.

If you are sedentary goal weight times 10
If you get little exercise goal weight times 11
If you are moderately active goal weight times 12
If you are fairly active goal weight times 13
If you are very active goal weight times 14
If you are extremely active goal weight times 15
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:30 AM   #9
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I will be using the same as bargoo when/if I ever get to maintenance.

I plan to use the "10" even though I'm fairly active because I don't trust what I count as active vs. what really is active. I'm not sure how we could accurately make that judgment unless maybe we use something like a Fitbit to monitor us on a constant basis maybe?

Thanks Mozzy for asking the question and thanks John for your replies. I think some of us wish we could all have you for a personal coach through our weightloss mission.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bargoo View Post
If you are sedentary goal weight times 10
If you get little exercise goal weight times 11
If you are moderately active goal weight times 12
If you are fairly active goal weight times 13
If you are very active goal weight times 14
If you are extremely active goal weight times 15
I like the simplicity of this formula. Of course, no formula will apply to all people. I weigh 145 pounds and consider myself moderately active (3-4 hours per week formal exercise, not very active otherwise). This means my maintenance calories "should" be 145 x 12 = 1740. The actual figure is at least 2,000, though, and I'm 56 years old.

The best way to figure it all out is to experiment for a few weeks. If you keep losing, your maintenance figure is too low. If you start gaining, it's too high.

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Old 04-19-2013, 09:00 AM   #11
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I swear by Fitbit. The numbers it gives me are so correct as far as what happens with my body and the calorie level.

But it is all very individual, needing experimentation.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:36 AM   #12
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And what is goal weight? MY goal or what my goal should be? It gets so complicated!

If I say in the ideal world I would want to weigh 160 pounds (really the lightest that is even remotely possible for me).So, using the formula Bargoo gives, if I'm moderately active, that means 1920 calories For maintenance for being active. that actually seems pretty accurate.

Now, I will be happy with being around 165 pounds. So, 1980 for maintenance WITH exercising about 4-5 times a week. Again... that seems pretty spot on.

I find that if I don't exercise, but just do day to day stuff, that I maintain around 1500-1600. So it would make sense that if I throw in cardio and weights in there, I can eat more.

For weight loss, I see VERY slow loss eating around 1500 calories. Or at least it feels slow. I lost 8 pounds in 10 weeks. (with a couple higher calorie days thrown in there).

Now that it's spring, my appetite has shrunk (thank goodness) and I'm actually feeling FULL at 1150-1300 calories. So, more of a deficit and so I'm losing faster (hopefully).

I wear a bodymedia fit band. Every day it is telling me I'm burning something like 2200 to 2400 calories with what I do (and it basically doesn't count any weight training). If I used those numbers, I would never lose weight. Ever. I would gain. Over the last two years I have learned that my metabolism is a bit slower than average (and I'm 43, probably in perimenopause). Through trial and error I have learned the magic number of 1500-1600 calories for maintenance if I'm sedentary. My BMR is lower than what would be expected, etc.

With that said, I'm STILL losing weight and continue to lose weight. I just have to ramp up exercise and have tight control on eating, maybe a bit more than someone who has a faster metabolism. So no excuses... just more patience needed!
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:30 PM   #13
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Oh man Melissa, I'd eat my arm off with so few calories and your activity level. Now I feel badly for being whiny about losing slowly on my calorie amounts, which are quite generous
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bargoo View Post
I go by this formula and it may need to be altered a little to fit each individual

Start with your goal weight to get the calories per pound that you will need.

If you are sedentary goal weight times 10
If you get little exercise goal weight times 11
If you are moderately active goal weight times 12
If you are fairly active goal weight times 13
If you are very active goal weight times 14
If you are extremely active goal weight times 15
I've never seen that before. Interesting and simple, I like it! Online calculators are great but for advising someone in person that looks like it would work far better.
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:12 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone!!!
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