1200 then add exercise cals on top, or higher but don't eat back exercise cals? Help!

Discussion in 'Calorie Counting' started by Dietninja, 7 April 2014.

  1. Dietninja

    Dietninja Loves cake!

    Hello! I've had lots of unsuccessful weight loss attempts but that's behind me now and I'm determined to succeed. The only thing is I don't know whether to

    a) assign myself a lower calorie target like 1200, then add in exercise on top


    b) assign myself a higher calorie intake eg 1600 and don't add in exercise calories.

    I exercise at least 30 mins a day, usually a run (am v slow!) or an exercise DVD.

    I know long term it probably makes little difference, but I need to get in the right mindset of setting myself a calorie goal and sticking to it.
    Thank you for any advice!
  2. kirstyb393

    kirstyb393 Well-Known Member

    I eat 1600 cals but I aim for 1200 net calories regardless - so I may eat half of them back x
  3. Stackhead

    Stackhead Slow and steady...

    There are quite a few methods you can try. I'll list three below:

    1. The MFP method -

    Punch your numbers into MFP, eat to that calorie goal. Add exercise as and when you complete it and eat the calories back. I'd say eat 3/4 to all of your calories back unless it doesn't result in weight loss.
    This gives flexibility for days when you can't be bothered to exercise but means that your days are not consistent.

    2. The TDEE - % method -

    Punch your numbers into a TDEE calculator TDEE Calculator like this one and set your activity levels accordingly. You sound 'lightly - moderately active' to me. TDEE = maintanence, so you need to take off 10-20% for weightloss.
    Eat to the TDEE - % number and don't add exercise calories as they're already factored in.
    This allows for a consistent number everyday. But you have to be aware if you're not hitting the activity levels you set for yourself it will affect the weight loss.

    3.The goal weight method -

    Calculate your TDEE for your goal weight and eat that number. Don't add exercise calories and don't take a % off.
    This method means you don't change the number at all throughout the journey so it's nice and consistent. However it does mean the losses when you get closer to goal will be teeny tiny.

    Whichever method you use, please use some kind of calculator to assign you a calorie goal. Don't just pick a number out of thin air because it sounds good. And don't GROSS under your BMR (which is provided to you on the link I posted earlier).
  4. Dietninja

    Dietninja Loves cake!

    That is a very helpful post, thank you very much!

    So here's how the three options add up for me:

    1. MFP gives me 1200 cals to lose 2lbs a week. Using today as an example, my HRM says I burned 370 cals through exercise so I'd be eating about 1500 cals. Sounds reasonable.

    2. BMR calculated as 1492, TDEE as 2182. To drop 1.5 lbs to 2lbs a week, I need to therefore eat between 1200-1432 cals a day. If I follow that site and reduce my TDEE by 25% for a more sustainable weightloss, thatll end up as 1637.

    3 This is a bit weirder...ends up as a BMR of 1256 and a TDEE of 1836 for my goal weight of 9st10.

    So I've decided to amalgamate 1 and 2. I'm going to eat between 1200-1600 a day, and will eat towards the lower end if I'm not exercising and towards the upper end if I am.

    Yay, thank you for your help :)

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