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SLYSAM SparkPoints: (43,184)
Fitness Minutes: (110,991)
Posts: 1,474
9/19/13 12:42 P

Re: "According to the internet my BMR is 1333.33, but my sparks people say it's 1595? Huh which is right? I'd like to think I burn 1595 doing nothing but then again do I really?"

I think that is likely because there are different formulas used to estimate BMR and they will give different results with the same stats. They were all more or less correct with the populations they tested. And they are all estimates in reality your BMR will have more factors than just your height, weight, age and gender--and I am not sure these are necessarily direct factors anyway. For example, there is a formula that uses lean body mass but excludes gender and age--most likely because gender and age are used to estimate how much lean body mass you might have (among other things). From your numbers, I am guessing your internet estimate might have been using a different formula like the Mifflin-St. Jeor while Spark is using Harris-Benedict. My H-B BMR is generally about 150ish calories higher than my Mifflin BMR. It is hard to say which is more accurate--I tend to believe Mifflin more for me based on my results but that may likely vary by the person. But since BMR is only one of several components, it may not matter that much if you follow a plan that uses a different BMR, just adjust to your actual results.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
9/19/13 7:36 A

Yes. Spark includes your BMR + gives you additional calories burned for performing basic daily activities that nearly every person performs, ex; showering, walking to your car, errands, preparing meals, etc. The default is for sedentary. There is a new tracker option under your account preferences where you can switch your activity level to "lightly active" or "active". It doesn't seem to affect your calorie range however, it just shows a higher BMR + activity and a larger deficit created for your Reports.

I think I've managed to figure it out that if you are sedentary, you'll reach your goal by eating around the lower end of your Spark calorie range. Lightly active, around the middle of your Spark calorie range and for Active at the top of your calorie range. I've played around with it and have done the math.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 9/19/2013 (07:37)
ROXIGIRL SparkPoints: (87,566)
Fitness Minutes: (165,642)
Posts: 2,406
9/19/13 4:30 A

TDEE - What is it and why you should not eat below your BMR

What is BMR?
Your basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is the minimum calorific requirement needed to sustain life in a resting individual. It can be looked at as being the amount of energy (measured in calories) expended by the body to remain in bed all day!

What is TDEE?
TDEE is the common abbreviation for Total Daily Energy Expenditure which is a metric to calculate the amount of calories your body needs to function in a day. This is quite similar to BMR; in fact, you need your BMR to calculate your TDEE; but your TDEE accounts for your average daily activity as well to give a figure truer to your specific situation. Basically, the TDEE calculation relies on categorizing your daily activity into one of the metrics' predetermined groupings:

Sedentary - desk job and little to no exercise
Lightly Active - light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk
Moderately Active - moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk (****SIDE NOTE - even if you have a desk job most people fit right here when you workout 3-5 days a week)
Very Active - hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk
Extremely Active - hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or training
Once you have determined where you fit in on the TDEE activity rate scale, this activity rate is used to weight your BMR giving you a more accurate assessment of how many calories you really need throughout the course of the day.

Here is a link to a site that you plug in your information and it will provide your BMR and TDEE along with your Cut value (again, if you workout 3-5 times a week select "Moderate" and the "Select Your Goal" option you will select is "Lose Fat - 15% caloric reduction") :

So now, you should have your BMR, TDEE, and Cut Value (TDEE - 15%)

Here is a video that talks about this in great detail that hopefully will clear up any questions you may have:
(If the video blesses you, please "LIKE" it on Youtube and maybe even share it on help spread the word to help others to EM2WL...oh and we LOVE comments too )

If TDEE is figured out correctly, then exercise cals don't *have* to be eaten back because, technically, TDEE figures them in. The underlying factor here, is that most people underestimate their activity levels, (for fear of being told to eat "too much") and then proceed to under eat. If a person is burning 1000 cals/day in exercise, then that should be figured into their TDEE, meaning their TDEE should be AT LEAST 1000 cals more than their BMR. If this is not the case then they are undercutting themselves on the cals. So a person w/a BMR of 1300, that puts up 1000 cal burns should have come up w/a TDEE calculation of 2400 or more. So any situation where a person is not getting those calculations, they should be eating back some of those exercise cals.

So if you come up w/BMR=1300, TDEE=1800, you need to either A)eat back some cals, or B) recalculate your TDEE to include the *actual* burns that you're getting.

So to cut using *true* TDEE figures, you'd just eat a flat TDEE (-15%), as long as TDEE is correct. It should be fine. But if you are using MFP's calculations, or are not getting a TDEE that includes the amount you burn each day *plus* BMR, you need to eat back some exercise cals. (***NOTE-If you have been eating low calories for an extended period of time, you may want to consier taking a diet break by eating FULL TDEE for an 8-12 week period to do what is called a "Metabolism Reset". Information regarding is in the sticky "Metabolism Reset-Eating at TDEE Support Thread" at the top. Here is a video that will help you to decide if TDEE -15% or a Metabolism reset is right for you:

I make the following recommendations....Change the followiing in your MFP Goal settings under Custom:
Carbs 40%
Protein 30%
Fat 30%
Fiber 30
Sodium 2500
Everything I have read thus far in my journey suggests those macronutrient ratios. It forces you to eat more protein which is important for maintaining and building muscle. Break up your food inake too, eating small meals during the course of the day helps keep the body burning calories. Feel free to check out my diary "AnewLucia", it is open to the public. ***I didn't think it was necessary to say this, but have been asked...eating clean should go without saying because we all are trying to achieve a heathly lifestyle in general. However, we all have "loves" and this is about "living", so I also believe all things in moderation. Lastly, if you are truly sticking to your numbers and ratios, there is no way to junk out...hence the reason I never stressed it now it has been stressed! ***

I almost forgot to mention, I always drink a protein shake right after a workout, so important to give the body good protein after exercising because those muscles are take your shake with you to guzzle right after.

Ok ladies, If you aren't currently strength training you are missing out...weight lifting is what transforms the body. You would be amazed, but those beautifully toned women you just dream about looking will rarely see them in a cardio class sweating to the oldies but goodies....they are in the weight room pushing some heavy steel. If you haven't read it, a good read is "New Rules of Lifting Weights for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess". It gives an excellent nutritional break down (which finally made my bulb light up,) and for beginning lifters it gives you a great program to get you going....for those that are already familiar with weights and have routines and all is time to start challenging yourself...go up 5lbs each lift session, you would be absolutely amazed at what your body can do....and now that you are fueling it you will have the energy to challenge yourself as well!

Lastly, for those that love to weigh in daily, we all know it can be a bit disheartening watching the scale (please make sure to read "What to expect when you up your calories" in another of the topics on this board.) Someone found this great tool to track your weight. You weigh daily and it graphs not only your weight, but how you are trending. It also allows you to note what is happening with you(ie. TOM, sodium, constipation, heavy lift) so you can see the causes of the fluctuations....I ABSOLUTELY ADORE this tool.

Ok one more last thing, if at week 6 you have not lost weight or inches (which is rare) post a topic and let's review what you have been doing during the timeframe. I have yet to find it is due to too many calories. The culprit has been inconsistency and/or underestimating calories burned. We can't stress enough to be consistent in fueling and making sure your activity level is correct.

ONCE you have your TDEE and step:

I have received this question quite a few times so hopefully this will help (of course please plug in your own numbers).

Let's say your TDEE is 2300 then you subtract 15% so that you now have your cut value of 1955.

Let's say your BMR is 1500.

Ok, so now you know the numbers, I suggest you then go into MFP Goal custom settings and change daily calorie goal to 1955, carbs 40, prot 30, fat 30, and fiber 30.

So, this takes into account your exercise so you shouldn't have to eat back any extra calories UNLESS (as in this example 1955-1500= 455) you burn over 455 calories. If you burn lets say 655 calories then you would need 200 extra calories on top of the 1955 to NET BMR.

Here is a video that you should watch that may answer questions you may still have right now

ALORTA SparkPoints: (7,363)
Fitness Minutes: (3,449)
Posts: 310
9/19/13 2:36 A

another way to look at it;
if you were in a coma (no moving, no talking, no chewing, etc), you'd burn your BMR
since you're not, you burn more (as Motivated explained)
there's a calculator that will show you your different numbers based on what you select;

note how BMR has no fat loss options like the others do

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,438
9/19/13 12:11 A

I think it helps to understand the 3 components of your overall calorie burn:

* Your metabolism, or what your body burns just keeping its basic functions (breathing, heartbeat, etc) ticking over
* What you burn through normal daily non-exercise activities.
* What you burn through deliberate exercise.

While it will depend on your lifestyle and activity level, the 2nd component is generally reckoned at 20% in addtion to your BMR for a sedentary lifestyle.

1333 + 20% = 1599 (which is just a rounding error from 1595)

Spark just rolls these two components together.

Hope this helps.


TANITHSEH1011 Posts: 217
9/18/13 11:58 P

All Apps can do is give us an estimate. I got mine from my gym, they hooked me up to a mechine for a little bit and I was given a number. If your part of a gym I would check out the services they offer. Maybe you can find out that way. I know this wasn't very helpful but hopefully you can find something close.

For now, maybe shoot somewhere in the middle track your intakes and expenditures as well as weight and inches, if you see improvements then you will know you are doing the right thing.

9/18/13 10:53 P

According to the internet my BMR is 1333.33, but my sparks people say it's 1595? Huh which is right? I'd like to think I burn 1595 doing nothing but then again do I really?

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