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4/20/14 4:15 P

Just out of curiosity---
What is your calorie range with your Fitbit?
How many pounds did you program into your Fitbit as your "weekly weight loss goal"?

And if you already have experimented with your calorie range; and know the range that brings about your weekly weight loss goal...then I say emoticon
This really isn't an issue for you---- since you have yours already determined.


Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 4/20/2014 (16:17)
FTSOLK Posts: 1,395
4/20/14 4:07 P

Half?! I shouldn't eat ANY of them if I go by the fitbit sync if I want to reach my goals!

4/20/14 12:38 P

Calorie formulas are used as an estimate of actual need; usually it is a good estimate (yet still an estimate).
You need to test your range to determine how it is working for you. If you are not losing when you add back all of your exercise calories; then add back only 1/2 the calories burned. With a little tweaking and monitoring of your calorie intake, exercise plan, and weekly weight change; you will quickly learn your "individualized" calorie range for weight loss.

Your SP Registered Dietitian

Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 4/20/2014 (12:40)
4/20/14 9:28 A

Spark People gives you the option of having it add back in your calories burned through exercise or not. It's a choice you can make based on your settings.

On your Spark page, you can go to "Account/Email preferences" and scroll down to How My Daily Calorie Range is Determined and it explains your options. I have mine set so my Fitness tracker on Spark is not communicating with my Nutrition Tracker. Spark still syncs with my Fitbit and records my Fitbit steps, but it doesn't recalculate my calories based on how much exercise I've done. I prefer it that way, because then I'm not tempted to eat back all the calories I burned with exercise.

You certainly don't want to eat back all your exercise calories if you're trying to lose weight. I don't. Here's a really helpful tool:

Plug in your height, weight, and age and it will give you your basal metabolic rate. Then where it says "Once you know your BMR, you can calculate your Daily Calorie Needs....." Click on Daily Calorie Needs and the next screen has you calculate your regular activity level. So in my case I have a BMR of 1501 and I'm moderately active, so I multiply 1501 by 1.55, and that's about how many calories I burn to stay at my current weight. To lose weight, I need to eat a lower number of calories than that, or I need to burn more calories, or both. "Eating back" all the calories burned through exercise would be self-defeating.

If I exercise particularly intensely, once in awhile I fell like I flat-out need more fuel, and then I allow myself to eat back some of those calories in a healthy way. When I didn't there were a few times when I got light-headed and shaky - a clear signal that I needed to eat.

Edited by: CALLMECARRIE at: 4/20/2014 (09:32)
RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
4/20/14 7:19 A

I've never understood the concept of "eating back" all your exercise calories. Isn't the idea that your exercise is supposed to be part of what is helping to create your calorie deficit? Why would you want to erase it fully when exercise can be such an asset in making slightly faster weight loss sustainable? (Especially considering the questionable accuracy of the calorie burn estimators.)

FTSOLK Posts: 1,395
4/19/14 9:37 A

Once again, I think a Sparkpeople staff member is completely ignoring the fact that there IS an issue with the way Sparkpeople and Fitbit are linked. Sparkpeople wants me to eat the same calories Fitbit told me I burned. I understand not eating back all the exercise calories when you log in "30 minutes of aerobic exercise" in the tracker, but I don't understand why the site gives close to 1,000 more exercise calories than I need to lose weight.

4/18/14 8:32 P

BMR calories are when the body is in a resting state.
To this you add on exercise calories
Plus the calories of daily living---just moving around, even sitting, cooking, shopping, etc

To the original poster--- I agree that for some folks, when you add in those exercise calories the calorie range does go too high for weight loss. Many people find that they just add in "up to 1/2 the calories" from exercise and this works well. I also say to listen to your physical hunger cues as well.

I hope this helps.

your SP Registered Dietitian

-CORAL- SparkPoints: (40,297)
Fitness Minutes: (39,981)
Posts: 2,322
4/18/14 7:58 P

Find a site that calculates your BMR (I think there's a link on SP to do it also), then add your calories burned from exercise, and there you have the total number of calories you're burning in a day. Eat 500 less than that.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
4/18/14 6:41 P

Sorry, I don't have the answer, but...yours is the second post today that I've read on this issue:

MICHMUNCHKIN522 SparkPoints: (1,011)
Fitness Minutes: (1,671)
Posts: 5
4/18/14 6:10 P

I'm new to the whole calorie counting thing -- I did Weight Watchers for two years and lost 65 pounds, but I've since gained back about 25 of those, and I'm working to get them off again. Money's kind of tight and $80 a month is a fair chunk of money, so I decided to try my hand at calorie counting.

But oh my god, I am so confused. :/

I signed up for SP, and based on the info I fed in, I have a daily calorie range of 1200-1550 calories a day. Now, I know that's a range based on my not really doing anything in terms of exercise. I work a pretty sedentary job -- reception at the local Y -- but when I'm not working, I try to walk 5 miles a day.

I have a Fitbit, and I synced it up with SP, but the numbers I've been getting since I did that are absolutely nuts. Like, today, according to the info contributed by my Fitbit, I can still eat anywhere from 518-866 calories -- and I've already eaten 1,664 calories. o_O I mean, yes, okay, I did walk 5.5 miles today, but that still seems like a ridiculous number. Losing weight requires a calorie deficit of *some* sort, and in order to lose weight by eating that number of calories, I'd have to be burning off an even MORE insane number of calories. If I were to eat 2,180 calories (which is the low end of what SP is giving me right now) then I'd have to burn 2,680 calories over the run of the day just to achieve a 500-calorie deficit.

Can someone give me some insight here? I really want to give this calorie counting thing a try, but I want to make sure I'm at least doing it right. Any help I could get from any long-timers would be fantastic. :)

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