True, but it give a person a place to start and shows some of the math that the calculators use to make their calculations and can make their suggested caloric intake a little more personal.
Once I figured out my BMR and got a heart rate monitor for x-mas I did actually figure out how many calories I was burning each exercise session (minus swimming because it's not a meant for water one) and used that to figure my exercise calories. But that was at the point when I was pretty obsessive about things. ;)
I have found that a lot of calorie calculators tend to start everyone really low with their calories, so much so that I wanted to do the math and figure things out for myself. And that is when I started reading stuff and came across the Harris-Benedict equation en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harris%E2%80%93Bened ict_equation and figured out my BMR -- the amount of calories my body would burn if I did nothing but lie in bed all day and used their exercise/activity calculations to figure out how many calories I would need to maintain my current level of living+activity. Then I would subtract the 1000 calorie deficit to lose 2 pounds a week from that number. I hope that make some sense.
Oh and I just wanted to say too that 2 pounds/week is a really ambitious goal. It is hard for a lot of people to lose at that rate. I just didn't want you to be discouraged if you didn't see that kind of actual loss.
Fitness Minutes: (14,391)
9,698 8/5/13 2:17 P
I think it was you, Deb. Although I've seen others quote it! That's one reason I say "Guideline" - it's not a rule! (Although neither is the 1% rule... personally I've never had much luck with that one.)
I believe that originated with either Dragonchilde or myself. I don't recall reading about it anywhere, it's just a better 'rule of thumb' that works for more varied weight people than 1% of bodyweight does. The 1% rule gives lighter people the idea they can still lose a full pound a week, which can be pretty unrealistic at lower weights.
Fitness Minutes: (1,653)
8/4/13 6:15 P
The 3% rule is rather interesting. I've never heard of it but now I'm off to do some research to see where it originated. I, too, have only heard of the 1% rule.
Keep a minimum loss per day of half a pound. Once you get below the last 10 pounds or so and the 3% gives you things like 0.14 pounds a week - just go with 0.5.
With all of the estimations in our calculations, a 250 calorie deficit daily (0.5 lbs) is so difficult to achieve anyway. You can't maintain a 100 calorie deficit, because your calculations have error factors of greater than that.
The 3% rule is much more realistic than 1% of total bodyweight. Think about a 110pound woman trying to lose 2 pounds - she can't lose 1.1 pounds per week! Too much! Equally, a 400lbs person can probalby safely achieve far more loss per week than 4 pounds. Percent of bodyweight doesn't work well at extremes, only for the 'average person'. Percent of what's left to lose is far more realistic at all weights.
I heard about losing 1% of your current body weight, but not the 3% rule. That actually makes sense, though painful for the last 10 pounds. I might try that out for my calculations, and adjust it every 5 or 10 pounds. I'm not sure what.
Fitness Minutes: (14,391)
9,698 8/3/13 2:11 P
I don't think you're really still in the range for losing 2 lbs per week. You're still at the edge, but it may be more helpful for you if you work more towards the 1-1.5 range; Going by the 3% guideline (3% of your total weight loss goal remaining) you're looking at around 1.5-1.6 per week.
Fitness Minutes: (85,382)
8/3/13 11:05 A
I would start with around 1600-1700 cals (seems like a safe amount where you wouldn't be under eating) and use the scale as your guide to see if you're losing approximately 2 lbs/week. You can make adjustments from there.
I've been trying to figure out the right calorie ranges for me, and I've come to a great deal of confusion.
I understand the 1,000 calorie deficit for a 2 pound weight loss per week thing, but I keep coming across different numbers.
If I average out my Fitbit calorie burn and subtract 1,000 calories, I get a starting range of around 1,500-1,600 calories per day.
If I go with Sparkpeople's suggestion for being "active" I get 1,300 calories a day at the bottom of my range.
If I sync my Fitbit activity to Sparkpeople, my range shoots up to over 2,000 calories- and that number is WAY above what Fitbit says I can get (it's set to adjust for a 1,000 calorie deficit based on my activity).
Other activity calculators get me at a STARTING goal of 1,240-1,600 calories per day based on being active and using Sparkpeople's methods for calculating ranges.
It seems like the baseline for being active is too low, but the calories I get for my Fitbit are too high.
I generally workout about 30 minutes a day 6 days per week, but I also take at least 10,000 steps per day. Based on my step count alone, my activity level ranges from being active to very active (I've had 20,000-30,000 step days this past week without any workout).
There are so many variations that I'm not sure what to do! My best friend is having an equally difficult time sorting through these things.
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