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JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (76,390)
Fitness Minutes: (69,839)
Posts: 2,489
7/21/13 8:32 A

Thanks Coach Jen.

Since I'm not too concerned with losing weight at the moment and more concerned with body comp., I am curious to give this new range a try and see what it does for me. I do love how it has me eating more on training days since I feel it's vital to get proper nutrition and calories on those days to build muscle.

Most of my weight loss I ate in my old calorie range of 1200-1550 cals. Averaging around 1400 cals and after losing my first 25 lbs (which came off at the standard rate of 1-2 lbs/week and then slowed for awhile). I then lost my cycle for 5 months. I was eating around 1400-1500 cals and losing weight even more quickly for my last 20 lbs. I was losing around 2-3 lbs most weeks in my last stretch even though I was in my healthy BMI. So I imagine I was probably under eating before and that maybe it was due to my activity level increasing since starting Spark. I've also gained quite a bit of muscle since starting Spark and I've heard that can contribute to an increased metabolism?

Anyways, yes. I'll give the new range a try and experiment with it. It's just hard wrapping my head around eating that much to lose weight when it seems most women (including myself before the new feature) are given the "standard range" of 1200-1550 cals to lose weight and the amount I'm given now on exercise days was the same range given to me for maintenance.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 7/21/2013 (08:39)
SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 56,470
7/21/13 7:22 A

I'm not sure how our definition of activity compares to other sites, but my assumption is that it's pretty standard. My suggestion is to do what works best for you. We are all an experiment of one, so we each need to figure out the best number of calories for us within our range depending on our goals. Not all recommendations are going to work for everyone, so find the calorie level that you think works well for you, stick with it for a least a few weeks and see what happens.

Hope that helps,

Coach Jen

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (76,390)
Fitness Minutes: (69,839)
Posts: 2,489
7/20/13 9:11 P

I still have a hard time believing I will lose weight eating between 1600-2000 cals on the days I exercise. That was my maintenance range given to me by Spark's before I switched to the new tracker. Although, I didn't stay at maintenance long enough to see if I was maintaining on that amount.

By most calculators my BMR for "lightly active" would be Spark's definition of sedentary, about 1600 cals. Now that I put lightly active Spark has me at 1800 cals without exercise. Is Spark's definition of lightly active more comparable to most calculators' definition of moderately active? According to every calculator I've used my TDEE (incl. exercise) is around 1800-2000 cals.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 7/20/2013 (21:14)
ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (103,617)
Fitness Minutes: (103,880)
Posts: 13,214
7/19/13 7:43 P

I exercise a lot, but when I'm not exercising, I am sitting on my butt, literally not moving all day. Should I consider myself sedentary?

Edited by: ZORBS13 at: 7/19/2013 (19:43)
SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 56,470
7/19/13 2:33 P

Hi Jenni

My activity is a lot like yours throughout the day (chasing around 3 little ones.) I wear a pedometer just to see how active I am throughout the day outside of exercise. Some days I'm pretty active, but other days, there's no way I'd reach 10,000 steps without exercise (even though I'm constantly on the move doing things for my kids.) So I use that benchmark as my guide, and usually classify myself as lightly active.

Coach Jen

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (76,390)
Fitness Minutes: (69,839)
Posts: 2,489
7/19/13 1:25 P

I don't track anything extra like mileage or steps. The only thing in my fitness setup that's tracked is how many cardio/ST days I do. I just lowered them to the lowest amount of days and minutes and it didn't affect my calorie range. I have my weekly calorie burn set to 2000 cals per week. I'm not sure why they still have this option with the new tracker since it accounts for your calorie burn through exercise automatically, hmmm... k tried setting that to 0 and still didn't affect my calorie range.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 7/19/2013 (13:27)
WADINGMOOSE Posts: 1,044
7/19/13 1:19 P

If you have exercise goals entered, I've read that that can affect your bmr rating.

I have mine set up with mileage and other goals and these change my calorie ranges on regular spark so they could also be affecting the new tracker - try removing them if you have them to see what your goals are.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (76,390)
Fitness Minutes: (69,839)
Posts: 2,489
7/19/13 1:16 P

That's what I'm concerned about now, have I been under eating this whole time? I did always find I lost weight a fair bit faster than my calorie deficit suggested. I don't think I'd be considered "very active" (the next level up) that's reserved for people with labour intensive jobs.

On days I don't exercise my range is now 1200-1550 cals.
On days I do exercise it's roughly 1600-1950 cals. Can I really still lose weight on this amount?

I'm 5'2 120 lbs so that's why I have a difficult time wrapping my head around being able to lose in a range of 1600-1950 cals. Before the change to the tracker, 1950 cals is what I thought I burned total, including exercise on my heaviest burn days. Since I'm already a healthy weight, I have my goal set to lose about 1 lb a week but am content with a 1/2 lb loss. (I've been back and forth between maintenance and weight loss after hitting a few bumps in the road). Although, it is true that I always tend to lose a bit quicker than that. I don't want to create too large of a deficit because my goals also include building muscle.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 7/19/2013 (13:19)
TEXASPCMAMA SparkPoints: (5,523)
Fitness Minutes: (4,052)
Posts: 74
7/19/13 12:07 P

Hi Jennilacey, I had the same questions, too, when I was trying to figure out my BMR. I think your assessment of "lightly active" could be upgraded to even the next level, possibly, since it seems you are constantly on the move.

Like you, I was surprised that my BMR was so high. After comparing Sparkpeople's assessment of my BMR with other assessments, I finally concluded that SP is just right!

But, one thing I did decide to do was to somewhat lower my calorie intake - again, this is based on comparing SP's suggestions with a couple other websites. I wanted to make sure I am getting enough nutrition not to push my metabolism into "survival mode," while at the same time achieving a moderate weight loss goal of about 2 lbs per week. Which, to this point, I have done.

I 5'2", currently 168 (down 12 lbs since June), and while I consider my days to be "lightly active," that's probably a bit of a stretch, at least compared to YOUR "lightly active" days! I do work out 3-5 times per week, though, so that does help a lot.

Hope this helps.




JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (76,390)
Fitness Minutes: (69,839)
Posts: 2,489
7/19/13 7:53 A

Activity levels have always confused the heck out of me. :/

I'm a SAHM and I'd consider myself fairly active during the day. I hate sitting for long periods of time and try to keep my day filled with activity around the house and in the yard but for the most part it's not "heavy labour" or anything like that. I was doing a lot more walking/nature hiking earlier in the year but lately it's either been too buggy, too muggy or too rainy. Probably return to that in the fall.

I usually spend a good 2-3 hours cleaning and doing chores in the morning after my workout most days.

I move around most of the rest of the day (making meals, baking, laundry, light gardening, tending to my kids, light tidying up after the kids, etc) with a bit of down time in the afternoon, some days more than others. Then close to dinner, I'm making dinner, finishing up any chores that need to be done, giving my kids a bath and getting them ready for bed (usually about an hour to two hours). Around 7-8pm I relax for the rest of evening with my hubby watching a movie or show.

I do a lot of activities the "old fashioned way" ex; hanging clothes outside, washing dishes by hand, etc.

So anyways, I put myself as "lightly active" and my calorie range is way higher than it used to be, is this right???

My BMR (without exercise) jumped from 1580 to 1810 cals. I think by most calculator estimates my BMR is 1200-1300 cals so I assumed Spark already factored in light activity to give me 1580 cals.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 7/19/2013 (08:16)
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