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ATHENA-NADINE SparkPoints: (20,812)
Fitness Minutes: (28,706)
Posts: 360
9/23/13 10:22 A

Thanks everyone! I see so many posts here about people not eating enough, and I just want to make sure I don't accidentally fall into that and become unmotivated. I feel good, I have plenty of energy, and I'm not hungry.

I have a fitbit and it syncs with SP. I get a lot of minutes and fitness calories, but I always feel like it's overestimating my calories burned because I don't really feel like I'm working my body very hard while walking. And most of my walking during the day has to be done anyway, so I don't consider it additional exercise. So I usually take the calories out except for the 200 or so from the morning and evening walks.

I guess as long as everything is working fine for me I'll leave things the way they are and just keep an eye on it.

ANARIE Posts: 13,184
9/23/13 10:04 A

It's up to you, but it's important not to double-count. EITHER change your basic activity level setting OR count the activities as exercise, but not both. If it were me, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't count that as exercise because it's part of your daily routine now.

In fact, if it were me, I wouldn't change anything. Remember the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a myth that low calorie intake slows weight loss. Low nutrient intake can do that, but if you're hitting your targets for protein, calcium, fiber, etc, then increasing your exercise to a moderate level isn't going to harm you in any way. If you find you're hungry, eat at the top of your range, but remember that the whole reason for the existence of a minimum calorie target is to make sure you're getting nutrients; it's not really about the calories themselves.

9/23/13 8:49 A

I would say, get more calories when your weight loss starts slowing down. Just before your first major plateau.
(Now to know exactly when that will be?!)
Good job on all that exercise!

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
9/23/13 8:04 A

I use a similar tracker to Spark's new one for food and I use Fitbit for steps and manually enter other exercise (weights, pilates, etc.). Fitbit shows me as lightly active and I use sedentary in the food one, even though I manually enter my exercise there. I never change those two settings of sedentary in one and lightly active in the other. They always show roughly the same amount I should eat for my maintenance calorie level.

It is very individual. You just have to play around with how much you can eat to achieve your desired weight.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
9/23/13 7:12 A

It sounds like that would put you in the lightly active category or even active, depending on if you count those walks in your fitness tracker or not.

If you find that you consistently lose at a rate that is higher than the calorie deficit you're creating, that's a pretty good sign that you are burning more calories through activity than the setting you're using.

I've played around a lot with the new tracker, trying to hammer it out. I used this calculator to get a rough idea of how much activity it would take to be considered "lightly active" by Sparkpeople:

I timed how long I did specific activities during the day for a couple days and compared to it the calories Spark said I burned for my BMR + light activity (1830 cals). In order for me to burn 1830 cals without exercise (according to the calculator) if I sleep 8 hours per night... that would equal out to approximately 2.5 hours/24 hours of standing/walking. So I put myself as lightly active because I find I'm usually puttering around the house and outside about 3 hours a day. A lot of days it's more but I hate the idea of overestimating and winding up eating more calories than I should.

I also do a lot of walking with my family. I don't include walking my son to and from the bus stop because it's only 5 mins there and back (10 mins/day) but I do record any walks we do that are more than 30 mins in my fitness tracker. We do a lot of nature hiking so I count that as actual exercise, I just put that we're walking a slower speed so again, I don't wind up overestimating but a bit of the extra calories burned are accounted for.

For me, my calorie range when losing weight is not affected by the activity level I enter when my account is set to lose 1 or 2 lbs per week... probably because I'm already in my healthy BMI? I'm guessing. It only changes the deficit Spark says I'm creating under "My Reports". It does change my calorie range when I set my account up to maintain my current weight or if I put 1/2 lb/week loss.

I've found that by setting my account up this way that the deficit Spark says I'm creating it pretty close to my rate of weight loss. Before Spark had the option to choose activity level. I was always losing about 1/2 lb more a week than Spark said I should be losing.

And that's it in a nut shell! When it comes down to it, you're going to have to experiment and play around with it. Hopefully, I've given you some ideas on how you can *test* it and get a more accurate calorie range for yourself.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 9/23/2013 (07:38)
TCANNO SparkPoints: (344,043)
Fitness Minutes: (202,089)
Posts: 67,677
9/23/13 5:36 A

do it today tomorrow never comes

FAITHP44 Posts: 8,596
9/23/13 3:33 A

Are you logging all that exercise? If so they'll up your calories anyway. Sedentary is driving to work, doing a desk job, driving home and collapsing in front of the TV. I'm retired but I try to get my 10,000 steps in each day whether it's by housework and shopping or by going for a walk. (I don't always manage it but most weeks I total between 60,000 and 80,000 steps - occasionally more) I classed myself as lightly active, not sedentary. You sound to me as if you're more active than that, especially with the strength training as well. Well done for turning your life around so effectively.

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
Fitness Minutes: (36,342)
Posts: 2,545
9/23/13 3:18 A

Girl, you are not sedentary! Plug all of that exercise into your tracker and see fi you get the message in red that you need to up your calories. If you do, then re run all of your settings. IF not, just keep up the good work.

GOALWTIN7 SparkPoints: (2,121)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 306
9/23/13 1:13 A

I think since you are now losing at a healthy rate and you're not hungry, just keep things the same. If you start exercising to the point that you are hungry once your calories are used up you can adjust your calorie intake for the day.

PATTIEMCD Posts: 1,107
9/22/13 11:54 P

With all that walking, you are hardly sedentary

ATHENA-NADINE SparkPoints: (20,812)
Fitness Minutes: (28,706)
Posts: 360
9/22/13 11:39 P

I've been sedentary for a few years. Because of that, my calorie range was set to 1200-1550 when I put in a weight loss range of 1 pound a week. I still have almost 60 pounds to lose and am losing at a healthy rate right now--about .8 to 1.25 pounds a week--so I'm not complaining. emoticon

For the last three weeks, I've been working hard to reach 10,000 steps every day, and I've been doing it most days. emoticon I'm a stay at home mom and walk the kids to school and back during the week. Since my daughter is in half day kindergarten and my son in school full day, I walk back and forth three times a day. I also take 2-3 walks with my husband and kids (when they're not at school). These walks are 1-1.5 miles and usually take about 15-20 minutes. I do this 7 days a week now, so even when I don't take the kids to school it isn't that hard to make my 10,000 steps. My average walk speed is 4.5-5 mph, but I've always walked fast and that's the speed I naturally settled into.

Tomorrow I'm starting some basic strength training. I'm very out of shape right now, especially in my core, so have chosen to do push ups, squats, crunches, leg raises, and planks for the next 30 days before moving on to more challenging exercises.

With all that walking every day, am I still really sedentary? Since I'm still losing at a healthy rate should I just leave things the way they are or should I be considering myself lightly active and change my settings here? I'm really happy with my progress so far; I just want to make sure I'm doing right by my body.

I am 40; I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis (hypothyroid) that is very well regulated; I had a hysterectomy two years ago but kept my ovaries and cervix and still get PMS and have a regular cycle; and I am also taking Lexapro. However, none of these things seem to be affecting my weight loss/fitness efforts at the moment.

Edited by: ATHENA-NADINE at: 9/22/2013 (23:59)
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