How much to burn depends on how much you eat. How much you eat depends on how much you burn. Therefore no system can calculate both for you - you must know one to calculate the other.
Spark takes what you say you'll burn (the calories it calculates being a pure reflection of the amount of minutes you specified and your weight), and uses that to work out how many calories you need to eat.
Just burn whatever you burn - maintain a healthy lifestyle level of exercise for you, whatever that is personally, and eat in an accordingly appropriate range to bring about the loss you want.
Spark bases its calorie burn targets on how many minutes and days you said you were prepared to work out each week when you set up your Exercise Goals, and multiplies this by some broad averages of exercise intensity.
Spark then uses this information to come up with an intake recommendation that is consistent with your goals and activity levels.
If you think you can work out more (and sustain this level of exercise in the longer term), then you should update your Spark Exercise Goals (acccessible from the LH side of the Start page).
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
46,222 11/30/11 8:01 P
When you first join SparkPeople gives you a conservative caloric expenditure based on 30 minutes 3 times a week and configures your calorie burned goal based on this data. If you are expending a higher amount than that, you can manually change the figure by clicking on the link next to the calories burn goal in your My Goals and Progress section on your Start Page. Therefore your calorie range is determined by the number of calories you are expending and the other factors (current weight, goal weight, time frame to meet your goal weight, not to exceed more than 2 pounds weight loss per week).
As for ST, SparkPeople does not calculate calories burned for this activity, see link below.
Fitness Minutes: (80,884)
11/30/11 7:44 P
Spark does not determine that... YOU do when you enter your cardio.
Strength training is not included in calorie counting.
Fitness Minutes: (585)
14 11/30/11 6:49 P
I understand the calculation for the recommended amount of calories I should eat per day, but how does SP determine how many calories I should burn per day or per week? I noticed that it changes every time I change my goal for cardio/day but not when I change my strength routine. Is that just the ideal number of calories the average person would burn during the set amount of cardio time? I'm trying to figure out how many calories per day I need to burn to meet my goal of 15 pounds by the end of January.
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