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Needing an answer....

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Ya'll probably think I'm crazy but I am on a diet rollercoaster. I guess just like anything else it has it's highs and lows. I am soooo much happier than I was..but still so confused about things. You would think after 9 months I wouldnt have any questions anymore LOL. Maybe some of you can help me...

Do you burn exactly what Spark tells you too...and if you go over do you increase your calories?

So this week at the gym...I burned almost 5000 calories according to Spark. Well I put in that I was going to burn like 950 a day, so it raised me up to around 1600 ( low end). Ok I'll try that. Well needless to say I felt like I was eating to much. When I log my 60 minutes on the elliptical on Spark is says that I burn like 1100 calories..give or take a few. I was like WOW thats great! So all week thats what I was counting. Then yesterday, I put my age, and weight in the thing and when I was done it said I burned 715.

So now I freaked and changed it back to where I'm only eating like 1200 a day. Now I'm afraid my body is going to quit burning cause I'm not eating enough. I feel like I dont know what the heck I'm doing....
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Eat, eat. 1200 a day for all that exercise is not good, trust me, I have been dealing with that same issue for years. A deficit like yours works great for a while then the body gets used to working with less food and becomes very efficient.

    I had been stuck for years. Working out more and harder ans eating less and NOTHING. I even had a personal trainer 2X a week for months. He help build up my muscle but the weight was dropping off like slow moving molassas. I finally had metabolic testing done and it should my RMR was over 2000 and when my daily activity level was added to that it was that I burned 2600 a day, not including exercise. I was eating 1500-1700 a day no matter what. Now I am eating way more and the scale is finally starting to move. I think after 5 years of over working and under eating it might take a bit for my body to realize it can let go of the fat.

    I also learned that working out at a really high heart rate was not the best way for me to lose weight. Working on that as well.

    I do not trust the elliptical number on spark or on my elliptical. They never match my HRM.
    2260 days ago
    For me I track all my exercise but am not really hung up on the calories burned. I know I need to do 30 - 45 minutes of cardio 3 - 5 times a week to lose weight. I think the calorie range is a personal preference for your body. For me I changed mine to 1250 - 1550 because that is the range I will need to be in when I hit my ideal weight and I don't think I will do well with eating at one range and dropping it once I lose some weight. I think with all of this SP and other tools are just a guide you have to do what feels right for your body.
    2265 days ago
    yeah I know I ran 6.2 miles my mio monitor said I burned 175 calories I don't get it either
    2265 days ago
    Awesome blog...especially #100!! Very happy for a fellow sparker!!
    2265 days ago
    Awesome blog...especially #100!! Very happy for a fellow sparker!!
    2265 days ago
    I LOVE my heart rate monitor. I got mine at walmart for like $50 bucks. Not cheap but worth it. Spark will under/overestimate calories burned all the freakin time.

    I say do what feels right for your body. Spark is generating numbers but there is no way that the same thing will work for everybody. You're doing great!
    2267 days ago
    When I first started spark I was always eating under my calorie range and exercising way over my recommended settings. There were times when I was only losing 1 lb. or not at all and couldn't understand what was going on!
    I decided to try a different approach, I still continue to exercise over their recommendation, but I eat within the mid range of their recommended calories and I really feel it has worked a lot better, since doing that, I have been losing at least 2 lbs. a week, a huge improvement from what it was before.
    I don't know if this helps, but my recommended range is 1700-2100 calories a day to lose 100 lbs. in a year, before I was eating at 1400 and losing slowly, now I am at 1800 and losing more.
    This is really only if people want to lose around 2-3 lbs. a week or less. If someone wants to lose 4-5 lbs. a week then I have no idea how much to eat!!! emoticon
    2268 days ago
  • JAMIEU86
    i also question this. I asked on one of my message boards and I got a useful time from one of the girls that is around the same size as myself. I am eating between 1200-1500 calories (usually closer to 1200) and i am doing about 2x the amound of exercise SP tells me i should do, and i have been losing a good amound of weight. When i was only doing the amount of exercise the SP had suggestion i felt like i wasnt doing very much and i wasnt seeing the scale change as much as id like to. Hope you find a good balance for yourself, everyone is so differant. I also like to use the report that tells me the caloric differance between calories in and out and like it to have a differance of 2000 (500 caloric differance a day =1 pound weight loss per week, but i am going for a loss of much more). Just a thought.
    2268 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/3/2011 2:42:33 PM
    i agree with those who are recommending a heart rate monitor!! I use one EVERY time I go to the gym. It's so much more accurate because it's set to your specific input. There are tons out there so look around and find one that fits your budget and will do what you want. I got mine online for around $100 and LOVE it!! If you do buy online, check around for promo codes... that what I did and saved over $25 and got free shipping ;)
    2268 days ago
    CALORIE CALCULATION 101 by Becky Hand, Registered Dietitian (the link to this article is in my blog entry - How to: Calorie Range Calculation)

    The Sparkpeople Program will never let a woman go under 1200 calories per day or 1500 per day for men. Below these numbers is the point that the body begins to enter “Starvation mode” and begins to slow or stop weight loss. ANYTHING below these numbers and your body will not receive the nutrition it needs for health and survival.

    Now as for how to decide which number of calories to use. I always go by what the machine I am working on tells me tells me. It knows the intensity that you are working at, the distance to the exact step, and the amount of time you worked.

    I hope this helps you some.
    2268 days ago
    I wish I could help with the right answer. I am unsure how right Spark is on the calories burned. I think it is pretty good about the walking as well, I sometimes compare it to my other weight loss app on my phone and it comes out similar. But on my Wii Fit stuff, SP says I burn less calories than the wii....if you are putting your age and weight into the machine at the gym, I would think that would be the most accurate? I have never added calories due to my exercising, but it seems you are burning way more than I am in a week as well! I do know if you are burning too many and not eating enough calories, your body could go into "starvation mode" and will try not to let you lose weight. I Hope you find the answer and am curious to read what others think!
    2268 days ago
    I think there was glitch in SP calories burned yesterday. I noticed a couple exercises I commonly do were way off too in calories burned. When I check out elliptical today for 60 minutes it says 1150. Hope this helps.

    I read your post again and I realize now you are saying SP estimated calories burned in an hour as like 1100 but the machine says 750 . . . my bad. Even so, SP was off yesterday for some reason. I checked the calculator at HealthStatus.com and it estimates 1290 for 60 minutes for a 250 lb. person - which only adds to the confusion.
    2268 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/3/2011 9:26:09 AM
    My experience has been that if I eat what Spark says, I don't lose weight. I burn about 6000 calories a week and Spark says I can eat up to 2300 calories (are you kidding me!!).

    I use a heart rate monitor to determine my calories burned. Somethings Sparks is right on with (like walking), but other things like kick boxing the site way over estimates. If I kickbox for an hour (a class at my gym) I burn between 650 and 850 calories, Sparks has me burning well over 1100 calories. Those differences add up!

    So I use my HRM to make sure I get 6000 calories burned and I try to keep my calories around 1800 a day (although I'm struggling in that area right now.)

    Hope this helps!

    2268 days ago
    I wish I could help. I've been curious about this too lately. I previous blog actually about being confused! No question is a silly question, even if you've been doing this a while. Things change, and we have to adapt. I hope someone gives you a better answer than I can provide. I like the idea about the Heart Rate Monitor. I need to invest in one.
    2268 days ago
    Girlfriend, I've been doing this for 15 months and I still question that every few months. So, I finally bought a heart rate monitor. It looks like a wrist watch, and it was $30 at Wal-Mart. There is no chest strap, I thought that would be too uncomfortable to wear. Of all the exercise equipment I've purchased, this has to be the best $ spent! I also had the big discrepancy between what spark said and what the machines said I was burning. The HRM put my mind at ease, because I KNOW how many calories I'm burning. And, as ridiculous as it sounds, if you don't eat enough, you will gain weight. BELIEVE ME, I've been down that road TOO many times!

    You know you can manually change your calories burned on your "my fitness" page? It's at the bottom where it says to enter calories burned, if you know what they are. It will change your calorie intake range for you. I've gone from burning 2800 last week to 3200 this week. I changed it and now I can eat more : ) I hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by my page too! Enjoy your weekend, I hope you don't have to work the whole time!
    2268 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/3/2011 7:44:44 AM
  • WINNIE1978
    I always end up burning more calories than Spark says I should burn in a week... usually I burn twice as much. But I still eat within the calorie ranges that I normally would. The message about needing to eat more due to the increased activity always confuses me too.

    I'll be interested in replies to this blog. Hopefully you can get some good advice.
    2268 days ago
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