I have used both SparkPeople and MyFitnessPal in the past, and this is the big difference between the two. I understand that SparkPeople theoretically includes exercise in your calorie goals, but they still seem low to me for this.
For example, on MyFitnessPal, my calorie goal is 1400 plus eating back whatever exercise I do to lose 1lb per week. On SparkPeople, my goal is 1200 - 1550 including whatever exercise I do. So, if I eat at the top of my range and I only burn 150 calories, I will be at the same level as MFP, but if I burn more than 150, I will be lower than my goals on MFP.
For visual people, here's how it looks on days when I burn 150 and 300 calories respectively, assuming I eat at the top of my range on SparkPeople (which I am prone to do):
1400 + 150 = 1550 calories that day (1400 net)
1400 + 300 = 1700 calories that day (1400 net)
1550 + 0 (150 calories burned, but not added) = 1550 (1400 net)
1550 + 0 (300 calories burned, but not added) = 1550 (1250 net)
As you can see, if I burn more than 150, I will be eating significantly less on the SparkPeople method on days that I burn a lot of calories. Some might argue that this is a good thing and make weight loss easier. I think to each his own. There are plenty of folks on MyFitnessPal who do NOT count their exercise calories because they fear overestimating them, which is a valid concern.
Personally, 1500 calories is barely enough for me to feel satisfied. When I'm eating very healthy, this is perhaps more satisfying, but still not quite enough. So, it's hard not to be tempted to eat back extra exercise.
I came back to SparkPeople, though, because I find the community to be MUCH more supportive. I'm still deciding about whether or not to eat more on days when I exercise more.
This isn't a huge problem currently because I am dealing with some back pain and I'm in physical therapy for sciatica and shoulder issues.
I also deal with emotional eating and some other out of whack food perspectives, so maybe a more restrictive/global approach would help.
Best of luck to you all.
My only takeaway advice is that if you find you are ALWAYS hungry, then perhaps you should consider allowing yourself more calories while still maintaining a deficit (think - shooting for 1/2 lb per week instead of 1 lb per week), even for a short period.
"But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark..." Philippians 3:13-14
| current weight: 154.5