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MENNOLY's Photo MENNOLY SparkPoints: (88,660)
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9/30/12 5:02 P

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I did not get any message but could not access the site. I too went to bed and it was fine this morning.

"Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of." anonymous

Carpe Diem! Seize the Day!

"Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another." John Dewey

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MOBYCARP's Photo MOBYCARP SparkPoints: (153,704)
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9/30/12 5:00 P

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It didn't work for me for a while, and it was ridiculously slow for a while . . . slow as in, go get coffee while waiting for a response. I figured it was probably a denial of service attack and went to bed. The site was fine the next morning.


- Kevin

"Discipline is remembering what you want. " - David Campbell

Max Lifetime Weight, 221
SP Start Weight, 196.6
Initial SP Goal, 175
Current Goal on Ticker, 162


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LEB0401's Photo LEB0401 Posts: 301
9/30/12 4:45 P

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You know, this could be completely unrelated, but last night I tried to log in several times within about 5 minutes and kept getting an error message to the effect of "site down, try again later." Maybe they did some tinkering last night. I wonder if that happened to any others?

Laura
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Fredericksburg, VA


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MOBYCARP's Photo MOBYCARP SparkPoints: (153,704)
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9/30/12 2:27 P

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I found the links cruising through SP articles. I saved the first one as a favorite; the second wasn't technically an article, and wouldn't save. So I found it again by doing a search for something like nutrition ranges and checking what popped up.

I told Spark my birthdate and gender when I signed up. These settings show up in Account Preferences, which you can get to from the Start page. Apparently I could also edit them by changing my Spark Page. What I find interesting is, Spark didn't ask for my height. Obviously, it gets my weight every time I update that.


- Kevin

"Discipline is remembering what you want. " - David Campbell

Max Lifetime Weight, 221
SP Start Weight, 196.6
Initial SP Goal, 175
Current Goal on Ticker, 162


 current weight: -0.2  under
 
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NANCYANNE55's Photo NANCYANNE55 SparkPoints: (89,942)
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9/30/12 2:15 P

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Where are you guys able to find the information on how they calculate (how did you find the links), and how do I tell Spark things like my gender?

Nancy Anne

My blog, about my personal experience and opinions of fitness related stuff: itallmakesadifference.blogspot.com/


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LESLIE871948's Photo LESLIE871948 SparkPoints: (57,761)
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9/30/12 8:50 A

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This is very interesting. I like to be in my calorie range on Spark so I set my goal date about a year away for it to be high enough for me to feel satisfied most of the time. It is interesting to me how different people burn calories, but I know there is variability in metabolic rates. Mine should be slow after the crazy dieting years in the 1980's but it isn't so. I am losing about a pound a week, and eating an average of 1750 a day. And I am 64 years old.
I don't pay a lot of attention to the range it gives me, but I do pay a lot of attention to making sure every food is logged.

"A woman should be two things, Who and What she wants" Coco Chanel


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BROOKLYN_BORN's Photo BROOKLYN_BORN Posts: 2,334
9/30/12 6:49 A

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Thanks everyone for your input. I think I was more annoyed at the change itself and why it happened than the actual number range. I’ve been successful for a long time and since it wasn’t broke, why were they fixing it? I know I didn’t change any goals, since I had to read the FAQ yesterday to learn HOW to change my goals. Then as they advised, all my tracking records were wiped out.

On the positive side I did get to fiddle with the calculator to see how their numbers were derived. Fortunately, I like numbers and data analysis.
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/calorie
_c
alculation101.asp

In my case the basic formula is fine until it tries to adjust for calories burned through exercise and any desired weight loss.

1500-1650 calories consumed each day works well for me with my average daily exercise and I’ve got the nutrition tracker to 1480-1810. Close enough! It’s the nutrients that most interest me at this point.

The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running.


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SUZYMOBILE's Photo SUZYMOBILE Posts: 9,885
9/29/12 5:55 P

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Couldn't agree more, Kevin!

"Awareness is all."

"Letting go is much harder than fighting."
—SUZYMOBILE

"Everything is exactly the way it's supposed to be."

“Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” —Gilda Radner

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference." --Reinhold Niebuhr


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NANCYANNE55's Photo NANCYANNE55 SparkPoints: (89,942)
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9/29/12 5:49 P

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Wow! Thank you for all of the input, MOBYCARP. That was very helpful!

Nancy Anne

My blog, about my personal experience and opinions of fitness related stuff: itallmakesadifference.blogspot.com/


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MOBYCARP's Photo MOBYCARP SparkPoints: (153,704)
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9/29/12 5:30 P

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Here's what SP has to say about target ranges in general:

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutriti
on
_articles.asp?id=372


And here's what they say about how the nutrition tracker calculates them:

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/calorie
_c
alculation101.asp


Note that the two articles are written by Becky Hand, SP's registered dietitian. The working assumption is that they represent official SP policy and that they should be consistent with each other.

Digging through the details, I see that the nutrition tracker supposedly takes your age, weight, height, and gender to compute a Basal Metabolic Rate, applies a multiplier that assumes a sedentary lifestyle, and adds in the calories you told the fitness tracker that you'd burn. Then it subtracts your weight loss burn goal, which is computed based on your current weight, goal weight, and desired date to hit goal. It's rounded up to the nearest 10 calories. Then your range is set at 250 calories less than this target number to 100 calories above it. Ranges for carbs, fat, and protein are set at percentages of the magic calorie number, subject to minimum requirements.

What jumps out at me is that these assumptions won't be appropriate for everyone. Some people won't fall near the sludge average basal metabolic rate that SP uses. If people are actually getting those 10K steps per day in, they aren't sedentary. And I suspect that the tracker actually assumes that everyone is female.*

What does this mean, in practice? Any time you change your weight goal or your fitness plan, the nutrition planner will revise its calculations. Even if the revision comes out to the exact same calorie range as I had before, my minimum protein is reset to the low number SP assigns instead of the higher number I manually put in.

In maintenance, I think you're better off tracking what you eat and seeing how much it takes to hold the weight steady. Then you can manipulate the inputs to generate an appropriate range for the nutrition tracker, if that's your thing. I do this because the fat and carb ranges work well for me, and I can make the protein range work with a single adjustment to the minimum required. The cost of doing this is that the fitness tracker is trash as far as tracking calories. (I think it is anyway, but that's another rant.) Right now, on Saturday, I've logged all the exercise I will log for this week. The fitness tracker says I've burned 2399 calories out of goal of 8600 per week. Why do I have a lofty 8600 calorie exercise burn goal? Because that's what I had to input to get my calorie range where I need it right now for maintenance. There's no way I'm going to do enough stuff that I consider exercise to make the fitness tracker think I've burned 8600 calories in a week.

Bottom line, the nutrition tracker is great for tracking. It's not so great for setting accurate ranges without intervention. The default ranges seem to work for some people, but are too high for some and too low for others. As long as the bias is toward being too low, the SP ranges will support weight loss even for people who "forget" to input a few small things; but the ranges aren't personalized enough to be directly useful for maintenance for people who don't happen to fall close to the average that the calculations are based on.

Oh, and the random change when no inputs were changed? I'm not sure what's going on. I've had my range change on me when I didn't expect it to, but I can't swear that I didn't change any of the inputs. In theory, SP might do this if they revise their calculations; but if that's the case, I'd expect everyone to have their ranges changed at the same time.



* The first article tells me that males need a minimum of 75 grams of protein, but when I was in weight loss mode the nutrition tracker stubbornly set my minimum protein at 60 grams, which is supposed to be the minimum for females. I'm pretty sure I told SP I'm male.


- Kevin

"Discipline is remembering what you want. " - David Campbell

Max Lifetime Weight, 221
SP Start Weight, 196.6
Initial SP Goal, 175
Current Goal on Ticker, 162


 current weight: -0.2  under
 
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SUZYMOBILE's Photo SUZYMOBILE Posts: 9,885
9/28/12 9:32 P

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Here's what happened to me. Very similar. I changed my goal weight and extended the target date on the main page, under "My Goals and Progress." My extending the target date made the SparkPeople calculator cut me some slack and bump my calorie range on the Nutrition Tracker up to something like 1340-1865, after I'd purposely set it there at 1200-1400. I'm guessing that its calculator takes your weight, the amount of time to reach your goal, and your BMI, and calculates your calorie range. You lowered your weight, probably kept the target date the same, and have the same BMI, so it blindly lowered your calorie range.

Re/ my new numbers, I've just checked my trackers for the past 2.5 years, and I know that I can't eat up to 1865 a day without turning into a blimp. Maybe it's my age, maybe it's my metabolism, maybe it's my activity level. For me, the Spark calorie ranges have always been too high. I know what I need to do to lose 5 lbs, so I just reset my Nutrition tracker (using Change Nutrition Goals at the bottom of the Nutrition Tracker) at 1200-1400. When I reach my goal, I might reset the top of the calorie range to 1500, but certainly not over 1800, unless I want to go right back to where I am and heavier.

Everyone's body operates differently. Part of the maintenance journey is learning your own body's rules of the road.

Edited by: SUZYMOBILE at: 9/28/2012 (21:38)
"Awareness is all."

"Letting go is much harder than fighting."
—SUZYMOBILE

"Everything is exactly the way it's supposed to be."

“Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” —Gilda Radner

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference." --Reinhold Niebuhr


 current weight: 7.8  over
 
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NANCYANNE55's Photo NANCYANNE55 SparkPoints: (89,942)
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9/28/12 7:49 P

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My guess would be that for some reason they changed the tracker here recently. I think Sparks suggested macro nutrient rates have always been a little off: Not enough protein and fats, too many carbs. And usually thier calorie levels seem way too low. Most people shouldn't go below 1400. 1200 would be for a very short and petite person.

Nancy Anne

My blog, about my personal experience and opinions of fitness related stuff: itallmakesadifference.blogspot.com/


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MENNOLY's Photo MENNOLY SparkPoints: (88,660)
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9/28/12 7:48 P

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Did you change your calorie burn data recently?

"Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of." anonymous

Carpe Diem! Seize the Day!

"Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another." John Dewey

Eastern Time


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BROOKLYN_BORN's Photo BROOKLYN_BORN Posts: 2,334
9/28/12 7:33 P

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Can someone help me understand what just happened?

I began logging in to SP daily on Sept 1st although my registration date is 2009.
My calorie range was 1507 – 18??. I’m not sure of the top number. After nearly 3 years of maintenance, I was more interested in balancing my nutrients and getting enough calories to be healthy.

On Sept 14th I adjusted my weight from 138 to 135. There was no change in my calorie range until just now. As I looked at my daily report, all of a sudden the range is 1380 – 1730. My fat calorie bottom limit dropped from 38 to 31

Was there a 2 week delay in the recalculation? A 125 calorie drop for 3 lbs??

Something doesn’t seem right here. If I magically returned to the 120 lbs of my HS days, what would the range be then? I know we shouldn’t eat less than 1200 calories per day. The way that range changed for me, a few more pounds lost and the bottom of my range will be approaching that. I know that there are many here who weigh a lot less than I do. What am I missing?


The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running.


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