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DOUGDC's Photo DOUGDC SparkPoints: (32,248)
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5/28/11 5:26 P

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Reading this thread I wonder if folks are getting any motivation or feedback from the calorie differential reports available in the Reports tab. I look at these and hope to see my intake running something like 500 cal below my calories burned which for me will generally result in about a pound a week weight loss. I'm not particularly interested in the recommendation for a day (though I find it reasonable) but in the differential. Anyone else doing something similar?

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HOMELESSDOG's Photo HOMELESSDOG Posts: 182
4/26/11 1:25 P

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Just saw this thread, so sorry I'm late in replying. SparkPeople does have an article that shows exactly how they calculate your caloric needs. There is a different formula for men and women and it's based on your weight loss goals and fitness goals. Here's the page that explains it: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/calori
e_calculation101.asp

Kelly

Start Date 4/10/2011
Goal 1: Track food daily.
Goal 2: Walk for 10 minutes daily.


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GREGINPROGRESS's Photo GREGINPROGRESS Posts: 242
4/9/11 10:31 P

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The SparkPeople rates seem to be working for me but it took me a while to figure them out because I wasn't paying attention. First, I had my estimated fitness calories set way too low, which resulted in the nutrition recommendations being too low. I updated the weekly fitness estimate and that helped but then I let my weight goal expire without realizing it, which resulted in a nutrition recommendation that maintained my current weight, even at the low part of the range. Now I'm keeping a closer eye on the weight goal and fitness settings and the recommendations seem to be working for me now.



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LORAXVT's Photo LORAXVT SparkPoints: (13,260)
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3/30/11 5:40 P

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I use the suggested rates and they seem to work fine.

Vermont
Apathy is a dominant gene. Mutate.


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CHASINTHEDRAGON's Photo CHASINTHEDRAGON Posts: 62
3/27/11 5:04 P

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I know that as you continue to lose weight spark urges you to readjust your calorie intake. Not eating enough will actually have a negative effect on your body as it tries to hold on to what it's got. So eating at your goal weight's maintenance level wouldn't really work.

As for me, Spark recommended in the beginning that I get 1900-2200 calories but now it's down to 1700-2000, I've been eating around 1900 the whole time and have consistently been losing.

CAPTAIN68's Photo CAPTAIN68 Posts: 35
3/21/11 1:02 P

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Similar to my experience --- SP gave me a range of 1510 - 1860 calories/day, but I either don't lose, or gain a bit, in the top end of that range. So I dropped the top end to 1700, and dropped the top end of Carbs, Fat and Protein ranges by 10%. Works for me when I run the "Calories and Nutrients Over Time" report -- anything over 1700 stands out as "out of range".


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TYKXBOY's Photo TYKXBOY SparkPoints: (41,821)
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3/21/11 11:29 A

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I've found that various calculators on various web sites base their calculations on different weights and measures. Some use your BMR, some use BMI, some are pretty generic, and some have some really heavy equations going on. And a lot also depends on how much information you have and can obtain yourself. So, it doesn't surprise me that you would get different numbers with different calculators.

For me, I've found that the range that SparkPeople gives me is too big. It recommends that I eat between 2,150 - 2,600 calories per day while doing a desk job and running 20-25 miles per week over the course of 4 days. I gain weight if i eat anywhere near 2,600 calories. I have to try to stay closer to 2,100 if I want to maintain or lose.

"One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." ~ Elbert Hubbard (1856 - 1915)


JAVADOC's Photo JAVADOC SparkPoints: (10,759)
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3/21/11 1:23 A

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SP says that my BMR is 2050 (I have read that SP also hits the calc with a 1.2 multiplier to get that number), and right now I'm trying to stay around 1200 cals/day, with 4 days/wk of cardio, 3 days/wk with strength. The link that you listed says that my bmr is 1700... 1939 for 'sedetary,' so really close to the SP figure really.

Eating 1200 cals/day, I've been trending about 2-lbs a week weight loss, even with cardio and strength, which I am certain slows my wt loss by buildling lean muscle mass.

You never regret the workouts that you do. You regret the workouts that you DON'T do.

If I can do it, YOU can do it!

I'm investing sweat equity into... me


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CAPTAIN68's Photo CAPTAIN68 Posts: 35
3/20/11 10:31 P

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BTW I did follow your link -- that calculator gives me 2058 calories/day (sedentary), 2358/day with light exercise 2x per week. But then it says that you need to adjust for your own body and metabolism, and says also that you can vary this by 200-300 calories per day to change the rate of weight loss.

So I think they're pretty comparable.

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CAPTAIN68's Photo CAPTAIN68 Posts: 35
3/20/11 7:51 P

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I see the logic. However (there's always a "however", isn't there?):

SP sets the calorie range, in part, by what you say you want to lose and how fast. Using the calorie intake for goal weight maintenance might or might not get you to the target weight on the same schedule. My suspicion is that the using that calorie input would eventually get you to goal weight, but more gradually.

I revised my target the other day -- I realized that the goal I'd set for mid-May was too aggressive. So I re-did the goal -- used the same target weight, but put in "Lose 1 pound per week." SP came back with a new target date in July. And SP changed my calorie range -- raised the whole range, top and bottom, by 10 calories per day.

ps -- If you change your gender, you'll have to drop out of this group. LMAO

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AROUET's Photo AROUET SparkPoints: (4,408)
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3/20/11 6:58 P

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I've had great success with sparks in the past, losing over 35lbs keeping to their ranges. So I know that works. No question.

However, I did gain it all back, with interest. Much of that was due to various stresses in my life leading me to say: "I can't deal with my weight right now" and I let myself eat whatever I wanted. My fault, completely, and I knew what I was doing.

So yes, Sparks ranges indeed work.

But here's the thing that these podcasters raise, and i can't get away from the logic. If you eat at a maintenance weight for your goal weight, it would seem that you would, by necessity, continue to lose weight, AND it would be easier to maintain once you get to the goal weight.

So I guess I'll experiment this time by upping the calories sparks gives me and doing 2200-2500 rather than 1800-2200. I'll see if that works.

By the way: sparks does take into account gender. When I changed my gender to female, and recalculated the goal calories, it gave me an even lower amount.

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CAPTAIN68's Photo CAPTAIN68 Posts: 35
3/20/11 5:33 P

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I don't know about any other calculators -- but SP gave me a range of 1510 - 1860 calories/day. I've found since I rejoined in January that if I'm in the top end of that range, I don't lose weight. I'm not working out every day, just playing squash twice a week. So I've adjusted the target calorie range to 1500 - 1700. That way, when I run the reports, the days in the upper part of their target range show up as "over the target range". I dropped 10% off the top end of the target ranges for carbs, fat and protein, too. I also found early on that while I was hitting the calorie range, I was low on protein, high on carbohydrates most of the time. So I adjusted the diet for more protein -- and bingo, 10 pounds dropped off. You really do have to look at your history, and your results, and see what works.

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WRITEMANN1's Photo WRITEMANN1 Posts: 8,751
3/18/11 10:21 P

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I used your calculator and the one at 'Men's Health'. Both had me in a range from 1750-1900 daily calories to safely make my weight goal.

"I can do all things if I just get off my but's and admit I'm in control of me!" SGM 1:1-5 The only real verse I need.

Never say you didn't have enough time: You have the same amount of time that was given to Helen Keller, Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Winston Churchill.

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BILBY4's Photo BILBY4 SparkPoints: (45,830)
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3/18/11 9:03 P

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Spark range is high for me. It's about 2400-2700, with my exercise set to burn 5600 calories per week.
Experience shows that if I'm averaging in the middle of that range I will gain. If I'm averaging between 2300 and 2400 I will lose or have a stable weight.
The calculators can only go so far. Work out what is effective for you in practice.
all the best,
Alan

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GWBACH's Photo GWBACH SparkPoints: (124,330)
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3/18/11 4:09 P

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2500 is the number for me, 1700 if I just sit at a desk and go home and watch tv. so I am at 1800 and work out 6 days a week. I think you have to start some were and just tweak it till you get your results. be patient and give it time, so maybe start at 2000 to 2100 and go from there.

Edited by: GWBACH at: 3/18/2011 (16:09)

"The future ain't what it used to be"
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Life is full of obstacle illusions.
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AROUET's Photo AROUET SparkPoints: (4,408)
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3/18/11 3:46 P

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See, this stie is telling me to eat much more than sparks is. It's telling me to eat 2500 calories and I'll still lose weight. That seems crazy.

The way that site does it is it calculates what calories you would need to maintain your weight at your goal weight, adjusterd for you activity level. The goal is to eat like someone at your goal weight and you will eventually become that goal weight and not risk bouncing back because you've been eating at maintenance levels for that weight the whole time anyway. That seems to make sense to me. Only thing is that its such a big difference, its confusing.

guys: do me a favour and plug your stats into that calculator I linked to and post if there is a difference.

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GWBACH's Photo GWBACH SparkPoints: (124,330)
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3/18/11 3:26 P

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I hear what you are saying. that is why we have this team. a little corner in the big web site.
anyway, I have been trying to find the right intake for a while now. I started at the 2300 calories recommend and dropped 300 off that so I would lose weight except it did not happen in 6 weeks so I dropped 300 more and after the first 2 weeks I lost a couple of inches and then 2 weeks later a couple of pounds, so I might drop it another 200 and that will put me at 1600 for the day. I have measured my food and I keep a food journal but after a couple of weeks you really get a feel for how much you are eating and counting the calories is not that big of deal. I burn about 500 a day working out so it is a fine line of eating to much and not enough. and then I try to stay in the 50%carbs and 25% fat and 25% protein. I am close most days.


"The future ain't what it used to be"
Yogi Berra
Life is full of obstacle illusions.
-- Grant Frazier



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AROUET's Photo AROUET SparkPoints: (4,408)
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3/18/11 3:12 P

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Oh sure, without question. This site is women focused. The real thing is whether I should be trying to eat 2500 cals a day rather than 2200. Seems like a lot!

Have you guys been eating more thatn Sparkpeople recommends?

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BBRIGGS1's Photo BBRIGGS1 Posts: 530
3/18/11 3:08 P

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I don't know if you noticed but this whole site is geared toward women. I think it's because they are more worried about there weight. When I start seeing ads on here geared toward men then maybe a lot of these calorie calculation tables will start taking us into consideration.

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AROUET's Photo AROUET SparkPoints: (4,408)
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3/18/11 3:02 P

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Hey guys,

I've generally gone by Sparkpeople's suggestions for how many calories I should be eating in a day. But I think I may be eating way too low because Sparkpeople assumes I'm a woman.

I was directed to fat2fit radio's basal metabolic rate calculator (http://www.fat2fitradio.com/tools/bmr/ also you guys should listen to these guys podcast!)

and the numbers they were suggesting for me to eat were significantly more than what sparkpeople was recommending. However, when I changed the parameter to female it gave me almost the exact suggested daily calorie recommendation that sparkpeople does. The difference is about 300 calories a day.

Thoughts?

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