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EELPIE Posts: 2,700
5/9/14 2:42 P

I'm glad you found definitive proof.

Since they started automatically linking the trackers, there has been so much confusion.

Personally, for the amount of exercise that I do, it never made sense to me to have them communicating.

Edited by: EELPIE at: 5/9/2014 (14:45)
LADYINOLY SparkPoints: (9,511)
Fitness Minutes: (6,267)
Posts: 8
5/9/14 12:13 P

Update on my confusion. I decided to do a bunch of comparison investigation. I bought a fitbit and have been using it for two days. I scoured the internet for comparable information regarding eating back fitness calories. And what I'm finding out is that the new way SP gives you calorie increases based on your daily fitness is not correct. And the old way is (unlink the nutrition and fitness trackers). Fitbit more closely matches every other calculator I could find to give me a daily calorie number to aim for. And when I unlinked the two trackers on SP I got a more correct number. I also confirmed the need to eat more by my weigh in. By not eating the extra calories and sticking to just a couple hundred over the sedentary caloric deficit I lost 4 pounds instead of 2. Not the way I want to do it even though in secret I was overjoyed ;) End result I'm a lot more confident now.

ONECALMMOM Posts: 6,258
5/7/14 11:32 P

If you're losing 1 to 2 lbs. per week with what you're doing now, I'd probably stick with that. You can always try upping your caloric intake with good choices and see how that works for a week.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
5/7/14 8:45 P

The thing about seeds of doubt is that we all have them. You just have to determine to let those thoughts go when they arrive, and not let them affect your actual behavior. Maybe you eat something, maybe get some rest, go for a nice walk or hug your kid, or maybe just let a few days pass ... and the thoughts go away again.

CALGIRL80 Posts: 456
5/7/14 6:14 P

I just wanted to say congrats on eliminating soda. That seems to be one of my challenges. Keep it up. You can do it.

LADYINOLY SparkPoints: (9,511)
Fitness Minutes: (6,267)
Posts: 8
5/7/14 11:58 A

Thank you Russell, this new journey I'm on started out so easy. I want to feel better and I need to lose weight to do that. I've come at this with the best attitude I've ever had approaching a diet. Well that is probably my difference right there.. I'm really trying not to make this a diet. I'm making this a life long change. But what I'm finding out as I try very hard to this right this time, it's not as easy as I thought. So much to learn, so many old habits to change. And so much new and sometimes very conflicting information to sort through. With my Betty Crocker style cooking all these years my husband being over 50 and while not having any weight problems was starting to have other health issues like sugars and cholesterol. And I got larger then ever before in my lifetime. Change is long over due. One thing that amazed me as I started to actually schedule in fitness.. I found out I love it! I love everything about it. How it makes me feel, how much more energy I have, and most of all how much less I'm eating out of boredom. So I really don't think sticking to a steady fitness plan is going to be hard for me. But I really want to get this right and I'm struggling with the food part of it. Not will power to not over indulge but portions and of what and how much... is all terribly confusing me. Because of how badly I want this and how good I feel about the changes I've made already I'm terrified that too much trial and error is going to plant that seed of doubt.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
5/7/14 10:58 A

The solution is simple. Pick a goal ( say 1500 ), and stick around that level ( 1400-1600 ) for 2 weeks. If you require 2700 calories, you will lose 2 lbs. a week above your goal ( 1200 X 7 = 8400 calorie deficit ). So if your goal was to lose 1 lbs a week, and you are losing 3 lbs., you probably need to eat more. If you are losing the 1 lb. a week you desired, then the 1500 calories is perfect, despite what the trackers suggest.

I am 183 lbs., and eat 1800-2000 calories. I burn 300-500 a day, with an hour walk every day, and some weight lifting a few days a week.

Let the results determine what your range is. This requires you to eat a stable caloric level, as well as keeping calories burned stable, for 2 weeks, and then make changes based on how much you lose.

I agree with the tracker situation. All I hear are complaints. The concept is sound, but I just don't think we are accurate enough in our fitness, or nutrition trackers enough to eat back all our calories. I thought the idea of a weekly caloric burn worked, because most people put in less than they actually burned. It is another example of multiple variables, that add up to a ridiculous idea. Metabolism increases, incorrect counting of calories consumed, incorrect counting of calories burned, and many other factors that are too complicated to factor here are in play. The idea that it will work like a math problem, is just never going to happen.

Even if 3500 calories = 1 lb. I have yet to see a person lose exactly 1 lb. a week while following a diet with a 500 daily caloric deficit. This is because we can't actually get exactly 500 calories daily deficit. So that person may lose .4 lbs.

I found it much easier to just eat a steady amount of calories, and not really count calories burned. If I lost weight too fast, I might add 100 calories. If it slowed down, I cut 100 calories. If I was losing the right amount, I changed nothing. Don't make huge changes quickly, but you make adjustments over time, based on the results, not on numbers.

Trust me, if your body needs 2900 calories, and you are eating 1400, you will know in 2 weeks, because you will be 6 lbs. lighter. If you lose 2 lbs., then your body requires 1400 calories a day, despite the SP trackers. Trust yourself more than a computer program. It's a tool, and may be mistaken. Use it to help you, but always remember, the results matter.

LADYINOLY SparkPoints: (9,511)
Fitness Minutes: (6,267)
Posts: 8
5/7/14 10:47 A

I will try the 2050 for a week and see how it goes. And just drop it in increments if need be. I forgot to mention that I gave up soda pop for water. That right there was a huge drop in my calories (I didn't drink diet either lol) Thank you so much for helping me work this out.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
5/7/14 10:29 A

"2050-2400 calories a day. That still seems like a lot."

Yes,'s based on your current weight. If you stick to the low end (2050) you will lose weight, and not feel "starved" or "deprived" - and that is the key to staying on a "diet". People who are miserable on a diet (hungry all the time, unhappy) stop dieting. That is how they fail. You do not want that. You always want to have a plan that leaves you happy and satisfied, that will make you continue to do it, and that is what equals success.

The more you lose, the less you will need, calorie wise. For me, at my weight, 1200 is good. A person who weighs 180, 1600 is good. For person who weighs 210, 1900 is good (just creating figures for an example...this is not mathematical, people...).

In a nutshell: The bigger you are the more energy you expend moving around. A calorie is a unit of energy hence why you burn more when you are bigger and less as you get lighter.

LADYINOLY SparkPoints: (9,511)
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Posts: 8
5/7/14 10:15 A

Thank you for all the information. Some things are a lot clearer to me now. First off I'm morbidly obese. I started out at 267 lbs five weeks ago, and on my weigh in last Friday I weighed in at 252.6. I am 5'3" tall and have an apple shape body. My First goal is to reach 200 lbs by my 45th birthday on December 8th. I set up my program for 2lbs a week but say 1-2lbs a week because if I lose at least 1 I'm going to feel like I'm making progress. I do want to lose as much as I can each week without doing it the wrong way to set myself up to just gain it all back. To answer some more questions.. I do take my pedometer off for my walks. I don't want to skip the walks because I feel like my food digests better if walk after a main meal. But I'm not double tracking those steps taken. I'm at resistance 2 on my elliptical and track cals burned by what my elliptical computer is telling me I burned using my heart rate monitor. And the zumba home class I'm using does a calorie burned screen after each segment so I always have an accurate count there. I don't track calories burned for any of my strength training. There would be some small amount but not enough to worry about tracking it for calories burned. I'm averaging about 7500 calories burned through fitness a week. Switching my trackers to the old way I'm now supposed to eat 2050-2400 calories a day. That still seems like a lot.

(to reach my goal of 6000+ steps a day I walk all over my house. I work at home so taking that many steps can be difficult. I've even put my laundry away two items at a time or one hanger at a time just to aid in my steps count. I don't see how I'll ever make it to 10k steps other then when I go out grocery shopping or other things.)

Edited by: LADYINOLY at: 5/7/2014 (10:20)
EELPIE Posts: 2,700
5/7/14 9:30 A

"It's causing so much confusion; I think they should change it. "

I agree. If you go through all of the previous posts here, day after day after day, people are posting about the confusion caused by this.

Minimum: Link providing detailed explanation regarding how the person's daily range has been calculated (for those whose 2 trackers are communicating).

NIRERIN Posts: 14,325
5/7/14 9:05 A

are you tracking the walks and the steps separately? because if so, then you're double tracking [in other words, when you enter in 1 15 minute walk that was 2000 steps as a 15 minute walk and 2000 steps then the tracker thinks you did two separate things.]. so not entering in one activity as two things is going to help right there, particularly since it's something that you do three times a day. i would say to just enter everything in as steps and not as walks until you get to the point where you're doing 14,000 or 20,000 steps or actually jogging.

then we get into weight. if you're a very petite woman, your goal might be 100lbs. if you're any taller, that's going to mean you have a higher goal. your ticker shows that you want to lose 107lbs. which means on the low end, you likely weigh at least 207 lbs. when you weigh over 200lbs you can lose a little more than 2lbs per week. the tracker won't let you set up to lose more than 2lbs a week, but when you are larger to begin with you can lose more at a time, at least til you get close to and cross than 200lb mark.

now, you mention losing 1-2lbs a week, which makes me think you have no idea how your tracker is set up. your goal weight or date is what was used to determine your loss per week. in other words, your ranges aren't based on 1-2lbs, they are based on your weight and age and sex and goals and there is a number somewhere 2lbs or below that you set the program up to do. if you set a shorter, smaller goal, that means your ranges will be higher.
this is how your ranges are actually calculated. but the basic idea is that you add up all the calories you burn in a day and the you subtract out the deficit that matches your loss per week goal. so if you burn 3200 cals a day and you set up your tracker to lose 1lb per week, that's going to subtract out 500 cals [the deficit for 1lb per week] and so you'd be aiming to eat around 2700 cals, with a range from 2450 to 2800 cals. had you set your loss per week to 2lbs or set a goal date that matched that loss, your deficit would be 1000 cals a day, or around 2200 cals making your ranges 1950-2300 a day. and since you're over 200lbs to start with, we can add an extra half pound a week loss, which brings your number down to 1950 and your loss ranges for 2.5lbs per week to 1700-2050. as you hit 200, that's going to drop down to 2 or 1.75 or 1.5, but the more you are over the more you can take advantage of that little boost.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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Posts: 1,379
5/7/14 8:46 A

IMO the combination of Fitbit-type data and the way that SP handles calories means that some of your calorie burn gets double counted.

SP is already, in your range, giving you an allowance for your daily activity. That will include most if not all of your tracked steps, and much else of what winds up in your total. The only thing out of all of that that SP is not already estimating for you is your outright exercise: your fast walking, your jogging, your lifting, your tennis playing -- that sort of thing.

So maybe you put in SP that you have an active lifestyle, and the range they give you for weight loss is already accounting for 500 calories or more of what something like Fitbit is counting. Maybe your actual exercise -- what SP needs to know to count total calorie burn and give you a range -- is only 500 calories itself. So you would then be aiming to 'eat back' all (or a portion, if results are better) of that 500 calories, not trying to cover every single step you've taken that day with food. That won't work for anyone.

It's causing so much confusion; I think they should change it.

LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (37,106)
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Posts: 1,169
5/7/14 8:12 A

I had the same problem. I have my fitbit connected to Spark, plus I swim several days a week. It was telling me that I had a calorie burn of 1,500 or more calories. The idea of even consuming that much more food is kind of gross, but at the same time, you can certainly plateau when you do not eat enough. I completely stopped losing weight when I upped my exercise.

After a lot of trial and error, I have decided that the fitbit calories do not count. Yes I am walking 7,000 steps or so a day, but that is normal activity for me, and I feel like it's part of what body is used to. I eat about 1,700 calories a day, which adds back about half of my swimming calorie burn. I have started losing again, and feel like I have enough fuel in my system to be active and not hungry.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (256,641)
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Posts: 27,285
5/7/14 12:10 A

Under-eating can be just as harmful as over-eating. If you are burning 850-1200 calories per day, and you are eating 1300-1400 calories per day, then yes, you ARE under-eating. That only leaves a few hundred calories for your body to function - an average weight sedentary woman needs 1200 calories just for the basic body functions. ...... BUT that doesn't mean that you eat back ALL that you burn in exercise.

Are you willing to share your current weight and height? This will help re working out what calorie range you should be eating. As a rough stab in the dark, why don't you try around 1800 calories and give a couple weeks to see what happens. Then go up in 50 calorie increments per week to find what works.

As an aside, I lost quite a lot weight on 1400 calories and not much exercise - just walking (mostly inside my own home putting my groceries and laundry away one at a time) and a little bit of Pilates.

Good luck,

LADYINOLY SparkPoints: (9,511)
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Posts: 8
5/6/14 10:36 P

Thank you Eelpie, that is kind of what I've read but everyday when I run my nutrition report I get scolded for not eating enough lol. I will try to find the way to unlink the two trackers. :D

Spark has been telling me to consume as much as 2900 calories in a day sometimes. Today it told me a minimum of 2400 to 2700. Crazy to think I could eat that much and still lose weight.

5/6/14 10:10 P

How many calories per day is Spark telling you to eat?

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
5/6/14 10:10 P

lol, I think the advent of sparkpeople linking the fitness tracker to the nutrition tracker has caused so much confusion to people. There really ought to be a clear disclaimer/guide on "eating back calories" posted by the tracker.

They used to not be automatically linked - and you can change it so they do not communicate with each other.

Otherwise, most people recommend that you eat back around half of what you burn, since you are burning so many.

LADYINOLY SparkPoints: (9,511)
Fitness Minutes: (6,267)
Posts: 8
5/6/14 9:47 P

Okay I'm a little worried about my calories earned doing fitness. There is no way I could possibly eat as many calories as it's telling me too and still lose weight. I adhere to a pretty hefty fitness routine everyday that racks up about 850-1200 burned calories a day (according to the fitness tracker) I take a brisk walk 15 to 30 minutes 3 times a day after I eat. I do zumba and elliptical trainer 30 minutes each. And, strength training on a total gym every other day. And track a minimum of 6000 steps a day on my pedometer. So my calories I burn is pretty high. I eat a mid morning, afternoon, and evening snack trying to get more calories in but never come close to what sparks nutrition tracker is telling me I should eat. I tend to stick right around 1300-1400 cals a day. Should I really try to eat as much as it's telling me to and still expect to lose 1-2 lbs a week?

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