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LETAYLOR5413 SparkPoints: (21,693)
Fitness Minutes: (36,707)
Posts: 103
3/15/13 8:48 A

DanceMom: Glad I could help!

LoveMouse: I never thought about calorie use like that before! I suppose that is why I am usually excessively hungry on the days after I've worked out longer Haha. Thanks!

DANCEMOM1970 SparkPoints: (44,190)
Fitness Minutes: (70,772)
Posts: 185
3/14/13 9:28 P

Oh my gosh, thank you for posting this. I have used Sparkpeople for a long time (this time, since August) and this post caused me to look up what my settings were for my calories burned. Turns out I had none...and after putting exercise into my life for the past year (first time I've done it this consistently for this long ever) changed my nutrition needs slightly. I had noticed that the weeks I ate at the bottom of my range I tend to lose less but when I eat at the top or even have a day or two going over, I'd lose more. Now it makes settings weren't correct.

Thanks again!

LOVEMOUSE82 SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
3/14/13 9:00 P

Also, when you look at the calorie differential reports, spark does have a side note that says they don't encourage you to focus too much on your calorie differential in one day but rather over a pattern over time. Sparkpeople does not necessarily encourage you to eat more on the days you exercise or less on the days you don't. And in fact, (thank you dragonchilde for just explaining this to me) your body doesn't use those calories that you eat on that same day. For example, I was previously wondering why I had developed this pattern of being hungrier on the days I was not exercising, but once it was explained to me it made sense, because on "rest" days you are building muscle and restoring from your previous workout which may require more energy. And the food you eat today will be the energy you use tomorrow. So calculating how much extra you would be "allowed" on any given day because of exercise would actually be very unhelpful. It is more important to look for the pattern over time.

LETAYLOR5413 SparkPoints: (21,693)
Fitness Minutes: (36,707)
Posts: 103
3/14/13 3:37 P

That's an extremely helpful way to think of it. Thank you!

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
3/14/13 2:35 P

Sparkpeople's recommendation is not actually "regardless of exercise". Sparkpeople considers your weekly exercise goal and averages that over a week.

If your goal rate is a pound a week that's a daily deficit of 500 calories.

Let's say that without any exercise added at all, that means you eat 1300+ calories.

If you add 700 calories of weekly planned exercise (100/day), then your range pops up to 1400+ a day so that the daily deficit remains at 500, not 600.

Instead, add 2,800 calories (400/day) of weekly planned exercise, and the range pops up to 1700+.

Spark is not reactive to today's exercise done, so much as this week's exercise planned. But it IS reactive.

(For some people it's not because their goal rate to lose at is simply too aggressive, forcing the site to keep them on the minimum range).

Edited by: UNIDENT at: 3/14/2013 (14:35)
LETAYLOR5413 SparkPoints: (21,693)
Fitness Minutes: (36,707)
Posts: 103
3/14/13 11:53 A

I recently downloaded the spark people tracker app for my phone. I've noticed something on there that seems consistent with another tracker I used: caloric expenditure. I guess I'm just a little confused.

According to a caloric expenditure chart, such as the type on my Livestrong tracker app, you lower your caloric total per day, but you can still eat more calories that day equivalent to what you exercise off. So if I'm supposed to eat about 1350 calories a day to lose weight, but I go on a 30 minute run, then I'm allowed to eat 1600 that day.

But according to the Sparkpeople tracker app (the main one, not the caloric expenditure one), I should be aiming to eat between 1600-2000 calories a day to lose weight every single day, without regard to the amount of exercise I do each day. That seems high, but I am an exercise nut, so I'm grateful.

Can anyone explain this caloric expenditure vs. everyday calories to me? Also, those of you that have used both the Livestrong and Sparkpeople trackers on your phones, which do you prefer and why?

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