calories you ate less exercise calories burned is a completely meaningless number. it compares your intake to part of your output, which doesn't really get you anywhere. it's kind of like if you wanted to calculate the mileage you're getting per tank on your car, and comparing everything you put into the tank to fill it up versus a small errand run that was the only mileage number you bothered to take.
your bmr [the calories you would burn everyday pretty much being in a coma/lying in bed and not getting up] is the big player in your expenditures. you add to that your daily activities [generally about .2 of your bmr] to account for basic things like getting out of bed, brushing your teeth, showering, and all those movements that you make that aren't exercise. then you add your exercise calories to that to get your total burn for the day. once you have your total burn for the day, then you subtract out your calories eaten to get your deficit for the day. if you want to know more about how to actually do the math on this you can check out www.sparkpeople.com/resource/calorie_calcu lation101.asp
and your calorie minimums are to get basic nutrients in you. you don't need to randomly subtract out other numbers, just make sure you are hitting 1200 with a variety of foods, and you're likely hitting where you need to on the nutrients.
Stay in your ranges. Don't go over. You don't "eat back" calories burned through exercise with SP. As already mentioned, SP takes your current weight, goal, goal date and calories burned through exercise along with your BMR to give you the range. Just make sure all your info is entered accurately.
How I understood the calorie range is that sparkpeople found that number by the information you entered including goal weight and level of activity on a daily basis. It also does take into account the amount of calories that your are expected to burn. If you look under your fitness tracker it will show you the amount of expected calories for the week. That is the amount of calories your calories range is anticipating you will burn for the week through exercise. Please if I am wrong or can better word this, help. Sorry if this just confuses you more.
You would think that I would have this figured out by now, but apparently I don't!~ Okay, so yesterday I ate 1661 calories and I burned 500 calories on the cross ramp. So do I subtract 500 from 1661 to get my calorie deficit? Or how does that work? I am supposed to stay between 1230 and 1580. And today I ate 1675 calories and burned 474 calories on the crossramp. So do I subtract again? I am just wondering if I am supposed to eat 1230-1580 calories AND burn calories or if I burn calories can I eat more and still lose weight? Like 1661 - 500 = 1161, so was I under calories yesterday? And today 1675 - 474 = 1201, so was I on track today? I just want to lose this weight, I've done it before but I hardly ate and I exercised a lot more like 5 miles a day and counting every single calorie, I don't want it to be this hard this time!~