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RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
7/17/13 10:35 A

Don't stick to the bottom of your range unless you absolutely need to to lose. (Which you can only determine by trial and error.) Most people are going to do so much better on all time frames by eating as close to the top of the range as they can get away with, not the bottom. You're less hungry (means less temptation to over-eat, fewer self-sabotaging thoughts) and less likely to feel deprived or like you're doing something you can't live with for the long term (which you more or less must, if the weight is to stay off).

As for exercise, I think it's a bad idea to start thinking of it as something you do to correct for over-eating (even if you actually had done that, which you didn't). It doesn't work well as a crutch of that kind. It just doesn't burn enough calories fast enough to make it reasonable for most people. (An hour of Zumba might burn 300 or so, maybe? Some or all of which is already accounted for in your daily plan that determines your calorie range? And when you exercise more you actually do need to eat more anyway, to fuel your body properly. Pretty much the only people who can use exercise to compensate for overeating are those who exercise for hours and hours every day -- most people don't want to or shouldn't go there.) It might not be good psychologically, either.

Sorry if it sounds like I think you're doing everything wrong. I don't, quite the opposite. 120 calories over minimum is fantastic. Doing Zumba is fantastic. Keep it up. But if you do eat over your range one day, you don't have to do anything drastic or out of the ordinary to make up for it. Eat toward the bottom of your range for a few days to get the average back in line over time. Or even simply ignore it, make note of whatever caused the problem (if there even was one), and resolve not to let it happen again. It won't hurt anything if it doesn't happen often.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
7/16/13 6:11 P

Interesting. I never exercise more because I have eaten too much, but I sometimes force myself to eat a bit more if I know that I am going to be exercising a lot. By a lot, I mean 4-5 hours in a day.

125 calories is really not worth worrying about in the grand scheme of things.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
7/16/13 1:22 P

I think the ranges that SP give are much easier to use. I treat my exercise, and my diet as separate issues. All you need to do is stay in a 350 calorie range, which if you pre-plan, is impossible to fail at. Then just do whatever exercise you already planned.

If you start trying to combine them, it gets super-complicated. The only change to your plan should be if you start to consistently burn more calories than you have on record. Stick to the same amount of exercise, and the calories should stay the same till you lose a decent amount of weight. That will change automatically if you keep your weight up to date.

A range of 1500-1850 is not meant to be followed by you eating 1550 or less a day. Some days should be 1800, others 1600, and on days when you aren't hungry, 1520 might happen, but it should be rare. Aiming for the bottom of your range never works. You may lose a few extra lbs a year if you stuck to it, but more likely, you would cheat more often, due to hunger.

120 over the bottom of your range is still in the bottom 1/2 of your range. You only need to worry if it is 120 over the maximum of your range. Exercise to burn off the calories, is still not a good idea though. We tend to exercise to our physical capabilities, once we get our butt moving, and another 120, is just burning up our reserves. Oftentimes, it just makes us hungry, and we have a 300 calorie snack ( if we don't binge ), and you end up even farther past your range. In the long run, this 120 calories is less than 20 calories a day, which could be made up by eating 20 calories less than your max.

You are worrying, when so far you are doing exactly as planned. Continue eating the same calories, and doing the same exercise, and if you lose weight in 2 weeks, repeat over, and over. You shouldn't be hungry, you shouldn't be tired from exercise. You are striving to improve, not be perfect. It should be relatively easy, or you will probably quit. If you aim for perfection, it will be unbearable. Compare your exercise level, and the food you eat, with what you did to get to your starting weight. You are doing better, just by making these small changes. If it works, take it easy, repeat it, and even if it seems a bit slow, you will eventually get there. No hurry.

DSCH1207 Posts: 77
7/16/13 9:43 A

I really like the new trackers. I had a realization yesterday that I really wasn't getting the calories I needed to be as active as I am on certain days. The nutrition tracker makes sense to me now. It really does only make sense to increase calories if I'm going to increase activity. For example, yesterday I burned 390 calories working out and with the old tracker my calorie intake would have been around 1400 for the day. That means I really would only have had 1010 calories for my body to do everything else! That's not enough and I would have gotten light headed and probably nauseaus like I have been. SOOOO I increased my calories (with HEALTHY food) by about 200 and ended on a happier note! No light headedness and no nausea! JUST SWEAT! I'm so happy they made this change!

7/16/13 9:06 A

You can now switch back and forth between the old and new trackers. So you can definitely try the new one if you'd like. I tried it yesterday. I switched back today because I felt weird with my calorie goals fluctuating, but do what works for you.

BITTERQUILL Posts: 1,639
7/16/13 2:53 A

I totally missed something. I had no idea there even was a new type of tracker. earlier post referred to the old model. Oops. ;)

Supposedly the features can be turned on and off at will now.

Edited by: BITTERQUILL at: 7/16/2013 (02:55)
DSCH1207 Posts: 77
7/15/13 4:20 P

Thanks for the heads up. I read the notice about it but I'll wait until it's optional and we can turn it on and off if we don't like it. For now, I'll stick with my intake within my range and just keep exercising... Thanks!

BITTERQUILL Posts: 1,639
7/15/13 4:01 P

The fitness and nutrition trackers are linked by the goals you set. If you plan to work off, say, 300 calories per day in exercise, go into your fitness goals set up and add a weekly burn goal of 2100 calories (300 calories x 7 days). Chances are your nutrition range will go up a little, unless your weight loss goal rate is very ambitious or you are already pretty small.

If you work out a decent amount (say, burning several thousand calories per week in exercise), it's a very good idea to make sure your fitness goals are set to reflect this. Otherwise, you could end up eating a little less than you should, which can make you feel tired, hungry and generally cruddy. If you find yourself burning a lot more than you have set in your fitness goals and tracking as such, SP will alert you (in red text at the bottom of the fitness tracker) and let you know that you might want to increase your fitness goals to more accurately represent your exercise habits. As far as I know, it doesn't do the same thing if you're over-representing your exercise, which is too bad.

But yeah, don't worry about it on a day to day basis. Assuming your weight loss goals are reasonable and your fitness goals are set to a pretty good approximation, all you have to do is stay within your range, most of the time. Even a few days of going over or under (ie burning more/less than you expected or eating more/less than you intended) are not likely to stall weight loss too much, unless it happens a lot. It's all about averages and chances are it will even out in the end.

Edited by: BITTERQUILL at: 7/15/2013 (16:07)
LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
7/15/13 3:59 P

It doesn't work the opposite way either. Just stay in your range.

That being said, there is a new setting on SP that does connect your fitness and nutrition trackers. Should be in the settings somewhere..

DSCH1207 Posts: 77
7/15/13 3:56 P

Thanks everyone... one last question which is kind of the opposite... If I exercise and burn off calories... do I make them up with food? I guess I'm confused because the workout tracker and the food tracker aren't linked (at least not obviously). When I add exercise, it doesn't make my calorie intake go up and vice versa. So (just as an example) my minimum calorie is 1500 and I burn 200 calories. I've already eaten 1500 but now technically is it 1300? Would I need to eat 200 more calories? So confused...

7/15/13 3:07 P

And another healthy way to look at this....
Add up calories for the last 5 days. Divide by 5.....
I bet you find this "average" to be well within your SP weight loss calorie range.

SP Registered Dietitian

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
Posts: 9,717
7/15/13 2:45 P

Exercising just to "work off" calories is a losing proposition; it's a way to set up a disordered eating pattern that can lead to eating disorders. However, Sparkpeople's new tracker has the option to let you set up your calories based on what you enter in your fitness tracker.

If you have exercise scheduled, then do it, but treating it like an offset isn't a good idea.

With that said, you aren't "over" your calories. You have a range for a reason. Your minimum is a minimum... not a max. As long as you're in your range, there's no reason to think you need to do more exercise to compensate. (Especially if you are in the minimum range of 1200-1550... you should always be over your minimum in that range!)

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 7/15/2013 (14:48)
MELJONES3478 SparkPoints: (15,754)
Fitness Minutes: (6,082)
Posts: 505
7/15/13 1:11 P

I agree with the last post. If it is in your schedule to exercise today then follow through with it. If you are still within your calorie range then you are doing a great job. Hi five for being conscience about your calorie range for the entire day!

MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
7/15/13 1:06 P

If you're within your range, you're doing great - that's why we have a range!

If you planned on exercising tonight anyway, that's great. But don't treat exercise like "oh no I messed up, I need to exercise that food off" (a big reason I strongly dislike the new tracker). Aim for balance, for eating within your range, for exercising as much as you planned to exercise, and don't let day to day numbers get to you.

DSCH1207 Posts: 77
7/15/13 1:00 P

Hello all! Just a quick question: does exercising calories off make up for going over calories eaten? I'm eating lunch and tracking (yay me!) and just realized that my dinner is probably going to set me over my daily minimum by about 120 calories but I'll still be within my "range"... I am planning on exercising tonight (LOVE Zumba!!) but worry that I may have messed up a little with the calories... Thoughts?

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