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UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
3/30/11 12:49 A

Yes. With under 10lbs to lose, I'd suggest half a pound a week. Any lower is really getting into the point where you can't measure that differential accurately enough (your day can be 100-200 calories out from estimations anyway).

So aim for a 200-300 a day calorie deficit, and you should theoretically lose half a pound a week. Trying to lose it faster can slow down or stall weight loss, so it's worth a crack to increase your food a little.

Give it 4-6 weeks before you decide if it's "working" or not though. A common reaction to any increase at all in intake is an immediate small weight gain. Give your body time to adjust, and that drops off and you start losing again.

MOOSLADY Posts: 208
3/29/11 7:50 P

ok Unident, then for someone like me, who has only 7 pounds to lose, you think running a 500-700 per day deficit is too much? Because it sure isn't working and hasn't in over a year.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
3/27/11 1:51 P

For a 2lb/week loss you'd want a consistent average daily deficit of 1,000.

KATHIERAE Posts: 1,029
3/27/11 9:48 A

Thanks for the quick reply! How much of a deficit do I shoot for? I was over calories yesterday but with my workout still managed a 400something deficit, which surprised me. Of course I WANT to lose weight so am wondering how to use this tool to my advantage! LOL (I'm new to this particular tool...)

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,460
3/27/11 4:31 A

Basically, yes. Although if there is only a small balance in favor of calorie deficit days, you will lose weight only slowly.

It is understandable that there are days when you have a surplus (whether it's because you have a dinner out, or an occasional treat or whatever), but on a 'normal' day, hopefully you will be be running a consistent deficit. Say 5-6 days as a deficit.


KATHIERAE Posts: 1,029
3/26/11 11:27 P

So basically what you are saying is to lose weight in the LONG run, you want to aim for a negative number on the differential more days than not. Sorry, I gotta go simple!!

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
3/6/11 11:03 P

You're throwing figures from everywhere there! :)

Okay, so you have a BMR of 1483. With an activity multiplier that's 1779, and 600 calories a day of exercise (averaged over the week) is 2379 calories - in line with your trainer's recommendation.

So to lose a pound a week, you'd eat 500 calories less than that a day, or around 1880 calories. To lose 2lb/week you'd eat 1,000 calories lower, or 1380 calories. Eating 1200-1300 is just tipping the boundaries of a safe and healthy deficit at slightly over 1,000 calories a day.

For most people, a pound a week is a very realistic target. The 2lb/week is generally much more realistic for the very obese. So let's aim for a pound a week for you - so that's around about an intake of 1880 or so.

Any much less and you would start finding it more difficult to lose weight.

You'll have the greatest success if you set your spark goal up for a single pound per week, ensure the weekly calories burned goal is 4,200, and eat in the spark range given.

STEPHANIE19721 Posts: 8
3/5/11 3:33 P

I'm so confused with calorie deficit! My trainer has calculated my BMR to be 1483 in order to maintain the weight I am at I can have 2558 calories a day. So to lose, that needs decreased by 500 right? However, I am working with a weight loss doctor and doing a 1200 to 1300 calorie diet a day so that means my deficit is almost 1000 calories a day doing that. Plus I go to the circuit training gym 6 days a week and burn 500 calories at each workout. I also use my treadmill only 2 nights this week for 90 minutes and burn 600 calories each time. So that would mean by eating alone I burned 11,000 in deficit? So that would make a 3lb weight loss? I intend to use my treadmill daily on top of Curves every morning this week just did not work out as planned. Thank you for your help all the calculations confuse me! My body fat is only a 27

STRONGBODY16 Posts: 39
2/24/11 11:03 P

Thanks for the input. I guess I just have to keep up with my nutrition goals and keep doing it correctly. i am also trying to be more active :)

HEALTHYME47 Posts: 496
2/24/11 8:52 P

I use that Daily Differential report as well and think it is really helpful. So technically you do not have to exercise every single day to have a calorie differential, but for people who love to eat (like me) it's nice to see how much more we need to exercise. For me a typical day is to eat 1700 calories, which is pretty close to my base metabolism, so to lose a pound a week I need to burn off around 500 calories a day through exercise. But other people might be better at cutting their calorie intake than I am so wouldn't have to exercise quite as much.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,460
2/24/11 8:15 P

Your total energy burn has 3 components:

* What you burn sitting on your butt (known as your Basal Metabolic Rate - BMR) - typically around 1300-1900 per day
* What you burn through normal daily activities - generally reckoned as 20% in addition to your BMR for a sedentary lifestyle
* what you burn through exercise.

(Although from memory, the calorie differential reports merge the first two).

Through watching their intake, most people can start to create a calorie deficit without exercise - but exercise can definitely accelerate the process. You don't have to burn 500 calories through exercise - you may well be able to create a deficit of 300 calories from watching your intake, and then another 200 from exercise to get to an overall deficit of 500.

Also, weight loss is rarely linear - due to water weight changes, you may well see a drop of 2 lbs in some weeks, and no change (or even an increase) in others. But ultimately if you are regularly creating a calorie deficit, your body does have to tap its fat stores to make up the difference.


STRONGBODY16 Posts: 39
2/24/11 2:21 P

So I am interested in finding out if I keep to my nutrition goals and my fat intake goals ( I have added Saturated fat to my tracker as well) as is on my trackers willl I lose total body fat?
I do exercise but limited, due to physical issues, and I have a lot of total body fat losing which is my main goal. I have lost 12 lbs till now, mainly watching my nutrition, and I never starve i.....e... never go below the min of 1200. But now I have plateaued for the last 3-4 weeks and I feel as if I cant lose any more Fat. My BMI is in the just overweight range but the fat puts me in the just obese category, HELP.

2/20/11 11:30 P

This is a great help...i began eight weeks ago sparking and i was wondering how to move the scale!

TIPYRAIN Posts: 7,416
9/2/10 7:59 P

Thanks to all y'all! emoticon emoticon emoticon


UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
9/2/10 3:24 P

You're best to exercise at whatever level you find comfortable, and then adjust eating appropriately to achieve your goals.

However, your tracker indicates you're very light now.

Generally speaking, the max of 2lb/week is only possible for those over 200lbs or so, and losing an entire pound in a week is only really possible if you have over 20lbs to lose.

The closer you are to goal weight, the slower weight loss is. There are physiological reasons. It's unavoidable.

So aim for a quarter to a half of a pound a week. Perhaps set your spark goal to lose a pound every 3 weeks. That may sound like it's going to take far too long to get where you want to be, but it's likely to be far more successful than trying to lose faster than your body allows.

A pound every three weeks would equate to a daily calorie differential of 166. That's getting so low as to be almost indistinguishable from mere calorie estimation errors, so try to aim for a daily calorie differential of around 200. Any more than 300 would probably be too aggressive and your body would start to slow down and refuse to lose.

9/2/10 11:26 A

ARCHIMEDES pretty much told you what you need to know.

If you don't burn any calories exercising or don't meet the 500 calorie goal you set, you may have to readjust your goals and your weight loss may not be as fast or as effective as you want it to be.

You can lose fat with just reducing your calorie intake, but it will take longer and won't have the same health benefits as adding some exercise along with it.

Thing about sitting on your butt is, it doesn't burn many calories.

Fat loss is burning more calories than you eat, so if you're not burning very many sitting on your butt, you aren't going to be able to eat much either.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (201,343)
Fitness Minutes: (301,253)
Posts: 27,435
9/2/10 10:10 A

It depends what your goals are. If your goals are to lose 1-2 pounds per week, you would need to exercise for 500 calories each day.

One pound of fat = 3,500 calories. In theory, if you decrease your caloric intake by 500 calories each day, in seven days, that would give you a one pound loss. Now, if you can exercise for 500 calories each day, in seven days, that would give you your second pound.

Is this written in stone ? No, it is merely a guideline. You don't have to exercise and burn 500 calories per day. You could burn 200-300 per day if that is more comfortable. You do what you can for exercise if you're new to a regular exercise routine.

In general, if you're trying to lose weight you need to be mindful of what you eat first. Good nutrition is what takes the weight off and keeps it off. exercise is what keeps our bodies fit and healthy.

You do need both for over all good health i.e. you need to eat right and get some regular exercise. How much regular exercise you get is up to you and your schedule. But, no, you don't need to exercise for 500 calories every day. Do what you can to start. Your strength and endurance will increase with time and practice.

Patience, it's a virtue.

TIPYRAIN Posts: 7,416
9/2/10 9:19 A

Do I have to burn 500 calories a day on top of what I burn sitting on my but! I try but don't always get there! I try to make sure my in take is 500 less than what I use. You know, I look at my reports and the daily differential. Should I lose a pound a week as long as my in take is 500 less or do I need to exercise to use those 500 every day? Make sense? I HOPE SOMEONE can help me on this board! I tried a different one and wasn't understood!!!!! emoticon

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