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calorie adjustment mshllav — May 16, 2017 10:30PM PDT

I have been using myfitnesspal with the minimum exercise requirement and have 1200 calories a day to consume which has helped me lose almost 20 lbs. Recently I've realized I'm actually walking about 10,000 steps a day because I run around allot at work, but when I use up the extra calories it gives me I not only don't lose weight but I gain right away. I can't seem to eat anything over 1200 calories a day now without gaining a couple of pounds a week. I've had blood tests done and my thyroid and other levels are fine. What is going on?? Do I need to eat 1200 calories even with so many steps a day?

1 Community Answers

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Logan MyFitnessPal Agent May 17, 2017 11:59AM PDT

Hey thanks for posting your question. We’re sorry to hear you are having difficulties meeting the goals you anticipated. There are so many factors that could contribute to why the program is not working the way you hoped, which make it extremely difficult to say, why in your particular situation, it is not working exactly as you planned.

Weight loss does vary for each individual. Sometimes, you can hit a plateau period in which you may stay stagnant with your weight loss. This also varies for each person, and can take time to overcome. Time and maybe a few slight changes could help. Also remember that the same volume of muscle weighs more than fat, so what may not feel like success on the scale can still be reflected in your overall body composition.

Eating too little can also have a negative effect and may even cause you to gain weight. To avoid this we do not recommend that women consume fewer than 1200 calories, or men fewer than 1500 calories, in a day. We set your nutritional target in Net Calories which we define as:

Calories Consumed (Food) – Calories Burned (Exercise) = Net Calories

What that means is that if you exercise, you will be able to eat more for that day. For example, if your Net Calorie goal is 2000 calories, one way to meet that goal is to eat 2,500 calories of food, but then burn 500 calories through exercise.

Think of your Net Calories like a daily budget of calories to spend. You spend them by eating, and you earn more calories to eat by exercising.

You may also be able to find some helpful tips and recommendations via our “community” section online at or within our iOS and Android apps. Many of our users have had impressive success and have a lot of experience and wisdom to share. A great link to start with is:

As always, your best resource for overcoming any difficulties in your weight loss strategy is a consultation with your physician or nutritionist. Please consider this option as well, as no input from other members on the site should be considered a substitute for medical advice.

Try to stay positive and not get discouraged. Hopefully, with a few changes you will soon find yourself heading down the direction you hoped. We do wish you all the success in reaching and maintaining all of your diet and fitness goals.

Warm Regards,
MyFitnessPal Staff

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