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Calorie Adjustment - Do I Eat or Not? chiefakers — Jul 04, 2017 06:37AM PDT

I setup my account to lose weight and my target calorie goal is 1500/day. I selected the calorie adjustment setting because I workout 5-6 days a week. I connected my Fitbit Blaze. When my activity logs from my Fitbit to MFP it adjust my calories and I think I'm supposed to eat the total calories. For example, yesterday my calorie count went from 1500 to 2791. Should I consume the 2791 or the 1500? I consumed about 2250, but felt like I could use more. I didn't because I'm not sure. Thoughts?

5 Community Answers

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Logan MyFitnessPal Agent Jul 04, 2017 12:10PM PDT

We have designed a program to help with healthy and sustainable weight loss. When you set up your profile, we ask you for your age, height, weight, gender, normal daily activity level and how much weight you would like to lose/gain per week. We then use all this information and calculate it against the scientific calculation to give you your daily recommended goals. These initial goals already include a deficit to lose weight, even if you did no additional exercise. If you do exercise, then your daily totals will go up to replenish what you have burned via exercise.

Your normal average daily burn is already taken into consideration when we set up your profile. However, we do not actually take into consideration any extra exercise you do outside your normal day, until you add them to your diary under the “cardiovascular” section.

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. When your exercise calories increase, your other nutritional goals will also fluctuate to match.

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. To help avoid setting your body into starvation mode, we do not recommend for any member to consume under 1200 net calories.

Again, since our program does already account for the deficit and allows exercise to award more calories for the day, we would recommend trying the program as designed and see how it works for you. ‚Äč If you need to customize your goals beyond the options available in our standard program, please consider upgrading to MyFitnessPal Premium!

Warm Regards,
MyFitnessPal Staff

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lmwiesner Sep 08, 2017 03:53AM PDT

Hi Logan, I am a little confused about this. I set up my activity level as sedentary because I have a desk job and my daily goal is 1200 calories. I think what your saying is when I have an adjustment for my exercise I need to increase my caloric intake so I don't slow down my metabolism by going into starvation mode. Am I understanding correctly? I was following the Weight Watchers program and have been on a very long plateau and wanted to keep better track of my caloric intake so I switched to this program using the premium option. Would like to make sure I'm setting myself up for success.

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Logan MyFitnessPal Agent Sep 08, 2017 08:44AM PDT

Hey thanks for posting your question. You are correct. When you burn more calories through exercise, those calories are added back into your calories remaining to maintain your 1200 calorie goal and keep you losing weight at a healthy rate.

MFitnessPal Staff

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jfollis72 Nov 13, 2017 02:08PM PST

Does it hurt to have a calorie deficit? I've been logging in for almost a month and have thought all along that I needed to see a calorie deficit each day to lose weight. However, it looks like I actually need to eat more to get to my 1,200 calorie allotment on days that I exercise. So, eat more to lose weight. That concept is so foreign to me, but I think that's what I need to do. Am I correct? P.S. I've only lost about 3 lbs so far which is so disheartening. Maybe my goals are too high. Thanks!!

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Logan MyFitnessPal Agent Nov 13, 2017 02:29PM PST


There is already an inherent deficit when you set your goal to lose weight. For example, while a user’s goal may be to consume 1200, we had calculated that they would burn 1,600 based on their profile information and selected activity level. So if that user meets their goal of consuming 1200 calories per day, they are burning an extra 400. So you will not need to subtract any additional calories from your goal.

Warm Regards,
MyFitnessPal Staff

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