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Want to make sure I understand the Calories per Day allotment in reference to exercise surgite1971 — Oct 31, 2017 10:53AM PDT


Thanks for a stellar tool! It's been very helpful over the last year to track my nutrition/diet especially as it relates to the quality of foods I'm trying to eat moving to a vegan diet. Also, the integration with Strava and Movescount is stellar!

So I want to make sure I have my account settings set correct. I input that I am active and try to get in 6 days of exercise a week, each for 90 minutes. That accounts for running and cycling. I am trying to gradually move from my 164 to 155lbs range, so I have it set for weight loss.

Now when my exercise is imported, MyFitnessPal takes my standard daily calorie alottment gets bumped up to account for the estimated calories I burned. That's what I believe I've always wanted it to do...but a buddy here at work says with his MFP, he doesn't want that to happen.

My weight has hovered at this number for almost a year, which is ok...however I'd really like to shed my last 10lbs. I'm just wanting to make sure I have it setup ok. I'm sure some of it can happen on days when I don't record the exact right food (homemade foods and such) or when I go over, or when I forget to record items...and nothing is perfect...but in the end I want to ensure I set my settings correctly as that is the base, I do try and exercise 6 days a week, each for 90 minutes and all that's syncing correctly.



1 Community Answers

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Logan MyFitnessPal Agent Oct 31, 2017 12:44PM PDT

Hey thanks for posting your question. When you create your profile, we ask you for your age, height, weight, gender, and normal daily activity level. We use these factors to determine the calories required to maintain your current weight. We also ask how much weight you would like to lose or gain per week, and with this goal in mind we subtract calories (for weight loss) or add calories (for weight gain) to determine your daily calorie and nutrient goals.

We ask for your goal weight when you create your profile, but this is only for purposes of reporting how many pounds remain until you meet your goal. Your goal weight does not affect our initial calorie calculations.

We also ask you for your weekly exercise goals (which should not be included in your initial activity level), in order to provide an incentive for you to reach. However, we do not account for additional exercise outside of your reported daily activity level, until you actually perform and log exercise to your diary under the “Cardiovascular” section. Please see this article to understand why we do not currently calculate calories burned via strength exercises.
Because your daily calorie goal already accounts for your intent to gain or lose weight at a particular rate, you can achieve your goal by eating the specified number of calories per day, with no additional exercise required. If you do exercise, your daily calorie goal will then increase for the day, to stabilize your weight loss or weight gain at the rate you initially specified.

We set your daily calorie goal in Net Calories which we define as:

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

This means 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. We do not recommend women consume fewer than 1200 calories per day, or men fewer than 1500 calories per day. Eating too little can produce negative health effects.

Warm Regards,
MyFitnessPal Staff

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