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Old 05-28-2014, 07:01 PM   #1
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Does this calorie per day calculation make sense at all?

So I came across a calorie calculator while showing my coworker his BMR and thought it was kind of interesting that it calculates how many calories per day if i want to lose X pounds in Y days. I am curious how yall think this formula and if it makes sense/valid at all...

1. Find Daily BMR according to activity factor -> i think the activity factor are all the same across diff sources - sedentary 1.2, light active 1.375 moderately active 1.55 and up. I see myself light active since i only workout 1.5 hrs a day. So my BMR with activity is 3130 (age 32, male, 5'9, 248 now)


2. the next step is purely math - how much I want to lose (68 pds) and how many days (180 days) so since ~3500 cal per pound we have 3500*68 /180 days = 1322 calorie less per day.

So since my BMR with activity is 3130 so my daily calorie intake to meet my goal is 3130-1322 = 1808...

Does this make sense or there's too many variables to really follow this?
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:07 PM   #2
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Well, the math is right. Too bad I don't believe it's that simple.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by shaselai View Post
... it calculates how many calories per day if i want to lose X pounds in Y days.
There is the problem right there. The idea you can set a target weight and date of reaching it is pure snake oil. As you suspected, there are far too many variables to be able to do some very simple math and come up with the desired result.

We already know that a calorie isn't a calorie and that different people have different metabolisms. Not to mention not every day is spent the same way. Do you enjoy lazy weekends or do you dance the night away? Is your job sedentary or do you work on your feet? Will you use the elevator today or the stairs? Does the garden need weeding or can it wait until next week? Waaay too many variations for a BMR to be used that way and still be reliable.

Then you get into the issue of how/when someone loses weight. It's isn't a linear progression. Just google some weightloss graphics. You gain, you lose, your plateau and you can make a big drop.

So: SNAKE OIL.

Apologies for the rant. I hate the way the diet industry sells false hope in the form of easy fixes.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:25 PM   #4
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Too simple. Plus, underlying metabolic/hormonal disorders (insulin resistance, PCOS, hypothyroidism, etc.), gender, age, medical history, general health, amount of weight to lose, and a whole host of other variables all play a role in how quickly your body will burn fat. If only it were as simple as calories in/calories out.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:02 PM   #5
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yeah i guess i figured as much there will be a few variables but is there any way to reduce some of them? I know that even though i am eating 1200-1400 cal/day i am barely losing 3lbs a week average and i have to be very careful to not drink soup because i totally gain water weight from it. I am enjoying the diet though so I am not really "suffering" from the lower caloric intake nor the exercise i do. I am constantly trying to spice things up cooking something new on a weekly basis so i dont get sick of a particular food (cant eat chicken thighs for a couple of months though...). I was just hoping to have some sort of "guide" to follow as well. Maybe because my background is quantitative so I am more leaning towards numbers...
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:54 PM   #6
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Barely losing 3 lb./week? That's far above the average. It's typical to experience large weight loss at first, but the losses slow down to 1-2 lbs. a week, if you're lucky - many of us lose more slowly.

If anything, you may be eating too few calories. I plugged your info into a ketosis calculator, and it recommends you eat no less than 82 grams of protein and 2420 calories/day to get to your goal weight. You're eating half that amount, which may cause your metabolism to slow down, and then your weight loss will really stall.

I understand you want to lose quickly, but you're making good progress. If you get to the point that the scale doesn't move for more than a month, then you could look at adjusting your plan a bit. Celebrate your successes and enjoy the process, however long it takes.

Last edited by MerryKate; 05-28-2014 at 09:55 PM..
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Old 05-29-2014, 03:57 AM   #7
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I am not a fan of the calorie counting model. It tells nothing about the hormonal response an individual's body has to various nutrients. All calories are not equal and the calorie counting suggests they are.
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:40 AM   #8
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I find that I can eat only about half of what those calculators say I should be able to. My body didn't get the memo I guess!
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:04 AM   #9
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Previous posters said most of what I intended, so I'll save you from redundancy.

One thing to keep in mind - Weight loss is not linear - YOUR DEFICIT WILL DECREASE AS YOU GET CLOSER TO GOAL - if your estimated deficit is 1808 today, it will be less when you're 20#, 40# lighter.

And when you're 10# over goal - your deficit will be quite low at that level of eating.

That's why the calculators recommend that you reset your stats occasionally to accommodate your new body.

Eat clean, monitor your progress, build in the variety necessary to stay committed.
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Don't worry about momentary cheats or stumbles, focus on succeeding in the long run. Always keep your eye on the target and if you stumble, get back up and stay in the race.

What we weigh is the result of a meal, a day, a week, a month, a year of choices...

Psssst...Nothing tastes as good as ketosis feels!
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ntombi View Post
Well, the math is right. Too bad I don't believe it's that simple.
I agree with this completely, there are way to many factors to keep it that simple...

For example, I have a sweet spot around 1600 calories a day. When I go lower for too long I gain or stall. When I go higher... honestly I still lose... but I have trouble eating much. I think it has to do with my past issues eating too little and my high activity level.

Then some people will lose faster than others with less restriction/more restriction, or less or more exercise...we are all different...

and of course any kind of intolerance will cause problems...

and not all calories are created equal (which I am sure you know, since you are here)

Anyway, calorie talk gives me headaches, I think it is really made out to be far more important than it really is.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaselai View Post
So I came across a calorie calculator while showing my coworker his BMR and thought it was kind of interesting that it calculates how many calories per day if i want to lose X pounds in Y days. I am curious how yall think this formula and if it makes sense/valid at all...

1. Find Daily BMR according to activity factor -> i think the activity factor are all the same across diff sources - sedentary 1.2, light active 1.375 moderately active 1.55 and up. I see myself light active since i only workout 1.5 hrs a day. So my BMR with activity is 3130 (age 32, male, 5'9, 248 now)


2. the next step is purely math - how much I want to lose (68 pds) and how many days (180 days) so since ~3500 cal per pound we have 3500*68 /180 days = 1322 calorie less per day.

So since my BMR with activity is 3130 so my daily calorie intake to meet my goal is 3130-1322 = 1808...

Does this make sense or there's too many variables to really follow this?
To add to everyone else's comments, the way they calculate calories in food is bogus and done with a machine. That does not tell anyone how the body uses the energy it takes in.
Carolyn
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