Activity Level - Clear examples?

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lain1k

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 25

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Posted: 07 Sep 2010, 18:11
Anyone have some good examples of activity level when calculating daily intake of calories? (What I think is considered to be)

Sedentary: little or no exercise (sitting almost all day except for basic walking)

Lightly Active: light exercise or sports 1-3 days/week (sports like golf, bowling, horse shoes, and exercises like light walking (2mph) for 30min, gardening, and cleaning)

Moderately Active: moderate exercise or sports 3-5 days/week (sports like softball, dodge ball and exercises like walking (3-4mph) for 30min, cardio machines with heart rate in fat zone (30min), swimming)

Very Active: intense exercise or sports 6-7 days/week (sports like basketball, football, tennis and exercises like jogging/running, cardio with heart rate in cardio zone, swimming laps)

Extra Active: very intense daily exercise or sports & physical job or twice daily training (Pretty much Very Active with a physically demanding job or twice a day work outs)

That sound about right? I ask because the difference between light and moderate for me is 400 calories (6'1", 225lbs, 25/male).
Never give up, never settle, and always do your best! I refuse to be anything but the best I can be.
relz

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 283

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Posted: 07 Sep 2010, 18:25
This sounds like what most of the counters will tell you, but I think they overestimate the number of calories burned during these activities. I used to run 3 days a week (marathon training) and do 60 minute strength training classes 2 days per week, and when I use these calculators I still use the "lightly active" choice. I don't think I would have made much progress using the higher activity settings.

I do find that, before a very active day (a long run or a hike) I have to increase my calorie intake a few hundred calories or else I am dead tired during the activity. But that is better than overeating every day and never getting anywhere with the weight loss.

mammasix

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 378

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Posted: 07 Sep 2010, 18:28
I do at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday, and use the light catagory. My husband maybe does 30 minutes of exercise 2 times a week and he is sedentary
God made man before women because you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece (stolen from Coach's journal).
lain1k

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 25

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Posted: 07 Sep 2010, 21:10
Hmm well I think I'm going to try to do Moderate (2800 to lose a pound a week) and see how that works. When I first started I used light to be on the safe side. After about a month I started feeling light headed, tired, and susceptible to binging. I was always hungry. No matter how much I worked out I would stay at the same weight for weeks. Any slip up days (cheat day and they weren't regular) I would gain 2-3lbs, which should be water weight, but it would take 2 weeks to just lose the weight. I'm guessing I was in starvation mode. I think I was under estimating how much activity I do during the day. Lets see how the increase calories work, maybe I'll lose, maybe I'll gain.
Never give up, never settle, and always do your best! I refuse to be anything but the best I can be.
Alyndri

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 11

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Posted: 07 Sep 2010, 21:25
Are you saying 2800 calories in a day? I'm doing about 1 hour of cardio interval exercise most days and aim for about 1500 - 2000 calories. This seems to be working well for me and I'm losing around a KG a week. Although on saturday I did some weight training and plataued because of the muscle gain. Should be back on track now!
CherryPie

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 74

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Posted: 08 Sep 2010, 02:15
I don't understand how to categorise 'exercise' and most days don't bother. I have no intention of ever setting foot inside a gym (loath organised exercise) but still consider myself active. I think this is a cultural thing - I can't imagine why anyone would feel the need to go to the gym to be active. I virtually never sit down. Watch a maximum of 2 hours TV a day - in winter only. My house has 66 stairs and I run up and down them all day long (I run a guest house). If I go anywhere in village I walk, I walk the dog and in summer I swim - usually about quarter of a mile, sometimes more. I garden on 3/4 acre of sloping ground, but for me none of this is 'exercise'. I consider I've done some exercise when I go to my yoga lessons or if I do a 10 mile hike or canoe ride, the rest is just daily normal activity. But, I don't know how to put that on exercise page - i did try putting down sitting/standing/housework (how do you categorise 3 hours of ironing or cooking?) but it seemed like burning a ridiculous number of calories and sure it over estimated.
an00bis

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 641

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Posted: 08 Sep 2010, 07:38
Alyndri wrote:
Although on saturday I did some weight training and plataued because of the muscle gain.


Quote:

...
I can't imagine why anyone would feel the need to go to the gym to be active
...
I consider I've done some exercise when I go to my yoga lessons


I see a lot of idiotic posts on Fatsecret, but never have I seen two in succession that have made me cringe so much. I wish you could hear me clapping.

I think the activity levels are pretty clear, but generally any formulas that involve them calculate maintenance calories, so as a rule of thumb I tend to pick one or two activity levels below the one that describes me, and it works well for setting a solid deficit.
If you think my post is too abrasive, harsh, or offensive, you're:
A) Wrong.
B) Too sensitive.
C) Not going to receive an apology for pointing it out.
POWENCH

Joined: Aug 08
Posts: 28

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Posted: 08 Sep 2010, 07:49
I think each individual has to do what they like or what they can maintain to sustain activity. You can work your butt off, but if your body is still in storing mode....your either eating too much, wrong thing, or not moving enough. I know plenty of "active" overweight people. Also you gotta get that heart rate up and keep it there for a while to consider it cardio.

Most of us do overestimate calories burned. I use a body bug and it is shocking how little you burn, given how much you think you are doing.

Exercise is good for you regardless of how much you weigh....do it for life, at the gym, garden, home or where ever...and not just until you hit goal....
CherryPie

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 74

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Posted: 08 Sep 2010, 09:07
I don't see why my post is 'idiotic'. I truly can't see why anyone would need to go to the gym to be active. It is true that you would be active at the gym but you could also be extremely avtive without ever setting foot on a gym. Until very recently (like last 20 years) the majority of people hadn't set foot in a gym except at school yet they were neither overweight nor inactive.

I do consider I've done exercise at yoga (which I do cos I happen to like yoga it's not in a gym) but also when I've been for a long walk because that is in addition to normal daily activity. When i walk to the shops, take the routine dog walk of 40 minutes or so I know that it is exercise of course but it isn't supplementary exercise it's what I do every day. The bit that I don't really understand about the number of calories given for a day on this site is it gives sleeping and resting but surely nobody really only sleeps and rests. If I put in all my 'activity' as opposed to 'additional exercise' then it gives me a a calorie burning figure that I just don't believe. If I really burned that many calories I would ot be overweight I'd be supermodel thin.
TheChunkyOne

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 247

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Posted: 08 Sep 2010, 09:28
CherryPie wrote:
I truly can't see why anyone would need to go to the gym to be active. .


I'm not saying your post is idiotic, but an example of why someone would truly NEED a gym...

I work an 8-5 desk job (where i am recquired to stay at my desk in order to answer phones) and have an hour commute each way. My husband is going to night school so its just me and my 3 year old every night, mon-thurs. Truly, the ONLY possible way for me to get an adequate amount of excercise every day is to have a membership to a gym that provides child care.
I doubt i'd get a very good job dragging a 3 year old behind me, he probably wouldnt like it very much either lol Wink
jessie1326

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 271

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Posted: 08 Sep 2010, 09:29
I generally agree with what's been said, but I just wanted to point out that the activity levels generally are asking for your *baseline* activity level-- the amount of activity you get every single day. It's trying to estimate your basal metabolic rate so that it can give you a good caloric estimate. So here's my two cents: If you're exercising on a regular basis but sedentary otherwise, I think it's better to take your exercise into account on its own each day that you do it, even if that's everyday. So for me, working a desk job eight hours a day, I'd fill in "sedentary" even if I was training for a marathon... and then I'd adjust my calories appropriately after the basic tabulation. On the other hand, if I had an active job like CherryPie that I did everyday, I might select "lightly active" or "moderately active." If I were in a manual labor field such as construction, I might select "highly active."

Having said that, @Iain1k, I think you're absolutely right to follow your body's responses. If you're not getting enough calories, definitely up your settings! Smile
an00bis

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 641

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Posted: 08 Sep 2010, 10:16
CherryPie wrote:
I don't see why my post is 'idiotic'. I truly can't see why anyone would need to go to the gym to be active. It is true that you would be active at the gym but you could also be extremely avtive without ever setting foot on a gym.


Yes, because the only reason to be physically active is to lose weight. Never mind anyone that wants to put on muscle and needs to use equipment that isn't readily available at home.

I challenge you to get the same workout (and produce the same anabolic effects) with your staircase as someone does with a solid 3 sets of train-to-failure squats, dead lifts, and bench presses. I think most people broaden their idea of "exercise" way too much. The calorie/metabolic calculators never seemed accurate for me either, until I started working out correctly with gym equipment.

Sure, in the beginning you could maybe curl some milk jugs or something in order to simulate weight training, but anyone seriously trying to realize progressive overload will have a tough time finding 5-10 pound increments with household objects (specifically shaped in order to allow for exercises that hit all the vital muscles).

I realize you specifically said you don't count all that daily movement as exercise, but a lot of people do. You did mention yoga, though. I encourage you to read this article:

http://figureathlete.t-nation.com/free_online_article/training/4_things_your_girlfriend_should_know

I'm not telling you to stop doing yoga, in fact, I think it's pretty neat. At the same time though, two dozen of your 'yoga' workouts won't ever compare to an intense gym workout. I'm not referring to the typical workout people get at the gym when they don't know what they're doing (IE, 15 pound bicep curls for an hour), but an actual 6-9 set workout shooting for failure and progressive overload.

Just because people didn't use gyms a long time ago, doesn't mean they're worthless. People didn't use the internet 30 years ago either, but I wouldn't exactly condemn it. I'd say that the trend of obesity has nothing to do with the use/creation of gyms, but instead the increase in consumption and accessibility of fast food, along with a reduction in the amount of daily physical activity.

Ideas about weight loss and body building have changed significantly in 20 years, and current methods are more effective than ever. I don't doubt that some traditional ideas hold true, but I can guarantee that the pace and chance of success of weight loss or muscle growth increases with the proper use of gyms.


If you think my post is too abrasive, harsh, or offensive, you're:
A) Wrong.
B) Too sensitive.
C) Not going to receive an apology for pointing it out.
CherryPie

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 74

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Posted: 08 Sep 2010, 11:07
I don't think I ever said gyms were worthless - just not for me. However I really still don't belive that you need to go to a gym. The vast majority of people would simply like to be slim and healthy - most are not bothered about being athletes. Too much of current thinking seems to say that if you don't actively 'work out' then you can't be fit. That is nonsense - I don't live in America and here in France outside the large cities there are very few sports facilities of any sort yet most people are not overweight and the life expectancy is excellent. If people don't enjoy athletic endeavours (and lets face it I'm not the only one in the world) then giving the impression that there is no other way to be fit than to go to a gym is in itself a disincentive for many people to try to get fitter. I've no problem with those who enjoy gym workouts doing them, but we are not all the same and it can be very disheartening to think you'll never get any fitter unless you do the (to me) ghastly gym workouts. I'm only ever going to lose weight if I'm happy - doing things you hate doesn't make you happy. If you can get fitter doing things you enjoy then you have a better chance of losing weight and keeping it off. Those who want to work out can but my point was that to be active you don't necessarily need to hit a gym and not everyone wants to do body building.
an00bis

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 641

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Posted: 08 Sep 2010, 11:35
Alright, but it's necessary to make these distinctions, especially to people who don't know the basics.

Going to the gym isn't just about bodybuilding or being athletic. People that lose fat at the fastest rate (and I mean fat, not weight) work out with resistance training, which pretty much requires a gym to be done properly.

You're right though, I guess if your goal is to be "active", you don't need one. I have yet to see someone whose goal is strictly to be "active" though. Usually I see things in the range of "I want to lose weight/look better fast". I think the majority of my misunderstanding came from your goals. You just want to not be overweight (the mediocre norm). That's completely fine, but why settle? If you're already going to make a lifestyle change, why not shoot for the stars? To each their own, I suppose.

I guess, in the end, we're in total agreement: Gym workouts are better, more effective, and have a fast, positive effect. You don't like them, and they're not mandatory, just recommended for faster success. Although most people get motivated by the gym atmosphere (or the fact that they're paying for it!), if it somehow demotivates you, I guess you should stay out.
If you think my post is too abrasive, harsh, or offensive, you're:
A) Wrong.
B) Too sensitive.
C) Not going to receive an apology for pointing it out.
mammasix

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 378

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Posted: 08 Sep 2010, 12:03
I'll have to add this as well, the older you get, the more you need gym-type equipment to remain healthy. Especially for women, the older we get, the more we need WEIGHT bearing exercise to keep our bones from breaking. Now, for those that have the space and money, equipment can be brought to the home. For others, that means going to a gym.
God made man before women because you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece (stolen from Coach's journal).



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