Need help understanding the exercise calorie counter...

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Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 32

Posted: 05 Feb 2011, 16:09
Hello. I am pretty new here and I am having some trouble understanding what I am doing.

When you first weigh in, the site tool calculates a base number of calories that you can consume and keep to your weight loss/gain/maintenance goal. Part of this calculation includes your activity level (sedentary, low active, etc.). Therefore, if all my activities are "low" level, should I record them in the exercise diary? If I record them, am I getting double credit for them, because the first calculation already took them into account? Embarassed

I am getting nervous, because last night I slightly exceeded my calorie allowance, according to the base calculation. However, I was well under the calorie counter according to the exercise diary. I'm freaking out a bit (hard not to obsess), and could really use some help. Many thanks in advance. Rolling Eyes

P.S. Apologies if this is not the best place to post this request. I looked at all the topics, and this seemed to be the closest. I could use some suggestions about that, too.

"We must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
--Benjamin Franklin

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 32

Posted: 05 Feb 2011, 19:51
Thanks, Matt. I'll try that.

"We must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
--Benjamin Franklin

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 23

Posted: 05 Feb 2011, 23:10
It takes 90 - 100 calories an hour just to maintain you while you sleep. There fore you should burn about 2000 - 2400 calories a day even if you do nothing. I know that sounds high but I have seen this figure at other sites. I figure if I stay below that base RDA calculation of calories to maintain then I should loose weight and so far I havel

Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

Posted: 06 Feb 2011, 22:17
Matt is right, don't log anything else besides "real" exercise because it will end up looking like you've burned more calories than you really have. Since it will take a little while for you to get used to the site, here's what you can focus on:
- Getting into the habit of tracking your food. It's less important WHAT you're eating than it is to be accountable for it. As you get used to owning up to everything you put in your mouth, you'll naturally start making different food choices based on that.
- Develop regular exercise habits. Again, it's less important WHAT you do than how consistent you are with it. Set a schedule for yourself appropriate for your current fitness level & require yourself to stick to it.
- Hang out here. I have learned more about nutrition & fitness from other members here than I could have imagined, & so much of it you just can't get from a book or an article. There are REAL people here at various stages of their weight loss & you can actually communicate with them & get that anecdotal information you can't find anywhere else.

Take it one day at a time & try to be patient & realistic. It won't happen overnight but it will still happen as long as you keep trying.


Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
2010: 50.4 lbs lost | 2011:17 lbs lost | 2012: 1 lb gained
How I did it:

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 32

Posted: 07 Feb 2011, 09:36
Thanks so much for your input, everyone. This seems like such a supportive group, and I am really optimistic, hard as it can be to make lifestyle changes.

Even sticking to the method you recommend, I seem to be able to stay well under my caloric limit with no real problems. I was telling a friend about my efforts, and I think she was not impressed with the slow pace I am setting for the weight loss. But I am afraid to try to lose too fast and yo-yo gain everything back, and I would rather set a slow, modest goal and exceed it than try to do too much, fail, and get discouraged.

It's only been a few days, but I can already feel a difference. It may be all in my head, but that's okay with me, for the moment. I don't want to weigh in too often, because I think it will make me crazy.

"We must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
--Benjamin Franklin

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 1,712

Posted: 07 Feb 2011, 10:24
Ah...I was wondering how many people logged desk work. I put it in once and couldn't believe that it added over 300 more calories burned per day, so I took it out again. Good to have that reinforces my suspicion that it's better to leave it out. I do log housework and music playing regularly, though, because they involve more effort than sitting at my desk.

I frequently notice that what cardio machines says I've burned doesn't match what FS logs for the same activity. Has anyone observed if its consistently leaning in one diretion? I'm assuming that different activities will be off in different directions and its a wash, but if not, my counts might be way off.

88elizabeth - forget what your friend thinks and go with what you think is a good pace for you. I can tell you that I see all the "5 lbs a week" people on this website and shake my head- they're setting themselves up for failure, either when they don't meet their inflated goals and give up, or when they gain it back after going off their extreme diet. When you're going by the intervals (eaten vs burned), even 2 lbs a week requires a 1k interval each and every day- its not easy!
- Natalie

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 16

Posted: 11 Feb 2011, 15:36
Hello All. Your posts on the subject are great. However, I am still not clear on whether to post real exercise or not. I have been going to the gym 5 days/wk, so when calculating my RDI on FS I clicked on "Active". So, does this number then take into account the exercise and I should not log how many calories I burned at the gym? Thanks and I would appreciate your feedback!
On my way to 180lbs...

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