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nina-butler 03-14-2013 05:11 PM

Newbie: Net Calories or Food Calories?
Hi everyone. :)

Nina here, brand new. Thanks in advance for reading!

So, I plugged in my goals and calcs, and have some q's I am hoping someone can help me with:

For example, it says to eat around 1800 cals to achieve my goal.


- Is that NET calories? Meaning, for example, if my goal is 1800 calories, and I eat 2000 calories, and I burn 200 through exercise, I arrive at NET 1800. Is this what the calculation means? Would I still reach my goal? Because in terms of food calories, it's still 200 above what is recommended. Hope this question isn't confusing anyone. I am basically asking if I I should subtract exercise from the food or just eat the recommended food calorie intake, and whatever exercise is done counts as a bonus.

- I have an office job where I am seated 9-5, and I walk to and from home, totaling about 20 minutes walking. In my profile, I had selected 'Mostly Seated with some movement', would this be accurate? The caloric maintenance number I got seemed kinda high.

Thanks in advance!!


carolynnq 03-14-2013 09:44 PM

Hi Nina, and welcome.

I also chose "Mostly seated with some movement." The program then says I need about 2200 calories. But I think the program is assuming we're seated with some movement 24 hours. So every day I enter sleep hours. I just keep it at 7 hours - that way every day I just go to "Recent activities" and choose sleep. That drops my calories down to about 1900, which is about right for me. The 1900 calories is how many I would need to consume to maintain my current weight. Or put another way, my body burns 1900 calories a day sitting and sleeping.

Yes, any extra activity you do is a bonus.

When I do anything other than sit for any amount of time, I enter it in the activity log (working in the yard, walking, calisthenics, washing the car, etc.).

If I eat 1400 calories a day (that's 500 less than what my body burns daily), that's 3500 calories a week less that the amount needed to maintain (3500 calories = 1 lb). If my non-seated activities for the day total 300 calories, then that day my body needed 2200 calories to maintain current weight. If I ate 1400 calories, that's 800 calories burned - almost a 1/4 lb!

nina-butler 03-14-2013 10:52 PM

Hi Carolynn,

Thanks for the info.

So, you SUBTRACT your sleep from the recommended calories?
For example, I went into 'add activity' and entered 7 hours sleep (an additional 400 calories), but that counted it as an activity so it INcreased my daily expenditure, not subtracted.

The program told me that if I want to lose weight by my entered date and goal weight, with the mostly seated / some acvitity setting, I should eat 1800 calories. So that's the weight loss, not maintenance. Are you saying to subtract sleep from this, and actually just eat 1400 cal? Seems too low somehow?

Thanks for your help. :)

carolynnq 03-14-2013 11:41 PM

I'm kind of new at this myself. :) I didn't even look at what the recommendation was for me, but looking now, I see it's a calorie reduction of 700 a day. That's about what I'm doing between eating fewer calories and exercising more.

Sleep doesn't add calories for me. With no sleep in my activity log, my calories burned during a day are 2188 (that's 24 hrs of sitting). When I add sleep in, it shows 352 for calories sleeping (7 hrs) and 1550 calories for sitting (17 hours), for a total of 1901 calories (shown in the blue area as "calories burned today"). I'm eating 1200-1500 calories a day.

cjohnson728 03-15-2013 01:22 AM

If everything entered is correct, your TOTAL calorie expenditure will DECREASE when you enter sleep. It shows the calories in there for sleep, but what it does is replace the higher calories per hour of your daily lifestyle level with the lower calories per hour of sleep, not adding them on top of everything. Go to a blank daily log, like tomorrow. Look at how many calories it has you burning total. Then enter sleep. Look again at the total calories burned. It will be less.

In other words, if you don't enter sleep, you have at the beginning of a day 24 hours of lifestyle calories. If you enter 8 hours of sleep, you have that, plus now only 16 hours of lifestyle calories. Sleep burns less than lifestyle, so the overall effect is a reduction in what is burned.

Many of us feel our numbers are more accurate if we enter sleep as opposed to not doing so.

nina-butler 03-15-2013 01:08 PM

Thanks both of you, it worked this time. :)
(PS: Cassie, love your quote).

So then back to my original question: do you eat back your exercise calories, to achieve NET calorie goal?

Example, to lose weight, FitDay says I should eat 1800 calories a day. But, if I eat 2000 and burn 200 through exercise, I am NETTING 1800 calories, even though I am eating 2000. Does this make sense?

I am wondering if anyone has done it this way, or if you simply eat the recommended amount of calories, and you don't count the exercise in.

Thanks, sorry for all the questions!

carolynnq 03-15-2013 03:23 PM

You definitely count the calories burned exercising.

If you eat 1800 calories and do no exercise, your net calories are 1800.

If you eat 1800 calories and burn 200 additional calories, your net calories are 1600.

If you eat 2000 calories and burn 200 additional calories, your net calories are 1800. This is the same as eating 1800 calories w/ no exercise, because you burned off the 200 extra calories you ate.

Below the food log, there are a series of tabs. One is "Cal. Balance". It shows calories eaten for the day and calories burned. (There are also reports that show this.) As long as your calories eaten are lower than calories consumed, you will lose weight. Yesterday I consumed about 1200 calories and burned 2000. That's an 800 calorie deficit. It takes a 3500 deficit to lose one pound.

gishpar 03-15-2013 06:04 PM

Calorie question
I appreciate the question on how to figure your calorie intake with exercise. I didn't think about the 24 hour and sleep time. I will do that also. I was also confused and could not find an answer anywhere in the website. I didn't understand the -2200 as a total for example. Now I understand moreso. Thank you all. I am also new on here. I am so glad I found this site. I need to lose weight so I can have lower BP and possibly get off the BP medicine. Thanks again.

gishpar 03-15-2013 06:22 PM

Weight Report
Hi everyone:

I am new here also.

I found in the Reports section, the section on weight.

According to the weight report for me, I am losing weight.

So I guess I am doing it right.

Thank you all for your posts, I think I am starting to understand this site.

I just have to look at all the different sections on it very carefully.

I am sure I will understand it all the more I use it.

Have a great time, everyone.

carolynnq 03-15-2013 07:50 PM

Welcome, gishpar. I'm finding new things on the site too. Until Nina asked about it, I hadn't looked at the options under the "weight goal" tab.

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