I THINK I'm headed in the right direction, but . . .

am I? I'm not sure I understand this program, so are these numbers good or bad?

-Weight Loss Goal: 1.5 lbs/week
-Requires -748 cal deficit
-Current Cal. Deficit: -2780
-Cal. Consumed: 1503
-Burned: 4283
-Cal. Remaining: 2032

Thank you, very much, in advance,



  • Sean....it depends on what you are attempting to accomplish and how quickly in the healthiest manner. A deficit of 3500 calories represents a pound. Check online your BMI/BMR to give you more information. You can find out how many calories you should be eating to accomplish your goals in a specific time frame. Wishing you the best!

  • Dear Phoenix4life: Thank you for your response. So, if I understand correctly, after plugging in my BMR to Cronometer, my current numbers indicate that I am burning considerably more calories than I am taking in because of my workouts and modified eating habits and, thus, doing better than the required -748 calorie deficit? Again, thank you very much.

  • edited September 2020

    Sean, have in mind that a 2780 daily calorie deficit is both unsustainable and dangerous (it essentially means you are losing almost a pound of weight every single day). In other words, if the numbers you have posted correspond to real life, you are not trying to lose weight but...to kill yourself. :p

    Fortunately, it is almost certain that the numbers you are inputting for your workouts are dead wrong, especially if you are using electronic trackers to input them. Generally speaking, we tend to grossly overestimate the amount of calories we burn daily via working out, and also underestimate the number of calories we intake via food. So this is where a tool like Cronometer shines, in helping us at least get our intake calories correctly. <3

  • Sean, what are you doing to burn 4283 calories in a day? According to MY stats I would have to run at 6mph for 13 hours to burn those kind of calories.

  • Dante and Ridge_Runner: Thank you for your feedback. You are both correct, I was grossly misstating my calories burned. Cronometer provided my BMR, but all I have for a tracker is a Polar heart monitor. So I plugged in my avg. HR and elapsed time into a website that, supposedly, could tell me how many calories I was burning. For example, I would hike 3.5 worth of pretty severe hills behind my house. It would take around 1 hour and twenty minutes and my average HR would be 128. I would then plug in my age (66) and weight (240) and the site would tell me that I had burned 1158 calories. Now, I know VERY little about any of this, but even I thought that was awfully high. BUT, I did like the numbers that Cronometer gave me when I plugged in that 1158. However, I wasn't losing a pound a day because I'm still pretty chubby. The upshot of all of this is that I'm now researching a fitness monitor that will track all of the above info for me and afford me more accurate end data regarding my calories. Thanks again for commenting AND if there are any fitness apps/watches you like, feel free to enlighten me!

  • I think I saw fitbit works with Cromometer. If not, I'm sure there is another apparatus that does. Cronometers figures seem to be right on if you just enter the activity. Hope your hiking those hills with a buddy.

  • Did you see that six minute video of the guy backing away from the mountain lion?? Crazy! I carry a small air horn, and it's REALLY loud. LOL! Thanks for the input!

  • 3500 is not a real number; it's as arbitrary as calories burned. It assumes every fat cell is the same; and of course they're not. I'm 51 days in (11.9 lbs lost) and I'm averaging about 3000 deficit per lb. I'm pretty confident that I measure my intake accurately. I'm 149 lbs so significantly different than Sean. Someone 240lbs should be able to burn a lot more than the 1.6lbs/week that I am. I do virtually no rigorous exercise but do about an hour of something every day (ie walking).

    Calories burned can only be estimated; My garmin watch does a very poor job. If I'm doing some activity and my heart rate hangs around 75 it doesnt give me any calorie credit at all (my resting rate is about 55). The watch tells me Im burning < 2100 calories per day and I estimate more like 2400-2500. Thats a pretty big difference.

    I alternate days on calorie deficit; I'll eat 1200 calories one day and 1800 the next and I've devised a diet that includes all of the foods l like including steak, italian sausage, cheese, red wine and chocolate. I think if you do some exercise every day and keep track of your calories losing 1.5 lbs per week is pretty easy.

  • CalorieGuru: Thanks for the input . . . I wondered about my BMR calculus since it seems to a layman like me that everyone's BMR would be different and how can each individual's be accurately calculated using simple weight, HR, and age numbers? But the reality for me is that food has always been that one friend that never failed me! LOL! Consequently, reining in my diet is probably about 75% of my battle, since even at 66, I still love to train hard and am limited only by failing joints with lots of mileage. Anyway, thanks to all for your advice and counsel; if you think of anything else I need to know or questions, in my ignorance, I didn't know to ask, feel free to hit me up.

  • I'm a food lover myself and a crack cook; I just turned 60 and decided to do without some things for 2 months to lose 20 lbs and get down to where I want to be. I've given up breakfast, sandwiches and I only eat 1/2 a steak or 1 oz of pasta instead of 2oz. Once you start losing you'll get into it. The shutdown has helped; no weddings, holiday feasts or parties and going to restaurants isn't as enjoyable; might as well do something for yourself while we wait for our lives to start again.

  • Oh my goodness CalorieGuru, you ARE the calorie Guru. 1200 calories ? I can't do it....even though I should. I LOVE FOOD ! Steak, italian sausage, cheese and red wine are on the TOP of my list. Unfortunately I have an intolerance to fruit and raw veggies. What do you eat in a day to keep you satiated? I'm a horrible cook so I went to the culinary academy for a year. I struggled to gain weight/quit smoking and went straight to overweight. Please do tell....1200 calories.

    Grendelsm21...I live in an area that posts warning signs about mountain lions. Did you see this one? https://www.facebook.com/HWY49ADVENTURES/videos/269008414008238

  • edited October 2020

    I generally do a 16 hour fast; so I don't eat until 6pm. I just have coffee with cream and iced tea during the day. Then I have a 300-400 calorie "purpose meal" and a big meal before I go to bed (Rapini/sausage/pasta, eggplant parm. steak and veggies). On my 1200 calorie days I have 1 smallish meal (400 calories) and then a big salad or another small meal. Here's yesterday's diary.

    The fasting takes a few days to fight through, but after a while you just don't get hungry as much, even if you work out. I was supposed to eat tonight at 6:30pm but I wasn't hungry so I decided to do a 24 hour fast and have 1 1500 calorie meal at midnight.

    I don't really keep track of water accurately and I don't weigh the lettuce I just load up a big bowl.

    I also eat before I go to bed because I like to eat while watching a movie and once I have the wine I get sleepy anyway. It's against what everyone tells you to do but it doesnt really seem to make a difference WHEN I eat.

  • That's fascinating! I've tried intermittent fasting, and was okay fasting from 7 pm until noon the next day, but because of my weight lifting, I need about 240 g of protein a day. With a shortened eating day, I couldn't get the required calories of protein without feeling bloated and gross, so I backed off the fasting to 9 a.m. I've gone from 256 back in July to 240 now, and have since plateaued. I need more cardio but I have a bum right Achilles that's dragging me down. "Your Achilles hurts because you're too heavy . . . you're too heavy because you don't do enough cardio because of your lousy Achilles"! WTH?

    . . . but you know you're fat when you lose sixteen lbs. and when you take off your shirt, your wife says, "You don't look any different." LMAO!!

  • edited October 2020

    Well you're not doing 1200 calorie days if you're eating 1.5 chickens every day.

    You can't gain muscle and lose weight at the same time. I suspend all resistance/weight training when I'm losing weight. Doing both at the same time is very complicated and I usually don't end up losing much weight. It works better for me to just do light cardio (ie walking) when I'm losing weight and then get back into weight training after I've lost the fat. I've done this 4 or 5 times and that's what works best for me. I don't want to be on a diet for 8 months and you don't really look good until you've lost the fat.

  • True, it's virtually impossible to gain muscle and lose weight simultaneously, BUT it is possible to gain muscle and lose fat . . . but extremely difficult because it requires careful monitoring of macros . . . something I suck at. Cutting out simple carbs and starches, or attempting to do so, has me believing there must be some addictive properties to them. I have done it before; back in 2012, I went from 247 lbs. and 27% BF to 212 at 8% (hydrostatic), but the micro-management and monitoring of my diet was unsustainable and the cardio I'd do subsequent to 25-30 sets of lifting in one hour was madness. It involved running 3.5 miles of hills, something I'm no longer willing or able to do.

    The reality is that I'm probably going to have to sacrifice my 240g of protein/day for something more realistic

  • Grandelsm21, Hang in there. 16 lbs is a LOT of weight... great for you. She'll notice. (She'll be unknowingly greatful as you live longer with your better health).

    Calorie Guru... I say that as I don't think there is anyway I could do that. At 10ish I get Hungry. At noon I would be Hangry. I had a svelt Dr. once tell me to reverse the typical American diet and eat more in the morning, less in the afternoon and a tiny bit in the evening. That doesn't work with hubby. If there's a meal, I'm going to eat it.

  • Your body adapts to virtually anything; man ate 1 meal a day for a million years. I ate a big breakfast my entire life; its my favorite meal.

    You are a creature of your HABITS, not your physical limitations. But you have to really want to change. It's just a matter of discipline.

  • 16lbs is a bowling ball. Think About it.

  • Just wanted to chime in...

    The "3500 calorie deficit = 1 lb weight loss" is a very rough guideline, but it does give us a starting point.

    We know that when people lose weight, their BMR decreases (as a result of reduced mass and reduced food intake). The body also believes that weight loss is an indication of illness or starvation, so will try to fight against it and conserve energy.

    The more weight people lose, the slower their metabolism may become. This is why I like the concept of "best weight". At this weight, you are eating as few calories as possible (in a sustainable manner) while exercising as much as possible (again, in a sustainable way). Whatever weight you end up at is really the ideal.

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • edited October 2020

    I disagree with this just about completely. The 3500 per lb is just a way to make it simple for the lower IQ crowd; but it's misleading and leads people to do the wrong things. Calories are an estimate, Basal Metabolic Rate is an estimate. Calories burned via exercise is an estimate.

    Your body adjusts meal to meal; it doesnt work on daily cycles like a cronometer diary. "Daily" calorie intake is just an idea; if you're intermittent fasting, eating 1 big meal and snacks, multiple small meals, alternating small and big meals will all have a different effect, as well as what foods you eat. if you eat 1800 calories of candy it's a lot different than if you eat a whole chicken and a salad.

    Its easy to be 20-25% wrong on your BMR; online calculators are all over the place. Your BMR will be different based on what foods you eat; you can increase it by eating more. I lost 16 lbs (154 to 138, so more then 10%) eating MORE food; by just eliminating sugar and cutting alcohol. You'll never gain fat weight if you just eat protein and vegetables; no matter how many calories you consume.

    The point is your body is not predictable with a simple formula because it adapts to change. There are many ways to lose weight other than calorie deprivation; for the reason you mention pure calorie cutting doesn't work for long because your body will adapt; The worst thing you can do is go from 3 big meals to 3 smaller meals with no increased exercise. You'll just slow your metabolism and lose very little.

  • Thanks for chiming in! BMR calculators online are an estimate, but BMR was determined experimentally using indirect calorimetry to measure rates of oxygen consumption. In most laboratory settings, we can't fully determine BMR so we use RMR instead (which is ~10% higher than BMR). In addition to BMR (RMR), our energy requirements (or expenditure) is influenced by the thermic effect of food (~10%), activities of daily living (or NEAT - non-exercise activity thermogenesis), and structured physical activity; the latter two are highly variable in how much they contribute to calorie expenditure.

    Science hasn't shown us that a particular food can increase calorie expenditure but we do know that eating anything does.

    As a side note, I worked in bariatric medicine where we actually had the opportunity to measure changes to oxygen consumption through indirect calorimetry. It was interesting and surprising for patients to see that that their RMR didn't markedly change through weight loss, as there tends to be the belief that weight loss = faster metabolism.

    Hope this helps!

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

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