Member Comments for the Article:

Calorie Calculations 101

How SparkPeople Calculates Your Personal Calorie Range

6 Comments



  • BARUCH_W
    In order to lose a pound per week, do I need to subtract 500 calories from the value shown for 'Calories Remaining Today' on the start page does the or does the Base Goal + Fitness Track already take account of the required deficit? That is, if I consume all my remaining calories for a day as shown on my start page, do I create the desired deficit of 500 calories or do I need to have 500 calories remaining at the end of each day to achieve this deficit? In other words, is step # 7 already included in the total calorie value SparkPeople displays as available? - 10/20/2014 5:46:11 AM
  • Two things I am observing in the comments section.

    First, several people didn't understand why activity adds calories back into the target calorie range. The article clarified the calorie range already reduced the amount of calories that will allow a person to meet their weight loss goal. If a person exercises on top of that, they are burning even more calories than they need to, in order to meet their weight loss goal. The article also clarified that losing weight too quickly has negative consequences. An active day needs more calories than a sedentary day, so activity increases the calorie range.

    Second, as others have, I also wonder if my calorie range will adjust as I lose weight. So far, it hasn't. The less I weigh, the fewer calories I need. The software should continually adjust my calorie range, based on my new weight and BMI. I realize that won't change daily, especially if rounded to the nearest ten, but it should change over time.

    Another suggestion would be to have the calorie range adjust, based on waist/hip measurement and/or ratio, if the member includes those measurements. That could be compared to the BMI calculation and perhaps averaged, or have one default over the other, based on questions answered. That could make up for the discrepancies in bodybuilders, pregnancy, children, etc. - 9/13/2014 12:32:49 AM
  • i always thought to burn fat you had to burn twice as many calories as you ate....I dont get how the intake allotment goes up when I exercise, I would want to burn off more than what I ate would I not? - 6/18/2014 5:51:00 PM
  • CHERYLTHELOSER
    I feel a bit stupid for asking this, but I'm confused, so......ok, my base goal is 1200 to 1550. Why does the tracker increase your calories for the day when you add in your activity? Seems to me like you're just putting back the calories that you burned off...it doesn't make sense to me, seems like this is just "maintaining" when my goal is to lose. Thanks! - 1/1/2014 4:06:21 PM
  • the article is very good. I'll have to read it again. But after reading this I'm still not sure if?? When I lose weight does this software adjust my calorie numbers? or do I have to do this manually? I see that if im using the active tracker my calorie count will go up auto. but does it go down auto as I lose weight?

    ?? melvin2671 - 12/9/2013 3:03:41 PM
  • This is a very helpful and thorough description of the calorie determination. Thank you so much for writing this article! - 10/23/2013 5:09:17 AM

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