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Calorie Calculations 101

How SparkPeople Calculates Your Personal Calorie Range


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  • I just read on another site that men should not consume less thatn 1800 calories per day. This article says 1500. ??
  • Hi I'm just wondering why when it comes to my carbs at the end of the day when I run the report it says I'm over 50% of my carbs and I'm in the middle of what the tracker allows me I don't understand can u help.
  • Once again I've read another long winded article that doesn't answer my basic question. JUST how many calories a day am I supposed to be eating in order to lose weight as a type 2 diabetes man. All I get is background general info. but no specific answer on just what should be my goal calorie intake. Very frustrating not to get simple answers.
    Nice information on calorie count. So i guess the baseline is to consume more calories (above the base line) in-order to boost metabolism rate.. in other words eat to lose weight.
    Hi Beck. it's good to know how to calculate calories. Thanks for posting this article. Really helpful. Im sure your other readers will benefit from this too.
  • PDM12345
    This was very helpful. The problem that I've found is the fitness tracker numbers can be way off the mark. As a result I'm reluctant to accept the guidelines in the nutrition tracker after the fitness updates are applied.
    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?
  • 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.
    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?
    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 doesn't make sense to me, seems like this is just "maintaining" when my goal is to lose. Thanks!
  • 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
  • This is a very helpful and thorough description of the calorie determination. Thank you so much for writing this article!

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