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MFP & Cut Value
06-11-2015, 02:39 PM
Post: #1
Question MFP & Cut Value
Hi EM2WL, I'm excited to post here!
Well, here's my story: I'm 5'2" and weight 134. My BMR=1306, TDDE=2025 & Cut Value=1721. My goal is to lose 5-8 lbs of fat by building muscle.
Currently I use MFP, my calorie intake was set anywhere from 1400-1500 calories & eating back my workout calories (anywhere from 300 - 600+). I was doing strength training and long cardio sessions on the same day with cardio only on non-strength training days (anywhere from 30–60 minutes) and not dropping any weight. I was working out 4-5 days a week which puts me in the moderately active category. After reading on EatMore2WeighLess, I realize that I've been under-eating & over-working out.
Based on this info, I've modified my workout sessions to doing strength training 3 xs a week every other day & 30 minute cardio/HIIT on non-strength training days. I've increased my calorie intake to 1721. I log my food intake & workouts on MFP. I'm a bit confused regarding the following: 1) Do I deduct my workout calories from MFP & eat them back? 2) Do I still consume 1721 calories on non-workout days? 3) Am I understanding correctly that there is no need to do cardio? 4) Should I expect weight gain going from 1400/1500 to 1700 calories a day? Thank you, can't wait to hear from you.
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06-11-2015, 11:01 PM
Post: #2
RE: MFP & Cut Value
Welcome! So glad you decided to post here! Yes, it certainly sounds like you were overdoing it on the exercise front, and therefore under-eating too... Great job deciding to turn things around!

So, when you figured out your TDEE, all of your exercise is already factored into that final number (your TDEE), so you will not want to "eat back your exercise calories" when logging on MFP. Generally, what people seem to find to be the easiest way to log on MFP is to do the following:

1) Go into your "Goals" and simply change your Daily Calories to whatever figure may be your target at that particular time, then eat consistently to that level. Personally, I eat the same on workout days as non-workout days. I have the same target each day. Some people find that they are hungrier on workout days and will eat more on those days, while others are ravenous the day after a hard workout. Do whatever feels best to you, just so long as those calories balance and average out over the course of the week...

2) Since your exercise has already been factored into your TDEE, you will not want to add on any more calories to that number when you log your exercise on MFP. The easiest way to handle that is: when you log your exercise on MFP, go ahead and enter the workout and the time, but then just change the calories burned to "1". By doing this, you will have a record of your workouts (for tracking purposes), but MFP will not then add on additional calories to your daily caloric goal (well, it will just add one calorie :-) By doing it this way, MFP will not be messing up and adding to your daily goals, which is not really a big deal for the calories, because the math is pretty simple, but it will also mess with your macros, and then you might have to pull out a calculator laughing Since you won't be eating back those exercise calories and you will be eating consistently to your TDEE or cut number, it is just easier if you change the calories burned to "1"...

3) Cardio is great for your heart and health, but you want to avoid the long, steady state cardio. Stick with short HIIT-type workouts and keep your NEAT up by staying physically active throughout the day. Concentrate on the strength training and as you get closer to your TDEE you should be able to build some muscle with that strength training.

When you say you are upping your calories from 1400/1500 to 1700, that 1400/1500 does not include the exercise calories you were eating back, does it? So were you really eating 1700-1800? If you are going to use the TDEE method, where you eat consistently to that TDEE or Cut level and don't eat back exercise calories, then you want to make sure you are comparing apples to apples and calculate your beginning caloric intake and goal intake using the same method (if that makes sense... :-)

How your body responds to the increase in calories will depend a lot on your past dieting history. If you have been doing a lot of low cal dieting, you may see some weight gain as you work through the process, but if you take it nice and slow you may be able to give your body time to adapt and adjust along the way and keep those gains to a minimum.

Give us a little more info on your dieting history, and we may be able to answer your questions a little more effectively..

Again, welcome! So glad you have you here, and looking forward to hearing back from you...

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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06-12-2015, 11:27 AM
Post: #3
RE: MFP & Cut Value
Hi Anitra, thank you for your quick response. I've changed my MFP daily calories to 1721 (Cut Value) because I still want to lose a few pounds. I understand now that I shouldn't eat back my workout calories if I'm using the TDEE method. I'm one of those people that are ravenous the day after a hard workout. Great idea on logging my workouts as "1" calorie burned. I really enjoy HIIT-type workouts. I will apply the same method when running, with cardio/HIIT-type workouts lasting at a maximum of 30-40 minutes.

When I said I was upping my calories from 1400/1500 to 1700 (Cut Value) that did not include my exercise calories. I was really eating anywhere from 1700 - 2000+ calories a day & netting 1400/1500. Before modifying my workouts & caloric intake, I used to burn anywhere from 300 - 600+ calories per cardio workout alone (not including weight training). Do you think I need to do a RESET?

As for as my dieting history goes, I truly believe in not starving my body in order to lose weight. I believe in exercising & eating right. I looked at MFP, my dieting history for the past month has been consuming an average of 1700-1800 calories - exercise calories being anywhere from 300-500 calories, netting an average of 1400-1500. On the days that I "accidentally" burned more calories than I had intended to, either by yard work or other physical activity, I would eat back those calories.

Currently, I have my macros set at the following percentages: carbs 40%, fats 30% & protein 30%. Should I modify them? Also, since I am eating the Cut Value of 1721 (my goal weight of 125), once I reach my goal do I go back to eating at TDEE (2025)?

Thank you so much for all of your help.
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07-14-2015, 02:21 PM
Post: #4
RE: MFP & Cut Value
HELP!!! I've been logging, working out and eating at 1721 calories for a month now. I've made the changes I said I would (decreased my cardio & following the weight training for beginners workout). My workouts are as follows: 3 days of beginner's weight training (approx. :40/wo), 1 HIIT workout (approx. 30), 1 jogging day (:30- :45) I have not lost any weight. What am I doing wrong?
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07-14-2015, 08:40 PM
Post: #5
RE: MFP & Cut Value
I am sooooo sorry I missed your previous post! Please feel free to send me a message if I ever miss a post and I will be happy to hop on and respond (after work, of course :-)

Great job incorporating some HIIT, backing off on the cardio, and best of all getting in some strength training! You have your macros set up perfectly and have been eating consistently. You are definitely off on the right track, now we just need to get your calories "dialed in"... In your previous post, you had said that you were eating in the 1700 to 2000+ range with your TDEE being 2025. Even though a month is not a long time at cut, I understand your desire to see "something" happening. I know you said you have not lost any weight, but are you seeing any other positive changes? You certainly don't have much weight to lose, being at 5'2" and 134 lbs, and hopefully you are most interested in body recomposition at this point (rather than scale weight..)

Personally, I would give it another couple of weeks at this level, and if you continue to see no changes then consider increasing gradually to TDEE and doing a reset. Perhaps when you were previously eating 1700 to 2,000+ calories it was more consistently at the lower end of that range and your body has just adapted to that intake (1700). Have you read our Metabolism Reset Guide? If not, you can find it on the Home page and on the Start Here tab...

On the other hand, if you don't want to wait another couple of weeks, there is absolutely no harm in just jumping in and starting on the reset right now. In my opinion, a reset is always a great way to get your metabolism back up and running where it should be, and it can also be a great way to "test the waters" and actually determine by trial and error what your true TDEE is, rather than relying on calculators or on-body devices...

Take a look at the Reset Guide, and let me know your thoughts...

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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07-20-2015, 02:41 PM
Post: #6
Smile RE: MFP & Cut Value
Hi Anitra, Thanks for replying. It's ok if you missed my other message. First, to answer your questions.. yes, I have definitely noticed some positive changes. I haven't lost any weight but I am getting much stronger. I noticed that by cutting back on the cardio, my body is stronger and my endurance while doing HIIT workouts has also improved. I'm much less tired. Although I lost 1.5 lbs the first week, I gained it back by the end of the second week. I went from 134 to 136.. Looks like my body weight has stabilized at this number. At the moment, it's fluctuating between 134 & 136. By the way, I am not ready to give up. I will definitely give it another month. I don't feel that a reset is necessary. Either way, whether I drop weight or not, this has had a positive effect on my body. I do have a few questions for you. First of all, I am eating at 1721 calories, but am having a difficult time meeting my macros. For example protein intake is low. Could this be a factor as to why my weight is not dropping? I'm trying to eat healthier but I find myself having a lot of empty calories. I decided the next four weeks, I will try to be more aware of what goes into my body and to increase my protein intake. Also, the Scooby calculator considers 3-5 hours of activity as moderate activity. After how many hours of activity should I start eating back my calories? Currently, I'm not eating any of them back. Could this also be affecting my weight loss? Should I just stick to the 1721 and not worry about eating back any of my calories? Ugh .. sorry for all the questions, I'm just really trying to make sure I'm doing this correctly. I feel healthier at 130#, so I'd like to drop the extra 4-6 pounds I'm carrying.. My other goal is to get stronger (that's definitely happening). I'll keep you posted on my progress. I'll check back with you in a month, or sooner, if changes occur. Thank you so much for your guidance. Have a great day!
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07-20-2015, 09:15 PM (This post was last modified: 07-20-2015 09:24 PM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #7
RE: MFP & Cut Value
First of all, try to focus on all of the positive benefits that you are seeing: Strength gains, improved endurance, more energy... Those are SO much more important that any number on the scale. In fact, you are so close to goal weight I would throw the scale away and just concentrate on how you look and feel. Seriously... Walk outside and put it in a trash can.

No really... laughing

As far as the macros, try to reach that protein goal. Plan each meal around a protein, then fill in with complex carbs and healthy fats. Of course, it's not a life or death matter if you really reach that goal every single day but try to get it up there. The bottom line is that if we don't concentrate on getting in some protein most of us would probably gravitate towards eating about 80% carbs ! Those "empty calories" are fine as treats, but you certainly don't want them to be the bulk of your diet...

As far as "eating back your exercise calories", take a look back at my first response 2) Since your exercise has already been factored into your TDEE, you will not want to add on any more calories to that number when you log your exercise on MFP. The easiest way to handle that is: when you log your exercise on MFP, go ahead and enter the workout and the time, but then just change the calories burned to "1". By doing this, you will have a record of your workouts (for tracking purposes), but MFP will not then add on additional calories to your daily caloric goal.

So, you figured out your TDEE and Cut figures, so no "eating back of exercise calories" is necessary. Just stick with those values.

One thing to remember: you don't want to spend too long eating at a deficit. Every month or two you will want to take a week or so and eat at TDEE, just so that your body does not become to acclimated to the deficit. You don't want it to "think" that your deficit is your new Maintenance...

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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07-21-2015, 07:00 AM
Post: #8
RE: MFP & Cut Value
I do want to point out that you won't gain muscle on a cut. You may lose some fat, but you may also lose a bit of muscle too (that's why we suggest upping your protein). The only way to gain muscle is by eating at a surplus or the very slow process of doing a recomp (which is eating at maintenance and lifting a lot). You will still get stronger (potentially) while on a deficit, but strength does not equal building muscle. You may end up seeing your muscle more due to losing fat.

I am not saying this to discourage you, but just to give you info.
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07-21-2015, 09:24 PM
Post: #9
RE: MFP & Cut Value
^^^ Very true, and a great point ^^^ And just another great reason to work on determining your TDEE and working on body recomp to get the results you are wanting to see, rather than focusing on the scale at this point... If you focus on only dropping that scale weight you probably won't be as happy with your results and you would if you would just concentrate on determining your TDEE and then building some muscle while eating at that level. And, if at some point in the future you want to shed some fat, you can always take a small deficit, but again that would be to shed some fat and not necessarily to see a drop on the scale. Remember, muscle is *heavy* and building it will result in a smaller, tighter, but not necessarily lighter body...

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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07-24-2015, 02:28 PM (This post was last modified: 07-24-2015 02:29 PM by Alex68.)
Post: #10
Star RE: MFP & Cut Value
Thank you both, Anitra & mrsukyankee, for your input. I appreciate your feedback. I will try to stay focused on all the positives and not the number on the scale. I've been eating at Cut Value for 6 weeks now. Starting Sunday, I will eat at TDEE and log my calories on MFP. As you said Anitra, I don't want my body getting confused thinking that my deficit is my new maintenance. I'm assuming that I am to continue working out as I have with strength training being my main focus and cardio being optional. What should I do if I start gaining weight at TDEE? Should I just continue eating at that level for the week? Also, should I force myself to eat at TDEE when there are a few times I've struggled to eat all my calories at Cut Value or should I just stop when I feel naturally full and no longer hungry? Thank you & have a wonderful day. smug
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