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bergman99 has a Gold Membership
Gold Member

May 07 at 10:44 PM

flaw in program?

MyPlate uses the Harris Benedict BMR formula to determine how many calories it takes to maintain your weight at rest, then adds calories to that number based on your activity level to get your adjusted number of calories to maintain. If you rate yourself as moderately active instead of sedentary, for example, your daily calories to maintain goes up. It then subtracts calories, if you want to lose weight, based on the rate at which you want to lose, to set a daily calorie goal. For example, to lose one pound a week, it takes 500 calories a day off your Harris Benedict BMR that's first been adjusted by a factor that reflects how active you are ( BMR x 1.2 for sedentary, BMR x 1.375 for lightly active, x 1.55 for moderately active, x 1.725 for very active, x 1.9 for super active...)

The problem with then adding back what you've exercised off and telling you that you can eat that much more is apparent: you're being allowed the same expended calories twice. Supposedly, in my case, I can lose two pounds per week and still take in 1289 calories, suggesting that the number of calories needed to maintain my weight is 2,289. I could only need that many to maintain my weight, however, if I factored up Harris Benedict by 1.8-in other words, if I'm very active. Bottom line, if I eat 1289 calories PLUS the roughly 500 calories per day I walk off (I average 4-5 miles per day at a good pace), no way can I lose 2 pounds per week. I'd be allowing myself to eat the calories expended by walking even though my "allowed" calories already have that amount of activity factored in.

I deal with this by rating myself lightly active or sedentary even though I'm very active. It doesn't matter which I use since the program won't bring your calorie goal below 1,200 and both 'lightly active' and 'sedentary' would bring me below that number if I want to omit 1,000 per day for a 2 lb weekly loss.

Is this the best way to deal with what I consider a flaw in the product?

    • ivorygrey has a Gold Membership
      Gold Member

      May 12 at 02:38 PM

      Hi there!

      This why we recommend only tracking deliberate exercise and not your every day activity. If you have any questions regarding this, feel free to reach out to us at support@livestrong.com.

      Thank you!

    • bergman99 has a Gold Membership
      Gold Member

      Jun 09 at 05:00 PM

      I think you might have missed my point. By "only track deliberate exercise" are you agreeing with me that you have to classify yourself as sedentary, even if you're very active, since what you work off is going to be added back into your allowed calories for the day? Otherwise, aren't you tracking your deliberate exercise twice? once in your HB 'maintenance' number the program will assign if you describe yourself as very active, and again in your tracking of deliberate exercise (in my case, the miles walked and counted by my fitness tracker)?

    • ivorygrey has a Gold Membership
      Gold Member

      Jun 10 at 03:03 PM

      Your Activity Level should be chosen based on your day to day activities (ie. your job and/or daily home activities), not including deliberate exercise. Please take a look at the descriptions and examples below to help you determine your Activity Level.


      Sedentary

      At work - You work in an office and spend most of your day sitting
      Career Examples: Secretary, College Student, Receptionist, etc...

      At home - You are working on the computer, reading, watching television, or just generally lounging around

      Lightly Active

      At work - You are up on your feet walking and moving around throughout the day, but you're not really increasing your heart rate
      Career Examples: Teacher, Car Salesperson, Museum Curator, etc...

      At home - You are continually alternating between running errands and sitting at home reading or writing

      Moderately Active

      At work - You are moving around most of the day, and sometimes you break a little sweat
      Career Examples: Landscaper, Stay at Home Parent, Mail Carrier, etc...

      At home - You are doing gardening, housework and cleaning for the majority of the day

      Very Active

      At work - Your job is labor intensive causing your heart rate to move up and down throughout the day
      Career Example: Professional Athlete, Waitress, Construction Worker, etc...

      At home - You never stop moving and are constantly moving and lifting heavy objects

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