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chetknox
08-21-2016, 01:45 PM
Hello All,

My goal is to shed fat.

Should my daily calorie deficit of 25% be based on maintenance level only OR should it be based on my activity level.

Example.

I have read where some experts claim I need to find my daily calorie maintenance requirement and subtract 25%. That would be my daily calorie budget; regardless of activity.


On the other hand, I have read that you need to base your calorie maintenance level based on your planned activity for the day.

Example.

I plan on doing a moderate intensity workout today. My activity level would be moderate and let's say my calorie maintenance level would be 2300. I would then subtract 25% to get my calorie budget for the day.

Any help is appreciated!

mike33511
08-21-2016, 01:58 PM
Your maintenance is always based on your activity level. This is called your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure).

The calories your body needs each day with literally no activity is your BMR (basal metabolic rate). The only practical use for BMR is to estimate your TDEE.

ankmiike
08-22-2016, 01:52 AM
Should my daily calorie deficit of 25% be based on maintenance level only OR should it be based on my activity level.

Your activity level is one of the factors that determine your maintenance level.

Go read the stickies. Start with "Sticky: Calculating Calories and Macronutrients" by Emma-Leigh‎.


subtract 25%
25% may be too big a deficit. 10-20% is more appropriate.

Criterion123
08-22-2016, 03:06 AM
Just have a basic idea of how many calories you need on a daily basis. I wouldn't even bother trying to account for energy expended through exercise. It's such a huge variable that's almost impossible to calculate.

lmcfreekz
08-22-2016, 03:46 AM
I plan on doing a moderate intensity workout today. My activity level would be moderate and let's say my calorie maintenance level would be 2300. I would then subtract 25% to get my calorie budget for the day.

As long as you're not getting your 'TDEE maintenance' calories and BMR mixed up, you're good...

Rule of thumb is 500kcal/day deficit should see 1lb of fat loss per week... if you're eating at what you think is a 500kcal/day deficit but not seeing that loss, then you've either overestimated your TDEE maintenance based on activity or you're not counting your kcal intake correctly.

The key is about looking at the results on a weekly basis and fine tuning... if you're gaining then too much is going in... if you're staying the same then you're eating at maintenance... if you're losing about 1lb per week, then you're nailing it (accounting for some water weight adjustment initially if you start restricting carb intake)

lmcfreekz
08-22-2016, 03:54 AM
Just have a basic idea of how many calories you need on a daily basis. I wouldn't even bother trying to account for energy expended through exercise. It's such a huge variable that's almost impossible to calculate.

Surely you've got to account for energy expended through exercise???

My BMR is around 2200... if I ran my numbers based on a sedentary lifestyle (x 1.25), I'd be at a maintenance around 2750kcal... I'm lifting 7 days a week, so calculating based on that (x 1.7), which gives me a maintenance around 3740kcal

That's a 1000kcal window... if I was eating at 2750kcal on my current lifestyle, I'd likely feel like crap... and certainly wouldn't be adding any muscle which is my current goal... likewise, if I was eating at my current maintenance level (3740), but not working out, then I'd be getting fat... fast.

chetknox
08-22-2016, 03:59 AM
Surely you've got to account for energy expended through exercise???

My BMR is around 2200... if I ran my numbers based on a sedentary lifestyle (x 1.25), I'd be at a maintenance around 2750kcal... I'm lifting 7 days a week, so calculating based on that (x 1.7), which gives me a maintenance around 3740kcal

That's a 1000kcal window... if I was eating at 2750kcal on my current lifestyle, I'd likely feel like crap... and certainly wouldn't be adding any muscle which is my current goal... likewise, if I was eating at my current maintenance level (3740), but not working out, then I'd be getting fat... fast.

So moral of the story, you absolutely need to adjust your daily calorie intake based on your planned activities for the day? In your case, heavier on the calories (everyday because you lift everyday) everyday. In my case, heavier on the calories on my 3 days I lift.

lmcfreekz
08-22-2016, 04:25 AM
So moral of the story, you absolutely need to adjust your daily calorie intake based on your planned activities for the day? In your case, heavier on the calories (everyday because you lift everyday) everyday. In my case, heavier on the calories on my 3 days I lift.

The TDEE calculation is based on an approximation... and it looks at your activity on a weekly basis to help you calculate a daily calorie intake... the reason it thinks about activity on a weekly basis, but then thinks about calorie intake on a daily basis is because there will be subtleties to each day that you'd go a bit crazy trying to work out their precise impact on what it means for your day... overall, calculating it based on a week gives a good average to then look at calorie intake for the day... it's manageable as a week, 1lb is less than 500g... imagine if you were trying to track that on a daily basis and account for variables like slightly higher water storage etc... it's just too micro

Ii also like to think about it as accounting for your body being in 'repair mode' if you're lifting heavy and consistently... if I'm doing a major leg day on Wednesday, sure I'll get my calories and macros in on Wednesday... but the muscles will still be repairing themselves on Thursday, Friday... so consistent nutrition is important too...