Weight Loss
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Calorie deficit? Sedentary?

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Hi! I've just joined the site and I have a quick question.

I have put down that I am sedentary. I go to school and do approx 30-40 mins walking during school time (including walking around the classroom), and the remainder (around 5 hours), I sit and work. When I get home, I do 1 hour light aerobics and a few times a week I go for a walk for 30 mins-2/3 hours. I do about 80 mins in the gym a week and jog for once a week, maybe twice.

You're probably wondering why I put sedentary. Well... I log all my activities including the above as exercise, so if I put that I am 'lightly active', wouldn't the calories I have burned from activities mentioned above already be accounted for?

Is it more accurate to list myself as sedentary and then add my activities in order to get a better estimate of how many cals/day I'm actually burning?


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I do the same as you - put down sedentary and then log activity.  I think quite a lot of people do it that way.

Thanks! :)

That works just fine, as long as you are not still eating only the calories calculated for you as totally sedentary. Remember that your body is burning more calories when you are not sedentary, so if you continue to eat only up to your sedentary calorie target, your deficit will be too large and this can make your weight loss stall after a while.

When I used this method, I ate back half of the calories I burned (so if I burned 300 calories through exercise I would add 150 calories to my calorie target for the day). It worked great the whole time I did it and I lost weight consistently. 

I do not recommend you use the numbers from any gym machines to calculate the calories you've burned. They are rarely calibrated correctly. I suggest a HRM for your more vigorous exercise and /or a pedometer to add up your miles of walking. Alternatively, *for the walking) you can also track the time, distance and approximate speed of your walks and then calculate the calories burned at this link 

The database on here is pretty good for most things and the logging system also takes into account your personal stats. That is quite important as this constantly changes as you lose weight. Also remember that your calories burned are calculated taking into account that you would not have been sedentary during that time so you don't get the 80-100 or so calories you burned as sedentary as well as the exercise burn during the same time frame (ie. you can't double dip).

Thanks for that (post above), was really helpful, thank you so much!! :)

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