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Weight Loss
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I want a bigger defecit!!!! :

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Can anyone relate? I am slogging it out to do 2 hours at the gym 6 days a week burning 800-900 cal a day only to have my defecit sit around the 400-600 mark. I am only eating 1500 cal a day but get discouraged when I see people getting a defecit of 800-1000 a day! HOW???? I want a bigger defecit!!! I seriously don't have time for any more exercise. And if I eat less I am so bloody hungry!
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You can't compare your deficit to other people's deficit--it will only frustrate you!  Remember, their stats are not your stats.  When I was a lot heavier, I got bigger deficits.  The closer I get to a "normal" weight (which I am still not close to) the smaller my deficits get unless I add exercise.  Those people pulling those big deficit numbers are likley taller than me, younger than me and most likely weigh less.  In other words, I am not them, they are not me.  So, don't get frustrated with your deficit ... not everyone is meant to have that big of a deficit -- not everyone's body will drop weight at the higher deficit either.  When I did this journey before, I learned that I have a sweet spot... so to speak.  I know my best weight loss was acheived at around a 600-700 cal deficit and eating around 1600 cals.  When I got those bigger deficits my body didn't want to give up the weight. 

I think you are doing an incredible job with your workouts and who wants to starve.  Just keep plugging away ... you will reach your goals if you just keep going.  Trying to do it quickly, where you are uncomfortable, stressed, hungry, have no time for anything else ... isn't going to be sustainable anyway.  So, just focus on you ... don't worry about the deficits of others ... and you will find your sweet spot and experience the loss you want to acheive!  Good luck in your journey, I wish you a lot of success.


I agree with Glen,

Their stats aren't yours. At first, It's very hard to follow the schedule and lost your pounds. However, things will get easier as time passed by. Just stick with it until you feel better :)

Thanks for the encouragement. It does make sense when you put it like that. I just wonder how so many people burn so many calories, after working out hard daily and barely sitting down all day I rarely get over 2000. How did you get to 2200 burn Gwen? Do you exercise hard? I guess I have to remind myself that a defecit at all is better than not.

You are at way too large a deficit. You need to realize weight loss is a slow, gradual process. The faster you lose it, the faster you'll gain it back. It's not healthy.

A deficit of 300-500 calories max a day is good. And if you are burning 900 calories through exercise a day alone, you are definitely burning way over 3,000 total in a day. You are only eating 1,500 calories? That's not good.

Whether you believe it or not is different.

But my burn meter says I am only burning 1800 ish even with all the exercise logged and my activity level set at light. Am I doing something wrong?

Have you calculated just your BMR alone?

Calculate your BMR, then add to that the 800 cals you burn working out, then add another couple hundred for just your other daily activities, then you'll get a closer number to how many calories you're really burning.


Remember, your BMR is the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM amt. of calories your body needs to just keep you alive. That doesn't take into consideration any of the calories it needs for you to do things like type on your keyboard.

I did calculate it, was 1445 approx. I didn't know that had to be added to burnt calories. I just presumed the activity level we set then adding exercise worked it out for us? You are really helping me and I appreciate it.

Oh no no no. Definitely not. Always add any calories you burn through exercise to the number you get as your BMR. So if your BMR is 1,500 (round up for simplicity), and you burn 800 at the gym, then you're burning around 2,300 in an average day. So you probably want to be eating right around 2,000. Remember that it is always better to lose weight gradually and healthily than to try to drop 20 lbs a month and then just gain the weight back some months later and then you're back on square one.

A deficit of 300 or so a day will get you to 2,100 calories a week, about 8,400 a month, and about 100,000 a year. If one lb. of fat supplies 3,500 calories, then that means you could potentially lose around 29 lbs in one year in a very healthy way.

Wow!!! I am burning a lot more than I thought! Thank you so much. How do I change that on my analysis page so I can physically see what I am doing? Is there a way to do that correctly? I was wondering why I was so hungry but was to scared to eat any more than 1500 cause it meant my defecit was fairly small ( or so I thought.) you have truly opened my eyes, thank you! Just to clarify: I am 34 F, 5'5 and weigh 66 kg. your sure I am doing enough by burning around 800 in exercise alone and eating 1500. I just don't want to be laid back now and undo all the hard work. Thanks again.

I'm not familiar with the technical aspect of logging things on CC so I'll let someone else address that. I don't log my foods i just use the forum.


Just remember that the calories you burn are going to be slightly different depending on if you exercise that day, how many calories you truly are burning at the gym, etc. So if you want to be really really exact you should probably get a HR strap, since the calorie read outs on machines at the gym are pretty suspect.

Excuse my ignorance but what is an 'HR' strap?

Heart rate strap. I meant to say heart rate watch with a strap.

Thank you

As pointed out everyone is different. The massive deficits seen are typically due to really big, extremely overweight people simply making the change to healthier food choices. They aren't eating less just making better choices.

I disagree that the rule of thumb for everyone should be to aim for a 300-500 per day deficit. For overweight people accustomed to consuming a high maintenance level of calories it would be difficult if not impossible to make healthy choices doing that. For example if a persons maintenance is 4300 per day they'd still have to consume 3800-4000 per day. Not going to get close to that eating lean meats and veggies etc. They are going to have HUGE deficits because of this.

That's why the folks on the Biggest Loser have the huge losses. We've all seen them at home eating platter sized servings of alfredo drenched pasta. When a person stops doing that and eats 10 oz of grilled fish and a few cups of steamed veggies the caloric difference is massive. Add even a little exercise into the mix for a previously sedentary body and you get the big deficit.

Obviously many don't fall into this scenario but plenty do. I was one of those people. I started at 270 lbs. To cut just 300-500 from my day would have been a disaster. The only way to eat healthy and get that many calories in would have meant eat mass gaining supplements. You can only eat so much.

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Here's one of the exceptions to the general rule that bigger is better!  Sure, people will say things like "yay, I had a 1000 deficit today", not realizing that they are essentially fooling their bodies.  The numerical results don't translate into sustainable weight loss and lifestyle because thats not a realistic type of number to keep.  

Just as you shouldn't compare weight loss rates and trends with others, you shouldn't compare deficit figures.  Every body is different and their bodies work in different ways.  Do what is healthy and long-term sustainable for YOU!

If you are spending 2 hours in the gym and only burning 800-900 calories you might want to shorten your workout and increase the intensity.  I know we are all different but I can easily burn 900 calories in one hour.

Agreeded! 300-500 calorie rule SHOULD be mostly for people with moderate amounts to loose. (5 to 50 pounds) 

I recommend calorie cycling! It's a great way to avoid plateaus. 

If your BMR is 1445 then at sedentary level you are burning around 1734 per day.  You should set your activity level to sedentary and then add in your exercise.  If you are truly burning 800 cals in just exercise in two hours, your total burn will be approximately 2389 cals per day! (as the previous poster mentioned.)  Also as another person mentioned calorie cycling is a great idea.  This will keep your body on its toes, so to speak, and prevent any kind of plateau.  I read an article a while ago that gave a formula to figure out your optimal deficit.  By optimal I mean, burn as much fat as possible while saving as much muscle as possible.  This is the issue when your deficit is too big.  Your body cannot keep up and will burn muscle along with fat.  This will in turn lower your metabolism.  Its similar to a starvation response, but kind of the opposite, an over exercise response if you will.  the article said that you can have a deficit of 31cal for every lbs of body fat.  So for me for example:  130lbs x 21% body fat = 27.3 lbs body fat (not this also include essential fat, which I obviously do not want to lose)  Based on the calculation I could have a deficit up to 846 per day without losing muscle.  However, as many people mentioned, a deficit like this can be hard to maintain and may not help you out in the long run, it just gives you an idea of what your personal max deficit should be.  Cycling between 300-800 cal deficit (with only 1 or 2 days at the highest deficit) has given me my best results.

Another thing, not really a question posed here but this is something that confuses many people when it comes to the cals burned.  If you simply add your gym time to your BMR your total cal burn is going to be a little short as you are not also adding in the cals that you burn while walking around the house etc (what your sedentary burn includes).  However you also do not want to add your exercise to your total sedentary burn either as you will end up overestimating your burn.   (I am not talking about logging in CC, i'm talking about just doing the math in your head, CC already takes into account the double burn I'm about to explain)

If you are burning 1734 at a sedentary rate, that means you are burning approximately 72 cals per hour (1734/24hours).  The reason you would not add 800 (in exercise) to 1732 is because you would be accounting for 26 hours (24 hours at a sedentary rate and 800 cals of exercise for 2 hours).  The 800 total for two hours already includes the 144 (72 x 2hours) cals you would have burned if you just sat on your butt for two hours.  So when you excercised you really only burned 656 cals more than you would have if you had just been sedentary all day.  If you notice when you add excercise to your activity log, CC takes this double burn into account.  You should notice that when you add 800 cals of exercise to a 1732 sedentary day, it will not give you 1732 + 800 = 2532.  It will give you 1584(22 hours x 72 cals/hr) + 800 cals = 2389. 

I didn't mean to go on a rant... to late, but the fact that CC takes into account the double burn when you exercise for lengthy periods of time is why I use this site and not others.  I for example work at a barn cleaning horse stalls and moving hay bales for 4-5 hours per day.  I wore my heart rate monitor and in 4 hours I burned 1600 cals.  My sedentary rate is 1600 cals/day.  The old site I used to use, and when I just did the math on my excel spreadsheet before i learned of this double burn, would add the 1600 sedentary to 1600 exercise for a total burn of 3200.  However, as I said before, the 1600 for four hours at the barn, already included, my sedentary burn of 66cal/hour.  I, and this other website that shall not be named (as well as tons of others) was double counting 264 calories.  The real calculation, and what CC does, should have been 1320 (20 hours x 66 cals) + 1600 = 2920.  Now when I burn that much and aim for a 500 cal deficit, that 280 difference can really screw my goals up.  (ie eating 2700 cals, when I should have been eating 2400 to get my 500 cal deficit)

again sorry for the long post, I've just seen so many people overestimating their burn by counting what they would burn sedentary and during exercise together.



this is an awesome calculator: /

I'm that guy about calorie cycling xD

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