Hi everyone, I'm a 5'2" 140 pound woman who's trying to lose about 20 pounds so that I can conquer the hills in my area a bit better. My weight's been hovering around 140 and I'm starting to get frustrated. I've decided to try the tried and true method for losing weight: meticulous calorie counting! I'm using the Livestrong.com calorie count and I'm a bit suspicious of their formula. I entered my height and weight and set my weight loss goal at 1.5 pounds a week and set my lifestyle as "very active" (as in I bike about four days a week for 1-1.5 hours climbing about 1100 feet on average, I play tennis for an hour once or twice a week, and bike between 3 and 6 miles a day to get around). According to this program, my calorie intake should be 1900 calories if I want to lose 1.5 pounds a week. I plugged in all of my activity and food today (underestimating on the exercise and overestimating on the food) and My Plate is claiming that I need to eat 688 more calories to reach my goal weight! And today was a light exercise day for me.
The way that it reached this 688 number is because it took my goal, 1900 calories, and subtracted the 520 calories I burned from playing tennis for an hour and riding my bike to run errands for 52 minutes. I can't imagine that I'm entitled to 688 extra calories. I'll admit that I get insatiably hungry during the days following really intense bike rides and that I sometimes wake up in the morning super hungry and light headed, but I would imagine that I would have at least dropped a few pounds if my deficit was so big. According to the website, my calorie intake to maintain my weight would be 2652 calories which means that today, my calorie deficit is about 1400 calories (!). Does this thing not realize I'm a woman (i.e. less muscle mass)? Is there any way that my deficit could be this big? I'm wondering if maybe I'm burning fewer calories exercising and doing day to day activities because I'm in good shape already and my body is more efficient/used-to physical activity.
Has anyone actually increased their total calories in order to lose weight? I know that it's theoretically possible, but I would like to hear from people who this has actually worked for. Or is this livestrong thing WAY off?