Weight Loss
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# Which do you think is more accurate?

Using a BMR calculator to find your calorie needs or using Calorie Counts calculations? Thanks!

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Calorie Count uses BMR to figure out how much you burn, so neither is more or less accurate.

Calorie Count's calorie target tool is sometimes force to work with imperfect data (people put that they are sedentary, when they are actually more active, because they intend to log their exercise separately) which makes it less useful. The tool will often suggest the bare minimum of 1200, despite your BMR being higher. This doesn't mean it's not accurate, it just perhaps isn't necessarily as good a strategy for picking a calorie target.

Well I still get two different answers. If I select a certain date in Calorie Count it says to eat 1665 to reach that goal. If I put the same information into a BMR calculator, subtract how many calories per day to get to the same goal date, then it tells me 1870. So I'm still confused...

You'll have to share which BMR calculator you are using.

You shouldn't be subtracting anything from a BMR, unless it is not telling you BMR but instead your actual burn.

There are different formulas, http://www.freedieting.com/calorie_needs.html  has examples I'll quote here:

Mifflin - St Jeor Formula

The Calorie Needs Calculator currently uses the formula proposed by MD Mifflin and ST St Jeor1.

Why This Formula?
As recent as 2005, the ADA (American Dietetic Association) published a comparison of various equations2. The Mifflin-St Jeor was found to be the most accurate.

Men
10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) - 5 x age (y) + 5

Women
10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) - 5 x age (y) - 161.

Katch-McCardle Formula

This can be selected on the calculator. It is a variation1 on the basic Mifflin-St Jeor equation that will base the equation on Fat Free Mass (FFM) or Lean Mass. This is more accurate for those who are leaner (and who know their body fat percentage!).

Men & Women
21.6 * Fat Free Mass + 370

Where Fat Free Mass = Weight - (Body Fat Percentage * Weight).

Harris-Benedict Formula

This formula was created in 1919, and due to changing lifestyles, it tends to overstate calorie needs by 5%. The results tend to be skewed towards both obese and young people3.

Men
66.5 + (13.75 X weight in kg) + (5.003 X height in cm) - (6.775 X age in years)

Women
655.1 + (9.563 X weight in kg) + (1.85 X height in cm) - (4.676 X age in years)

The Freedieting Calculator

After calculating the BMR, exercise is factored in. Depending on the exercise level chosen, the BMR will be multiplied by anything from 1.2 to 1.9.

This provides us with maintenance calories. To get the fat loss figure - 20% is subtracted. The extreme fat loss figure has 40% subtracted BUT - there is a "rock bottom" figure that equates to 8 calories per pound of body weight - the extreme fat loss will never be less than this amount.

I can say that CC's has been pretty accurate for me.

I used the Harris-Benedict Formula. I calculated my BMR then multiplied by appropriate exercise to find my maintenance. Then I subtracted the amount of calories that equals out to the pounds per week that I want to lose by goal date. In Calorie Count I just filled out the appropriate exercise and goal date. However I took the number of calories in the middle of light to moderate exercise because I feel that I'm more than light but less than moderate. For the Harris-Benedict I used the moderate which states 3-5 days per week. (this could be why numbers are different, just thought that those two were more comparable??) I understand that the two are not going to be completely exact but I thought that it should be a bit closer than what I found.

Hollowness-Since I'm using the Harris-Benedict formula that may be why the calories are more. I didn't know the results tend to be over by 5%

Calculated using the Mifflin-St. Jeor Formula and calorie needs are closer to Calorie Count than to Harris-Benedict Formula. If that's found to be most accurate than I guess I'd rather go by the Mifflin-St. Jeor Formula and/or Calorie Count than the other.

When I use the Mifflin-St Jeor formula - it says my caloric needs are 1257. When I use the CC calculator, with activity on sedentary, it says I burn 1530 and to consume 1200 calories a day to lose .67 pounds a week. However, if I truly only need 1257 - and eat 1200 a day - it would take me 61 days to lose .67 pounds (not factoring in any exercise).

I think that everyones bodies are different and that these calculators are a rough estimate at best.

Every measurment is an estemate. I went off what my doc told recomended which was 1800 cal. He also did not set a goal date, but instead set a goal of 2_lbs/week (on avg). Moreover, he said this is healthy whight loss and maintainable. I have not asked the formula he uses to make this calculation. However, I do know he uses my BMI and seems multiply it by 100. (Note: my doc also says the BMI has been found to be not as correct as it could be but gives a rough guide line). I have so fair lost 50 lbs on his recommendations.

@jc - a doctor's recommendation is the best recommendation.

I agree that BMI calculators are not accurate - most do not take into account your body structure such as bone size and muscle.

Just to be clear my post was BMR formula's not daily burns (CC only shows us daily burns though it factors our BMR, just so no one under eats cause they think their burn is their BMR :) )

To determin yoru daily burn use this formula (ref: http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/ harris-benedict-equation/ or http://doctorholmes.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/ losing-weight-with-basal-metabolic-rate-the-m ifflin-st-jeor-method/)

Both Mifflin - St Jeor Formula and Harris Benedict Formula use this for daily burn:

Activity Formula (quoted)

To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:

1.
1. If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
2. If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
3. If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
4. If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
5. If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

@hollowness - thank you for the clarification! I suspected I was missing something. This makes much more sense! Thanks for the info!

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