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Weight Loss NHS
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1500 Calorie intake OR 1500 Calorie net ??

Hello, I am a newbie and intend to use MFP and my fitbit and I have used these before and am comfortable with them. I wanted to ask, if the BMI Calculator has suggested I should be aiming from about 1500 in the lower end then should this be Calorie Intake or Calorie Net - what is everyone else doing? For example, if I do some exercise burning 200 cals should I the eat 1700 to account for the 200 I burned or just stick to 1500 all the time, regardless of what I burn during activity? Thanks, Helen

6 Replies

I can tell you what I would do, but you have to try for yourself what works best for you.

I would eat the most that I could to still lose 1-2lb per week, eating foods that don't overstimulate insulin.

One or two weeks each month I would increase my natural fat intake a little to maintain at my new weight to prevent slowing my metabolism and reaching a plateau.

Then I would adjust my portions to enable weight loss again after each maintenance break.

For me, exercise is vital for fitness and good health, but its role in weight loss is incidental.

Good luck Hidden!



You will get lots of god support advice and guidance here, but Concerned is absolutely right you have to decide what works for you.

I have cut the vast majority of carbohydrates from my diet, particularly all refined carbohydrates. I find I get enough carbs from delicious green vegetables. If you are a processed food eater consider that there is likely to be all kinds of hidden sugars and sweeteners and some unhealthy fats. Go for healthy fats such as olive oil, butter, coconut oil and avocado.

I agree that I would eat as many calories as possible to lose weight because you will need to eat fewer as you lose weight.

Pop over to Daily Diary and see what others are eating, there are so many different ideas to borrow from others.

I guess the main thing in to expect to lose weight slowly as that is how the weight went on and it is a more sustainable way of losing weight. Changing your lifestyle is the important thing and making food your friend not your enemy.

Good luck, I look forward to seeing you around the forum.


We are all different so I would second what the others have said. These apps and BMI calcs are very general anyway so you need to find out what works for you.

If you want to know, this is what I did:

I changed my calorie allowance in MFP to match the higher end of my NHS recommended allowance (the MFP allowance was pitiful for me even on a rest day!). I can go above this allowance if I have a really active day (burning 800+ calories) but generally because the calorie allowance has been based on my activity levels there is no need to go above it.

I hope that makes sense.


I try not to "eat my exercise calories" as I'm never convinced on how accurate the calorie burn on my fitbit is. :) I view calories 'gained' by exercise as an extra bonus in my calorie deficit and not an add-on to my everyday eating.

I'm not sure if this is a good way of viewing things or not - If you were doing really intense exercise and burning loads of calories a day, I'd probably eat a bit more.

1 like

If you are using a calorie calculator which takes your activity levels into account then that should be your intake. What we aim to do is to put in a calorie deficit against our tdee, which is the calories we use each day. Your tdee is higher than your bmr, which is the amount of calories we need if we didn't move all day. We should never try to put in a deficit against our bmr. Exceptions to this are short term plans like the blood sugar diet.

All that rambling to say it depends on the type of calculator you are using, but if it asks you for your activity levels then chances are it is giving you the total calories and you should not add on the exercise calories. The NHS one definitely gives you the total calories. I would certainly echo the advice above about finding the right amount for your body and eating as much as possible whilst still losing 1 to 2 pounds per week. Good luck with it and shout if you need any more help. James


I’m probably not the best person to chip in here but.... past experience told me to treat the Fitbit and MFP separately. I don’t link them. I use MFP to track my calorie intake; the Fitbit to monitor my exercise levels. That way there’s no incentive to eat ‘extra’ . All the best.


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