MyFitnessPal is a great app when starting out on a weight loss journey. Does MyFitnessPal calculate your calorie deficit for you? What exactly do you need to do?
MyFitnessPal is an app designed for tracking calorie and macronutrient intake, and it does have the ability to calculate a rough calorie deficit for you.
However, there are some things you should be aware of when relying on the app and continuous changes you might need to make.
Read on to learn more.
Does MyFitnessPal Calculate Your Calorie Deficit?
MyFitnessPal does have the ability to calculate a calorie deficit for you by using the information you enter into the goals section.
One thing that MyFitnessPal does do is create calorie goals. This means that the app does have the ability to estimate what your calorie intake should be based on your personalized information, which does create a rough calorie deficit amount for you.
MyFitnessPal does this by using information you enter such as your age, weight, height, gender, and your activity level. This is the same information you would use to calculate your calorie deficit on your own.
Once you enter this information, the app will give you an estimate of how many calories you should be consuming to lose the amount of weight to reach the goal weight you enter depending on how much weight you want to lose per week.
The daily calorie goal calculated by MyFitnessPal is calculated by the calories consumed subtracted by calories burned from exercise overall, and I find it to be very accurate.
If you do not exercise, you just do not have to enter anything, the daily calorie goal will still be accurate for you to use.
You may have success using the daily calorie goals MyFitnessPal provides for you, but it may be wise to calculate your own calorie deficit for more accuracy and compare the results you get to the daily calorie goal MyFitnessPal gives you.
It never hurts to double check and make sure.
How Do I Calculate My Own Calorie Deficit to Compare with MyFitnessPal?
If you want to create your own calorie deficit, all you need to do is begin by calculating your basal metabolic rate.
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body burns at rest and can be calculated using this equation known as the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation:
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
This equation is thought to be the most accurate, but If you do not want to calculate this equation on your own, just use this handy calculator.
Now, calculating BMR is fine to use alone if you are not a person who exercises.
If you do exercise daily, even a little bit, it may be more beneficial to calculate your TDEE or Total Daily Energy Expenditure. This is simply your basal metabolic rate (BMR) PLUS the amount of exercise you perform each day. You can calculate your TDEE here.
Once you have this number, all you have to do is consume an amount of calories daily that is BELOW this number.
For example, if you are looking to lose 1 pound of body fat per week, you would consume 500 calories less than this number every single day (500 calories x7 days= 3500 calories.)
There are about 3500 calories in one pound of body fat. This means you would lose about 1 pound of body fat per week on average.
If you want to lose body fat at a faster rate than this, you can increase the deficit amount by decreasing your daily calorie intake even further.
But, keep in mind, it is not recommended for men to consume less than 1,500-1,600 per day and for women, it is not recommended to consume less than 1,200 calories per day.
If you create too strict of a calorie deficit, you risk losing too much muscle mass, poor energy levels, and even malnutrition.
Calories are important, there is no need to feel super deprived.
How Can MyFitnessPal Help Me In My Calorie Deficit?
MyFitnessPal can help you in your calorie deficit journey by allowing you to accurately track calorie intake and output through exercise.
Losing weight simply comes down to calorie intake vs. calorie expenditure.
We need to burn more calories than we consume on a daily basis to shed body fat over a period of time.
This is why tracking your calorie intake is so vital, especially for someone who is just beginning this journey of weight loss.
MyFitnessPal can help you reach your goals because the app is extremely user friendly, has a very large food database, and can allow you to easily keep track of your weight goals all in one place.
How To Create A Calorie Deficit in MyFitnessPal
In order to use MyFitnessPal for your weight loss journey, you will want to set a daily calorie intake goal which will create your calorie deficit.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Click on the “Goals” tab
- Fill in your starting weight
- Fill in your current weight
- Enter your goal weight
- Enter your weekly goal
- Enter your activity level
You also can fill in your macronutrient goals, but this is not required.
Once you complete the above steps, your daily calorie goal will show up on the diary tab where you log your calorie intake for the day.
Once this is completed, you are ready to go and can start tracking your calories from the food and drinks you eat. If you are reaching this calorie goal every day, you should see weight loss over time.
MyFitnessPal can help losing weight easier for you, and it can even be fun.
Does MyFitnessPal Actually Work?
MyFitnessPal is highly accurate when setting your calorie goals for you, and they can be easily adjusted as needed.
This is the main reason I love MyFitnessPal so much and have been using it for years. I can’t find one negative thing to say about it.
It is also very easily to use and has many great features that make tracking your calorie intake just a little bit easier and more manageable.
I find that the app is much more accurate and easier to use than many other popular fitness apps and definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an app to help them with their calorie deficit goals.
You will likely also love the barcode scanning feature, which will allow you to scan barcodes on packaged foods you by so that you do not have to search for it.
Do I Have to Change My Calorie Goals in MyFitnessPal As I Lose Weight?
You will need to adjust your current weight in the calorie goals section as you lose body fat so that the MyFitnessPal app can recalculate your daily calorie intake goal.
As we lose weight, our daily basal metabolic rate will change because when we shed body fat, our body requires less calories to function because there is less overall mass.
This decreased size in body mass means our body does not need to utilize as many calories as it did at our heavier weight.
Our body is able to adapt to changes, so we need to keep up with our body’s response to changes, which means that as you lose weight, you may need to decrease your daily calorie intake a tiny bit, or simply exercise more.
Why does this happen? The answer is metabolic adaptation.
Metabolic adaptation occurs when the body becomes more efficient at using calories and starts to burn fewer calories and even has the ability to slow metabolism a bit.
This is completely natural, but it means we need to change our calorie goals in order to continue losing weight, or we need to increase calories burned through movement.
Thankfully, MyFitnessPal allows you to track calories burned through exercise as well!
If we don’t make these changes as we lose weight, our weight loss will eventually plateau because our bodies will have adapted to the new lower calorie intake.
This makes many people want to quit, but quitting is the worst thing you can do! Simply making a few adjustments will allow you to start shedding fat again.
All you have to do to break through a plateau is to decrease your daily calorie intake by a tiny bit (100 calories) or start moving more. This can even consist of walking.
This is why it’s important to keep track of our weight loss journey by recording our current weight, and goal weight in the app routinely as you lose weight, so that the numbers you are aiming for are accurate.
The MyFitnessPal app does have the ability to calculate your calorie deficit for you by performing its own calculations based on your personalized info, and then creating a daily calorie goal for you.
This is why I love using it so much, because the app makes losing body fat so much easier and to be honest, I find tracking calories somewhat fun. Maybe that’s weird. Who knows.
If you are new to losing weight in a calorie deficit, it may be smart to calculate your own calorie deficit as well, just to make sure what you get matches up with the app.
Losing weight can be a little bit of trial and error at first, so if you are not losing weight at first, you may need to adjust your calorie intake a bit until you start to lose body fat.
Remember, you do have the ability to achieve your goals if you are determined.