T Nation

Calorie/Macro Tracking and Fat Loss

TL;DR - what are the best ways (sites or apps) for calculating Calories and Macros?

Background:
I’ve been diligently weighing, logging, and tracking my food and workouts for about 3 months. With the exception of about 2 weeks in December, I have been in the gym 4-5 days a week, with 4 weight days (Chest, Quads, Recover, Overhead Press, Hinge, Conditioning, Recover reach week). I’m using MyFitnessPal app to log food and calculate macros.

I weighed around 220 lbs when I started back up in August. I got down to 207 in November. I didn’t weigh myself until mid-December and I’m up to 225 as of today.

The app is set for approximately 2200 calories/day. According to multiple T-Nation articles, I should be eating around 2700-3300 calories (12-15x bodyweight). I routinely log in about 2300 calories a day, yet I’m gaining weight.

I’m getting about 35-40% from protein, 40-50% from fat, and 10-25% from carbs.

What an I doing wrong? I’m completely honest with my food (of it doesn’t get measured and logged, it doesn’t get eaten, to the point that I bring my food scale to social events and family dinners.)

Any help is appreciated.

My two cents: bear in mind that calorie intake estimates like the ones you’ll find on T-Nation articles are just estimates. It’s possible that you might just be able to get by on less calories than expected, for numerous reasons. If you eat 2300 exactly and gain weight then your maintenance is probably below 2300, despite what the estimates say.

There is of course the possibility that you’re getting your caloric intake wrong, but that seems unlikely from what you’ve described of your routine!

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I see what you’re saying. I’m concerned that, since I’m eating about 2100-2300/cal that it may be that the MyFitnessPal app’s calorie and macro counts are inaccurate.

I can say with near 100% certainty that you are not accurately tracking your intake–or at least, you didn’t accurately track it during the time period when you gained the weight. The only other reasonable explanation is that you have a clinically significant metabolic derangement (eg, hypothyroidism), which tends to leave clues other than unexplained weight gain.

Why not?

The app is accurate; it’s your measurements that are off.

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To follow on from what EyeDentist said - I find it helpful to weigh myself regularly so that I can determine if something has gone wrong. Otherwise you have no way of knowing whether you’re heading in the right direction or not.

Another anecdote is if you’re relying on macro’s from OTHER peoples foods listed when you “search” you can blindly over eat. Use YOUR macros found on the container of YOUR food.

When I was a tracking nazi I found most of what was previously entered, especially those not “verified” were usually way off. Also a lot of stuff is measured raw, not cooked so you can screw yourself up that way.

Also beware of sauce. It’s the devil.

Your calorie intake is based on your metabolic rate. Somehow you need to know that number. And then based on that number + exercise, you will know how many calories you burn a day.

Of course you know that lifting weights don’t really burn calories? And if you’ve been gaining muscle, that will move the scales up.

If you eat relatively similar things every day, it doesn’t really matter how accurate the app or your measurements are because you’ve now established a baseline - you just start adjusting down.

I usually have to drop calories more than I’d think to get things moving, for whatever reason, then I can settle in a little. It always makes me sad, but it is what it is

I recently got a food scale and am still in shock over how much I was over eating.

I would have been at 21-2300 cals/day if I were eating a single serving of things, but on a lot of little snack items I was at double, sometimes triple.

Weighed out a hand full of lean ground today thinking “That’s about burger sized”.

It was 7.6 oz.

So, it happens. About a hand full here or there at a time.

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Thanks everyone for input. I’ve adjusted course (based on your suggestions.) I was definitely relying OTHER’S input in the app. I’ve course corrected (as of 3 days ago) and I’m down almost 4 pounds as of this morning.

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