Weight Loss and My Fitness Pal Help

After seeing ll of the recommendations by people on here about using MFP to help lose weight I’d like to give MFP a go as I need to lose a good few kg’s.

How do you work out your Base Calorie Requirements?

Also, what is the best daily percentage breakdown of Carbs/Fats/Protein?


How do you work out your Base Calorie Requirements?

In the goals section of your MFP App enter your current weight, your goal weight, How much you want to lose per week and your activity level and then MFP will work it out for you based on this. It’s a great app once you get through the first couple of weeks and its more accurate if you weight food if needed but estimates can work too if you are eating out. I have lost 20lbs since I started using it and now use it to maintain, Good luck.

Also, what is the best daily percentage breakdown of Carbs/Fats/Protein?

Macro Breakdown of Carbs/Protein and Fats is more dependant on your goals and there is lots of reading and advice out there. I use 50% Carbs 30% Fat and 20% Protein but this varies on training days and non training days and I am on maintenance at minute.

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Here’s another post on Macros which you can see so many people use different percentages…


I set my base calorie requirements by selecting an activity level of sedentary and putting in my target weight loss per week. I then use Garmin Connect synced to MFP in order to add any calories expended from exercise.

If you’re using power to calculate expended calories then this should be fairly accurate. I find that heart-rate based expenditure is close enough, although tends to be on the high side. If you’re using the MFP calculations for expenditure based on exercise type and duration then I’d take them with a massive pinch of salt as these tend to be a massive overestimate.

The main thing with MFP is to be a worthwhile tool you have to be really rigorous with inputting EVERYTHING. This means weighing/measuring your food, down to the number of grams of butter you’ve spread on your toast. If you do this, especially at first, then you’ll get a good insight into where you can cut calories and how those little snacks that seem insignificant can soon add up. I’ve also found it helps me regulate my snacking - if I can’t be bothered to calculate the calories for the bits of food that my son has left on his plate, then they’ll go in the bin rather than my mouth!

It can be a bit of a chore at first, although I actually enjoy it as it makes me really think about my food intake. It soon gets easier though as you can save home cooked meals and recipes so that you don’t have to input every ingredient when you cook it again.

As for the macro split - I’ve stuck with the standard setting (50% carb, 30% fat, 20% protein), but I don’t focus on this too much. Think more about what nutrients you need for particular workouts/days rather than a fixed split. Worry about eating good, nutritious food at first, then worry about the breakdown later - you’ll probably find that you’re in the ballpark if you’re eating well.

With the help of MFP I’ve gone from 158kg to 75kg, so I’d definitely recommend it. There have been prolonged periods of time when I’ve stopped monitoring my calories and every time I’ve put on weight again.

My tips:

  • input everything whenever possible, and be consistent with it
  • don’t set too quick a weight loss goal, slow and steady really is key
  • eat good foods - you can eat a lot if you eat well
  • make sure you’re fuelling for your workouts and eating good recovery food
  • try doing some low intensity rides fasted first thing in the morning to improve your fat metabolism
  • don’t get too obsessed (despite the above statement about consistency, don’t worry about trying to be precise if you’ve got a special occasion where you’re eating out and can’t count calories, but do try to make healthy choices)
  • do allow yourself some days off the diet, but make sure these aren’t too often
  • track your weight daily (controversial, but I find it allows me to focus on the trend over time rather than comparing one day against the next - you’ll soon see that fluctuations are normal and not get discouraged by temporary gains)
  • reassess every few weeks - if you’re not losing weight then you know you have to be stricter

Awesome weight loss. Well done. Great determination.

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As others have mentioned the application has a section to do this. If you train with a power meter and will be syncing your kilojoules data into MFP then you should be picking an activity level that represents your activities done NOT INCLUDING your riding. If you do not train with a power meter or will not be syncing your rides into MFP then you should pick an activity level that represents your activities INCLUDING your riding. This is important.

As an example - I have an office job and thus am fairly sedentary except for the 12ish hours a week I’m on my bike. Because I get pretty accurate calorie expenditure information from the bike that syncs into MFP I list myself as sedentary. If I were to have a more active job, say working retail where I was on my feet all day - I’d pick a higher activity level.

Additionally - huge cosign from me on the whole idea of weighing your food and yourself. Get a digital scale and weigh everything. This will have two affects - first you will see exactly how much you are eating and get more accurate calorie counts and second you will snack less since it can be a hassle to weigh that handful of cashews that you’re craving. I’d also strongly recommend getting a smart scale - not so you can look at your weight every day, but so that you can get accurate history of your weight over time.

There are a ton of different schools of thought on this - I’ve recently switched to 35% carbs, 40% fat, 25% protein. I was previously very low on fat %, which was easy for me from a food choice perspective but I think that the lack of fat was hurting me in other ways.

The one consistent thing you’ll see is that you need your protein - the balance of carbs:fat can swap all over the place, but make sure you’re getting those protein calories in every day

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Fantastic information. Thanks to everyone for this.

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Echoing other comments, set your activity level based on what you do when you are NOT working out. Unless you work construction or some other all day physical job, you’re sedentary, even if your working out 15 hours a week… The app will do a good job of tracking your workout calories, especially if you’re using a power meter.

Accurately entering portion sizes is probably the biggest screw up newbies make. Also echoing the recommendation to get a food scale. After a couple months you will get good at eyeballing portion sizes for your regular foods but until you do, eyeballing often results in you eating 2 servings but only logging one :wink: The calorie deficit for a 1 pound a week loss rate is small enough that messing up the portion sizes on just 3 or 4 meals a week can negate your progress.


Hey. About my ratio I’ve written here: Your personal best way to lose some fat - anecdotes / experiences / examples of what kicked your *** In this top are tons of good advice. :wave:t2:

Just want to share that I have recently swapped to using MyPlate by livestrong. The menus and interface are more modern and easier to navigate. Adding your own food is easier and the bar-code scanner seems to work better. Just a thought!

Does it link up to Garmin connect to pull through exercise calories?

I have mine linked to strava currently and it is pulling calories. I am like 95% sure it will pull connect information as well. The app is free with a paid option, like MFP.

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Fantastic thanks. I’ll give it a go

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I can’t seem to find how to link it to strava. Are you using the free version?

I can’t seem to figure out how I did it either :rofl: If I figure it out I will post here.

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Are you on IOS or Android?


I’m in the uk and it doesn’t seem to have much in the way of uk supermarket items. I think I’ll stick with mfp

Ah, I never thought about that. Fair enough!