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4/25/12 7:44 P

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It's important to set up your plan properly. There are a couple of things you can do if you think the numbers you're being suggested (for calories, cardio, etc.) are not correct.

Check Your Goal Weight
Use the orange "My Trackers" link to go to "Start". Look on the left side of the page and scroll down to "My Goals and Progress". Find the bar for "Weight Progress" and click "Change" underneath. Check that your current height and weight are accurate, and that you've not mixed up imperial and metric measurements. Set your target weight and decide on a date by which you want to achieve it. Most people can safely lose 0.5 to 2.0 pounds per week, so set your "achieve by" date to reflect that. If you've got ten pounds to lose, consider an "achieve by" date of eight to twelve weeks in the future, for example. Save your changes.

Check Your Calorie Burn
Back on the start page, look for the red bar that says "Calories Burned" and click "Change" underneath the bar. Scroll down to the last option, where it asks how many calories you burn each week through cardio. Make sure the number here is as close to accurate as possible. You can track your workouts for a week or two to get a sense of how many calories they burn, or you can find lots of exercise calorie counters online that will help you estimate how many you will burn through your new fitness routine. Update this number to best reflect how many calories you'll burn through cardio in a week, and save your changes.

If you've done those two things correctly, you can trust that the number of calories recommended by the Nutrition Tracker will help you reach your weight loss goals. I am living proof! If you "cheat" with your trackers (saying you want to lose 100 pounds in a month, or "estimating" that you'll burn 5000 calories through cardio when in fact you only burn 1000) you're only "cheating" your weight loss. Be honest, do your best, trust the program and the rest will fall into place. I promise!

Stats: Female, 5'4", 28 years old.

Goal: From 152 (07/24/2011) to 125 by December, 2011. DONE! December 4th weighed in at 124. In 2012 I've been maintaining around 122, which is a thirty pound loss. My BMI has gone from 26.1 to 20.9 since following the Spark plan!

* * I'm looking for Spark Friends - add me! * *

 current weight: 122.0 
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