If I’m going to send a virtual middle finger to the nutritionists out there who think merely cutting calories will get me results, I’m going to first need to have quantifiable evidence of how their logic is flawed. Back during my “eat 1200 calories a day” phase of life, I had MyFitnessPal on my phone, and I compulsively tracked every morsel that entered my body.

Does that sound unhealthy? Because just typing it feels yucky. But I was there. And it was at a point in my life when I wasn’t even that overweight.

FreeDieting.com calculator results

So first things first, I need to get MyFitnessPal to set the same benchmarks that I already set in daily life. I stopped keeping track of total calories per day a long time ago, so I went to a calorie calculator to determine what my resting metabolic rate was (meaning the number of calories I burn without doing anything else). The results for my weight and height said that I should intake roughly 2000 calories a day to maintain my current weight. 

So, if according to these “experts” I intake somewhere around 1600 calories a day, I should see results. But why should I trust a random calorie calculator I found from a Google search? I need a name with some brand recognition. I need some reputability.

Mayo Clinic? OK. I guess that counts. At least it won’t tell me I have cancer like WebMD. What does their calculator say?

Mayo Clinic’s calorie calculator results

OK, two sources that say around 1900-2000 calories would be a baseline metabolic rate. Got it. Here’s what I’m setting for benchmarks in MyFitnessPal:



Calories Per Day: 1500

It isn’t extreme like 1200 but it is well under the 1600 that should result in “fat loss” according to these experts


Macronutrients: 25 - 35 - 40

I need to keep net carbs to 65g or less, so setting carb goals at 25% should allow enough carbs to make up for fiber intake. For instance yesterday – the first day of my food logs – I had around 81g of carbs and 12g of fiber, which landed me right at 69g net carbs. Almost perfect. The rest goes to protein and fat.