Set a Manual Initial Expenditure Estimate

For people who already have a pretty good idea about their energy needs

  1. Tap “More” in the bottom right corner of your screen

  2. Under the section titled “Feature Settings,” choose “Expenditure”

  3. Tap "Initial Expenditure"

  4. Tap the “Manual” tab

  5. Enter your own initial daily energy expenditure estimate

  6. Make sure to tap the checkmark at the top of the page when you’re done to save

If you already have a pretty good idea of your energy needs, we’d recommend setting a manual initial expenditure estimate. Some new users are concerned that starting with a manual expenditure estimate will negatively impact MacroFactor’s algorithms or coaching features. Fortunately, that’s not the case.

MacroFactor uses a standard formula for initially estimating energy expenditure, using basic demographic and anthropometric information entered during onboarding. Formulae of this sort are inherently imprecise – that’s a major reason MacroFactor exists in the first place! You can’t generate a consistently accurate estimate of an individual’s energy needs based on easily observable characteristics. These formulae really just generate a ballpark estimate, which should be reasonably accurate for most people, but which also easily generate errors exceeding 500kcal per day for some individuals. From this rough starting point, MacroFactor will refine a far more accurate and precise estimate of your energy needs over time, based on your weight and nutrition data. For more information on the relative accuracy (or inaccuracy, depending on your point of view) of static energy expenditure formulae, you may enjoy this article from the website.*

So, if you already have a reasonably good idea of your daily energy expenditure, and MacroFactor’s initial estimate differs from your own understanding of your energy needs, absolutely feel free to override MacroFactor’s initial estimate with your own manual entry. This will likely give you better initial program recommendations, and it won’t have any negative impact on MacroFactor’s algorithms or ongoing program updates.

If you’ve been using the app for a while, and you’d like a manual expenditure estimate to inform your program targets right now, you’ll also need to change your expenditure start date to a recent day. Your initial expenditure estimate only affects the starting point of your expenditure calculation, so if you started using MacroFactor months ago, and your expenditure start date is the first day you started using the app, updating your initial expenditure estimate won’t materially impact your current recommendations unless you also change your expenditure start date.

After entering a manual initial expenditure estimate, be sure to create a new program to reflect the change in your estimated expenditure.

*specifically, check out the section of the article starting with the heading, "Popular calorie counting approach #3: Using a calorie calculator"

Did this answer your question?