Maintenance Calories-Bulk, Cut or Maintain?

I use MyFitnessPal to track and monitor my calories. I have been set at 2,920 calories for maintenance. However, it then adds back any calories that I burn while exercising. My apple watch is connected, so it tracks the calories when I workout and they sync to MyFitnessPal. Yes, I know the fitness trackers aren’t the end-all-be-all or the most accurate, but I do connect them.

I have a question about my calorie intake and whether I am in maintenance or cut mode.

Example: Yesterday I ate 3,291 calories, which is 371 calories over my maintenance 2,920 calories. Then, my apple watch tracked 1,001 calories of exercise throughout the day and during my workout. So, 2,920-3,291 + 1,001 exercise= 630 calories remaining.

My question is, with the 630 calories remaining, am I in a deficit for a cut or, eating the 371 calories over my maintenance, am I in a bulk mode?

This may be an obvious answer/stupid question, but help me understand!

What’s happening to your weight?


Well, it has essentially remained the same, other than I added some lean steak to my lunch that is 19 more grams of protein and 120 calories the past week. But, as I have posted in a previous post, I have also been taking the Longjack supplement and I can swear I’ve noticed weight/water gain in those two weeks since starting.

I’m just trying to figure out of my weight gain is from the Longjack or my nutrition. And to investigate further on if it’s my nutrition, I am asking what I asked to start this post. I am up from a consistent 187.5-9 to a now consistent 189.

Assuming all the numbers are meaningful and correct (which they aren’t, but let’s just pretend)

You need 2920 calories to maintain your weight, assuming no exercise.

You exercised. In your exercise, you burned 1001 calories.

You NOW need 3921 calories to maintain your weight.

You only ate 3,291 calories (you counted to the single calorie…)

You did not eat enough calories to maintain your weight. You cannot GAIN weight by not eating enough calories: all you can do is lose it.

I guess what I’m saying is the only way to know if you’re in a surplus/ deficit/ maintenance is based on what your weight actually does. You’re currently in a surplus.

The only way to know if it was the supplement (or drug, or type of food, or anything else) is if you were meticulously counting every calorie, eating the same things, and drinking the same amount of water, etc. every day.

If the Longjack is going to be a staple, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be, I would just treat that as baked in and work your calories up or down from this new baseline. I also like to treat activity within a normal range that way, since I can’t account for every fidget or sneeze during the day.


That is what I thought, I just wanted to rule this out to being my weight gain culprit. The only other thing is my Longjack supplementation which is in another thread. I’m confused lol. Unless my hormones were really that bad??

Well, to be honest, I do meticulously count all calories and eat the same things during the week. Alternating days, but the same things for the most part. It keeps me disciplined. You’ll think I’m crazy lol

Legit: you are stressing so much about this weight gain that it could honestly be the cause of the weight gain. You may be increasing your cortisol levels.


You’d be surprised how many people do exactly that. As long as it’s nutritionally balanced and makes you feel good there’s no problem with it at all. This is not to say you shouldn’t go outside of it if you get bored.

Your maintainance may have been set to 2920 but that can only ever be a ballpark figure for you to adjust based on your results and scale weight. Keep tracking, see how your weight trends and adjust as needed.

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Thanks, all! I need to stop stressing…got it. I’ll do that.

I am getting conflicting info tho…am I in a bulk or a cut based on my calories in and calories spent training?

Not at all. I did that for years. It was more comfortable for me than just eating.

Good sir, I don’t believe these go together.

But let’s delve a little further: bulk/ cut are strategies driven by goals (do I want more muscle or to be leaner). The tactics to drive those strategies will be caloric deficit/ surplus. I think you’re asking whether you’re in a deficit or surplus. I would argue we should start at the goal, then pick a strategy, then adjust your calories accordingly.

So… the question becomes: what does it matter?


The only thing you can do to accurately answer that is as I said, your results/scale weight.

In your situation I would eat the same things/same calories every day whilst keeping my activity as close to what it would be in a general week as I can FOR TWO WEEKS, and note down the scale weight every morning. At the end of that I’d notice the trends, does it look like I lost 2lbs over those two weeks? Cool, I’ve been eating in a 500 calorie deficit every day. I would then adjust from there.

If you don’t know the maths. 3500 calories in a pound of bodyweight. 500 x 7 (days in the week) = 3500. So a 500 calorie deficit each day for 2 weeks would create a 7000 calorie deficit over that time period. 3500 x 2 = 7000. TWO POUNDS BODYWEIGHT.

So yeah, track for 2 weeks and see where you are from there. Come back here and tag me if you have any data for us to look at. You only ever have to do this once in a blue moon and if you’re consistant it’s actually really cool to feel like you’re in such close control of your bodyweight. You sound like you like to be as meticulous as I am, so I think this is the best path for you.


Yes. I mean a surplus or deficit. Just wanting to know if I count the training calories as putting me in a deficit, or if I view the 371 over maintenance calories, before the training calories, as a surplus.

I think we may be talking past each other. Hopefully someone else can chime in with something more helpful for you

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I felt like I already did, haha.

@rgruntorad you may have missed this

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Got it. Training calories are taken into account for the deficit. Thank you. I’m going to watch any trends for the next two weeks!

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Through the month of April, Mercury was very close to the Earth. The gravitational pull from Mercury made you lighter.

Now, Mercury has moved away from the Earth and you no longer feel it’s pull, lifting you from Earth.

As a result, you’re heavier.

Saturn will come back around in June, so expect your weight to drop about 2 pounds then.

More info here


Is this serious?? lol

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We’ll see together!

If you mysteriously lose 2 pounds in June it will seem a lot more serious.


I’m not sure I understand the need to talk about specific numbers in here. If you’re losing weight, you’re cutting. If you’re gaining, it’s a bulk. If staying the same, maintaining. Once you determine which you’re doing, you look to see what the numbers are, and there you have it. From there you adjust numbers in any direction you want to create the outcome you desire. If you’re gaining with training calories counted, stop eating them to go the other direction.

This is regardless of the Longjack.

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