How likely is it to UNDER estimate calories?

How likely is it to UNDER estimate calories?
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Here’s the background:

I wasn’t very overweight to begin with, so I never bothered with a food scale or anything. I knew my calorie counts wouldn’t be super accurate but it worked perfectly anyway. From August through December of 2019, I lost a bit over 20 pounds and was happy with the results.

Throughout, I’ve used MyFitnessPal to track calories. It’s not like I’m tracking food I don’t eat; on the contrary, I sometimes don’t bother to track if I go over my limit.

I was steadily losing 1 pound per week during my weight loss, on 1200 calories a day.

In December, when I decided to switch to maintenance, I was 130lbs with a waist circumference of 29”.

I’ve been eating 1700 calories a day (or so I thought?) I weighed myself weekly and started to see a very slight downward trend, but dismissed it since it was so small.

Well, it hasn’t stopped. Yesterday I weighed in at 126.2lbs – lower than ever before, and still continuing the steady downward trend. Not only that, but my waist circumference has somehow gone down to 27.5”.

My full stats in case they matter: 19F, 126lbs, 5’5”, pretty much sedentary. http://tdeecalculator.net says my TDEE is even lower than 1700 but that’s clearly not the case.

To illustrate my activity level: I go on 1-2 hour leisurely walks a few times a week and work out sporadically (like for less than 20min at a time and less than once a week). I do outdoor chores but that’s for less than 5min a day, and on days I don’t intentionally go for a walk, I get embarrassingly few steps in.

Either my TDEE is higher than I thought – which seems weird, considering my intentional rate of weight loss showed otherwise – or I’m eating fewer calories than I thought. Or something else I haven’t thought of is to blame.

I’m so confused.

submitted by /u/ceramicthumb
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