Get your pen and paper out and get ready for some math problems. We are calculating macronutrients.
‘Macros’ is a buzz word in the nutrition world, but they are the fundamentals of how we function, they are energy and a significant player in the thermodynamics of our human system:
Before we enter into the conversation about customizing your macronutrients, and catering a macro diet plan to YOUR needs, not your cousin or sister or husband’s needs, you need to figure out what your daily caloric needs are.
If you were to lay around in bed all day long, only to get up to go to the bathroom, how many calories would you need to survive? This is called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). To do it manually this is the equation:
BMR = (height in centimeters x 6.25) + (weight in kilograms x 9.99) – (age x 4.92) + 5
Or you can google that shit and get it done for you here:
That count is if you were totally inactive all day, that’s what you would need to maintain your current bodyweight.
But this is a fitness group, and we all seem to be actively engaged in some sort of physical activity. So to determine your CUSTOM MACRO DIET, we need to determine your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure)
TDEE can be estimated by a complicated equation here:
Men: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age 👍 + 5
Women: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age 👍 – 161
Or this much easier one to give a range:
Weight (lb) x 12= minimum
Weight (lb) x 18= max
A lot of people find the comfort zone in the middle of 14-16 range.
Or you can use this online app:
So as you see each individual has different caloric needs based on height, age, weight, and of course activity. This is why diet plans work for some and not others, but with macro dieting, you can customize it to your needs.
It offers flexibility in dieting, and if you want to eat waffles as a way to get your carbohydrates, well damnit eat your waffles.
But how do you determine your macros? Take a seat and get ready to have your mind blown and get really pissed off you actually paid someone to do this for you.
(I do accept Venmo, PayPal, Cash app donations)
I’m going to determine my TDEE based on the weight x 16.
I believe I’m moderate to high degree of activity.
My TDEE is 2160 cals per day to maintain my body weight.
My BMR is 1380.
Because I am active, I need to make sure I have 1g of protein per pound of my bodyweight.
- Editor’s note: There’s a bit of controversy regarding this amount. It’s mighty high. I’ve researched and cross-references it with the American College of Sports Medicine, and also with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and in addition to American Heart Health Association. Potentially take your body weight and divide it by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms and then multiply it by 1.3 for your optimum protein. You personally can tinker with it, but I like the 1g per pound.
So I need to be consuming between 135g of protein a day.
Here’s a nice little guide to determine your amount of protein:
💪Protein Requirements in Grams per Pound of Body Weight per Day💪
•Sedentary Adult (RDA) 0.40
•Adult Recreational Exerciser 0.75
•Adult Competitive Athlete 0.90
•Adult Building Muscle Mass 0.90
•Dieting Athlete 1.00
•Growing Teenage Athlete 1.00
1g of protein= 4 calories.
So 135×4= 540 calories from protein.
Determine grams of fat is a little different. The American Heart Association recommends fat intake to be between 20-35% of the diet. To make life easier let’s go with 25% of the diet will be fat.
Take your TDEE and multiply it by .25
This is mine: 2160x .25= 540
So 540 of my calories should be from fat, but to figure out fat per gram, divide your calories from fat by 9
1g of Fat= 9 calories– 540/9= 60
So I’m getting 540 calories from proteins, and 540 calories from fat, that leaves carbs to be determined.
540(protein)+540(fats)= 1,080 calories.
2160 (TDEE)- 1080 (fats & protein)= 1,080 calories remaining in carbs.
1g of carb= 4 calories
1080/4= 270g of carbs
So to sustain my weight at the activity level, I am doing I need
270g of carbs
135g of protein
60g of fats
Personally, I am looking to lose fat, so I get have my muscles pop more so I want to “cut.”
A sustainable way to “cut” macros is cutting carbs and fats by 10-15%.
So from the 270/.15=40 so to cut fat if I drop my carb intake to 230 that will be a 160 cal deficit.
For fat, cut will be 60/.15=9 so I’ll drop my fat intake to 51g per day, and that’s an 81 cal deficit.
Totaled 241 cal deficit which leaves me at 1,919 calories consumed with my level of activity to help burn some fat.
That’s macro dieting. Wordy but easy to figure out.
A common phrase in the widow community we hear is “I can’t imagine,” or “you’re so strong.” But when the day is over, and you’re laying in bed gazing up at the ceiling with tears rolling down your cheeks, how can you possibly feel strong? I felt broken. I was a shell of the person I used to be. But I kept hearing those words from family, friends, acquaintances:
“You’re so strong.”
Yeah. Okay. Sure. Whatever. Piss Off.
But here’s the thing, I am strong, but it took me a long time to realize the depth of my grief would unlock a strength equally as wide to pull me out of darkness. I wasn’t going to follow the light at the end of the tunnel because I was the widow warrior holding the lantern. And all I needed was a spark. Something so soothing to my soul it would draw me away from the darkness.
Something that would break my strength only, so I had the opportunity to rebuild it back even stronger. I needed to harness my inner warrior and show that I am as strong physically as people keep claiming I am mentally.
Unleash the Widow Warrior.
In the fitness world, those who go extremely hard on the weekend are titled “Weekend Warriors.” When I think of a widow warrior, I think of a woman or a man who goes hard in one aspect of their life they can control. We cannot control the loss of our spouse, but we can control how we react to it. Some people will lay in bed, grieving, while others will outwardly grieve through writing, childrearing or in my case fitness. I have no connection with those with children because I am childless, so I will not even touch upon that subject. But when it comes to the fitness world, I see so many widow warriors.
Women who are sick and tired of being lonely and eaten alive by grief, so they decide to join Crossfit. They begin to excel in this arena, and the warrior begins to shine. They are tossing weights around like rag dolls, and as they find happiness in this powerlifting community, they are reinventing their future as well.
Creating a new light and path to follow, leaving the darkest day behind.
Like a rocket screaming through the sky erupting in a beautiful glow, people around cannot help but notice. This widow has genuinely discovered the strength so many knew she had.
Did you know only 7% of the American population is widowed? Pretty small percentage and this includes those over 65 years old.
Approximately 36,000 women are widowed under the age of 30 years old, which is about .01% of the United States population.
This is my widow warrior statistic I am very proud of.
Less than 1% of the American population has completed a full marathon. I am also in the camp of the .01% of Americans widowed under the age of 30.
You know what that makes me. I really unique Widow Warrior, and I am looking for other Widow Warriors who are lighting their own paths to becoming extraordinary.
Since about May, I’ve become a little bit more active in the widow community again. I took a significant hiatus off, almost about three months into widowhood to around the 3.5 year mark.
The widow boards are really depressing, and they make me feel bad about my grief, or why I don’t miss him more.
I also feel judged for pushing forward with my life rather than wiping my tears away with his old dusty sweaters.
When I was newly widowed, using the W card to get out of sticky situations worked. Why did I forget something? Widow brain. Why did I lose my temper? My husband died 4 months ago. But now, I can’t use that excuse. Nor do I ever whip out the widow card. The only time I do is when I’m offered alcohol, and I don’t want to drink. “You know my husband died of liver cancer, right?” No more questions.
Though my loss is a significant turning point in my life, and George’s family’s lives, to my friends, neighbors, boyfriend, coworkers, colleagues, it’s really not that important. And I choose not to emphasize it. Though sometimes something will remind me of George and I will openly say, “Oh, my husband used to…” In my own time, just like I did when I was newly widowed, I grieve in my own time when I’m alone.
Why doesn’t my loss affect others? Why did people stop talking about my husband?
Life pushes forward, whether I want it to or not. And I’m either on this ride, or I’m left behind. My previous life isn’t diminished because I am finding happiness away from him. It’s quite the opposite, I’m fulfilling my life because of the love I have for George. I’m still very much in love with him, and I always will be. When I think about him, or when I look at pictures, it brings me happiness. But here’s the thing, when I look at the pictures of us together, I don’t really see it as me anymore. And it does look like a stranger is with my husband. But that’s growth. That’s development, and the girl who was with George is not me. It was me, but I am different, and his loss has changed me. And I can’t expect others to remain frozen too.
My loss is my W scarred on my heart. The scars are mine to own, and others don’t have the wounds I had to endure. He is one thought away at all time for me. No one has turned their back, but instead, they have allowed me to grow at my own pace and time.
George’s death is a central part of my life, and widowhood has taught me valuable lessons on coping skills and managing the cold breeze of loneliness. Something I’ve utilized and applied these past several months while my boyfriend is deployed. Being widowed has helped me transition into my new role of being a military girlfriend. However, in a few weeks, my boyfriend will return from the Middle East, and I am ready to have him home and back sharing our lives together. But I’m having flashback again.
On Thursday, with my purple camelback snuggled up to me, headphones in and podcast ready to go, I galloped onto the streets beginning my 17-mile run. It took me about 3 hours to complete. The morning was hot, but the humidity wasn’t as restrictive as usual. I cut through the first 10 miles well until I hit a road block between miles 11 and 12 with hamstring and calf cramps. So I walked for a bit and munched on some snacks and refilled my water at the local country club. I was on the count down.
Just five more miles, I thought to myself. Just five more.
As I was running, I saw George, but not the way most of my memories travel through my skull. But it was a flashback to when he died. And I’m having a hard time shaking the sharpness of the image. His skin coloring, empty eyes, the putrid smell of ammonia, his stained clothes, the dimness in the room, it lingers in my mind like a bad taste in your mouth. It is just one swift thought away.
And I don’t know how to address it or talk about it, so instead, I’ll write about it. If someone with similar experiences can relate, it would help me tremendously to connect.
With getting along by myself over the last few months, I think it has become natural to me. I need to tread lightly here because I do love my boyfriend and I want him home. It hasn’t been easy having him away, but truthfully, I spoke with him about this as well, it’s not the worst thing I’ve had to do. Though I miss him deeply, and I wish I can snuggle up with him on the couch, when I get a text from him, it helps me understand that his deployment is temporary. George is dead. But with the first few months of grief, I remember not being able to differentiate anger and anxiety, which resulted in total irascible and explosive reactions. I am beginning to think I am having a hard time differentiating excitement and anxiety which is beginning to transform into worry. And the inability to understand my emotions are causing this numbing return to grief.
However, there’s something between dealing with deployment and being widowed that has brought me back to this familiar pain, but in an evolved state. In the first few months of grief, I remember not being able to differentiate anger and anxiety, which resulted in total irascible and explosive reactions. Whereas now I am having a hard time differentiating excitement and anxiety, which is beginning to transform into worry. And the inability to understand my emotions are causing this numbness.
The inability to understand my emotions is causing an overwhelming sadness. But just moments of sadness, like every time I walk my dogs, I’ve been crying. When I take a shower, I cry. And it’s haunting and I keep reminding myself, I’m on the downhill.
Just five more weeks. I say to myself. Just five more.