Friday, August 21, 2015

IIFYM Part 2: What Are Your Caloric Needs? My amazing daughter and some wise words on competing.



This was a wonderful week! My daughter started her third year of college and got offered the position of director of the local theater's production of "Yes, Virginia". She is really talented in all things theatrical and has acted and sang since she was in fourth grade. She started directing as a sophomore in high school and has professionally directed for the last three years (if she gets paid, it's professional right?).

She is majoring in theater now after trying to find a more "stable" career path the first two years of college. Moving to New York and getting into theater is what she really wanted to do after high school, but mean old mom and dad suggested college first. She loves bringing awareness to mental health issues so she started with psychology. She also loves the SVU and Criminal Minds applications of psychology so she was actually a double major with criminal justice. While she enjoys them, she knew that it wasn't truly her passion and has absolutely found her niche in the Murray State Theater Department. She now plans to get her MFA and maybe teach college....or head to New York!

Watching her in that environment makes my heart sing. I know that is where she is truly happy. That is where her heart is. I hope she always is able to stay true to her passions and be blessed by always being able to do what she loves.

And I hope she is able to support herself since she isn't going the "stable" route. :)


Let's talk IIFYM, Part 2. Last week we talked about what macros are and this week we will figure out what you caloric needs are. If you missed last week, check it out here.

First, let's define a calorie. 

According to Merriam Webster a calorie is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water one degree Celsius. 1000 of these calories is called a 'large calorie' and large calories are what we commonly think of as food calories. 

How do we know how many calories are in foods? Well, this is one of my favorite things ever. It's the ....


Well, it's not really one of my favorite things ever, but I love the name. It's almost like a super hero's name!

Back on track. The bomb calorimeter is a device that they place food in. In there it is surrounded by water and they magically set the food on fire. As the food burns, it lets off heat and the heat raises the temperature of the water. BOOM, see calorie definition above! Yeah, that's the bomb calorimeter in action!

Our bodies need calories for fuel. Generally, the younger folks need more calories than older folks. Active people need more calories than inactive people. Bigger people need more calories than smaller people. 

Most Americans have a very messed up view of calories, but that is a post for another day. 

How many calories do you need? Well, there is no way to know exactly, but a good start is to first determine your approximate Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is how many calories it takes to keep you alive, while doing nothing but laying in bed. Just breathing and....breathing.

If you enjoy math, here is the formula.

Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)
Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)

If you would prefer to not do any ciphering, here's an online calculator

Now we move on to the Harris-Benedict Equation. This takes your BMR and adjusts it based on you activity level. Be honest with yourself here and think about your entire day, not just the hour you are at the gym.

Harris Benedict Formula

To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:

  1. If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
  1. If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
  1. If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation =      BMR x 1.55
  2. If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
  3. If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

Now, if you are very muscular and lean, it will slightly under-estimate your calories and if you are extremely obese, it will over estimate your caloric needs. If either of those apply to you keep that in your back pocket for later.

Yay! You now know your approximate daily calorie needs to maintain your weight!

Click here to read IIFYM Part 3!


I'm not dead. That's about it. 

Best Thing I Came Across Lately

A friend from another box has started chronicling her CrossFit journey and I really enjoy her posts. This one, on competition, is spot on.
There are 570 million results when you Google this word. It can mean fighting for awards, recognition, a mate or status. In CrossFit it is about bettering yourself...ultimately. But there is competition between athletes...oh yes.

Read all her thoughts at Only Five More Pounds.

What topics related to nutrition and/or IIFYM would you like me to address? I'm not a registered, licensed dietitian, but I do have my Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certificate. And I read a lot about sports performance nutrition. And I scored a perfect 36 on the reading portion of the ACT. So, that's about the same, right? Lol, sorry, I couldn't resist. 

Stay strong y'all!

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This project is one that I hope will enrich your life! It's taking a lot of things I've learned through the years and boiling them down into quickly digestible truths. 


  1. That's so great for your daughter! I bet she'll make in NYC and I'll be seeing her on billboards and taxi toppers everywhere soon :).
    And calories - I had NO idea that's how they determined the calories in a particular food. How neat!
    Thanks for linking up!

    1. Thank you! I know I am biased as a mom, but she really is awesome! :) Thank you for stopping by and hosting the link up!

  2. I love the photos of your daughter! She sounds pretty cool and looks to have her head on straight. My daughter just started college this week! Big change. Good facts on calories.

    1. Congrats on your daughter starting college! It is exciting to watch them grow and develop into young adults. I hope she finds a good group of friends to experience it with. Thank you for stopping by!

  3. Congrats to your daughter's achievements! And good to know you're not dead, lol!

    1. It was touch and go for awhile there, lol, but now I am good! Haha! Thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by!

  4. Congrats to your daughter!!! Thanks so much for linking up! <3

    1. Thank you and thank you for stopping by!