Calculating How Many Carbs to EatSo how many carbs should you eat? This is where I get geeky because I love math and science and this is where they converge nicely. To determine how many carbs you should eat in a day you first need to determine your basic metabolic rate or how many calories you need in day to just maintain your life - breathing, digestion, circulatory functions, etc. Without bombarding you with a ton a math, go to MyFitnessPal and input your information and it will calculate it for you. For me, that number is 1211 calories per day. This is where it gets fun! Take that number and multiply it by an activity factor to account for any activity you do during the day (remember the number you just determined is the amount of calories you need to maintain your life and does not account for anything else).
- Light Activity (normal running around + maybe a walk/run here & there) - Basic Metabolic Rate x 1.375
- Moderate Activity (exercising 3 to 5 times a week) - Basic Metabolic Rate x 1.55
- Vigorous Activity (exercising 6 to 7 times a week) - Basic Metabolic Rate x 1.725
- Extreme Activity (training intensely 6+ times per week) - Basic Metabolic Rate x 1.9
1211 calories x 1.55 = 1877.05 calories per day
This new number means that I can eat 1877 calories per day and still stay the same weight. It accounts for maintaining body functions and activity I do in a day. Now if you want to lose weight, the book suggests to cut calories by 20% so that your brain thinks you're still getting food and will not put your body into famine mode. My calculation looks like this:
1877 calories - 20% (375.4) = 1501.6 or 1502 calories per day
But it doesn't stop there; we're not done with math yet. The book also suggests that 45% of your calories should come from carbs. This is what my calculation looks like:
1502 calories x 45% = 675.5 or 676 calories from carbs
Because there are 4 calories per 1 gram of carb, divide the number of calories from carbs by 4. My calculation looks like this:
676 calories/4 = 169 grams of carbs per day
Ideally, you should divide the amount of grams of carbs per day into three meals and two snacks. So this means I should eat 48g of carbs per meal (48x3=144) and 12.5g of carbs per snack (12.5x2=25). This is why I am still moody! This is not enough carbs for a carb addict like me. I need more!
There is hope right?
I believe there is always hope. My body should eventually get accustomed to a lower intake of carbs. I eat more foods high in fiber to maintain a more stable blood sugar. I remind myself why I am doing this. I am thankful that I have this problem. It makes me more aware of how blessed I really am and more thankful everyday for the blessings I do have. I hope it helps you too to know that I struggle daily with something that I shouldn't have to. Whatever you are struggling with, know that you have hope too. I pray for all of you reading this. I pray you hear what God is telling you now.
As You Ponder and Pray
One of the many blessing I have is a husband with a green thumb. This past weekend he clipped mustard greens from the garden and made a yummy pot of what I call Better Than Your Grandma's Greens. His grandmother made the best greens! And now you and I get to eat them too. The Husband says the best part of his grandmother's greens was her putting the leafy greens into the washing machine to wash them off because she had so many. He thought this was the coolest thing she did when he was a kid that he now does it in my washing machine. Yes, The Husband puts his greens in the washing machine also to wash them off because he has so many. It is something I must overlook and not mention because it truly brings him great joy to do this. I do not suggest you try this too but if you do, The Husband does not recommend putting them in the spin cycle. Please be forewarned about the spin cycle and greens; I have lived this and it was not pretty. But do try to make this recipe for greens.