Calculating Your Macros

To setup your calorie intake and macro-nutrient guidelines for your Flexible Diet plan you need to first determine your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) to establish you estimated caloric baseline. Your TDEE will give you a good estimate of how many calories a day you must consume to achieve a neutral caloric balance, which will maintain your current weight and fuel your current lifestyle.  Also, download the MyFitnessPal app for iPhone or Android so you can track your macros.

The multiplier is a far simpler way to calculate your caloric baseline compared to other, more complex metabolic equations. You simply take your current weight in pounds and multiply it by your lifestyle multiplier.

Determining Your Lifestyle Multiplier

This is the part that most everyone overcomplicates. There is absolutely no need to have an anxiety attack over this part. I am going to lay it out for you as simply as possible. Your lifestyle multiplier is going to take into account your training, your job, and your overall level of activity. When you look at these numbers, be honest and realistic with yourself. Rather than choosing the best-case scenario, choose a number that will allow consistency. Accuracy in your choice will yield the best results. Before selecting your multiplier, you need to know that this number is not set in stone… it will change as your training does, it may change if you get a new job, it may change if you get injured, so on.

11: Appropriate for individuals who are virtually sedentary. You may be sedentary for a variety of reasons: a lack of interest or desire to work out, or maybe you’re recovering from surgery or a prolonged illness, or a sports-related injury. If you don’t partake in strenuous activity at all during the week, you will fall into this category. A lot of grad students tend to get stuck in this category (don’t worry, smarty pants. An advanced degree is worth the time).

12: Appropriate for individuals who train less than 5 hours a week. If you make it to the gym a few times a week and train no longer than an hour, you will most likely fall into this category. This multiplier is ideal is for the moderately active person.

13: Appropriate for individuals who train 5-10 hours a week. Most people will fall into this (or the previous) category. You go to the gym during the week for a little over an hour a day and remain relatively active on the weekends.

Calculating & Optimizing Your Macros

Second to calorie balance, macronutrients are the next important component for optimizing flexible dieting.  There is one more thing that I want to make very clear before we start calculating macros. The numbers you are about to come up with are simply an estimate, the purpose of which is to give you an approximate starting point. This will suffice to get you started, but you may find that you need to make some tweaks and adjustments to really dial this in.

First, convert your body weight from pounds to kilograms. This is very easy to do with the calculator on your smartphone.

Divide your body weight by 2.2 to get your weight in kilos: body weight in pounds ÷ 2.2 = body weight in kilograms

Protein is calculated first as it is the superior macronutrient. Protein supports muscle growth, thus is takes precedent. We want 2g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. Take your weight in kilos and multiply it by 2 to determine how many grams of protein you should consume a day. Each gram of protein is going to be responsible for 4 calories of your total daily caloric intake.

body weight in kilograms x 2 = grams of protein per day grams of protein per day x 4 (cals/gram) = daily calories from protein

Fat is calculated second as it makes calculating your carbs easier by doing it in this order. This a major yet necessary change from the first book but it in no way indicates any form of “macro hierarchy”. Is is only for the sake of simplicity. Your body weight in kilos is roughly equal to the number of fat grams you should be consuming a day, so 1g per kilogram of bodyweight will do. Each gram of fat is going to be responsible for 9 calories of your total caloric intake.

body weight in kilograms = grams of fat per day grams of fat per day x 9 (cals/gram) = daily calories from fat

Carbs are calculated last because they are the trickiest to calculate, not, and most people’s initial estimate are too low. By forcing you to determine protein and fat first, you are left with x amount of calories to be met with carbs. (Don’t worry, this calculation isn’t set in stone, we will optimize and adjust in a few paragraphs). Each gram of carbohydrate is going to be responsible for 4 calories of your total caloric intake. This is where you have to do a bit more math than has been previously required.

total daily calories -(calories from fat + calories from protein) = calories from carbs calories from carbs ÷ 4(cals/gram) = grams of carbs per day

Now you have the three numbers that comprise your daily macro profile. There is no need to count calories. Understand that by hitting these numbers, you are hitting your calories. When you have these numbers calculated, I will go over your fitness goals to determine what your calorie deficit or surplus will be depending on whether your goal is to lose fat or gain muscle.


How Donuts Gave Me Abs

A couple of great posts by CrossFit competitor Nicole Capurso discussing the benefits of Flexible Dieting.  I’ll be introducing this program to our San Diego FitCamp community over the next week and I’d like to get everyone on-board to try this plan over the next few months.  Real easy to follow and NO FOOD RESTRICTIONS!

Download the articles here: Flexible Diet

February 26, 2015

Boot Camp WOD

“The Combine”

2 Rounds of:
20 Air Squats
20 Mountain Climbers
20 Squat Jumps
20 Jumping Alternating Lunges


20 Plyo Push-ups
20 Hollow Rocks
Run, 200 m
20 Spartan Burpees
20 Suitcase Sit Ups
Run, 200 m
Bear Crawl, 50 m
20 Burpees
Run, 200 m
Bear Crawl Backward, 50 m
3 sets of Run (stairs)s
20 Alternating Planks
20 Side Planks
3 sets of Run (stairs)s

Organic: Which Fruits and Vegetables Matter Most?

Courtesy of Lurong Living

Research shows that human health has dramatically declined since we shifted from hunter-gatherer societies to agriculturally dependent ones (1). Why has this happened?

Nutritional deficiency in food is a serious issue today, and although cross-breeding has been a common practice for centuries, the dawn of Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) has created unpredictable results (2). When the DNA of fruit and vegetable plants is altered, this changes the natural expression of proteins, producing higher levels of lectin, allergens, toxins, and carcinogens (3).

Lectins are proteins found in both plants and animals. The body struggles to break down lectins because they are resistant to stomach acid and other digestive enzymes (4). Foods that naturally contain lectins (like beans and potatoes) must be cooked thoroughly. Otherwise, they can cause inflammation, inhibit digestion, and absorption (5). Ricin – a type of lectin – is inserted into GMO fruits and vegetables to promote pest and herbicide resistance (6). GMO foods have been linked to kidney problems, liver failure, and more recently attributed to increases in food allergies and immune dysfunction (7). Additionally, GMOs bury themselves in the soil and have been a major contributing factor to the depletion of soil health and nutrient levels in the United States (8).

Organic fruits and vegetables are not genetically modified, do not have added lectins injected into them, and are produced without the use of pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals. Organic practices also promote the re-nourishment of the soil and other environmentally and sustainably sound practices like crop rotation. GMO crops require a large amount of toxic herbicides and pesticides because they are often bread to be herbicide and pesticide tolerant (9). GM crops have the highest levels of toxic residue of any crops in the United States (10) and herbicide tolerant crops use nearly 525,000 pounds of herbicide per year.

Non-organic fruits and vegetables are also genetically altered with BT toxin – a synthetic protein that acts as an insecticide (11). In humans, BT toxin cannot be broken down and has been shown to damage the cell walls of the GI tract increasing the prevalence of leaky gut and the spread of BT toxin into the bloodstream (12).

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) prioritizing your organic fruit and vegetable purchases is a good way to keep you and your family healthy (13). While not everyone can afford organic, you may want to consider avoiding produce with the highest levels of pesticide residue. The “Dirty Dozen” as they are called, are those fruits and vegetables with the highest toxic pesticide residue. They include the following:

  1. apples
  2. peaches
  3. nectarines
  4. strawberries
  5. grapes
  6. cherry tomatoes
  7. cucumbers
  8. sweet bell peppers
  9. celery
  10. spinach
  11. lettuce
  12. potatoes

Additionally, the following have also been added to the “Dirty Dozen”: kale, collard greens, hot peppers, and snap peas (14).

The “Clean Fifteen” are those fruits and vegetables with the lowest pesticide residue levels and may be safer to consume as non-organic (15). They include avocados, sweet corn, eggplant, cabbage, onions, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwi, pineapple grapefruit, and cantaloupe.

For added benefit, you may want to consider a white vinegar wash for your non-organic fruits and veggies. Although toxic pesticide residue can be absorbed through the roots of a plant, it is still important to wash them thoroughly to remove any remaining residue on the surface. Don’t just rinse under the faucet. Soaking fruits and vegetables in a white vinegar bath for 10 to 15 minutes has been shown to remove most of the pesticide residue. Before consuming remember to give a final water rinse.



(1) Ferrie, H. (2011). Evidence grows of harmful effects of GMOs on human health. CCPA Monitor, 18(5), 12-13.
(2) Labra, M., Savini, C., Bracale, M., Pelucchi, N., Colombo, L., Bardini M., & Sala, F. (2001). Genomic changes in transgenic rice (Oryza sativa L.) plants produced by infecting calli with Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Plant Cell Rep 20(1), 325-330.
(3, 4) Bao, P.H., Granata, S., Castiglione, S., Wang, G….et al. (1996). Evidence for genomic changes in transgenic rice (Oryza sativa L.) recovered from protoplasts. Transgen Res 5(1), 97-103.
(5, 9, 12) EPA Scientific Advisory Panel. (2001). Bt Plant-Pesticides Risk and Benefits Assessments, 76(1).
(6, 7) Kuiper, H. A., Noteborn, H. M., & Peijnenburg, A. M. (1999). Adequacy of methods for testing the safety of genetically modified foods. Lancet, 354(9187), 1315-1316.
(8) Benbrook, C.M. (2012). Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S.–the first sixteen years, Environmental Sciences Europe, 24:24.
(10, 11) Prescott, V.E., et al, (2005). Transgenic Expression of Bean r-Amylase Inhibitor in Peas Results in Altered Structure and Immunogenicity. Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, 53(1).
(13, 14, 15) http://www.ewg.org/

The Elite San Diego Fitness Boot Camp since 2000.