I have a friend that plays D1 women’s lacrosse at a local college, and she’s always asking how she can get bigger arms. She’s naturally lean but wants more muscle mass. I’ve told her previously that she’s probably running all of her muscle off playing lacrosse! Over the summer she paid someone online to figure out her macros for her. She sent this person a picture of what she wanted to look like, and the person came back saying to achieve her goal she would need to eat a mere 1400 calories a day.
Let’s start with understanding what a calorie is. A calorie is simply a unit measurement of energy. The more calories you eat, the more energy you have. Now this doesn’t mean you can eat junk food because it’s packed with calories, you still want to feed yourself quality food. Point being 1400 calories isn’t a lot even for the average person, and definitely not enough for a D1 lacrosse player. Here’s a short 4 minute video I found going into more detail.
She recently came to me again asking if I could review her macros and if I could help her understand them more. Now that I have been studying for my nutrition certification, I feel more confident in being able to help my friend more now than I did this past summer. I told her to go to IIFYM.com to use the macro calculator. I found it more beneficial for her to do this herself so she can understand how to figure out macros and for future reference. This is probably what the person she paid originally did. She discovered her BMR alone was 1495 calories! Basal Metabolic Rate (as explained briefly in the video) is the MINIMUM amount of calories needed per day for a person to do their daily activities. So she wasn’t even getting the minimum amount of calories she needed, and that’s BEFORE factoring in lacrosse practice, games, conditioning or lifting at a college level.
Still referencing IIFYM.com, her TDEE is 3122 calories. This portion of the calculator is your activity level, so at this point she has taken into consideration her level of exercise. TDEE stands for Total Daily Energy Expenditure- how much energy from large calories are needed per day. That’s twice what was recommended to her! This person who actually got paid to figure her macros clearly had no idea what they were talking about, and have deprived her of calories for the past 6+ months. But all it took for her to realize she needed so much more was to go on a credible website to see how many calories she actually needed. Do your research! You can literally Google anything and find an answer. Use multiple resources and credible websites to get quality information.
I found a few other references that she reviewed, including an example lacrosse player diet of 2000 calories. She will have to slowly increase her calories per week and work her way up to 2000, 2500 or 3000 calories depending on how her body reacts to that much food, and to see if she can actually eat that amount of food. It’s hard to build muscle! It also gets expensive, especially as a college student. But we are both excited to see what results come of the increase of macros.