How to calculate your Macros
It seems like every social media platform is trying to sell us on the newest and latest diet, weight loss pill, or magical teatox, when in reality it comes to calories in vs. calories out.
What this means is if your maintenance level of calories is 2500 in order for you to lose weight you would need to eat less than 2500. If you ate 500 calories less you would be in a caloric deficit. Same goes if you were to eat 500 calories more than your maintenance you would now be in a caloric surplus. This is a pretty aggressive cut, 20% to be exact, but if you needed to cut in a short period of time, this could work for you. Cutting your calories slower will be better in the long run because you are more likely to maintain more of your hard-earned muscle.
Now in order to figure out how many calories you need to have daily you can do this simple equation:
Body weight x 12-16 this would give you your BMR (basal metabolic rate) = TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) which is the amount of energy you expend. The numbers 12-16 represent your activity level, 12 = Sedentary and 16 = Moderately active. Smaller females or males could use numbers ranging from 12-14 if they train only a couple days a week. If you are very active your numbers could also range from the 17-20 which would be extremely active. This would be the simplest way to calculate your calories.
There is a widely known equation by Mifflin St. Jeor that works really well but is a little more in depth.
10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) + 5 (equals BMR)
10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) -161 (equals BMR)
1.2 = sedentary
1.3 – 1.4 = lightly active
1.5 – 1.6 = moderately active
1.7 – 1.8 = very active
1.9 – 2.2 = extremely active
BMR x Activity Level = TDEE
Either equation will work but today I will go over the simplified version for our Client Jane. Jane trains 4x a week at boot camp, weighs 130 lbs. and is pretty active. Her maintenance calories should be calculated like this 130 x 15 = 1,950. In order for Jane to lose weight she needs to be in a caloric deficit, so by subtracting 500 calories a day from her maintenance level it puts Jane at a daily calorie intake of 1,450. Pretty simple right!!
Understanding your Macros:
What we are looking for are the most important macros (macronutrients) protein, fat, and carbs. One gram of protein is 4 calories, 1 gram of fat is 9 calories, and 1 gram of carbohydrates is 4 calories. Whether you are in a deficit or in a surplus it is very important that you have protein at every meal to you preserve your muscle mass. Studies show you should have anywhere from 0.7-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight, depending on performance and activity level. A good starting point for most is 1 gram per pound of body weight. To calculate Jane’s protein we would simply multiply her body weight by 1 which would give us 130g of protein, so 130 x 4 = 520 calories.
Healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil and avocado are important for keeping your metabolism in check and helping with hormone production. Some people really enjoy fats and that is not a bad thing as long as you are not overeating past your daily count. The recommended equation for fats is 0.3-0.5 x your bodyweight or 1/2 of your body weight. Jane loves her fats so uses 0.5 x 130 which equals 65g x 9 = 585 calories.
Let’s get things straight right out of the gate, carbohydrates are not bad for you, nor will they make you fat! Carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy especially before and after you train. Eating carbs help rebuild, replenish, and maintain muscle mass after your workout sessions, make you feel full and recharged. Now that Jane has her protein and fats worked out let’s add in her carbs for the day.
Jane is trying to lose body fat. Her maintenance level was 1,950 calories, we subtracted 500 calories which put her in a caloric deficit at 1,450 calories. Her protein calories came out to 520 and her fats at 585 which equals 1,105. That leaves Jane with 345 calories we now divide that by 4 which gives her 86 grams of carbs.
Jane’s Daily Macro. Count
Protein 130g – 520 calories
Fat 65g – 585 calories
Carbs. 86g – 345 calories
Jane is now ready to divide her daily meals. She enjoys eating 4 x a day so she splits up her protein into 4 servings giving her 32.5g of protein per meal. She trains in the afternoon so she splits her total carbs in half and eats 43g with her last 2 meals of the day. Jane loves her fat so she has 21.5g with her first 3 meal of the day. Jane is now ready to rock and roll with her new customized macro count, she will need to be very consistent in order to see results but that should not be a problem because she has spotted a new bikini that she plans on rockin’ for her trip to Hawaii!!
If this is exactly what you needed then start imputing your numbers and write on your calendar your new weight loss or muscle building goal! If you still need more information please leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.