Macros – firstly what does it mean? Macros is short for Macronutrients, and the macronutrients are Carbohydrates, Proteins & Fats. You also have a group called Micronutrients, which are vitamins and minerals, but we won’t be talking about these today.
The principal of counting your macros, is that you will be keeping track of how many grams of each macro group (carbs, fats & protein) you are eating – and providing you have the right balance, you should lose body fat at a nice steady rate!
This method is one we teach our fitness students on our Full Diploma In Personal Training & Fitness Instruction and does require you to weigh your food with some scales – if you don’t have one, a simple set of digital scales will set you back around £9.99….And you also need to track your food with a food diary app – we recommend MyFitnessPal – as this will show you how many grams of each macro you have consumed!
So here is our macro calculator based on grams per kg of body weight.
Firstly we need to work out your BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate: This is the approximate amount of calories your body needs everyday to stay the same weight without moving! So – if you laid in bed and ate this amount of calories, you should (in theory) maintain the same weight.
BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate Formula: Harris-Benedict equation
Men: 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age)
Women: 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age)
Example – Female, 30 years old, 167.6 cm tall and weighing 54.5 kg = 655 + 523 + 302 – 141 = 1339 kcals
Once you have a BMR figure, we need times it by your activity level – because unless you are ill, or the grandparents from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, not many people stay in bed all day and don’t move!
- Little or no exercise / desk job = BMR x 1.2
- Light exercise / sports 1-3 days a week = BMR x 1.375
- Moderate exercise / sports 3-5 days a week = BMR x 1.55
- Hard exercise / sports 6-7 days a week = BMR x 1.725
- Hard daily exercise and physical job = BMR x 1.9
This new figure is your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and again, this is a maintenance amount of calories – so if you carried on with the same activity levels and ate this amount of calories, you would stay the same weight.
Lets say our example 54.5kg woman does moderate exercise and wants to cut (lose body fat) – her TDEE (maintenance) is 2075 kcal
To cut body fat we want to shave 500 calories off, to put her in a calorie deficit, so….her target for cutting body fat is 1575 kcals
Her Protein goal is 2 grams of protein per kg of body weight
= 109 grams of protein per day ( x 4 = 436 kcal)
Her Fat goal is 1 gram per kg of BW
= 54.5 grams of fat per day ( x 9 = 490.5 kcal)
Her Carb goal is then the remaining amount so…
436 kcal (protein) + 490.5 kcal (fat) = 926.5 calories
1575 calories goal – 926.5 kcals = 648.5 calories
so….648.5 kcal need to come from carbs – divide this by 4 (as carbs are 4 kcal per gram) and we have the amount of grams we need in carbs
648.5 kcal divided by 4 = 162 grams of carbs per day
(staying the same weight): 2075 kcal I would use:
Protein – 1.7 g per kg
Fat – 1.1 g per kg
Carbs = remaining percentage
(looking to gain muscle): 2575 kcal (we want to add 500 kcals) I would use:
Protein – 1.5 g per kg
Fat – 1.2 g per kg
Carbs = remaining percentage
Remember, if your goal is fat loss, it is not good to stay in a calorie deficit (cut) all the time, as your body is in a weakened state. We are at our strongest when we are in a calorie surplus (bulk), so periodically (every 8 – 12 weeks), I would come out of a cut and level out to maintenance, or increase to a bulk for a short while to replenish your body.
Enjoy the results!