How To Calculate Your Macros


Finding Macros

So, you’ve embarked on a fitness journey and have come across some tough terrain. It has been some time now and your goals are still out of sight. You know they are out there, somewhere, but you don’t have the slightest clue as to where or if you are even going in the right direction – you need a map.

 

Before you give up on your expedition in frustration, I’m going to enlighten you, I’m going to give you the best way to map everything out with macros.

 

What Are Macros?

Marcos is shorthand for macronutrients, which are comprised of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Each macro you consume can provide your body with the energy (calories) that it needs to function and in this short blog I am going to show you how to manipulate your macros and place you on the right path to your goals. Knowing your macros is an imperative whether you want to lose weight or gain muscle.

Again, to keep this ridiculously simple, just think of macros and calories as energy from now on. When you hear someone talking about finding macro (calories), they aren’t rooting around for something like Bitcoin or some kind of rare Pokémon, they are simply figuring out how much energy their body needs. Got it?

Now, I know what you’re thinking – will there be math? The answer is yes, but don’t jump off a cliff just yet, there are plenty of calculators out there that will do the hard work for you. For now, let’s just worry about how many calories (or how much energy) are in each macronutrient.

Fats: 9 calories/gram(g)

Carbs: 4 calories/gram(g)

Protein: 4 calories/gram(g)

Now that we know how many calories (energy) is in each macronutrient, all we need to do is figure out how many calories (or how much energy) our body needs to stay at our current weight and simply allocate the macros (fats, carbs, and protein) until we reach that total.

 

How to Find Your Macros

There are quite a few ways to calculate your macros, but I am going to show you the method that I use, which is Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).

Below are TDEE equation for both men and women:

Males:

BMR = 66 + (13.751 x weight in kilograms) + (5.0033 x height in centimeters) - (6.8 x age in years)

Females:

BMR = 655 + (9.463 x weight in kilograms) + (1.8496 x height in centimeters) - (4.7 x age in years)

Tip: Remember your high school math lesson about Order of Operations: (PEMDAS from left to right) when solving the equation for yourself.

All you need to do is plug in your age, height, and weight. The number that pops out is your Basal Metabolic Rate(BMR), or in simpler terms, the amount of energy you would burn at rest for normal bodily functions; think of your body like a car, your BMR is the amount of energy needed just to keep you in park at an idle.

Let’s plug my info in for an example:

Age: 24yrs

Height: 180.34cm (5’11”) 1 inch = 2.54cm

Weight: 91kg (200lbs) 1lb = 2.2kg

Males:

BMR = 66 + (13.751 x weight in kilograms) + (5.0033 x height in centimeters) - (6.8 x age in years)

            66 + ( 13.751 * 91) + (5.0033 * 180.34) – (6.8 * 24)

           66 +  1254.34 + 902.3 – 163.2

BMR = 2,059 calories/day

Now that we’ve got that, all we do now is multiply our BMR by an activity factor:

  • Sedentary (little or no exercise): BMR x 1.2
  •    Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): BMR x 1.375
  •    Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): BMR x 1.55
  •    Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): BMR x 1.725
  •    Extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training): BMR x 1.9

I consider myself to be moderately active so all I do now is multiply my BMR by 1.55 to find my Total Daily Energy Expenditure.

TDEE = 2,059 * 1.55

TDEE = 3,192 calories/day

By knowing how much energy my body burns each day I can manage my weight with ease by making sure that the sum of all the calories in the macros I consume throughout the day stay below ~3,200. If I want to bulk up to put on more muscle, I consume more than 3,200 cals/day and I eat less than 3,200 cals/day if I want to lose weight.

 

Need a coach to do it for you?

How I Keep It Simple

Think of it like a daily budget. This will help you if you’re bad with money too, but essentially you have a certain amount of calories to spend, if you put in more calories than you need, you will save fat (or build muscle if done properly). On the other hand, if you are in a caloric deficit each day – using more calories that you need – you will lose weight. Notice I didn’t say that you would lose fat by taking in fewer calories –  I said weight. That’s because if your macros aren’t adjusted properly, and depending on your daily activities you could eat into muscle tissue. I will explain the reasoning behind this in later blogs.

But again, keeping things ridiculously simple, the only macro that I track with diligence is protein, and simply consume carbs and fats until satisfied; however, I make sure that everything stays at or below 3,200 calories to maintain weight or lose weight. Each day I make sure that I get at least 150g of protein to preserve muscle tissue. That’s 600 calories each day that I get from protein, I eat whatever I please for the other 2,600 calories. This may be different for you, and in later blogs, I will explain how I came to that number for my protein intake. What I want you to understand most is how important it is to know your body’s true energy needs. Anyone can go on one of those Stranded Island diets where you deprive yourself of food by restricting your calories too much and lose a ton of weight really fast, that’s why they’re so popular, but they are not sustainable. Your body will adjust and be as stubborn as it needs to be in order to protect itself and the scale will stop moving in your favor. You’ll fall back into old habits, end up gaining it all back, and start all over again.

So, take this info, put it to use, or share it with a friend that you think could benefit from what I’ve outlined thus far. Stay posted for more, I’ll show you exactly how to set up your meal plans where you can eat the foods you like while maintaining weight and how to adjust your macros when losing weight in my next blog. I’ll also explain how I use Intermittent Fasting to control my appetite, burn more fat, and stay disciplined.

 

 


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