I thought I would write this blog today based on my Facebook inbox being filled with the same question all the time…….
How can I calculate my own macros?
Ladies for getting toned. Dudes for getting buff!
When I told Laura (my fiancee) that I was going to write this blog, she was horrified. “Aren’t you going to lose lots of business based on writing that?”
HELL NO!!! Was my reply.
You see I don’t mind giving away some free, quality information, because I know its not why people come to work with me. People come to train with me because of my kick ass training sessions, the accountability, coaching. knowledge. education and support I offer in and out of the gym. Thats where the money is really made, not by simply calculating someones macros.
So if have asked me in the past about macro splits, or how much you should be eating based on your goals, lifestyle, training habits etc then this one is for you.
“SO WHAT THE HELL ARE MACROS?”
Sorry, this may be teaching a few of you to suck eggs, but I just want to make sure all bases are covered before we digress.
Macros or macronutrients are proteins, fats and carbs. They are what the body needs for energy, to repair and purely just to function and provide you with a kick ass body! Look after it!!!
There is another macronutrient that we could consider which is fibre and if you really want to be a stickler then alcohol could be in there as well – but we’ll talk alcohol in another post.
So if you are reading this first off – thanks – and secondly you are probably reading this because you want to either look toned, get lean or lose weight. Essentially you are wanting to get rid of the fluffy stuff (fat) and feel better
So lets find out how many macros you need to be eating to achieve you goal.
1) HOW MANY CALORIES DO YOU NEED?
Before we delve in to the more complicated stuff first off we need to calculate how many calories you need per day.
F*ck!!!! Don’t worry you don’t need a maths degree to do this.
Simply what we are going to do s take your bodyweight in pounds (waking weight) and multiply it by either 11,12,13 or 14.
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH NUMBER TO USE?
Good question….. here goes.
Use 11 if you have a sedentary job and do little exercise. Think sitting behind a desk all day and perhaps taking the dog for a walk every day.
Use 12 if you have a pretty active job and train 2-3 times per week. Think postman so you are on your feet most of the day and training with weights 2-3 times per week.
Use 13 if you have an active job and train 3-4 times per week. Think working in a warehouse or a PT so you are lifting things and on your feet quite a lot during the day.
Use 14 if you have a very active job and train anything between 4-6 times per week. Think labourer or builder on a building site. Long hours and lots of activity during the day.
Its really important that you try to get this number as accurate as possible. Yes if you think you are a 14 but you opt for 11 then yes you may lose weight quicker, but then you’ll also perhaps lose a lot of muscle mass. Remember its all about sustainability and preserving as much as possible. Play the long game and not only will the results be better they will be far more long lasting as well.
Got your calories?
Good. We’re moving on…….
To calculate your protein you need to simply take your bodyweight in pounds and thats what you should be aiming for in grams for protein per day.
Easy peasy right? Protein = BW (lbs)
If you think that may be to hard to hit then you times your bodyweight in pounds by 0.8 and give yourself a range.
Weigh 180lbs your protein range would be between 144g (0.8g per lb) and 180g (1g per lb).
Still with me? Good.
3) NEXT STOP…… FAT
This step is all down to personal preference.
Typically fat should be calculated between 0.3g – 0.6g per pound of bodyweight.
To get a better understanding of this, you need to ask yourself which foods you prefer to eat. If you prefer steak, cheese, nuts and avocado then you will probably sway closer to 0.6g per lb. If you prefer carbs then you may go to the lower part of the spectrum.
One point of note should be focussed on what type of training you are doing. If you are a high performing athlete or training regularly at a high intensity then it may be better to opt for a lower fat amount and higher carbs due to energy production and usage by the body. Carbs are the body’s preferred energy source.
4) FINAL STOP…… CARB HEAVEN
I hope you still have that calculator out. Perhaps best to get a bit of paper to scribble on as well. Go on, we can wait 😉
First up take you daily protein target and times that by 4. Why? Because each gram of protein has 4 calories in it. This will then tell you exactly how many calories you are consuming from protein alone per day.
Secondly, times you fat intake in grams by 9. Why? Because each gram of protein contains 9 calories in it.
Thirdly, you will multiply these two numbers together and minus them from your daily calorie target. The first number you calculated.
This will then provide you with the number of calories you will have allocated yourself for carbs per day. To get that in to grams all you need to do is divide that number by 4. Why? Because carbs contain 4 calories per gram.
“F*CK ME MY BRAIN HAS TURNED TO MUSH”
Don’t worry I hear you. Lets work through a male and female example to make it a lot easier.
Example 1: Mary
Mary weighs 150lbs and works a sedentary job but does train 2-3 times per week and prefers carb type foods.
Calories required = (150×12) = 1,800
Protein = (150×0.8) = 120g or (150×1) = 150g
Fat = (150×0.4) = 60g
Protein and Fat calories added together (150×4) + (60×9) = 1,140
Carbs = (1,800-1,140) / 4 = 165g
Macros = 150g Protein, 60g Fat, 165g Carbs
Example 1: Gary
Gary weighs 200lbs is a labourer, plays semi professional football and trains 5 times per week and loves pasta.
Calories required = (200×14) = 2800
Protein = (200×1) = 200g
Fat = (200×0.3) = 60g
Protein and Fat calories added together (200×4) + (60×9) = 1,340
Carbs = (2,800-1,340) / 4 = 365g
Macros = 200g Protein, 60g Fat, 365g Carbs.
SUMMING IT ALL UP…..
I am certain that if you follow these calculations and you are honest with yourself then you will 100% achieve what you want to achieve.
There will need to be adjustments along the way, but this will be a great starting point for you.
Remember that there are a million a one reasons why fat loss may not occur. Some weeks will be better then others so don’t panic if one week you haven’t lost weight or body fat. Its never linear. Just stick to the plan, be honest and watch the magic unfold.
Take progress photos and weigh yourself every 1-2 weeks. Furthermore, once you plateau, you could recalculate your macros based on your latest weight or look at the figures and perhaps adjust the number you use if you have become more active.
On the other hand try not to lose to much weight to soon. I would say that between 1-2lbs per week is a pretty decent amount. Furthermore, for our male example – Gary who is extremely active, then he may be able to use 15 or 16 against his bodyweight in pounds and still lose weight.
One final note. You do not need to hit the numbers bang on every day to make progress. As long as you are within 10% the chances are you will be a-ok!
There are many other protocols that I call upon with my clients but I wouldn’t want to give away all my secrets now would I.
For most this would be a great starting point and one that would probably be the only one many need to visit.
Any questions you know where to find me