There are three major macronutrients that the human body needs in order to function properly: carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Each of these are essential in building a healthy body and helping you achieve your fat loss goals. To learn more about macronutrients, check out part 1 of this blog post: What are macros? I also explain further why it is important to know and balance your macros in the following video. Watch it to learn futher!
The first step in determining your macros is to know your calorie allotment. There are many different ways of calculating your calorie needs. What i’m going to show you here is a simplified version with the assumption that you have a sedentary lifestyle i.e. desk job.
Step 1 – Determine Caloric requirement
(Current body weight in pounds x 10) + 300
Example: (165 lbs x 10) + 300 = 1950
Step 2 – Adjust for fat loss
Subtract 200-500 calories for fat loss from your daily caloric requirement. It is safer to start at the low end.
Example: 1950 – 200 calories = 1750 calories
Step 3: Next, it is time to select the appropriate macronutrient split for you. Again, there are many ways to do this and ultimately, it is trial and error because you have to see how your body responds and adjust.
Option 1: 35% carbs x 35% Protein x 30 fat. This is quite an even breakdown and a safe place to start for most.
Option 2: 40% carbs x 30 protein x 30 fat. This option is also one of the basic ones often recommended and it allows for more carbs and fat, which most people respond to very well.
Option 3: 40% carbs x 40% protein x 20% fat. This is another generic breakdown with an equal split between carbs and protein. However, if your body responds to higher fat diet like mine, it might not be the best option to start with
Body type split
Ectomorphic: naturally thin with skinny limbs – 55% carbs x 25% protein x 20% fat
Mesomorphic: naturally muscular and athletic – 40% carbs x 30% protein x 30% fat
Endomorphic: naturally broad and thick – 25% carbs x 35% protein x 40% fat
Step 4: Multiple the total calories by the percentage of macronutrients.
Example using generic split option 1:
Carbs: 1750 x 0.35 = 612.5 calories
Protein: 1750 x 0.35 = 612.5 calories
Fat: 1750 x 0.30 = 525 calories
Step 5: Divide the calories for each macronutrient by the number of grams in each macronutrient
- Each gram of protein and carbohydrate contains 4 kcal
- Each gram of fat contains 9 kcal
Carbs: 612.5 calories / 4 grams = 153 grams
Protein: 612.5 calories / 4 grams = 153 grams
Fat: 525 calories / 9 grams = 58 grams
Armed with this information, you can use a tool like MyFitnessPal to create meal plans and track in take. For more meal planning information such as sample meal plans, tips and tricks, download my FREE Meal Planning Made Easy Guide.