bodybuilding-macros

How To Calculate Macros – Step By Step

You’ve no doubt heard how important macros are, but do you know how to calculate your macros?

If you don’t know what macros are, allow me to explain:

Simply put, the macros are stuff that makes up the calories you eat.

You’ll definitely want to calculate your macro percentages to build your ideal physique.

If you’re serious about tracking your calories, you might also want to check out one of these kick ass wrist bands that tells you how many calories you’re burning.

 

If you’re good at math and know what you’re doing, see the short answer below.

If you want to the method to the madness, continue on…

How to calculate macros – short answer:

Protein – 40%

Fat – 20%

Carbs 40%

 

How to calculate macros – Step By Step:

We’re going to take 5 steps to create your fat burning, muscle building nutrition plan and calculate your macros.

I’ve put together a chart below that will help you convert nutrients from grams into calories.

I know it might sound a bit confusing, but I promise, by the end of this post it will make perfect sense.

 

Macronutrient Calories Per Gram
Protein 4
Fat 9
Carbohydrates 4

 

Step 1. What is your goal? – Bulking or cutting?

 

Step 2. Determine your daily maintenance calories

If you chose to bulk, you are going to need to eat above your maintenance level – > Multiple your body weight by 18. That’s how many calories you should aim to eat each day.

Example: I weigh 200lbs. If I wanted to bulk up, I would consume 3,600 calories every day

If you choose to cut, you are going to need to eat below your maintenance level – > Multiple your body weight by 12. That’s how many calories you should ai to each every day.

Example: I weight 200lbs. I’m currently cutting, so I’m aiming to consume about 2,400 calories every day.

 

You can also track the amount of calories you burn on a daily basis by using a wrist band like the Fit Bit

 

Step 3. Determine your daily protein requirements

The quick and easy method is to just aim to consume 1-1.5 grams of protein for every lb of body weight.

Most people think protein is only important during a bulk. Wrong.

My protein intake is the highest when I am cutting because when you are cutting, your goal is to keep your hard earned muscle. Eating a high protein diet will help with this.

If you usually consume 1g of protein for each lb of body-weight, boost it to 1.5g of protein for each lb of body-weight while you are on your cut.

Example: I weight 200lbs and I am currently cutting, so my protein intake is 200-300 grams every day. For the sake of easy math, let’s say 250.

250 grams of protein is is  equal to 1,000 calories. (250 grams x 4calories per gram)

1,000 calories is 41% of my 2,400 total daily calories.

 

Step 4. Determine your daily fat intake 

I recommend 20%-30% of your calories come from fat.

Again, for the sake of easy math, I’m going to recommend 20% fat.

You can adjust this as necessary, I wouldn’t go above 30% or below 20%, though.

Example: My current daily calorie requirements are 2,400 calories/day. 20% of that is 480 calories. 480 calories/9 calories per gram of fat = 53g of fat per day

 

Step 5. Determine your daily carbohydrate intake

Your remaining calories should come from carbohydrates. Since 1,000 of my calories is coming from protein, and 480 of my daily calories are coming from fat, I have 920 calories left to consume every day. Those calories should come from carbs. 920 calories / 4grams per calorie = 230 grams of carbohydrates everyday.

At the end of our 5 step macros formula you should have come very close to calculating your macros that I recommended in the first part of my post.

Protein – 40% , Fat – 20% , Carbohydrates – 40% – Don’t worry if it’s off a bit, everybody is different and you are going to need to experiment a little bit. However, if you are following the recommendations outlined in this post you will see much better results than trying to bulk or cut with no plan.

 

Note: Any calorie calculator or nutrition formula is only going to give you a good starting point. You should track your progress, if you haven’t gained/lost weight after a week or two alter your calorie intake by 250-500 calories.

P.S. – You don’t have to eat chicken and rice 6 times a day to build an awesome body. Just make sure you stick within your calories and macro range and you’re well on your way. This cookbook has over 200+ awesome recipes that will all fit your calories and macros, check it out here.

192 replies
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    • Anthony Myers
      Anthony Myers says:

      Yes, absolutely.

      It’s simply a way to calculate how much food you should be eating and the right types of food to promote muscle growth and fat loss.

      It applies to everyone, men and women.

      Reply
  1. Edgar
    Edgar says:

    Hey man great page really useful! I think I can calculate my macros, but a few questions does it matter where my carbs are coming from? Also one thing I didn’t see you mention was sugar intake, I try to keep it low but does it matter if your hitting your macros?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Anthony Myers
      Anthony Myers says:

      I don’t really track sugar, all I track is protein, carbs and fat.

      There’s evidence that tracking fiber helps, but I don’t pay too much attention to it – I should.

      No, it doesn’t matter where the carbs are coming from, just that you hit your macros. That’s why it’s called ‘flexible dieting’.

      so the benefit is you can eat pretty much anything you want, but if you go eat a couple of poptarts you’ve already used up about 50% of your daily carb allowance.

      Reply
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