How To Calculate Macros – Step By Step, So Easy a Caveman Could Do It.

How to Calculate Macros

If you don’t know how to calculate macros, you’ve come to the right place! But first, in case you don’t know what macros are, allow  me explain. Simply put, not all calories are created equal, macros are the stuff that makes up the calories you eat.






First, I’m going to cover each of the main macros and their main function, then we’ll calculate them.

P.S. You’re going to need a food scale to track your macros properly, they’re not too expensive and well worth the investment.

The Bodybuilding Importance Of Protein, Fat and Carbs:

Protein:

Protein’s main job is to build and repair muscle tissue. When you have a hard workout and tear down your muscles, protein is what comes to the rescue repairing and building your muscles to be even bigger and stronger than before.

Fat:

Fat is responsible for a lot of important functions in your body, but for the sake of bodybuilding, fat is important because it keeps your hormones in check. Important hormones like testosterone rely on a healthy intake of fats.

Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates are your main source of fuel for your workout. If your fuel take is low, you’re not going to have very good workouts, and if you’re not having good workouts you’re not going to see the results you’re looking for. Also carbs will keep your muscles looking and feeling full. If your diet is too low in carbs you may notice that you’re muscles look flat and skinny instead of full and strong.

 

 






How to Calculate Macros: The Quick Answer For Bodybuilding

If you just want to know what the suggested bodybuilding macros are, see the percentages below. If you want to calculate your macros manually to create your own meal plan, skip down to the  next section.

  • Protein – 40%
  • Fat – 20%
  • Carbs 40%

The above percentages are the classic bodybuilding macro recommendations. Personally I feel that the protein is a bit high, you could lower it a bit and split those additional calories between fat and carbs, but 40/40/20 is a great way to go.Whichever route you decide to take, know that all of the macros are important and you need an adequate amount of each to perform your best in the gym and see the best results possible in the mirror.

How to Calculate Macros – Step By Step:

First, 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. So get out a pen and paper and let’s get down to business.

Macronutrient Calories Per Gram
Protein 4
Fat 9
Carbohydrates 4

 

Step 1. Calculate your maintenance calories:

There are a lot of fancy formulas out there for calculating your maintenance calories, but honestly no formula is 100% accurate for every individual. In my experience it’s best to simply multiple your weight by the number below and make adjustments if needed.

  • Male – Bodyweight x 15
  • Female –  Bodyweight x 13

Example: I’m a male and I weigh 200lbs. To maintain my weight I would need to eat about 3,000 calories per day. 

Note: It’s important to keep in mind that a simple formula like this does not take into consideration your daily activity. If you have a physically demanding job you may want to increase your calories slightly, if you have a desk job you may want to decrease them.

 

Step 2. Choose a goal, and adjust your intake:

If you want to gain weight you’re going to need to eat more calories than your maintenance. If you want to lose weight you will need to eat less than your maintenance calories, it’s really as simple as that. Determine your goal below and adjust your calorie.

  • Bulking – Increase calories by 250-500
  • Cutting – Decrease calories by 250-500

Example: In step 1 I determined that my maintenance calories as 3,000 per day. My goal is to cut, so I’m going to decrease by 250, so I will be eating 2,750 calories per day. If I’m still not losing enough weight I’ll decrease by another 250 after 2 weeks.

 

Step 3. Calculate your daily protein:

Most people think that protein is only important when you’re bulking and trying to build muscle. In my experience it’s more important to keep your protein higher when you’re cutting.

  • Bulking – Eat 1 grams of protein daily.
  • Cutting – Eat 1.25 gram of protein.

 

Example: I weight 200lbs, since I am cutting, I’m going to multiple that by 1.25 and to get my final goal of eating 250g of protein each day. In the chart above you’ll notice that 1g of protein is equal to 4 calories, so I’ll be eating 1,000 calories worth of protein every day. I’m going to subtract 1,000 from the 2,750 maintenance calories and I have 1,750 calories remaining.

Step 4. Calculate your fat intake:

I wouldn’t recommend any more than 30% of calories from fat or any less than 20%. For the sake of easy math, let’s go with 30% fat.

  • Multiple your remaining calories by .20 or .30.
  • Divide the number by 9, this is how many grams of fat you will be eating.

I’m going to multiple my remaining calories by .30 which is 525, and since 1 gram of fat is equal to 9 calories, I’m going to divide 525 by 9 and I’m left with 58g of fat per day, voila!

 

Step 5. Calculate your daily carbohydrates:

So now that we have our protein and fat figured out, let’s calculate carbs.

  • Divide your remaining calories by 4, this is how many grams of carbs you should eat.

Since 1,000 of my calories is coming from protein, and 525 of my calories are coming from fat, I have 1,225 calories left. If I divide 1,225 by 4, I get 306g of carbs eat day.






 

An Important Note:

Supplements have their place in your diet, but they should not make up the bulk of your macros. It’s ok to get some of your protein from a protein shake, but try your best to get most of your nutrition from real food.

If you’re someone that just likes trying  new supplements every month, check out the list of fitness subscription boxes I recently reviewed and rated. There’s something in there for everyone no matter what your goals are.

 

There you have it, a simple way to calculate your macros! Keep in mind that these are just starting numbers and as your weight changes over the weeks and months you’ll have to adjust your calories and macros, so in the example I start off cutting on 306 carbs, as I lose weight I continuously decrease that number.

P.S. – You don’t have to eat chicken and rice everyday.  This cookbook has over 200+ awesome recipes that will all fit your calories and macros, check it out here.

About the Author

Anthony Myers
My name is Anthony. I'm the main author of MuscleClass.com. Download my $77 muscle building course for free here - > Click here to download

210 Comments on "How To Calculate Macros – Step By Step, So Easy a Caveman Could Do It."

  1. Great Post!! I’m a 160 pound female. I want to loss 10 pounds. I’ve had no weight loss for the past 6 weeks (lost a total of only 8 pounds since Jan but I’m looked toned). My carbs have ranged anywhere from 60-120 and I haven’t had any weight loss. My calorie intake is about 1500 daily. After reading your article and calulating my macros it appears my carb intake will be about 163. I’m extremly carb sensitive. However, Im so confused with my lack of weight loss. My protein was ranging from about 120-140 grams daily. Please help. I’f i decrease my carbs where will those extra calories go? Do i eat more protein?

  2. What about the sodium , sat fat .. other fats , potassium . how we count that toward our calories i think sodium is an important fact .

    • I honestly don’t worry about sodium intake too much.

      That’s getting a little too detailed for my lifestyle.. I track the main things and as of lately have been tracking fiber.
      I will revisit this article and update it later this week, though.

  3. Do you offer meal plans? I’m starting back at the gym, but I have no idea what I should be eating…and I suck at math.

  4. whats the formula for weight maintenance?

  5. This has been extremely helpful. I think I have the magic numbers right: 230 lbs , at 40-20-40 is 1104 cals Pro, 552 cals Fat, 1104 cals Carb. Total 2760 cals per day. Obviously not bulking. Thanks again!

  6. This has been the most helpful thread I have read about bulking cutting. Trying to force a 4000 calorie diet while bulking has been a nightmare and I had unwanted fat. This makes much more sense thank you, you really know your stuff!!

  7. so do i have to choose between bulking and cutting? what if i want to decrease fat percentage AND gain muscle….

    • It’s kind of like trying to sit and stand at the same time.

      If you’re a beginner, you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time, but if you’ve been working out for a long time it becomes harder.

      You would have to have your diet absolutely perfect. I think it’s easier to just bulk for a period of time and cut for 8-12 weeks to slim down.

  8. Great article! This helped me out a lot. For those of us who just want to lean out and loose a bit of fat here and there, what would you suggest doing when it comes to multiplying your weight by a certain number?

    Thanks!

  9. How do I know what my macro count should be if I want to gain muscle?

    • Hey Sal,

      If you want to gain muscle it should be about 250-500 calories higher than your maintenance calories.

      How much do you weigh? I can help you calculate it if you need.

  10. I have had such as issue with my diet. My heaviest was 264 and now after having 2 kids i bounce between 155-165 per yoyoy dieting. I did so many diets and now i run or walk everyday along with doing firness blenders 8 week plan. I do 6 days a week for the last 9 years. I exercise like crazy and literlly startve myself. Im gaining weight and my belly has fat. I do stevia and cut out all unnatural foods. When my family goes out to eat i eat nothing. When they want donuts i just drink coffee. Im at my wits end. Im 5’10 163
    32 years old. ; (

  11. Nice post, easy to follow your process and understand your method. Regarding protein target…shouldn’t this be based on LBM rather than total?

  12. hi does the above method apply to women as well??

    • 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.

  13. 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!

    • 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.

      • Isnt sugar a carb? O_o

        • I don’t count sugar in my macros and neither does anyone else. We count the big 3 (protein, carb, fat) and some people also count fiber, but I personally don’t and I haven’t had any problems.

          Tracking too many things can get

  14. Samantha | May 1, 2015 at 7:24 pm |

    Hi Anthony,

    I calculated all my numbers but my next question is how to split that between meals … if I divide evenly between breakfast, lunch and dinner I’ve used up all my numbers .. if I add 2 snacks between I obviously have smaller portions but I’m starving everyday .. feel weak, what am I doing wrong? Is this normal?

    • Hey Samantha,

      This is going to sound crazy, but… it literally does not matter ‘when’ you eat your meals.

      You could split it up into 5-6 meals, eating every 3-4 hours or you could actually eat all of your calories at the same exact time and have only 1 meal a day. It does not matter and it’s actually been scientifically proven in controlled studies that it does not matter.

      For the sake of not feeling weak, and to not get those hunger pains in your stomach, I would split it into 3-5 meals.

      If you’re losing weight you can try increasing your calories a tad, maybe by 200 to see if that helps with the hunger/weak feeling.

      What works for me is snacking on low/0-calorie snacks (crystal light, diet coke, vegetables, jello)

      • Samantha | May 5, 2015 at 1:41 pm |

        Thank you 🙂 I wanted to make sure I was doing it right and since I’m first starting it can be confusing, as a crossfitter I wanted to ensure I was getting enough calories and carbs. This page is awesome, thanks again!!

        • No problem and thanks for the compliment. I put a lot of work into it 🙂

          Also if you’re doing crossfit you’re likely burning a lot of calories so don’t be afraid to increase your calories a bit if you truly are feeling weak/hungry.

  15. Hi Anthony,

    I hadn’t started this counting process yet, but now am going to. How do I know what to choose for activity level. As I mentioned before I have a desk job . I do heavy weight training 4 days a week and cardio 2 days a week. I am just trying to make sure i get the closest as possible to what i need for me personally. I am 5’1″ body fat 13% and weight last time I weighed was 100 lbs. I am trying to gain lean muscle mas but keep the body fat low. Any thoughts would be great

    • Hey Kelley,

      So that’s a problem I face as well because I sit at a desk (I’m at work sitting right now, lol).

      What I do in this case is lean towards the lower activity levels. I’d choose moderate activity or even sedentary.

      For me personally I choose sedentary, even though I lift heavy 5-6 times a week, that’s only 1 hour out of my day, the other hours I’m pretty inactive.

      Although I just recently started doing Brazilian jiu jitsu so I might have to increase my calories.

      So personally I would go with sedentary and only increase your calories by like 250 so you gain lean muscle and keep your body fat low.

      Track everything religiously for a week and weigh in, if you lose weight, increase by another 250 calories, if you gained weight keep things the same.

      • ok I will give that a try. how do you weigh your foods, before or after cooking them.. is there a book or a site that helps with breakdowns etc?

        • Hey Kelley,

          MyFitnessPal.com is what I use, download the app. I use it religiously and love it.

          As for weighing my food, I usually weigh it after I cook it. Sometimes I might weigh it before I cook just to get an idea of how much meat I am cooking, but in general I weigh my food after it’s been cooked before it goes in my belly 😛

  16. I worked out my allowance. It resulted in me only being able to consume 20g of carbs. Surely this is too low when combining it with HIT and weights. 137 lb female
    Thanks for help in advance

    • You’re doing something wrong.

      So if you’re doing HIIT, you’re probably trying to cut, right?

      So 137×12 = ~ 1,644 calories per day.

      40% of those calories (658) should come from carbs.

      So that’s actually 164g carbs per day.

      Remember, this is just a ballpark estimate, track your progress on a weekly basis and make adjustments as needed.

  17. Hello! I currently weigh 109 and am 5′ 2. I currently go to the gym 4 days a week where I mostly weight lift and do minimal cardio. (Leg days, back days, arm days, ab days, etc) I’m putting my cals at 1962, following your recommendations for bulking. I am hoping this will help me build muscle on my body as I am all over thin except for some fat on my stomach. Since I do have some stomach fat do you recommend I cut and then bulk? Or keep bulking, eating healthy, and ab workouts?

    • At 109 I don’t recommend you cut.

      I’d say concentrate on building muscle right now.

      In fact, once you increase the muscles in your stomach, that tiny layer of fat on your abs might disappear.

  18. Hi Anthony.
    I workout in a daily basis. I am 5.4′ and weight 130 lbs. I am toned back, legs and my arms are getting there. I would like to minimize my stomach. I know I am capable of doing it. I do eat healthy, but I over eat too much. If possible could you give me some advice.

    • Hey Brenda,

      It sounds like you know what the problem is – you’re overeating too often.

      Unfortunately it all comes down to diet, so you’ve really got to find a way not to over eat.

      What works for me is diet soda (yes, I drink a ton of diet 0 calorie soda) as well as crystal light and of course water.

      Also try to snack on low calorie foods to keep you full – I love sugarfree Jello – 10 calories and also greek yogurt fills me up nicely and has a ton of protein.

  19. Hi i was just wondering can i build muscle while burning fat at the same time? If so do i need bump up my calorie intake ? im 142lbs 5,9 ft

    • If you’re very new to working out this will happen automatically.

      Otherwise it’s better to concentrate on one goal at a time. Trying to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously is a bit like trying to stand at sit at the same time.

      You could just eat at maintenance calories and workout hard, you would most likely ‘recomp’ meaning you would build muscle and lose fat, the composition of your body would improve, but the process is slower than concentrating on one goal at a time.

  20. Hi there. I am 6 ft 135 pounds and im trying to gain muscle while not gaining fat because im skinny. So i figuerd out that i eat a lot less calories then i should been . So according to some websites i need to eat 2300-2450 calories per day. I would really appreciate if you could help me count this out with my macronutrients.

  21. Thanks Anthony!
    I haven’t started the counting process yet as I am nervous i won’t do something right and I will gain weight. I have not checked out the recipes but will definitely have to do so. I am afraid to increase calories since I do have a desk job so maybe I will try the lower/ maintenance plan first and go up from there instead of going up to have to work it off. would that be ok?

  22. Hi there:

    What if you want to gain muscle AND get rid of fat? I weigh 125, am 5’5 and about 20% b.f.
    Thanks!

    • Then I would eat at your maintenance calories, do minimal cardio (2 days/week), and lift weights at least 3-4 days per week.

      It will be a slower process, but it is possible to recomposition your body by doing this.

  23. Hi… please help a bit confused… when calculating my BMR & Activity the fig. comes to 2868 so I add 300-500cals to gain muscle, so when I need to get 40% protein which fig do I go by 2868 or (3168-3368)

  24. Hi, I’m having a hard time meeting my macros.
    My carb intake is low and my protein is high. My macro goal for carb is 212grams and protien is 94grams also my fat is 75grams. Any suggestions on what to eat to meet my numbers?

  25. Hey mate, I’m 6’3 and currently 170lb.

    I want to put on a bit of size but I don’t want to revolve my whole life around eating clean and ALWAYS training. I want to be pretty casual about it and not get obsessed with it like I have done in the past, I plan to train about 3 – 4 days a week but I just need a hand understand how much I should eat, right now I can eat so much and I still just have the ‘fat skinny’ look, I’ve just started up a diet I’m going to follow (leniently… if that’s a word haha).

    Like today for example I have had.
    Breakfast:
    Low fat yogurt with Oats.

    Lunch:
    500g chicken, 1 cup brown rice, 1 1/2 cup vegetables.

    Pre work out:
    2 Pieces of rye bread, 250g cottage cheese and a tea spoon of jam mixed with it, (love it.)

    Dinner:
    Not sure yet, probably similar too lunch,

    Do I need to be throwing in a protein shake and stuff? sorry for the essay dude.

    • Hey Mike,

      First, you don’t need to revolve your life around always eating clean and always training.

      As long as you’re following the macros that you calculated and as long as you’re lifting 3 times a week, there’s no reason you can’t have a nice body (and by nice I don’t just mean slim, I mean the type of body that turns heads and surprises people when you take your shirt off)

      So step one is to just go through this article and calculate your macros…

      Then, sign up with Myfitnesspal.com (I’m sure you have a smart phone, right?) Take the numbers that you got from this post, plug them into MyFitnessPal and start tracking your meals. It’s really not hard or time consuming at all, takes me maybe 10-15min a day to plug in my meals.

      As long as you’re staying within your calories, protein, carbs and fat, that’s all you need to do.

      If you go a little over/under don’t worry, but try to get close.

      Doesn’t matter if you eat chicken and rice or if you have the occasional pizza/burger, as long as you’re hitting your numbers you’re on your way.

      PS – I reccomend a cook book in the bottom of the article, check it out, all of the meals in there are amazing and they all will fit your macros nicely.

      As for training, just do your best to get to the gym 3 times a week, lift heavy, with good form and you’ll be making more progress than ever.

      I’m actually working on turning this post into an easier to follow video, so when that comes out I’ll shoot you an email and let you know.

      • Hey im having a hard time understanding this ok so I’m trying to get bigger while not gaining to much fat i weigh 143-145 and I always struggle gaing weight from this im not sure if I have did it correctly but I figured I would need about 2610 calories if you could help me calculate the rest thank you

        • 2,610 calories
          40% protein = 261 protein
          40% carbs = 261 carbs
          20% fat = 58 fat

          You can probably decrease the protein to ~200, increase the carbs to 275-300 and increase the fat to 75

  26. Hi Anthony, greetings from Malaysia. I’ve been tracking my macros for a year, did see some fat loss and muscle gains. But it seems like I’m on your so called maintenance level. I’ve been working out hard and see no muscle gains after my transformation. My current body fat is 9.2% , and I want to gain more lean muscles . What should I do? Your comment would definitely be appreciated . 🙂

    • Hey Darrel,

      Greetings from the U.S. 🙂

      If your goal is to gain then you need to increase your maintenance calories by about 250-350 calories.

      This should put you at almost .75lb a week, which should be lean weight so long as you’re training hard.

  27. I sincerely appreciate your informative post Anthony. I’m just learning about macros and aiming to start a new plan on 12/1. I’m a female, approximately 5’6 and currently about 175…looking to lose weight. Had a baby a while back and it’s been a struggle to get back to my pre-baby weight of 155. I believe I calculated that I needed 2100 cal/day. I’m sure you’re swamped, but any chance you can tell me if that’s correct? Also need help calculating my macros. Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • Hey Janae,

      Good luck starting your new eating plan today :).

      I’ve actually been working with tons of people since I originally wrote this post and have learned a lot about what works and makes for an easier to follow diet and still gets great results.

      I will update this post soon, but here’s what I would do if I were you.

      Take that original 2,100 calories and minus 20% from it.

      So go for 1,680 calories a day.

  28. hi i am 38 6,0 ft 190 pounds with about 23% body fat i train 5 time a week ,how meany calories a day will i need to get ripped thanks

  29. What about the other nutrients such as potassium, sugar, cholesterol, fiber? And as working out..how many calories should be burned? I’m a 33 year old female with a bmi of 29.9, weighing at 190lbs, and wanting to lose 40lbs and gain lean muscles? Please help.

    • Hey Crystal,

      I actually do not keep track of things like potassium, sugar, cholesterol, etc.

      There is some evidence to show that fiber is important enough to track, but it’s not something I personally track.

      I follow a 80% clean diet, 20% of the stuff I eat is less than ideal- I actually just got back from Chipotle, a lot of people might gasp and say “Omg he’s eating junk food while he’s cutting?” but the weight continues to fall off.

      I supplement with a high quality multi vitamin so as for potassium, vitamins, etc. I’m not too worried about it.

  30. Hello,

    I am brand new to this. I have been working with a personal trainer for about a year now. I want to take it up a notch and have been trying to learn about the Macro’s. Your post is very helpful. I am 38 years old. Current weight is 97-98 lbs. I am 5’1″. last time we checked my body fat was 14.6 I believe. I want to keep fat low and build muscle at the same time. What would you recommend for me?

    • Hey Kelley,

      First thing is first, are you male or female? The name throws me off! I know some men named Kelley as well as some women.

      Also, is your goal to gain weight or lose weight?

      Let me know that first and I’ll make sure you get what you need.

      • Hi Anthony,

        Thank you for writing back. I am a female. I want to gain muscle and keep body fat low. so I am not sure if you would consider that as gaining weight.

        • Kelley,

          Similiar advice that I gave to Darrel below…

          If your goal is to gain muscle, then yes I would consider that as gaining.

          So what I would do is calculate your maintenance calories, then increase it slightly (by like 250 calories), as long as you are working out hard, the weight you gain should be slow and clean.

          • Hi Anthony thanks for the reply. I have a desk job but as i mentioned before I work with a trainer. We heavy lift 3 days a week and then I lift on my own and take spinning classes as well as a HIIT class. would you still recommend me to use the basic formula above. I would like to make muscle gain and stay lean. My body fat has gone down to roughly 13%.

          • Yes I would still recommend the formula above, but if you notice the ending of the post I mention how it’s just a way to generate a really good ballpark number.

            So what I would do is use the formula in my article, and then keep an eye on your progress for 2 weeks, follow the plan to a T and if you lose too much weight, increase the calories by 150-200 calories if you gain too much decrease by 150-200 calories.

            For people with desk jobs, usually you’ll end up having to decrease the calories a bit. When you’re sitting at a desk for 8+ hours every day the inactivity is hard to counteract, even with regular workout routines. So it’s important that you really dial in your diet to make up for all of the inactivity that your job accounts for (I’m in the same boat! it sucks)

            Also, t he leaner you get the more meticulous you’re going to have to be about your diet to see results… it definitely sounds like you’re doing something right, though.

            P.S. Did you check out that recipe book in the bottom of the article? It really kicks ass for making delicious meals that won’t put you over your calorie limit.

  31. Hey, Anthony. I’m 6’0 165-170. I work at a warehouse so I’m on me feet 8-10 hours a day. I want to get lean but not sure how much calories I should eat?

    • Hey Mike, I personally would shoot for ~2,500 if I were in your shoes.

      As long as you’re hitting 40/40/20 like i outlined in post (and training hard) I think it would be relatively easy to get lean.

      Is your body fat high already? At 6 foot 170 I can’t imagine that you are fat, I think based one what you are telling me if you really buckle down and follow a strict
      diet of 2,000-2,500 calories/day and 40/40/20 (plus working out 3-4 times a week) you could easily get quite lean in 6-8 weeks.

  32. Anthony I’m 68″ and 200lbs, trying to go down to 180 lbs if possible but the main thing for me in to reduce my body fat from 27% to 20%.
    Should I do 50% Protein, 30 % Carbs and 20% Fat or stick with the rule of 40-40-20?
    Thank you

    • I would stick with the 40 40 20, at least for starters.

      Check your results after 2-3 weeks and if you feel like the carbs are preventing you from dropping body fat then increase protein and decrease carbs, but I think you’ll be alright at 40/40/20.

  33. Hi im 5ft 6 and weigh 13st 10 I carry fat below my chest and midsection what would be my ideal calorie intake ? Thanks

    • Hey Jamie,

      I’m sorry I left the Great Brits and Irish out of my article! Lol, we use lbs over here in the U.S.!

      So I personally would go with a calorie intake of 1,500-1,700 calories/day and see how that works for you.

  34. Hey bro I’m about 5’10-5’11 and lean 160lbs right now. I love my physique the way it is and I’m just starting to eat healthier. I dirty bulked for about my whole first year of weight lifting. I got up to 175lbs and then leaned down to 160lbs(yea i was a skinny fuck before). I’m wondering if there’s a way to lean bulk until the end of summer 2015? After that I was looking to bulk up to 200lbs and make a cut to 180-185lbs. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Absolutely. 180lb is reasonable, and looks damn impressive on 5’10” frame.

      To hit your goal by the end of summer 2015, that gives you just about 1 year…

      If you start now you’d have to gain about 1.5-2lbs a month.

      It’s not so hard when you break it down like that, right?

      So, what I would personally do if it were me, is increase your daily calories by 500 right now and consistently increase the calories by increments of 500 every time you gain ~5lbs/hit a plateu.

      Shoot me an email if you need more help.

  35. I’m 160lbs and not gaining weight eating 3600 calories daily!

    • Hey Paul,

      What do you do for a living? If you’re eating that many calories and not gaining weight you must be burning A LOT of calories throughout the day… do you have a manual labor job (construction, landscaping, factory, etc.) or some type of job where you’re on your feet all day?

      • Hi Anthony, believe it or not I have a desk job for 8 hours a day the same as you. I work out 5 days a week for 1 hour per day, and do no cardio whatsoever.

        I’m 5ft 10, currently eating 160-200g protein, around 450g carbs and 120g fat per day, and haven’t seen the scales shift at all. I’ve been at 160lbs for months. What do you suggest?

        • Yo Paul,

          Sorry for the delay man.

          So first thing I want to ask is where are those ~3,700 calories coming from?
          Are you taking a weight gainer supplement? Sometimes supplement companies are WAY the hell off on how many calories they say their supplement.
          So if you’re taking a shake and it says it has 800 calories, it could actually only have 400-500 calories, see what I’m saying?

          Second, I don’t want to insult you brother, but are you 110% sure you’re tracking everything properly? I’m one of those guys that seems to gain weight by looking at food, so it’s hard for me to see
          someone eat 3,700 and not gain. I’m >200lbs and I think I’d gain on that many calories (especially with the desk job!).

          Third – Are you involved in any sports/activities that you don’t necessary count as cardio/workout? I had a client who was not gaining weight, said he never does any cardio, come to find out he was playing basketball twice a week for a few hours! (Something he probably should have told me, lol). After he increased his calories on the basketball days he started gaining.

          Lastly, if you are not counting supplements that might be misleading you and if you’re absolutely sure you’re tracking calories properly I would bump the protein to 250, the carbs to 500, and leave the fat… That’s all you can really do at that point – eat more, or burn less calories. (unless you’re on any medications that might be affecting your hormones/thyroid/appetite)

  36. Hey Anthony, thank you so much for writing this, and taking the time to respond to comments. I’m 26, 195 lbs, at 5’8”, and am around 18% body fat. My goals are to get down to 9% by Thanksgiving. Is this even feasible? I have a pretty sedentary job. I started lifting again about 2 weeks ago, (6 days a week, alternating FIIT cardio and weight lifting) and while I am seeing progress, I’ve been estimating with my diet. I downloaded MyFitnessPal last night, and have tweaked it to fit the macros you recommended, but it’s still only showing that I need 172g of protein. Does this mean that my daily caloric intake needs to increase? Thanks again!

    • Hey Hutton,

      Sorry for the wait brother.

      My website not been sending me alerts when I have a new comment!

      Anyway… let’s break this sh%t down with math real quick! 🙂

      So, pretending I didn’t take so damn long to respond… you’re 195lbs at 18% body fat in mid September…

      That means you have ~35lbs of body fat on you. Agreed?

      Now we know that we can realistically lose 1.5-2lbs of fat per week if diet and training is dialed in. Easy.

      So, starting in September that would give you about 10-12 weeks to cut up.

      That would be enough time to lose 15-18lbs of pure fat if your diet and training are dialed in.

      Now let’s subtract that 15lbs from the original 35lbs of fat that you were carrying..
      Tthat brings us to 20lbs of fat, with a total weight of 180. 20/180 = 11.1% body fat

      It’s still a little shy of your original goal of 9%, but trust me, going from 18% to 11% will make you look and feel like a different person completely… and from there you’ll
      only be a couple weeks away from your 9% goal.

      P.S. – I really hope I didn’t screw up your goals by not responding right away. It’s still not too late to get started, shoot me an email if you need any help anthony@muscleclass.com

  37. hi, i’m going to give this a shot… i have high hopes that it’ll work for me. i’m 6′, 205lbs and bmi around 27+/-. i carry most of my fat around my gut and i want (need) to lose it, so i’m guessing i’m cutting. my question is this… i hit the gym around 5am, before work, then sit at my desk for 8 hours, then go home and try to stay as active as i can (ride my bike, take a walk, etc). should i change my workouts to afternoons so that i work out after i’ve loaded up on carbs/fuel? or can i work out first thing in the morning and feed my body throughout the day?

    • Hey Lenny,

      It really doesn’t matter when you do your workout.

      There’s evidence to show that early morning workouts, especially cardio, while fasted (not having eaten yet) speeds up fat lost.

      Working out later in the day after you’ve got some food in you will likely make your workouts more comfortable, more energy, etc.

      For the record, I’m in a similar situation. I work at a computer 8-10 hours a day, when I tell people how many calories I eat they think it’s really low for being such a big guy (201lbs, cutting on 1,800 calories right now) – The fact is, my job is extremely sedentary, and my workouts are pretty much my only physical activity throughout the weekday. Someone like us requires much less calories than someone who is on their feet all day, or someone who performs hard manual labor, like a roofer or construction worker for example.

  38. Now mate, am trying to lean muscle gain. Is that bulk or cut I’m 5’7″ weigh 11st 11lb I’ve done my own macro diet and believe I need 2380kcal protein 45% carbohydrates 40% fats 15% I’m new to this nutrition planning but have trained a number of years. My body always seems to be in a state of semi rip I think. Please help.!!!! CHEERS

  39. Hello, I am a 19 year old female, 5’3″ and weigh 90lb. I seeking to gain muscle (not fat), and I began lifting about 2 months ago. I am still lifting lightly (some examples: 10lb dumbbells for arms, 30lb for squats, 90 leg press). If I do 1g protein for body weight, I get a high carb ratio, making it about 58C, 22P,20F. So should I consume 1.25 or 1.5P instead? Oh and I consume 1600cal. Thanks!

    • Diana,

      Trust me, if you are working out hard, you will not get fat. What I would do is this:

      1. Lift a little bit heavier, 10lb dummbells is probably too light. You need to be lifting heavy enough where once you reach 10-12 reps, you cannot do anymore reps, you need to rest. You NEED to challenge your body.

      2. I would go with 1.25-1.5 protein, yes.

      3. Eat a little extra carbs on your workout days, it will give you energy to complete your workouts.

      You’re NOT going to get fat, you have my word.

      anthony@muscleclass.com if you need any 1on1 help.

  40. Anthony,
    I am trying to lean out. I am 5 11″ and weigh 212. This is what I am doing.
    pro 48%
    fat 20%
    carb 32% total cal = 2500. I eat 6 meals a day with 3 of those being protein drinks mixed with raw oats and flax oil.

    • Hey Larry,

      That sounds pretty solid. You’d even be safe increasing the carbs and decreasing the protein a bit, but you’re on the right track.

      Let me know if there is any way I can help you out, brother. That’s what I’m here for.

      One thing I try to make clear to everyone – friends, family, and people who read my website is that this is just an estimate and you should weigh in after a week of following it. If you lose weight, stick with the numbers, if you don’t – decrease your total calories by ~250… repeat until you find the sweet spot.

      The majority of the time this formula is spot on, though. I’ve not had many problems following it as is, but some people work desk jobs and are sitting in front of a computer for 8-12 hours a day and require significantly less calories than someone who’s on their feet all day like a nurse, or working a intense labor job like construction, roofing, etc.

      Good luck.

  41. hi, I am 5’7 and i weight 180lbs, what should i do to cut it down to 160lbs? I am currently working out 3 times a week plus 1hr stationary bike after my workout…should i continue or do something else?

    • Hey Anthony,

      Nice name – we’re a good breed :).

      3x a week is fine, and it’s good that you’re doing cardio as well.

      Most of your results are going to come from diet, so make sure you’ve got that dialed in.

      Another thing I would recommend is to do a full body workout routine. I like to do full body workouts when I’m concentrating on cutting weight. They burn more calories and I seem to lose weight much faster when I’m doing full body workouts. Give it a shot, let me know how it goes.

  42. Hi ya I want to bulk up,I’m 6ft 4 and weight 15 stone.do I need the same amount of protein as carbs,any info would be gratefully appreciated

    • I would aim for the same amount of protein as carbs, yes.

      Generally I recommend 40% of your diet is from protein, 40% is from carbs, and the remaining 20% should come from fats.

  43. Hi! I’m calculating numbers for a friend and it’s not sounding right. He’s 145lbs. and wants to bulk. (needs 2610 cals/day)
    145g/protein = 580 cals of protein daily.
    20% fat = 522 cals/fat day
    377g/carbs = 1508 cals.

    That’s not close to 40/20/40.

    What am I messing up?

    • You’re going by 1g of protein for each lb of bodyweight rather than just 40% of the diet being from protein.

      Here’s how it should be broken down.

      2,610 Calories/Day (Bulking)

      Protein = 260g
      Carbs = 260g
      Fat = 58g

      He’s bulking, so you can sacrifice a bit of the protein and increase the carbs/fat.

      So I would say as long as he’s hitting 200g of protein, the remainder of the calories can be consumed through carbs.

  44. male age 22, weight 140 pounds, height 5ft10

    10am – 1 & 1/2 scoop optimum whey protein shake with almond milk (normal milk gives me breakouts).

    10.15 – bowl of oats (Alpen) with almond milk

    11.30 – banana

    12.30pm – Lunch: whole chicken breast or steak with potatoes and green vegetables

    1.30pm – Gym

    3pm after gym – banana and protein shake (2 scoops) with water

    4.30 – 250 mg tuna pasta pot.

    6pm – 2 jacket potatoes with cheese houmous and baked beans

    10pm 2 egg whites with two wholegrain toasts.

  45. Hi, this has been very helpful. A little background, I have kids, last one is 1.5 years old. So 1.5 years post baby and I have some undesirable residual fat!! I go to the gym 5-6 days a week between weight lifting and cardio. I started in may 2013. I have lost some weight but I know my issue for not progressing as well is FOOD! I have 2 questions.
    A) should I be cutting first or try to gain muscle (bulking) first as more muscle mass means more cals burned through out the day promoting better weight loss?
    B) how do I split the carbs between veggies and whole grains? Is there a percentage and are they the same cals/g?

    Ok, 4 questions! Sorry! Lol

    Kay

    • A) I’d have to know a little more about your stats how tall are you/how much do you weigh?

      B) No need to divide them up really, just consider them the same thing/different ways to to get your carbs in 🙂

      Feel free to email me if you need help coming up with a custom diet/workout plan: anthony@muscleclass.com

  46. I am an egg-eterian and don’t have anything else non-veg.
    Last week, i purchased: OPTIMUM NUTRITION- GOLD standard now though.

    I am 152 lbs at 5ft 8′.
    Did the math according to your website and multiplied by 16 for bulking up :

    LBS weight 151.1
    grammage
    protein 906 38% 226 gms
    carb calories1027 43% 256 gms
    fat calories 483 20% 53 gms

    since 1 scoop of ON contains only 24 gms of protein, I am truly wondering how i can get the grammage of 226 gms per day.
    Egg-whites and milk, though i have- i dont see them making them upto 226 gms Protein per day.

    please advise how to get that intake.
    also please give me some routine to get some lean muscle and flat abs over a period of time

    • I think I responded to your question via email a while back, right?

      If not… here’s my answer:

      Use two scoops for each shake, and also use milk. This should bring you to 64g of protein for each shake, 24g x2 scoops, plus 16oz of milk is 16g.
      Have two of these a day and you’re already half way there, at 128g of protein.

      The rest of your diet is going to need to contain a lot of eggs to get the rest of the protein for the day.

      I’d also suggest snacking on nuts if you do not have an allergy. 1 cup of almonds contains 20g of protein, so if you can snack on a couple cups of almonds every day it will really help.

  47. Hey Anthony,
    First off, thanks for posting such an easily understandable article on this topic. Also, thanks for taking the time out to still answer questions even though it’s been a year and a half since you posted the article. Ok, so I’ve always gone to the gym, roughly 4 days a week for the past 6 years and when I first started lifting, I lost a lot of weight quickly; roughly 25lbs and then just kind of hit a plateau and never did anything different. Since the beginning of May (2013), I decided to really re-evaluate everything finally realized that although I was eating healthy (when compared to others), I wasn’t eating clean. For the past three weeks, I’ve started eating supper clean and I’ve dropped 8lbs and am super excited because I feel like I found a system that works. Now, I’m 6′ and weigh 190lbs and am working hard to lose the spare tire around my waist (cutting). Here is what I came up with 40, 20, 40; 2280 cals – 800 protein cals/200g; 456 fat cals/ 51g; 1024 carb cals/256g. Everything I calculated looks really good and achievable. My question is with home cooks meals, how do I ensure that I’m preparing foods with the macros that I’ve calculated? Also, does that carb intake look ok to you?

    Also, do you have a any other publications or social media forums I can follow for additional help tips?

    Thanks Again!!

    • Hey Jorge,

      Sorry for the delay man. I get so many comments on here some of them get buried.
      I hope I still have your attention bro.

      The carb intake looks good to me, if you stop losing weigh though carbs is the first thing you should start cutting back.
      As far as preparing your own meals and making sure it’s hitting your macros – the only way to go is reading labels and sometimes even measuring the food man :/ sucks but it’s the only way. It’s not too bad though man, 8oz of chicken is about the size of your fist, you can measure rice and stuff with measuring cups, I’ve never really had to get a digital scale and measure my food I can do just fine by reading labels and eye-balling it.

      I don’t have any social media forums… I’m pretty much just this blog, but I know I need to start writing more articles – so I’m considering building a Google+ page, Instagram, possibly facebook as well… not a huge FB fan though.

      I will keep you update bro.

  48. Great Job!The best forum by far. I am 2 weeks into my cut. I bulked up to 205 lbs, 5’11” and 17% bf. I have my macros on training days at 40% C, 40% P,20% F. 2900 cal (4 days a week of weights and HIT). On rest days, 30%C, 40%P, 20% F. 2200 cal.
    My goal is to get to 10%BF…185lbs. I figure that would take about 5 months.
    Could you offer your opinion?

    • Hey Fisher,

      I personally don’t think it should take any longer than 3 months if you stick to your diet.

      I like that you calculated two sets of calories, one for workout days, and one for rest days.
      This is a good strategy that I have been considering writing about.

      If you were to start doing this TODAY (May 1st) there’s no reason you couldn’t have visible abs and
      look real good come 4th of July.

      I’d kick up the cardio, stick to mostly chicken, vegetables, oatmeal, brown rice, and crystal light.
      Basically, I’d diet like I was getting ready for a bodybuilding show.

      The fat would melt off dude, you’re going to look great if you do this.

      • Anthony,
        I am 1 month into my cut and progress is great. Down 8lbs in 4 weeks. Abs are starting to show, arms, shoulders, chest, and back are showing separation. I adjusted my cal. intake for my current weight. One quick question, i finding that i am getting hungrier between my meals. My meals are 2.5 hours apart, (6 meals resting days / add pre and post meals for work out days). Does this mean my metabolism is speeding up? Should I be adjusting my frequency? or go back to my old cal. intake?

        • Since you’re on a cut I presume that you’re training harder, doing more cardio, and eating leaner meals – meaning less carbs, probably no sweets, etc? If so, this is the reason for your increase in appetite, totally normal Fisher :). I honestly wouldn’t adjust the frequency or increase the calories – you said it yourself, you’re seeing results. This is just the nature of the beast, when you’re on a cut you will tend to be more hungry. You could try the ECA stack, which I myself love (ephedrine, caffiene, asprin) in low doses as it acts as an appetite suppressor.

          I’m looking for a nice way to tell you to MAN UP haha, only kidding.

          feel free to shoot me an email and I can take a look at your current diet and see if I notice any holes in it – anthony@muscleclass.com

          • Hahaha! Man up! I like that one.
            Thanks for the quick response Anthony. I will shoot you an email with my diet.

  49. Wow, six months later and you’re still answering questions. Awesome! I’m 5’2″, weigh 150 lbs, and have a high BMI. My goal is to lose weight and cut. Based on your formula I calculated: Calories: 1,800; Protein: 150 grams (600 calories, 33%);
    Fat: 40 grams (360 calories, 20%); Carbs: 210 grams (840 calories, 47%). Does this sound right? I won’t just maintain my weight instead of lose? Thank you so much for providing useful information.

    • Hey Adriana,

      That sounds about right, but like I say in the article – Any calorie calculator or formula is only going to give you a ballpark estimate.
      You’re going to need to track your progress on a weekly basis and determine whether you need to cut the calories back or not.

      If you’re working out hard, you’re also going to be burning a lot of calories from those workouts and cardio, so you should lose weight.
      If your body is being stubborn and just won’t budge, cut calories back slowly, like 200 calories/day at a time. Don’t go overboard and
      cut back 750 calories because the scale wouldn’t budge. Make small changes and you’ll see big results 🙂

  50. Hi Anthony,
    My name is Lauren. Thank you for the great info on this site. I’ve recently gotten into working out and eating clean. My question for you is.. Should my biggest carb meal be post workout?
    I do weights and legs and some cardio. I’m trying to cut not bulk. I workout 5-6 times a week and I’m trying to come up with a good meal plan for myself. But some things that I think are good now that I’m doing the math it doesn’t seem as good. Tonight I made ground turkey with brown rice and black beans. Doing the math on a calorie counter app my numbers are coming to: 369 calories, 13g of fat, 25g of protein and 55g of carbs. I’m about 128lbs 5’3. So does that seem like high numbers to you for 1 meal!?
    Sorry I’m new to this and just a little confused.

    • Hey Lauren,

      My girlfriend’s name is Lauren, too. What a coincidence! 🙂

      About carbs – Yes, post workout and in the morning tend to be the best time to take most of your carbs in.

      The overall calories doesn’t seem high at all to me, probably because most of my meals are 600+ calories, however
      the carbs are a little high. Is this your post-workout meal? If so, it looks pretty good. If not, bring the carbs
      down a little bit and increase the protein. Maybe consider adding a little more ground turkey, a little less brown rice,
      and maybe even a protein shake?

      Don’t be sorry, it’s fine that’s what I’m here for.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.

  51. Im cutting im so bad at math i mean horrible Can you help me. I weigh 148 and Im 5’2″ and Im lifting to get lean/cut. Just started actually. I can’t do math anything but math thank you

  52. Great write up and awesome informative but simple information! I plan on starting my cut soon and I was hoping you could double check my numbers for me. Right now I’m 165lbs and 5′ 10″.
    2000 calories
    248 grams of protein (1000 calories)
    45 grams of fat (400 calories)
    150 grams of carbs (600 calories)
    I feel like the fat is pretty high for a cut like the one I’m going for. What do I need to adjust and thank you in advance!

    • Hey Millarg,
      It actually seems pretty good to me, but what’s your body type before I give you any instructions?
      Do you hold gain weight/hold onto fat easily, but find it hard to lose weight?
      Were you always a skinny child?
      Or is gaining muscle and burning fat pretty easy for you?

      • I was always somewhat skinny as a kid, but gained a little weight throughout my teen years. As soon as I started eating right and lifting I lost 20 lbs of fat really quickly and put on a good amount of muscle. I would have to say I’m a mesomorph to be literal. Thanks for the reply!

        • If you’re a mesomorph, hitting the gym 5x a week with moderate to heavy weights, and doing 1-2x a week cardio, and keeping your diet clean you should see great progress. Mesomorph is the ideal bodytype man, count your blessings! 🙂

  53. should I recalculate macros weekly or should I use the same macros till I stop loosing weight. btw good explanation. thanks in advance

    • Hey Hitesh,

      Recalculate when you stop losing weight. Weekly would be way too much work!

      Sorry for the delay, my website has an error that took a few days to fix. I couldn’t login!
      Take care, feel free to ask any other questions.

  54. Awesome write up can’t wait to start it. Just to double check my breakdown (like everyone else :p) I’m 5’9 165

    3000 calories a day:
    250 grams protein (1000 calories)
    66 grams of fat (600 calories)
    350 grams of carbs (1400)

    I see a lot of people saying doesn’t matter what you eat as long as it fits your macros. I still can’t shake to think that eating healthier foods would be a better option, what’s your opinion? Also, is there any app you’d recommend to track your daily macros progress? Thanks again for the article and how active you are on it. That’s rare to see and pretty awesome on your part

    • Hey JonV,

      First, I wouldn’t agree with those people saying it doesn’t matter what you eat. At least not 100%

      Here’s a great video by Layne Norton about that subject though:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6H2edyPLU8

      I don’t really use an app to track my macros, I just use a pen and paper to write down my meals.
      I’m kind of old-fashioned 🙂

  55. Lindsay Jones | March 8, 2013 at 7:31 pm |

    Oh and if I had to guess I’d say I am either a mesomorph or a endomorph. I say mesomorph because I pretty much can eat what I want lol and I don’t consider myself chubby but idk mesomorph is my guess but I could be wrong. I’m also a lot like my dad. I have muscle and I’m strong. My thigh muscles are ridiculous lol. I’ve always heard people say I have an athletic build if that helps. It would be awesome if you could get me on the right track with food.

    • Lucky! Sounds like my girlfriend, she eats pretty much whatever she wants and still has that “Victoria Secret” body type. The good thing about girls like you two is that with just a little work you can seriously have an amazing body, like a model/bikini competitor body within 6 months. My cousin was exactly the same way, she became a professional IFBB and WBFF bikini competitor pretty quickly because of her body type.

      I’d love to help you design a meal plan, like I said, I just launched this service on my website where I design custom workout routines and meal plans
      and I’d love to have you as a customer.

      If it’s something you’re interested in please shoot me an email anthmyers@gmail.com

      I’ll hook ya up 🙂

  56. Lindsay Jones | March 8, 2013 at 7:21 pm |

    Lol thanks Anthony! I’m not really sure if I’m carb sensitive or not. I’ve worked out faithfully for a couple years now doing beachbody workouts mainly. P90x, insanity, pump, etc. recently started doing hot yoga weekly and some boxing. I’ve always tried to eat good, but I guess good hasn’t been good enough so recently I’ve started learning about clean eating, what eating clean really is, and macros. Maybe that’s where my problem is. I guess 30/30 carbs/fat is where I should start? Since I’m not sure on how sensitive I am.

  57. Lindsay Jones | March 7, 2013 at 1:27 pm |

    Hey Anthony, I’m 25 years old, I weigh 125, and I’m 5’1′ – 5’2′. I’m guessing I want to cut since I want to lose a little bit of weight and gain definition. Correct me if I’m wrong there. My calorie intake to cut is 1500 calories. Since proteins are supposed to be 1-1.5g per pound of body weight I have set my protein at 40% which puts me at 150g of protein that’s outs me at more than my body weight but not quite 1.5. Now for fat and carbs I wasn’t sure how to go about that. I ended up doing 30% fat and 30% carbs. Do you think that is a good idea or should I cut fat to 20% and make carbs 40%, please help lol. I would also like some help on meal planning. It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • There’s no fire, relax Lindsay, we’re gonna get you in shape! Lol :).

      Okay, first the protein is fine at 40%, but before I tell you to increase/decrease your fat/carbs I’d like to know more about your body type
      are you the type that gains weight easily if you eat carbs? If so, go with 30/30 fat/carbs, if you’re not carb sensitive you could do 40 carb and 20 fat.

      Make sure the fat is coming from a healthy source Lindsay.

      Or you can just have me do all the work for you 😉
      https://www.muscleclass.com/custom-plans/

      I just launched this service 2 days ago and I have had over 10 requests already! I’m so excited
      if you’d like to get a custom plan check that page out or write me an email to anthmyers@gmail.com
      and we will get you all taken care of.

  58. Well I’m shocked i got the math right haha but sure would love some help with a meal plan

  59. Hey there i was wondering if you could help me out with my Macros that i worked out, i think i may of gone wrong somewhere as I’m terra-bad at math haha here is what i worked out…

    My aim is to Cut –
    Im 210lbs and around 20% BF
    2520 Cal
    315g Protein
    56g Fat
    189g Carbs

    Is that right or have i indeed messed something up? any and all advice / help would be greatly appreciated!

    Also is it ok to get the majority of my Protein from shakes?

    Thanks

  60. Hi I need some help! I am currently 117lbs and I workout almost everyday cardio/lifting. I am trying to gain lean muscle but I wouldn’t consider it bulking. I also currently eat 1800 cals 231gram protein 156g carbs and 34g fat. 50%protein 34%carbs and 16% fats. I want to know what my macros should really be looking like! THANK YOU!

    • Hey Shannon, I just seen this comment. I usually get an email whenever somebody leaves a comment on my site, but I haven’t got notified the past few comments. IF you want to email me, I can help you devise a plan. My email is anthmyers@gmail.com

  61. Fernando Mares | February 11, 2013 at 5:53 am |

    Sorry to bother you again, I’m just a dude who wants to better himself haha. so i am trying to get all of my macro nutrients down, but I feel that i find myself outweighing Either Carbs/Protein/Fats (not drastically) on meal plans. Is it ok that 1 is slightly higher on grams than the other or should everything be on point. I find it difficult since foods tend to have either more protein than carbs and vice versa. Thanks again Anthony!!

    • Hey dude, no problem, you’re not bothering me. This is my passion 🙂 I’m happy to help.

      It doesn’t have to be pinpoint, it’s totally okay if 1 is slightly higher in grams than the other.

  62. Fernando Mares | February 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm |

    So i’m planning to go on a cut, my body weight is 178 lbs. i followed your key guide to get my calorie intake. daily protein 213 grams, 854 calories from protein. 213 grams of carbs, 854 calories from carbohydrates. 47 grams of fat, 427 calories coming from fats. is this correct? and also if it isn’t much to ask, do you have any great foods for cutting?
    Thanks!!

    • Hey Fernando!

      That sounds perfect, man 🙂

      As for foods – chicken breast, brown rice, oatmeal, protein shake, nuts, vegetables, eggs, lean beef such as steak, venison, etc, fish if you like it (i hate it!),
      hot sauce, zero calorie drinks like water and crystal light.

      That stuff get’s boring quick, so my girlfriend and I try to cook something from this cookbook at least once a week:
      https://www.muscleclass.com/bc-akitchen

      • Fernando Mares | February 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm |

        Okay thank you so much! now when on a cut should cardio be done and should i recalculate my macros as i lose weight.

        • Fernando,

          I would definitely do cardio on a cut. If it’s hard for you to lose weight, sprinting is amazing for fat loss. I also love jumping rope, and HIIT training.
          Give those a shot 🙂

          Yes, recalculate your calories as you lose weight. Once a month should be good.

  63. Do I calculate my Macros based on my Total Body Weight or my Lean Body Mass?

    • Great question, and definitely something I should note in the article. In my example it was based on total body weight, because not many people know their LBM, and if they do know their LBM, they don’t usually have access to the equipment to continually test their LBM as they gain/lose weight. If you know your LBM, I would definitely calculate macros based on LBM, that would be ideal. That way you’re not taking into consideration extra weight that you DONT want to feed.However, calculating based on total body weight will work fine for most people. Rmember, any calculator or nutrition formula is only going to give you a ballpark estimate anyway. You need to watch your body, measure, and make changes as needed as you go along.

      I hope that helps Jason.

  64. Hey Anthony I’m 6.1 and 200 lbs. I have decent muscle and size already but I need to make 2013 my year!! So Im around 20% body fat just estimate as I don’t no and I was just wondering weather to cut now or bulk then cut for the summer as it’s still off season (winter)?? Is there any way you could sort out a eating plan to follow…. Thanks

    • Hey Luke, thanks for the comment, dude!

      I’d definitely suggest you cut. My recommendation is that if you’re over 15% body fat you concentrate on leaning down first
      before bulking up and adding even more unnecessary fat.

      I’d love to help you design an eating plan.

      Send me an email to anthmyers@gmail.com and we can talk about how I can help you.

      Thanks again dude,

      Best of luck to you!

      – Anthony Myers.

  65. Hi, please help I dont know what I’m doing here with my diet .. I’m 5’2 .. 100 lbs (55 kilos) and want to bulk.. But without getting fat or being able to maintain and have nice abs.. Ive gain weight before but ate pretty much anything .. Please help me understand how to build mass but with nice abs and no love handles

    • Hey Vanessa, I’d love to help you.

      Could you send me an email to anthmyers@gmail with a little more details about your goals?
      I can definitely help you put together a plan to achieve your goals.

  66. Hi there, thanks for the helpful article!
    So I calculated 1392 for cutting (I am 116 lbs; 160cm tall)
    Do I stick to this caloric intake regardless of whether its a training day or rest day? Or do I eat back calories I burn through exercise/eat less calories on rest days?

    I know everyone says not to go under 1200 cal..and with regard to macronutrients is it based on the percentages 40:40:20 or do I keep protein constant e.g. At 1.5g of protein per pound body weight?

    Thanks. 🙂

  67. Antonio! Help!

    Alright: 44 years old, 190 lbs, 5’10” med build

    By the math for bulking up:

    3420 calories (190×18)
    190g/760 calories protein (190 x 1) = 22%
    76g/684 calories fat (3420x.20) = 20%
    494g/1976 calories carbs = 58%

    Is that a good ratio? (Not the 40/20/40) If my protein was 40% of my calories, I’d have to consume 342g, right?! ([3420x.4]/4)

    Is that ratio so far off because I’m bulking? Or did I mess something up?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Hey Rich,

      If you’re bulking it’s totally okay to increase the carbs and decrease the protein a little bit, so yes your
      ratios would work as well.

      I find that I need the most protein when I’m cutting, actually – to help preserve the muscle I worked so hard to earn.
      A lot of people lose muscle and fat at a 1:1 ratio when they try cutting for the first time. That’s no good.

      I try to let everybody know that any formula or calculator is only a ballpark estimate. I’ve actually been considering
      reworking this article to make it more detailed based on an individual goals

      I’d aim for 225-250g of protein and a little less carbs than 494g, just to keep the fat from creeping up on your belly while you bulk.

  68. Hey, i got a question. With what number should i calculate my maintenence weight?? would it be 15?

  69. Alfie Mcnamara | November 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm |

    fantastic! great read, really enjoyed it… shall be starting monday after i have got my calculator out over weekend!! thank you

    • Start tomorrow! Monday never comes 🙂

      Something that will definitely help you eith the eating portion (the most important part) of
      fitness/bodybuilding is this cook book. I’ve recommended it 100x and I’ll recommend it 100 more.
      Everybody that has ever downloaded it has sent me an email and thanked me for the recommendation.

      It’s simply awesome! My highest recommendation

      check it out here:
      https://www.muscleclass.com/muscle-building-cook-book

  70. Thanks for the advice! Yes I am cautious of eating dirty! I only eat one cheat meal a week, funnily enough its usually a chinese buffet or similar! I will increase my ‘dirty meals’ and change my shake to milk. My breakfasts are pretty bad as im in a rush to get to work. But will attempt to wake up earlier. When you say chocolate milk i guess you mean chocolate milkshake?

    I highly appreciate your advice hopefully i can come back in a few months and show you some progress! Keep up the good work.

  71. 19, 77kg (170lbs?), 6ft

    8am – 1 boiled egg, toast and jam whey protien shake.

    9.30am – porridge

    11am – Tuna sandwhich with white bread

    12pm – same as above

    1.30pm – lunch (usually pasta and chicken, rice and chicken or lamb meat and potatoes or spag)

    2.30/3pm – flap jack or apple coated in peanut butter

    4.30pm – fruit such as grapes plum. If its another apple il coat it in peanut butter

    5.45pm – banana before i hit gym and whey protien shake again

    7pm – whey protien again and dinner – what ever mum cooks similar to my lunch e.g. Rice and chicken with spoonfuls of yoguart, spaghetti, rice, lamb, and other traditional turkish food.

    10pm – deserts and then bed.

    Hope this helps, thanks for your help.

    • Hey Dervis,

      Sorry for the delay.

      If your goal is to gain weight I’d do a few things things.

      First, eat a bigger breakfast. 1 egg is NOTHING. I usually eat 4-5 whole eggs at a time.

      Second, add more calories to the protein shake by mixing with MILK (not water)

      Third, don’t be afraid to eat dirty. It sounds like your body is able to handle a lot of calories
      without gaining too much weight. I have the opposite body, if I look at food I gain weight!

      If you’re really finding it hard to gain weight, you could try extreme strategies like hitting
      the buffet once a week or doing GOMAD (Gallon Of Milk a Day).

      I’ve never done GOMAD, but I’ve heard good things. When I was trying to bulk up I would drink a lot
      of chocolate milk after my workouts. It’s an easy 800 calories, I would just stop at a grocery store
      and grab a 1 liter of chocolate milk and drink it on my way home. Lots of protein, it taste delicious,
      lots of calories, and it’s cheap.

  72. Thanks for your reply. Basically i dont know what im doing wrong. Im into my second year of training about 15months in total and passed 3 months i dont seem to be gaining weight. i havent changed anything as it seemed to be working. It defo not my routine as i change it every 6weeks and i train hard and smart. Im sure its my diet but i dont know what? Any advice?

  73. Everything became quite clear after reading the entire post, wrote down my numbers but I figured I could write them here as well.
    I went to another calculation site before and their results were a bit different, but they didn’t consider bulks/cuts, just “insert your kg/lb” and it calculated it, so this seems more proper.

    The other site told me ~2000Cals, ~175gProt, ~43gFats & ~220gCarbs.

    Your calculations:
    I am 21, 5.7ft, weight 70kg (155lbs), bulking.
    Cals: 2790
    Prot: 230g (40% should land on 279 though)
    Fat: 62g (Exactly 20%)
    Carbs: 328g (40% again on 279)

    Prot Cals: 920 (230*4)
    Fat Cals: 558 (62*9)
    Carbs Cals: 1312 (328*4)
    Total: 2790

    Should I go for 230g of protein and 328g of carbs which would be a more dirty bulk, or go with 279g of protein and 279g of carbs which would be more of a lean bulk in your opinion?

    Long post I know, just wanted to get everything in.

    • Hey Daniel,

      Don’t worry about the long post. That’s what I’m here for.

      Personally, I don’t like “dirty” bulking. I try to add the least
      amount of additional calories possible that it takes to see results.

      No sense of gaining extra fat, ya know?

      So I’d go with the lean bulk.

      You’re going to see results either way. If you do the dirty bulk I’d
      throw in 1-2 days of light cardio just to keep the fat at bay.

  74. Great read! Don’t know why it’s taken me soo long to find this! Not sure if I have done this right. I thought it would be alot more?

    I am 19, 6ft weight 76kg (167lbs). I have been training for a year and before I started I was 60kg. However I have been stuck on 77kg for about 3months I eat every hour and half as much as poss but doesn’t seem to be helping. Used your above formula is this right:

    3,006 cals to bulk

    PROTIEN: 250grams of protein a day (that takes up 1k cals)

    FAT: 20% of 3k cal = 600 cal = 66grams of fat a day

    CARBS: 1,400 remaining = 350grams a day

    Please help would highly appreciate it. Just very frustrated I am not growing. After spending a good year at the gym and saw massive change its a total mind f^&^&

  75. I am going to do a cut. I am at 240# right now and am 6 feet tall. I want to cut to 200 and then bulk back up. Would a 40/40/20 macro diet work well for this cut or would a CKD carb cycling diet be better?

    Am looking to cut to 200 while preserving as much LBM as I can. Then bulk up to 225 and stay around there,

    I will also be doing 5×5 2 times a week with hypertrophy 2-3 times a week also. PHAT Training. Doing cardio after workout 2-3 times a week. And HIIT sprints once a week.

    What would you recommend?

    Thanks

    • If you can handle the carb cycling I’d say it’s worth a try. I know a lot of people that have had great experience doing a carb cycling or intermittent fasting program resulting in fast fat loss.
      My first recommendation is always to follow a simple calorie deficit and perform cardio on a regular basis. If you’re still having trouble dropping weight after 4 weeks I’d give intermittent fasting/carb cycling a shot.

      Good like Rey

  76. Hi, Thanks for the great article. Ok, so I am looking to bulk(and already inadvertently have by a few pounds the past 6 weeks) based on the calculations here, i need to consume 2,718 calories a day (151 x 18) is there a problem if I go OVER this number or should I shoot for this number approximately? Thanks for any further advice! -Jeff

    • Hey Jeff,

      A couple of things to consider…

      First, when dealing with any sort of ‘calorie calculator’ or ‘formula’ you need to take the results with a grain of salt.
      EveryBODY (literally) is different. It’s going to take some experimentation to find your sweet spot. My formula gives an
      awesome ballpark estimate, but you should track your progress closely and alter your calorie intake based on your results.

      Whether you are trying to cut or bulk, I only recommend increasing or decreasing your calories by 100-250 calories at a time.
      No need to increase or decrease by 500-1000 calories.

      Second, since your goal is to bulk up I want you to understand that any bulking period is going to mean a bit of extra fat added.
      If you go higher than 2,718 calories you will be fine, but expect a bit of fat to accompany the new found muscle you will be adding.
      Honestly, it’s nothing to worry about. You can get rid of it with a bit of cardio when you’re ready.

      I just wanted to make you aware. So, yes, you can go over 2,718. However I wouldn’t go in excess of 3,500.

      I hope that makes sense Jeff 🙂

  77. Hey i weigh 150 lbs i’m trying to bulk so my calorie intake is 2700 but i tried it with 1g of protein for every 1lb of weight and my numbers didn’t make sense so i tried 1.5g per 1 lbs and it still didn’t work out quite right so heres my current numbers: 225g protein 60g fat and 315g carbs any feedback at all would be a big help i’m not exactly a mathematician.

  78. Hey Anthony, I’m pretty excited about continuing with this diet for a while to come and seeing how my body reacts to it. One question though.
    I’ve been told by a few people that your body can only process 30g of protein at a time, but I should be taking in 364g a day. How should I do this?

    • First, that’s false your body can process more than 30g. I remember hearing the same myths when I first started working out.
      Second, split the 364 up into 5-6 meals. So each time you eat it would be ~60g of protein or so.

  79. This was a very helpful article, thanks for all the help information!!! I am currently starting a 4-5 week cutting phase; so far I am aiming at 2,000 calories, which after my own adjustments comes out to: 191.25 g protein, 209.75 g carbs, and finally 44 g for fat. I used a set protein multiplier of 1.25g times my weight, 153 lbs, then I calculated my fat, then put the rest into carbs. Do you think a cutting phase should be higher in protein and lower in carbs, or am I at a good starting point? I am mainly doing a cutting phase in order to shed a little body fat from my midsection, so that my abs will show more.

  80. Hello Anthony,
    Just started trying to understand all this. What I’m going for is increase muscle while decreasing by fat %. I think this is considered bulking or?? Anyhow, I’m at 112lbs so if I follow the 40/40/20 it would be:

    2016 calories
    402 cals/45g Fat
    807 cals/202g Protein
    807 cals/202g Carbs

    I honestly don’t eat that much in a day.. Just seems like a lot to me!

    • Hey Claire,

      It’s honestly not a lot if you’re training hard in the gym with weight son a regular basis
      Give it a shot and track your progress.

      Also, don’t forget I do custom diets and workout routines via email.
      If you’re interested all you have to do is email me at anthmyers@gmail.com

  81. Hi, i just want to start off by saying thank you for your time and effort you’ve put into this website. it has really put the confusion in my mind at rest. but i just have one question for you.

    So i’ve just come off my bulk and am ready to start my cut, but i’ve heard that before you start a cut you should first start off with your maintenance calories for like 2 weeks so that you don’t lose your gains that you’ve just put on! But the thing is, i would like to know your method on finding your maintenance calories and also how much Carbs, Protein and Fats you should be consuming during maintenance.

    Thank you and have a great day mate!

    • I always keep the % the same. So carbs would remain at 40%, however the maintenance calories I would do Bodyweight x 15 (Again, like I’ve said over and over it’s just going to give you an estimate)

  82. Gerra Stephens | September 22, 2012 at 6:00 pm |

    Thank you, you explained this very well.

  83. Hey man thanks for the info, hopefully this will help my bulking more! Follow if you have twitter @ColinWood08 🙂

  84. Thanks again man!

  85. Gotcha. Thanks man! I think I will try it your way. That way, if I happen to fall a little short calorie wise on certain days, I’ll still be in a good area. I was wondering, however, about including cardio to minimize fat gains. I am using the Expert 4 day work out in the Fitness Buddy app and using MyFitnessPal to keep track of my macros. In short, how many days do you think I should I run before or after my workout and should I run as long as it takes to burn the fat calories? I appreciate your quick feedback, keep up the good work!

    • Cool, glad I could help man. You’re going to be seeing progress in no time!

      About cardio…

      If you gain and hold onto weight easily, like me, I’d do some low to medium intensity cardio 2-3 times a week for 15-20 minutes.
      Something like the stair stepper, walking on the treadmill on an incline, low intensity jogging, etc.

      If you find it hard to put on size, like a hard gainer, I wouldn’t do much cardio at all. Maybe 1 or 2 cardio sessions just to keep
      your heart strong. Something low intensity low walking on an incline.

  86. Sorry be that guy, but I just want to make sure this is correct. First off, I’m a 23, 6′, 187lb guy who is on a workout plan for isolated body parts 4 days a week. By your math I’ve arrived at the following:

    Calories: 3366
    Carbs (40%): 337g
    Protein (40%): 337g
    Fat (20%): 75g

    isn’t that an awful lot of protein? will my body even use it all?
    i remember reading something to the extent of 1 gram of protein per pound you weigh, or is that wrong? i’m just very excited about bulking right this fall for serious results in the spring. also, i won’t be super heavy after all this eating will i? (read: i can only wear sweatpants, ha) Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Hey,

      You don’t have to be sorry! A few people were a bit confused.

      I’ll try to clarify a bit:

      First, remember – any formula or calculator is just going to give you a good starting point.
      If you feel like 3,336 calories is too much you could try multiplying your bodyweight
      by 16 or 17 and see if you are gaining at a steady pace. Then decide whether or not
      to increase the calories.

      Honestly though, I don’t think 3,336 calories for a bulk seems like a ton.
      I understand that it’s not the overall calorie intake, but the amount of protein
      that worries you, so let’s break it down.

      The formula says you need to consume 3,336 calories to bulk.
      40% of that is 337g of protein.

      Some sources do recommend 1-1.5g of protein for each lb of body weight.
      According to those methods you should consume 280g of protein.

      And really, that’s only 57g of protein less than my formula.

      That’s like one extra piece of chicken and a whey protein shake.

      Let’s go deeper…

      My formula recommends 3,336 total calories to bulk.
      Let’s say you combine my formula and the other formulas.

      After consuming the 280g they recommend, you still need to consume
      another 228 calories to hit your daily calorie requirements.

      Wouldn’t you agree that it’s better to make sure those 228 additional calories come
      from a lean protein source like an extra piece of chicken, fish, steak
      or a protein shake rather than getting those 228 additional calories from
      a carb or fat source?

      They’ve got to come from somewhere right?

  87. jjsologaistoa@comcast.net | August 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm |

    You are awesome! Thank you so much for responding and I’m glad to be on board… Hey, I act like a LADY but train like a man. 😉

    PS. Nice guns btw.

    Have a wonderful weekend. J

  88. Ok… Hope I did this right. I weigh 137. I’m trying to cut.

    Total intake calories: 1640
    Total protein calories: 640
    Total fat calories: 328
    Total carbs calories: 672

    This doesnt look right to me. Cut me slack, I’m a woman not a math expert. 🙂

    Thank you in advance

    • Hey Jeannie, thanks for the comment! It’s nice to have some women around here haha.

      Those numbers actually look perfect. I think the reason you feel like it doesn’t look right is because you haven’t converted the calories to grams yet.

      For example, you’re not going to consume 640grams of protein! That’d be crazy.

      So what you need to do is divide each of those numbers you gave me, by the number of calories in each gram of the macro-nutrient.

      Total Protein: 640 calories / 4 = 160grams of protein
      Total Fat: 328 calories / 9 = 36grams of fat
      Total Carbs: 672 calories / 4 = 168grams of carbs

      Do those numbers sound more realistic? 🙂

      Remember, everybody is different. Depending on your body type, daily activity, etc you might find out that you’re losing weight to quickly, or not quickly enough. In which case, make small adjustments to your daily calorie intake. I’d start with consuming 200 calories less if you’re not losing weight, or 200 calories more if you’re losing weight too rapidly.

  89. What about maintaining bodyweight once you have reached your desired weight ? Would you still use the 40/40/20 split ?

    • Yes, but those numbers are likely to change slightly as you gain/lose weight.

      So if you started off at 250lbs and you reach 185lbs you’re going to get a different number of daily calories, protein, fats, and carbs.

      Also, remember This is just a really good estimate for a starting point. Based on your body type you may find that you gain or lose weight easily and actually require more or less calories to maintain your body weight.

      If you do the calculations, but are still gaining/losing weight when you want to be maintaining… increase/decrease your calories by a small number (250) until your weight stays consistent.

      Hopefully that wasn’t too confusing 🙂

  90. I am about to start a bulk,
    would it be better to do a 50carb/ 30 protein/ 20 fat diet
    or would you suggest the 40/40/20?

    • Bumping the carbs up to 45-50 should be fine.

      However, what is your body-type?

      If you tend to put on weight easily, I wouldn’t go to crazy with the carbs.
      You want to add quality lean muscle, not fat.

      40/40/20 is a great starting point that I recommend to all of my readers and customers,
      but every body is different. So you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with the percentages a little
      bit and see how YOUR body reacts to the changes.

      I hope this helps! 🙂

  91. I did the math and I’m a tad confused. I’m 5’6″ 139lbs and 2502 cals sounds really high, is it not? You’re the pro here and I’m the wanna be… Let me know … I’ve figured out : 2502 cals, Protein: 634.4 cals or 159.85g, Fat: 500.4 cals or 55.6g, Carbs: 1362.2 cals or 340.55 g. This seems off no?

    • Hey Seth,

      Those numbers look about right, yes.

      What did you choose as a goal? Bulking or cutting?

  92. Is this the same for females?

  93. Thank you so much. Very easy to understand, especially for someone like me. *Bookmarked this page.

  94. I’m sorry but your telling me that theirs 4 calories per gram of protein, 9 calories per gram of fat, and 4 calories per gram of carbs?

    • Hey Lester! Thanks for commenting.

      Yes, that is correct. Fat contains 9 calories. Protein & Carbohydrates contain 4 calories.

  95. Sir i cannot thank you enough for this incredibly simple but informative article. I can finally start planning my diet more carefully to see better gains.

  96. I second that, this is very helpful!

    • Hey Marvin,

      I’m glad you found this useful. Keep me posted on your results using this method.

  97. this is an exceptional guide keep up the good work

    • Hey Lekhu,

      I’m glad you liked it. thanks for the kind words 🙂

      Readers like you keep me going.

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