How to Properly Set Up Your Macros and Calories

Keeping your nutrition in check is one of the main things you should be focusing on in addition to training for reaching a specific fitness goal.

Whether you want to gain muscle and minimize fat gain or lose fat and maintain some muscle, understanding how to properly set up your macros/calories will help you do that as it will give you direction in regards to your nutrition.

Today, I will teach you how to properly set up your macros/calories so the food you eat works for you rather than against you.


Setting Up Your Calories

You can use a TDEE calculator to estimate your calorie/macro intake or you can also estimate it by using calorie intake equations like the one below.

Your weight x 14-16 (The more active you are, the closer to 16)1

+ 100-500 bulk // -100-500 cut

While this is merely a rough estimate of the calories you should be eating daily, it provides a good estimate of what your diet should look like in order to best optimize it for helping you reach your fitness goal.

Remember that your total calorie intake is influenced by four factors: Basal metabolic rate (BMR), physical activity, non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), and thermic effect of food. In other words, your daily calorie expenditure is constantly fluctuating, however, as long as you maintain a consistent intake of calories, the fluctuations will have no effect on your progress.

It is important you understand how many calories your body needs so that you understand how much food you should be eating in order to reach your goal or simply maintain health.

Terms

Basal Metabolic Rate: The total calories your body burns while at rest (base calories).

Non-exercises Activity Thermogenesis: The total calories your body burns from everyday movements/tasks (unintentional calories).

Thermic Effect of Food: The total calories your body burns from digestion, absorption, and disposal of the food you eat (eating calories).

Physical Activity: The total calories your body burns from intentional exercise. (intentional calories).

For more information on how your body burns calories, click here.

Setting Up Your Macros

You can also use a TDEE calculator for estimating your macros or you can calculate them based on the total calories you’re intaking, your goals, and/or recommended intake.

Start by estimating your protein intake2:

Sedentary | 0.36g/lbs (0.8g/kg)

Moderately active | 0.45g-0.68g/lbs (1.0g-1.5g/kg)

Active | 0.68g-1g/lbs (1.5g-2.2g/kg)

Next, your fat intake3:

0.3g-0.5g/lbs (0.7g-1.1g/kg)

Finally, carbs, divide your remaining calories by 4

remaining calories/4

Below is an example of what the macros of someone who is trying to build muscle and lose/minimize fat look like.

2,250 total calories

120g protein (0.8g-1g/lbs)

290g carbs (remaining calories)

67g fat (0.3g-0.5g/lbs)

P (4 calories) C (4 calories) F (9 calories)4

While this is a rough estimate of what someone’s macros might look like, it provides a good ball park idea of what macros they should be eating for their specific goal.

Remember that not all macros are equal, the macros from high processed foods are less nutritious for your body than the macros from whole foods.

It is important you understand the macros you should be eating as it will give you an idea of the foods/nutrients that should be making up most of your calories.

Always find a macro split that works for you, so if you happen to enjoy more fatty foods, decrease your carb intake and increase your fat intake; maintaining a sustainable and balanced diet for your body is what will allow you to make food work for you.

Terms

Protein: A macronutrient that is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass.

Carbohydrate: A macronutrient that provides you with energy for daily tasks and are the primary fuel source for your brain’s high energy demands.

Fat: A macronutrient that is essential for giving your body energy and providing support for cell growth and producing hormones; fats also help your body absorb some nutrients.

Conclusion

You can use a TDEE calculator to estimate your calorie/macro intake or you can do it by using calorie intake equations like the one below.

Your weight x 14-16 (The more active you are, the closer to 16)

+ 100-500 bulk // -100-500 cut

You can also use a TDEE calculator for estimating your macros or you can calculate them based on the total calories you’re intaking, your goals, and/or recommended intake.

Start by estimating your protein intake:

Sedentary | 0.36g/lbs (0.8g/kg)

Moderately active | 0.45g-0.68g/lbs (1.0g-1.5g/kg)

Active | 0.68g-1g/lbs (1.5g-2.2g/kg)

Next, your fat intake:

0.3g-0.5g/lbs (0.7g-1.1g/kg)

Finally, carbs, divide your remaining calories by 4

remaining calories/4

Although the calculations will never be completely accurate, properly setting up your calories and macros allows for you to get a good idea as to how much you should be eating.


Was this blog helpful?

Share your thoughts or questions! I’d love to read what you have to say and answer any of your questions!


Links

Benefits of Protein by Neil Osterwiel

Benefits of Carbohydrates

Benefits of Fat


The reader assumes full responsibility for consulting a qualified health professional regarding health conditions or concerns, and nutritional advice before applying the content on this site to themselves. Samuel Navarro will not assume any liability for direct or indirect losses or damages that may result from the use of information contained in this post. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health.


sources

1https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/calorie-counting-made-easy

2https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-protein-per-day

3https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11208-fat-what-you-need-to-know#:~:text=The%20dietary%20reference%20intake%20(DRI,because%20they%20provide%20health%20benefits.

4https://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/how-many-calories-are-one-gram-fat-carbohydrate-or-protein#:~:text=Carbohydrates%20provide%204%20calories%20per,provides%209%20calories%20per%20gram.

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