Alright, full disclosure, you are going to have to do a little math to calculate your macros. I promise it’s basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. No calculus or graphs. Your phone calculator will work just fine.
How to calculate your baseline calories:
Take your current weight and multiply it by 10. So if you weigh 150lbs your baseline would be 1500 calories (150x10).
However, this calculation is assuming that you aren’t moving at all. So to get a more accurate baseline we’ll use an activity multiplier based on your current activity level.
|LIFESTYLE & TRAINING FREQUENCY||ACTIVITY MULTIPLIER|
|Sedentary plus 3-6 days of weight lifting||1.3 – 1.6|
|Lightly active plus 3-6 days of weight lifting||1.5 – 1.8|
|Active plus 3-6 days of weight lifting||1.7 – 2.0|
|Very active plus 3-6 days of weight lifting||1.9 – 2.2|
So if you’re lightly active and training 3-6 days a week, which you will be if you’re following the program, your maintenance calories would be 2250 calories (1500x1.5) – 2700 calories (1500-1.8)
Calculating for fat loss
When losing fat we want to ensure that we’re preserving as much muscle as possible. If you lose weight too quickly you’ll be losing precious muscle along with the fat. Muscle takes more energy to maintain than fat which means if your body is low on energy (calories) it’s going to be quick to dump the high maintenance muscle which means burning fewer calories throughout the day. An ideal weight loss is roughly .5-1% bodyweight per week.
So for our 150lb example, she should be losing between .75-1.5lbs. per week. Anything more than that and she’s most likely losing muscle along with the fat.
If you drop your calories too low initially it’s going to be much harder to make adjustments when you hit a plateau. Plus who doesn’t want more food?
On that note, to calculate your starting calories for fat loss:
Since it takes roughly 3500 calories to gain or lose 1 pound take 3500 and multiply it by the amount of weight you should be losing per week.
For our 150lb example that would be 2625 (.75x3500)-5250 (1.5x3500)
Then divide those numbers by 7: 375-750 and that’s how many calories you need to subtract from your maintenance calories.
To keep the range small subtract the larger number, in this case, 750, from the end calorie range, 2700 and then subtract the smaller number, 375 from the lower calorie, 2250. Which gets you 1875-1950.I recommend going with 1900 so if you go slightly over or under on any day you’ll still be within range.
How to calculate macros.
Now that we’ve got our calories it’s time to figure out how to determine how many of those calories should come from protein, carbs, and fat.
Protein: Since protein is vital to maintaining muscle we want to keep this number on the higher range.1x Bodyweight in lbs. is a good starting point.
So for a 150lb woman that would be 150g of protein
Since protein has 4 calories per gram that’s 600 calories.
Fat: Take your remaining calories (1900-600=1300) and multiply by .3 to get your fat calories. 1300x.3=390 and divide that number by 9 since fat has 9 calories per gram. Which gets you 43g of fat.
Carbohydrate: Your remaining calories 910 (1300-390=910) will be your carbs. Carbs have 4 calories per gram so 910/4 gets you 227g of carbs.
Adjusting macros for preference
For performance reasons, I recommend keeping the carbs on the higher side. But if you prefer more fat that’s totally fine. Just make sure that you’re getting a minimum of .5g/lb of bodyweight.
75g of carbs for our 150lb example
If you prefer higher carbs make sure you’re getting at least .25g/lb of bodyweight.
37.5g of fat for our 150lb example