Step 2 – Calculating Macros

Macro Nutrient Breakdown

Most resources use percentages of total calories to provide guidance on the amount of carbs, proteins and fats (usually around 70% from fat, 20 % from protein and 10% from carbs). However, I do not believe the percentages are a useful starting point. Most recipes and packaged foods display proteins (for example) in grams and also make assumptions that as we change weight we need more/less carbs (which may not be the case). I propose to work with grams instead.

  • Carbs – 20 – 50 grams per day, Try 30 grams to begin with, see how you feel, and how you’re progressing (see measuring results below).
  • Protein -0.6 – 1 grams per pound (1.3 – 2.2 grams per kg) of body weight.  If your level of physical activity is high, go for the higher end as it will help to retain/ build muscle.
  • Fat – remaining calories from (good) fat.

Putting it all together

An example; Dave weighs 175lbs., is 35 years old, 6ft and is quite active (runs 1-2 times a week).

  • Total calories – 2445 calories
  • Carbs – 30 grams / 120 calories
  • Protein – 145 grams / 580 calories (using 0.8 g per lb. of body weight)
  • Fat – 193 grams / 1745 calories . Total Calories required MINUS (120+580 calories (from carbs + protein) , 1745 calories from fat required (9 calories per gram of fat, hence 1745 calories / 9 = 193 grams of fat required)

Everyone plays by different rules as everyone’s body is different; people come in all different shapes and sizes (and metabolisms). The above calculations are a starting point for you to adjust as you become more familiar with how your body is changing.

We are not aiming for perfection, instead we are aiming to get the nutritional inputs to be the best they can , without spending weeks tweaking and testing them all down to the last gram.