Hey. Hi. Hello!
I want to apologize in advance but this is going to be a pretty math-heavy post. I was never a math person and definitely would not consider myself one now, but sometimes math is just unavoidable. Also as a little sidenote I need everyone to know that on the day of typing this my h key is messed up and it’s 10 times harder to type.
Anyway, today we’re breaking down the concept of macronutrients, and how you can calculate your own macros for whatever your fitness goals and lifestyle habits may be! Yes, there are a million and one different macro calculators out there on the internet that can do this for you without all the math, but each one gives a wildly different breakdown than the next, so it’s really impossible to know what to do.
Before we dig in, let’s talk about what macronutrients actually are. I’m assuming you’ve all heard of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates before, right? Well then you know what macros are! Basically they’re the main nutrients that are in every food we eat. The idea of tracking macros is a concept of setting daily targets for yourself to consume a certain number of grams of each one of these three main nutrients.
Now let’s dig into the calculations. Before you can figure out your macronutrient goals, you need to figure out your daily caloric intake goal. In order to do this you need to calculate your Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) and your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
Your Resting Energy Expenditure is the energy it takes your body to run without any movement. The calculations to find these differ by
For Males: 10 x weight in kg + 6.25 x height in cm – 5 x age in years +5
For Females: 10 x weight in kg + 6.25 x height in cm – 5 x age in years – 161
After you’ve figured out what your REE is (and don’t forget about your PEMDAS), you’re ready to move onto your TDEE. To figure out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (aka your caloric daily target), you multiply by one of four different factors, depending on how active your lifestyle is.
Sedentary is REE x 1.2, Light activity is REE x 1.375, Moderate activity is REE x 1.55, and Very Active is REE x 1.725. The more active you are on a daily basis (aka how often you work out in a week or how
My TDEE looks like this:
REE = 10 x 63 + 6.25 x 158 – 5 x 24 – 161
REE = 630 + 987.5 – 120 – 161
REE = 1336.5
For TDEE, I would consider myself to be very active, as I work out at least 5 days a week, walk to work, and spend 8 hours a day on my feet at work. As such I’ll multiply by 1336.5 by 1.725 for a TDEE of 2305.46
Now, if your fitness goals are simply to maintain your weight then you would stop here, as your TDEE would be equivalent to your daily caloric intake. However, your goals may be weight loss or weight gain. In this case, simply add or subtract 20% to your TDEE (20% is considered the healthy range as you start your fitness journey).
I want to lose weight at the moment, so I would do: 2305.6 – (2305.6 x 0.2) to get a daily calorie goal of 1844.37, which is now the basis for how we’ll calculate our daily protein, fat, and carbohydrate intake.
2305.6 – (2305.6 x 0.2) to get a daily calorie goal of 1844.37, which is now the basis for how we’ll calculate our daily protein, fat, and carbohydrate intake.
Now comes the hard part. Unfortunately, there’s no universal percentage for how you should break down your intake in terms of these three macros. Instead, there’s a range that is considered “safe.” That would be 45% – 65% for carbs, 10% – 35% from protein, and 20% – 35% from fat.
Note: You can pick your percentages based on lifestyle or diets, but always make sure that the sum of all three add up to 100% once you’re satisfied with your values.
Once that’s done you’ll multiply your calculated TDEE/calorie intake by these percentages, then divide this value by the caloric value for each macro. These values are 4 calories for 1g of protein, 4 calories for 1g of carbohydrates, and 9 calories for 1g of fat.
So what would this all look like? Let’s suppose I decide on 30% for protein, 25% for fats, and 45% for carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates: 1844.37 x 0.45 = 830 / 4 = 208 g carbohydrates
Protein: 1844.37 x 0.30 = 553 / 4 = 138 g protein
Fat: 1844.37 x 0.25 = 461 / 9 = 51 g fats
There you have it! My daily intake targets are 1844 calories, 208g of carbohydrates, 138g of protein, and 51g of fat. It’s not too hard to figure out, and it’s all in your control! If I suddenly get a sedentary desk job or decide I want to do a low carb lifestyle I can work through these calculations to figure out new values as my life changes.
I hope this was helpful and not at all too arduous. Of course, macro calculators can be used, or you can just ask me to help you through it.
Until Next Time!