Macro Calculation Tutorial (YouTube)

The following example is the same example included at the end of the YouTube video below:

1. Jane calculates her BMR using an online BMR calculator (http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/) and is told her BMR is 1530. This means that even if Jane lays in bed and does nothing all day, she still burns 1530 calories.

2. Now, Jane has to account for her activity level because she actually doesn’t lay in bed all day. Now Jane is moderately active and exercises 4-5 days a week. She is going to multiply her BMR 1530 by 1.55 (this number is from the activity level chart below)

http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/harris-benedict-equation/ (link to the image above)

3. After multiplying 1530 x 1.55 Jane calculates that her TDEE is 2371. This means Jane burns on average 2371 calories a day.

4. If Jane wants to lose weight she needs to be in a deficit subtract some calories from her TDEE. If Jane decides to lose 1 pound a week she would subtract 500 calories which would leave her with 1871 calories to consume a day. *Remember starting with a smaller deficit like 300 is probably a better idea.

Now, what should her macros be?

5. Well, Jane weights 160 pounds so she will be consuming 160 grams of protein a day.

6. Jane enjoys carbs so she calculates that she will consume 0.4 grams of fat per pound of body weight. She multiplys 160 x 0.4 and gets 64. Jane will aim to eat 64 grams of fat.

7. Her remaining macros will be allotted for carbs. But how does she figure out how many grams? This is where the value of each macro comes into play.

Carbs = 4 cals      Protein = 4 cals     Fat = 9 cals

8. Jane takes what she knows about her macros this far. 160 grams of protein x 4 = 640. 640 calories of her 1871 calories will be reserved for protein

9. Jane then takes her fat macros, 64 and multiply them by 9.      64 x 9 = 576.            576 of her calories will be allotted to fat.

10. To figure out how many calories Jane has left over she will take her daily calories 1871 and subtract her 640 calories for protein and her 576 calories from fat. The answer is 655.

11. Jane then takes 655 and divides it by 4 because 1 gram of carbs is equal to 4 calories. 655/4 = 163. Jane should be eating 163 grams of carbs.

Janes macro break down is 160 P/ 64 F/ 163 C

This macro split might work really well for Jane, BUT she may also have to reassess how her macros are fueling her body in 2-3 weeks. This may result in her increasing her fat and decreasing her carbs or vice versa.

Comments 5

  1. Ayumi

    Hi Nikki! First off, I love your meal prep and workouts. I don’t follow them to a T, but they help me plan out what I’ll be meal prepping for the week.

    Question! I am a high school teacher in NYC, a Cross Country and Spring Track Coach. I usually run with the kids at practices except for when I have to take splits or just to monitor them to make sure they’re working hard. My commute is an hour door-to-door (but very little walking – most of this time is spent sitting on the bus and subway), I work out around 5-6 days/week, either running 5-12K or speed training, HIIT and/or strength training.

    My question is whether or not I should calculate using me being moderate, very or extra very active.

    I used to have an eating disorder, and sometimes the old mental mindset comes and goes, but for the majority of the time, my meals are very balanced. My main concern is that I may not be consuming enough calories to maintain my weight, strength and lifestyle. I do want to lose a bit of winter weight, but I’m not too concerned with that at the moment. Calculating my macros helps keep my eating disorder from returning because it’s a more concrete way of knowing what my body needs.

    Anyway, that was way longer than I expected. You’re awesome, and keep inspiring women to be strong!

  2. Post
    Author
    Nikki

    Hey Ayumi!

    I think that there is sometimes more to consider when deciding what activity level to select. Do you know how many calories you are eating now? Are you still hungry? Taking these into consideration and knowing where you start can make it easier to decide. I personally wouldn’t select “very active”. You may be better off selecting a number in between like 1.6 or 1.65. It is a lot easier to make decisions after analyzing how your macros are fueling your body and what is and isn’t working. There is no certain way to know which is the selection as everyone’s body and metabolism is different. I personally always select a less active number as it is easier to add more food to my day if necessary.

  3. Danika

    Hi Nikki,

    Thank you very much for your explanation.
    I do have a quick question for you: my main goal at the moment has nothing to do with my weight but rather wanting to gain muscle mass ( or tone up). I train 5-6 times a week since beginning of May and although I have been seeing a lot of progress, I haven’t really seen any physical changes/gains. Should I therefore be aiming to count macros to stay at my TDEE or increase my calories ? Thank you and keep the meal prep ideas coming 🙂

  4. Post
    Author
    Nikki

    When trying to gain strength I find eating in a slight surplus helpful. Also, the rep range at which you train at is crucial. I’d look at the Rep Set Bible online and look at the reps and sets they recommend for strength gains. Keep in mind that gaining muscle mass only shows up as toned muscles if you are lean enough for the muscles to have definition. Think about the super strong guys at the gym who are a little on the heavy side but are strong AF, they don’t necessarily have tones and defined arms despite having muscle mass and strength. This is often why bodybuilders bulk and then cut to reveal their muscles. Just something to think about =)

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