Setting up Calories and Macros for Weight loss
We know by now that for weight loss Calories IN have to be less than Calories OUT i.e. you need to eat less than your maintenance calories. Before giving out the formula for calculating the maintenance calories, I would like to be very clear that none of these formulas are a 100% accurate. Human body is not a closed system, it’s an open system, and so, there are a lot of factors which influence our metabolism day-to-day. But the good news is that we need not to be 100% accurate. We can start with a rough caloric intake figure and then adjust on a week-to-week basis. I’ll explain that later with an example
Males: Bodyweight in pounds X 15
Females: Bodyweight in pounds X 13
Let’s take a 70Kg male with a goal of losing weight.
His maintenance calories= 70 x 2.2 x 15 = 2310 Cal/day
How to Calculate Macros?
Macros or Macronutrients are Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins.
1 gram of Protein has 4 Calories.
1 gram of Carbohydrate has 4 Calories.
1 gram of Fat has 9 Calories.
Protein recommendations: 1 gram of Protein per pound of Bodyweight.
Fat recommendations: At least 0.3 grams per pound of bodyweight. You can definitely go for more. This is the minimum requirement for health purposes.
Carbohydrate recommendations: no such recommendations.
Completely depends on your lifestyle and personality. Once you have 1 g per pound of Protein and 0.3 gram per pound of fat, you can get rest of the calories from Carbs.
Let’s get back to our example.
So our target calories are 2000 Cal/day.
Protein requirement is 1 g per poundof BW i.e. 70x2.2= 154 g Protein/day
Calories from protein: 154 x 4 (1g of protein has 4 calories) = 616 cal
Fat requirement: 0.3 x 154 = 46 g/day
Calories from Fat: 46 x 9= 414 Cal
Now, we will add the Calories from fat and protein and subtract them from target calories.
Calories from Carbs: 2000 – (616+414) = 970 Cal
1 g of Carbs have 4 calories. So, Carb requirement comes out to be: 970/4 = 242g /day
To sum it up: Our 70 kg male will start his first week of a Cut at 2000 cal/day with macro distribution of 154g Protein, 242g of Carbohydrates and 46g of fat. You can definitely interchange the distribution of fats and carbohydrates but Protein must stay at 1 g per pound of bodyweight.
PS: I use myfitnesspal app to track calories with myself and my clients.
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