The Complete Guide to Calculating Your Macros for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain
Want to lose fat or build muscle but need help figuring out where to start calculating your macronutrients (protein, carbs, fat)? You’ve come to the right place.
Discover the step-by-step process for configuring your macros to reach your desired body composition. Follow these formulas and tips to optimize fat burning or pack on lean muscle mass.
What Are Macros and Why Do They Matter?
“Macros” refers to the three main macronutrients that provide calories:
The amounts and ratios of macros you eat directly impact your ability to lose fat or gain muscle. That’s because each macro serves different functions in the body:
– Protein – Builds and repairs muscle tissue
– Carbs – Provides energy for workouts and activity
– Fat – Supports hormone function and overall health
While total calories drive weight loss/gain, your macro splits determine whether that’s coming from fat or muscle. So, setting macros specifically for your goals is crucial.
How Macronutrients Work in Popular Diets
Different diets involve manipulating macros in various ways:
– Ketogenic Diet: Very high fat (70%), low carb (10%), moderate protein (20%). Forces the body to burn fats for fuel through ketosis.
– Zone Diet: Balanced – 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat. Focuses on nutrient density to optimize health.
– High Carb/Low Fat: High carb (60%), low fat (15%), moderate protein (25%). It can support active lifestyles, but overeating carbs is common.
There’s no universally “best” approach. The right plan depends on your lifestyle, preferences, and goals.
Before determining macros, you need to know your total calorie needs. Use our calculator or this formula:
Daily Calorie Needs = Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) x Activity Factor
– BMR: Your minimum calories burned through basic functions like breathing. Calculate yours here.
– Activity Factor: Accounts for your activity level. Sedentary = 1.2; Lightly Active = 1.375; Moderately Active = 1.55; Very Active = 1.725; Extremely Active = 1.9
Tip: Reduce calories by 250-500 daily to lose weight. Increase by 250-500 to gain weight.
How to Calculate Macros for Fat Loss
To burn fat, aim for the following macro ratios:
– Protein: 0.8-1g per pound of body weight (preserves muscle in deficit)
– Fat: 30% of total calories (supports hormone function)
– Carbs: Remainder of calories (provides workout fuel)
Here’s the formula:
- Set protein grams based on your goal weight. Ex: 150 lb person = 120-150g protein.
- Allot 30% of calories to fat. Ex: 2,000 calorie diet = 600 calories (67g) from fat.
- The remaining calories go to carbs. Ex: 2,000 total calories – 650 (protein) – 600 (fat) = 750 calories (188g) carbs.
Tip: Focus carbs around workouts for energy. Limit carbs in the evening.
How to Calculate Macros for Building Muscle
To maximize muscle growth, use these optimal macro ratios:
– Protein: 0.8-1g per pound of goal body weight (builds and repairs muscle)
– Fat: 30% of total calories (supports hormone function
– Carbs: Remaining calories (fuels intense training)
Calculate your muscle-building macros this way:
- Set protein based on your weight. Ex: 180 lb person = 144-180g protein.
- Allot 30% of calories to fat. Ex: 3,000 calorie diet = 900 calories (100g) from fat./li>
- The remaining calories go to carbs. Ex: 3,000 total calories – 720 (protein) – 900 (fat) = 1,380 calories (345g) carbs.
Tip: Time carbs pre/post workout to promote recovery and fuel workouts.
How to Track and Adjust Your Macros
– Use a tracking app like MyFitnessPal or MacroFactor to monitor intake and tweak as needed.
– Re-calculate macros every 4-6 weeks as body weight changes to keep progressing.
– Play with carb and fat ratios if you plateau to find your “sweet spot.”
Putting it All Together
Understanding your macronutrient needs is essential for any fitness journey. Follow these steps to align your diet with your specific goals:
- Determine your calorie needs for weight loss or gain.
- Based on the above formulas, Split macros for fat loss or muscle building.
- Use a tracking app to hit your numbers daily precisely.
- Adjust macros and calories over time to keep seeing results.
Proper macro tracking and adjustment are crucial to getting the lean, muscular physique you want. Stay plugged into JasonKozma.com for more tools like this and tips on how to set yourself up for success. Now get to calculating those macros and start crushing your fitness goals!