Calculating Your Macros
In this post, we'll look at how to calculate your macros, taking into consideration your basal metabolic rate and your total daily energy expenditure.
BMR - Basal metabolic rate = the amount of energy the body uses when it is completely at rest
NEAT - Non-exercise activity thermogenesis = activities such as walking, talking, fidgeting, typing, etc. This does not include eating, sleeping, or exercise.
PA - Physical activity = recreational activities, exercising, playing, movement during house chores, etc.
TEF - Thermic effect of food = food digestion
TDEE - Total daily energy expenditure = the total amount of calories burned in a day; TDEE is calculated by adding BMR+NEAT+PA+TEF.
First, let's start with calculating BMR. There are a couple of formulas used to calculate this. The first is the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation. This is considered the more accurate equation. The second is the Harris-Benedict formula. It was one of the first equations used to calculate BMR. Both give similar results, so use whichever is easiest for you!
- Men: calories/day = (10 x weight [kg]) + (6.25 x height [cm]) - (5 x age [y]) + 5
- Women: calories/day = (10 x weight [kg]) + (6.25 x height [cm]) - (5 x age [y]) -161
- Men: 66 + (6.23 x weight [lb]) + (12.7 x height [in]) - (6.8 x age [y])
- Women: 655 + (4.35 x weight [lb]) + (4.7 x height [in]) - (4.7 x age [y])
Once you have your BMR, it's time to calculate your TDEE. To do this, multiply your BMR by whatever factor fits your lifestyle:
- Sedentary (little to no exercise/desk job) = 1.2
- Lightly Active (light exercise 1-3 days/week) = 1.375
- Moderately Active (moderate exercise 3-5 days/week) = 1.55
- Very Active (heavy exercise 6-7 days/week) = 1.725
- Extremely Active (very heavy exercise, such as training 2 times/day; job requiring hard labor) = 1.9
Here's an example of a female, who is 35 years old, weighs 145 lbs, and is 5' 4". To calculate her BMR and TDEE, we'll use the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation.
- BMR = (10 x 65.77kg) + (6.25 x 162.56cm) - (5 x 35) - 161
- BMR = 1,337.7 calories/day
She would consider herself moderately active. She goes to the gym 3 times a week and participates in the group classes offered through the gym.
- TDEE = 1,337.7 [BMR] x 1.55
- TDEE = 2,073.44 calories/day
Our example female burns roughly 2,000 calories per day. If she is looking to maintain weight, she can eat 2,000 calories. If she is looking to lose weight, she should subtract 300 - 500 calories from her diet. If she's looking to bulk, she would increase her caloric intake by adding 300 - 500 calories.
Now it's time to calculate how many grams of protein, carbs, and fat you can consume in a day. The amount of calories will play a role in our equations.
The recommended percentage of daily macro consumption is as follows:
- Protein = 10-35%
- Carbs = 45-65%
- Fat = 20 - 30%
You may certainly follow those recommended percentages, but if you're looking for more specific numbers, you can follow this set of equations:
I'll be using our example female to show how these equations are applied.
- Protein (g/lb)
- someone with higher body fat or is new to working out = body weight x .75
- if you're looking for the "middle of the road" option = body weight x 1
- someone who is an intense athlete = body weight x 1.25
- Protein = 145 x .75
- Protein = 108.75 grams of protein per day
- Fat (g/day)
- if you love carbs = body weight x .3
- if you love healthy fats = body weight x .4
- Fat = 145 x .3 (we'll say she likes eating carbs)
- Fat = 43.5 grams of fat per day
Now we need to figure out how many calories we are consuming with protein and fat consumption. To do that, multiply grams by how many calories are in each gram.
Protein = 4 calories/gram
Fat = 9 calories/gram
Carbs = 4 calories/gram
The equation below is using our example female's information.
108.75 [grams of protein] x 4 [calories/gram]
+ 43.5 [grams of fat] x 9 [calories/gram]
826.5 calories from protein and fat
Next, we'll calculate how many grams of carbs to consume. Simply subtract the calories consumed by protein and fat from the total amount of calories you're looking to consume. Take your answer and divide it by four, since there are 4 calories in every gram of carb.
For instance, our example female is looking to lose weight. She plans to eat 1,600 calories per day.
773.5 calories from carbs
773.5 ÷ 4 = 193.38 grams of carbs
In a day, our example female will consume 1,600 calories, 108.75 grams of protein, 43.5 grams of fat, and 193.38 grams of carbs.
A great tool that can be of use is the TDEE Caculator: https://tdeecalculator.net/
The website will help calculate your BMR and TDEE. It'll offer different options for weight loss, weight gain, or maintenance. It'll even give you several options for carb consumption. I highly recommend you check it out! I used it as a supplementary tool, but if you're looking to reduce the time necessary to calculate your TDEE and macros, definitely jump over to that website and let it be of use to you!
If you have more questions or would like me to calculate your information, please reach out to me on the contact page or drop a comment below!
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