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Want to know how to calculate macros for weight loss? Here’s a detailed guide on how to do it, including a macro calculator to make things easier.
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Define your goals
When you begin to calculate your macros, the first step is to establish what your weight loss goals are. Do you want to lose weight quickly or at a slower, steadier pace? Do you want to focus on fat loss or are you looking to maintain muscle mass while you lose weight?
Your answers to these questions will help you determine how many calories and how much of each macronutrient you should consume each day. If your goal is to lose weight quickly, you will need to consume fewer calories than you burn. If your goal is to lose fat while maintaining muscle mass, you will need to find a calorie deficit that allows you to eat enough protein.
##Heading: Find your calorie needs
The next step in calculating your macros is to determine how many calories you need to eat each day. This will be different for everyone based on their age, gender, activity level, and weight loss goals. There are a number of online calculators that can help you estimate your daily calorie needs (see Resources).
Once you have an idea of how many calories you should be eating each day, subtract 500 from that number. This 500-calorie deficit will help you lose about 1 pound per week. If your goal is to lose weight more quickly, you can increase the size of your calorie deficit. Just be sure not increase it so much that it becomes difficult to stick to your diet or feels overly restrictive.
##Heading: Find your protein needs
The next step is to calculate how much protein you should be eating each day. Protein has a number of benefits when trying to lose weight, including helping preserve muscle mass and keeping you feeling fuller longer. The general guideline is that 10-35% of your daily caloric intake should come from protein. Use the calculator below (see Resources)to determine how many grams of protein you should be eating each day based on your calorie intake and activity level.
Calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Your BMR is the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. To calculate it, use this formula:
For Men: 66 + (6.2 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.76 x age in years)
For Women: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
For example, a 35-year-old woman who is 5’5” and weighs 150 pounds has a BMR of 1,402 calories per day.
To calculate your macros, you need to know how many calories you should be eating per day. If you want to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by eating less than your BMR. For example, the woman from the above example would need to eat 1,102 calories per day to lose one pound per week because she would be creating a 300-calorie deficit each day.
Calculate your daily calorie needs
To lose weight, you need to create a deficit in calories. To do this, you can either eat fewer calories, burn more calories through physical activity, or both.
The number of calories you need depends on your weight, height, age, gender, and activity level. You can use an online calculator to estimate your daily calorie needs. Once you know how many calories you need, you can figure out how many grams of fat, protein, and carbohydrates (also known as macros) you should eat each day to lose weight.
There are a variety of online calculators that can help you calculate your macros. Alternatively, you can use the following formulas:
To calculate your fat intake:
Total Calories x 0.25 = _____ Calories from fat
Fat Calories / 9 = _____ grams of fat per day
To calculate your protein intake:
Total Calories x 0.40 = _____ Calories from protein
Protein Calories / 4 = _____ grams of protein per day
To calculate your carbohydrate intake:
Total Calories x 0.45 = _____ Calories from carbohydrates
Carbohydrate Calories / 4 = _____ grams of carbs per day
Determine your macronutrient split
To determine your macronutrient split, you first need to calculate your daily caloric needs. Once you have your daily caloric needs, you can then determine how many calories should come from each macronutrient.
There are a few different ways to calculate your daily caloric needs, but the simplest way is to use the Harris-Benedict equation:
For men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)
For women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)
Once you have your BMR, you need to multiply it by a factor that takes into account your activity level. If you are sedentary (little or no exercise), you will multiply your BMR by 1.2; if you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days per week), you will multiply your BMR by 1.375; if you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days per week), you will multiply by 1.55; and if you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days per week), you will multiply by 1.725.
Now that you have your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), you can determine how many calories should come from each macronutrient. For weight loss, most experts recommend a macronutrient split of 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30% fat. This means that 40% of your calories should come from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 30% from fat.
Adjust your macros as needed
During the first few weeks of dieting, it’s normal for people to lose a lot of water weight. This is especially true if you’re cutting carbs and eating more protein and fat, which can reduce water weight.
If you want to lose fat, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. To determine how many calories you should eat each day, use an online calculator or speak to a dietitian. Once you know how many calories you should eat each day, adjust your macros accordingly.
If your goal is to lose weight quickly, you may need to eat fewer carbs and more protein and fat. However, if your goal is to lose weight gradually or maintain your weight, you may need to eat more carbs and fewer calories from fat.
You may also need to adjust your macros depending on your activity level. If you’re trying to lose weight but are eating the same amount of food as before, you may need to increase your activity level or reduce your calorie intake further.
It’s also important to note that everyone is different and there is no “perfect” macro ratio for everyone. The best way to find out what works for you is to experiment with different ratios and see how your body responds.