Tracking macronutrient intake is calorie-counting in detail. It is one of many tools that can be used in order to reach a desired level of muscle mass or fat loss. In order to attain a specific body composition goal, whether it is gaining muscle or losing fat, one must determine the amount of carbohydrate, fat, and protein to eat each day. Then, nutrition labels and nutrition databases must be referenced in order to figure out the macronutrient values for each food you eat throughout the day.
It sounds complicated because it is. While it is an effective tool for weight management, there are a couple downsides. Tracking macronutrients requires a fundamental knowledge of nutrition, which many people do not have (one of the ways in which the school system has failed us, in my opinion). Secondly, while tracking macros, one can easily forget about meeting basic micronutrient intake needs; in other words, it is easy to develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies while counting macros.
Regardless of the pitfalls related to macronutrient counting, it can be an excellent way to manage weight, assuming that the individual using it has a basic knowledge of nutrition and can stay on top of their fruit and vegetable intake as well. With all that being said, below I’ve provided a step by step guide on how to figure out how much of eat macronutrient to eat per day in order to achieve consistent weight loss.
If you’d like to know more about, and start taking responsibility for your own health, fitness, and wellness, please reach out to Crux Fitness Richmond for any of your personal training needs.
Patrick Koo – Personal Trainer at Crux Fitness
3 Locations: Richmond, Cloverdale, Walnut Grove
*Photo by Anthony LeGrand
STEP 1: Find Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).
– MEN: 662 – 9.53 (age in years) + PA [15.91 (weight in kg) + 539.6 (height in m)] – WOMEN: 354 – 6.91 (age in years) + PA[9.36 (weight in kg) + 726 (height in m)]
STEP 2: Find Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
Multiply RMR by the Physical Activity Factor (PA) to find out the number of calories you should eat (Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)) in a day.
RMR x PA = TDEE
STEP 3: Find “weight loss calories”.
Subtract 500kcal (calories) from the TDEE in order to lose (mostly) fat at the rate of 1lb/week.
TDEE – 500 = “weight loss calories”
STEP 4: Figure out macronutrient distribution within “weight loss calories”;
IT GETS TRICKY, PAY ATTENTION!
Multiply your (bodyweight in kg) by 1.2 – 2.0 to find out how many grams of protein you should eat in a day
Higher protein example: 100kg x 2.0 = 200g of protein
More satiating (filling)
Better recovery from workouts
Moderate protein example: 100kg x 1.6 = 160g of protein
Best of both worlds
Lower protein example: 100kg x 1.2 = 120g of protein
More room to eat carbohydrates or fats
Provides more fuel for next day’s workout
Multiply grams of protein by 4 to find out how many calories worth of protein you should eat in a day
Multiply your “weight loss calories” by 0.20 – 0.35 to find out how many calories worth of fat you should eat in a day
Higher fat example: 2000kcal x 0.35 = 700kcal of fat
Optimizes hormone production (very important!)
Moderate fat example: 2000kcal x 0.27 = 540kcal of fat
Best of both worlds
Lower fat example: 2000kcal x 0.20 = 400kcal of fat
More room to eat carbohydrates
Divide calories of fat by 9 to find out how many grams of fat you should eat in a day
Subtract “weight loss calories” from [(kcal of protein) + (kcal of fat)] to find out how many calories worth of carbohydrate you should eat in a day
Divide calories of carbohydrate by 4 to find out how many grams of carbohydrate you should eat in a day
STEP 5: Meal plan and read nutrition labels.
Now that you have the amount (in grams) of protein, fat, and carbohydrate that you are allotted to eat every day, you can start meal planning.
Read food labels or use MyFitnessPal or other calorie-counter apps to determine how many grams of each macronutrient in each food you choose to eat. For example, a peanut butter sandwich might have 8 grams of protein, 11 grams of fat, and 30 grams of carbohydrate.
Don’t sweat it if you go over or under your protein, fat, or carbohydrate by a few grams each day. It’s the long game that really counts. Don’t be perfect, just be consistent.
Message me if you have questions. I tried to make this thing as user friendly as possible but honestly, I’m pretty sure there are apps out there that do calculations like these for you. HOWEVER, I feel that the formulas used here are best for maintaining health and optimizing performance.
Other tips and tricks for feeling good:
Aim to consume enough fibre each day – your shits will be smooth, your mood will improve, your inflammation will go down, and you will stay fuller for longer
Go IN on the unsaturated fats, especially omega 3 fats
Avoid sugar – you’ll be able to eat more volume, your mood will improve, your inflammation will go down, and you’ll have less of a chance of developing the ‘betus
Track your weight once every 2 or 3 days; make sure you track at the same time of day (e.g. 9am after the morning poo, before eating) By the end of the week, if your weight has gone down too fast, increase the “weight loss calories” and repeat STEP 4 to find out how many grams of each macronutrient you need to eat By the end of the week, if your weight has not gone down, decrease the “weight loss calories” and repeat STEP 4 The RMR formula from STEP 1 is excellent, but people are DIFFERENT; it’s no biggie if your projected weight loss calories need to be higher or lower than what you expected.