So up there with one of the most asked questions I get is :
“How can I work out my Calories & Macros for dieting”
AKA – Ticket to shredsville, please.
So rather than explain each and every time around the many different methods and options, I thought I’d write an article on it.
As you’ve found your way here you must be pretty serious. Either that or you’ve finally given up hope with slimming world.
Both great with me.
Now if you search the internet you’ll find a whole host of formulas, calculations and calculators. However, they will all be pretty much there or thereabouts with the figures.
What I’ve done is tried to simplify this as much as possible.
WHAT ARE MACRONUTRIENTS (MACROS)
Macros are basically all of the things our food is made up of. These give us the energy to train and more importantly stay alive.
So you have Protein, fats & carbs. Each of these contains a certain number of Calories.
Protein – 4 Calories per gram
Fats – 9 Calories per gram
Carbs – 4 Calories per gram
There is also a fourth Macro which I’m sure you’ll all know. This is Alcohol, and no we can’t use this as our only source of fuel.
As much as I love gin.
When we diet we, in essence, need to work out how much of each of the macronutrients we require, and yes alcohol can be included.
More on that here
So how does this differ from any other form of diet?
Well, beauty is its a system you can use to track the foods you already consume.
No need to blindly follow and plan, or points system.
PART 1 – SO HOW MUCH DO I NEED?
The first step is to work out how many Calories you need each day.
Simple no hassle method to do this.
Your bodyweight in Kilograms and multiply it by 22.
Now once you have that figure we need to multiply again by an activity factor.
Now there are lots of ways of doing this, but I feel that using these numbers gives a good estimation of where to base your start point.
1.2 – 1.3
If you are inactive and have a sedentary job. For example an office worker.
Maybe you train 1-2 times per week.
1.4 – 1.5
If you are lightly active and move around a little. Maybe train 2-3 times per week.
1.6 – 1.7
You are very active and on your feet a lot. Training 5-6 times per week.
You need to be honest and realistic with these numbers. You’re far better off taking it a little higher and being able to adjust down.
Rather than it being too low and you not being able to sustain it.
For example :
Bodyweight 100 x 22 = 2200
2200 x 1.3 = 2860
2860 Calorie intake
PART 2 – PROTEIN
Take your bodyweight in Kilograms and multiply it by 2.
For example 100kg x 2 = 200g Protein Daily.
PART 3 – FATS
I base this at 20 – 40% of your total Calorie intake.
So if we use the example above.
30% of 2860 = 858
858 divided by 9 (as 9kcal in a gram) = 95g
If you like to have a higher fat intake. For example, you can’t be without cheese or nuts.
Then opt for the higher end of the %.
However, do know that this will then mean that your Carbohydrate intake will go down to compensate.
As a personal preference, I like to keep Carbs as high as possible for training and recovery reasons.
I can do without the avocados.
PART 4 – CARBS
So now we have our Protein and Fats sorted all that’s left is Carbs.
To do this you may need a calculator or pen & paper if you’re one of those long division lovers.
Get your Protein intake and multiply it by 4.
e.g. 200 x 4 = 800 Calories
We know our fat as we did it as a % or our Calories
Add these together :
858 + 800 = 1658
Now take this away from our total Calorie number
2860 – 1658 = 1202
All we need to do now is divide this by 4 as there are 4 Calories per gram of Carbs.
1202 divide by 4 = 300g
HOW TO MONITOR AND ADJUST
If you have got this far then I’m pretty sure you’ll be having no issues with dieting to lose weight.
However, if you wanted to make it, even more, email proof then here are a few things you could do.
Weigh yourself every day.
Yup each morning after you get up. Go to the toilet and jump on the scales.
This is our True weight.
Now record this somewhere. In your phone or wrote it in your diary.
Now once you’ve done this for two weeks. You can then compare the averages over the 7th and 14th day.
Giving you a much better indication of if what you’re doing is working.
We know that weight loss isn’t a straight linear process. It would be lovely if it was but we have to contend with a whole host of things, which affect the scale weight.
By weighing daily it also helps you to understand why it might’ve moved up or down.
For example, you eat really late one evening due to work and the next day the scale has gone up.
Now, this isn’t fat gain, more likely its the late eating and food weight in the stomach which has attributed to this.
If you find it’s not moving down at a rate you’re happy with. Then simply adjust down your Calories by 100-200 and see how it affects it.
As with anything these numbers are only a guideline. What really matters is the monitoring of it going forward, in accordance with your goals.
A best practice would be to set yourself Calorie & Macros ranges. Rather than trying to hit it bang on each day.
Allow yourself the flexibility of 100-200 Calories.
In the above example :
2860 might be 2800- 3000.
That’s about it. As simple as it gets.
However, if you really are finding it a challenge to get your head around. Then follow this link.
I can then arrange to get in contact with you to discuss this and anything else in more detail.