This post may get a little mathematical but it is actually pretty easy to calculate macronutrients!
I’ve tried to explain as simply as I can but please let me know if you have any questions. Happy to help!
Identify your macronutrient breakdown
The first thing you will need to do is understand how much of each of the macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat) you want in your diet.
Typically for fat loss, a high protein and moderate carbohydrate intake are recommended and this is what I recommend sticking to.
As mentioned in my previous post (my daily diet) my macronutrient breakdown is:
– 35% carbohydrates
– 35% protein
– 30% fat
How to calculate calories from each macronutrient
This can be done using simple mathematics.
For example, if you are consuming 1900 calories per day like myself (again refer to my previous blog post on my daily diet and counting calories), 35% carbohydrates is:
1900 calories x 0.35 (35%) = 665 calories
Therefore, you need 665 calories of carbohydrates per day.
3. How to calculate the exact grams of each macronutrient
To calculate how many grams you will need of each macronutrient, you will need to know the following information:
– 1 gram of carbohydrate is 4 calories
– 1 gram of protein is 4 calories
– 1 gram of fat is 9 calories
If there are 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrate and you need to consume 665 calories of carbohydrate:
665 calories / 4 calories = 166.25 grams
Therefore, when consuming 1900 calories per day, 35% carbohydrates is 665 calories which is 166 grams. You will then do the same for protein and fat (note: protein will be the exact same).
To make it very simple and fast, you can use this calculator below.
Calculations to work out 35% carbohydrates from 1900 calories:
1900 calories x 0.35 = 665 calories
665 calories / 4 calories = 166 grams
Part II of this post will discuss how I TRACK my macronutrients and how I use this information to work out my daily food intake.
You can find Part II here.
Hi Rachael. I am trying to figure out the meal plan and my family. Don’t want to fixing different meals for myself so decided to do the macros. One question- the carb macros- it that total carbs or net carbs?
If you’re using the macros ratio in our calculator, then it should be counted as total carbs. If you have other questions, you can reach out to us at email@example.com. :)
Where is the part 2 of the explaining.
Hi, lovely <3
You can find part 2 here!
I just discovered your website and it’s SO refreshing to finally find someone with a targeted approach to body types! Yaaay!!!
Question: You talk a lot about lean legs; what about lean arms? I’m a mesomorph type, strong upper body with broad back and muscular arms. I’m desperate to slim my upper body down (arms are way too muscly and bulky for my liking) and get a thinner waist! Do you have programs for lean arms and general slimming down of one’s body frame? (if that’s even possible?). I’ve just begun a low fat diet plan (30g/day), moderate protein (35%) and mod/high carbs (45%) and eat mainly wholefood with tons of veg (little to no processed food). I’m uber active and train 5 days a week, mostly circuit training! Hope you can give me some tips!
Since you said you’re a mesomorph, you’d probably benefit more if your carb intake was slightly lower.
You can find Rachael’s diet and workout guidelines for Mesomorphs here.
When it comes to slimming a muscular upper body, Rachael actually has a great blog post on how to do it.
You can find it here.
Let me know if you have any other questions! xx
So as I am aging I need to be more mindful of how things are settling on me as well as what I am eating. I’m 49 and I weigh 143. I can’t seem to lose any weight. I feel like I have begun to tighten up as some of my clothes are looser on me. I have never been a huge calorie counter. What do you think my calories should be around on a daily basis?
If you’re experiencing hormonal imbalance it may be a bit more difficult to lose weight, so I would recommend getting your hormone levels checked and finding a good naturopath or an integrative doctor for treatment.
Depending on how physically active you are, your daily calorie requirements will be different. If you were to follow our program, you would be working out moderately 5-6 days per week.
In this case you would need around 1960 calories to maintain weight and 1400-1700 calories to lose weight. I hope that helps! xx
Just spent the whole night going through your blog. I am addicted!! Was wondering if I could also please have some help calculating my macros?
Thank you so much xx
Hi Dana, sure! What macros and calories are you looking at? xx
So I’m 164cm, 22 years old and weigh 60kg. I do a 45 min workout 3 times a week and a 45 min walk other days, as well as some jogging & interval running. I worked out my TEE is 2,193 cal a day! Does this sound right? On other websites it says way less than that.
Also should I follow the 35% protein & carb, 30% fat macros?
Thanks so much again xxx
Yes I would say that’s about right for your TEE. Your BMR is around 1400 calories so you could always use a HR monitor to see how many calories you burn per workout (or per day to be more accurate) and that will give you a better estimate. A balanced macro is always a good place to start. 35% carbs, 35% protein and 30% fat on a 500 calorie deficit (about 1700 calories) = 149g carbs, 149g protein and 57g fat. You can play around with these a little if you like. It might be a good idea to drop the protein a bit and up the fat xx
Hi Rachel! This info is great-thank you! Would it possible to get help calculating my macros please?
Hi Courtney – you’re welcome! If you let me know your age, weight, height, activity level, goals (i.e. weight loss?) and body type, I can calculate them xx
Hello, great blog! Can we adjust our macros and stick with that? For some reason, I operate better on high carbs. Every time I’ve tried either a balance or high fat and lower carbs, I end up bloated, tired, cranky, and have a myriad of GI issues. Ironically, the higher my carbs are, the more weight I lose (high fat stalls it). My protein always stays in the moderate range though. Is a long-term high carb, lowfat diet (or lifestyle) ok? I do lots of cardio by the way. Am vegetarian and considering going vegan. I’m either a mesomorph or ectomorph. I can’t tell because I still have slight body dysmorphia back from when I was obese and anorexic. My goal is to lower the body fat% but not really the weight.
Hi Kris! Yes if your body can tolerate the higher carbs (sounds likely as you are a thinner body type) then this is great! A higher carb, lower fat and moderate protein intake is great for the long term. To lower your body fat I would concentrate more on the workouts you are doing – HIIT and resistance training is great for this! xx
Im 5’4 and about 55kg, Im trying to tone up and lose 3-4 pounds and I would do moderate activity, I walk for 40-45 mins 4-5 times a week and go for a light jog twice a week about 30 mins in total, I also do a plyometric strength training circuit 3 times a week which is 28 mins long and done in 7 min intervals.
At the moment my macronutrients are 50% carbs, 25% protein and 25% fats. Sometimes I hit this but often I end up with almost 60 – 65% carbs about 17-20% fats and between 20-25% protein. Is my diet too high in carbs in your opinion? it is all healthy wholemeal carbs but I think it seems quite high. I find it hard to reduce the amount of carbs that I eat as I have them with every meal.
Also do you have any advice on controlling sugar cravings? I am quite good with my meals but my downfall is my snacks! I always crave something sweet after a meal and usually have something like a lollipop, low fat hot chocolate made with water and a dash of milk or a chocolate rice cake, not ideal I know but seems better than having a bar of chocolate! do you think these snacks are ok or should I change them? thanks for your help! x
You’re doing really well! I would recommend reducing your carb intake. Depending on your body type, you should probably be around 40-50% carbs so try this and see if it helps. Ahh sugar cravings are something that I have problems with too! My advice is to go and have a shower and brush your teeth straight after dinner and you will forget about it. If you hang around the kitchen thinking about a healthy sweet snack you’ll eat something unnecessarily x
Do I need to reach abt 165 g of protein everyday or jst on the day I go to gym. I’m abt the same weight as you. I jst started to take protien supplement for my post workout. Thank you so much.
I try to eat the same every day, regardless of what I’ve done at the gym. I have reduced my protein intake (will post my revised meal plan soon) so you could probably lower yours down to 120-140g xx
Hi Rachael! I find your posts really interesting and motivating! Aren’t too much 166g of proteins? I’m afraid of becoming too much muscular, because I go to the gym 4 times per week. The problem is that I can’t fill up the quantity of calories that I need everyday. I don’t know what to add!
Thank you! Yes 166g of protein is a high protein diet. You shouldn’t eat a high protein diet for long periods of time so I will be modifying mine soon. Eating protein won’t make you muscular, it just helps to repair your muscles. Getting muscular will be from the exercise that you do. If you’ve already got a good amount of healthy fat in your diet, I would fill the rest with healthy carbs! x
I found this so useful!
I was just wondering though with the high level of protein and moderate level of carbs that you have will this help and work if my aim is to build a leaner more muscle body?
I’m of the same weight as you and do moderate level of physical activity (referring to your previous post)
Hi Leah! Most definitely. That’s what my current eating program is designed for :) x
Sure is! I’m glad you read it and found it useful :) xx
Wow! This is some great info you posted here which I had absolutely no idea about. I mean part 3, really is that true :O Wow! Hope you are all good Rachael also!