How to Calculate your Macros

How to Calculate your Macros

Body recomposition is 70% diet and 30% of the right type of exercise!

It is pretty well documented about the impact and benefits of consuming the 3 macros in terms of stripping down fat or building muscle. However there is limited information on how to calculate your macros properly and this where this article steps in and picks up the batten within this vital area.

It will give you step by step instructions on how to calculate your macros properly. This is not a mathematics lesson in school but a calculator would be handy for the working out of the four clear steps!

Step 1 – Calculating your basal metabolic rate

Your basal metabolic rate is the minimum amount of calories required for your body to survive. It is calculated by using the Harris Benedict equation:

  • Women: BMR = 65+ ( 9.6 x weight in kilos )+( 1.8 x height in cm ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
  • Men: BMR = 66+ ( 13.7 x weight in kilos ) + ( 5 x height in cm ) – ( 6.8 x age in years )

Step 2 – Calculating your activity levels

You will need to multiply your basal metabolic rate with your activity level because for obvious reasons i.e. for higher level of activity more calories will be burnt.

  • BMR x Activity Level
  • Inactive BMR multiply by 1.2
  • Lightly active BMR multiply by 1.4
  • Moderately active multiply by 1.6
  • Very active multiply by 1.75
  • Highly active multiply by 1.9

Step 3 – Decide what you want the macros to do

The macronutrients that you choose will be determined by your physique goals’. The next step is to choose which pathway you want to follow in terms of your physique goals. These are:

  • Cutting
  • Body re-composition

Calculate calories for work out and recovery days for both physique goals:

Body recomposition

Use a +20%/-20% calorie guideline for work out days and recovery days. For example for 1800 kcal daily allowance, the training day will be 2160 kcal and for rest days it is 1440kcals.


For this strategy you need to create an energy deficit. However, you still need to eat enough calories on training days.

This is a form of calorie recycling. For example for 1800 kcal daily allowance, the training day will be 2200 kcal and for rest days it is 1100 kcals. Thus creating a calorie deficit, if you feel hungry on rest days eat foods that are high in satiety, high in GI and low in density.

Step 4 – Calculating your macro for work out days and recovery days

Everyone is an individual in terms of macronutrient ratios required for training and rest day.

These should be adjusted accordingly to meet the needs of the individual and there physique goals. This can take up a few weeks on simple monitoring and the following section will discuss some simple strategies.


Your protein needs to be kept high on both days, to keep hunger at bay and for muscle maintenance.

For cutting and to preserve muscle mass this may need to be around 2 g/pounds of lean body mass. If you are 100kg with a lean-mass of 80 kg, you should be consuming 200 grams of protein on both days.

MacrosKeep it simple and the same for both days. Another option is to add another 10% extra protein consumption post training.


Healthy fats such as omega 3-s are required for hormone regulation, especially testosterone. Never eliminate fats from your diet, just switch from bad fats (trans & saturated) to the good fats (omega 3-s).

On training days reduce the fat intake, and for cutting purposes the average male should consume between 35-65 grams of fat.

On rest days consume more fats, as you will have created a calorie deficit so all of the fat will be easier to burn off.

Increase the fat consumed to balance out the reduction on training days. For cutting the average fat will should consume between 55-90 grams of day per day. However, individuals with a higher % body fat will do better with higher fat on training day compared to the rest days; this is related to insulin sensitivity that increases when you reduce your body fat.


Think of the CHOs as filling in the gaps between the proteins and fats. CHO’s consumption should be increased on training days and decreased on rest days.

The following is a simple calculation of how much energy is produced from 1 gram from the three macros:

  • Fat = 9kCals
  • Protein = 4kCal
  • Carbohydrates = 4kCal

For example:

A male is 100kg, 20% body-fat (80kg lean body mass), he is following a body recomposition plan (-/+20%) and the BMR calculation allowed him 2200 kcal per day.

Therefore the workout day macros are:

Protein = 200g, Fats = 65g, CHO= 314g
Calories from Carbs = [Work out day target calories] – [protein calories] – [fat calories]
= 2640– (200 x 4) – (65 x 9) = 2640 – 800– 585
1255 = (kcal)

Carbs (g) = 1255/ 4 = 314g

Recovery day macros should be:

Protein = 200g, Fats = 85g, CHO = 49g kcals from Carbs = [recovery day target calories] – [protein calories] – [fat calories]
= 1760 – (200 x 4) – (75x 9) = 1760-800- 765
= 285 (kcal)

Carbs in grams = 195 / 4 = 49g

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