Fitness Series: Calculating macro-nutrients

Now that you know how many calories you need to consume depending on your fitness goals, you will need to learn how much of each macro-nutrient will make up this daily amount.

Macro-nutrients consist of your Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats.  If you are trying to build muscle mass you want to keep your carbohydrates pretty high, if you are trying to lean out your carbohydrates should be moderate to low.  I personally like to base this off of percentages.  The most common percentage breakdown I have found for fat loss is Protein=40%, Carbohydrates= 30% Fats= 30%  However, you will need to experiment with this breakdown depending on your fitness goals. I use a 45%-35%-20% ratio.

Once you decided on the percentages you want to start with, you can use them to calculate the amount of calories you need to consume for each of your macros, using the following formula:

Daily calories from macro-nutrient =Total # of daily Calories X (percentage of macro in decimal form)

I will use the numbers we calculated in my previous blog post. If our said female wanted to calculate the number of calories from fats that she should consume in a day, her calculation would look like this:

Daily calories from macro-nutrient= Total # of daily Calories X (percentage of macro in decimal form)

Daily calories from fat = 1, 609 calories  X .20 = 322 calories from fat/ day

Personally, I find tracking macro-nutrients in grams easier than tracking it via calories. So what we will do now is covert calories of macro-nutrients to grams of macro-nutients.  The formula to use is as follows:

Macro-nutrient Calories/x grams = Macro-nutrient conversion

Macronutrient conversion:

1g protein= 4 calories
1 g carbohydrate = 4 calories
1 g fat= 9  calories

So, for our female example the calculation would look like this:

322 calories of fat/ x grams = 9 calories/ 1g

Using cross multiplication we get:

322 = 9x

Solving for x we get:

322/9 = 36 grams of fat/ day

Most of us won’t consume 36 grams of fat in one sitting.  In fact, it is best to spread your macro-nutrients throughout the day to keep your metabolism going and blood sugar levels even.  So we need to calculate how many grams of fat we need per meal.

Ideally you should be consuming 5-6 meals per day.  For this example I will use 6 meals/ day.

So, I will take 36 and divide it by 6, which equals 6g of fat/meal each day.

Repeat each of these equations for your carbohydrate and protein intake using the appropriate conversion factors, and you have created a solid nutrition plan for yourself.  You want to make sure you monitor your progress by either weighing yourself or taking body fat measurements every 1-2 weeks.  Depending on how you are progressing you can adjust these numbers.

Disclaimer: I am not a certified trainer or nutritionist. Please check with your doctor prior to starting any diet or exercise plan.  The information provided below is what I have learned via personal research.



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