It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting out on your fitness journey, or you’ve been at it for some time now, at times it can be daunting. There is so much information out there and with so many so called “experts” telling us all many different things it all can be a bit confusing at times.
We have been in this game now for over 15 years and have learnt a lot. Hands downs, without doubt the biggest lesson we have learnt in this game is just how important the role “nutrition” plays in achieving your goals. We have ALL been there (ourselves included) where you feel like you are training the house down but just not getting anywhere with your body composition. Chances are (in fact we almost guarantee) that it comes down to your nutrition.
Where so many people break down is first not knowing what to eat but MOST of all not knowing the correct portion sizes, calories and macro nutrient requirements for their specific body type, physical output level, age, weight and goals. It’s important to note everyone is different there is no one size fits all so we MUST understand what our body needs to reach our goals.
After reading this article our goal is that you will be able to successfully work out YOUR very own daily macro nutrient requirements 100% specific to you and what you want to achieve in this game.
OK that’s enough rambling let’s get started.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED: Pen, paper and a calculator.
Before we get started let’s do a little education on macros and what different parts of food equal. When we consume protein, carbs and fats they per gram equal a certain amount of calories. So, to give you a break down: 1g of protein and carbs = 4 calories per gram and 1g of fats = 9 calories per gram.
Now we know what specific macros give us let’s make a start on working out our numbers:
STEP 1: First we need to work out what our maintenance calories are. This means the number of calories we need to consume in order to MAINTAIN our current body weight. This forms the number that we then either subtract from (calorie deficit) or add to (calorie surplus) specific to whatever our individual goals might be:
Let’s use the below formula which is just one of the many ways to make this calculation.
BODY-WEIGHT X THE BELOW NUMBER
- 28.5= Sedentary job and do little to no exercise
- 31= Moderately active job and train 2-3 times per week
- 33= Active job and train 2-3 times per week, or sedentary job and train at a high intensity 4-6 times per week.
- 35= Active job and train at a high intensity 5-6 times per week
- 37.5= Athlete or active job training at a mod-high intensity every day or twice daily
Let’s take a 60kg person for example who works in an office all day and does little to no exercise. Her body weight is 60kg and she is less than active (28.5) therefore her calculations is below:
60 x 28.5 = 1,710 calories.
So what this means is if this individual ate roughly 1,710 calories each day without changing her exercise regime at all then she would maintain her current body weight.
STEP 2: This is an important step. Here is where you work out WHAT your goals actually are. You must ask yourself do you want to lose weight or do you want to gain weight? If you want to lose weight and decrease your body fat, then you are going to work out your caloric intake to be roughly around 300 – 500 calories LESS per day then what we just worked out. If your goals are to gain weight, then you are going to INCREASE your intake by roughly 300 – 500 calories per day.
So let’s take say our 60kg female office worker as our example who wants to lose weight without changing her exercise regime. Based on her goals and what has just been mentioned she would then need to consume roughly around 1,300 calories per day in order to reach her goal.
STEP 3: Now we calculate our macro break down by following the below formula:
- Protein: Bodyweight x 2g – 3g.
- Fats: Bodyweight x 0.75g – 1.25g.
- Carbohydrates: Fill the remaining calories.
So once again using our 60kg friend below is how we do this:
- Protein intake: 60 x 2 = 120g
- Fat intake: 60 x 1 = 60g
- Carbohydrate intake: Now we need to subtract the end calories coming from protein and fats based on the formula we discussed at the start (protein and carbs = 4 calories per gram and fats = 9 calories per gram). So our protein = 120 x 4 = 480 calories. Our fats = 60 x 9 = 540 calories. Now to work out our carbs we must first add these two numbers together which is 480 + 540 = 1,020. The last step we now subtract our goal of 1,300 calories from 1,020 to fill the remaining carbs which is 1,300 – 1,020 = 280 which we then divide that number by 4 (as carbs = 4 calories per gram) which is 280 / 4 = which then 70g of carbohydrates.
OK so based on our calculations above below is now the macros we go off:
It’s important to know that these numbers are just a BASE line to go off. What I always recommend is to religiously hit these numbers for a minimum of 2-3 weeks. If your scale weight goes down great you are in a calorie deficit and you’re on the right track. If your weight stays the same then you’re at maintenance and the numbers will need to be lowered and if you gain weight, then you’re in a surplus and the numbers will again need to be altered OR you will need to increase your energy output.
Now that you have your numbers worked out you can then fill these numbers what what-ever foods you like. You can track your calories via an app called MY FITNESS PAL or another website we are familiar with called www.calorieking.com.au which is also very helpful.
We hope this gives you an idea of your rough calories and macro numbers to go off and how to now eat according to your goals