Macros?? If you didn’t know what a macro was, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking it was a kind of shellfish or something. “I’ll have the linguine with macros please?”.
Well, you wouldn’t be far off. For someone like me macros are part of daily client chat. But for you the idea of macros might be a bit confusing. By talking macros we’re mostly referring to protein, fats and carbs.
The ratio of these macros play a ginormeous role in how your body feels, looks and recovers from training. Your macros also make up your total energy, that we like to talk about as your calorie (kcal) intake (or kilojoules).
Protein and carbs have 4kcal per gram, and fat 9kcal per gram. Fat is more calorie dense, which can have both its pros and its cons. Congrats if you already knew that though, smartass.
Now you know what you’re actually calculating (or just skipped to this part), here’s a useful macros calculator that I put together so YOU can easily find the exact nutrients needed to gain muscle or lose body fat. Simply plug in your stats and it’ll give you a useful starting point.
Note: As previously mentioned this macros calculator will give you a starting point only – a flashlight in the dark if you will. These numbers can change depending on individual preference, adherence, tolerance, and performance goals. For ‘hardgainers’ it’s also likely calories and carbs for muscle gain will be underestimated.
The reality of sustainable weight loss and gain
While we’re on the subject of physique transformation, here are some useful weight-change numbers you should be aware of. We’re talking REALISTIC and SUSTAINABLE numbers here which are arguably the most important factors to consider for longterm progress. I got these from a seminar with nutritionist Alan Aragon years back, and have ‘borrowed’ them ever since.
Fat Loss with minimal Muscle/Strength Loss:
- 0.2kg/0.5 lb per week if you’re lean and don’t really need to lose weight.
- 0.5-0.9kg/1-2 lb per week if you’re ‘average’ athletic or slightly overweight.
- 0.9-1.4kg/2-3 lb per week if you have a fair bit to loose. Sometimes more depending starting point.
Muscle Gain with minimal Fat Gain (men):
- 0.2-0.5kg/0.5‐1 lb per month if you’re close to your genetic potential.
- 0.5-1.4kg/1‐3 lb per month if you’re an intermediate with room to develop.
- 1.4-1.8kg/3-4 lb per month if you’re a beginner (less than 2 years consistent training).
Note: The chart above does not include phases of reverse-dieting, rebounding, initial water loss/gain with low carb dieting, or use of PED’s.
If you found this macros calculator useful then please share with a friend who doesn’t know a macro from a shellfish linguine. Or feel free to drop a comment below if it helped.