This is exactly how to calculate macros for weight loss. This is how I figured mine out.
Are you ready? Grab a pen and paper and let’s do some math!
If you have no idea what macros are and how I’m still dropping inches (that’s me in the pictures below!) while eating foods I love like waffles, eggs, and bacon for breakfast along with hearty pasta for dinner, read this!
Counting macros and working out to burn fat and gain muscle definition WORKS!
**This post may contain affiliate links. I am NOT a licensed medical professional. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional. For my full disclosure policy click here. For any health advice regarding weight loss and nutrition, please consult a registered dietician or a certified personal trainer. This content only for informational purposes. I am not a certified expert, just a mom who is a fitness enthusiast sharing her journey, and who has done a lot of research.
How To Calculate Macros For Weight Loss
Step 1: Choose an activity level
Multiply by 11 if you have a sedentary job and do little to no exercise
Multiply by 12 if you have a relatively active job (cashier) or sedentary but train 2-3 times per week.
Multiply by 13 if you have an active job (nurse) and train 2 to 3 times per week, or have a sedentary job and train at an intense level
Multiply by 14 if you have a very physically demanding job (construction worker) and you also train at an intense level (ie. weight training) 4 to 6 times per week.
Note: Be honest when choosing your activity level. Don’t pick 11 when you’re really a 13. Yes you’ll drop weight faster but if you’re really active you’ll probably burn through muscle mass and you’ll feel tired. This will impact all of your workouts negatively!
Step 2: Calculate your deficit (weight loss) calories
1. Multiply your weight by your activity level.
Example: You weigh 175lbs and have an activity level of 13.
→ 175 x 13= 2275 calories (these calories are your maintenance calories. If you consume this many calories per day, you will remain at your current weight even without working out.)
2. Since we want to lose weight, we are going to subtract calories from our maintenance calories. This will put you in a caloric deficit.
-300 calories is a good place to start for steady weight loss and -500 calories is for a more aggressive approach.
Pick something that works for you and remember, you can always make adjustments to this number depending on how you feel throughout the day.
For the sake of this example let’s pick 400.
→ 2275 calories-400 calories= 1875 calories daily to lose weight.
Step 3: Calculate your macros
Protein is what will help keep you full throughout the day and also plays an important role in preserving muscle mass and promoting growth.
1 gram (g) of PROTEIN is equal to 4 calories.
The general rule of thumb is that you should consume 1g of protein per pound of body weight.
***FORMULA: WEIGHT (LBS) X 1G= PROTEIN GRAMS
→ 175lbs x 1g= 175g of PROTEIN per day
To determine how many calories worth of PROTEIN you should consumer per day, multiply 175g x 4 calories= 700 calories out of 1875 daily deficit calories will come from PROTEIN.
Note: If you weigh more than 180lbs, you can use a multiplier of 0.8g of protein per pound of body weight instead of 1g. Consuming too much protein can cause you to gain weight.
Does eating more fat make you gin weight? The answer to that is NO. Eating in a caloric surplus rather than a deficit is what will make you gain weight.
In other words, if you consume more calories than you are expending, you will gain weight.
Eat your fats!
Fats are an important for healthy hormone function, building and repairing your body tissues and to ensure your brain stays healthy and sharp.
1 gram (g) of FAT is equal to 9 calories.
The recommendation for women is that 25-35% of your daily calories should come from fats.
In step 2 we calculated our deficit calories. To figure out how many calories will come from fats to, multiply your deficit calories by your (fats/100).
***FORMULA: DEFICIT CALORIES X (FAT PERCENTAGE/100)= FATS CALORIES
→ 1875 calories x (30/100)= 563 calories of FATS per day
To convert this into grams, divide your fats in grams by 9 (since 1g of fat = 9 calories).
→ 563/9= 63g of FATS per day
Last but not least, we need to calculate our carbs. Carbs are not the enemy! They are what will fuel your body and give you energy!
1 gram (g) of CARBS is equal to 4 calories.
To determine how many carbs you will eat on a daily basis, use the following formula:
***FORMULA: DEFICIT CALORIES – PROTEIN CALORIES – FAT CALORIES= CARBS CALORIES
→1875 deficit calories – 700 PROTEIN calories – 563 FAT calories= 612 calories out of 1875 daily deficit calories will come from CARBS.
To convert this into grams, divide your carbs in grams by 4 (since 1g of carbs= 4 calories).
→ 612/4= 153g of CARBS per day
And that’s how you calculate macros for weight loss! Let’s do a recap…
Based on this example, we are consuming:
→ 1875 calories daily to promote WEIGHT LOSS
→ 175 grams or of PROTEIN daily
→ 63 grams of FAT daily
→ 153 grams of CARBS daily
It’s important to take pictures rather than use a scale to determine if these numbers are working for you.
If you’re working out especially when your lifting weights whether at the gym or at home, you may not necessarily lose weight according to the scale but you will be dropping inches which will be visible in pictures and if you take your own measurements.
You can always make adjustments and revisit these numbers. Give your body time to adjust and see where you are every 2-4 weeks.
Also, pay attention to how you feel. If you choose a caloric deficit that is too aggressive, you won’t feel good physically especially if you’re working out.
You can opt to choose a lower deficit and perhaps even increase your carbs. Nothing is set in stone so feel free to make adjustments as you see fit.
Just remember, that you will lose weight as long as you’re in a caloric deficit.