Mastering Your Macros: Part 3
In the previous 2 Mastering Your Macros Posts, we established what Macros are, how much energy they provide, and how your activity level can be used to establish a baseline for calories. Please see Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them.
We introduced Mr. Kombat in Part 2, a 200lb male who trains Muay Thai, lifts weights, and does cardio for a total training amount of approximately 8-10 hours a week. We established that his activity multiplier was 13. So, using the equation of body weight 200 (in pounds) x 13 (activity level multiplier) = 2600 calories per day to maintain his current weight and established this as his baseline caloric intake.
Mr. Kombat wants to lose weight, so he can perform better and be more athletic, as well as look better. So we know he needs to go into a deficit in calories below 2600 in order to lose weight. Drastically slashing calories would be a very bad idea, is not safe or realistic, and will only serve to lose weight in the short term. We want him to lose weight safely, easily, and be maintained once he reaches his goals.
He has decided that his ideal weight would be 170lbs. His height and body composition are optimal for this weight and he wants to reach this goal. How do we get him there? The goal is to keep him eating as much as possible to fuel his Thai Boxing and Resistance Training, so he can build lean muscle to help him get stronger. First and foremost, we need to stress that dropping 30lbs quickly is not safe or realistic. Any loss of more than 2lbs per week is often at the expense of muscle tissue. This is counter-productive.
So now we have an approximate timeline. 15 weeks.
Now we revisit the original baseline equation to see how many daily calories are required to maintain his goal weight of 170lbs. 170×13=2210 calories per day. His deficit will be approximately 390 calories per day in order to maintain a 170lb weight. Because we are taking the slow, maintainable road to his goal weight, we can drop his intake 100-200 calories per day, and see how he feels in 2 weeks while still maintaining his activity level. If he is in the safe range of 1-2 lbs per week, there is no need to drop his caloric intake any further. Keep in mind, his activity levels may vary from day to day and thus the amount of calories he burns will also vary.
So onto the macros. We have a daily calorie target of approximately 2210 calories per day. Now how do we figure out how much of each macro will provide the necessary caloric intake? Let’s break it down by macro:
Protein: Remember, we established that each gram of protein has 4 calories. In order to maintain his current lean muscle mass, and promote new growth, we will use the standard of 2 grams of protein per KGM of body weight.
170lbs divided by 2.2 = 77.27 kgm
77.27 x 2 = 154.55 grams of protein per day. We will round this up to 155 for simplicity’s sake.
Total caloric load from protein = 155×4 = 620 calories a day from protein.
Fats: We calculate fat intake next because carbohydrates are the most difficult to calculate, and are saved for last. Fats are responsible for 9 calories per gram of your total caloric intake. The ratio for fat grams per KGM of body weight is 1:1. So in Mr. Kombat’s case, he will consume 77 grams of fat per day. This gives us a total caloric load from fats per day of 693 calories.
Carbohydrates: We are doing carbs last, because they are more difficult to calculate, and often times peoples estimates are too low. Carbs yield 4 calories per gram. The math gets a bit more tricky at this point, but the end result makes perfect sense.
First take total daily calories and subtract your combined caloric intake from protein and fat to get your total calories from carbs.
2210 – (620+693) or 2210- (1313) = 897 calories from carbs
Then divide your total calories from carbs by its caloric load (4 calories per gram)
897 divided by 4 = 224.25 grams of carbs per day.
So now we have our daily macro targets:
Protein: 155 grams per day
Fats: 77 grams per day
Carbs: 224 grams per day
In the next installment, we will talk about how to properly track your macros. How to manipulate them and optimal sources for each macro.
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