The Best Macros For Weight Loss
The easy option for most people when looking to lose some weight is to just take everything they eat in a normal day and reduce their intake by say 10-20%. However, if you want to experience lasting changes to your body, stay healthy, and increase your physical fitness, it can be helpful to look more deeply into how much of each macronutrient you're consuming.
There are three primary macronutrients (macros): Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat. Each of these is important for your overall health and people have been combining them in endless ways to create different diet plans such as 'low-carb', 'Keto', 'Carb cycling', 'Paleo' or 'blood type diets'…to name afew.
It’s so easy to find hundreds of different diet plans which varying in complexity however it’s best to first start with introducing a good ratio of all 3 macros for your initial nutrition plan. Also remember to focus on quality foods and ensure you remain as consistent as possible each day.
Before you work out how many calories and grams you need to consume, you should agree a macro ratio. As a good starting point the following ratio has been tried and tested to support weight loss:
- 40% from Protein
- 40% from Carbohydrates
- 20% from Fat
Later these can be changed depending our goals and how your body responded. For example, you could try 40%/30%/30% or 40%/35%/25% respectively.
Calculate your Calorie Intake
Next you need to calculate your total calorie intake per day. There are a few ways to do this and many calorie calculators are available online, however a simple equation is the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation:
- Men: calories/day = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) + 5
- Women: calories/day = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) – 161
Then multiply the above result by your current activity level below
- x1.2 - Light exercise, once/twice a week
- x1.375 – Light exercise, less than 3 days a week
- x1.55 – Moderate exercise, most days
- x 1.725 - Hard exercise, every day
- x 1.9 - Strenuous exercise, 2x per day
Now taking your total calories and Macro Ratio above you can calculate the calories per Macro (For the below example this is based on needing 2,000 calories a day):
Protein – 2,000 x 40% = 800 calories
Carbs – 2,000 x 40% = 800 calories
Fat – 2,000 x 20% = 400 calories
Calculate your Macros in grams
Each macro corresponds to a specific calorie amount per gram ie:
- Proteins – Have 4 calories per gram
- Carbs - Have 4 calories per gram
- Fats - Have 9 calories per gram
Knowing this and the above calories per Macro you can work out how many grams you need to consume ie:
- Protein – 800 divided by 4 = 200 grams per day
- Carbs – 800 divided by 4 = 200 grams per day
- Fat – 400 divided by 9 = 44.4 grams per day
Honestly, there is a lot of room for customisation when it comes to fats and carbs, as long as you keep two factors more or less consistent ie: The overall calories and daily protein intake. These two factors have been shown by studies to be the most connected to dieting success.