Macros or macronutrients are the chemical elements which are consumed in the largest quantity. There are 3 core macronutrients including protein, carbohydrates and fat. Alcohol is also considered a macronutrient at times, because it is distinct from the other three, but is generally not consumed in the same quantities. Trainers and bodybuilders are often concerned with the diets macronutrient makeup and their macronutrient requirements as it can dramatically affect their progress and their body’s lean mass to fat mass ratio.
Macro Calculator Guidelines for Males
Before you work out your macro guidelines, it’s important to first figure out how many calories you need. To do so, you can easily grab your figure from our Calorie Calculator for Males article. Once you’ve got your figure, you can now work out what your macronutrient distribution should be.
Macro Calculator for General Health Maintenance
The macronutrient ratios recommended by health authorities for the public tend to take a range approach such as the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) from the Australian Dietary Guidelines, which are as follows:
- 15-25% Protein
- 45-65% Carbohydrate
- 20-35% Fat with no more than 10% from Saturated Fat
Macro Calculator for Bodybuilding, Weight Gain & Bulking
The traditional bodybuilding and bulking macro distribution emphasised a large proportion of protein with moderate fat and often similar levels of carbohydrate to protein.
- 30% Protein
- 45% Carbohydrate
- 25% Fat
Macro Calculator for Weight Loss & Shredding
There aren’t any hard and fast rules for macro requirements for weight loss and cutting except that your protein requirements are increased to help maintain lean muscle mass whilst on a reduced calorie diet.
- 35% Protein
- 40% Carbs
- 25% Fat
Macro Calculator for Ketogenic Diet
A ketogenic diet is a very strict high fat, low carbohydrate diet which drives you towards ketosis; a state in which your body begins to use more and more fat as its core fuel source due to the lack of carbohydrates. Used to boost weight loss and exercise performance, the ketogenic diet suggests a macro distribution of:
- 30% Protein
- 5% Carbohydrate
- 65% Fat
Macro Calculator Recommended
Rather than using percentages, many trainers are now using global figures for their protein and fat requirements and then making up the rest with carbohydrates.
- 1.5-2g/kg of bodyweight for Protein
- 0.5-1g/kg of bodyweight for Fat
- The remaining calories will come from carbohydrates.
Macro Calculator Summary
Knowing your macronutrient distribution is another helpful way to help you plan your meals and to help you handle the nutrition side of things a little bit easier. While it’s still important to eat the right types of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, eating with macros in mind helps you to easily adjust to meet your changing needs.
1.5-2g/kg of bodyweight
0.5-1g/kg of bodyweight
Macro Calculator - Working out Your Figures
Having worked out the macro distribution that would suit your goals, it's time to calculate those percentages into whole figures. Assuming a calorie intake of 2000 calories and a ‘Weight Loss’ macro distribution of 30% protein, 45% carbohydrate and 25% fat.
- Protein – The above distribution would mean 30% of 2000 calories should come from protein or 600 calories worth. As 1g of protein equals 4 calories, you would need 150g of protein.
- Carbohydrates – The above distribution would mean 45% of 2000 calories should come from carbohydrates or 900 calories worth. As 1g of carbohydrate equals 4 calories, you would need 225g of carbohydrates.
- Fat - The above distribution would mean 25% of 2000 calories should come from fat or 500 calories worth. As 1g of carbohydrate equals 9 calories, you would need 55.5g of fat and preferably no more than 22.2g from saturated fat.
Now all you have to do is use your actual calorie requirements and do similar calculations to obtain how much protein, carbohydrates and fat you would need to eat per day according to your macronutrient distribution.