Losing weight can be challenging, but it all starts with a basic understanding of nutrition. One of the most important aspects of weight loss is tracking your calories and macros. The purpose of this blog is to go over how to calculate your total calories and macros to help you lose weight.
Step 1: Determine Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Your BMR also known as basal metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns at rest. It’s the minimum amount of calories your body needs to function. There are several formulas to calculate your BMR, but the most commonly used one is the Harris-Benedict equation:
For men: BMR = 88.36 + (13.4 x weight in kg) + (4.8 x height in cm) – (5.7 x age in years)
For women: BMR = 447.6 + (9.2 x weight in kg) + (3.1 x height in cm) – (4.3 x age in years)
The above is A LOT of math, so if you’re a member at Westchester Fit, you can also utilize our Inbody machine. Set up an appointment with a coach, and the Inbody 270 will let us know your BMR among other important metrics.
Step 2: Determine Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)
Your TDEE is the total number of calories your body burns in a day, including physical activity. To calculate your TDEE, multiply your BMR by an activity factor:
Sedentary (little or no exercise): BMR x 1.2
Lightly active (light exercise or sports 1-3 days a week): BMR x 1.375
Moderately active (moderate exercise or sports 3-5 days a week): BMR x 1.55
Very active (hard exercise or sports 6-7 days a week): BMR x 1.725
Extra active (very hard exercise or sports, physical job or training twice a day): BMR x 1.9
Step 3: Determine Your Calorie Deficit
To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than your body burns. A safe and sustainable rate of weight loss is about .5-2.0 pounds per week. This would require a calorie deficit of 250-1000 per day. To determine your daily calorie intake for weight loss, subtract 250-1000 calories from your TDEE.
Step 4: Determine Your Macronutrient Ratio
Macros are the three main nutrients your body needs in large amounts: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. The optimal macronutrient ratio for weight loss depends on your individual needs and preferences, but a good starting point is:
Protein: 30% of calories coming from protein
Carbohydrates: 40% of calories coming from carbs
Fat: 30% of calories coming from fat
To determine your daily macronutrient intake, multiply your daily calorie intake (the amount calculated in step 3 to create your deficit) by the percentage of calories you want to come from each macronutrient. Using the 30/40/30 percentages let’s take the example for someone consuming 2000 calories.
Protein: 4 calories per gram
Carbohydrates: 4 calories per gram
Fat: 9 calories per gram
2000 calories x .3 = 600 calories from protein = (600/4) = 150g of Protein
2000 calories x .4 = 800 calories from carbs = (800/4) = 200g of Carbs
2000 calories x .3 = 600 calories from fat = (600/9) = 67g of Fat
As you can see calculating total calories and macros requires quite a bit of math an management. Just like you’d balance your bank account with debits and credits to make sure you don’t overspend, it is vital to manage your calories and macros so that you don’t over consume. I cannot stress the importance of having a coach to hold you accountable for your actions and help you on your path to success enough.
In the last 15 years working with people, the number one issue I find is compliance due to lack of accountability. If you’re ready to take your training and nutrition to the next level, speak with a coach or email me directly here.