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    Fun with Flexible Dieting Flubbermasta's Avatar
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    Calculating Your Calories and Macros - 2018 Edition

    The formulas I’m about to show you are not very common and you probably never seen some of them. I'll agree this is a long post, and lots of calculations but I promise it doesn't get better than this. I have used these on myself and others to pinpoint their starting calories and macros and most importantly, have success right out the gate.

    If you wish to skip the calculations, let me know. I have an excel sheet that can spit all this out for you.

    Step 1: Calculate Calories

    There are three numbers we will need to get to calculate how many calories you need to either burn fat or build muscle.

    BMR (Basil Metabolic Rate): Is an estimate of how many calories you'd burn if you were to do nothing but rest for 24 hours. It represents the minimum amount of energy needed to keep your body functioning, including breathing and keeping your heart beating.

    TDEE (Total Daily Energy Intake): Is the amount of energy in calories you burn per day. TDEE is for a more advanced calculation that includes NEAT, TEF, Exercise Calories, and Cardio Calories.

    Caloric Goal – The calories you need to consume to reach your goal, this is either a deficit or surplus from your TDEE. To lose fat eat less than calories than your TDEE. To Gain Muscle eat more calories than your TDEE.

    So basically, what we need to do is;

    1. Calculate your BMR
    2. Calculate your TDEE
    3. Calculate your Caloric Goal


    1. Calculate BMR

    Let’s Calculate Your BMR. We are going to use the Katch-McCardle formula.

    If you like to use Metric use: 21.6 x (Lean Body Mass kg) + 370 = BMR
    -or-
    If you like to use imperial use: 9.8 x (Lean Body Mass lbs) + 370 = BMR

    LBM = Lean Body Mass, kina like your body’s total weight without the fat mass.

    To Find Your Lean Body Mass

    LBM = Weight – (Weight x Body Fat %)

    Not sure what your Body Fat % is? Just Take a best guess from the images below:


    Example, Currently I am 170lb male, at 13% bodyfat.

    LBM = 170lb – (170lb x 0.13)
    LBM = ~148 lbs

    BMR = 9.8 x 148lbs + 370
    BMR = 1820 calories

    Now that we have your BMR lets calculate TDEE!

    2. Calculate TDEE

    Here is the equation I will use, and I will explain to you how to plug in all the variables.

    TDEE = [ BMR x NEAT + Exercise Calories + Cardio Calories ] x TEF

    NEAT Variables

    NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Basically, the energy expended for everything that is not sleeping, eating, or sports-like exercise. NEAT will be multiplied by BMR based on the scale below which includes daily activity and occupation information.

    NEAT is composed of two parts.

    Lifestyle + Fidgeting = NEAT

    Choose your lifestyle or activity level during the day, then add your fidgeting variable to it.

    Lifestyle
    1.15= You sit in a chair or lay in a bed most of the day.
    1.2 = You sit in a chiar most of the day for work with little moving around and no strenious leasure activity.
    1.25 = You sit in a chair most of the day with requirement to move around the office.
    1.3 = You stand for work most of the day. (House Wife, Shop Assistant, Waitress, or Mail Man)
    1.35 = Strenuous work during the day or highly active leisure.
    1.4 = Demanding WORK during most of day (Construction Worker)
    Fidgeting Variables
    0.0 = No Fidgeting
    0.05 = Some fidgeting during the day
    0.1 = Moderate fidgeting during the day
    0.15 = Excessive Fidgeting During the Day, I Can’t Hold Still.

    Example: I am a 1.25 in lifestyle and 0.05 in fidgeting so my NEAT = 1.3

    Exercise + Cardio Variables

    Now let’s find Exercise Calories and Cardio Calories.


    The equations we will use is:

    Exercise Calories = (METs x Weight kg x Time in Hours x Days) / 7

    Cardio Calories = (METs x Weight kg x Time in Hours x Days) / 7

    METs is a relative measure of the physiological capacity to do an activity (how much oxygen you are burning).

    Below are a few MET Values you can use. To see a full list, check out this link: https://sites.google.com/site/compen...ctivities/home

    Resistance Training METs:

    Body Building or Power Lifting
    1. Resistance Training Light Effort (METs = 3)
    2. Resistance Training Moderate Effort (METs = 5)
    3. Resistance Training Heavy Effort (METs = 7)
    Gym Exercise Classes
    1. Light Effort (METs = 4)
    2. Moderate Effort (METs = 6)
    3. Heavy Effort (METs = 9)
    Crossfit or Circuit Training
    1. Moderate Effort (e.g., resistance and aerobic training with some rest) (METs = 4.5)
    2. Heavy Effort (e.g., vigorous resistance and aerobic training with minimal rest) (METs = 8)
    TV Conditioning Programs
    1. Light Effort (e.g. PiYo, Yoga, Strethcing) (METs = 2.5)
    2. Moderate Effort (e.g., CIZE, 10 Minute Trainer, cardio-resistance) (METs = 4)
    3. Heavy Effort (e.g., P90X, Insanity, cardio-resistance) (METs = 6)

    Cardio Mets:

    Bicycling Stationary
    1. Light Effort (30-50 watts) (METs = 3.5)
    2. Moderate Effort (51-89 watts) (METs = 4.8)
    3. Heavy Effort (90-100 watts) (METs = 6.8)
    4. Vigorous Effort (101-160 watts) (METs = 8.8)
    5. Very Vigorous Effort (161-200 watts) (METs = 11.0)
    6. Extreme Effort (201-270 watts) (METs = 14.0)
    Spin Bike Class
    1. General Spin Class (METs = 8.5)
    Stair Stepper
    1. Light Effort (METs = 4.0)
    2. Moderate Effort (METs = 9.0)
    3. Heavy Effort (e.g., running upstairs) (METs = 15.0)
    Rowing Machine
    1. Light Effort (<100 watts) (METs = 3.5)
    2. Moderate Effort (100 watts) (METs = 6.0)
    3. Heavy Effort (125 watts) (METs = 7.0)
    4. Vigorous Effort (150 watts) (METs = 8.5)
    5. Very Vigorous Effort (>200 watts) (METs = 12)
    Running or Sprints
    1. running, 4 mph (15 min/mile) 6.0
    2. running, 6 mph (10 min/mile) 9.8
    3. running, 8 mph (7.5 min/mile) 11.8
    4. running, 10 mph (6 min/mile) 14.5
    5.running, 12 mph (5 min/mile) 19

    Example: I currently don’t do any cardio right now but I do train 5 days a week for about 45 minutes per day doing bodybuilding. I do a moderate effort so MET = 5

    Exercise Calories = (METs x Weight kg x Time in Hours x Days Exercised) / 7

    METs = 5
    Weight = 170lbs (77kg)
    Time in Hours = 45 minutes / 60 = 0.75 hrs
    Days Exercised = 5

    Exercise Calories = (5 MET x 77kg x 0.75 hrs x 5 days) / 7
    Exercise Calories = 206 calories

    TEF Variables

    Now let’s look at the last variable in the equation, TEF.

    TEF stand for the Thermal Effect of Food. It is the amount of energy expenditure above the resting metabolic rate due to the cost of processing food for use and storage. Body composition, or more specifically body fat percentage, has been shown to be a significant determinant of how active the thermic effect of food will be within a given individual. Lean people have a thermic effect of food that is approximately 2 to 3 times greater than obese people during rest, after exercise, and during exercise.

    Use this chart below to determine your TEF

    1.15 = Under 10% Body Fat
    1.1 = 10-20% body Fat
    1.05 = Over 20% body fat

    Example: Since I was 13% body fat my TEF is 1.1.

    So now we have all the variables to plug into the TDEE Formula. Using my examples it should look like this:

    TDEE = [ BMR x NEAT + Exercise Calories + Cardio Calories ] x TEF
    TDEE = [ 1820 calories x 1.3 + 206 + 0 ] x 1.1
    TDEE = 2829 calories

    WHEW! Now that we found our TDEE, we can start figuring out our Caloric Goal.

    3. Calculate Your Caloric Goal

    For Muscle Building

    For Muscle Building we need to add calories to your TDEE to gain weight. The equation for this is simple.

    Caloric Goal for Mass Gains = TDEE + (TDEE x Rate)

    Here are three different rates you can choose from

    0.05 = Slow Steady Muscle Gains with Minimal Fat Gain
    0.10 = Moderate Mass Gains with Some Fat Gains
    0.15 = Reckless Mass Gains with Expected Fat Gains

    Example: Lets say I wanted to do moderate mass gains with minimal fat gain.

    Caloric Goal = 2829 + (2829 x 0.10)
    Caloric Goal = 3112 calories

    For Fat Loss

    For Fat Loss we need to subtract calories from your TDEE.

    Caloric Goal for Fat Loss = TDEE - (TDEE x Rate)

    Here are three different rates you can choose from

    0.15 = Slow Steady Fat Loss with minimal muscle loss
    0.20 = Moderate Fat Loss
    0.25 = Reckless Fat Loss with Expected Muscle Mass Loss

    Example: Lets say I wanted to do moderate mass gains with minimal fat gain.

    Caloric Goal = 2829 - (2829 x 0.15)
    Caloric Goal = 2404 calories

    And there you go! You successfully hacked your Calories to reach your goal! Now let’s hack your macros.

    Step 2: Calculate Macros

    We are going to do this in 3 steps.

    1. Find Protein intake
    2. Find Fat intake
    3. Find Carb intake.

    1. Find Protein Intake

    Let’s Find our Protein Goal First.

    Protein intake in grams = weight x g/lb

    You want to choose a protein goal between 0.7 to 1.2 g/lb (1.5 to 2.6 g/kg). My Recommendations are if your cutting go on the higher side. The extra protein will help with muscle preservation and satiety.

    If your bulking, go on the lower side of protein intake. That way you have more fats and carbs to fuel your workouts.

    Example: I’m going to go on a cut, so I want my protein intake slightly higher for the extra benefits discussed above. So ill go with 1.1 g/lb.

    Protein intake = 170 lbs x 1.1 g/lb
    Protein intake = 187g protein

    2. Find Fat Intake

    Now let’s find our fat intake.

    Fat Intake in grams = weight x g/lb

    You want to choose a fat intake between 0.3 to 0.5 g/lb (0.66 to 1.1 g/kg). My Recommendations for fat intake is based on how well you think your body responds to carbs. If you think your more insulin resistant and want more fats in your diet, then go on the higher side.

    If you like more carbs in your diet then go on the lower side. I wouldn’t recommend going under 0.3g/lb as you can run into hormone issues. Fats are good for testosterone production!

    Example: I’m going to choose a middle range and set my fat intake to 0.4 g/lb

    Fat intake in grams = 170 lbs x 0.4 g/lb
    Fat intake in grams = 68g fat

    3. Find Carb Intake

    Now let’s find your Carb intake!

    Carb intake is easy, its just the remaining number of calories you have left after proteins and fat intake.

    To calculate this, we need to do two steps. Subtract the calories from proteins and fats from your caloric goal, then convert those remaining calories into grams for carbs.

    Protein Calories = Protein in grams x 4
    Fat Calories = Fat in grams x 9
    Carbohydrate intake in grams = (Caloric Goal – (Protein Calories + Fat Calories))/4

    Example: So my previous protein and fat calculations were for if I was cutting. And my calories goal is 2404 calories.

    Protein Calories = 187g x 4 = 748 calories
    Fat Calories = 68g x 9 =612 calories

    Carbohydrate intake in grams = (Caloric Goal – (Protein Calories + Fat Calories))/4
    Carbohydrate intake in grams = (2404 – (748 + 612))/4
    Carbohydrate intake in grams = 261g of Carbs

    Now last but not least, lets calculate your fiber intake.

    4. Find Fiber Intake

    Fiber Intake Goal = (Caloric Goal / 1000) x 14
    Fiber intake Goal = (2404/1000) x 14
    Fiber intake Goal = 34g of fiber
    Science Based Nutrition: Alan Aragon, Lyle McDonald, Andy Morgan, and Eric Helms

    Hack Your Fat Loss Macros Here: https://macrohacking.com/macrohacking-calculator/
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  2. #2
    Fun with Flexible Dieting Flubbermasta's Avatar
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    So, there you have it! You have just successfully calculated your starting macros for your fat burning or muscle building goals!

    Protein = 187g
    Fat = 68g
    Carbs = 261g
    Fiber = 34g

    How accurate are my new macros?

    Note about your new Macros. These are Initial energy calculations, which should be taken with a grain of salt. Calculating your initial macros using equations are always “best guess,” even with the formulas I gave you. However, I promise you these will help zero in your starting macros as close as possible, but you should still track and monitor your progress to see how well those macros are working for you.

    How do I know if these macros are working for me?

    To see if your macros are working you should track progress. Weigh yourself 3-7 days a week and take the average at the end of each week. Once you have done this for about 4 weeks and you have been consistently following your diet and adhering to your training, compare the averages you took week to week to see if your making progress.

    Here is how you can calculate your recommended Rate of Weight Loss per week.

    Men: <10% bodyfat, 0.5% of total body weight per week.
    Men 10-18% bodyfat, 0.75% of total body weight per week.
    Men >19% bodyfat, 1% of total body weight per week.
    Women: <20% bodyfat, 0.5% of total body weight per week.
    Women: 20-28% bodyfat, 0.75% of total body weight per week.
    Women: >29% bodyfat, 1% of total body weight per week.

    What About Macro Percentages?

    I wouldn’t use them because they are not based on your bodies minimum requirements. Instead focus on choosing values based on what I outlined above.

    What should I do if I start to stall on these macros?

    Well then you need to adjust them. Ill post another tutorial on how to do this, but for now just understand that you should not “Redo” this calculation.
    Science Based Nutrition: Alan Aragon, Lyle McDonald, Andy Morgan, and Eric Helms

    Hack Your Fat Loss Macros Here: https://macrohacking.com/macrohacking-calculator/
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  3. #3
    Common sense/moderation. gbullock32's Avatar
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    We already have a sticky that covers all of this, you pretty much just repeated it.

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=173439001
    Short cuts to success are often paved with lies.
    1/13/16: Massive hernia.
    5/10/16: Finally back to lifting, light but improving.

    Why Teens shouldn't cut/Lack of progress thread- http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=169272763&p=1397509823#post1397509823
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  4. #4
    Mister User Mikeez0's Avatar
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    2018? Was using this since 2014?
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    Registered User takenout98's Avatar
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    This really help me out alot! thanks for that now its time for me to adjust my macors and i seem to cant find ur other tutorial... could you pls link?
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