1. ## How to calculate your calorie & protein needs

For anyone who doesnt know this...

There are several ways to calculate your calorie needs as well as protein

1.) Least accurate - by bodyweight

For weight loss - multiply bodyweight by 12-13
Maintainence = 15-16
Weight Gain = 18-20, or more

Formulas to find Basal Metabolic Rate

2.) Harris Benedict Formula - Good accuracy

This equation is quite accurate for most, but is not a good choice for extremely fat or muscular people. It will overestimate calorie needs for fat people, and vice versa for muscular

Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 X wt in kg) + (5 X ht in cm) - (6.8 X age in years)
Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 X wt in kg) + (1.8 X ht in cm) - (4.7 X age in years)

3.) Katch McArdle formula - most accurate formula.You must know your bf%

For men and women : 370+(21.6 * lean body mass in Kg) If you weigh 200, and have a bf of 20%, your lean mass is 160 lbs.

Calculating maintainence calories

Multiply your BMR by an appropriate activity factor

Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)
Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
Mod. active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
Very active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
Extr. Active = BMR X 1.9

If you only exercise 3-4 days per week, but do weight training + full session of cardio, you would be in the 'very active' category.

For weight gain or weight loss

You can subtract/add 300-500 calories for a quick figure. For a more accurate figure, subtract/add 10-15%. Use 20% for short term, accelerated weight loss.

Macronutrient Ratios

Macronutrient Ratios are very important as well. No, you cannot simply eat whatever you want, as long as it is a caloric surplus. Well, you can, if you do not care how much fat/muscle you gain.

A 50:30:20 is a good baseline ratio for either buuilding muscle or losing fat. You can adjust it to meet your individual needs.

- You may want slightly more protein for muscle gain
- Slightly higher protein & slightly less carbs (~ 40%) for cutting
- Higher carbs for endurance training (if anyone on here even does that)

Calculating protein

Many people use the 1 gram/lb rule.

But lets see what we get when calculating it as a percentage of total calories.

Say we have a 165 lb man with 15% bf. We get 140 lbs of lean body mass.

370+(21.6 * 63.5 kg) = 1741 calories. With 4-5 trips to the gym each week, we'll multiply it by 1.55 to get 2699 calories.

2699 + 15% = 3104 calories for a bulking diet.

30% of that from protein is 232 grams of protein, which is much more than the 1 gram/lb rule

So do you really need this much protein to gain muscle? No, most people do not need this much raw protein to bulk. However, there is a good reason for consuming this much protein.

If you want to bulk as cleanly as possible, then keeping the macro ratios balanced is important. Even though you may not need that much protein, it will help to minimize fat gain while bulking.

Excess carbs, beyond the needs of the body, is much more likely to be stored as fat than protein. About a third of proteins calorie value will be required to simply digest it.

If you do not care about fat gain, and just want to bulk as much as possible before cutting, then you do not need to worry about this as much.

Enough protein to build muscle = 1 gram/lb is sufficient for most
Bulking as cleanly as possible = Calculate protein as a percentage of calories.

2. Good info

3. you should get this stickied.

4. damn thanks for this info. really helpful. should be a sticky b/c alot of people ask

5. all this info can already be found by reading the stickys btw

6. Originally Posted by Oddball8945
all this info can already be found by reading the stickys btw

I didnt see it after skimming over it, and most of them relate to completely different things.

It seems alot of people on here -- and many bodybuilders, dont know how, so I thought I post it.

7. Originally Posted by Mtguy8787
Calculating maintainence calories

Multiply your BMR by an appropriate activity factor

Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)
Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
Mod. active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
Very active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
Extr. Active = BMR X 1.9

If you only exercise 3-4 days per week, but do weight training + full session of cardio, you would be in the 'very active' category.
Good info. thanks. but i have one question... when we calculate maintainence calories, should the activity factor refer to the previous activity level before getting on a workout plan or the current activity level? because i usually don't do much exercise and now i want to start on a fitness program with good diet and gym workouts...my aim is to lose some wight and gain some lean muscle mass..so i'm not sure if the activity level should be that of my old lifestyle or the new one (in which i'm planning to do 3 days of weight training and 2 days of cardio)?

I'm also confused with the ratio of the macros i should be taking..should i stick with 40c/40p/20f ?? the numerous online calorie calculator in bb.com are also not helping me much by giving me different figures for my ideal calorie intake..so far i got 1746 from one and around 2254-2600 from others??

Btw, any specific advice for my goals would be much appreciated.
My info: male, 31
Weight: 75kg
Height: 172cm
bf%: approx. 26%

Thanks.

8. ## Anyone

Help...?

9. obviously u want to eat the amount of calories for what u will be doing because thats what is happening then. u wouldnt eat a certain amount of calories for what u used to do that makes no sense

10. Thanks for the formulas, they were very helpful!

11. Thanks for the formulas, they were very helpful!

12. Bookmarked.

13. 50:30:20 for bulking up eh? I thought it was 40 40 20.. not sure what's going on, i was reading a book by Anita Bean.. sports nutrition, and she says that.. Whats giong oin

14. bump.. keep this bumped

15. bump! this is awesome, thank you!

16. Originally Posted by Mtguy8787
Macronutrient Ratios

Macronutrient Ratios are very important as well. No, you cannot simply eat whatever you want, as long as it is a caloric surplus. Well, you can, if you do not care how much fat/muscle you gain.

A 50:30:20 is a good baseline ratio for either buuilding muscle or losing fat. You can adjust it to meet your individual needs.

- You may want slightly more protein for muscle gain
- Slightly higher protein & slightly less carbs (~ 40%) for cutting
- Higher carbs for endurance training (if anyone on here even does that)
The stickies currently argue against using ratios.

17. Originally Posted by lod254
The stickies currently argue against using ratios.

Check Emma's Thread for info on ratios. ( i can't link it because i'm pretty new to the forums ) It's called "Calculating calorie and macronutrient needs"
They are actually really helpful. Basically, everyone is different and everyone has generally different goals. If you are an intense athlete, you figure out your carb intake % of your daily calorie intake first, then decide how much protein and fat you need. If you're looking to build muscle, you figure your protein and fats first and then your carbs. The %'s work well if you know how they correlate with guidelines like 2.2g / lb of bodyweight etc etc.

18. Originally Posted by VineVideVice
Check Emma's Thread for info on ratios. ( i can't link it because i'm pretty new to the forums ) It's called "Calculating calorie and macronutrient needs"
They are actually really helpful. Basically, everyone is different and everyone has generally different goals. If you are an intense athlete, you figure out your carb intake % of your daily calorie intake first, then decide how much protein and fat you need. If you're looking to build muscle, you figure your protein and fats first and then your carbs. The %'s work well if you know how they correlate with guidelines like 2.2g / lb of bodyweight etc etc.

Check the post dates before you reply.

19. Originally Posted by necon76
Check the post dates before you reply.
Bump thanks man this helped alot i know i should be in stickies but i actually cant find that forum haha im such a noob , anyone able to help me with macros etc then ?

20. Some good info right there

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