How To Calculate Your Macronutrients

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How many grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats do you need in a day?

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV I’m sharing step-by-step, how to calculate your macronutrients.

What are macronutrients?

Macronutrients, also known as macros, are the building blocks of calories.

The 3 main macronutrients are:

  • protein
  • carbohydrates
  • fats

By learning how to set up your macros, you will know how many grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats you need in a day.

In my last post we talked about calories and how to calculate how many calories you need to accomplish your goal.

How Many Calories Should I Eat A Day?

So if you have not read or watched that yet, I highly recommend you check it out before moving on.

You’ll need to calculate your calorie requirements before you can calculate your macronutrients.

Once you do that, come back to this post and follow along, step-by-step, as I show you how to calculate your macronutrient requirements.

Why do you need to calculate your macros?

Ok, now I want to show you how to figure out what your daily calorie goals should be made up of.

For example, it is very important to know how many grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats you need in a day.

How To Get Enough Protein (For Women)

Even though calories are king, your macros are the queen bee.

And we all know the Queen is really the one in charge.

All calories are not created equally.

Think about it.

If your calorie requirement for your goal was 2,000 calories, do you think you would be able to build an athletic, lean, and sexy body by eating 2,000 calories of sugar?

why sugar makes us fat

Definitely not.

There’s way more to it that that, including your hormones.

Hormone health is essential

Your hormones would not be happy if you only fed your body sugar, since your hormone production would be all over the place.

This is important because your hormones play a huge role in creating a fat burning or fat storing body.

Turn Your Body Into A Fat Burning Machine For Life [Improve Insulin Sensitivity]

Remember, our goal is to build lean sexy muscle and burn the ugly stubborn fat.

This won’t happen if your hormones aren’t properly balanced.

Hence, why it is so important to set and calculate your macronutrients based on your calorie goals.

So the first step is to figure out how many calories you need in a day.

The next step is to calculate how those calories are split up between the 3 macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

By doing this, you will be well on your way to building your meal plan.

How To Build Your Own Meal Plan

How to set up your macros

Here’s how we’re going to set up your macros.

First, I’m going to show you an example of how to calculate your macronutrients based on a daily calorie goal of 2,000 calories.

This will tell us how many of your calories should come from protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

Setting up your macros is a simple process.

But first we need to decide on what your macronutrient split should be.

Some macronutrient percentages work optimally for some people, but may not work well for others.

So depending on your body, I’m going to share two common macro split recommendations.

The first macronutrient split would be for someone who has a high level of insulin sensitivity, and has a primary goal of muscle building.

5 Best Tips For Muscle Growth

Insulin sensitivity means your body:

  • manages insulin spikes well
  • has balanced blood sugar levels
  • processes sugar for energy rather than storing as fat

If you’re unsure if you’re insulin sensitive, ask yourself this:

  • How do you feel after eating carbohydrates?
    • Do you feel sluggish?
    • Do you want to keep eating i.e. cravings and an insatiable hunger?
  • When it comes to fat storage, do you store a lot of fat around your sides, i.e. love handles?

If you answered yes, you’re probably insulin resistant, meaning your body doesn’t process carbohydrates well.

How To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes And Improve Insulin Resistance

However, if you said no, your body probably processes and uses carbohydrates effectively.

If this is the case, you can get more of your calories from carbohydrates.

Note: I’m not one of these people, which I’ll explain later in this post. That’s why I personally follow the second macro split recommendation towards the end of this post.

However, if you have a high level of insulin sensitivity and your goal is to build muscle, here is how I would have you set up your macros, based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet.

The Secrets To A Bodybuilder’s Physique

Macro split for muscle building and high insulin sensitivity:

If you process carbohydrates well and want to build muscle, this can be an effective macro split:

  • 40% of calories coming from protein
  • 40% of calories from carbohydrates
  • 20% of calories from fats

How to calculate your macros based on a 2,000 calorie diet

To calculate how many grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats you need in a day, you would multiply your total daily calories by each macronutrient percentage.

Here’s an example of how this all works out.

Step #1: Calculate calories required from each macronutrient

Calorie requirement: 2,000

Note: use whatever your calorie requirement was from this post on how many calories should I eat a day.

How many calories of protein do I need in a day?

If your calorie requirement is 2,000 calories, you would multiply that number by 40% to calculate how many calories come from protein.

  • 2,000 calories x 0.40 = 800 calories from protein

We’re now going to do the same macro calculation for carbohydrates.

How many calories of carbohydrates do I need in a day?

If your calorie requirement is 2,000 calories, you would multiply that number by 40% to calculate how many calories come from carbohydrates.

  • 2,000 calories x 0.40 = 800 calories from carbohydrates

Now lets do the same macro calculation for fats.

How many calories of fats do I need in a day?

If your calorie requirement is 2,000 calories, you would multiply that number by 20% to calculate how many calories come from fats.

  • 2,000 calories x 0.20 = 400 calories from fats

We now know how many calories of each macronutrient we need.

The next step is to figure out how many grams of each macronutrient we need.

Step #2: Convert calories from each macronutrient into grams

Here’s how many calories are in 1 gram of protein, carbohydrate, and fat:

  • 4 calories in 1 gram of protein
  • 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrates
  • 9 calories in 1 gram of fat

How many grams of protein do you need in a day?

Here’s how to calculate how many grams of protein you need in a day.

  • 800 calories of protein / 4 calories per gram of protein
  • = 200 grams of protein per day

Based on this macronutrient split example, if your calorie requirement was 2,000 calories a day, you would want to get 200 grams of protein per day.

How many grams of carbohydrates do you need in a day?

Here’s how to calculate how many grams of carbohydrates you need in a day.

  • 800 calories of carbohydrates / 4 calories per gram of protein
  • = 200 grams of carbohydrates per day

Based on this macronutrient split example, if your calorie requirement was 2,000 calories a day, you would want to get 200 grams of carbohydrates per day.

How many grams of fats do you need in a day?

Here’s how to calculate how many grams of fats you need in a day.

  • 400 calories of fats / 9 calories per gram of fat
  • = 44 grams of fats per day

Based on this macronutrient split example, if your calorie requirement was 2,000 calories a day, you would want to get 44 grams of fats per day.

Note: this macronutrient split would be for someone who is insulin sensitive, meaning they can process and store sugar as muscle glycogen effectively, and has a goal to build muscle.

Personally, I’ve tried a 40-40-20 macro split, but since I tend to be more insulin resistant, I do not follow this approach.

However, my wife Jessica processes sugar very well, thus this higher carbohydrate macronutrient split works better for her.

Jessica Rumbaugh Before and After

This is why you have to test different macro splits to see what works best for you.

Macro split for weight loss and insulin resistance:

Here’s another macronutrient split that works for people with insulin resistance and looking to lose weight.

How To Figure Out Your Calorie and Macro Goals for FAT LOSS

This macro split also works well for people who are insulin resistant and looking to build muscle.

Following this macronutrient split has helped me get my best physique and are what I follow to Live Lean.

So if you’re looking to get lean, you may want to follow this macronutrient split as well.

For this example, we’ll use the standard 2,000 calorie diet, however we’ll calculate the macro percentages for someone who is more insulin resistant and looking to lose weight or build muscle.

Here’s my macronutrient percentages that I follow to Live Lean:

  • 40% of calories coming from protein
  • 20% of calories from carbohydrates
  • 40% of calories from fats

So as you can see with the macronutrient percentages, nothing has changed with protein, but we reversed the carbohydrate and fat percentages.

  • 0.40 x 2,000 calories = 800 calories from protein
  • 0.20 x 2,000 calories = 400 calories from carbohydrates
  • 0.40 x 2,000 calories = 800 calories from fats

When you add up the calories from protein, carbohydrates, and fats, that gives us a total of 2,000 calories.

This is broken down into:

  • 800 calories of protein / 4 calories per gram of protein
  • = 200 grams of protein per day
  • 400 calories of carbohydrates / 4 calories per gram of carbohydrates
  • = 100 grams of carbohydrates per day
  • 800 calories of carbohydrates / 9 calories per gram of fat
  • = 89 grams of fats per day

I’ve been using this 40-20-40 macronutrient split for the past 6 months.

Before this I was following the 40-40-20 macronutrient split, however I changed up my diet and macros to include less carbohydrates and more dietary fat.

The Journey To My Healthy Diet Routine

I did this because I felt my energy was all over the place and I had cravings all time.

Ultimately, I just didn’t feel right.

Since making this change to my macros, I’ve noticed:

Brad Gouthro Body Fat %
My body fat % from today

Based on this, the higher fat and lower carbohydrate approach to my macros has worked out perfectly for me.

Especially since I love eating healthy fats and haven’t really missed the sugar much.

This switch in my macros has been a success

So if you’re not liking the results you’re getting, you’re struggling with energy crashes, and you don’t have the same energy you used to, you may want to give your diet a little bit of a switch up.

Try adding in more dietary healthy fats as they are very good for your hormonal system.

8 Fatty Foods That Make You Skinny

And let me be clear, consuming healthy fats, within your calorie needs, will not make you fat.

So many people still think dietary fat makes you fat

Sure hydrogenated man made fat is not healthy for you.

healthy sources of fat

But dietary fat from natural food sources are healthy for you.

These healthy sources of fat include:

So add in more healthy fat into your diet.

However, if your body responds well to carbohydrates, and you’re looking to build muscle, you could follow the first macronutrient split recommendation:

  • 40% protein
  • 40% carbohydrates
  • 20% fats

Experiment and see how you look and feel

Then stick with the macronutrient split that works for you.

So now it’s your turn to calculate your macronutrient numbers.

Feel free to share them in the comment section below.

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We have loads of testimonials from our Live Lean TV viewers and clients of our programs, including Live Lean Afterburn and Awaken The Abs Within.

If you haven’t shared your testimonials yet, share them in the comment section below, or email them here.

I’d love to share your transformation photos, testimonial videos, or anything you’d like to send us.

You can check out a bunch of our testimonials here.

Live Lean Transformation 1,000,000 Mission

Here’s the next video post teaching you how to distribute these calories throughout the day.

For example, how many calories you should be having at each meal.


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Question For You:

  • What are your macronutrient requirements based on the information in this post?
  • Do you think your current diet is close to these numbers?

Be sure to share your answers in the comment section below.

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71 responses to “How To Calculate Your Macronutrients

  1. I’m having a hard time finding foods that contain sufficient protein to compensate for my vegetarian diet. I’m not sure about what foods contain the most protein. What are my options?

  2. Personally, I consume 2-3 g of protein per 1 kg body weight and up to 5000 calories per day. Thankfully, my body type (ectomorph) allows me to follow such diet without gaining fat!

  3. As mentioned in one of the posts, I think that the amount of carbohydrates, fats all that depends on the person. As for me I have grown up eating rice from young age. So now if somebody tells me to stop rice intake, then my body feels tired very fast and very restless. We should be able to exercise and burn out the extra fat form our body,

  4. So Brad im a 16 year old trying to bulk and im 5 foot 4. 109 pounds. And what should my macros be? My maintenance calories are 2100

  5. sorry i don’t really understand your question. that’s not 400 calories. what is the 400g of? protein? carbs? fats?

  6. I’m no stranger to the gym, but I’ve never taken my diet seriously. I’m attempting to change that this year. However, my numbers just don’t seem right. 6′, 195 pounds, workout 5 – 6 days/week. BMR 1984.45, Activity factor 1.55, Maintenance Calories 3075. I round down to 3000. That brings me to 300p/300c/67f. The protein and carbs seem really high to me. In the past I’ve only counted protein and stayed around 200g/day. Help?

  7. Simple answer to the first question, “how do you start a workout plan”?…invest in yourself and purchase a program designed by a professional or hire a trainer. second answer, yes your diet is crucial to your health. you can’t out train a bad diet.

  8. Hey brad I have two questions hope you could answer them I’m just starting to working out trying to bet better so how do you start a work out plan and since I’m not really good at eating well I just eat when I get hungry is it super near art to eat super healthy or any way I could just work out and not eat like if it would help thanks if you get a chance

  9. Brad:
    Working these numbers and I also want to share that I’m learning more about the Vegan lifestyle and trying to follow. As you share your information, if you could also keep sharing about those of us who are Vegetarians or Vegans how your plan works. I saw in a comment you state about being whole natural food, but I’m working hard to avoid dairy and meat. Also doing quite a bit of juicing if you have any comments to share on that aspect the micro-nutrients versus macro-nutrients. Thanks!

  10. Can you further explain what you mean by sensitive to carbs and sugars. Like do you feel fatigued having eaten too much or what? Thanks

  11. Can you talk about that drink called “Supermalt” evey one drinks it in london because of the Vitamin b’s. Thanks

  12. Come on Brad, I neeeed the second part to this video. I’m a lil confused on what my plate is suppose to look like when i break down my 1500 calories into 5-6 meals. I love your videos so glad I found you. Keep up the great work. You have great energy. God Bless and continued success.

  13. Can you please go into detail about healthy fats? I am feeling very sluggish and can barely make it through a workout. I beginning to think I’m carb sensitive. Great Video

  14. I feel the percentage of fat, carbs & protein that people “should” eat is completely different depending on the person. I myself cannot eat a lot of carbohydrates and I don’t because my body cannot process them… Someone else may not be able to process protein that well, thus they feel better eating more carbohydrates. It’s good to have a general rule but people shouldn’t be super narrow minded on this. Everyone should treat themselves as their own lab rat to see what works and what doesn’t. 😉

  15. Hi Brad! Great video! do you count the carbs from green vegetables? i.e. spinach, romaine lettuce, celery, brusell sprouts etc. Thanks!

  16. Oh by the way it’s Lee Murray-King, I’ve set up a new youtube channel as thinking of starting one, as a fat to fit person

  17. I love the comedy aspect of this vid, keep it ups, makes you want to watch more, also I learned something about the carbs, didn’t think about reversing them for fats, I have too many carvings, so will now recalculate diet over weekend. P.s how big is that TV ..looks the same size as the couch????

  18. Wow – you’re the first one to talk about a sugar sensitivity! Maybe that’s why I’ve been feeling like you described – I have those same spikes and cravings! I’ll definitely give upping the fat percentage a try!
    Thanks, Brad!

  19. I write about this in the blog post on my website that contains this video. Click the link in the video description to go to that blog post. I talk about symptoms of sensitivities.

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