How to Calculate Amount of Macronutrients Needed

23 July

In order to calculate how many macronutrients are required to reach a bodybuilding goal, you must first know the amount of total calories required. Please read the accompanying article on calculating amount of calories required before continuing with calculating macronutrient requirements.

Once how many calories are needed to reach a goal, the amounts of each macronutrient required is calculated.

How to Calculate Amount of Protein Needed

Most studies suggest that in the face of adequate calories and carbohydrates, the following protein intakes are sufficient:

STRENGTH training - 1.2 to 1.6g per KG bodyweight (about .6 / pound)

ENDURANCE training - 1.4 to 1.8g per KG bodyweight (about .8 / pound)

ADOLESCENT in training - 1.8 to 2.2g per KG bodyweight (about 1g / pound)

But protein intake becomes more important when total number of calories or carbohydrates has been lowered.

Protein should be calculated based on the amount of lean body mass, but can be calculated with only the total body if needed.

If body fat is known, use 1.25-1.5g per LEAN weight
If body fat percentage is unknown, but is average, use 1-1.25g per pound weight.

If you are very lean or if you are on a low calorie diet then protein becomes more important so stay toward the higher levels:

Body fat known, lower calorie intake = 1.33-2 x pounds lean mass
Average body fat, lower calorie intake = 1.25-1.5 x pound total mass

If you are very overweight or very inactive and not on a low calorie diet, stay towards the lower end of the level:

Protein = approximately 1 x total weight (can go down to 1 x LEAN MASS).

How to Calculate Amount of Fats Needed

During short periods of dieting, the body can suffice with very low levels of dietary fat, but overall the body needs fat to maintain general health, satiety, and sanity.

If one is average or lean: 1 - 2g fat/ kg body weight [between 0.45 - 1g total weight/ pounds]

If one is overweight or has a high percentage of body fat: 1-2g fat/ LEAN weight [between 0.45 - 1g LEAN weight/ pounds]

If following a low calorie diet, dietary fat levels can go down further but not less than 0.35g/ pound.

How to Calculate Amount of Carbohydrates Needed

This macronutrient is very important for highly active people, athletes or those trying to gain body mass. Carbohydrate intake aids with workout intensity, health, and satiety. However there are no specific requirements.

For athletes, calculate:
moderately active: 4.5 - 6.5 g/ kg (about 2 - 3g/ pound)
highly active: 6.5 - 9 g/ kg (about 3 - 4g/ pound)

For less active individuals, calculate it from the calories left over from fats and protein:
carbohydrate calories = Total calorie needs - ([protein grams as above x 4] + [fat grams as above x 9])]
carbohydrates in grams = above total/ 4

After all calculations are performed, the final result should give the total amount of each macronutrient required depending on one’s goals. Of course, feel free to adjust these numbers if a goal is not being reached due to diet. These numbers are given as an estimate only.

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