Posted By: CustomVite Nutrition Team Date: August 9, 2017 Comments: 0
The basis for all the calories that we consume each day are known as the macronutrients: fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Calculating macronutrients is simple and not as complicated as you may think. However, we do need to consider that each person’s metabolism, lifestyle, health, body composition, current medications, and genetics play a significant role in how the body breaks down macronutrient consumption. Nothing has to be set in stone, but there is a basic foundation and a way to get started no matter how different each individual is.
First, we need to calculate the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the amount of calories the body burns at rest. The body’s BMR increases with increased lean muscle mass, so a leaner physique increases the body’s calorie burning abilities. Believe it or not, the body uses about 60% -70% of its calories just to keep up with its daily metabolic processes, such as breathing and maintaining body temperature at rest. Approximately 30% of the body’s calories are used for physical activity, while only 10% is used in the digestion process. Hence, eating smaller meals more often can help you burn more calories. The simplest formula to determine BMR is using the Rule of 10 and Rule of 11:
-For Women: BMR=10 calories X pound of body weight
-For Men: BMR= 11 calories X pound of body weight
Once the BMR is calculated, you need to factor in your activity level to account for calories burned during exercise:
-For low intensity activities (primarily sedentary): BMR X 1.2
-For light intensity activities: BMR X 1.375
-For moderate intensity: BMR X 1.55
-For active individuals: BMR X 1.725
-For extremely active individuals: BMR X 1.9
This will give you the total amount of calories you will need to consume to maintain your current weight. Once you have this number, then you can compare it with your approximate daily calorie intake so you can adjust the macronutrients based on your goals, whether it is weight loss or weight gain. Remember: If you are consuming more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. If you’re consuming fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight.
Now how do you calculate calories? Well, one gram of protein or carbohydrates is equal to 4 calories and 1g of fat is equal to 9 calories. For protein, the most appropriate balanced approach is to consume 0.8g of protein per pound of body weight, or about 10-35% of your total energy intake. However, for heavy lifting and bodybuilding, 1g of protein per pound of body weight will be more optimal. For fats, you can designate approximately 20-35% of your total energy intake. Lastly, the rest of the remaining calories can be allocated to carbohydrates (approximately 45-65% of your daily energy intake). Of course, these numbers and proportions can be rearranged based on goals and other preferences, but these are the basics to help get you started.
(1) “Flexible Dieting (IIFYM): How to Calculate Your Macros.” Healthy Eater. N.p., 11 May 2017. Web. 31 July 2017.
(2) Kelly Gonzalez March 08, 2016. “Calorie Know-How: Get The Equation Right To Get Results!”Bodybuilding.com. N.p., 08 Mar. 2016. Web. 31 July 2017.