Setting Your Calorie and Macro Targets

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Replies

  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,117 MFP Moderator
    Very nice post....
  • onyxgirl17
    onyxgirl17 Posts: 1,715 Member
    this is very helpful, thanks :)
  • onyxgirl17
    onyxgirl17 Posts: 1,715 Member
    this is very helpful, thanks :)
  • katevarner
    katevarner Posts: 884 Member
    Is maintenance different? I am small, but I'm also sensitive to carbs and prone to gain if I overindulge. By these calculations, I only need 16% of calories from protein and 15.5 from fat. That leaves 68.5% from carbs? I actually eat about twice those numbers: 25-35% from protein and 30-40% from fats. Is that wrong? Then another 35-40% from carbs.

    For your reference, I'm 111 lbs., about 89 lbs. LBM.
  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,069 Member
    Is maintenance different? I am small, but I'm also sensitive to carbs and prone to gain if I overindulge. By these calculations, I only need 16% of calories from protein and 15.5 from fat. That leaves 68.5% from carbs? I actually eat about twice those numbers: 25-35% from protein and 30-40% from fats. Is that wrong? Then another 35-40% from carbs.

    For your reference, I'm 111 lbs., about 89 lbs. LBM.

    The recommendations are good general starting points regardless of cutting/bulking/etc.

    That being said, if you're 111lbs and you have a rather ridiculous TDEE due to tons of activity, I could see where that could make your percentages look goofy.

    Can you please post what you end up with for your maintenance in the following format:

    Calories
    Carbs (grams, not percent)
    Fat (grams, not percent)
    Protein (grams, not percent)

    Thanks
  • katevarner
    katevarner Posts: 884 Member
    Is maintenance different? I am small, but I'm also sensitive to carbs and prone to gain if I overindulge. By these calculations, I only need 16% of calories from protein and 15.5 from fat. That leaves 68.5% from carbs? I actually eat about twice those numbers: 25-35% from protein and 30-40% from fats. Is that wrong? Then another 35-40% from carbs.

    For your reference, I'm 111 lbs., about 89 lbs. LBM.

    The recommendations are good general starting points regardless of cutting/bulking/etc.

    That being said, if you're 111lbs and you have a rather ridiculous TDEE due to tons of activity, I could see where that could make your percentages look goofy.

    Can you please post what you end up with for your maintenance in the following format:

    Calories
    Carbs (grams, not percent)
    Fat (grams, not percent)
    Protein (grams, not percent)

    Thanks
    I try to aim for about 2250 per day--I have a BodyMedia, so that's about what I burn on average, but I eat less on days I burn less and more on days I burn more instead of eating the same every day. I calculate that at about 90 lbs. LBM (I'm at about 19% bf), that gives me 360 calories from protein (90x4), 350 calories from fat (39x9) and that leaves 1540 calories from carbs (eeek!).
  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,069 Member
    Is maintenance different? I am small, but I'm also sensitive to carbs and prone to gain if I overindulge. By these calculations, I only need 16% of calories from protein and 15.5 from fat. That leaves 68.5% from carbs? I actually eat about twice those numbers: 25-35% from protein and 30-40% from fats. Is that wrong? Then another 35-40% from carbs.

    For your reference, I'm 111 lbs., about 89 lbs. LBM.

    The recommendations are good general starting points regardless of cutting/bulking/etc.

    That being said, if you're 111lbs and you have a rather ridiculous TDEE due to tons of activity, I could see where that could make your percentages look goofy.

    Can you please post what you end up with for your maintenance in the following format:

    Calories
    Carbs (grams, not percent)
    Fat (grams, not percent)
    Protein (grams, not percent)

    Thanks
    I try to aim for about 2250 per day--I have a BodyMedia, so that's about what I burn on average, but I eat less on days I burn less and more on days I burn more instead of eating the same every day. I calculate that at about 90 lbs. LBM (I'm at about 19% bf), that gives me 360 calories from protein (90x4), 350 calories from fat (39x9) and that leaves 1540 calories from carbs (eeek!).

    Makes sense.

    If it truly is your TDEE then you aren't going to gain weight at that intake, however you're more then welcome to reduce CHO and increase P or F to personal preference.

    I think the majority, but certainly not everyone, can benefit from higher CHO for training performance reasons.

    EDIT: In the original post:

    We would recommend, as a rule of thumb, the following:

    1g of protein per lb of LBM as a minimum target

    0.35g of fat per lb of total body weight as a minimum target

    The balance can fall where you wish, taking into account performance, satiety and adherence.
  • katevarner
    katevarner Posts: 884 Member
    Thanks, SS. I actually eat more carbs on days I workout harder generally and more protein on rest days.
  • Saunz5
    Saunz5 Posts: 165 Member
    I feel even more dumb now. :( I just don't get it... My head hurts! TOOOOO many options and numbers! :(
  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,079 Member
    I feel even more dumb now. :( I just don't get it... My head hurts! TOOOOO many options and numbers! :(


    What is your calorie target? That is the first place to start.
  • Saunz5
    Saunz5 Posts: 165 Member
    I feel even more dumb now. :( I just don't get it... My head hurts! TOOOOO many options and numbers! :(


    What is your calorie target? That is the first place to start.


    Someone else figured it out for me... 2000 is what they've told me so that's what I've been aiming for.
  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,079 Member
    I feel even more dumb now. :( I just don't get it... My head hurts! TOOOOO many options and numbers! :(


    What is your calorie target? That is the first place to start.


    Someone else figured it out for me... 2000 is what they've told me so that's what I've been aiming for.

    So assuming that is correct, and based on your stats in the other thread -

    Fat: 44g - 20% on 2,000 calories (minimum)
    Protein: 108g - 20% on 2,000 (minimum)

    I rounded the % to the nearest 5%

    balance in carbs
  • Saunz5
    Saunz5 Posts: 165 Member
    Isn't the ideal macros ratio for building muscle with least amount of fat 40/30/30?
  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,079 Member
    Isn't the ideal macros ratio for building muscle with least amount of fat 40/30/30?

    No - as it explains in the OP, protein and fat macros should be based on factors such as size and activity level, not on percentages.

    However, to be clear. The first thing that needs to be looked at how large a caloric surplus you have - the smaller the surplus, combined with appropriate protein and appropriate carbs to fuel intense enough workouts (which need to have progressive loading built into the programming) will lead to the least amount of fat gain v muscle gain. However, too small of a surplus leads to very very slow progress and leaves no room for estimation errors.

    Where are you seeing that the 40/30/30 is?
  • Saunz5
    Saunz5 Posts: 165 Member
    Isn't the ideal macros ratio for building muscle with least amount of fat 40/30/30?

    No - as it explains in the OP, protein and fat macros should be based on factors such as size and activity level, not on percentages.

    However, to be clear. The first thing that needs to be looked at how large a caloric surplus you have - the smaller the surplus, combined with appropriate protein and appropriate carbs to fuel intense enough workouts (which need to have progressive loading built into the programming) will lead to the least amount of fat gain v muscle gain. However, too small of a surplus leads to very very slow progress and leaves no room for estimation errors.

    Where are you seeing that the 40/30/30 is?

    2 different sources I got the 40/30/30 from. One was bodybuilding.com and the other from the person who figured out my calorie goal.
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-macro-manager-muscle-building-ratio.html
  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,079 Member
    Isn't the ideal macros ratio for building muscle with least amount of fat 40/30/30?

    No - as it explains in the OP, protein and fat macros should be based on factors such as size and activity level, not on percentages.

    However, to be clear. The first thing that needs to be looked at how large a caloric surplus you have - the smaller the surplus, combined with appropriate protein and appropriate carbs to fuel intense enough workouts (which need to have progressive loading built into the programming) will lead to the least amount of fat gain v muscle gain. However, too small of a surplus leads to very very slow progress and leaves no room for estimation errors.

    Where are you seeing that the 40/30/30 is?

    2 different sources I got the 40/30/30 from. One was bodybuilding.com and the other from the person who figured out my calorie goal.
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-macro-manager-muscle-building-ratio.html

    In my opinion, as well as people's far more learned than me in this area, protein should be based on things like size, activity levels, whether in a caloric deficit or not, and not on a percentage. Fat percentages are the same principle. Setting percentages without regard to the calorie level is not ideal. For example, the lower the calories, the lower the grams if you use percentages - whereas your actual needs go up.

    We recommend using the calculations laid out above.
  • Emaginesc
    Emaginesc Posts: 49 Member
    I am fairly new, again to this. I joined years ago and lost doing mostly South Beach. Back again. I do not have much to go on to see really where I should be. The pounds lost catch my eye the most. I go over in protein. I am set at 1200, not sure if I should be.

    I am 38, Workout 4-5 times a week with Dance & Circuit among other various add ons. I am also easing back into jogging with a bad knee. Not too great yet with the cold. Other than that I homeschool my two special need kids so any activity is due in part with them.

    I see different calorie defaults for MFP, I see all the math and setting ppl use. Honestly, it gives me a headache lol. I need/want to lose around 35-40.

    Would I still be ok at 1200, most days I am not hungry. Partly due to protein. But I only drop a couple of ounces or so at a time. I really have no idea where I should be, nor eat - low carb/no carb! Blah!
  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,079 Member
    I am fairly new, again to this. I joined years ago and lost doing mostly South Beach. Back again. I do not have much to go on to see really where I should be. The pounds lost catch my eye the most. I go over in protein. I am set at 1200, not sure if I should be.

    I am 38, Workout 4-5 times a week with Dance & Circuit among other various add ons. I am also easing back into jogging with a bad knee. Not too great yet with the cold. Other than that I homeschool my two special need kids so any activity is due in part with them.

    I see different calorie defaults for MFP, I see all the math and setting ppl use. Honestly, it gives me a headache lol. I need/want to lose around 35-40.

    Would I still be ok at 1200, most days I am not hungry. Partly due to protein. But I only drop a couple of ounces or so at a time. I really have no idea where I should be, nor eat - low carb/no carb! Blah!

    I would recommend using the guidelines above.

    If you want to use MFPs settings - pick the option for a 1lb a week loss and the lightly active activity setting (you could be more however). Eat at 50 - 75% of your exercise calories back.

    Set your macros as explained above.

    Hunger is not a good indicator of whether you should eat or not as out appetite signals can get messed up by our hormones.

    Make sure you record everything that you eat/drink. Weigh and measure everything.
  • reenasamaan
    reenasamaan Posts: 66 Member
    Hi there! I'm new to this group and a friend of mine recommended it in order to get my targets in order and learn more about overall fitness, macros, etc! I've been skimming the threads so much and the information is fascinating - there's so much to learn!! First thing for me I've very curious about is "am I doing this right?" Seems silly right? MFP says I should net at 1200 cals a day to lose 1 lb a week. This worked when I first started MFP almost a year ago, but I've stalled a bit since June 2012. I'm 5'5'' and 123 pounds (down from 178 a few yrs ago) and approximately 22% bodyfat. I've been eating at 1400-1500 calories the past 6 months and I've lost no pounds over that time frame. For a month though I was down 2 lbs. I log and record everything, and truth be told I sometimes eat 1800-2000 cals on the weekends. I get in about 65g protein, 55g fat, and 200g carbohydrate daily. I work a desk job that occasionally puts me on my feet, I do about 45-50 mins of cardio every day at the gym and strength train about three times a week.

    I've always been of the understanding that if you weigh less, you should eat less. I can't imagine eating much less with the amount of exercise I do in the morning! But eating more seems foreign to me, too - that's how I ballooned in the first place! Thoughts- do I need to reduce calories or increase them to lose these last 5 lbs of mine? Thank you!
  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,079 Member
    Hi there! I'm new to this group and a friend of mine recommended it in order to get my targets in order and learn more about overall fitness, macros, etc! I've been skimming the threads so much and the information is fascinating - there's so much to learn!! First thing for me I've very curious about is "am I doing this right?" Seems silly right? MFP says I should net at 1200 cals a day to lose 1 lb a week. This worked when I first started MFP almost a year ago, but I've stalled a bit since June 2012. I'm 5'5'' and 123 pounds (down from 178 a few yrs ago) and approximately 22% bodyfat. I've been eating at 1400-1500 calories the past 6 months and I've lost no pounds over that time frame. For a month though I was down 2 lbs. I log and record everything, and truth be told I sometimes eat 1800-2000 cals on the weekends. I get in about 65g protein, 55g fat, and 200g carbohydrate daily. I work a desk job that occasionally puts me on my feet, I do about 45-50 mins of cardio every day at the gym and strength train about three times a week.

    I've always been of the understanding that if you weigh less, you should eat less. I can't imagine eating much less with the amount of exercise I do in the morning! But eating more seems foreign to me, too - that's how I ballooned in the first place! Thoughts- do I need to reduce calories or increase them to lose these last 5 lbs of mine? Thank you!

    How long have you been on a continual deficit for? (ignoring the odd 'cheat' day) The 6 months or longer? If longer, what was your calorie intake then?

    What type of strength training do you do?