Advice on macro split while cutting

Just recently adjusted targets to 25% fats, 30% carbs, and 45% protein. ~2900 total daily intake. 6'6" male, fluctuating 224-228 lbs day to day. Aiming for 220ish. No idea what my BF% is. There doesn't seem to be much of a consensus online for an "optimal" split while cutting since it varies per person, per body type, level of activity, etc., but I would appreciate any pointers from your successes.

Replies

  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,069 Member
    Just recently adjusted targets to 25% fats, 30% carbs, and 45% protein. ~2900 total daily intake. 6'6" male, fluctuating 224-228 lbs day to day. Aiming for 220ish. No idea what my BF% is. There doesn't seem to be much of a consensus online for an "optimal" split while cutting since it varies per person, per body type, level of activity, etc., but I would appreciate any pointers from your successes.

    Here's a few things to consider:

    First, you need enough protein to promote muscle retention. Any protein beyond that is fine and if you'd like to include a little buffer in there, cool. Additional protein COULD promote satiety too but at some point, excess protein is just expensive carbohydrate and you're better off just replacing it with carbs.

    Having said that, I consider intakes ranging anywhere from 1.8g/kg BW to well over 2.2g/kg BW however I'd limit the upper end to lean athletes looking to get leaner.

    A safe approximation that works for most people is 1g/lb of LBM.

    Once protein is set you need to consider how to best distribute the remainder of calories between carbohydrate and fat. This is going to vary a lot from person to person depending on activity levels and preferences. You could make an argument about insulin resistance and specific conditions like T2D and PCOS with accompanying insulin resistance but it's worth noting that there are also exceptions there.

    Anyway, I would consider the following possible methods of estimation for fat intake:
    .35 to .45g/lb bodyweight in fat
    Or
    25-30% total calories in fat


    From there, you'd stick the rest in carbohydrate.

    I would adjust the balance between fat and carbohydrate according to preferences, satiety, and performance, and that sounds complicated but it's largely a process of trial and error .

    Anecdotally, people who are highly active tend to do better on lower fat and higher carb intakes. That's pure anecdote/observation on my part and not intended as a hard and fast rule for everyone.

    Given all of this, I think a reasonable starting point for you would be in the ballpark of:

    200g protein
    85g fat
    330 carbs

  • shaneozouf
    shaneozouf Posts: 59 Member
    I assume you are lifting weights? Otherwise, I feel like that much protein is a waste of money (protein is expensive). If you are lifting weights, quite a lot through the week, then this split is pretty good in my opinion. I'd be tempted to increase the carbs to 35 and protein down to 40. A typical rule of thumb is to consume 1g protein for 1lb of body mass (so for you it would be 220 g protein) during bulking, I've not really heard anything for cutting though.
  • bellaa_x0
    bellaa_x0 Posts: 1,062 Member
    edited April 2017
    shaneozouf wrote: »
    I assume you are lifting weights? Otherwise, I feel like that much protein is a waste of money (protein is expensive). If you are lifting weights, quite a lot through the week, then this split is pretty good in my opinion. I'd be tempted to increase the carbs to 35 and protein down to 40. A typical rule of thumb is to consume 1g protein for 1lb of body mass (so for you it would be 220 g protein) during bulking, I've not really heard anything for cutting though.

    200g/day isn't that expensive... if cutting its necessary to maintain muscle mass. i'm a female and i'm eating 225g of protein a day. meat, eggs, egg whites, protein powder (when necessary), etc. are not overly expensive if you shop at the right places.
  • mattyice1989
    mattyice1989 Posts: 18 Member
    @shaneozouf That's correct. I'm currently doing a four-day split with limited cardio and then a longer run on a fifth day. My workouts generally last 1hr15 ish and my Fitbit claims I expend roughly 3500-3900 calories total on days I lift, something I find difficult to believe. I've read Fitbits overestimate calorie expenditure by 10-15%. My four days are comprised of a slightly modified version of Jim Wendler's BBB program for bench (1) and squats (2) and then I have my own program for bis/back (3) and shoulders (4). Various exercises for abs every lifting day.

    @SideSteel Based on what I've said above about my level of activity, do you still think the same macro split is appropriate? I've seen others suggest 30% fats as a good rule of thumb too and am on board with that but I'm having a hard time accepting eating more g of carbs than protein at this point. As a side note my carb source is largely from sweet potatoes.
  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,069 Member
    @shaneozouf That's correct. I'm currently doing a four-day split with limited cardio and then a longer run on a fifth day. My workouts generally last 1hr15 ish and my Fitbit claims I expend roughly 3500-3900 calories total on days I lift, something I find difficult to believe. I've read Fitbits overestimate calorie expenditure by 10-15%. My four days are comprised of a slightly modified version of Jim Wendler's BBB program for bench (1) and squats (2) and then I have my own program for bis/back (3) and shoulders (4). Various exercises for abs every lifting day.

    @SideSteel Based on what I've said above about my level of activity, do you still think the same macro split is appropriate? I've seen others suggest 30% fats as a good rule of thumb too and am on board with that but I'm having a hard time accepting eating more g of carbs than protein at this point. As a side note my carb source is largely from sweet potatoes.

    Yes, I think my recommendation is appropriate. I also don't think you should be eating more protein than carbs although the ratio of the two in comparison to each other isn't necessarily all that important.