A four-step guide to calculating macros to cut

Hello friends! With summer upon us, and bulking season coming to an end, I wanted to follow up with my last post (and Tristan’s post) and give you all an easy way to calculate your macros for a diet/cutting season. If you have no idea what to do and you literally need it allllll laid out for you in a bulleted list, this is meant for you.

I don’t like the online calculators. They all give you different results. I like to go the standard way, and grab a calculator and do the hard work myself.

First, you’re going to need a few numbers. What is your height? What is your weight? These are both useful for calculating your BMI (body mass index) which gives you a general idea of body fat and how you fare. It goes like this:

  1. weight in lbs * 0.45 = weight in kg
  2. height in inches * 0.025 = height in m
  3.  (weight in kg) / (height in m* height in m) = BMI.

Easy enough, right? There’s a bunch of charts online, but generally, a BMI between 19 and 25 is considered healthy. Of course, this ranges depending on gender, etc. But you should use this to help you determine your goals. Obviously, cutting weight isn’t right for everyone. If it isn’t for you, stop reading now.

*AGAIN, take this post with a saltshaker (I’m going to trademark that phrase). I’m no expert here. I’m not a dietician, I’m speaking from experience and personal research I’ve done. And there’s no guarantee that this will work for everyone or be perfect for your body or your goals. Keep that in mind.

How to calculate macros for a “cut” cycle, or diet (click here to learn why counting your macros is essential):

1. Calculate protein: generally speaking, you’re gonna wanna ingest a gram of protein for every pound that you weigh. If I weigh 100 lbs, I’ll consume 100 g of protein/day. If I weigh 155 lbs, I’ll consume 155 g/protein/day.

  • body weight in lbs * 1 = # of grams of protein per day
  • This answer * 4 = # of calories of protein per day

2. Calculate fat: This is a much more subjective calculation. You want to base it off of the kinds of foods you know you’re attracted to. Would you rather eat fatty foods, like nuts, avocados, cheese? Or are you the kind of person who prefers carbs? Think of it like two sides of a scale, 0.3 being the side that would prefer carbs, and 0.6 being the side that LOVES fats. If you like fatty foods, you want to set this closer to 0.5. If you don’t care so much, maybe set it a little lower. It’s up to you.

  • body weight in lbs * the number you chose between 0.3 and 0.6 = # of grams of fat per day
  • This answer * 9 = # of calories from fat per day

3. Calculate daily calorie goal: Calories, scientifically speaking, are a unit of energy. This is a good way to think about your food because it makes it easy to remember that high-calorie foods are costly in energy to burn off. That’s common sense, though. Anyway, to calculate this number, you want to think about how active you are and what your lifestyle is like and what you currently do for exercise. I didn’t feel like typing this all out, so I made an easy chart for you to follow:


  • Daily caloric goal = body weight in lbs * activity number chosen from above
  • Don’t cheat. Be genuine here because your whole diet is going to be affected by what you choose. This is the honor system, fellas.

Ok, almost done.

4. Calculate carbs: This is kind of a messier calculation because you need to use some of the numbers you found above. So I hope you’ve been writing this all down. Remember, your carb intake is going to be determined by what you chose for your fat intake!

  • (Daily caloric goal) – (# of calories of protein per day + # of calories from fat per day) = # of calories from carbs per day
  •  # of calories from carbs per day / 4 = # of grams of carbs per day
  • REMEMBER THE PEMDAS RULE. Parenthesis first to calculate this number. Otherwise, you’re going to get it wrong. Just go to wolframalpha.com if you’re lazy.

Ta-da! There you have it. By the end of this list, you should have a set of numbers laid out, and a clear goal for an amount of each macro you should be eating daily. You’re welcome. *hairflip*

If you liked this post, make sure you click the button on the right to subscribe, so I can e-mail you and annoy you every time I post something new! Thanks for reading. If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you!


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