How to Calculate Calories and Macronutrient Needs

Please note – the following should be taken as general advice only and should not be used in the face of medical contraindications. Please consult your physician before starting any diet or nutrition plan.

Knowing How to calculate Calories and Macronutrient Needs is essential to improving your physique further, there is a few ways you can do this but I am going to show you the way that I do it.

This formula has been around for years, it has made it through the test of time. Many bodybuilders and fitness models use this method.

Basic Terminology
1/ BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate): The amount of calories you need to consume to maintain your body if you were comatose (base level).
2/ NEAT (Non-Exercise Associated Thermogenesis): The calorie usage of daily activity that is NOT exercise (eg: washing, walking, talking, shopping, working). ie: INCIDENTAL EXERCISE! It is something that everyone has a good amount of control over.
3/ EAT (Exercise Associated Thermogenesis): The calorie requirements associated with planned exercise. Unless someone is doing a whole heap of exercise (eg: two or more hrs training a day) it usually doesn’t add a stack of calories to your requirements (30 minutes of ‘elliptical training isn’t going to do it’) 
4/ TEF (Thermic effect of feeding): The calorie expenditure associated with eating. REGARDLESS of what myths you have been told – this is NOT dependent on MEAL FREQUENCY. It is a % of TOTAL CALORIES CONSUMED (and 15% of 3 x 600 cal meals is the same as 15% of 6 x 300 cal meals). It varies according to MACRONUTRIENT content and FIBER content. For most mixed diets, it is something around 15%. Protein is higher (up to 25%), carbs are variable (between 5-25%), and fats are low (usually less than 5%). So -> More protein and more carbs and more fiber = HIGHER TEF. More FAT = LOWER TEF.
5/ TEE (Total Energy Expenditure): The total calories you require – and the sum of the above (BMR + NEAT + EAT + TEF).

First of all, to calculate calories and macronutrients,  you want to calculate your body weight in pounds by a number between 12-15, now how do you know what number to calculate yours by? It’s easy! Let’s say that 12 is the lowest intensity and 15 is the highest intensity. So if you hardly worked out and you had a desk job, then you’d mutliply your weight by 12 and if you worked out let’s say, 7 days a week, then you’d multiply your body weight by 15.

Now, let’s say I workout 5 days a week but I don’t work a physically demanding job, I’d multiply my body weight by 13, so let’s do it.

Let’s say I am 210lb, then I’d take 210 and multiply my body weight by 13.

So, 210 x 13 = 2730.

That is how many calories I need to be eating to lose weight.

Now onto the macronutrients. Let’s say we’ll be doing a 40-40-20 split, so we’ll be getting 40% calories from protein, 40% calories from carbs and 20% calories from fats. Starting with the fats first.

So you take 2730 and multiply that by .20. So it would look like this:
”2730 x .20 = 546”

and there we have it, I’ll be getting 546 of my calories from fats. The reason I multiply it by .20 is because we’re doing 20% fats!

This will change depending on your ratios. Now most of us know that there is 9 calories in 1 gram of fat, 4 calories in 1 gram of protein and 4 calories in 1 gram of carbs. So next, we take our calories from fats, which is 546 and divide that by 9. So it would look like this:
”546 /9 = 60.666667” but we’re just going to round that off to 61. So there we have it, I’ll be getting 61 grams of fat per day! Now onto Protein!

Now we take our daily calories again, so in this case, 2730 for me and I’m going to multiply that by .40, because we’re getting 40% protein! So here we go. ”2730 x .40 = 1092” and that is how many calories I’ll be getting from protein a day! Now, one gram of protein has 4 calories, so we’re going to divide that by 4 to figure out how many grams of protein we’ll be getting a day. ”1092 /4 = 273” and there we go! We have our protein. Remember, we are doing 40-40-20, so carbs is going to be the same as Protein, which is 273 grams a day!

How to calculate calories and macronutrient needs

Ok, so let’s break it down using a 210lb person that works out moderately.

”210 x 13 = 2730 calories a day”

Ok, we have our calories, now onto fats.


2730 x .20 = 546 calories from fats

546 /9 = 61 grams of fats per day!


2730 x .40 = 1092 calories from protein

1092 /4 = 273 grams of protein per day


2730 x .40 = 1092 calories from carbs

1092 /4 = 273 grams of carbs per day.

And there we have it. You now know how to calculate your calories and macronutrients!



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