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Counting Macros For Accelerated Results

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by Yuan

Counting macros can help you grow faster, improve performance, avoid unnecessary fat gain, and lose body fat to reach your body composition goals.

If you’re not getting the results you want from going to the gym, it’s almost always because you’re lacking in the nutrition department. The most common responses I get are:

“But I eat a lot! I should be growing!”


“I know, I’m trying to eat more.”


“I don’t even eat that much and I eat healthy!”

And that’s the problem…words like ‘a lot’, ‘healthy’ and ‘more’ are not quantifiable. Everyone has a different idea on what ‘a lot of food’, ‘healthy foods’ or ‘more food’ means.

Counting macros gets rid of the subjectivity, no more guesswork. You get straight to the point and find out exactly how much you need to eat and adjust accordingly to reach your goals.

The problems that have been blocking you become crystal clear. Take care of it and your results will take off.

Keeping it as simple as possible

I like applying information that is well researched, keeping numbers simple and my recommendations will reflect that. There are 3 steps to figuring out your starting macros:

  1. Find your maintenance calories
  2. Decide whether you want to bulk or cut
  3. Apply the right macronutrients for your goals

Let’s get started with step 1:

Find your maintenance calories

To find your maintenance calories:

  1. Calculate your resting metabolic rate (BMR) with the calculator below
  2. Apply your weekly activity level
  • Imperial: inch/lbs
  • Metric: cm/kg


Activity level

Take your BMR and multiply it by the factor that describes your weekly activities:

1.2 = Little to no exercise
1.35 = Exercise 1-3 days a week
1.55 = Moderate daily activities + Exercise 4-5 days a week
1.75 = Exercise 6-7 days a week (This is only for people that lead a very physically demanding lifestyle)

So if your BMR is 1800 and workout 3 days a week:

1800 x 1.35 = 2430 calories/day for maintenance.

To cut or to bulk?


1 lbs of fat = 3500 calories. Create a 3500 calorie deficit in a week and you’ll lose 1 lb of body fat.

The more body fat you have, the less risk you run of losing muscle on a higher calorie deficit.

For most people, I wouldn’t recommend going over a 30% deficit per day.

If you have trouble with cravings/hunger, intermittent fasting will make it a much easier process.


The more work you do in the gym, the more you’ll need to eat in order to recover and grow.

Start with a 20% surplus everyday if either your volume or intensity is faily low. Go with 30% surplus if you’re going harder (you may need to go even higher for some of the popular strength programs, follow their guidelines accordingly).


The diet to exercise balance becomes a lot more delicate. I don’t recommend this because the majority of people will waste a lot of time trying to get the balance and miss out on a ton of progress.

How to count starting macros – simplified

I start by figuring out the minimum amount of fat and protein needed per day and then fill the remaining calories with carbs.


  • Carbs and Proteins contains 4 calories per gram.
  • Fat contains 9 calories per gram.


Protein: 1g per lb of bodyweight

Fat: 0.5g per lb of bodyweight

Carbs: fill the rest of your calories with carbs


Protein: 2g+ per of bodyweight

Fat: most guys will need at least 60 g a day

Carbs: fill the rest of your calories with carbs

Adjustments for optimal results

The calorie/macro¬†figures you’ve calculated are just a starting point. Once you apply it for a week or 2, you can adjust the figures to suit your circumstances better (raising/dropping calories and macros).

If you find your sex drive dropping, raise your fat intake for better testosterone/hormone production.

People that are more active tend to do better on more carbs and lower fat. People that are more sedentary/inactive tend to do better on lower carbs and higher fat.

Final piece: Counting calories is my favourite site for figuring out a food’s nutrient profile.

Count your calories, weigh your food, adjust until you get the results you want. Don’t worry, you won’t have to record all of your food intake forever. You can do it intuitively once you’re getting the results you want and become familiar with the amount of food you need to eat.

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