If you’re looking to step up your summer shred prep, no matter how late you think you’ve left it, it’s never too late to begin changing your life.
When it comes to dropping weight for the summer, a contest, a photo shoot, a holiday, or anything else for that matter, it always pays to understand how to calculate macros for cutting.
The summer is now upon many of us, which means that we have months upon months of hot sunshine, long days, short nights, and generally great times ahead.
If you’re looking to hit the beaches looking like a Greek Adonis, you’ll need to ensure you’re stepping up your cutting game.
This means that, not only should you change your training and focus more on cardio, but it also means that you should ideally switch up your diet in order to drop fat, whilst preserving muscle.
This is where how to calculate macros for cutting proves so useful.
You see, in order to drop weight, we need to push ourselves into a caloric deficit, but is that enough?
Well, no it isn’t.
This is because we also need to track our daily macros as well.
Below you will find a detailed guide looking at how to calculate macros for cutting, how to cut successfully, general tips and tricks, and much more besides.
So, without any further hesitation, let’s take a look at how to calculate macros for cutting.
What Are Macros?
Before we go any further, it’s important that we first clear up exactly what macros are.
You may have heard people talking about macros, macronutrients, IIFYM, and flexible dieting in general, but what exactly does it mean?
Well, put simply, a macro, or macronutrient, is either a: carbohydrate, fat, or protein.
Basically, your macros are used to describe the amount of energy from calories, your body is receiving from each specific macro group.
So, if you consume 100g of protein per day, your macros for protein would refer to 100g of protein, and exactly how many calories you received from that 100g of protein.
It also pays to know your caloric values for each macro.
Proteins and carbohydrates for example, contain 4 calories per gram, whereas fats contain 9 calories per one gram.
Some people also class alcohol as a macronutrient for when they fancy a drink, but truthfully, there is virtually no nutritional value in alcohol, it certainly isn’t vital, and at 9 calories per gram, it certainly isn’t ideal for cutting, so let’s not worry about that for now.
What Is meant by ‘cutting’
Cutting is a term used by bodybuilders and fitness competitors to make reference to the fact that they are cutting weight by dropping fat.
Basically the idea behind a successful cut is that you lose as much body fat as possible, whilst preserving as much lean muscle as you can.
Bodybuilders for example, will aim to cut down their body fat percentages to just single digits, often on the lower end, typically around 3% – 5%.
Getting your body fat percentages this low is not healthy however, and when you consider the fact that your ABS become visible when you get to around 13% body fat, these types of numbers are the ones you should be aiming at.
You may wish to cut to simply look better this summer, you may be cutting for a holiday, a photo shoot, a competition, or anything else.
When it comes to how to calculate macros for cutting, this basically is talking about the total daily percentages of calories you require from fats, carbs, and proteins, in order to burn fat and preserve lean muscle.
How To calculate macros for cutting?
Now that we know what a macro is, and what a cut is, it’s now time to learn how to calculate and track your macros for cutting.
There are a number of steps to consider, but by the time you’ve finished reading this article, everything will hopefully seem much, much simpler to you.
Work Out How Many Calories You Require
Before you can track your macros, you first need to know exactly how many calories per day you require.
Now, you could hop online and use a simple calculator by entering basic info about yourself (age, gender, weight, height, etc.) or you could do things manually if you feel like a change.
To work things out manually, in pounds, take your weight and multiply it by 11 – 14.
If you are very sedentary and get very little exercise at all, multiply by 11.
If on the other hand, you work an active job, and still find yourself very physically active in your spare time as well, multiply by 14.
If you are somewhere in between the two, well, 12 or 13 is your magic number.
It is, however, important to be honest, so even if in your head you try to be a 14, if deep down you know you’re an 11 or 12, make sure you multiply by 11 or 12, otherwise the formula won’t work.
Figure Out Your Macros
Next up, it’s time to figure out your macros for the day.
To do this, look at the following:
Fats should primarily come from healthy sources such as oily fish, avocado, coconut oil, nuts, etc.
Fats are very important for our metabolisms, our brains, and many other physiological processes and major organs in the body as well.
Each day you should aim for between 0.3 grams of fat, and 0.6 grams of fat per pound of bodyweight.
Base this on personal preference, and off-set against carbs.
So, if you go fairly high carbs, you should aim for 0.3 grams per pound of bodyweight.
If you go lower carbs, 0.6 grams per pound of bodyweight is ideal.
Protein is vital for the health, function, growth, and repair of our muscle tissue, and our cells.
To work out your protein requirements, take your weight in pounds, and that’s it.
Yes, it really is that simple.
If you weigh 200 pounds, you need 200g of protein each day.
If you weigh 180 pounds, you need 180g and so on.
Figuring out carbohydrates is a little trickier.
Here you will need to do a few calculations.
To start with, go with your daily intakes of protein, and then multiply this number by 4.
So, if on 200g of protein, 200 x 4 = 800.
Next up, take your total fat intake in grams, and multiply that by 9.
So, if on 120g of fat, 120 x 9 = 1080.
You then add 1080 to 800, so 800 + 1080, which will equal 1880, and you then subtract this from the total number of daily calories you are aiming for each day, to get your total amount of grams of carbs.
So, if you are aiming for 2000 calories each day, 2000 – 1880 = 120 grams of carbs.
Then divide this number by 4, so 120 divided by 4, which will equal 30, so you should be aiming for 30 grams of carbs per day.
The reason this is so low is because your fat intakes are so high, so this would be a typical example of somebody following a ketogenic diet which is low in carbs and high in fat.
Things To Be Wary Of
In terms of how to calculate macros for cutting, make sure you factor in things such as daily activity, your job, weight loss and weight gain, goals, targets, and food and drink preferences.
You also need to make sure that you are tracking absolutely everything that passes your lips.