Macro series part 3: macros for fat loss or muscle gain

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this macro series I explained what macros are and how you calculate how much you should be eating. In Part 3 I am going to explain how you adjust your macros for your goal, so either fat loss or to build muscle. If you don’t know your macros then it is best to read Part 2 and then come back to this article.

By now you know how much protein, carbohydrate and fat you need to eat to maintain your current weight. If you have never tracked macros before I would advise sticking to this macro count and seeing whether, combined with your workout programme, you don’t see a positive difference in how you look and feel. If you are currently maintaining your weight on your macros and now have a different goal then read on!

macros for fat loss and muscle

Calculating macros for fat loss

The one macro you want to keep the same is your protein. You need this to preserve your muscle, read Part 1 to find out more about protein.

This guide is for a one lb fat loss per week. This amounts to a calorie reduction of 500 calories per day and you will want to reduce your calorie intake through your carbs and fat. Whether you decide to take more calories from fat or carbs will be due to what your body prefers. As I said in Part 2, my body prefers to run off carbs and so I always reduce my fat in take more than my carb in take.

Example (for lower fat):

One lb = 3500kcal ÷ 7 (days) = 500kcal per day

Maintenance= 2200kcal P155/F80/C215

Cutting macros= 1700kcal P155/F40/C180

Calculating macros for muscle gain

If you want to build muscle then you need to be in a calorie surplus. Your protein should remain the same, or perhaps slightly higher if your energy expenditure is very high (see Part 1 and Part 2).

You can’t be scared of eating! You need to aim to add 500 calories per day and this can be through both your fats and carbohydrates. Again, this will depend on what your body responds too. Saying that, you do need to ensure your carbohydrates are high.


Maintenance= 2200kcal P155/F80/C215

Bulking macros = 2700kcal P155/F95/C306

Your own calculations may look completely different. When calculating your macros it is important not to think about how much others are, or are not, eating. This is a process and you need to be consistent to see the results!

In Part 4 of the macro series I am going to show you how I use flexible dieting to add in some of my favourite foods and still stick to my goals!

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