How To Count Your Macros (A Comprehensive Guide)

This is a comprehensive guide that details how to count macronutrients.

The information is clear and simple. It is best suited for beginners, but it could also serve as a refresher for anyone.

In this article, we will cover the following:

  • What are macros?
  • How to really read a nutrition label (and sift through the BS)
  • Foods with and without Nutrition Facts
  • Macronutrients versus Calories
  • Measuring and Weighing
  • FAQs

“Macros” What are they?

There are three macronutrients, or Macros:

  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates

And, technically, alcohol is a stand-in fourth



What’s it do?

Well, adequate protein intake will help build muscle and/or prevent muscle loss if you are in a calorie deficit.  It controls appetite and staves off hunger better than fats or carbs as it causes you to feel full longer.

It also requires more energy than other macros for your body to digest, thus effectively burning more calories gram for gram through the digestion process. 

All of these reasons make high-protein diets great for fat loss.

Where do I get it?

Meat, fish, eggs, dairy and protein shakes are all good sources.

There are many commonly cited “good” protein sources, like nuts or beans, that are actually terrible sources of protein. Only about 15-20% of the calories in these foods come from protein.

Almonds, for example, are 73% fat and only 14% protein.  This is not to say you shouldn’t eat almonds, but it explains why “nuts are great protein!” is rarely coming from a credible source.

How much do I need?

It really depends on your weight, bodyfat % and goals – as low as 0.5 grams per pound of lean body mass (per day) and as high as 1.5-2 grams per pound of lean body mass.

Lean body mass is your total bodyweight minus your fat.  For example, if you weigh 200 pounds and are 20% bodyfat, your lean body mass is 160 pounds, or 200 – (200*20%).

So, if you weigh 200 pounds and have 160 pounds of lean body mass, 0.5 grams per day would be 160*0.5 = 80 grams of protein.


What’s it do?

Fat is an essential nutrient that our bodies require to live; it assists in vitamin absorption, hormone regulation, brain function, and more.

Where do I get it?

Meat, fatty fish, nuts, nut butters, oils and countless other sources.

How much do I need?


Moar Fatz, Por Favor

Again, it depends on your weight, bodyfat percentage and goal – probably somewhere between 15% and 45% of your total calories. However, it can vary based on your total calories consumed and whether you are in a caloric surplus or deficit. Somewhere between 0.35-0.7g per pound of lean body mass is a good range.


What’s it do?

Carbs are stored in the liver, brain, blood and muscles as glycogen. Our bodies use carbohydrates for energy.

Where do I get it?

Fruit, vegetables, grains, many processed foods/drinks, and seemingly everything you obsessively craved if you’ve ever tried a low-carb diet.

How much do I need?

It depends. Technically, you can live on zero carbs. But, bodybuilders or endurance athletes have consumed 700+ grams per day. So, the range is pretty wide.

0.5-2 grams per pound of lean body mass is probably a decent range, again, depending on activity level, weight, bodyfat percentage and goals.


What does it do?

Well, it can make you cooler, funnier and more social, or possibly louder, angrier and more violent; it can make you more confident or more dumber, better or worse at sex, euphoric or depressed — all depending on who you are and how much you drink, of course.

In all seriousness, alcohol is not an essential nutrient, but it does contain calories which is why it stands in as a fourth macro.

Where do I get it?

From teh booze, duh. Beer, wine, liquor and my personal favorite, mouthwash.

How much do I need?

As much as it takes to forget your problems, comfortably interact with the opposite sex, and pump your brain with enough dopamine to make barely tolerable co-workers new BFFs in a 90 minute Happy Hour.


Remember, all calories come from macronutrients.


Vitamins, minerals, sodium, etc are micro-nutrients and do not contain calories.


ONLY proteins, fats, carbs and booze yield calories.


Can You Mathhszzz like him?

Let me introduce you to my man, Chunk.

If you can’t tell, Chunk obviously kills it at the maths, and he is only 10 years old.  Which means that if you are older than ten, I expect you can also perform the basics:  (+), (-), (x), (/).

What’s that? You can? Good. Then we can move forward.

Oh, and apparently Chunk used his arithmetic skillz, cuz look at him now:


Macros counted, good looks achieved

Each macronutrient yields a certain number of calories.

  • One gram of protein yields 4 calories.
  • One gram of carbohydrate yields 4 calories.
  • One gram of fat yields 9 calories.
  • One gram of alcohol yields 7 calories.

If you would please take a peek at the nutrition label below, we uncover the relationship between macronutrients and calories.

  • Protein = 13 * 4 = 52
  • Carbohydrates: 36 * 4 = 144
  • Fat: 1 * 9 = 9

144+52+9 = 205 calories

Pretty close, outside of the unavoidable rounding error.

This should be easy for you. If it’s not, practice on a few items in your cupboard before we move forward.


Food with a Nutrition Label

When counting macros, foods with a nutrition label are easy. Just take 30 seconds to look at the label, jot down your macros and move on with your day. They’re freebies.


No, they are easier than lay-ups.

They are breakaways on a pulled goalie.



Patrik Stefan was a former first overall pick. He didn’t count his macros. Now he’s a European hockey agent.

Look at label, write down macros, don’t “blow it.”

In all seriousness, there is a lot of nonsense on a standard nutrition label that you can skip over which allows you to focus on what really matters: Proteins, Fats and Carbs.

And burying the puck.

Let’s breeze through the nutrition label.

Serving Size

The information listed on a nutrition label is for one serving.  It is important to keep this in mind because many consumer products contain 2-3+ servings in a package.

For example, the macros listed on a bottle of mountain dew:

  • Fat: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbs: 31g

However, there are 2.5 servings in a bottle.

So, the macros for a bottle of Mountain Dew are actually:

  • Fat: 0 grams (0g*2.5)
  • Carbs: 78 grams  (31g*2.5)
  • Protein: 0 grams (0g*2.5)

Don’t get caught in the trap that gets the average, brainless consumer.

31 grams of sugar? 110 calories? That’s nothing. *Chugs bottle*


Calories provide us with energy, you probably know that. As we discussed earlier, all calories come from proteins, fats, carbs or alcohol.  Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) do not contain calories.

Should I Count It? 


Saturated Fat

Saturated fat has been painted as leading villain to heart disease and obesity for the past few decades. This is turning out to be not so true; in reality, a constant calorie surplus (eating more cals than you burn) fuels these diseases. Saturated fat does not.

Saturated fat has actually been shown to have some benefits: mainly, it is a precursor to testosterone production.  It also improves brain functioning, nerve signaling and immunity.

Should I Count It? 

Saturated fat, along with unsaturated fats (including trans fats) make up the total fat column. There is no need to count sat fat specifically.


Cholesterol, like saturated fat, is produced naturally in the human body.  Also like saturated fat, it has been vilified for years, but doctors and researchers alike seem to be coming around to the idea that it ain’t so bad.

Should I Count It?



Sodium is a mineral, so it does not contain any calories. Sodium gets a bad rap, and low-sodium diets have become increasingly popular.  This is very faddish — sodium intake is irrelevant to long run bodyweight (I say long run because manipulating sodium intake can cause drastic fluctuation in short-term bodyweight).

Look, the human body needs sodium to function.  So unless you have high blood pressure or another disease that requires a low sodium diet, I wouldn’t stress too much about this micronutrient.

Should I Count It?

Only if you have high blood pressure or another relevant disease.

Dietary Fiber

We discuss fiber more in the FAQs below, but for now, fiber is a carbohydrate. A carbohydrate with many benefits:  it slows digestion, decreases blood cholesterol and increases satiety/fullness.

Should I Count It?

Nope, just count carbohydrates. That being said, it is important to get adequate fiber in your diet, so be sure to include plenty of fibrous veggies/fruits.


We are going to skirt the endless is sugar bad and how much can you eat debate.

Here is what you need to know: Sugar is a carbohydrate. With regard to intake, moderation is probably best. All of your carbs should not come from sugar, but you certainly don’t need to ditch it completely.

Include a bunch of fruits and veggies in your diet, and feel free to mix in some sugary desserts as well to reach your total macros.

Should I Count It?


% Daily Value

This is the government recommended daily intake of each nutrient based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

I would suggest completely ignoring it.

Seriously, pretend this column doesn’t exist.

It’s like everything else the government does: the food pyramid, or social security, or the outright theft of money via the federal reserve, or the manipulation of Pat Tillman’s death (friendly fire at best, probably murder) into war propaganda, OR that feeling when you realize your tax dollars are paying for two traffic cops to stand under a perfectly functional stoplight waving wands at cars…

Yeah, that’s basically % daily value.

The recommendations are wildly inaccurate and provide an unhealthy macronutrient distribution, making them a contributor to obesity.

Your parents thought they were doing the right thing feeding you 11 servings of bread per day.  So did mine.  Let’s forgive ‘em and move on.

Should I Count It?

Please, no. Don’t even acknowledge it.


Food without Nutrition Facts

Counting macros in food with a nutrition label is straightforward, but there will be many situations where the macros are not printed nicely on the package. Here is how to handle those times.


For produce, look up the nutrition facts online.

You may see a small amount of variance, but in general, each of these sites will give you accurate numbers.

Notice that you can adjust the serving size as follows:

  • Generic: One medium apple
  • Metric: 100 grams
  • US: 1 cup

While you can eyeball the size of fruits/vegetables to get a decent estimate – small, medium or large, for a more accurate number, you should use a food scale. You might be surprised what qualifies as “small” or “large” when eyeballing.

If you have never used a food scale, I made a good video for you further down in this guide.


You can search online for meat nutrition facts just like we did for produce.  Remember to weigh your meat raw, as the meat’s weight will decrease when cooked and the nutrition label is representative of raw meat.

Actually, I wrote a fairly detailed post on measuring meat macros here.


Restaurants are getting pretty good at publishing their nutrition data online. Fast food restaurants usually have a pdf on their website. Some companies, like Chipotle, have macro calculators where you can build your own meal.

Not all restaurants have reached this level, and it poses a problem if you are counting your macros.

I don’t have any tips or shortcuts here. Cold guessing the macros on a plate is hard. The longer you count ’em, the better you’ll get at estimating any meal with relative ease.

Until then, let me do it for youSeriously, tag me in a pic (@ontheregimen) and I will guess your macros. It’s basically my only God-given talent, so let me use it.

Measuring Food

Now that we have all the theory down, let’s put this into practice.

Food Scale

I suggest buying a food scale. They are cheap, absurdly simple to use and a great tool for your kitchen.

How to use a food scale:

Measuring Cups & Spoons

But Mike, weighing my food on a food scale seems kinda obsessive. Can I just use measuring cups or spoons?

Yes, you certainly can.

But here’s the thing:

  1. The food scale isn’t obsessive. It’s actually an incredibly useful tool for your kitchen and saves you time scrubbing peanut butter and olive oil out of tablespoons.
  2. We humans are really, really bad at measuring food by hand. And we don’t even know it. Often, we unknowingly over or underestimate by 50% or more when using measuring spoons and cups.

So, get a food scale and learn how to use it. At the very least, you will have it for the following situations:

  1. You are just starting to learn how to track macros
  2. You are dedicated to a specific goal (lose 20 pounds by class reunion) and want an exact macro count
  3. You hate doing the dishes, inaccurate measurements, and the inability to lose weight


Counting Macros versus Counting Calories

Alright, I get this macro stuff, but can’t I just count calories?

The truth is, yes, you will definitely lose weight if you focus solely on calories and consume fewer cals than you burn. That’s just plain old science.  And if there was one thing we learned from the Twinkie study, it’s that the laws of thermodynamics (calories in – calories out) are for real.

But the quality of your weight loss will suffer if you ignore the macronutrients.

For example, inadequate protein during a calorie deficit will cause you to lose muscle. Inadequate fat intake will negatively impact many of the hormones that help your continued weight loss. And inadequate carbohydrate intake can negatively impact training performance in many instances.

So, while you can drop weight by counting calories, we aren’t just interested in dropping weight. We want a good lookin’, athletic, healthy body.

For that, counting calories ain’t enough. You need to count your macros.

Macro FAQs

Q:  I often see lists of food that are “good protein sources.” For example, Chicken thighs and steak are listed, but they also contain fat.  Do I just count the protein or do I count all of the macros?

Good question. The answer is that you count all of the macros even if a food is listed as a good protein or fat source.  So, you would count both the protein and fat in the thigh.

A good fat, like nuts, will contain primarily fat, but it will also have some protein and carbs. You should count those too.

Q:  What’s with the “free veggies” I see in some of your programs?  Those have carbohydrates. Don’t I need to count those?

There are a few reasons that certain veggies (generally non-starches that have pretty high fiber) are “free”, as in, you don’t need to count the macros in them.

  1. The micronutrients. These foods contain tons of good vitamins and minerals (which do not yield any calories, remember?). Most people don’t get enough micros, so veggies with no macro-debt incentivizes this.
  2. One word, fiber. Dietary fiber, though a carbohydrate, does not yield 4 calories per gram. Soluble fiber yields ~2 calories per gram, and insoluble fiber yields 0 calories per gram. Additionally, fiber decreases absorption of protein and fat, thus reducing the calories from these sources.
  3. You stay full and happier.  These veggies help a ton with satiation while not adding many calories at all. This makes diet adherence more manageable and increases your rate of success by decreasing binges and diet failure.

So, between micronutrients and high fiber, the benefits of these free veggies far outweigh the cost of some additional calories.

Q:  Alright, I climbed the learning curve. I’m pretty good at counting macros. But it still takes up more of my time than I’d like. I don’t really care enough to do this forever.

Yes! This is perfect. You shouldn’t feel the need to count your macros forever.

Having the ability to track your macronutrients is a weapon that you want in your arsenal. It is something you want to able to use if you need to. It is absolutely not required at all times.

Currently, I make broad estimates of my daily macro intake. But if I want to get serious about a goal, I can flip the switch at any time.  I am in control of changing my body.


Q: Okay, I’m going to count my macros. Should I keep track of my calories also?

Nope! There is really no need for you to track calories, as was previously mentioned. If you keep track of protein, fat and carbs – then whatever your goal macros are will hit your goal calories also. They are one in the same.



If you have any questions at all, please ask.  Leave a comment below or get ahold of me on facebook, twitter or Michaelvacanti [@] gmail [.] com

Knowing how to track macronutrients is a skill imperative to having control over your body. So, if you are confused by anything at all, let me know and we’ll figure it out.


If you enjoyed this article, you might want my Free Beginner’s Fitness Guide. It is packed with more nutrition information, beginner training strategies and tons of fitness myth-busting.

Coaching Opportunity

I am taking on clients for online coaching.

In addition to receiving macros specific to your body’s individual needs and goals, your nutrition plan will be adjusted to prevent those inevitable plateaus when weight loss stops. You will also receive a custom training program, 24/7 support from me and comprehensive weekly updates.

The best part: you can do this from anywhere in the world.

You can apply here for more info.

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Comments for This Entry

  • Chris Reid

    Hey Michael, I found this article and bookmarked it weeks ago and only just read it now, but I thought it was an absolutely fantastic read. I am a Melbourne [Australia] based Personal Trainer and aspiring Kickboxing phenom and having to cut weight for fights let alone my own personal goals in the gym is up there with the things least fun to do! Especially not knowing where to start! So this article was a great eye opener for me and i know it will be great for all my followers on to learn. Would be great to connect with you there. May you have a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year buddy. Best wishes for 2014! Cheers, Chris Reid

    December 20, 2013 at 9:34 am | Reply to this comment

  • Melanie

    How does one figure out how many macros they need?

    December 21, 2013 at 2:45 am | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Melanie, There are many ways of going about it. Estimating your maintenance calories is the first step. From there, you want to determine how many calories you will be eating each day to achieve your goal (more than maintenance for muscle gain, fewer than maintenance for fat loss). From there, many folks like to use a 40/30/30 (or some kind of pre-determined ratio) to divide the calories by protein/fat/carbs. I prefer to calculate protein and fat based on your bodyweight and bodyfat%, then fill the rest of the calories with carbohydrates. Although it will vary from person to person and goal by goal.

      December 21, 2013 at 6:28 am | Reply to this comment

      • Julie

        Hi Mike, Thank you so much for that detailed article along with the videos. I was in the process of trying to establish lean muscle and then lean out (12 week program) when two weeks into it found out I needed shoulder surgery which I will be getting in the next week. I'm a very activer person (gym, hiking, snowboarding, yoga) and I am very upset about having to give up most of that during my recovery. However, I am determined to eat right and at least do cardio and lower body workouts while recovering. My question to you, is should I attempt to "bulk" while recovering or just focus on fat loss until I can hit the gym full force again? Right now, I am 5'7" 122.4lbs and approx 20-22% BF. Any suggestions?

        February 17, 2014 at 11:42 pm | Reply to this comment

        • Mike Author

          Obviously I'm late here Julie, but in the future (because injuries happen to all of us!) if you are fairly limited in what you can do, I find that maintenance or a very slight deficit would make the most sense

          January 5, 2016 at 12:21 am | Reply to this comment

  • kairi

    Hi Mike! Thank you for this post! I've been thinking of counting macros and didn't know where to start. This was the first article I've read to find out more information and I don't think I'll need to go anywhere else. This was so so so informative and easy(and fun) to read. Thank you! ^-^ I saw your earlier reply to someone asking how to determine how much macros I need on a daily basis... But I'm still confused. :( I'm around 150 5'4 female. I'd like to get back to my healthier weight of 120. How should I calculate this? Thank you again :D

    January 5, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Kairi - depends on quite a few factors, but I think a good starting point for you is to aim for 110-115g protein per day and around 1300 calories. Really glad you liked the article!

      January 9, 2014 at 6:08 am | Reply to this comment

      • Greg

        Hey mike loved this article learned a lot from it! I'm still having hard time trying to figure out my macros. I'm a male 6"0 260lbs. If you can get back to me that would be great.

        March 25, 2014 at 12:33 am | Reply to this comment

        • Mike Author

          Greg - so sorry for delay brother. You can use my equations right here:

          January 5, 2016 at 12:22 am | Reply to this comment

          • Tammy

            I am trying to better understand this macro counting. I am looking to get down to 125-130lbs. I am 5'5" tall and current weigh between 176 and 178. I work out 3 to 5 x weekly, but it doesn't appear to be enough. What should my caloric intake be per day? How does that breakdown for, proteins, carbs and fats? Help please

            September 13, 2016 at 6:43 pm

          • April Nava

            Thank you so much for this article! I’m understanding it very well for being a beginner, but before I do start I have a quick question. If something has more than one serving size & I calculate by the serving size, do I then divide that number if I’m portioning out meals?

            January 3, 2018 at 10:46 am

      • Tricia

        hi - i'm confused as to Macros too i'm 35, 5ft 1, currently 118 lbs and want to cut back the last bit of fat. i'm 18% maybe slightly more since calculated. i'd like to build lean muscle more, and lose fat?

        April 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Reply to this comment

        • trandana

          You don't need to cut back fat. At 118 lbs there isn't going to be much to cut back. Don't forget that women are naturally a bit fatter. Keep doing resistance training, and eating lots of low fat foods, lots of protein and do a bit of cardio and you will look awesome

          May 24, 2014 at 12:33 am | Reply to this comment

        • Mike Author

          Tricia - it probably makes sense to focus on losing fat OR building muscle. This late in a deficit and because you are already lean, it's going to be much more difficult (if possible at all) for you to "recomp"

          January 5, 2016 at 12:23 am | Reply to this comment

  • Miki

    Thanks for all the info! It was really easy to follow and understand. I've recently started counting my macros but I've been having a hard time trying to get the numbers exact. Will it hurt me in the long run if my macros are 2-5grams under or over? Thanks!

    January 9, 2014 at 3:25 am | Reply to this comment

  • sachin kundu

    This is good Stuff Mike. I realized that macro counting is just as difficult as learning anything new. Take a plunge and do it. Over time one gets better with it.

    January 9, 2014 at 5:57 am | Reply to this comment

  • Marc

    Hi Mike read the article a couple of times and have some questions. I'm male, 5'10", 165lbs. About 2 months ago I quit smoking, started eating more healthy(gave up processed foods, junk food etc) and started exercising 3-5X/week. I just use the erg(rowing machine. Although I'm still not fit, I'm more fit than I was 2 months ago and getting better. I always had a high metab. My weight isn't really bad but I would like to lose some more belly fat, maybe get down to mid-high 150's. Since I've been eating much better and hitting the rowing machine my body is starting to get proportioned a bit. My main question is about my current diet. I can't seem to find a good source for a good diet. My main problem is I'm always hungry. I'm trying the 5-6 meal a day thing and it's not working. Someone suggested to me a high fat low carb diet and I'm not sure what that is. Here is a sample of my food; Breakfast; 2 eggs, bowl of shredded wheat(whole milk) Snack; peanut butter/jelly on whole wheat, fruit Lunch; lean meat on whole wheat, salad, fruit Snack; 1/4 lb lean meat, fruit, small amount of nuts Dinner; meat, lots of green vegetables Snack; bowl of shredded wheat(whole milk I estimate this to be around 2000 calories and I'm always hungry. What do I need to change? Marc

    January 11, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Mike Author

    First, amazing job quitting smoking and turning things around -- 2 months is a long time. Keep it up. So, it's tough to say what you should do without asking more questions. But assuming you want to lose fat (and take cals a bit lower while staying full) I would suggest making every single meal protein based. Meat+veggie -- then add sides. For example: swap that pb&j for chicken breast and brussels sprouts. Eating more protein and high fiber veggies will help keep you full while keeping your total calorie intake a bit lower. Good luck man.

    January 11, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Marc

    Thanks Mike, Since you recommend making all my meals protein based would lets say a 4 egg omelet be OK for breakfast and get rid of the bowl of shredded wheat?

    January 12, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Marc

    Hi Mike I don't know if it's because I have a high metab or not. I had a 4 egg omelet this morning and was still hungry. I was so hungry to had to eat my tuna on whole wheat not long after. Even eating the tuna and whole wheat I'm still hungry. Drinking water satisfies the hunger feeling a little bit. I worked out on the erg yesterday and worked up a BIG sweat. Is it possible that the workout is causing this strong hunger feeling? I figure the omelette with ham is about 450 calories and I was still hungry like I said, then the tuna on whole wheat which I know 200 cal is mostly carbs from the whole wheat, the tuna not much. As I said before I'm male, 5'10", 163/165lbs.

    January 13, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Carmen Tejada

    This is great, I've been changing up my diet a lot but I have a question about fruits and veggies. You may have said this above but are you suppose to count macros on those? sometimes I stop myself from eating them because I'll go over my numbers?

    January 13, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Carmen, Yep, you should count macros in fruits and veggies. Though they are packed with micronutrients, and generally no one is going to get fat eating produce, you may still need to limit your fruit and starchy vegetable intake during a calorie deficit. High fiber veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, etc) is good to go in high volume. -Mike

      January 13, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Becs

    Hi mike What advice could you give a vegetarian? I want to start eating by my macros but it seems difficult to get protein as a vegetarian from good sources that aren't also high in carbs and fat. I'd prefer to get my protein from natural food sources rather than a protein shake but an happy to have a protein shake a day if needed. Is this the way to go?

    January 17, 2014 at 12:04 am | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Becs - so, as a vegetarian your high protein/low cal food sources are pretty limited (as you noted in your question). Egg whites and some dairy sources are pretty good, but you will have to supplement with a shake to reach a min protein level while keeping cals relatively low. For cost, I think Gold Standard Protein by ON is great. If you are worried about the ingredients, BioTrust makes a great protein that I would check out. Slightly pricier but really good.

      January 22, 2014 at 2:13 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Krystal Preston

    I've been hearing a lot about macros lately. No idea how they come up with the rate (ex: 40/30/30) or how to apply that each day though. I use myfitnesspal and it said I should be eating 1460 calories to loss weight. It also gives daily amou nts for things like carbs, fats, etc. I'm 5'6 and 183. I've lost 50lbs so far by counting calorie, portion control and walking 4 miles a day. I've also started doing weights at the gym a couple days a week. I just want to make sure I'm not missing something that could make my efforts have more of an impact. I used some formula is found online to determine how many protein/fat/carb calories to have and it gave me these numbers 584-protein, 450-fat, and 106-carbs. Does that sound right? Sorry for rambling, I'm extremely lost and new to all this. Any info you can provide is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    January 17, 2014 at 6:59 am | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Hey Krystal, 40/30/30 is the distribution of the different macros. For you, I think it would be best to aim for protein intake of 80%*bodyweight and shoot for calories in the 1350-1450 range. Fat and carbs will make up for rest of your calories, in whichever distribution you prefer.

      January 22, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Reply to this comment

  • jessica

    Question I'm trying to figure out what my macros should be. I'm 5'5" and weight about 210. I get how to to calculate them but to figure out what I need for weight loss I'm confused. Thanks Jessica

    January 22, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Jessica - a good place to start is calories at 7-9x bodyweight and protein at appx 80% of bodyweight (so, about 165-175g/day for you). Later in the process, you can optimize fat/carb intake for maax progress. But for now, cals and protein should be sufficient.

      January 22, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Linda

    Hi Mike, I am 5'1'' feet and my body weight is currently at 108 pounds. I go to gym 6 days a week, and rest one day. I am currently tried to build lean muscle mass. My body fat is still 23%, and would want to reduce to about 10%. How can I count my macro intake for this. Appreciate your help. thanks.

    January 23, 2014 at 8:03 am | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Linda -- 10% is extremely extremely low. But, what you are describing is two goals: fat loss and muscle gain. I would focus on one at a time and choose macros for each goal individually.

      February 9, 2014 at 1:15 am | Reply to this comment

  • Sheria

    Hey Mike, I stumble across your article searching " What is Macros and How i count them". It is definitely informative and feel with knowledge. But its hard for me to comprehend it in a way that i can adapt it my everday life. First of all, I have know idea with my body fat is and the calculation although you said a 10 yr old could do it--im confused lol Sorry. Next, what is the difference, if any between "Clean Eating" and Counting Macros". ok so here a little about me that may help you answer my questions. My background - Im about 5'1 /5'2 and about 150 (147 last time i weighed myself--but im sure ive gained weight). I have been doing a lot of research and reading blogs on " Clean Eating" and I found it interesting because its eating REAL FOOD and thats very important to me. I want to lose weight while changing my lifestyle not just Loose Weight...But the deepier i dig into healthy lifestyle I find all these different methods. Any advice you give is appreciated--please Help!!!! Thank So much nd Again I love the artcle

    January 23, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Sheria, Great question. In short, "clean eating" generally means a diet in fruits/veggies/meat and other unprocessed foods -- def not bad advice. But you can still get fat eating unprocessed foods. Macronutrients compose calories which will determine whether you gain weight or lose weight.

      February 9, 2014 at 1:18 am | Reply to this comment

  • Lindsey

    Hey Mike, I recently( today) made the decision to switch my lifestyle to counting my macros. I used the IIFYM calculator and these were my numbers Calories- 1660 and 35/35/30. I'm 28 5ft 6.5 inches weighing 147 looking to loose fat. Would you say those are good counts to start with?

    January 24, 2014 at 4:57 am | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Lindsey - not bad. I'm not a huge fan of using %/%/% splits -- rather, calc protein first then fill fat and carbs per your desires. 1660 might be a bit high for fat loss, but give it a try, evaluate progress, and adjust if needed. Good luck!

      February 9, 2014 at 1:19 am | Reply to this comment

  • shari

    Hi Mike, I'm trying to figure out what my macros should be to help with major fat loss. I'm 5'8 and 283. I'm currently going to the gym 3 times a week and eating healthy. I'm trying to transform my body as best as I can, and really believe this will help! Thanks again, for such a great article!

    January 26, 2014 at 7:17 am | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Shari - really awesome. I'm really happy you are making these changes. Something like 180g protein and 1800-2000 calories is probably a good starting point. Track diligently for a few weeks, and see how things go.

      February 9, 2014 at 1:22 am | Reply to this comment

  • Jordash

    Hi Mike. Fantastic article! I really like how simply you explained everything. Anyway, I've been counting macros for about 2 weeks now. I'm trying to add lean muscle so I'm eating a diet that requires a calorie surplus obviously. My challenge is that I have a hard time getting enough of the right foods throughout the day, therefore I end up eating much larger meals for dinner and in the evening then I otherwise would to get all the macros I need. I suspect this isn't the best idea since all the food will sit overnight in my system. Is the time of day important for when you are consuming your macros, or is it as simple as getting hitting your macro amounts by the end of the day now matter how you get there? Thanks!

    January 31, 2014 at 6:18 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Jordash - glad you liked it! Timing actually isn't a big deal at all -- so long as you hit your totals for the day. Food eaten later in the day is not more likely to get stored as fat as food eaten at different times in the day. Good luck adding mass!

      February 9, 2014 at 1:25 am | Reply to this comment

  • Madison

    Hi MIke, I really loved this post. I'm looking to start counting and am still a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing. I feel like it should be clear but im hoping you could answer a few questions for me. I'm 5'6 129-132 lb female. I lift 6 days a week with (maybe) 15-20 minutes of cardio everytime. I'm proud of my progress but I need to continue to lean out. I'm pretty good about prepping my meals for 4-5 days at a time but i dont know how much i should be eating each meal. Usually 1/3 cup sweet potato, a half cup or so of a green veggie, and chicken. When i would count cals id give myself some back after factoring in my cals burnt. Is it the same for macros? Also, i dont know where to start with how much i need. I found one calculator that put me at 169 grams of protein, 120 carbs, and like 50 grams fat..or something along those lines. What do you think? Your input is reallllly appreciated!

    February 3, 2014 at 6:27 am | Reply to this comment

  • Paula

    Hello Mike, I've been reading a lot about Macros & how using this method not only helps you to lose weight but also helps you tone and look/become healthy....which is what my goal is. I made a vow to begin a healthier LIFESTYLE in 2014 and so far it's been a slow process. I am a sufferer of Fibromyalgia & with recent weather conditions, I have been unable to go to the gym on a regular basis. I usually work out 4 days a week but I'm not seeing any results. Currently I weigh 207 lbs. my height is 5'4 . I would like to begin utilizing Macros but I have no idea where to begin. I know you said a 10 year old could figure it...give me a little grace because I still don't get it. What should i do to start? What should my calculations be?

    February 3, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Rich

    Hi Mike, I found your article very appealing. I have a few questions in regards of counting My macros.I've been bodybuilding for a little over a year. I started at 190 lbs and now I am at 215 lbs, hence what I'm doing is obviously working. However, I really want to cut my body fat down to at least 12% Right now I would guess I am somewhere around 25%. Should I count my macros? If so, how do I calculate my ideal daily carb, fat, protein, and calorie intake. I usually take in at least 215 grams of protein but I have no idea what my daily macros are. .. Looking forward to your reply. Thanks

    February 4, 2014 at 4:34 am | Reply to this comment

  • David Rounick

    I recently started counting my macros and I have to say, it has been quite fun! My friend talked me into it because I was working out with no results. After 2 months, I have noticed quite a difference. I was wondering how imperative it is to stick to EXACT numbers? What (+ or - ) will not make a difference? Is one gram a fat more significant than one carb? Also is powered protein drink the exact same as eating the protein? Thank You!

    February 5, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Ming

    Great article and I am going to follow your article to count my macros. my question is I usually eat 4 to 5 meal per day. Per my weight, height and activity level, I am going to try 81 g of carbs for now.What is the %ratio should I distribute my carbs? should I have more around the time I do my workout? should the amount of carbs and %ratio be different on cardio day vs weight training day? Thank you!

    February 8, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Anthony Letts

    Hey Mike, love the read man. My cousin is a nutritionist and he's been helping me out with the macros counting the past year or so. When I started last January I was 179 pounds, and I'm 5'8". I've bulked and cut since then, and I just finished my 2nd bulk last month getting up to 205. I'm now 195 pounds a month into my 2nd cut, and my cousin has told me to cut my macros to 70 fat, 345 carb, and 225 protein. That seem right to you? My bulk was at 71/390/247, so I feel like it won't do much. Hope for some info bro! Thanks!

    February 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Emily

    Thank for the article. I actually started counting macros a few weeks ago at the suggestion of my sister-in-law. I am 5-10, weigh 210, and am currently running 2 miles three times a week (hoping to increase my distance every other week). I used an online calculator that put me at 162 carbs, 97 protein, and 29 fat. I do not eat fast food nor do I drink soda, pretty much just water (except for morning coffee). I am having a hard time hitting my carb and protein goals. Breakfast usually consists of egg whites and spinach or greek yogurt and fresh blue or blackberries. Lunch is usually a sandwich of laughing cow cheese, meat and spinach on a thin wheat bread, and dinner is usually a meat, sautéed fresh veges (brussel sprouts, zucchini, green beans) in a little olive oil and salad. What can I add to increase just my carbs and proteins?

    February 11, 2014 at 5:03 am | Reply to this comment

  • julie

    mike I love this article! I used iifym to track mine daily for I am trying to cut back from 20% bf to 17-18. so far so good. my question is, somedays I'll be so close to hitting my macros, and my carbs will be under. my fat and proteins will be on point though! what are some ways of avoiding this? (I'm out of my house 54 hours a week so I'm a meal prepper)

    February 13, 2014 at 11:43 am | Reply to this comment

  • julian

    hello mike i am an amatuer boxer walking around at 130 pounds and would like to compete in the 123 pound division. i workout 6 days a week, 4 hours daily. i was wondering how much proteins, fats, carbs, and calories you'd recommend i take in to burn fat. can you please help?

    February 18, 2014 at 7:18 am | Reply to this comment

  • Elyse Lazaruk

    Hi Mike - I found this article very useful and am becoming very aware of macros. I am trying to figure out what my breakdown would be. I weigh 124 lbs and have a body fat around 23%. I am trying to drop body fat and weight. Been doing weights 3 days a week and cardio 3 days. Any suggestions?? Thank you

    February 19, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Andrea

    Hi Mike. I am really new at this and struggling a bit to find out how many macros I should be eating a day, and particularly how to split them up. I don't know my bodyfat percentage, but I gather I am in the low to mid 20% range. I'm 5'9", 145 lbs and I work out 2-3 times a week, but hoping to amp that up to 4-6 times a week as I further commit myself to changing my body. I am not looking to gain a great deal of muscle, but more to tone and look better in a bikini :) Any suggestions on how many macros and how I should split it up? At least on how I should begin?

    February 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Legna

    Hi Mike. I love your posts & your humor. I think you are great! Ok so, I've been stuck between 128-133bs for the last few months. I'm 5'7 with 20% body fat. I work out 6 days a week. I think that I might be stuck because my food portions may be a bit much. I eat clean, my workouts are HIIT & never repeat themselves. Anyhow, I'm considering counting Macros & buying the scale as you mentioned in your video. I suck at math so is there a simple App I can use that would calculate what's Macro level I would be?

    February 22, 2014 at 3:29 am | Reply to this comment

  • Tammy D.

    Hello, I read your article and am happy to have found your page. Ive been following some fitness people on IG and a lot of them count their macros, which I find interesting and a little confusing. I'm extremely obese. I am 5'3 and weigh 227 lbs. waist is 41 in, hips 51 inches, and according to online calculations I'm small frame. Because I am so over weight can I still count my macros for weight loss? If so can you help me figure out how to do so? Thanks a bunch.

    February 23, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Paula

    Hey Mike! Thank you for the amazing work you put on to give us a perfect example on how to count macros, I'm 5'3 and I weight 148lbs, I think I'm 28% body fat and I want to lean out, I run 5 miles per day by the beach ( yes I'm very athletic ) and I also do crossfit, but when it comes to dieting I suck, I've tried the paleo diet, so far it gave me great results, I'm def going back at it tomorrow. So I'm assuming I have to have a high protein intake and low carb intake as well right???

    February 24, 2014 at 12:43 am | Reply to this comment

  • Jas

    Hi! Thank you for the article! It contains so much information, and has really pushed me into believing I can do this. I am slightly worried that I may not know exactly how to calculate how much protein/ carbs/ fats I need. I'm about 5'6, about 150-160lbs. I'm in a wheelchair, so it's so much harder to figure out how much I weigh. I just want to look better, and feel healthier. I would like to go back down to about 120-130.. but my main goal at the moment is to feel healthier. I was wondering if you could help me calculate how much of each I would need. Thank you so much! And, thank you for the article.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Roxy

    Hi Mike, I am a 52/53 kilogram female at 162cm height. I have always been soft around the edges and am striving for a better physique. The last time I had my BF tested it was 21%. I calculated my macros based on the above and came to 1200 calories for fat loss, 114P, 35F, 108C. My question is this - I currently eat much less carbs than this as I am insulin sensitive and a lower carb diet has always agreed with me more (or so I believe). Do you still recommend this many grams of carbs? Or should I increase my fats instead? Thanks!!! Roxy

    February 25, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Megan

    Hi Mike! I really want to build muscle while still staying lean. Im still a little confused on how to calculate my macros. Im 5'6 and weigh 127. If you could help me out that would be great, thanks!

    March 10, 2014 at 1:36 am | Reply to this comment

  • Megan

    Not calculate I meant COUNT. Sorry!

    March 10, 2014 at 1:38 am | Reply to this comment

  • Chelsea

    Mike- I've seen a lot of plans that divvy the macros into 3/4/5 meals a day. Aside from athletic performance based reasons, does it matter when or how you divide your macros you consume throughout the day as long as you hit your daily goals at the end? I understand that some meals' macros are structured differently if you are working out intensly, but is that the only circumstance? Thank you!

    March 10, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Grace

    Absolutely love the breakdown in this article! Only problem is, is having to calculate my body fat as the BMI chart isn't accurate. I've been on this whole healthy lifestyle change for the past 2 years and I've fell in love with lifting heavy. But after a year, I hit a plateau. I would see all over Instagram people talking about macros and never fully understood it until now. So thank you! Now to invest in a food scale =)

    March 13, 2014 at 8:58 am | Reply to this comment

  • shannon

    Mike! love this post, the most helpful tips and advice I have come across yet. I am looking to start tracking my macros not because I need to lose weight but because I want to maintain but slowly add more size to my figure. I am a lean 5'7 110lb female and I am trying to build muscle but trying to keep a lean shape. My question is, what would you suggest for the macros?

    March 16, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Reply to this comment

  • cort

    I am a 5'4 female 130lbs and about 20% bodyfat. Id like to get yo 17-18% in 2-4 months but am having trouble with how much macros I should consume. Help?!

    March 19, 2014 at 3:20 am | Reply to this comment

  • Kristi

    Hi Mike, I loved your post. I have a quick question. I have recently started to focus on counting macros rather than calories. I started counting calories and working out in May, 2013 and have since lost about 25-30 lbs. I'm a 23 year old female, ~125 lbs, 5'1 and have been consistently eating around 1200 net calories a day. I do about 1 hour cardio, 3 times a week and do some light weight lifting about 3 times a week as well (TDEE is approx 1770-1800 calories based on IIFYM calculator). I noticed in the past couple months that I have reached a serious weight loss plateau, have started feeling really hungry, terrible mood all the time. I had suspicions that my metabolism has significantly slowed down and after consulting with a personal trainer from my local gym, she seems to think that I am 1) not eating enough calories 2) not lifting enough weights/too much cardio. She suggested to look into IIFYM and try reverse dieting to eventually eat back to my maintenance calories so I can put on some muscle. Since I am so used to counting/calculating net calories, I am unsure of the effects of exercise on counting macros. This particular personal trainer says that exercise is no factor in reverse dieting/counting macros, which I am having a hard time wrapping my head around. Currently, based on IIFYM calculator, I am trying to eat 75g carb, 50 g fat, 125 g protein. I read tons of forums that are saying that when you calculate your macros, the calculator takes into account your exercise. However, my goal is not my current TDEE, as I am trying to gradually increase more calories into my diet. My current goal is my approximate BMR, which is about 50 calories more than I have been eating. So, if I were to work out and burn 500 calories, for example, I find it hard to believe that my macros would not be adjusted due to the calorie burn. I guess I am just confused how my macros are affected if my 'goal' on IIFYM does not include exercise but I still do exercise. Thanks!

    March 19, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Vic

    Hey mike I'm currently training to take a firefighter physical exam and I'm really trying to lose weight and gain more muscle mass. I do insanity once a day and I usually run a mile every day but my diet is one area where I'm lost. I was wondering if you could help me with macros and calories and how to go about losing weight. I'm a female I weight 185 and I'm 5"3'.

    March 19, 2014 at 11:13 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Shweta

    Hey Mike, Love this article. Bookmarked! Quick question - so my macros are 225C/200P/100F. Problem is that I am invariably short 200-400 cals and ALL of it is bcoz of my fats! Always left with 60/50g of fat at the end of the day. What do you recommend I do? I really appreciate your reply. p.s. i'm on my bulk with a 300 cal surplus.

    March 21, 2014 at 12:09 am | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Shweta. Add peanut butter to your shakes (pb co makes delicious white choc pb). Butter to your eggs. Olive oil on your veggies/sweet potatoes/etc. That should get you there -- butter and oil is very dense (14g of fat per tbsp)

      March 21, 2014 at 12:50 am | Reply to this comment

      • Shweta

        Thanks very very much! One last question if you have the time to reply - I am not competing, and don't plan to - how much degrees of deviation ( maybe in %) can i have on my macros? Like it's next to impossible to hit ALL my macros right on the dot, right? I am training under someone right now, and live in Edison, NJ. I checked out your personal (not online training) section. Would you still train if I made it to NY? It's like a 40 min ride on NJ transit for me to NYC. Thanks! I am so glad i stumbled upon your blog - you have a talent in writing in a way that's easy to understand and fun to read! Mad props!

        March 22, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Reply to this comment

        • Mike Author

          Generally, 5-10% margin of error is cool with me. So, 150g of protein, if you come up like 7-15g short, not the end of the world. Might be able to work something out re: training shoot me a note! michaelvacanti at gmail

          March 22, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Adam

    Hey Mike I found your post very informative one of the best around just curious tho if I want to be building muscle do I have to just leave my weight loss macros ( calorie deficit ) and do a maintenance or a surplus thanks a lot I'll be looking forward for a reply

    March 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Dee

    This is great!! Exactly the type of guidance I've been looking for. I just started this macro counting and so far I love it.. One question, if cutting and you gained 2 pounds instead of losing, is that normal? I'm coming off of a very low calorie diet (think 900 calories a day) and years of the typical yo-yo dieting, which messed up my metabolism and caused weight gain. My question is because I'm finally eating at a more healthy caloric number, should I be prepared to gain a little weight as I count my macros? How long do I keep consuming at these macros before readjusting..

    March 25, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Tony

    I loved the article, but I have one quick question. I'm 5'8" 198 pounds, I bulked from last April til last month and I gained 10 pounds in that span. Now my nutritionist started me on a cut down diet last month but I haven't lost any weight. He has me on a 2,300 calorie, 50 fat/270 carb/190 protein macros count. Is that right? Or should I be doing a different count?

    March 26, 2014 at 12:53 am | Reply to this comment

  • Katherine

    Hey Mike! Great site I currently eat between 1200-1600 calories a day, am a long distance runner and do strength training (5'2 and 125). I am looking to get down to around 110. Cutting calories does not seem like an option because I'd be going dangerously low. If I had .5 grams of carbs per lb of body weight, is that still adequate to provide enough energy to exercise? If not, any suggestions?

    March 26, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Abbey

    Hi! I really liked this article. It was very informative. I wanted some of your advice...what percentage of protein, carbs, and fat do you think I should be eating? I am 5'6'' and around 165 lbs. I am starting to lift and not doing very much cardio...only around 10-15 minutes at a time.

    March 26, 2014 at 11:41 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Becky

    Hey Mike, just read your article and love, love all of it. Of course like everybody still not quite sure how to calculate my macros. I am 5'5. 135# I've recently lost 15 pounds and would like to lose more fat but also want to have muscle. Not sure if I should build the muscle first then try to lose the fat? Or should I focus on a deficit first see what's there muscle wise, or can they be done at the same time? Just want to look strong in my swim suit. Thanks.

    March 27, 2014 at 11:12 pm | Reply to this comment

  • James

    Hi Mike, great article! Some advice if possible please - I am Male, 5ft 9 , 140 pounds and my macros come out on IIFYM as 56F 244C 175P. I do cardio 3 times a week and light weights as I want to maintain/ tone. My protein target seems really high and I'm really struggling to hit.Any advice? Should it be lower? Many thanks

    March 30, 2014 at 12:48 am | Reply to this comment

  • tara

    I’m 37 years old 126kg and 163cm, i have started to lose weight and having 1300-1400 calories per day and not doing much activity, will this help in losing weight??!! I’m planning to do some resistance at home.... what is my macro??

    April 2, 2014 at 11:48 am | Reply to this comment

  • brian

    Haha, I love your take on %DV. I HATE this value as well and tell clients to ignore it. Awesome write up. I will be bookmarking thing and keeping as a reference to send people. Thanks!

    April 2, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Reply to this comment

  • yazid

    Hi mike, I am new to counting macros. There are somethings which i do not understand. If i were to aim to lose weight without losing too much muscle mass how do i go about doing it? I am 169cm tall and weighing 176 pounds. Your reply is very much appreciated Mike.

    April 4, 2014 at 9:39 am | Reply to this comment

  • AJ

    Hi Mike, I think I've got the math down for calculating my ideal macros based on your details, but have some questions: 1) Based on my body weight of 183lbs (no idea what my bodyfat % is, but I'd guess around 25-26%), do I estimate correctly that on a non-training day if I'm looking to lose fat (and gain muscle), I should aim for about 150g of protein a day (80% of 183), and 1460 calories (8x183), or are these targets for maintenance? 2) To me, using the term "work out" has very broad meaning. Someone could spend an hour on a treadmill, or an hour lifting heavy weights, and there are some big differences in how your body responds to each. a) that being said, if I spend 4 days a week doing 1.5-2 hours of strength training programming (3-4 sets of the basic lifts at about 85% of max on most occasions, increasing week over week) with low-intensity cardio at the end of each workout (rowing, mostly), or pretty intense olympic weightlifting sessions (technique and practice on snatch and C&J), what should my macros be on those days (again, trying to lose), and b) if I am working out in the evening, what qualifies as my "training day"? The actual day I work out, from sunrise to sunset, or the 24 hours following my workout? Thanks a lot for your help! Antesa

    April 6, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Reply to this comment

  • sukaina

    hi Mike, First thank you so much for this article. I am just starting now with counting my macros and there are so many confusing ways of explaining this whole thing out there. Your article helped me a lot. My question: I am only 15 years old and turn 16 in a few months. I already calculated my BMR with a special calculator for teenagers but do I also have to change the macros. I planned to calculate my needed daily intake of fat and protein and then just use the leftover calories for my carbs. I also don`t know how much bodyfat I have. I can only compare myself to pictures so its not that accurate.

    April 7, 2014 at 8:54 am | Reply to this comment

  • AM

    Hello Mike, I weight about 62kgs my height is 165cm. I've been on a calorie deficit for the past 2 months (all my meals except my breakfast is vegetables with protein and some healthy fats). I just realized that my fat loss rate is decreasing. My maintenance calorie is around 2400 cal/perday (I found this using the Total daily expenditure calculator online). I deducted 20% which results to 2100 calories needed per day. I just want to make sure if everything is correct: I filled my protein macros first then fats and filled the remaining calories with carbs as shown below: Protein: 185 grams, Fats 53 grams, 236 grams. a) Is everything correct the way i did it? is my macros correct? b) how should i calculate my macro split now? should i split them using calories or grams? cause this changes the ratios. If i use calories my macro split will be: 33.9%: 22.25%:43.85% (Protien:fats:carbs) Thank you

    April 7, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Ramona

    Hi Mike, I'm 27 years old - 5'6'' and 155 lbs. I'm looking to lose about 20 lbs and am currently using my fitness pal as a guide to help my count my macros. Currently I'm consuming around 1500 calories, which breaks down into 40% Carbs, 15% Protein, 20% fats - by default in the app. I'm just getting started with this - and am completely lost as to whether these are the most accurate targets for me to optimize fat loss. Please help!!

    April 10, 2014 at 12:37 am | Reply to this comment

  • Mary Beth

    Hey Mike! I love IPAs too, and I'd really like to enjoy a Dogfish Head 60 minute or a Zombie Dust. How do you recommend working this into my macro calculations? What should it replace? Thanks!

    April 11, 2014 at 2:38 am | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Nice! I actually wrote a bit about booze and macros, you can see how to make those adjustments here:

      April 16, 2014 at 1:32 am | Reply to this comment

  • Alex

    Hey Mike, Love the article! I've always wanted to track my macros, but I never knew where to start. I use myfitnesspal right now, but I don't think it's helping me. I used the IIFYM calculator but the numbers didn't seem right. I'm 5'4, 17 years old, female, about 110 pounds, I do crossfit about 3-5 times a week and sometimes go to a normal gym. I'm also a distance runner for my track team and want to run a marathon some day. I have track practice 5 times a week and we run roughly 4-7 miles each day. The problem is, I've been feeling really fatigued lately and sometimes I would have to skip a run/practice or take more days off than I normally would. I feel like my body is almost breaking down and I think it's all due to nutrition. What macros should I start out with if I want to build more muscle? My BF is at like 18% (used a scale about 3 weeks ago but I don't know if it's accurate). Any help at all would be appreciated! Thank you!

    April 13, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kimmie

    Hey Mike, I am looking to lose fat around my mid section first because I just had a baby 7 months ago and am having a hard time losing the weight around my stomach only. My arms and legs have gone back to pre baby size. (I measured myself before I got pregnant) but my stomach still looks like I'm about 5 months pregnant. I have decided that I want a lean muscular body and not to be "skinny" so I know that counting macros is the way I need to go. So should I first count macros to lose my stomach or can I count my macros to begin building a lean muscular body?

    April 13, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Reply to this comment

  • SteampunkMuppet

    Aaw. Using Patrick Stefan as a bad example makes me said, haha. (Go Stars!)

    April 13, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Av

    Hi Mike, Great article, very informative and to the point so thank you for providing that information. Not sure if this has been addressed, however I am also using MFP to keep track of my macros. I am currently at 1350 calories, 68g Carbs, 186g protein and 38g fat. When I input any exercise/activity into MFP, it allows me more calories, more carbs, more protein and more fat based on how many calories I've burned - is this accurate? Or should I be sticking to the numbers above regardless of how much exercise I've done? Thanks for your advice! Av

    April 14, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Charlie

    Hi Mike, Quick question: Do you count the protein and fats from carb sources? For example 100g Brown Rice has 3g Fat, 74g Carbs and 7g Protein according to MyFitnessPal. Obviously this affects calories and so is important, but in terms of hitting your protein goal do you just focus on meat, eggs, cheese etc to hit it or do you count other sources such as carbs as well? Thanks, Charlie

    April 15, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jessica

    Hey Mike, i just read your article. Very informative. I will definitely be buying a scale. Although i am still a bit confussed on summing up my protein intake. How would i sum up my protein intake (Macros)??/ For example if my macros is 40/40/35 how do i apply that with my food?? do i just read the grams for protein on the label and sum it up all day? Sorry im just lost on how to add up all the foods at the end of the day

    April 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Claire

    Hi Mike! First off thanks for the article. This is the first one I've read about counting macros that makes it seem feasible for me. I'm seriously confused about how to figure out my desired macros for weight loss. I'm 5'1" and weigh 175. I've lost weight so far by counting calories (doing about 1,370 a day) but I feel pretty restricted and keep slipping up. I'm hoping counting macros will give me more food freedom so I can follow my regimen better and longer. Help!!

    April 23, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jason Miller

    Hey Mike, I just recently heard about counting macros, and I am interested in starting a daily goal to reach. I am currently 5'7" and 140 lbs, and am trying to gain about 10 lbs (preferably lean muscle). What would you recommend I set my macro goals at per day? Or is there some website that calculates exactly how many macros I need to reach a certain goal? My metabolism is extremely high, and it is very very difficult for me to gain. Also, say I gain those 10 lbs, would I need to continue the same eating habits in order to maintain that weight? I'd appreciate any feedback! Jason

    April 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Hannah

    Hi Mike, I'm very interested in counting my macros and I'm beginning it today. I've been a collegiate swimmer who's currently in off-season for 3 years. However, I've had a chronic problem with my eating and have been in a low caloric deficit for many years. I've also suffered with a form of anorexia about 2 years ago. I try and keep my calories under 1500 a day, while still being vigorously active each day. Is it safe to jump my macros/kcals up to 1800-1900 overnight without gaining weight?

    April 24, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Tony

    Hey mike, great article. Ive been wanting to start counting macros & this is finally one i can understand. Thank you bro! I just need help with one thing, what macros should i start with? Im 5'6. 174lbs im trying to cut weight

    April 28, 2014 at 3:02 am | Reply to this comment

  • Anita

    Hi Mike, how about for a female 47 yrs old weight trains 4 days a week heavy, 2 days light. I know my macros.. 1456 calories, carbs 146 protein 146 fat 32. First off eating issues for yrs. The starvation mode , yo yo dieting you name it I tried it. So here I am, trying to get a gripe and having a hard time reaching these numbers. Any suggestions? I've been weight training with a trainer since October. Turned to macros 4weeks, still the scale isn't budging. Any suggestions

    April 29, 2014 at 1:33 am | Reply to this comment

  • Anya

    Mike, Read your blog and all the other writings you got going... Love it! Would you mind breaking down for me my micros for losing fat! Please! I'm 5'6 , 41 yrs old, 213lbs :/ I have chronic back pain, but still somewhat active ( 4 small kids) I have done everything from Crossfit to training for marathon, to boot camps! And yes, I'm still 213 lbs! :( I need help!!! Please!!! Anya

    May 2, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Anya

    Mike, Read your blog and all the other writings you got going… Love it! Would you mind breaking down for me my micros for losing fat! Please! I’m 5’6 , 41 yrs old, 213lbs :/ I have chronic back pain, but still somewhat active ( 4 small kids) I have done everything from Crossfit to training for marathon, to boot camps! And yes, I’m still 213 lbs! I need help!!! Please!!! Anya

    May 10, 2014 at 8:30 am | Reply to this comment

  • Strow

    I've just begun my journey to fitness and health, I am having a hell of a time trying to figure out a meal plan for just my first day!!! I've been in front of the computer for a half an hour on MyFitnessPal planning my meals for this first week, trying to hit my macros and I just can't seem to do it! I seem to be going over carbs and I've still got a bunch of calories, protein, fat and fiber to fill. This is frustrating!!! I assume I will get better at this and it'll come more easily, but please help me....I've read so many articles and I know what to do....I just can't seem to do it! I'm trying to hit 190g protein, 57g carbs, 59g fat and around 40 for fiber. I've played around with a few different macro calculators and the official IIFYM calculator gives me 190g protein, 45g carbs, 76g fat and between 38-48g fiber....considering that I tweaked it a little and can't even hit would I stay below 45g carbs on that one!! omg lol Thank you SO much in advance for any advice.

    May 12, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Alana

    Hey Mike, I know you are getting a lot of comments and questions and you must feel really overwhelmed but if you could take the time to reply to me I would really appreciate it, I'm kind of desperate. I started working out at about 140lbs Ive been going to the gym almost everyday lifting weights and doing 45-60 minutes of cardio. I just weighed myself this morning and I am 160lbs.I am having no problem gaining muscle but I feel like i cannot get this fat off of me. Its been 4 and a half months of clean eating, protein, thermogenics, detox's and exercise and I feel like my results should be much more than what they are. Last I checked my body fat was about 23%. I really just want to lose the fat I don't want to gain any more muscle seeing as I am already pretty beastly for a chick. I am bad at math and this whole counting macros thing is super confusing to me, so if you could help in any way I'd appreciate it. I dont know what else to do! Thanks!

    May 15, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Reply to this comment

  • kj

    Hey Mike, what a great article. Thanks So this "free-veggies" concept is new to me. Can you give me some ideas as to which veggies are free? You said basically any non-starch. So carrots and corn, where do they fall? What about broccoli and cauliflower?

    May 16, 2014 at 11:52 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jimena

    Hello Michael First off, thank you for posting this, it is very informative! I have been trying to make changes withy lifestyle and have done great so far but now I want to make more of a commitment to myself. I tried to calculated macros, but I'm sure I have done it wrong because the numbers seem crazy. I am 5'4 I weigh 146lbs and am roughly 25% body fat. Can you please tell me roughly what my macros should be? Thanks so much for your time And for the free fitness book:)

    May 17, 2014 at 1:33 am | Reply to this comment

  • Shelley

    Hey! I'm just learning how to count macros but I'm still a little confused! I want to figure out how much fat, protein, carbs, and calories I need daily. I workout everyday and I'm trying to build more muscle. I do t25 videos and lift weights. I weight 115 and am 5'6 and my bfp is 9.5. Please help me! :)

    May 19, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Reply to this comment

  • JOE

    Hey Mike I kinda understand how to calculate my macros, i guess that will come with more practice. Great article by the way, super informative. Im 6'1 255lbs and about 25% body fat. Im finding it difficult to figure out my calculations to lose weight. im trying to lose 30 to 35 lbs i workout 4-5 times a week. Thanks in advance.

    May 23, 2014 at 2:47 am | Reply to this comment

  • Mayra

    Fantastic read Mike! I'm a "fitness gym freak" but I've never gotten the results I wanted! Recently started reading on macro nutrient counting and I'm sure my diet had a lot to do with it. Ive been obsessed with counting calories and omitting carbs and that's been hindering my muscular progress. Thanks.

    May 24, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Richard

    Hello there, I've got a question: If in a meal I am not consuming the maximum about of, let's say, carbs, can I increase the amount of protein? Or vice versa? If I don't consume the whole amount of one macro in one meal, can I add it to another meal as long as I keep in my calories limit? Thanks in advance.

    May 25, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Reply to this comment

  • miranda

    Trying to figure out my macros and I found a website suggesting 1gm protein per pound bw, and .4gm fat per lb bw, and fill in the rest of your calories with carbs. @125lbs this makes my carb ratio over 50% of my calories for the day. Seems high to me. TDEE is around 1900 so trying to hit about 2000 cal for muscle growth.

    May 25, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Cierra

    Is there an app I can download that you'd recommend for keeping track of my daily macros? Great article, very informative. Thanks!

    June 1, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Deana

    Hi Mike! Thanks for writing such an easy to understand article. I've been perusing the comments to see if I could understand the best way to go about figuring what my macros should look like for weight loss, but alas, I am still lost. I recently put on a solid 15-20 lbs in about 6 months and I'd like to get it back off and quick! Counting calories doesn't seem to be working out very well for me, so I was hoping to give macro counting a shot. I'm 5'4 and I currently weigh 145. Can you help with where I should start? (Also, once you figure out the protein, how should you divvy up the fat and carbs?) Any help would be so very appreciated!

    June 2, 2014 at 1:23 am | Reply to this comment

  • Rachel

    Great article! Very informative. Could you please tell me if the "overall" ratio is more important than the "every meal" ratio? It takes me forever to figure out the meal to meal ratios. I was told by a trainer friend that I should be keeping my ratios to 40/40/20. I am 5'9" and 153 pounds. I would like to get down to 135. I am doing a weightlifting program right now and add in cardio 3 days a week - at minimum. I try to do my weights in the morning and cardio (walking on an incline at a good pace or spinning) in the afternoon. I'm keeping my calories to around 1650. I get a little frustrated because I'm not losing. :/

    June 2, 2014 at 2:53 am | Reply to this comment

  • Christina

    Hi Mike, I've struggled with my weight for a long time now. Im trying to figure my macros out now and calorie intake. based on a reckless weight loss will have me eatin 1647 calories a day. Seems like a ridiculous amount to me. I am 30 i weigh 177 and i am 5'5" in height. You had suggested someone to start at 1300. is there a calorie intake you'd suggest I start off with?

    June 6, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kim

    Mike, Super interesting and helpful. Just starting out. Can you tell me what to aim for? I'm 5'4 138lbs wanting to get back down to 125 and lean. Currently 32% bf (don't laugh). Cardio routine 3x/week. Thanks!!

    June 7, 2014 at 12:47 am | Reply to this comment

  • hulusi

    whats up mike just want to know how to count my macros im 6'1 140kg basically obese i go to the gym 5 times a week but mainly do advanced weight training but when it comes to dieiting im on and off but i just want to know if i should just cut out carbs completly and if i should really do more cardio thanks from the uk

    June 7, 2014 at 2:17 am | Reply to this comment

  • Cassandra

    Hi I am a singer/performer and have been into fitness for about 8 years now. I am trying to figure out what exactly the best macro's/ diet is good for my current goals i get told so many different variations as far as calorie intake and percentages of carbs/fats/proteins. I am very good at meal prep and know the correct food sources but feel i may be missing something. I am currently 128/130lbs depending 14/15% body fat. 5'6" and my current workout regiment is 5 to 6 days of working out. I do hiit cardio twice a week/ running/jumprope and a minimum of 4 days heavy weight training usually splits. I have been doing this for 13 weeks and have seen some changes but i feel like i'm eating too much or not enough at times so just wanted to know your thoughts and advice or to get a more consistent thing. My trainer told me that i am at the point where i do not need to count calories but another girl who is training for a fitness competition and has an awesome physique told me she keeps a steady regiment of 1550 calorie intake and says the only thing she does is carb cycling. Then the third advice i got was to keep it 40%carbs/40%protien/20% fats and it will work. So just curious on your thoughts - this article was very informative though. Thanks;)

    June 11, 2014 at 2:00 am | Reply to this comment

  • andee chu

    hi mike i am from philippines i really need your expertise regarding weight loss and toning my current weight is 70kg fat% 36.9% muscle mass 41.5kg and fat mass 25.8 kg metabolic age is 53 i am targeting BF% of 20% weight : 55kg fat mass 11 kg my question is how to i calculate my MACRO and calories to achieve this goal i am current 45 years old i go to gym 4 to 5 times a week , i lift weights but do very little cardio i am planning to enrol myself to crossfit soon i really hope you can help me out i want to achieve this goal by end of 2014 or even earlier it will be my pleasure to be guided by you thank you mike

    June 12, 2014 at 4:45 am | Reply to this comment

  • Nicole

    Hi Mike. Great article. I have been hearing a lot about counting macros but wasn't sure where to start. I'm a new mom and am breast feeding so I've been trying to hit 150g of protein, 50 fat, 140 carbs. In 5'8 and 143 post baby. Are there any protein shakes you would recommend that are safe while nursing and do not have artificial sweeteners or other harmful ingredients or do you recommend just eating proteins from real foods? Thanks!

    June 15, 2014 at 2:48 am | Reply to this comment

  • Charlotte

    Hi Mike. I want to start counting my macros and this was very helpful, thanks for taking the time to explain everything so well :) I am a little bit lost on how calculating my personal numbers. I used the webpage and it gave me some numbers. My question is, according to my numbers I can eat food that fulfills my protein and fat intakes, and if I haven't eaten all my carbs intake, I can eat a cake with ice-cream or something that is not so healthy but still fill exactly my numbers? I don't want to lose weight as Im skinny, I just want to get lean with abs but I eat healthy and try paleo diet and stuff but I don't see changes in my belly :( In case you need my info, I weight 48.5 kg, height 160cm, body fat 13% (which I was told is low for a woman) , 20 years old, female, exercise 5 times a week. Thanks a lot, people like you help people like me to stop having eating disorders and trying a healthy but still flexible lifestyle. Charlotte xx

    June 18, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Clarence

    Very informative article!! Maybe I missed it but did you cover choosing a serving size for yourself if your cooking a meal in the kitchen? The confusing part is when you say so using measuring cups and spoons for your food, instead use a food scale. However serving size on nutritional labels are in serving size...? Correct me if I'm wrong, but can I use the serving size on the nutritional label to put on a food scale or does my serving size depends, person to person, goal to goal?

    June 18, 2014 at 9:35 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Rachael @FitFabForty

    Hi Mike I am on the learning curve between counting calories and counting Macros because I have been told (you know by expert family members) that I will be able to eat more calories and still lose fat if I convert to the Macro way of counting. Is this true? Cheers Rachael

    June 25, 2014 at 4:29 am | Reply to this comment

  • Angela

    Hi Mike, It's a MUST to loose weight and I have decided to make it happen. I am moderately active. I have increase my exercise regime, but I continue to gain. I have over 2 years gained 50lbs. I am not an eater. That means I can have a full meal not over eat and still not be hungry the rest of the day. I force my self to eat, just so that body doesn't go unto starvation mode. When I need to jump start my body to loose weight I will not eat - that's not healthy, but that's the only way to loose. But of course it comes back the next two days. I walk and have started running I am up to 5 miles but I am not losing the weight. I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I have meds but it take an act of God to get the energy to work out but I do it. I am female 5'1 @ 176. I read all the comments before I posted to insure I wasn't duplicating this question -so my question is well..... my body type is endomorph and mesomorph - okay - what should my macro / calorie intake be? My fitness app doesn't allow me to calculate macro so that's the reason I stated calories. My goal is to get back to my lifetime average weight - 128lbs. Please HELP ME!

    June 28, 2014 at 2:10 am | Reply to this comment

  • Cassidy

    If I'm counting macros and use a tiny bit of coconut oil when cooking (1 or 2 meals a day with less than a tsp each time) is it imperative that I calculate the oil into my macros or not a huge deal if I don't? *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service ***

    July 9, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Baking I certainly would. If on a pan, you can probably get away with counting half of it. Obv won't make a huge difference at such a small amount, but I'd still count it. good q.

      July 24, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Michelle

    Hello Mike!!! Thank you for this article, has some great info!!! I have been trying to get into counting my macros but need a little help trying to figure them out. I have tried to figure them out a couple times, but its a tad confusing. I am 5'4, 285lbs, I'm sure I'm about 40-50% body fat, so I have a pretty long way to go. I do go to the gym 5-6 days a week and only lift weights; I hate cardio!! I have done this for 3 months so far and have lost 22 inches total all over. My goal is to lose fat & weight. Thanks in advance for your help and have a great day!!! -Michelle *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service ***

    July 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Hannah

    Heyyyy Mike/Michael...I rarely drink, but I'm wondering how I count it into my macros. I noticed you said 7 calories per gram, but is it just straight carbohydrates? I'm just not sure how to add it into my overall macronutrient intake! Thanks :) *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service ***

    July 21, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Dee

    Soooo basically you just stay focused on your protien, fat and carbs and it will equal out to the amount of calories ur supposed to intake daily? *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service ***

    July 21, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Nader

    Hi Mike, Can you tell me how much calories are needed for an ectomorph who wants to build muscle? Thanks. *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service ***

    July 25, 2014 at 6:15 am | Reply to this comment

  • jill

    Hey Mike. this is actually the most helpful write-up i have ever read on Macros. I have been so interested in learning how to count mine, but every other website i have looked at just confused me more so. Everything was written so i could read it, and written like a normal person would explain it in detail, not like a doctor with words i don't understand. thank you so much for this!!! Jill *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service ***

    July 31, 2014 at 2:28 am | Reply to this comment

  • Lou

    Great article, this really helped me understand macros better! I applied for coaching, curious to see what the cost is like. Thanks *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service ***

    August 6, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Emily Cunningham

    Mike, Thanks for the article- very insightful- I just bought my food scale! My main concern however is in the more complicated foods. For instance, if I make a Greek salad, should I be weighing and googling the nutritional value for every component of the salad? Furthermore, will the info on google give me the macro count or just calorie count? Next issue- what if, like you referenced, it's mom'a lasagna, and I wasn't there for the preparation- how do I go about finding the nutritional value of my portion? Thanks, Emily *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service ***

    August 11, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      hey Emily -- google will indeed give you the macros, but you will need to look up each individual component. Mom's lasagna is going to be super tough, so I would go with a general "once piece of lasagna" whereas something like a greek salad or burrito bowl will be easier to look up each individual component. gl!

      August 12, 2014 at 9:22 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Mando

    Mike, Great article. It's been a huge help in understanding macros. I was wondering though if you could tell me exactly how many macros I needed per day to start off with if I'm trying to lose fat and gain muscle. I'm 5'11" and weigh 215. Thanks. Regards, Mando *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service ***

    August 11, 2014 at 8:39 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Amy

      Hi Mike. Love the article! I have started counting my macros and have started losing weight. My question is, when do you adjust your macros while you are losing? For example, do I refigure my macros once I have lost say, 10 lbs or would it make a difference that soon? Thanks! Amy *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service ***

      August 18, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Stephanie

    Hi! Love your article, really made it stupid-proof. My only question after all that is, is there a certain curve we should be following depending on what kind of workouts we're doing? How do I know I'm feeding myself enough if it's solely based on my weight and not the amount of work I'm putting out each day? I'd love to hear back! Thanks! Stephanie *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service ***

    August 14, 2014 at 2:24 am | Reply to this comment

  • Sarah

    Thanks for making this easy to read, simple, funny and encouraging! *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service ***

    August 16, 2014 at 6:36 am | Reply to this comment

  • Denica

    This is so incredibly helpful. This is my first week of counting macros and I had a million questions to ask, but this article knocked them all. The old KISS principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. Thank you! *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Antispam service ***

    August 18, 2014 at 3:14 am | Reply to this comment

  • Katie Landerud

    What is a good way to calculate body fat percentage? I need a refresher for that I see where I want to be and decipher achievable goals.

    August 19, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Elizabeth Wilson

    Hi, I am a 5'9" female weighing 175. What should my total calories be for the day? and macros? MyFitnessPal says I should aim for 1260 calories a day. Thanks so much. *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Request number e2214cf8f4ffa70d515e5ca66456dfee. Antispam service ***

    August 27, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Reply to this comment

  • tannia

    How will you count body fat to get the protein intake online? Dont you have to measure it in order to make a nutrition plan for me? *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Request number 4a5c1729ad2670ecc0d6e6af91e2ad5e. Antispam service ***

    September 11, 2014 at 4:02 am | Reply to this comment

  • Brandee

    Hey Mike, I just started counting macros and .learning to do it but it is a bit difficult and I want to make sure I am doing it perfectly. I got my macros from an online trainer and am using the My Macros+ app to help me keep track. When I enter my goals into the app, my macro calculations are way different than what I received from the trainer. I tried to follow the formula you mentioned in the above article, but I don't know what my body fat is (probably sounds silly I know). Anyways, was wondering if you could suggest macros for me just for a second opinion. I am 6 feet tall (72inches) and 180lbs. I am very active... heavy lifting 5 days per week and about 4 days of cardio...running, stairs, hiking... are you able to help me at all? My goal is to lose fat and build muscle - just lean out. I am not a body builder by any means nor do I plan on that. Thanks so much! Brandee *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Request number e5771c9a64932d78eae317ff8a0c27d0. Antispam service ***

    September 15, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jane

    My heart consultant has just told me that my cardio problems will be alleviated by losing all the extra weight I am carrying (5 stones). My son is a firm believer in the efficacy of a macro diet but I think at 62 I might be too old. I can't face weightwatchers and I will have to loose some weight before I can exercise as I puff all the time. So, big question. Am I too old and where would I start? Jane *** Antispam disabled. Check access key in CleanTalk plugin options. Request number 08e7b33bbe56acaaae5346b5a786fced. Antispam service ***

    September 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Krystal J

    Hello Mike, After having four children over the span of 10 years I am ready to be a little selfish and start taking care of myself. Where do I get started with this macronutrients lifestyle? I am 30 years old 5'2" and weigh 140. Please help me!!!

    October 29, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Ann

    Mike I really like the things that you had to say. It really opened up a lot for me. I'm still a little bit confused about how to actually count them, but I really want to get an understanding of it so I can take this I can take control of my body. Thanks☺

    November 5, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Shauna

    Hi Mike, I need help with adding carbs back into my diet. I'm 42. And am 5'6 1/4 I weigh 128lbs and my body fat is 18-19%. I trained with a trainer about 7 years ago and the diet he put me on contained very little carbs! Only from vegetables. No fruit or starchy carbs. I still eat very close to this and am sure I've ruined my metabolism. I have 2 cheat meals on weekends but really want to add carbs back into my diet with out packing on a bunch of weight. I like how I look but this is ridiculous eating this strict! I want to eat normal and did try adding them back in slowly a couple years ago but I gained which was frustrating and what always go back to what I knew. If I gain weight now I cycle. Which ends up kinda how I eat a lot so I can have those high carb days. What should I do? Thanks for being so willing to help so many.

    November 6, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Nick C.

    Hey mike great article! Really got me on the right track for counting macros. Considering it's "bulking season" right now but I want to be a lot leaner, I also run and workout im 6'3 and currently 197 lbs.. Is a 3000 calorie diet good for me to lose weight? Or should i cut that out? Some type of help would be great. Thanks!

    November 7, 2014 at 10:53 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Nick C.

    And is there a certain time you should stop eating? A friend of mine says as long as you reach your goal by midnight youre fine but I also read that 8-9 pm is a good time to stop eating

    November 8, 2014 at 12:02 am | Reply to this comment

  • Cherise

    This was a really helpful post. Thank you so much for the effort.

    November 27, 2014 at 9:25 am | Reply to this comment

  • Kate

    Hi Mike, I tried to figure out my calorie intake and my macros, however the more I read the more confused I'm becoming. In the beginners guide I read different information from this site, and I read the comments to become more informed... It didn't help. Anyway, I'm 5'2, 170, and 25 years old. I'm the heaviest I've ever been and have been consistently inconsistent in the things I do. Advice?

    November 30, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jennifer

    I don't suppose there's an easy way to figure out what you can have with your remaining macros at the end of the day? I'm not good at figuring that stuff out. If only there were a website where you could just plug in your remaining macros and it would come up with suggestions for you!

    December 2, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Great question - I don't know of an app but it's usually easiest to have "straight" protein/carb/fat sources for situations like this. Chicken/egg whites/powder for protein. Fro-yo/sweet potatoes/oats/candy for carbs. Fat is trickier but fatty meats, oil/butter added to something, nuts/nut butters are all decent options. Using these lets you zone in on individual macros more easily.

      December 3, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Brittany

    Hi Mike! Thanks for the post. My question is in regard to alcohol. I don't drink often, maybe once a week. However, I still don't understand how to count the consumption or how to plan around it since it has calories but no nutrients. Should I cut back my macros for the day to account for the alcohol?

    December 4, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Bryan

    Hey Mike! Just read your article and let me say it's very informative and simple! I was just doing calculations so I could get my protein and fat count but I'm not too sure for the carbs count. I got 128g protein and 44.8g fat. I want to do a 1450 calorie diet. I'm a 27 year old male 5'7" 160lbs. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    December 10, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Chris Pati

    Hello Mike, Thanks for the article. I am a 45 year old male with, high cholesterol. I have been a vegetarian for decades. I haven't worked out much until recently. I came to know of high cholesterol about two weeks ago and am daily on treadmill (walking) for an hour. Is there something you can suggest to lower my cholesterol.

    December 11, 2014 at 11:33 am | Reply to this comment

  • Lilly

    Hi, Mike. Thank you so much for this post. I heard about forgetting calory counting and focusing on macros but had no idea how to begin. I have a doubt though. You said on comments one should focus on one goal at a time (building lean mass or fat loss). My question is: which would you advise to follow first? I'm 30 year old female, 5"1, 137 pounds with 33%BF. No health problems. I got tired of being weak and decided to start weight lifting which I'm doing 3 times a week on a functional hypertrophy program (started last month). Each section is followed by 20 minutes hiit cardio. I'm also tired of being fat and not being able to fit into my clothes. And I am ready to overcome my binging problems and try to eat what my body needs. So the big question: should I focus first on gaining lean mass or losing fat? And, how to adjust my macros for the goal you'd recommend? Thank you.

    December 17, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Stephanie

    Hi! Question about carbs made up of dietary fiber such as quest bars...if 17 of the 22 or so carbs are fiber, i still count it as 22 carbs...right? Or is it the 5 net carns then? If so ive been missing out on 17 carbs a day and I do NOT want to miss those ha! Thanks for all the guidance.

    December 28, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Crys

    Hi Mike, informative article, however i am totally confused.... I'm uncomfortable in size working towards something... I start my 40 day sabbatical on Jan 5th.... No fried, no refined sugar, carbs, white flour, rice etc... No alcohol... I'm 5 ft last check 140....I know...I know wayyyy to much weight....I'm very hippy! How & where on earth do I begin to count these macros

    December 30, 2014 at 8:25 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Alexandria

    Hi mike ! This article was great. Is there a site that you recommend that will calculate my macros for me?

    January 3, 2015 at 1:04 am | Reply to this comment

  • Smithf796

    Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch since I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that Thank you for lunch! Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship. by Harry S Truman. aebdeekcbgefkegg

    January 4, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Ashley

    I think I got the macro counting down, but I need to figure out how many of each subgroup I should be taking in. I am 5'3" 173 lbs...very muscular about a size 8-10. My goal would be to get back down to about 150ish lbs. I work out 5 days a week and coach volleyball so I am active. I know that my diet is what is killing me...any suggestions?

    January 9, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Reply to this comment

  • michael

    "more dumber" .... oh the irony.

    January 14, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Smithg381

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    January 18, 2015 at 3:24 am | Reply to this comment

  • Lin

    Hi mike, I weigh 115 lbs and I'm 5"2. Your article is very informative but I would like to know how to calculate how much macros for weight loss. Can you please help? Thanks!

    January 18, 2015 at 9:30 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jessica

    Mike- So I have been slowing learning how to count macros.. and I’ve been OVERLY stalking your website and watching your videos. It’s amazing how "simple" it is to know what is good for your body what and what is not. Counting macros truly takes all the guess work out of trying to make your body do what you want. I am shocked that I waited this long to do this. Thank you for all your information. I can’t believe you are charging an arm and a leg for this information! You are amazing and you can tell you truly just want to educate and help people understand their future bodies are in their hands! Knowledge is power! To add... I would like your input. I am trying to lose fat while still breastfeeding. My calories are set to 1,800 (I teach fitness classes twice a sweet and do weightlifting and about 20 minutes of HIT cardio 3 times a week. I set my macros up to 40% fat, 30% protein and 30% carbs. Does this sound like a equation for success for me?

    January 21, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Tam

    The first article I saw in Flipboard from you instructed how to find out your personal Macro numbers, and it linked to this guide. Can you provide that link? Maybe everyone will stop asking you their personal numbers!

    January 30, 2015 at 11:59 am | Reply to this comment

  • ANN

    Hi Mike, I need your help. I'm 58 Female and weigh 265.2. I have bad knees and can't exercise much because of knee Surgery. I want to start the Keto Diet but don't know how to count Macros to lose weight .I need to lose 115lbs. and 1 pound a week is just to slow. Please Reply.

    February 2, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Maggie

    Hi Mike, First off I would like to say how awesome your article is. The information is awesome and helpful-most importantly fun to read! I have been reading all the other comments and post and trying to make sure my macro calculation is correct-when you are talking about percents and grams per bodyweight-do you mean actual body weight, or lean body mass? I weigh about 178 with 20% bodyfat. Should I calculate macros based on 178 lbs or 1

    February 5, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Reply to this comment

  • anon

    Great write up. I a not a bodybuilder or even a dieter but I fond this article and it was extremely digestible, well-considered and funny. This puts healthy eating in new perspective.

    February 28, 2015 at 12:26 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Rebekah

    Mike this is a super cool site. I really like all your articles, fitness/advice is definitely your sixth sense. I needed some help getting ready for modeling on-calls and I'm inspired to try counting my macros and seeing if I can lose these last couple inches. I love how this plan fits in with most diets so that I can stay paleo. I hope you never stop writing.

    February 28, 2015 at 1:59 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Sean B.

    Mike, I finally stumbled onto an article after a week of searching that has made macros easy to understand; yours. Here is my question (please accept my apology for asking for specific answers for myself, alone). Within the last year, I have been able to lose 40 pounds by limiting my carb intake and running like crazy. I recently learned and understood that the fitness level and body-look I'm at now won't change unless i do. I want to get tone; muscle popping, six-pack-having kind go guy is the goal. I've added quite a bit of lifting and decreased the amount of cardio I'm doing (HIIT weight lifting). Im also trying to add (good) carbs to my diet, slowly, but surely. I'm 170 pounds, 5'10" and NEED YOUR HELP. I go to the gym 4-6 times a week, so I'm pretty active. What is your advice, if any, for me as far as the amount of macros I need, day-to-day, to get these muscle exposed and finally know them all out (with their eyes... not my fist, of course). Thanks again for this article.

    March 3, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Courtney

    I'm curious about you assigning a value of 7cal/gram of alcohol. Am I reading that correctly? This would mean a 12 oz. beer, which is 340g, would be equal to 2,380 cal. ...obviously this is not correct. I understand the premise that it is easier to look at macros (once you break down how many one should have of each type) since this is much easier to calculate with the food labels, but if one is consuming alcohol, which is made up of different amounts of carbs, no protein, and no fat, shouldn't we just calculate the macros in alcohol based on the carb content?

    March 5, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      This series will help you: Referring to ethanol.. so you are right, a single beer does not have that many calories! Thank God!

      January 5, 2016 at 12:47 am | Reply to this comment

  • Petriina Koskipalo

    Hi Mike! I'm just starting to get into macros, and I am still a bit confused which mine should be for safe fat loss. I am a 20 year old woman, currently 174cm/86kg and wanting to loose around 15kg. I have been more or less owerweight my entire life, and have also batteled with bulimia a couple years ago. Still to this day, I struggle with food and bounce between stuffing myself and then punishing my self. I am hoping macros will give me sensible control over what I'm eating, without turning it into an obsession. My fitnesspal gave me a plan of 1580calories with a 45C/35P/25F split. Does this sound good? Yesterday was my first day trying it out, and I felt hungry all the time. I would apprechiate any kind of help, as I feel a bit hopeless to be honest! X

    March 6, 2015 at 3:13 am | Reply to this comment

  • Antoniette

    Hello can you please help me? I am 5'2 and 217lbs and 38 years old. I do crossfit 5 times a week. I tried 3 websites that helped me calculate my macros and... this is what I got.... Bmr 1520 Tdee 2357 Grams per day Carbs 242.8 per meal 48.6 Protein 93.7 per meal 18.7 Fat 46.9 per meal 9.4 Fiber 43-54 per meal 9-11 Calorie 1768 per meal 354 All three websites were consistent except in the protein area one says 93 the second says 147 the third says 237. Can you please tell me if these macros are accurate for loosing weight? If so which protein choice should I go with?

    March 7, 2015 at 12:15 am | Reply to this comment

  • Anna

    Hi Mike! My name is Anna. I want to start counting my macros but I have no idea what my body fat % is or anything or how much I should intake of protein carbs or fat. All I know is I weigh 140 pounds and that's it. Where do I begin.

    March 8, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kevin

    hi mike! i want to start counting my macros because i am cutting weight over the next 8 weeks. I dont know my bodyfat percentage but i am 5'7 and weigh 76kg. Can you help me on what my macros should be?

    March 12, 2015 at 9:57 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Ashley

    Mike, This is a great article. I just started counting macros, I'm coming off of almost 2 years of the clean eating aspect and at time it just felt very restrictive and depriving even though I allowed myself a couple of cheats a week. I have a question, I'm 5'1 and 120 lbs., I have put on some muscle over the past year and I'm ready to cut down a bit so the muscle I have put on is more visible and also have a vacation coming up where I'd like to look nice and lean. What macros would you recommend for me?

    March 13, 2015 at 9:57 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Josh

    Hi Mike, thank you so much for this article. I'm going to start working out and counting my macros to maximize muscle growth, energy and nutrition. I just had one question. I've read alot of other articles and you have been the only one to mention to base the amount of protein intake on "lean" body weight. Many other articles just say body weight. Now i understand that if I just use my body weight, I would end up with a larger amount of daily protein intake and vise versa. what is the difference of the two, is either one more beneficial? is it best to use lean body weight?

    March 15, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Robin B

    I have been searching and searching for a clear and concise way to figure macros - carbs and fat. This is fantastic so simple and down to earth thank you thank you thank you I can now figure out my keto plan correctly!

    March 24, 2015 at 10:44 am | Reply to this comment

  • Cole

    Hey Mike, I'm 5'8, and 20 years old. I weigh 130 which is probably unhealthy and im becoming increasingly aware that I need to make a change. So how many calories through macros should I be eating per day? I lift everyday which I started about a month ago and will continue. And do you have any tips on getting to a healthier weight? Thanks.

    March 28, 2015 at 4:13 am | Reply to this comment

  • tom

    I am 255lbs down from 296 in January. I eat 1 rev wrap 1 monster 1 tiger milk protein bar 1 protein shake 4 eggs 97grams of protein 75grams of fat 101grams of carbs 1020 calories According to your math . Using the lowest value in the range. Will this eat my fat or am I not doing enough

    March 29, 2015 at 2:37 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kirpac

    Just left you an email :) please help !

    April 6, 2015 at 7:34 am | Reply to this comment

  • Jodie

    Hi Mike :) ...Same as many of the above ...I'm female, 5ft6", 130lb but I'm not sure what my body fat % is...? I would like to lose about 4lb in weight and tone up...not overly muscly but lean and toned. I consume about 1200cal at the moment but from what I've read and know, 1200 is too low but I'm comfortable at that amount, I rarely feel hungry. I've re-joined the gym and train 5-6 times a week. I know I'll lose weight this way but not safely and sustainable really. Plus, I assume I wouldn't be consuming enough to build muscle as I won't be getting the nutrients I need. An average day for me would consist of either a small bowl of oats with water and topped with lots of berries or a bowl of mixed fruit with low fat natural yoghurt...A snack would usually consist of a handful of nuts/dried fruit or a piece of fruit. A small-ish chicken Breast with salad and mixed seeds for lunch or rye bread with peanut butter and banana. A snack of much the same as before and for dinner I would have maybe salmon and an egg friend in coconut oil with salad/veg. I'm at a loss as to how many calories I should be consuming (online calculators have said 1400) or if I'm counting, macros, how much of each should I be having just to tone and lose body fat. Im slim but I have a lot of fat around the bottom half than the top (I used to weigh nearly 15 stone) ...I want to burn fat and tone up a bit but it's giving me a headache trying to find out who/what to listen to. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks, Jodie

    April 13, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Melanie Lillis

    Hey Mike, great post! I just have a question for you. I want to know your thoughts on the mind, body nutrition realm. You mentioned a few times that weight loss is purely calorie in vs calorie out. I honestly believe this is very out dated science. Whilst I definitely agree with you that there are people who are eating too many calories vs their expenditure, what about those people who are eating fewer calories than what they are expending and they still can't lose weight? I am an eating psychologist and I know first hand the effects that stress/anxiety/past traumatic experiences has on the body in relation to weight gain. Stress releases increased levels on insulin and cortisol which signals the body to store weight, store fat and not build muscle. So somebody could be eating 1500cals and expending 1800cals yet if they are experiencing low levels of chronic stress day in day out then there chances of losing weight could be minimal-none depending on how their body reacts to stress. The speed at which we eat also impacts metabolism- Fast eating is also considered a stressor to the body, this is why many people experience chronic bloating, heart burn, indigestion and constipation. Eating fast switches you into that same stress response increasing levels on insulin and cortisol, it decreases assimilation and calorie burning efficiency and it deregulates appetite. Bio circadian nutrition also comes into play.. Our bodies metabolize most efficiently at different times of the day. So you could eat a 2000 calorie diet during the day and your weight may stabilize yet if you ate that exact same 2000 calories at night time you would more than likely put on weight. Many different scientific studies have proven this. We are sun tracking animals- We calorie burn most efficiently when the sun is highest in the sky and the least when the sun is down. The reason I am saying all of this is because we need to stop teaching people that weight loss is a simple calorie in vs calorie out, we are damaging many peoples psychological state by forcing them to think that they are hopeless and out of control because they can't lose weight. There are loads of people out there who are eating a perfectly nutritious diet and are eating the perfect amount of calories for their body type yet still aren't losing weight- and they are believing it is an eating issue when it more than likely isn't. There are SOOO many other things I could talk about in relation to causes of weight loss and inability to lose weight. I just wanted to raise these ideas to get your thoughts. Feel free to email me at I would love to hear your thoughts :) xx

    April 14, 2015 at 11:44 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Brianna

      Hi Melanie! I could not agree with you more! I'm in the process of writing an ebook on how to lose weight with yoga and one of the key components of this book is the mind body connection. As you mentioned, cortisol and epinephrine, are detrimental to weight loss. It's why I have found yoga to be so effective for weight loss because of the importance of meditation and using the mind as a power house! I would love to feature you/collaborate with you on my site in the near future. I hope you don't mind I send you an email. Wishing you all the best, Brianna

      April 27, 2015 at 5:09 am | Reply to this comment

  • Claudia Reque

    Hello Mike, I first want to thank you for writing such an informative and easy to read post. I've been wanting to become more informed about nutrition as I'm aiming to start eating healthier and also getting a degree in Exercise Science. My question for you is, I am 5'3 weighting 125lb want to lose some body fat (I think I'm at around 15-18%) but make sure I don't loss muscle. I am a collegiate basketball player so I exercise a lot and staying strong is important. What would be an ideal intake of protein, carbs, and fats I should take? I want to be more tone and loss fat. Thank you for your help!

    April 20, 2015 at 8:35 am | Reply to this comment

  • Samie

    201504 Well written. Thanks Mike

    April 22, 2015 at 6:18 pm | Reply to this comment

  • David

    Mike, Im not sure if I missed it, but could you lose weight and retain muscle by just counting your Macros?

    April 28, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Taylor

    Hey Mike! This helped a ton, thanks so much. Would you mind advising me a bit? I'm currently 15 years old, 5'4/5'5ish, and anywhere from 118-124lbs (usually on the upper end; not sure why it fluctuates so much). I'm trying to lose some fat and get thinner (specifically upper thighs and my whole stomach). Here's my current breakdown: protein - 31% (82g), fat - 27% (32g), carbs - 42% on average (anywhere from 87 - 150g). Did I do that right? And is that going to do the trick? Any changes or certain foods you can recommend? (Also, I'm a vegetarian.) And how much water do I need to drink? Thanks a ton!

    May 3, 2015 at 10:31 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jennifer Castaneda

    This article was insanely informative for me thank you so much. Ive been doing so much research I was getting super overwhelmed and thounght "oh no I might fail again", but again thank you.

    May 12, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Drew

    Hey Mike - AWESOME article. I was clueless about this all until I read. Now it makes sense! I am 170lb 5'11 looking to cut about 10 more pounds from my diet. I have recently upped my protein intake and completely cut breads, starches, etc. Is this the right way to do this? What should I shoot for if I was to start counting.

    May 27, 2015 at 11:18 am | Reply to this comment

  • Elizabeth

    Mike, I'm slightly confused about the calculations. I get that you should do 13*4= 52 for the protein. But does that mean there are 52 macros in the 13 g of protein? Also, I've been trying to read through other posts to figure out, but about how many macros should I have per day? I'm about 5'6'' and weigh about 210 currently. Any advice would be great and much appreciated! Thanks!

    May 30, 2015 at 9:53 am | Reply to this comment

  • Misty Wilkinson

    Hi Mike! Thanks for the great article! Help a lady friend out! How can I apply this effectively while still nursing and not having a too low calorie count? I'm 5'6, 145 lbs, I'd like to ideally return to around 125 over 4-6 months. Is this possible? Your advice is appreciated, thank you!

    June 1, 2015 at 11:32 pm | Reply to this comment

  • lyndsey

    Hi there, I've just read through all your info and its really informative, thank you. I have managed to drop almost 70lbs and gone from 45% to 17% body fat in the last year and where i do not want to lose anymore weight as such, I am desperate to burn the last of my belly fat. I cannot seem to get rid of the little pot I have left! I train 4 days a week, cardio and HIIT and still it wont shift. Can counting macros help me with burning the last of the fat and hopefully one day being able to see my abs? Or do you have any other suggestions?

    June 4, 2015 at 10:05 am | Reply to this comment

  • James

    Hey I think I am understanding now I am 16 204 pounds and have a 27.92% body fat I want to lose weight by dieting and working out I have calculated the macros to be 168g protein 82g fat and 391g of carbs using your method of the first two by bodyweight and the rest carbs can you please let me know if I calculated right if the macros are good also what workout do you recommend for losing weight and replacing with muscle

    June 6, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Scott

    Hey Mike, when you cover this example: I noticed that 11g were fiber. So shouldn't there only be 25g of carbs?

    June 7, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Reply to this comment

  • april

    this was awesome and really helpful!!! I really appreciate it. Now i just need to figure out my macros from food that have no label since i usually eat mostly just fresh stuff. thanks!

    June 7, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Reply to this comment

  • martina

    Hello i really want to lose weight and i really believe counting macros will help me achieve my goal but im confused on doing so. How do i find out my total lean body mass to find out how many grams of protein i should consume daily or how many calories do i supposed to consume daily? Im 5'6, 231 lbs. My goal is to get down to 185-190lbs.

    June 10, 2015 at 4:36 am | Reply to this comment

  • Carmen Valle

    I am trying to help my clients to figure out their daily macro intake i get all the way to the point that i figure out the Total caloric intake but then i get stuck trying to figure out the daily grams for macro intake how do i figure that out?

    June 17, 2015 at 6:29 am | Reply to this comment

  • Erin W

    This was step 1. Thank you for your informational article.

    June 20, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Ali

    Hi Mike! I know this is an old post but I'm just now finding it!! I'm a nurse who generally knows a good amount about nutrition but I've been at a weightloss plateau for about a year. I'm hoping counting macros and intensifying my weight training could be the answer but I'm a little intimidated as I don't know much about it ( much more after your article). What would you recommend starting with? I'm 27 years old, 5'3 and 137 lbs, I light 2-4 times per week and mix in 2-3 days on cardio or interval training. I do not know my percent body fat--'is this crucial ? Thank you so much! Ali

    July 15, 2015 at 6:45 pm | Reply to this comment

  • ana

    How do you count your macros when dining out? lets say you order a salad with a bunch of stuff (all healthy) no dressing, cheese,etc… but still how can you now how much of every little thing it has? Or lets say you have pizza, not every pepperoni pizza is the same, how can you calculate how much cheese it has, or sauce?

    July 23, 2015 at 11:35 pm | Reply to this comment

  • ana

    Mike I have another question, sometimes its difficult to hit an exact number of macros. Do you have to be exact with the numbers or can they be couple of grams over or below?

    July 23, 2015 at 11:39 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Laura G

    This article was sooo helpful however also a little overwhelming for me. I am 6'1" and weigh 175. I want to get down to my collegiate basketball weight of 150lbs. What would you suggest for overall calories and macros to achieve this??

    July 29, 2015 at 7:28 pm | Reply to this comment

  • karla

    thank you so much for this article really really helpful

    August 7, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Reply to this comment

  • CeeCee

    Hi Mike can you please help me figure out my macros I am 32yrs old 5'7 and weigh 145lbs last time I checked I was 24% bf

    August 23, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Sheena

    Hi Mike, Could you explain why there seems to be conflicting information with regard to the right method of determining Macros. Some material (online and books) say to base Protein Carbs and Fat on Lean Body Mass while others recommend using Body Weight. What's the deal? For most people that would be big difference with Macro Numbers. Which would you recommend and why? Thanks for your help.

    August 28, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Rebecca Wright

    Hey thanks so much for writing this article, I've had a good few questions answered.

    September 3, 2015 at 3:30 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Tim Bradley

    Thanks for imparting your knowledge theres so much talk about macros but no one ever tells you how to accurately measure them. I also love how you mentioned not to use measuring cups they are the devil especially when measuring dry foods, I actually learned this from taking baking classes where we learned to never use measuring cups for dry ingredients because measuring cups measure things in volume which should only be used to measure liquids always measure dry ingredients in weight I also don't know we haven't converted to the metric system its like using a spoon to eat a salad or a fork to eat soup it just doesn't make sense.

    September 10, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Lynn

    This is the most informative and most applicable article I've read as I start my macro-counting journey! Kudos to you Mike! I see this thread is kind of old but I'm hoping you're till monitoring comments. PLEASE HELP me get started on the right foot! I'm 5'6, 168lbs. Athletic build that has turned soft and puffy after having kids. WHAT SHOULD MY MACROS BE? TIA :)

    September 11, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jonathan I

    Whats up Mike. I'm 18 years old and I want to get abs. I want to look good but be strong at the main powerlifting lifts(squat, bench, deadlift). If I count my macros, will I be able to achieve this. I'm 5'9 180 pounds. Do you suggest any programs? At the moment I'm on a 5x5 program, and eating whatever I want to eat.

    September 14, 2015 at 12:07 am | Reply to this comment

  • Mike

    Mike, I am officially starting my body transformation program this week. I wasn't sure about how many Macros I need in a day, but I'm fairly active, 5'6" 175Lbs, about 20-23%BF(roughly). I'm trying to lean out the body fat but become as strong as possible, all while getting my endurance up. Any help??

    September 22, 2015 at 3:02 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Simran

    Hi mike First of all I wanna say you are very inspiring for everyone out there!! Keep it up :)) My question is I am 164cm(roughly) and 144 pounds but it keeps fluctuating and no matter how much I stick to my clean eating it doesn't go down I really need help and would like to give macros counting a try !!

    October 3, 2015 at 1:15 am | Reply to this comment

  • Erika

    Mike, I really appreciated your article as I am going to be counting my macros now to get past the plateau I have reached in my fat loss/muscle building journey. I am a female 5'9'' at 150lbs and 18% body fat. I don't care about my lbs but want to get to 14% body fat. Can you suggest a ratio for me?

    October 4, 2015 at 10:27 pm | Reply to this comment

  • shantel

    Hey Mike, wonderful article. I am a little confused as to what my body% fat would be. I am 115lb and 1.5"feet tall. I tend to fluctuate between a few lbs here and there depending on my exercise for that week. I am a fairly active person either in the gym or doing activities outside. Where should I start with how much protein,fat and carbs I should be consuming, I would love to try this macro counting, I would like to lose body fat and gain more muscle and tone. Look forward to hearing back from you, Cheers

    October 7, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Reply to this comment

  • keri

    do macros roll over day to day? hahaha.

    October 14, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Lauren

    Hi Mike, I just read your article and need some help. I'm currently 5'6 and 180lbs (just had a baby about 3 months ago). I want to get back down to about 140lbs. Can you tell me about how many calories I should be eating a day and my macros proportions? I'd greatly appreciate your help, thanks!

    October 15, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Reply to this comment

  • patricia

    totally enjoyed the article very insightful and informative learned alot thanks

    October 16, 2015 at 7:44 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Anna

    Hi Mike, I'm a little confused as to what my goal should be for macros... I'm 5'6 and weigh about 116 pounds. I want to gain muscle and try to gain a couple pounds as I workout daily and find myself burning a lot of calories..What would my macros be? I put into MFP to gain a pound a week, but thats WAY too many calories for me (2100 or so)..any suggestions! Thanks!

    October 20, 2015 at 12:54 am | Reply to this comment

  • Alex

    This was awesome to read! Thank you for simplifying this for me. I love your writing style too. I'm a health coach and I've never been one to count calories or weigh my food, but when I'm trying to really lean down for a photo shoot, this info is priceless.

    October 20, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kourtney Garcia

    Just wanted to say thanks sharing what you know! I've tried looking up how to count your macros before but it wasn't until this article that I actually understood how.

    October 20, 2015 at 10:05 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Pam Markworth

    Is there an app that is easy to use and will count these three macros? I have a kindle and a PC I can use for counting.

    October 22, 2015 at 8:50 am | Reply to this comment

  • Roelle

    Hey Mike, Great article! Just a quick question, how do you count your macros day to day? Do you adjust it everyday? or same macros for the rest of the week? Thanks.

    October 26, 2015 at 2:03 am | Reply to this comment

  • Stacy

    Great article! I've been researching macros for the past couple months and I got the most out of your article! Thanks for dumbing it down! Question though, I'm female at 5'5" weigh 176 and goal is 150. Could you give me a suggested macro starting point? I work out 4-5 times/ week, with a mix of cardio and weights. Thanks!!!

    October 26, 2015 at 4:13 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Big John

    Good article, despite using the crutch of 'moderation' when talking about sugar. The science has been in for literally decades: sugar (and high GI foods. Think processed foods, flour, breads, pastas...) triggers insulin response, and the storing of adipose fat. It's not a simple calories in-calories out ratio, the human body is much more complex and subtle. It's what our bodies do with the calories we eat. Keep up the good work, and always strive to be better!

    October 30, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jessica

    Hey, Mike. I don't know if anyone has pointed this out already, but it may be a good thing to clarify that weighing 8 ounces of a food is not always going to accurately give you one cup of said food. Since an ounce is a measurement of weight and a fluid ounce is a measurement of volume, 8 ounces (weight) of food won't always be equal to 8 fluid ounces (1 cup). For example, the density of milk is similar to that of water, so 1 ounce of milk weighs roughly 1 fluid once, and 1 cup of milk weighs roughly 8 ounces. However, let's say that you were to be weighing 1 cup of honey. The density of honey is 1.4 ounces/fluid ounce. Thus, one cup of honey weighs 11.2 ounces.

    November 1, 2015 at 10:11 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Melissa

    Hi Mike I DESPERATELY need your help. Like many I am starting to be the concept... However confused on how to calculate what I need. I am 5'4 229 pounds and last 2 months lost 19 lbs and work out 3-4 times a week now.. Mostly cardio. I want to achieve the maximum weight loss while maintaining health and not participating in quick fix gimmicks... I am focussed and dedicated but feel I have been flustered and guessing ... Please help!!! Thanks in advance!

    November 2, 2015 at 9:52 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Daniel

    Hello Mike, nice article. I've never tracked macros only tracked calories with myfitnesspal app and have lost 20 lbs so far. I'm 5'3" and 235lbs. I have mainly focused on weight machines and some cardio. Would you suggest I continue on my path or switch to tracking macros and if so, where would I start? Thanks!

    November 4, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Sounds like you are doing really well! As long as you are getting sufficient protein so not to lose much (if any) lean mass, then I'm cool with you counting calories rather than macros!

      January 5, 2016 at 12:40 am | Reply to this comment

  • Khan E

    Hey there Mike, if I do INTERMITTENT FASTING would the free veggies contribute to my fast? Also, I'm considering a 40P/20C/20F diet for lean muscle gaining. Would you recommend this? I'm starting to work out 5 times a week for 80 minutes each. I'm 18y/o, 184cm, about 15% bodyfat, and 86kgs. Any help would be very appreciated. Thank You :)

    November 8, 2015 at 5:19 am | Reply to this comment

  • Annie

    Hi Mike! I was wondering if I could get some help with determining my daily caloric intake based on my macros. I'm a 20y/o female, 6'2'' about 270lbs (don't really look it but it's there). My goal is to burn fat and I need help setting up a macros starting point. I will be accompanying it with weight training and cardio. Thank you!

    November 27, 2015 at 7:52 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Taylor Chapman

    Found this article very helpful! Thanks for all the useful advice!

    December 4, 2015 at 11:14 am | Reply to this comment

  • Melissa Parker

    Hi Mike. I understand my macro breakdown. Please help me put it into effect. Is there a book or article I can purchase to teach me how? If I'm eating say 25g protein with each meal ...gcarbs total for and 50.grams fat total for the day. What does my eating plan look like.. a meal with say 25 p and 10 fat give or take...overwhelemed. I understand the math just can't implement it.

    December 6, 2015 at 7:36 am | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      This is a good question and I think the best place to start is literally by just tracking everything you eat. Don't worry about getting close on P/C/F. But pay attention to where your natural diet leads you... then make adjustments. If you are way over on fat and eating a lot of eggs, you could sub a few out and replace with egg whites. That's just one example of a modification you could make.

      January 5, 2016 at 12:37 am | Reply to this comment

  • John

    Mike, I am 190 pounds and about 30% fat. What should my macros be. I read so many conflicting theories. In your article the ranges are just so broad.

    December 15, 2015 at 10:41 am | Reply to this comment

  • John

    I should add my goal obviously is to lose fat but maintain muscle as well. I'm 5 ft 9, if that's relevant

    December 15, 2015 at 10:42 am | Reply to this comment

  • Erik

    Hi Mike, I'm trying to figure out macros to help with weight loss. I've always been very active and strong but tore my acl a year ago and have struggled getting back. Ive since torn a pec muscle as well (jetski incident) and I'm now 275 with over 35% body fat and struggling to stay active. How would I divide my macros to get down to around 230lbs? I'm 6ft tall. A little help would go a long way.

    December 23, 2015 at 11:55 am | Reply to this comment

  • Cris

    How open to discussing an individualized plan for counting macros?

    December 24, 2015 at 2:05 am | Reply to this comment

  • Lorenzo Miele

    Hi Mike! Thank you for this post! i have a question, are macros the same all over the world? because i live in Denmark, and the links for macros-counting are most likely made with english/american products, so i'd like to know if it's different here in Denmark or if i can use the same macros :) thanks!

    December 29, 2015 at 7:51 am | Reply to this comment

  • BJ

    Hi Mike, great info, ok don't know where to start, but I really like the jokes and the "not over the head" stuff. I teach aerobic classes and run but I am stuck in a rut. I want to get to the next level, meaning more lean and toned. I am 48 and am NOT a gym person, but since local fitness center gave me a membership I want to utilize it and get over my gym fear but I have no idea where to start. I 'm pretty active but no idea about weights and being an aging female, I know I need to incorporate them into my schedule. HELP!!! Oh and this macro thing very interesting, gotta get counting those also, but a little overwhelming at the moment.

    December 29, 2015 at 3:52 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kristen F

    Hey Mike, I've been working out for a while now but have never paid attention to macros. I'm in good shape but want to really tone up more and work on fat loss. I'm somewhat confused with how counting macros works and would like an idea of where to start. I am 5'9 and am 136 lbs. Thanks for the help!

    January 6, 2016 at 12:06 am | Reply to this comment

  • Alice

    Hi Mike, I totally enjoyed your article and understood it in one go (what do you know I can do arithmetic)! Well that's all actually. I truly think that this is a good and effective regimen, I will get in touch with you once I get some cooking skills lol.

    January 6, 2016 at 2:17 am | Reply to this comment

  • Debbie

    Hi Mike, I'm 5'3", 279 LB female looking to loose 100 lbs. what would you recommend? Deb

    January 7, 2016 at 2:08 am | Reply to this comment

  • Debbie

    Hi Mike. I'm 5'3", 279 lbs looking to lose 100 lbs. What would you recommend as a starting point with macros? Thanks

    January 7, 2016 at 2:09 am | Reply to this comment

  • k wallace

    hey mike im 21 , 5ft8 215 ... what should my macro count be and if anything ive been working out 6 days a week

    January 7, 2016 at 4:16 am | Reply to this comment

  • Madison

    Im still lost as to how to count my macros.. every meal, every day, making sure I do it right.

    January 7, 2016 at 3:56 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Doris

    Wow, thanks Mike! I am currently wicked fat and a SUPER beginner on trying to lose weight. I didn't even know macros was a thing before this article. So many words and numbers! I am dizzy. I am not even sure how I got here but I am glad I did. It would be great if there was a print friendly version of this entire article.

    January 14, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Pat Mone

    Hey Mike! Recently tried some pre-workout, post-workout supplements. There were no added stuff, i.e. sucralose, etc., however there was caffeine and yohimbe and they just did not sit well with me and I had to return them. Is it necessary to use these kinds of supplements? Also, what would you suggest for a minimal home gym to an absolute beginner? Can you use dumbbells exclusively? Thanks in advance!

    January 14, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Damian Pound

    When you count all macros, you're still counting calories, you're just being more specific.

    January 18, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Christina

    Hi Mike,what your carbs/protein/fat percentages should be when you want to gain muscle and when you want to lose weight.Certainly it wouldn't be 40/30/30 respectively as this is for maintaining your weight.Thanks.

    January 19, 2016 at 11:09 am | Reply to this comment

  • Christina

    Hi Mike,I have one more question;how do you count your macros when you cook food for the whole week all at once when cooked food either loses or gains more weight?

    January 19, 2016 at 11:29 am | Reply to this comment

  • Ashley

    Hi, Mike! I am 30 years old and I weigh 135.5. I would like to get down to 128. I don't have much farther to go but the closer I get to my goal the slower the weight is coming off! I am very active.. I weight train 5 nights a week. I throw in cardio here and there. All of this Macro stuff is confusing. How many Macros should I have daily? Thanks in advance!

    January 23, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jenfolio

    Okay, I'm curious, so you've been 5 months with no Alcohol. do you think you will take it out of your macro info?

    January 26, 2016 at 11:28 am | Reply to this comment

  • Nikki

    Hello Mike! I found this article to Beverly informative and helpful. Liked few others have see that has posted on here, I am lost on how to figure out what my need is. I am 5'5 140lbs. I do not have a clue what my lean body weight is. I do know I have plenty rolls that I want gone. My goal would be to slim to about 120 and tone up/build muscle. Any suggestions on where I should start with my macros? And when you say how many calories a goal should be set at is that just based on proteins fats and carbs multiplied by the 4 or 9 calories?

    January 29, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Nikki

    Sorry I didn't mean to post twice when I came back and checked it it was not there so I thought the first never posted

    January 29, 2016 at 7:40 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Sasha Frisbee

    Hi I emailed you and it didn't go thru.

    February 4, 2016 at 4:14 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Brent

    Hey mike, I'm sitting on about 155 pounds and I'm 6 feet tall. I'm going to try to balance my macros, all of been really doing is counting calories and up taking in between 2,900 and 3,600 per day. I have not been able to throw on any more muscle weight so I'm hoping that counting macros is going to help me. I'd like to put about 20 lbs of lean muscle in the next 6 to 8 months. Do you have any suggestions on how often and how much I should be taking in each meal?

    February 5, 2016 at 4:15 am | Reply to this comment

  • Randy Johnson

    Hey Mike, been following you for the past few months and just got around to reading through this whole post. I'm curious, what are your thoughts on a low/no carb lifestyle? Basically, I came across Vinnie Tortorich's podcast and book almost 2 years ago and have been a big fan of NSNG (no sugars no grains). Same after reading Grain Brain. Anyways, what are your thoughts on doing this? Obviously you don't worry about grains and sugars as much just as long as you hit your macros. I'm in the gym a couple times a week and run a several miles a week, and I feel decent on the NSNG plan, but I'm always curious to see what others like yourself think. Anyways, keep up the great content and keep inspiring via Snapchat! PS... I think it would be awesome for you to share your story on my podcast!

    February 8, 2016 at 8:56 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kelly

    Hey mike! Loved your post about macros! It was very informative. I am getting married in September and would love to drop 30 lbs and tone. Right now I am at my highest weight of 185 and looking to be 155. Working out and eating clean isn't an issue its I just always feel hungry after eating so I'm not sure I am eating enough. I have only heard great things about counting macros. How many macros should I consume in a day to drop this weight?

    February 20, 2016 at 8:38 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Mackenzie Scovel

    hey mike, I just read your article and I thought it was very informative. I learned more at the website then any other websites ive been on. I'm wondering if you could help me with my macros. I'm 5'3. 132 lbs, with 22% body fat and if I could get help that would be great :)

    February 22, 2016 at 8:14 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Craig

    Hey, if I want to lose weight how many grams per pound of lean body mass should it be? I've worked out my LBM to be 151.84. Id like to ideally lose 20 pounds. Over time of course. But for the initial stone to go can you advise?

    February 23, 2016 at 8:22 am | Reply to this comment

  • Emily

    Hi! I'm 5.2 and 128lbs I workout 6 days a week, 3 of which are strength, 2 LISS and 1 HIIT day. Any suggestions for where I should start with counting macros? I'm looking to loose some body fat and gain muscle.

    March 8, 2016 at 6:54 am | Reply to this comment

  • Kristen

    Hi I'm trying to figure out my calories and macros to lose weight. I'm 5'7 and 185.. Help!;)

    March 16, 2016 at 6:31 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Dell

    I know that it's not necessary as macro/calorie is the same end result, I just think that you should count your calories if for informational purposes only, esp if you're trying to track your deficit.

    March 28, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Daniela

    Hey Mike! Dont even know how i came across this article about macros during my before bed internet surfing!? I thoroughly enjoyed this article and actually kinda understood the whole thing without getting a headache. Ive always counted calories but ur article just converted me to start counting macros. How do i work out how many macros i need? Pls help! I know u have put the formula above but how do i work out my body fat %? #converted

    March 30, 2016 at 8:28 am | Reply to this comment

  • Autumn

    Hey Mike! I have some more questions for you! I definitely grew up with the "11 servings of bread parents" which means until recently my idea of healthy was Lean Pockets and Diet soda...with that being said, I naturally lost some weight after finding out I had celiac disease which eliminated tons of carbs from my diet (yay!) Now though, I'm at a point where I'm enjoying the gym and have found a friend to encourage my weightlifting goals and progress; now I have seen a lot of progress in terms of strength...lifting heavier, running longer...etc; but I cannot get rid of this extra layer I'm carrying! I know a big portion of my struggle is going to be with loose skin considering I was so overweight for so many years, but it's hard to not feel frustrated when I'm lifting heavier and feeling better, but yet I weigh more and I don't see any progress with this "pudge". I've decided that I'd like to start tracking Macros and your writing style and the simplicity with which you've explained this makes it incredibly easy to grasp, BUT...I have no clue how to determine how many calories I should be consuming, my body fat content, or how much exercise I need...all important with tracking my macros! I'm totally ready to do this, but I want to do it right! Do you have any advice of where I should look to help find this info or any other articles you've written that might help me take the next steps forward? Thank you! Autumn

    April 5, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Sarah

    I'm just starting looking at macronutrients, I've been calculating calories by hand. How do you calculate macronutrients by hand? And by gram? I typically find my calories by gram rather than by serving. Thank you!

    April 7, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Vivienne

    Hi Mike! I've just started tracking my macros, but am finding it IMPOSSIBLE! I can't reach my protein goal without seriously going over my carbs and my fats! Any suggestions? My split is P150g, C250g, F45g.

    April 18, 2016 at 9:44 am | Reply to this comment

  • Alejandro

    Thank you so much for taking the time and effort into writing a detailed guide on a topic that a lot of us find quite tedious! I would like an answer from you(or anyone who has proper experience) to my following question. I am 20 years old, about 5'6 and weight around 128 lbs and maybe 10-15% fat?(Only part of me that seems a little out of shape my stomach) I recently started working out around two months ago and I've been extremely motivated! Now that I am trying to get a little more serious and can foresee myself doing this for years to come, I would like to start learning about nutrition and have a set plan on how much of what to eat everyday. I guess I do not have a very defined goal just yet, but my goal is to build muscle mass and bulk up. I would love if you(or anybody) could tell me my nutrition plan for proteins, carbs, calories, etc, then that would be greatly appreciated it. Thanks again for posting such a great article. Cheers, -Alejandro

    April 18, 2016 at 5:16 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Lindsay

    Hey Mike! Stumbled upon this article and SO glad I did!! Great read, very enlightening. I'm very active and enjoy working out quite a lot, I eat (fairly, lol) healthy. But I've never quite understood the nutrition aspect of it all. Thank you for breaking this down in an easy to read/understand article. Really appreciate it!

    April 26, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Mel Hoptman

    This is the best article I have ever read about macros! Simple, funny and to the point.

    April 26, 2016 at 5:49 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Brittany

    Hold your horses!! This article is fire and helped me so much! Embarking...

    April 27, 2016 at 11:27 am | Reply to this comment

  • Jesus Dominguez

    Great article, learned alot and loved the humor. My question is.. What if you dont meet your macros and are under for protien, carbs or fats? Is it better to be under or over?

    May 7, 2016 at 1:13 am | Reply to this comment

  • Justin

    Should you count all your veggies and fruits you eat and add them up to your macros?

    May 7, 2016 at 4:40 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Amber

    Hey Mike! Your article is more informative than any other that I have read. And very easy to understand! My only question is one that seems to be asked a lot. I get how to count micros and what not to count, but since there are ranges based on what your weight, body fat % , and goals are I am wondering how I figure out where I start with the range and how much of what I need. I'm looking to gain muscle but lose a lot of fat from my stomach while toning everything at the same time. I'm 4 foot 11 inches and I weigh 146.2 pounds with about 30% body fat! Yes it's a lot I know! Please help me!!!

    May 16, 2016 at 10:27 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Erin

    Hi Michael, this is a fantastic post with tons of great info (and humor)! I'm just starting with this whole Marco counting thing but I'm concerned it's not for me as I don't eat meat very often. I was under the impression nuts and beans were "great sources of protein". Oh my, I've got a long way to go! Can this sort of lifestyle (eliminating the word "diet" here) work for someone who isn't a meat eater? Thanks for any help - I need all I can get! Erin

    May 23, 2016 at 9:23 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Genesis Ali Ali

    Hi Michael, Wondered if you could advise me on how to adjust macros for a meal in terms of getting a 40 40 20 split p, f, c (low carb). The dish i want to make for example is salmon with mash potatoes and green beans. I am more focused on macros than calorie counting. Your help would be greatly appreciated. G

    May 25, 2016 at 11:07 am | Reply to this comment

  • Sarah

    Such a great article! Quick question though- I'm using the my fitness pal app to track my macros. Once, i meet my targeted macros in terms of grams, do the percentages that display the ratios that I've eaten them in matter? If so, it okay for me to have lets say 10 extra grams of protein if I've met my carb and fat targeted grams already (but not the percentages)?

    May 26, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Joshua

    Hey Mike! Ive been using this app called MyFitnessPal that counts calories in meals you log, as well as shows your nutrient intake and gives you a suggested macro ratio from the information you put in. I just wanted to know if you recommend this app or if i should just use a simpler method.

    May 29, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Tony Duncan

    I eat a lot of game meat "mostly Elk and deer" is there somewhere that will help me count the macros for this? Also great post and thank you for the useful information.

    June 1, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Mr Suleman

    This was a great read. Wanted to get my hands on info like this for a long time. Great work mate

    June 7, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Reply to this comment

  • demicha

    Hi Mike, Thank you for the great article. I am pretty active (kickboxing 2-3 times per week and lifting 2-3 times per week). I'm 32, 5'5 1/2 and weigh 120 with 21% body fat. I'm looking to get leaner and possible lose 5lbs. Definitely would like to look leaner and toner.

    June 13, 2016 at 11:22 am | Reply to this comment

  • Jon

    Hi, If I plan ahead and prepare a batch for the week i.e crockpot stew, protein bars, etc. How do I know how much is in each serving ? I can calculate the macros/calories for the entire dish , but then how do I separate it into servings? For example I'm using the following ingredients: 2/3 cup PB2 (reconstituted with 1/3 cup water), 1 cup old-fashioned oats, 1/2 cup flaked coconut, 1 tsp. vanilla extract... Thanks Jon

    June 15, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Mary

    Bahahahaha I'm dying. So informative, but also you are goddamn funny. Please stop pretending you suck at writing, as this is obviously not true.

    July 14, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Reply to this comment

  • April

    Hey Mike, thank god someone can actually explain this in bare bone terms. So the question I have is how does one do comparisons? I mean is there an app or easy site. My trainer for example gave me specific carbs I can have in a meal. For example, blueberries. I am not going to eat blueberries every day for the rest of my life. What's a fast way to say calculate or find a food that equals the macros on say 3 grams of blueberries and can be used as a substitute? Say strawberries or bananas? I'm pulling my hair out trying to figure this out. Thanks

    July 19, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Blakely

    I have lost 75lbs in the last year I thought I was doing it right but I'm so wrong as I stopped and gained back 20lbs in a short 2 months I was on a very low calorie intake and now I'm trying to meet my goals the RIGHT way this time but everything is so hard for me to understand if you could help me out I am a 32 year old female I weigh 160lbs height is 5'4 i need to know where to start so I can meet my goal of fitness show comp. I also have paid for a personal trainer and have had a lot of issues with just being able to meet with him. Please help me !!

    July 21, 2016 at 8:52 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Michelle Batterson

    Thanks, great info

    August 1, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Catherine P.

    Hey Mike! I am totally new to this world of macros - but keep hearing about it so I want to incorporate it into my own diet. I don't have any way of measuring my body fat, which you seem to think is pretty important -- so I don't know how to determine what I need. I'm 5'4 and about 124 lbs.. But I feel like my body content is higher because I don't look "fit" -- I do circuit workouts 3 times a week for 30 mins each, that are pretty intense - and then try to walk 3-5 times a week for 45 mins each time. Occasionally I'll do a HIIT workout for a total of 15 mins --- so I don't know how to incorporate my exercise/activity level! This is very confusing -- I grew up with the belief that "carbs make you fat - cut those out and eat less" and you'll be in good shape -- Also, if you lose weight, should you be reconfiguring your macros? Any way to help?? I definitely want to look lean and fit - and my circuits definitely incorporate strength and cardio.

    August 2, 2016 at 8:23 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Fonda connors

    I'm just wondering and I'm sorry if it's a stupid question. But I've started counting my macros and I use my fitness pal. There set at 40% carb 30% fat and 30% protein. Is that for each meal? I can't never get my meals balanced but at the end of the day I'm at the % I'm suppose to be for each.

    August 6, 2016 at 10:27 am | Reply to this comment

  • Eilis

    Hi Mike. I'm looking to get leaner. I'm unable to do too much exercise at the minute with a sore back so hoping to improve my diet. I'm about 5'4 and weigh about 140lb. What macros should I be aiming for? Thanks!

    August 30, 2016 at 6:19 am | Reply to this comment

  • Lynn

    Hi Mike, Thanks for the great article its helping me understand macros. Im trying to loose weight & my fitness pal has a macros counter on it so that's why im looking into it now. You mention you don't need to count calories when counting macros, but the formula you give for counting macros is calories! (1g protein is 4c) So daily I take the grams, multiply by calorie amount, then divide into total calories for the day to work out percentages? Is that right or am I thinking the long way around here! thanks,

    September 1, 2016 at 6:58 am | Reply to this comment

  • Rebecca

    Hey Mike, Love your articles. I have downloaded your app and am going to give it a go at counting my Macros. I have two questions though; 1. Where do you go to get your body fat % measured if you're not a member of a gym? I do all my workouts at home or go running etc. 2. I guessed at my body fat going by your images and said I was around 20%. I want to lose a bit of weight and tone up. Not sure which option to select on your app but it says I should be eating around 3329 cals a day. I'm a 27 yr old female, 5"7 and around 157lbs. Thanks, Rebecca.

    September 9, 2016 at 11:19 am | Reply to this comment

  • Vincent

    Hello Mike, I know you have probably explained this but I stil am a little confused Im on a 50/30/20 meal plan. On the nurtition fact sheet it has portion and calories the for instance its a carb and the carbs are 45g is that what i count as calories in my 2786 a day of calories I disregard the calories per serving under the serving size. I really don't want to under or over eat, I am splitting the daily calories in 6 meals. Thanks Mike!

    September 18, 2016 at 1:31 am | Reply to this comment

  • Alice

    Ohkay SO - First off, friggin' love this site bro. You have no idea, I'm actually scared of myself considering the past 2 days I spent reading basically every single one of your posts :P you are AWESOME! Second, you were the first person to properly explain calculating Macros to me, every time I tried before I would be lost and confused and wide-eyed about it, but you're like my 4th grade teacher, who taught me that learning is un and that math can be fun and now I'm on a rampage of calculating macros in my food :) I took your advice from a different article to first just calculate the macros but not go crazy and try to stay in scope of a specific plan, see what I eat, and they I'll try & figure something out for myself to eat. Again, dude, seriously. You are a god amongst me :P (also your sense of humor is on spot!)

    September 20, 2016 at 7:12 am | Reply to this comment

  • John Roberts

    Dude, well said . I am floored after reading this ,well said. I have learned a lot. I am 27 yo 6'3 320lbs and around 35% Bf and blessed to be a endomorph lol. Iv read for my body type a 40 protein 40 fats 20 carb would be beneficial .I lift weights regularly but want to drop bf. I would value your opinion and suggestions to the information I gave. Thanks!

    October 5, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Rita?

    Hi there Mike! I have read your article and fine it very informative! I workout about 4x a week for about 60-90min at a time. I try just counting calories and eat about 1600 calories a day, I've done this for about 2 months and have only seen about a 8lb weight loss. I'm guessing I'm doing something wrong because I'm always hungry and am not seeing much difference. I do about 30 min of cardio and lifting the rest (low weight 10-40lbs, high reps). How do I go about finding the amount of macros I need?? I want to start losing a bit quicker. What can I do??

    October 12, 2016 at 8:50 am | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Hi! Thx for the comment:) 8 pounds in 2 months is actually pretty darn good progress!! To find out how to set your intake, I would use my (free) app: But honestly... sounds like you are doing really well. 1 pound per week is solid!

      October 13, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Tory

    Hi Mike, Is there a rule of thumb for calculating the macros in cooked meat? I usually meal prep in bulk for the week, so weighing it raw is tough.

    October 13, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Crystal

    Hi Mike I have been trying to figure out the adjusting on macros. I am not for sure how you know when to begin adjusting your numbers or how much to adjust them to when you are wanting to lose weight. It is obvious that your protein will continue to increase if you are wanting to drop fat but how do I know when to adjust and which category to adjust? Thanks

    December 18, 2016 at 11:47 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      Crystal - these will help! When To Adjust Your Macros: What To DO When Weight Loss Stalls:

      December 21, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kit Kat

    This is a wonderful post Mike! I have always been on a strict bodybuilding diet (hello, chicken and rice. followed by more chicken and rice), and I have decided to try IIFYM for my off-season. I enjoy my post workout meal (usually Poptarts and a shake, etc), do these carbs/protein have to add into my daily "allowances"? Or is this over and above my daily amounts? If they are apart of my "allowances" does that mean my rest days should have a couple more meals to replace this larger amount of carbs/protein..? [Im using my fitness pal and customizing the percentages of carbs and protein to calculate my daily goals]. Thank you in advance!

    January 3, 2017 at 3:06 am | Reply to this comment

  • Robert

    Macro counting is a great way to lose weight and build muscle. Check out this article I wrote on how to meal prep with your macro numbers

    February 9, 2017 at 11:03 pm | Reply to this comment

  • james

    Great article Mike, very informative. Learned a lot from checking labels that I did not know. Thanks for the info! Enjoy your Vlogs too.

    February 18, 2017 at 9:40 am | Reply to this comment

  • Tania Alves

    Mike, I just would like to say that it was a very straight forward explanation, really enjoyed the article. Im still new to counting the macros and this was very informative. Thank you :)

    March 4, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Madeline

    specifically how can I calculate my macros for weight loss? I have tried using certain online calculators but they are not really giving me specific numbers or ill end up getting different results.

    March 5, 2017 at 10:59 am | Reply to this comment

  • Cherie

    I'm confident I can figure out how to figure out how many macros are in what but I am having a difficult time figuring out how many I need personally to lose 40 lbs. I weigh 140 and I also have diabetes so I'm not sure if the carb number should be lower because of the sugar content. Please advise. Thank you.

    March 22, 2017 at 8:51 am | Reply to this comment

  • Courtney

    This article is brilliant!!! Thank you so much Mike. I've felt a bit let down by a so called 'personalised meal plan' I paid for with my trainer at gym but he has never explained to me exactly how macros work or how to track them - therefore, hindering my results. This has been awesome and now I'm following you on all forms of social media haha. Thanks so much! :) :) :)

    March 23, 2017 at 1:38 am | Reply to this comment

  • Ali

    Hey Mike - I calculated based on some of your comments above, and I'm getting at 110g protein and 27g of fat/carbs. That seems awfully low for fat/carbs right? I'm 5'8, around 137lbs - I eat pretty well and work out 4x a week on average (weights & cardio). Looking to lose 5 or so pounds but no more than that. Would love any pointers you can provide!!

    April 11, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Carolina

    Hi Mike! I am 5'3, 122 lb, and 21 years old. I have always eaten healthy but in the past I've done diets far too strict that just ended in me binging on weekends. I am starting to count macros because I really want to lose fat. I am currently at a 20% body fat but I would like it to be lower. I was was wondering what do you think my protein/fat/carb ratio should be.

    June 4, 2017 at 10:04 am | Reply to this comment

  • BellaDevine

    Hi. Is there a way to convert grams to ounces in the app? Grams just aren't working for me. Thanks.

    July 9, 2017 at 10:39 am | Reply to this comment

  • Michelle

    I'm 180 pounds 5'5 and 52 years old could you calculate my macros for me

    August 1, 2017 at 11:33 am | Reply to this comment

  • Raluca

    Hi there, I used to weigh around 100 lbs. I gained around 5 lbs since May because I do Crossfit 5 times a week plus some running in my day off. Currently I have 1352 calories with 101 P, 152 C and 38 F. and 24% body fat. I am not sure if my numbers are right, I do have a cheat day and I am always going over these numbers and I am scarred I am not on the right path. Could you please advise me what would be the next step or if even my numbers are correct? Thanks in advance :)

    September 2, 2017 at 9:14 am | Reply to this comment

  • Faith

    Mike, Maybe you have answered this question and I hope I am not too late to ask because this post is so old.. I am trying to cut my body fat from 24.5% to like 22-23% and then maintain. I need roughly 1745 calories a day. Is the macro count all of those calories - or -is there a little room for like a beer and some cookies or chips???? Or is this like a mind thing where you work so hard trying to meet your Macros you forget to eat cookies? (I lift/hit the gym 3 times a week. I am 35/5'2/134. I am looking to make a lifestyle change bc I am getting old and want to stay somewhere between lean and toned)

    September 21, 2017 at 7:25 am | Reply to this comment

  • Ann

    Hi Mike, I learned about you from someone at Nerd Fitness Academy. I'm a newbie to macros, and am really enjoying your articles. Thanks for providing so much information! Also, based on your comments from the % Daily Value section of this article, you should look into Liberty Forum in Manchester, New Hampshire in Feb 2018. I'll look forward to reading your posts! Cheers, Ann

    September 27, 2017 at 9:19 am | Reply to this comment

  • Amy

    I was wondering how veggies should be weighed? Raw or cooked? Or does it not matter?

    October 4, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kelvin Gassion

    Mike, I am 244Ib and have a body fat percent of 22% I'd like to weigh 230, but be lean. What would you recommend my ratio to be. I am just starting off learning macros. I workout six days a week and never used to watch diet. I just used to up cardio, but I would definitely like to be more knowledgeable about macros! Thanks for your time in advance!!!

    January 7, 2018 at 11:19 am | Reply to this comment

  • Kathy Mac Neill

    Mike, everything on your post makes so much sense because it is based on fact! I am rethinking my eating and workouts with a realistic LBM calc. FYI: Serving size example...did you forget to multiply by 4? four calories per gram of carb x 2.5 servings? (4x31x2.5=440 calories). Don't chug that drink! Kathy Mac

    February 14, 2018 at 11:19 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Yesenia Mendez

    Hi Mike- I just found your comprehensive guide yesterday. I find it super interesting. I want to start counting my macros, but I don't know if my calculations are correct. I went to the doctor today and stepped on the Tanita Body Composition Analyzer. I am a 5' 2.5" (every half inch, 44 y/o female. I currently weigh 153lbs and my body fat is 39.1 (WOWZA...i know :/). My goal is to get to 130lbs. Using the math I calculated that I need 46.59 grams of protein, 46.59g of carbs and 32.6 grams of fat. Is that correct??

    February 26, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Paula

    Hi Mike, I just discovered you! I love your common sense and humor which has helped me believe this macro thing will work for me. My daughter just got a peloton bike and she is using u as her Macro God also! Look forward to anything more you might be writing or vlogging!

    February 28, 2018 at 9:24 am | Reply to this comment

  • Emily King

    Hi so I weigh 205lbs with a lean body mass of 140lbs and I want to lose weight and get down to about 18% - 20% body fat. How do I know what amount of grams per pound of lean mass my body needs of each macronutrient to first lose the weight?you give a range of, for example;0.5 - 2.0 grams of protein per pound of LBM. So where would weight loss fall in the range of each macronutrient?

    February 28, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Tey B

    Hi Mike, Your article is sooo informative! Thank you! It's actually the best article I have read on macros. I am 42, 5'3, 180 lbs. I am a breastfeeding mother but my baby is a bit older now and eating food so I nurse mainly 6 times a day. I am looking at a 1500 calorie diet and fasting 2x a week and eating about 500-800 calories when I break fast in the evening. My goal is to lose between 1.5 or 2 lbs a week. On the days I don't work out I was thinking of just eating about 1200 calories but my goal is to walk about 40-1 hour a day until I get stronger and walk farther so I can stick to 1500 calorie. I am also adding strength training to my regimen slowly (It's been years I am looking at dividing my macros to 40/30/30. The challenge for me is allocating them. So here is what I thought I would do...I am taking my 1500 calorie and dividing them up into the 40/30/30 4 servings of starch- breads, sweet potatoes, quinoa and etc (each about 80 calorie serving) 3 servings of fruits. Each serving roughly around 60 calories and 15 grams of carbs 4 servings of protein. 3 oz of meat for lunch, some beans or lentils for dinner BUT here is the problem, I don't do well with dairy so I don't know how else to get more protein. 4 teaspoon of oil, nut butters, etc 2 serving of healthy fats - Like 1/4 avocado, almonds, pecans, etc What are your thoughts about my plan? Any advice? Also should I add the calories burned back in? It complicates matters...

    May 22, 2018 at 12:21 am | Reply to this comment

  • hey mike

    are you still alive mike?

    June 21, 2018 at 9:49 am | Reply to this comment

  • Patty

    This was so helpful!! Thank you so much, Patty

    August 5, 2018 at 8:15 am | Reply to this comment

  • Exercise vs. Diet: Which Is More Important for Weight Loss? –

    […] Once you are comfortable with counting calories, consider switching to counting macronutrients instead. Focusing on macronutrients, rather than calories calories, is a nice “hack” to disrupt the fact that people (myself included) are often translating exercise and eating into the same currency: calories. You can learn all about the basics of how to count macros here. […]

    November 3, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Lisa M

    Hello, I am confused. Every site tells me a different ratio for my macros. I am unsure what to use and what is best for weight loss. How do I proceed?

    April 23, 2019 at 7:11 am | Reply to this comment

  • kristine

    hey just stumbled across your page it was very helpful :) I was on the fence about ordering a food scale but this helped make my decision

    July 6, 2019 at 10:50 pm | Reply to this comment

  • ste

    hey mike im following a seven day meal plan that show me how to adjust the calories of each meal to my needs and tells me how many grams of each ingredient I need now will this also adjust my parotien and fats to my daily needs also thanks ste

    September 15, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Ulla

    Wow great article. I have been thinking about counting macros but I was so confused about it till I read you article. I calculated my macros and this is what I got Protein 120 Fats 47 Carbs 196 Total of calories 1686 Im 4’11” 147 pounds trying to get down to 120 - 115 pounds Do these numbers look ok to you ? Or what do you recommend . Thank you

    September 19, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Reply to this comment

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