So you want to calculate macros?
Calculating macros can seem intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, a few quick calculations will give you a custom weight loss plan designed for your body and your goals. By tracking your intake of these macros, you can have the flexibility to live your life, eat delicious, whole, and healthy foods, and reach your weight-loss goals. And do it without obsessively tracking calories—ready to get started? Let’s start with the basics.
What Are Macros?
Nutritionists have identified three main sources of nutrients that your body uses for energy and fuel for your metabolism. These are called macronutrients, or macros for short. The three macros are fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Almost everything you eat contains these three macros in one form or another. Each one is essential, and your body needs a certain balance of them if you want to achieve success using a keto meal plan with your Xyngular system.
Now you may be thinking, “Why should I calculate macros for weight loss? Can’t I just count calories?” Well, you could, but counting calories isn’t as effective as using macros for weight loss. It’s like using a washboard to do laundry. It gets the basic job done, but there’s a better, more effective way.
A calorie is a basic unit used to measure energy. Eating one calorie means you are consuming one unit of energy, but that’s all the information you have. The major drawback is that counting calories alone doesn't take into account nutritional value.
For example, if you’re counting calories and have a goal of 1,900 calories, you could fill those with ten Krispy Kreme donuts and call it a day. Sure, you met your calorie goal, but you failed to give your body the nutrients it needs to function. On the other hand, calculating macros for fat loss allows you to track your intake, while also properly fueling your body so you can effectively and efficiently lose weight.
Meet The Macros
Now that you have a basic understanding of macros, let’s dig a little deeper into the three different types of macros.
You may have noticed these things are everywhere. The most common forms of carbohydrates, or carbs, are sugars, fibers, and starches. Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, a simple sugar that the body is able to convert quickly and easily to energy. There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Complex carbohydrates are better for you because your body breaks them down slowly so they don’t spike your blood sugar levels like simple carbs do. Complex carbs are found in whole foods, like beans, vegetables, fruit, and grains.
Years ago, low-fat diets were all the rage—"eat less fat, carry less fat,” makes sense, right? Well, it turns out that fats are an important part of a healthy diet. They provide lots of energy and support to our bodily systems. The type of fat is more important than the quantity, so look for unsaturated fats, when possible, like olive oil, nuts, fish, and avocado.
Protein is an essential component in your body’s muscle tissue. But proteins are actually found everywhere—in your hair, your skin, your bones, and even in your blood. Protein is made from even smaller chemical building blocks called amino acids. There are nine “essential amino acids” that must come from the foods you eat. We usually think of red meat as being the only source of protein, but other good sources of protein include legumes, like lentils and beans, as well as nuts, seeds, certain grains like quinoa and oats, as well as many vegetables. Of course, animal proteins are also good sources, when prepared in a healthy way.
Steps to Calculate Your Macros
When you want to learn how to calculate macros for keto, you must first determine your personalized macros. This requires a few basic math equations. (Don’t worry, they’re pretty simple and there’s no quiz at the end.) Learning how to calculate macros for weight loss is an important exercise in discovering more about your nutrition. But if you don’t feel like doing it yourself, you can use a macros calculator. Try a couple of these and see what they tell you:
Find Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
The first step to determine macros is finding your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). BMR refers to the number of calories you burn every day just to keep your body functioning properly. If you did nothing but lay in bed for a full day, your body would still burn calories as it keeps you alive. The number of calories it takes is your BMR.
Nutritionists and scientists have found many ways to determine your BMR. Our preferred method is the Harris-Benedict Equation. It is:
Female BMR Equation
655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)
Male BMR Equation
66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)
Now that may seem complicated, but we just need to plug in a few numbers.
For example, let’s say Julia is a 32-year-old woman, who weighs 170 pounds, and stands 5 feet, 4 inches tall.
First, let’s convert to metric units. (You can use this metric conversion calculator.)
170 lbs. = 77.10 kg
5’4” = 162.56 cm.
Next, let’s plug those numbers in our formula, calculating the numbers in parentheses first.
BMR = 655 + (9.6 x 77.10) + (1.8 x 162.56) – (4.7 x 32) =
BMR = 655 + (740.16) + (292.60) – (150.40) =
BMR = 1,537 calories
Julia’s BMR is 1,537 calories. Or in other words, her body needs 1,537 calories to simply maintain itself. Take a minute to determine your own BMR.
Calculate Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)
Now that you have your BMR figured out, you can determine your Total Daily Energy Expenditure, or TDEE. This number takes into account your movement and exercise as an additional requirement of calories.
To calculate your keto TDEE value, you will multiply your BMR by a number based on your level of activity. Here are the activity ranges.
Sedentary: (little to no exercise, desk job) = 1.2
Lightly Active: (light exercise 1-3 times weekly) = 1.375
Moderately Active: (moderate exercise 3-5 days weekly) = 1.55
Very Active: (heavy exercise 6-7 days weekly, competitive athlete) = 1.725
Extremely Active: (Training 2x a day, heavy physical labor, competitive athlete) = 1.9
(NOTE: Almost all Xyngular system users fall into the Sedentary or Lightly Active categories.)
Now let’s get back to our example. Julia wants to start exercising more, but her busy schedule makes it tough. So for now, she is classified as Sedentary. We already know her BMR, so now we just add in her multiplier to find her total daily caloric needs.
TDEE = 1.2 x BMR
TDEE = 1.2 x 1537
TDEE = 1,844 calories
Julia, with her current activity levels, needs to consume around 1,844 calories to maintain her weight. Now take a minute to calculate your own TDEE.
Calculating Calories for Weight Loss
Your Xyngular system is designed for weight loss. The BMR and TDEE values we just calculated tell you what you need to do to maintain your weight. Now we take those numbers and determine what your calorie deficit needs to be. Or in other words, how many calories you will need to cut your intake by so you’re eating less than what your body is burning as fuel throughout the day. If done right, this will create steady, sustainable weight loss.
Most researchers agree that a 20% daily calorie deficit is the sweet spot in creating noticeable weight loss at a sustainable pace. For Julia, finding that number would look like this:
1,844 x .20 = 369 calories
1,844 – 369 = 1,475 calories
Julia should aim to reduce her daily calories to around 1,475 daily, creating a deficit equaling around 1 pound of fat loss each week.
Determining Weight-Loss Macros For Keto
With all the initial calculations completed, it’s time to figure out macros for weight loss keto. Each macronutrient provides a certain amount of energy (calories, or kcal) per gram. The macro values are as follows:
Carbs = 4 kcal per gram
Protein = 4 kcal per gram
Fat = 9 kcal per gram
To determine your daily macro breakdown while on the keto meal plan, you’ll determine what percentages of your daily calories should come from each macro source. The Xyngular standard for Keto is 70-25-5, meaning 70% of your daily calories should come from fats, 25% from protein, and just 5% from carbohydrates. This will help your body maintain ketosis, a process that makes stored fat a primary source of energy for your metabolism, helping you shed excess weight quickly.
Julia would now simply use her daily calorie goal of 1,475 to determine her own percentages of calories needed, and how many grams will provide those calories.
(1475 x 70%) = 1032 calories from FATS / 9kcal per gram = 115g of FATS
(1475 x 25%) = 369 calories from PROTEIN / 4kcal per gram = 92g of PROTEIN
(1475 x 5%) = 74 calories from CARBS / 4kcal per gram = 18g of CARBS
Julia, on her Xyngular system, will follow the Keto meal plan to consume 115 F / 92 P / 18 C.
Tracking your macros gives you the flexibility to eat how, when, and what you want, as long as it fits within your daily macros. And as we've learned, as long as you're tracking accurately, you will lose weight—it's mathematical!
Determining Weight Loss Macros For Low Carb
If you’re trying to decide between a keto and low carb diet, you can also calculate your low carb macros. The percentages of the daily calorie intake for the low carb diet looks like this: healthy fats (40-50%), protein (40-50%), and good carbs (10-20%).
So if Julia were on a low carb diet, she would calculate her macros similarly to this:
(1475 x 45%) = 664 calories from FATS / 9kcal per gram = 74g of FATS
(1475 x 45%) = 664 calories from PROTEIN / 4kcal per gram = 166g of PROTEIN
(1475 x 10%) = 148 calories from CARBS / 4kcal per gram = 37g of CARBS
You’ll notice her numbers are different on a low carbohydrate meal plan as opposed to keto. On a low carb diet, Julia would consume 74 F / 166 P / 37 C. Even with those numbers, it’s important to note that the carbs consumed in a low carb diet should be “good carbs.” They should come from vegetables and other whole foods.
What Foods Are High In Macros?
If you’re struggling to hit your macro goals, you may have to rethink what foods you’re eating. We’ve put together an Ultimate Keto Grocery List you’ll want to check before you head to the store. Here are a few of the basics you’ll want to keep on hand to meet your macro goals:
- Bacon, lunch meat, salmon, eggs
- Avocado, butter, cheese, olive oil, mayonnaise
- Spinach, lettuce, green peppers, broccoli, cauliflower
- Almonds, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts
- Lemon juice, vinegar
- Almond milk, unsweetened yogurt
What Foods Are Low In Carbs And High In Good Fats?
If you decide to go the low carb diet route, you’ll need to shop slightly differently. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with an Ultimate Low Carb Grocery List too. Here are a few of the low carb/high good fat items you’ll want to have around:
- Almonds, unsalted
- Coconut oil
- Macadamia nuts, unsalted
- Natural almond butter
- Natural peanut butter
- Olive Oil
- Peanuts, dry roasted
- Pumpkin seeds, unsalted
- Sesame oil
- Sunflower oil
- Walnuts, unsalted
Check out the low carb grocery list to find our favorite substitutes for bread.
5 Macro-Friendly Recipes From Xyngular
We understand that changing the way you cook and eat is a big adjustment. That’s why we created a library of delicious, Keto-friendly recipes you can make for yourself and your family as you follow your Xyngular system. These recipes can be your starting point as you discover new foods and techniques to deliver big flavor without relying on excess carbs or calories.
Keep checking back on our recipes page, because it’s always expanding as we add new low carb and keto-friendly breakfast, lunch, and dinner options that are easy to make, and delicious too! Here are a few of our current favorites:
Tasty Balsamic Meatballs: Who doesn’t love meatballs? They’re like tiny little hamburgers, but in the case of these balsamic meatballs, they’re way better! And since they only take around 45 minutes to make, you can be eating before you could even make it to the drive-thru window.
Simple Tex Mex Steak Bowl: In less than an hour you can throw together a restaurant-quality meal the whole family will love. Steak, veggies, and fresh salsa on a bed of rice will have the whole family raving.
Moroccan Spiced Salmon With Sautéed Kale: The spices on this salmon are bursting with flavor, and you’ll never believe how quickly you’ll be able to get this delicious meal to the table.
Avocado Chicken Salad: If you’re looking for a chicken salad without mayonnaise, then this recipe is for you! Crisp vegetables and creamy avocado topped with balsamic vinegar make for the perfect light lunch.
Keep checking back on our Recipes page, because we’re looking to expand and grow this important resource (for FREE) for our entire Xyngular family.
Now that you’ve mapped out your macros and weight loss plan, and have started learning about the foods that fit into that plan, you’re ready to start your weight loss journey off right. Healthy nutrition is absolutely essential to your success. If you’d like to learn more about how the Xyngular weight loss systems can support you, contact your distributor for additional information. You can order a Xyngular weight-loss system through your distributor today, or by calling our Member Service team at 1-801-756-8808 (we even have a Xyngular Canada option—call to find out more). Or if you have a Xyngular account, you can log in to place your order.