T Nation

Macro Talk


OK, macros.

First, Do I have to list thread rules? Can we just please state knowledge/recommendations and not comment on what/who is better?

I'm expecting that if 20 people post, there might be 20 different answers/solutions. Fine.

I'm going to start just tracking what I eat again just to see what my breakdown is. No particular goal or reason, but just to see how what I am eating breaks down macro wise.

I'd like to hear what you've used in terms of "use %C, %F, %P per pound of weight" or some shit like that for whatever goal you've worked towards.

Grams or percentages are fine.
What was your goal? What was your macro breakdown? Calories? Timeline?

For tracking, I'm using "MyFitnessPal".

For goals, I just arbitrarily entered 25%C 45%P 30%F, which at 2800 cals ends up being:

175g C, 315g P, 93g F

At 255 lbs, this estimates that I'd lose 0.7 lb week..

If I arbitrarily bump it up to 3000 cals per day, it has me gaining weight slightly.

I know this is a little off because tracking my meals I can estimate that I've been eating more like 3500-3800 cals daily, with A LOT more carbs (a lot more fruit) and I've been very slowly dropping over some weeks and I've noticeably leaned out a little.

Probably that slow = near maintenance. Gym weights are going up, slightly, too, so I'm sure there is some fluctuation.

I'd estimate that at 3500-3800, where I've been eating, and that fact that my weight and performance is somewhat static (save for a couple PR's and tighter belt) I am solidly within my "mainenance bracket".

I'm just trying to understand what my real macro breakdown is because I want to play with that versus calories.

The 'leanness' could in fact just be water fluctuations, too-- I don't know. However, in my mind, I attribute leaning out a little to being strict about limiting gluten and corn tortilla chips LOL.

TLDR; -- Talk about your macro breakdowns for your goals and results.

Reiterate: Save the shitstorms for the other threads, please.


Personally I have experimented high carb low and everything inbetween. For me. High carb mod pro and low fat is where I feel best and can perform best in the gym and life in general. I have never done a true cut I have always focused on gaining though at times I would stall for months and recomp not on purpose. I have been working cals up and right now I am at 600+ carbs pro 200-250 and fat around 40-60g.


I could personally gain on zero carbs. I just don't seem to need them at all. No matter how much or how little carbohydrate I eat, performance never seems to suffer. I don't even really bother to refeed anymore.

Only real difference is when I keep carbs to a smaller window, I get a bit leaner. I'm lucky that I have the genetics to stay lean pretty much no matter what, but there is definitely a noticeable difference when I stick to a more CBL-type approach


Currently just counting total protein and total calories from whatever I want, and I mean ANYTHING I want, so long as I get enough EFA's, fruits, and veggies, and a wide variety of foods (BK and pizza included). Convinced that these are the two most important things and that further fine tuning isn't needed for most situations.


SteelyD, I have seen some good progress on the following: I try and shoot for 1.5 grams of protein per pound of LBM, as opposed to total body weight. My reasoning behind this is that I'm carrying a bit more fat than I'd like right now, and feel that it's better to base protein requirements off of LBM for the "smoother" guys than total BW, as I feel like that would be overkill.

As far as fat, I get around 1 gram per pound of LBM. Many would be surprised by that, but I think that having an ample amount of good fats in your diet works wonders for strength gains. I'm much more loose with my carbs. I usually just try and shoot for 300-400 grams on training days and 200-300 on off days. That works out to about 2 grams per pound of LBM on training days. This comes out to around 280p 180f 400c on training days and maybe something like 250p 90f 250c on off days.



I'm not headed quite in that direction, but just trying to quantify what I'm instinctively eating. I know I'm 'in maintenance' and every couple weeks with work travel, my diet actually becomes immaculate, so for the better part of the year, it's been regulating itself.

I know what to eat without measuring but I'm getting real numbers so that I know macro-wise what is exactly my starting point.

It's fruit season, so my fruit carbs are through the roof right now!


I think what you are planning is perfect. Count for a bit a then adjust overall macros for your goals as you basically at maintence its even easier


It's weird because there's always the urge to not eat what I would normally just eat. It's like trying to run an experiment on a population without inserting yourself into the experiment.

For example, using EVOO in marinade or salad. I 'eye it' most of the time, but when I measure it, I'm more likely to skim a little which skews my numbers to the 'lower cal' side. Ditto cream in my coffee.

I've been pretty close with the estimation on the meat. That's pretty consistent all the time. Rice, too, is pretty easy because I just use boil-in-bag, so the portions are always the same.

The fruits, fats, nuts and snacks are where the real fluctuation is.


As long as you are applying the macros to the same measurements. Ie weighing rather than a measuring cup helps. That's what matters. Macros are technically made up numbers anyways. It's all relative. The big and important part is to consistently do the same thing each time and adjust for goals from there. IMO


Regarding macros, as long as you are getting your necessary intake of protein to maintain muscle does it matter where you get your calories from? Specifically when compared to PSMF short term dieting. Is PSMF easier to deal with or does it work better/faster?


I don't know the bio- (or bro-) science behind it, and I don't know what PSMF is (I do know FUPA, SMF, and PMS though), but for me it absolutely does matter where the other calories come from. I know I need some carbs (having done just OK on several versions of low carb) and that very high carbs make me feel like total shit.

I can't do gluten. I do OK with dairy. I can eat rice and potatoes all day. I'm convinced corn fattens me like a cow. I'm fine with fruit and sugar I can do before training. Even for me protein source seems to matter in that certain wheys give me shits/gas and large amounts of whey seem to bloat me.


The extra macros past getting pro in and at least minimal fat is what ever you feel best eating and which you enjoy more. I think PMSF is best when pretty lean. Or if you are very impatient when dieting and need a kick start to get into it


Perfect steely knows what his body likes. This will be different for each person and takes experimenting.


I'm with Ryan. I think figuring out starting macros shouldn't take you any more than 30 sec. Just start somewhere and its the weekly adjustments that make or break if you get to your goal.


I <3 carbs.
IMO if you are setting yourself up to diet start with your carbs as high as they can possibly be so you have something to take from as your fat loss stalls. I'd even venture to start with carbs being 50% of your calories.
Some people don't like carbs, I suppose the same could be done with fat. But I don't understand the carb-phobia.


Right now I'm losing about 1 lb a week, currently 179 morning weight

200 min protein, shoot for 225
100 net carbs, min I need for focus and energy
Try to get 30-40 grams of EFA's and clean fats(oil/nuts/avocado)

I'm kind of like brick where I feel outside of that it is just energy and doesn't matter so I don't count fat from my protein sources or protein from my carb sources BUT since I am dieting I avoid processed food and high fatty meats to make sure I am still 10-12X BW cals.

If I lose more then 1 lb that week I have a "refeed" where I hit my same minimum reqs(usually puts me around 1800-2200 cals) and them just eat whatever else I want to get me to about 3000-3300 cqls(about 500 over maintainence).

I always eat 6 meals and usually do not eat carbs during meals 1 and 6.

Took me about 2-3 months to gradually get down to these macros when I started after letting myself go a bit. Once I started to just shoot for the minimums of what I need and adjust the rest to energy things started to peel off smoothly. Still get to get carbs 4 times a day(25 g a meal) and once every to every other week I get to enjoy some good food. Never hungry, never cranky, no cravings and best part is I am making the same, maybe even faster progress than my girl who is doing contest prep!

Thanks to Brick for posting that piece from Timberwolf, really helped me enjoy my dieting much more and still have awesome results. Once I am done dieting I will take that 3 on 1 off type dieting up approach


I just want to add fats as high as possible to start too. And cardio as low as possible.


I did the opposite, started the diet Keto style. Just crashed my metabolism in weeks, reversed up to a high carb approach, then just slowly cut them away until my metabolism was functioning again then like I said below, keep dropping them until things slowed then switched to the min strategy.


Might just be my opinion, but I've noticed a lot of people who try to diet without a coach or preset plan don't do this. Just jump right into starvation diets and tons of cardio, shed tons of water and initial weight so they keep it going. Once their body adjusts there isn't much more they can do and crash out, then their metabolism is so shot, they eat a grape and gain weight.

I made a vent thread about a weight loss concert I sponsored at work. We are just finishing up month two, lets just say the field is thinning out from those who just gave up after the describe scenario above.


That's cuz people dont know how to think long term. For some reason there's this number floating around that people shouldn't "cut" more than 12-16 weeks. Well my last cut lasted about 10 months, and I'm doing just fine.