How do I work out my macros for building muscle?

2 min read

Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle or both; make sure you get your macros correct.

To optimize your muscle growth have a look at our muscle building meal plan to get you started.

Vegetable & Vitamin Outline to represent vitamins in lean meats

A simple way to calculate your macronutrient breakdown is to use the following formula:

  1. Work out your BMR

    This is your basal metabolic rate, which is how many calories your body needs on a daily basis just to perform normal functions like breathing.

    Roughly calculated by the formula below:

    For Men
    •    BMR = BW (Kg) x 24

    For Women
    •    BMR = BW(Kg) x 22

  2. Now, adjust this to suit your daily activity level

    - Sedentary (little or no exercise, desk job): BMR x 1.1

    - Lightly active (some standing/walking at work): BMR x 1.3

    - Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 4-5 days/week): BMR x 1.5

    - Very active (hard daily activity i.e. building): BMR x 1.7

    This will give an estimation of daily energy expenditure (not counting specific exercise, which you will need to account for, see below)

    Weight training will account for approximately 3.5 x BW(kg) cals/hour,  so an 80kg person, training for 60 minutes a day, could expect to burn 280Cal/ session

  3. Add on required calorie surplus

    Once you have found your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure to maintain body weight), we can work out our total calorie needs.

    A good place to start is with a 200-400 Cal surplus on top of your calculated maintenance calories; this can be adjusted if required according to response. As we are now in a calorie surplus, we will be building muscle maximally, but will also be gaining some fat alongside this.

  4. Now, calculate protein intake

    A good aim is approximately 2g per kg or body weight - this makes for easy maths, and will put you in a good place to maximise muscle gain, but don’t worry if you can’t hit this target 1.7g/kg+ is still sufficient for the vast majority of people to gain muscle. (1-1.2g/lb of ideal body weight)

  5. Calculate your fat intake

    A good aim from a muscle gain perspective is to aim for 20-30% of your daily calories allowance to come from fat - 1g fat/kg body weight should put you in this region.

  6. Calculate your carbohydrate intake

    The remaining calories that you have left over after totalling the protein and fat can be given to carbs.
Muscular arm to represent high protein in Lean meats



MuscleFood. The way we sound is as bright, delicious and vibrant as the way we look. Delicious food. Delicious goals. Delicious value.