When it comes to fat loss, the formula is simple:
Calories Out > Calories In = Fat Loss
You must burn more calories than you consume each day in order to see rapid fat loss. A caloric deficit through exercise, a sound diet, and healthy hormone levels should incinerate fat and give you your leanest physique.
However, finding the perfect formula can be overwhelming, so let's use bodyweight (pounds) x 15 to find your caloric maintenance. It won't be perfect, but it'll be close enough to the more complicated equations to provide a solid starting point.
Let's say you weigh 200 pounds. That'd be 200 pounds x 15 = 3000. This number (3000) is an estimate of the calories you'd consume to maintain your current physique.
Now comes the fun part, let's determine fat loss calories:
Losing stubborn body fat requires an aggressive approach. A 20-30% deficit is a good range to shoot for. Research by Huovinen in 2015 found male athletes to successfully lose fat without significant decreases in testosterone or drops in performance with a roughly 25% deficit. Start with a 20% deficit, track your progress, and cap your deficit at 30% if you plateau.
You'd want your caloric deficit to be 20%, so now you'd multiply your 3000 maintenance calories by .8. Here's what that would look like: 3000 x .8 = 2400 calories.
Diet Phase Macros
Using our 2400 calorie example, you'll want it to consist of:
- 35% protein
- 35% carbs
- 30% fat
Here's how many grams of each macro that would be:
- 35% protein would be 210 grams. Here's the math to calculate it for your own caloric needs: 2400 calories x .35 = 840 calories. To find out how many grams of protein that is we'd divide that number by 4 (because there are 4 calories per gram) and get 210 grams of protein per day.
- 35% carbs would also be 210 grams. Here's the math: 2400 calories x .35 = 840 calories. To find out how many grams of carbs that is we'd divide 4 calories/gram and get 210 grams of carbs per day.
- 30% fats would be 80 grams. The math: 2400 calories x .30 = 720 calories. Divide that by 9 calories/gram and you'd get 80 grams of fats per day.
Note: It's more important to nail your calories and protein intake than to be perfect on your carbs and fats. If you prefer higher or lower carb intake, you can adjust accordingly.
That adds up to:
- 2400 calories per day
- 210 grams of protein
- 210 grams of carbs
- 80 grams of fat