How To Calculate Fat Protein & Carbohydrates
A critical aspect of a healthy diet is to consume fats, proteins and carbohydrates in the right proportions. All three of these nutrients supply energy for the body and help build and repair cells. Conversely, eating too much of any of these three energy sources can be detrimental to your health. For example, too many carbohydrates in your diet predisposes you to type 2 diabetes, whereas a high-fat diet is linked to atherosclerosis. By keeping track of how many fats, proteins and carbohydrates you eat each day, you can make sure you are eating these substances in the right amounts.
Set targets for fat, protein and carbohydrate intake. A balanced diet will consist of between 20 to 35 percent calories from fat, 10 to 35 percent from protein and 45 to 65 percent from carbohydrates, the Institute of Medicine states. Aiming for 30 percent, 20 percent and 50 percent of your calories from fat, protein and carbohydrates, respectively, will meet these guidelines.
- A critical aspect of a healthy diet is to consume fats, proteins and carbohydrates in the right proportions.
- Convert calorie targets into grams of fat, protein and carbohydrates.
- According to the American Diabetes Association, you can use nutrition labels to measure carbohydrate content.
Measure the number of servings of each food item you consume. Use measuring cups or a scale to calculate how many servings of each food item you consume.
Proteins In Common Diets
Our protein calculator allows you to specify a custom percentage of proteins in your diet, but here we list six common diets: high & low carb, moderate, Zone, Keto and DASH, and their protein contents for your reference.
When considering your diet plan and protein percentage of the total calorie intake, don’t forget to consult your physician if making significant changes relative to your current one.
To Macro Or Not To Macro: That Is The Question
Macronutrient calculators are all the rage these days, but does tracking your macro ratios REALLY make that much of a difference?
How much is science and where does the science end and the wishful thinking begin?
High protein, high fat diets have been around for well over a century and various iterations have come and gone, only to be resurrected in new packaging and marketing .
Before I go on, here is my disclosure: I have no conflicts of interest and I am a non-denominational nutrition guy. I dont buy into the hype or bullshit and I am not on anyones team.
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How Much Protein Do You Need Optimal Protein Intake
The generally recommended daily protein intake is 0.9 grams per kilogram of body weight for adolescents and 0.8 grams per kg of body weight for adults . You can use our protein requirement calculator to do the math for your weight with high accuracy. This is a minimum that you should not fall below, while the protein calculator here can estimate how much protein you will need to maintain a specific diet. If the recommendation produced is lower than the recommended minimum, then you may need to reconsider your diet, especially if you plan to adhere to it for a longer period of time.
A balanced approach would be to eat about 25% of your calories in the form of proteins. However, each person is different – with a specific health condition and fitness goals and your diet should be decided on accordingly, taking all factors into consideration.
How Did We Calculate Your Protein Intake
Bodybuilding.com’s protein calculator starts with the Mifflin St. Jeor equation, which is considered by our nutritionists and dieticians to be the “gold standard” of calorie calculators. Here’s how it works:
Calculate basal metabolic rate , or the calories your body burns simply by being alive. For men: 10 x weight + 6.25 x height â 5 x age + 5 For women: 10 x weight + 6.25 x height â 5 x age -161
Then, this BMR count is multiplied, depending on your activity level:
Sedentary = 1.2
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Adding Up Calories By Nutrient
How To Calculate Your Macros
Now you know what macros are and how many calories they have. Next, youâll need to do some math. Thatâs because your intake ratio is written in percentages but nutrition information is provided in grams. Iâll use my macro intake as an example.
1. First, you need to know how many calories you eat each day. I eat roughly 2,300 calories per day.
2. Next, determine your ideal ratio. I like to eat about 50% carbs, 25% fat and 25% protein.
3. Then, multiply your total daily calories by your percentages.
4. Finally, divide your calorie amounts by its calorie-per-gram number.
Hereâs how I would calculate my calories for each macronutrient:
- Carbs: 2,300 x 0.50 equals 1,150. I eat 1,150 calories worth of carbs each day .
- Protein: 2,300 x 0.25 equals 575, so I get 575 calories worth of protein.
- Fats: 2,300 x 0.25 equals 575. I also get 575 calories comprised of dietary fat.
To calculate the actual gram amounts:
- Carbs : 1,150 divided by 4 equals 287.5 grams of carbs.
- Protein : 575 divided by 4 equals 143.75 grams of protein
- Fat : 575 divided by 9 equals 63.8 grams of fat.
If you donât like math, donât fret. The internet is home to a range of macronutrient calculators that will do the math for you.
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Why Tracking Your Macros Gives You An Advantage
Just in case youre not sure, lets start by defining what macros, or macronutrients, actually are.
There are three major macronutrients: Protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
Your body breaks down the macronutrients you eat into compounds used to help create energy, build body structures, create chemical reactions, and stimulate the release of hormones. Which means they can impact how you feel, perform, and even behave.
When you track macros, you dont need to count calories directly. Instead, you log how many grams of each macronutrient you eat every day.
Thats because each macronutrient provides a certain number of calories:
- 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
- 1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories
- 1 gram of fat = 9 calories
As a result, tracking macros means youre automatically tracking calories. Its just that youre ensuring a certain number of those calories come from protein, carbohydrates, and fat, respectively. This is known as your macronutrient ratio.
For example, lets say you eat:
- 30% of your calories from protein
- 40% of your calories from carbohydrate
- 30% of your calories from fat
Your macronutrient ratio would then be: 30:40:30.
If youre trying to lose weight, you might eat a higher proportion of protein, since it can help you feel satisfied longer after meals. Or if youre a very active athlete, you might want a higher ratio of carbohydrates to meet your greater energy demands.
How To Calculate Your Fat Intake
When starting out I recommend aiming for 25% of your daily calories as fat.
Going straight down the middle gives you a nice even place to start from whilst you adjust to your calorie deficit. You can then adjust this and experiment with a higher or lower intake further down the line.
- For the purposes of showing you how to calculate it, lets say your daily calories are 2,000.
- To get 20% you do 2,000 x 0.25 = 500.
- This means every day you want to get 500 calories from fat.
- To get this in grams you divide 500 by 9 which is the number of calories per gram of fat.
- 500 / 9 = 55 g
- 55 is how many grams of fat you want daily.
Calorie Counting As A Means For Weight Loss
Calorie counting with the intent of losing weight, on its simplest levels, can be broken down into a few general steps:
How To Calculate Percent Of Calories From Protein In Your Diet
Protein is an important part of any healthy diet. If you are on a low carb diet, a larger percentage of your calories should be coming from protein sources than if you are following a low fat diet. Calculating the percent of calories from protein in your daily diet is simple, requiring only some record keeping and basic math skills.
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Grams To Calories Calculator
The grams to calories calculator is a simple tool that allows you to convert the amount of macronutrients into calories. The article below shows how to convert grams to calories and how many calories there are in a gram of carbohydrate, protein, fat, and alcohol.
Not sure how many grams of each macronutrient you should consume daily? Check out our macro calculator!
How Much Protein Do I Need
The amount of protein you need depends on your weight, goals, and lifestyle. The daily minimum recommended by the National Institutes of Health is 0.36 grams per pound for a sedentary person. However, if you do intense workouts or have a physically demanding job, youÐ²Ðâ¢ll need more. While the average healthy diet provides enough protein for most people, it may benefit you to bump up your intake if you exercise to build muscle or lose fat, either from dietary protein or supplements.
If your goal is to lose weight, increasing the protein in your diet can help you lose more fat and preserve more lean mass, which explains the popularity of low-carb, high-protein diets. But itÐ²Ðâ¢s also important to save room in your diet for other crucial nutrients. Make sure youÐ²Ðâ¢re eating enough fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to keep your body energized and operating at peak performance.
The protein calculator on this page takes your body-composition goals and activity level into account to estimate your protein needs. Everyone is different, though, so experiment to find the right level of protein for your body. Start with the number given by the calculator, see how that makes you feel, and try adjusting your protein level up or down to see what amount makes you feel good and perform well.
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Summing Up Calories From Fatprotein And Carbs
If you are tracking nutritional information, then using this equation can help you estimate your daily intake.
If you are following the new Weight Watchers points plus system, then calculating the missing nutrient will allow you to closely estimate the total points value.
Just keep in mind that this method will give you a good approximation of the actual values, but may not be the exact values due to insoluble fiber and/or alcohol content.
In addition to understanding calories from fat, protein and carbs, learn more about the new Weight Watchers points plus and how these nutrients are used in the calculation
Counting Carbs or Making Carbs Count Many people have gone from counting calories to counting carbohydrates in order to lose weight. Others will try to cut out all carbs for a faster weight loss. Read this article to make sure you make the right carb choices.
Weight Loss Journal Use this free download to track your weight loss. The journal allows you to write down foods you eat, how you were feeling and more. Then review your journal and make adjustments to your diet as needed.
Being able to calculate the calories and grams in food is an important aspect of many diets. Many diets tell you to eat 40% protein or 15% fat, but what does that mean in terms of real food? Below is a guide to help you figure how many calories and grams of each food groups you should be eating.
Calculating The Right Carb Amount
After protein and fat are calculated, the calculator assigns the remainder of your calories as carbohydrates. This usually results in a moderate amount of carbs that are in the healthy range recommended for most people. Carbs fuel your body and workouts and are the bodys preferred energy source.
Many people coming from a low carb type of dieting may feel like this weight loss calculator factors carbs on the high side. However, this is a moderate amount of carbs according to respected nutritional guidelines and the notion that carbs cause weight gain or prevent fat loss when eaten in relation to your TDEE has been debunked.
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What Is A Calorie Deficit
A calorie deficit is when you are consuming fewer calories than you are burning over time. For example, if you burn 2000 calories a day but only consume 1500, youll be in a 500 calorie deficit. Another example of a calorie deficit is consuming 2000 calories for a day but burning 2500.
Based on your diet and exercise, you can achieve a deficit in two ways eating less or exercising more or more often, a combination of both.
Find out the calorie content of daily foods with our calories chart below.
Adjust For Physical Activity
Changing your diet is just part of the calorie deficit you also have to factor in your exercise. When you eat, those calories go in the plus calories column for the day, while exercise is where you subtract your calories. For weight loss, we want your daily net calories to be about 500 calories lower than your BMR.
Food Calories Exercise Calories = Net Calories
Calculating exactly how many calories your burn during exercise is tricky, because it is not an exact science. The best way to estimate calorie burn is with a device that measures your heart rate and adjusts for your age, weight, and activity level.
There are equations where you can calculate this manually, but it can be cumbersome. You can also reference a calorie burn chart to estimate your exercise calories.
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Are Calories Or Macros More Important
To finish up I thought Id address the question of which is more important, calories or macros.
Now theres no arguing that calories and macros are heavily intertwined but a good way to think of the difference is like this
- Calories are the main factor in weight change i.e. will you lose or gain weight
- Macros as the main factor in body composition i.e. will you lose fat or muscle or gain fat or muscle
As for whats more important, it really depends on your goal and what you want to achieve
- Weight change with not too much concern about body composition if this describes your goal then aim to hit your total calorie goal within 100 kcals either side and youll be fine. Youll change your weight at a steady pace and your daily calories will balance out over the week
- Weight change with the primary purpose to improve body composition if this describes your goal then aim to hit your macros within 5 10 g and this by default will keep you close to your calorie goal. Whilst also allowing you the benefits of a well-structured macro breakdown
How To Calculate The Right Daily Protein Amount
Setting protein to Moderate adjusts the ratio to .65 grams per pound of body weight. This is appropriate for sedentary individuals or for people with higher body fat percentages.
High is appropriate for people who are active, do moderate strength training, and have an average body fat percentage.
Maximum will set to 1 gram / lb. This is appropriate for those who are wanting to gain weight/muscle mass and do intense training.
I go into greater detail about how to choose an appropriate protein level when counting macros so give that article a read if youre still unsure.
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