- How to Lose 2.2 Pounds Per Week
- The Facts on Very Low Calorie Diets
- Weight loss jab helps overweight patients lose 10lbs in a month
- Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred: Does It Help You Lose Weight?
- How many calories does it burn?
- Can support muscle gain and healthy aging
- Improved heart health
- Lack of nutrition guidance
- Focus on short-term weight loss
- Exercises may be too intense for some
- Does not address overall physical activity
- Macro Calculator
- What Are the Right Macros for You?
- How to Calculate the Right Daily Protein Amount
- Using the Macro Calculator to Calculate Daily Fat Amount
- Using the Calculator to Calculate the Right Carb Amount
- How the Calculator Adjusts Your TDEE Your Goals
- For Maintaining Your Current Weight
- Settings for Gaining Weight or Building Muscle
- Which Formula – Normal or Lean Mass?
- How Do I Calculate My Daily Macros
- Setting Activity Level Accurately
- Which App is Best for Tracking Macros?
- You'll Love My Macro Solution Program
- How to measure your weight-loss without a scale
How to Lose 2.2 Pounds Per Week
The weight-loss deadline you've set — whether it's a wedding, spring break or a reunion — requires you to lose 2.2 pounds per week.
Diligent exercise and significant calorie restriction may allow you to reach this goal, which is only slightly higher than the 1 to 2 pounds per week recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many people are not large enough or active enough to safely sustain the calorie deficit of 1,100 calories per day required to lose 2.
2 pounds — or 1 kilogram — a week. If you have the time, the willpower and the metabolism to successfully meet this goal, use a sensible whole-foods diet and structured physical activity to help you.
Woman and nurse looking at scale. Image Credit: Science Photo Library – IAN HOOTON./Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
To lose just 1 pound, you must create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories. For a 2.2-pound weight loss per week — the same as 1 kilogram — you must create a deficit of 7,700 calories total, or 1,100 per day. Take in fewer calories than you burn to create such a deficit. You can cut calories from meals and beverages, exercise to burn more calories or combine both strategies.
The problem with trying only to trim calories to lose weight is that you may end up depriving yourself of valuable nutrients and energy. Not everyone burns enough calories daily to be able to healthfully sustain an 1,100-calorie deficit by cutting back on food alone. For example, the U.S.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans from 2010 note that most adults burn somewhere between 1,600 and 3,000 calories per day. Younger, more active males fall on the higher end of that range and can reduce 1,100 calories while still consuming a fair amount of food.
But, if you're a sedentary woman over the age of 50 who burns 1,600 calories per day, reducing 1,100 calories from your diet will leave you subsisting on 500 calories per day, which is simply not enough.
Professor of Psychology at Yale University, Kelly Brownell, told Shape magazine in 2009 that no one should try to lose weight by consuming less than 1,200 calories per day.
Even if you can manage to stick to such a meager caloric intake, you may find yourself missing important nutrients including calcium and folate.
You also may not have the energy to exercise and this could spur the loss of muscle, instead of primarily fat, as you drop weight.
Even if you can safely trim 1,100 calories daily from your diet, it may be challenging to maintain. A more reasonable 500- to 750-calorie deficit — which still yields a 1- to 1 1/2-pound loss per week loss — may be more doable for most people.
Trying to maintain an aggressive weight-loss rate of 2.2 pounds per week can be overwhelming and stressful. In the long run, this aggressive weight-loss rate could lead to long-term failure because the calorie deficit is too difficult to maintain.
If you're committed to the goal of a 2.2-pound loss per week and it's possible for you to create an 1,100-calorie deficit safely, refine your eating habits.
How many calories you consume a day depends on how many you're burning, but make the calories you do eat come from nutrient-dense whole foods.
You don't have room for nutrient-poor foods such as refined carbohydrates and sugar, or from saturated and trans fats.
Each meal should consist of a serving of lean protein. According to a study published in a 2012 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, protein also helps you maintain feelings of fullness and satisfaction, even when you're limiting your caloric intake.
Protein also keeps your metabolic fire burning and spares muscle loss when dieting. Options for lean protein include white-meat poultry, tempeh, tofu, white fish, lentils, lean beef and eggs.
Serve the protein with lots of fresh green vegetables — such as spinach, asparagus and broccoli — and about 1/2 cup of whole grains — including brown rice or quinoa — or a starchy vegetable — such as sweet potato or green peas.
If you are ravenous, eat more of the leafy greens, as they are low in calories, but are nutrient dense and full of fiber to help fill you up.
For snacks, partake in a serving of low-fat yogurt, fresh berries or a scant handful of nuts. Nuts, along with olive oil and avocado, provide healthy unsaturated fats that are important for nutrient absorption and brain function. Aim for 25 to 35 percent of your daily calories to come from healthy fats, says the American Heart Association, even when you're trying to lose weight.
Most people will need to increase their physical activity to achieve a caloric deficit that yields 2.2 pounds of weight loss per week. Weight training two to three times per week helps you create muscle that boosts your metabolism and spares the loss of muscle mass.
Cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking or jogging, also helps burn off calories so that you lose weight faster. Aim for at least 30 minutes most days per week, but more than this will afford greater calorie burning and greater weight loss.
One or two workouts per week that involve high-intensity intermittent exercise, or HIIT, also provides a rev of your metabolism for several hours post workout and may also help your body oxidize fat more readily, explains a paper published in a 2011 issue of the Journal of Obesity.
Do HIIT by alternating short bouts of very intense cardiovascular exercise with short periods of rest. Get the okay from your physician before undertaking this type of intense exercise.
The more you can move all day long, the more calories you'll burn to create your 1,100-calorie daily deficit. Get up and walk around at least every hour if you have a desk job. Pace while you're on the phone, park further out in the parking lot and walk when doing your errands, whenever possible.
The Facts on Very Low Calorie Diets
Posted in Healthy eating, healthy weight and dieting
What are Very Low Calorie Diets?
Very low calorie diets or VLCDs (also known as very low energy diets or VLEDs) are artifical formulas, usually in liquid form, that completely replace all the food you usually eat.
They provide 800 calories or less per day and contain protein, carbohydrate, essential fatty acids and the recommended daily allowance for vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.
VLCDs are not the same as 'meal replacements' which are portion-controlled products (often liquid shakes or bars), designed to replace one to two meals per day with a low calorie meal and snack(s).
How do VLCDs work?
VLCDs provide a limited amount of energy (calories) for the body to use each day.
This isn't enough to meet the energy needs of the body, so the body starts to break down its own fat stores and muscle tissue to produce energy, resulting in weight loss.
On a VLCD, about three quarters of the weight you lose is body fat and one quarter is muscle, once a minimum of 50g of protein is consumed each day.
How do VLCDs help people to manage their weight?
- VLCDs are not the first treatment plan for weight loss. Diet and lifestyle changes such as reducing portion sizes, eating fewer high calorie foods, and increasing activity levels should always be tried first. See our factsheets for more information.
- If other weight loss methods have been unsuccessful, VLCDs may be considered when the body mass index (BMI) is greater than 30kg/m2. If your BMI is between 27-30kg/m2 (that is you are overweight but not obese), VLCDs may be sometimes considered if you have medical conditions linked to your weight which, under medical supervision, would benefit from rapid weight loss (e.g. severe obstructive sleep apnoea or prior to planned surgery). VLCDs should only be used under careful medical supervision, so you must be medically assessed before starting a VLCD. You will need to be monitored closely and may require medication prescriptions regimens to be changed.
- VLCDs are recommended for a maximum of 12-16 weeks only, there is very little published research on their use as a sole source of nutrition for longer than this.
- The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) also recommends that VLCDs may be used in the short term alongside a low calorie diet (for example 2-4 days per week) in obese people who have reached a weight loss plateau. If VLCDs are to be used for extended periods, you will need to be linked with a specialist care centre.
- A re-feeding period, when food is re-introduced slowly, is recommended when you have completed the VLCD. This information is provided by a registered dietitian. This time period helps to prevent changes in fluid and electrolyte balance in your body and prevents stomach pain and cramping. It also helps in adjusting eating behaviour to your new lower body weight. It may also help reduce the rate of weight regain. This time period usually lasts above 3 to 8 weeks. Continuing to work with a dietitian or other health care professional may help you to slowly change your healthy eating habits and healthy lifestyle choice that you can keep.
How much weight can be lost on a VLCD?
On average, strict use of a VLCD results in 1.0-2.5kg weight loss (2 – 5.5lb per week), which can be very motivating. VLCDs give rapid weight loss at the start but are no better in the long-term (after 1 year) than less restrictive, low calorie diets. That is why it is so important to follow-up a VLCD with a longer term healthy eating and physical activity plan.
What's the best way to maintain weight loss following use of a VLCD?
Studies show a lot of variation in the amount of weight loss that is regained once you have completed the VLCD but, as with all weight loss plans, weight can be regained if lifestyle changes are not kept.
An active follow-up weight maintenance programme, that includes behavioural therapy, nutritional education, exercise and weight loss medications (delivered in a group setting by a team of healthcare professionals) has been shown to improve weight maintenance after a VLCD.
Are VLCDs safe?
VLCDs are safe and effective when used in the right individuals under careful medical supervision, along side behaviour changes, nutrition education and an exercise programme.
Who should not use VLCDs?
VLCDs should only be used under medical supervision and your doctor can advise you as to whether a VLCD is suitable for you or not.
VLCDs are not advised in certain population groups and medical conditions. These include:
- Infants, children and adolescents
- Adults over the age of 65 years. Caution is also advised in adults over 50 years as VLCDs are not well studied in this age group where loss of muscle mass may already be present
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- In severe diseases (e.g. systemic infections, malignancy, unstable cardiac or cerebrovascular disease, severe renal or hepatic failure, porphyria)
- Acute psychiatric disorders
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
What kinds of side effects are possible with VLCDs?
- A healthy diet includes a balanced intake of foods from different food groups. It can be difficult to achieve this and feel full on a VLCD when you are consuming a maximum of 800 calories per day. This means you may not have the energy you need for daily living and physical activity.
- Some people on VLCDs report minor side effects such as: tiredness, dry mouth, bad breath, dry skin, headaches, dizziness, or intolerance to cold weather,
- Some people may experience hair loss/thinning, constipation or diarrhoea (due to the low fibre content of many VLCDs), irregular periods in women, brittle nails and oedema.
- More severe side effects include gout and gallstones. Gallstones can occur during rapid weight loss.
- Your dietitian can help you include the nutrients you need while on this restrictive diet.
There is no magic answer for sustained weight loss. VLCDs may be useful to 'kick start' weight loss when used correctly that is in carefully selected clients under medical supervision.
The use of VLCDs should be supported by trained health care professionals who encourage clients through the re-feeding period and beyond, and who teach them about the life-long behaviour and dietary changes needed to keep off the weight lost. Obesity is a long-term condition that needs a lifetime of attention even after a formal weight loss programme ends.
The only way to manage weight in the longer term is to commit to permanent changes of healthier eating, regular physical activity and develop a positive and respectful relationship with food.
Created by members of the weight management interest group, August 2013, updated May 2016
Review date: May 2019.
© 2016 Irish Nutrition and Dietetics Institute, INDI. All rights reserved. May be reproduced in its entirety provided the source is acknowledged. This information is not meant to replace advice from your medical doctor or individual counselling with a dietitian. It is intended for educational and informational purposes only.
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Weight loss jab helps overweight patients lose 10lbs in a month
Published: 14:39 BST, 6 August 2019 | Updated: 00:08 BST, 7 August 2019
A pioneering weight-loss jab has helped overweight patients shed 10lbs (4.4kg) in a month, according to a study.
The injection contains a cocktail of hormones that burn off fat, mimicking the effect of gastric bypass surgery.
Researchers tested the jab on 15 obese patients, comparing the results to a placebo, low calorie diet and the surgery itself. They were all given dietary advice – but it is unclear if they followed it.
Experts found it was not as effective as the latter two, which helped the patients lose 22.7lbs (10.3kg) and 18.3lbs (8.3kg), respectively.
But the Imperial College London team say the results prove it is possible to obtain some of the benefits of a gastric bypass 'without undergoing the surgery'.
All of the participants – who also had diabetes – saw their blood glucose return to almost normal levels within the four-week trial.
The jab has previously been labelled by its British developers as 'the most exciting' treatment yet for tackling obesity.
A weight-loss jab developed by British scientists has helped overweight patients shed 10lbs in a month. Stock photo
Millions of people in the UK are obese – around a quarter of adults and almost a fifth of children, figures show.
Obesity and type 2 diabetes can lead to very serious and potentially life-threatening conditions such as cancer, stroke and heart disease.
Professor Tricia Tan, lead author of the study, said: 'There is a real need to find new medicines so we can improve and save the lives of many patients.
'Although this is a small study our new combination hormone treatment is promising and has shown significant improvements in patients' health in only four weeks.'
Professor Tan added: 'Compared to other methods (such as a gastric bypass) the treatment is non-invasive.'
A gastric bypass is when a small pouch is created at the top of the stomach, which is connected to the small intestine, missing out the rest of the stomach.
This means it takes less food to make someone who has undergone the procedure feel full and they will absorb fewer calories from the food you eat.
Previous studies by the same researchers suggested gastric bypass surgery works because it releases three specific hormones in higher levels.
The combination, called 'GOP' for short, reduces appetite, causes weight loss and improves the body's ability to use the sugar absorbed from eating.
The researchers wanted to see if infusing patients with the hormones – glucagon- peptide-1 (GLP-1), oxyntomodulin and peptide – would have the same effect.
A study by Imperial College London, published in May 2018, showed the jab caused patients to eat less.
Patients naturally ate 30 per cent less food after they were treated with the hormone injection – which works in a similar way to surgical interventions.
The chemical combination in the jab, called 'GOP' for short, mimics those produced by the bowel in higher levels after having gastric bypass surgery.
The hormones reduce appetite, cause weight loss and improve the body's ability to use the sugar absorbed from eating.
Professor Tricia Tan, a consultant in diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic medicine, who formulated the hormones, said: ‘While wearing the pump, you feel less hungry and you stop eating earlier.
‘The sensation is after you have eaten a big meal and you feel really full.
‘What is even more exciting is that we are able to normalise blood sugar levels and they can come off diabetes medications.’
One 38-year-old participant in the trial said he had had an 'instant reaction' to the hormones and that it made sweet food less attractive.
Ideally, the injection would mimic the effects of the gastric bypass but without the side effects, such as vomiting and abdominal pain.
The jab was trialled on 15 patients for four weeks, using a pump that slowly injects the mixture under the skin for 12 hours.
It began an hour before breakfast each day – finishing after their last meal, according to the study published in Diabetes Care.
All of the participants involved in the study also received advice on healthy eating and weight loss from a dietitian.
Researchers compared the results of GOP with 11 patients receiving a salt water injection as a placebo over the same period.
They were also compared to 21 patients who had undergone surgery and 22 who followed a very low-calorie diet.
All of the participants were given a glucose monitoring device to track their glucose levels following treatment.
They were all obese and pre-diabetic – when blood glucose is raised but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
Those who received surgery or who followed a very low calorie diet lost significantly more weight – 22.7lbs (10.3kg) and 18.3lbs (8.3kg), respectively.
Participants having the hormone injection lost 10lbs (4.4kg) and those using the salt water placebo lost 5.5lbs (2.5kg).
Professor Tan said: 'Although the weight loss was smaller, using the GOP infusion would be preferable as it has fewer side effects than bariatric surgery.
'This result shows it is possible to obtain some of the benefits of a gastric bypass operation without undergoing the surgery itself.'
The team also found GOP was capable of lowering blood glucose to near-normal, with little variation.
Patients who received bariatric surgery also had an overall improvement in blood glucose. But their levels were much more variable.
GOP based treatment is already in common use in diabetes and has been around for more than 10 years.
Because research shows GOP can also aid weight loss, Professor Tan said a combination therapy is expected to be available within the next five years.
Professor Tan said: 'If further trials are successful, in future we could potentially give this type of treatment to many more patients.'
A laparoscopic gastric bypass, or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), is considered the 'gold standard' for weight-loss surgery.
It involves creating a small pouch in the stomach that restricts food intake and reduces nutrient absorption.
The pouch also limits food from coming into contact with the upper or lower intestine, further preventing absorption.
The operation involves five-to-six incisions in the abdomen.
Surgeons then staple the top portion of the stomach to separate it from the bottom, creating a pouch.
A small section of the small intestine is then attached to the pouch, allowing food to bypass to the lower stomach.
- One year after surgery, people lose on average 77 percent of their body weight
- After 10 to 14 years, between 50 and 60 percent of this weight loss is maintained
- Around 96 percent of health complications, including back pain and type 2 diabetes, are resolved
- People may suffer iron deficiency anemia due to insufficient nutrient absorption
- The procedure can lose effectiveness if the pouch is stretched
- 'Dumping syndrome' can occur due to the rapid emptying of stomach contents into the small intestine. This can cause weakness and abdominal discomfort
Source: University of California San Francisco, Bariatric Surgery Center
Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred: Does It Help You Lose Weight?
Written by Daniel Preiato, RD, CSCS on June 17, 2019
- Weight loss
- Bottom line
The 30 Day Shred is a workout program designed by celebrity personal trainer Jillian Michaels.
It consists of daily, 20-minute, high-intensity workouts done 30 days in a row and is claimed to help you lose up to 20 pounds (9 kg) in a month.
This article reviews the benefits and downsides of the 30 Day Shred, investigating whether it can help you lose weight.
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The 30 Day Shred workout videos are available for purchase at various e-commerce sites.
The program also requires you to have two 3- or 5-pound (1.5- or 2.5-kg) dumbbells.
There are three 20-minute, total-body workouts designed to progress through three levels.
Each level is done for 10 days, and you should ideally reach Level 3 by the end of the program (1):
- Level 1 (Beginner). This level is designed for people who are just starting out, very overweight, or haven't exercised in over six months.
- Level 2 (Intermediate). These workouts are for people who are active in sports, dance, or any regular exercise two to three times per week.
- Level 3 (Advanced). This level is intended for those who are very active in sports or consistently work out four or more times per week.
The exercises are Jillian Michaels’ 3-2-1 interval system, consisting of three minutes of strength exercises, two minutes of cardio, and one minute of ab exercises.
Each workout starts with a two-minute warmup, followed by three interval circuits and a two-minute cooldown.
Some specific exercises include:
- Strength: pushups, double-arm row, chest flyes, military press
- Cardio: high knees, jumping jacks, squat thrusts, skate jumps
- Abs: crunches, leg lifts, double crunches, plank twists
Summary The 30 Day Shred consists of three 20-minute workouts of varying intensity. Each workout contains three interval circuits of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs.
The 30 Day Shred program is claimed to help you lose up to 20 pounds (9 kg) in a month.
The two main factors responsible for weight loss are calorie intake and physical activity (2).
People starting out with more body fat will ly see more weight loss over the course of the program (3).
The initial weight loss may be related to reduced carb stores and mild fluid loss (4).
Though the program may provide enough physical activity to promote mild weight loss, 20 pounds (9 kg) is an unrealistic expectation for most people. Plus, nutrition guidance is lacking.
For more substantial weight loss, it’s important to stay active throughout the day rather than solely during your 20-minute workout (5).
How many calories does it burn?
A major influencer of weight loss is the number of overall calories burned (2).
In general, a person weighing around 150 pounds (68 kg), who is of average fitness, can expect to burn 200–300 calories per workout on the 30 Day Shred. This equals about 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg) lost per month from exercise alone (6).
How much weight you lose also depends on your calorie intake and overall physical activity aside from the 30 Day Shred workouts.
Summary The 30 Day Shred program claims that participants can lose up to 20 pounds (9 kg) in 1 month. This may be unrealistic for most people.
While weight loss is the main focus of the 30 Day Shred, daily exercise may offer additional benefits.
Can support muscle gain and healthy aging
Resistance training, such as the strength portion of the 30 Day Shred, can help increase muscle mass.
Gaining muscle is associated with a boost in metabolism, decrease in injury risk, and prevention of muscle loss that commonly occurs with aging (7).
Additionally, resistance training is linked to other benefits, including improved bone density, blood sugar control, and resting blood pressure (8).
Therefore, following a program the 30 Day Shred can support healthy aging.
Improved heart health
Cardio and aerobic exercises that are part of the 30 Day Shred may benefit heart health.
Aerobic exercise has been shown to offer many health benefits, including reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as promoting a healthy body weight (9).
In line with recommendations of the American Heart Association, you should do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly. This equates to 30 minutes, 5 days per week (10).
The 30 Day Shred can help you meet these recommendations to promote overall health.
Summary While weight loss is the major focus of the 30 Day Shred, it may offer other benefits, such as improved blood sugar control, LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.
Though the 30 Day Shred may provide several benefits, it has potential downsides as well.
Lack of nutrition guidance
One of the main downsides of the 30 Day Shred is the program’s lack of specific nutrition guidance, which plays a major role in overall weight loss (2, 11).
While you can create various custom meal plans in the My Fitness by Jillian Michaels app, they require a monthly fee for full access.
Taking your current body weight and goals into consideration, the app generates a calorie range for you. Specific meal ideas with nutrition facts are provided as well.
Focus on short-term weight loss
Considering the 30 Day Shred only lasts for a month, its primary goal appears to be short-term weight loss.
While some people may see significant weight reductions during the program, the lihood of regaining this weight is high once the program is over (12).
To maintain weight loss for the long term, it’s important to make small, consistent changes over time rather than attempting to lose weight quickly.
Exercises may be too intense for some
The 30 Day Shred incorporates some movements, such as pushups and jump squats, that may be too intense for some people.
Additionally, certain individuals may experience joint pain due to jump exercises.
Still, each workout provides alternate versions of the exercises that are designed to be a bit easier. This may benefit people who feel the workouts are too intense.
Does not address overall physical activity
While the 30 Day Shred provides 20 minutes of daily physical activity, it doesn’t focus on being active throughout the rest of your day.
If you only complete the 20-minute workouts and remain inactive otherwise, your results will be much slower.
Aside from exercise, it’s important to stay active throughout the day by moving more and sitting less. This supports a healthy metabolism and optimizes health benefits (13).
Summary Despite offering health benefits, the 30 Day Shred lacks specific nutrition guidance and focuses on short-term weight loss.
The 30 Day Shred may be a good option if you‘re just getting into regular exercise or are an active person who wants to try something new.
The program provides a solid exercise regimen with built-in progressions.
The workouts appear to burn sufficient calories to promote weight loss — whether you have a significant amount to shed or are simply trying to become fitter.
Keep in mind that the program should be paired with a nutritious, portion-controlled diet designed to meet your specific calorie needs and goals.
Summary The 30 Day Shred may be a good choice for those looking to learn basic exercises or wanting to try something new. The program ly offers better results when combined with proper nutrition guidance.
The 30 Day Shred program promises weight loss of up to 20 pounds (9 kg) in a month. This may be unrealistic for most people.
Though the daily 20-minute workouts may aid weight loss and heart health, the program lacks nutrition guidance, may be too intense for some, and focuses on short-term results.
While the 30 Day Shred can promote short-term weight loss, long-term results can be achieved by following a whole-food diet, being conscious of portion sizes, and gradually increasing physical activity over time.
This macro calculator shows your optimal macronutrients and calories your age, height, weight, gender, and activity level. Use your results with macro counting or flexible dieting/IIFYM to lose fat or gain muscle.
The foods we eat are made up of three “macros” (macronutrients). These macros are carbohydrates (carbs), protein, and fat. Chicken is high in the protein macro but has no carbs. Rice is high in carbs, but very little fat or protein.
These 3 macronutrients (macros) are from which the human body obtains energy and raw materials for growth and repair.
What Are the Right Macros for You?
The right macros for you are your personal Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and goals.
Our macro calculator defaults at the best macro ratio that’s proven to work for the most number of people. You should achieve your goals using the default setting.
However, there is nothing wrong with adjusting this ratio if needed. Perhaps you’re an extreme endomorph and do better with fewer carbs. Or, perhaps you only have one kidney and need to eat less protein. You can adjust the macros to levels that are right for you personally with a little math, which is explained in detail here.
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.
We go into greater detail about how to choose an appropriate protein level when counting macros so give that article a read if you’re still unsure.
Using the Macro Calculator to Calculate Daily Fat Amount
Fats are set at 30% of daily energy expenditure. This is a healthy moderate amount that most people do well with and is recommendations by nutritional guidelines.
When choosing foods that contain fat, focus on getting predominately healthy fats as part of that 30%.
Using the Calculator to Calculate 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 body’s prefered energy source.
Many people coming from a “low carb” type of dieting may feel this calculator calculates 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.
How the Calculator Adjusts Your TDEE Your Goals
Daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is calculated from your age, gender, height, weight, and exercise output.
You can easily use the macro calculator to adjust your energy levels to lose fat, maintain your current weight, or gain muscle.
By default, the results are for losing weight. Select either lose or gain if you are trying to lose fat or gain muscle. These are good starting points, but you may have to play around with your macros until you find your personal goal-reaching sweet spot. You can then count macros until you reach your desired goal.
See the full guide to macro ratios here.
- The Lose button puts you in a 20% calorie deficit which promotes safe, steady weight loss.
- The Lose 10% button puts you in a 10% calorie deficit and is intended for those with less than 10 pounds to lose and who also wish to build muscle at the same time.
For Maintaining Your Current Weight
The Maintain button shows you the macro levels that will keep you at your current weight. This is good for people who have lost weight and who don’t want to gain the weight back.
Settings for Gaining Weight or Building Muscle
The Gain button puts you in a 20% calorie surplus and is designed for people who are wanting to build muscle fast in conjunction with a comprehensive weight training program. It can also be used by people who are underweight.
Some people may want to use the maintenance button and then gradually increase calories from there if they want their muscle gains to be lean.
Which Formula – Normal or Lean Mass?
The default (normal) formula is fine for most people. However, there are some exceptions.
1. If you are very lean (low body fat percentage) the default formula may not be accurate. Use the “Lean Body Mass” setting.
This uses a formula that factors specific body fat percentage into the equation and since muscle tissue burns many more calories than fat tissue while even at rest, it will give you a higher TDEE.
This is perfect for “athletic body types” that want to use macro counting to gain more muscle mass.
2. If you are classified as obese and have a lot of weight to lose, the standard formula will not be accurate because the equation used, factors for an average body fat percentage. If you happen to be above average it will skew the results. Please see this article for more clarification on how to do macro counting if you are obese.
You can calculate your ideal body weight here.
How Do I Calculate My Daily Macros
By default, the results show the number of grams of each macronutrient you should eat each day. Simply make sure you have eaten those macro amounts by the end of the day.
Click on meal numbers to split this into a “per meal” basis for counting macros. For some people, this is easier, while for others it becomes too much to keep track of. Do what works for you. Either method is fine.
Setting Activity Level Accurately
A higher activity level means a higher daily calorie goal (TDEE). For example; if you can maintain your weight at 2,000 calories per day, then adding vigorous daily exercise to this means you need more calories to maintain your weight.
Figure out your activity level using the Calories Burned Calculator.
The same rule applies even if your goal is to lose weight.
If you are sedentary and your goal is to lose weight, your calorie goal might be (for example) 1,600 calories per day.
If you decide to start exercising, the calculator will increase your daily calorie goal (say, to 1,800 calories/day).
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, more energy is required to fuel your workouts, and your metabolism is increased – therefore calories should be higher.
Many people struggle with which exercise level to choose. Basically each level breaks down as follows:
- Sedentary: Just normal everyday activity a little walking, a couple flights of stairs, eating etc.
- Light: Any activity that burns an additional 200-400 calories for females or 250-500 calories for a males more than your sedentary amount.
- Moderate: Any activity that burns an additional 400-650 calories for females or 500-800 calories for males more than your sedentary amount.
- Extreme: Any activity that burns more than about 650 calories for females or more than 800 calories for males in addition to your sedentary amount.
This varies your individual stats, but you can get a more specific amount of calorie burn by simply subtracting your sedentary calorie amount from the chosen exercise level amount.
You also need to determine how many calories you are burning: For this use our exercise calorie burn MET database or a good app MapMyFitness or a wearable device FitBit or Apple Watch. (Note that activity trackers tend to overestimate calorie burn.)
Too much physical activity combined with low calories could lead to muscle catabolism (the breakdown of muscle fiber). This is not a good thing, and can actually stall your weight loss, so if you love to exercise, eat up!
Which App is Best for Tracking Macros?
After you have your personal macro calculations, you need to determine the macros in all the foods you eat. By tracking and counting them each day, you can reach your recommended macro targets that encourage fat loss, muscle gain, or whatever your goal may be.
While this may seem a lot of work, there are some really good smartphone macro apps that do most of the work for you. We rank the best macro tracking apps here so you can get started tracking quickly.
Macro counting is extremely successful, and can free you from the “good food, bad food” mindset.
You don’t need to make radical shifts in your diet, nor deprive yourself of your favorite foods. Just make sure you are within your macro counts for each day, and you’re good to go!
You'll Love My Macro Solution Program
Step-by-step ebooks, or fully customized personal macros coaching. Now with complete vegan edition.
- Mifflin, M. D., St Jeor, S. T., Hill, L. A., Scott, B. J., Daugherty, S. A., & Koh, Y. O. (1990). A new predictive equation for resting energy expenditure in healthy individuals. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 51 (2), 241-247. Link
- McArdle, W. D., Katch, F. I., & Katch, V. L. (2010). Exercise physiology: nutrition, energy, and human performance. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Link
- Lemon, P. W., Tarnopolsky, M. A., MacDougall, J. D., & Atkinson, S. A. (1992). Protein requirements and muscle mass/strength changes during intensive training in novice bodybuilders. Journal of Applied Physiology, 73(2), 767-775. study abstract link
- Grundy, S. M. (1999). The optimal ratio of fat-to-carbohydrate in the diet. Annual review of nutrition, 19(1), 325-341. abstract
Last Updated: March 5, 2020
How to measure your weight-loss without a scale
Earlier this year, I started the first genuine attempt at changing my lifestyle, improving my health and losing weight. When I began this year-long mission to adhere to the federal Dietary Guidelines and Physical Activity Guidelines, I truly didn’t know what to expect. I was testing myself in ways I never had before.
The first few months of this journey certainly had its challenges, but looking back and seeing how far I’ve come has made it all worth it. I haven’t just shed a few pounds — I’ve changed the way I look and feel, and how I see myself. Just how far did I come in 90 days? Farther than I ever thought possible.
My focus for this project was never really weight loss, though I was happy to see that my efforts yielded some positive results. After just three months of adhering to both sets of guidelines with the support of the American Council on Exercise, I lost 16.3 pounds (7.4 kg), going from 244.5 pounds (111 kg) to 228.2 pounds (104 kg).
While fast ways to temporarily lose weight exist, it’s important to note that most experts agree that rapid weight lost is unsustainable and those pounds usually end up creeping back on. Instead, experts recommend the slow and steady approach of one to two pounds per week.
Green's measurements on day 1 (left), versus day 90 (right).Jennifer Mesk Photography
Anyone who’s lost weight knows that the scale in your bathroom sometimes lies. It says you haven’t lost a pound, yet those pants that felt a little tight are suddenly easy to put on, and are even starting to get baggy.
The change in body shape is the result of gaining muscle while losing fat — and that simply doesn’t show up on the scale, at least not right away.
That’s why I also used body circumference measurements to help me track my progress.
There are certain body measurements that are good predictors of health problems. For example, there is a strong correlation between having a larger waist circumference and a number of health risks, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. According to research, for every 2.5-cm (1-inch) increase in waist circumference in men, the following is true:
- Blood pressure increases by 10%
- Total blood cholesterol level increases by 8%
- HDL (“good”) cholesterol decreases by 15%
- Triglycerides increase by 18%
- Metabolic syndrome risk increases by 18%
My waist circumference decreased by 5.5 cm (2.2 inches) over three months, which means my risk levels for all of the above should decrease.
A person’s waist-to-hip ratio is another simple means of determining overall health risk. On day 1, my waist-to-hip ratio was 1.
08, as determined by dividing my waist circumference (117 cm) by my hip circumference (108 cm). By day 90, that ratio was 1.04. The goal is to get that ratio below 0.
95, as that is when I will move the “at risk” category. For now though, things are certainly moving in the right direction.
At some point, I will ly hit a plateau in terms of reducing my waist or hip measurements, which is why including the chest, abdomen, biceps and thigh measures may become important when I need a new source of motivation.
In addition to monitoring my weight and circumference measures, I’ve also been monitoring my body-fat percentage using two different methods. At the three-month mark, my skinfold measurements totaled 83 mm, equating to a body-fat percentage of 26.1%, down from 26.9% at the start of this project.
The other means of tracking body-fat percentage is my FitBit scale, which shows a decrease from 33.1% to 30.7%, a sharper drop than was revealed by the skinfold measurements. Either way, a body-fat percentage over 25% for men (over 32% for women) is categorized as obese.
Green uses his waist-to-hip ratio as a simple way to determine his overall health risk.Jennifer Mesk Photography
To start this project, I completed a full performance assessment, including push-ups, curl-ups, squats and a one-mile walk test. Being that I wasn’t regularly active, my initial athletic performance wasn’t as good as I would have hoped.
For the initial push-up test, I actually did pretty well. I was in able to do 21 reps, which put me in the “very good” category. At 90 days, though, I could perform 25 reps, which put me in the “excellent” category.
For the curl-up test, I performed 35 reps, as compared to 28 reps three months earlier. This meant that I moved from “poor” to “average.”
For the body-weight squat test, I performed 64 reps, as compared to 58 reps three months earlier. Both totals are categorized as “excellent.” However, my trainer noted back on day one that I wasn’t quite reaching proper form.
This time around, I moved through the full range of motion on some repetitions, but not all. While my muscular endurance is “excellent” for this movement, I need to keep working on my range of motion.
It’s also important to note that during my first assessment I felt some low-back pain and this time around I had none. This is a really dramatic sign of functional improvement.
The one-mile walk test involves simply walking a mile as quickly as possible — no jogging or running allowed. I have had trouble with shin splints for a long time, particularly when trying to walk quickly.
I struggled a lot with this test during the preliminary phase. I actually had to quit before finishing this test the first time.
On my second attempt a few days later, I still felt the shin splints, but was able to complete the test in 17 minutes and 3 seconds, which was “poor.
” My heart rate was 120 beats per minute (bpm) at the conclusion of the test and my rating of perceived exertion was two 10, which was basically my perception of how hard I was working from a cardiovascular perspective. Unfortunately, the pain really slowed me down so I wasn’t really able to fully exert myself.
I walked the mile in 16 minutes and 13 seconds 90 days later, which moved me from “poor” to “fair.” My heart rate was 132 bpm and my rating of perceived exertion was three, which is considered moderate. Tightness in the lower legs was still an issue, but not nearly as bad as it was three months earlier.
While I have tons of data and measurements to show how far just three months of The Lifestyle Project took me, there are intangible improvements that are much more important. I feel better just living my daily life.
I perform better whether on the hiking trails, on the elliptical machine or in the weight room. My recovery time after strenuous workouts is a fraction of what it once was. I’ve gone down a size in both my shirts and pants. My wife and son are both more active and eating better.
And, perhaps most importantly, I just feel healthier and more comfortable in my own skin.
While I’m charting every little measurement of my progress, you definitely don’t have to. It can be maddening when certain measurements, body weight, don’t budge.
Circumference measurements are perhaps the best way to find evidence that your body is changing, yet the biggest change you should measure is how you feel about you.
Who cares if your weight hasn’t gone down if you can feel the difference in the way your clothes fit or feel stronger and more energetic during and after workouts?
Are people telling you that you look better? Believe them, and take a moment to enjoy the compliment. You’ve earned it!
What other signs of success have you seen as the result of lifestyle change? Tell me about it. Have questions about my journey? Ask me on or follow me on Instagram.
Want more tips these? NBC News BETTER is obsessed with finding easier, healthier and smarter ways to live. Sign up for our newsletter.
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