Calculating Your Calories and Macros for Gains

By Craig Capurso

The truth is, you can train until you pass out, but if you don't have an ample supply of nutrients, you will have trouble building muscle tissue. That's why it is important to increase your calories to above maintenance. 

My recommendations

Estimate your calculated maintenance with a formula like the Mifflin St Jeor below.

  • Mifflin St Jeor Calculator
    • For men: BMR = 10 × weight(kg) + 6.25 × height(cm) - 5 × age(y) + 5
    • For women: BMR = 10 × weight(kg) + 6.25 × height(cm) - 5 × age(y) - 161

Once you have your maintenence, factor in your body type. Multiply the percentage below by your maintenance calories, then add that bump to your total number of calories. Your new calorie requirements will be maintenance calorie number + body type bump.

Ectomorph - 24% bump
Mesomorph - 16% bump
Endomorph - 8% bump


Start with protein and work from there to determine your macros for carbs and fats.

  • To find your protein macros, multiply your bodyweight in lbs x 1.25. That number represents grams of protein. To calculate protein calories, multiply the # of grams by x 4.
  • The remaining grams/calories will be divided evenly between carbs and fats after protein. 

For example

A user who weighs 225lbs and requires 4000 calories needs 281g/1,125 calories from protein
  • 225 x 1.25 = 281g of protein 
  • 281g x 4 calories per gram =1,125 calories from protein

For carbs and fats...

  • 4000 calories - 1125 (protein calories) = 2875 calories for both carbs and fats
  • 2875/2 = 1438 calories allocated to each 
  • Carbs 1438/4 calories per gram = 359 grams daily
  • Fats 1438/9 calories per gram = 160 grams daily

Total calories: 4000
Protein calories/grams: 1125/281g
Carbs calories/grams: 1438/359g
Fats calories/grams: 1438/160g

Share & Contribute

Do you have a story or would you like to be a contributor? We'd love to hear from you.

Learn How