Updated: Feb 4, 2020
Fat loss comes down to one simple equation:
Calories Out > Calories In = Fat Loss
What the equation tells us is that in order to lose fat and overall weight, you must expend more calories than you consume each day. This is called being in a caloric deficit and can be achieved through exercise and a solid diet.
Now you may be asking yourself, how do I know the amount of calories I should be consuming in order to lose weight or even maintain it. There are many formulas out there, but for now we can use a simple one: bodyweight ( in pounds) x 15. You now have the amount of calories you should consume to stay at your current weight. This equation is not perfect, but it is close enough to the more complicated equations for a solid starting point.
Example: You weigh 180 pounds. You'd multiply 180 pounds x 15 to get 2700 calories. This number (2700) is an estimate of the caloric intake you'd need to maintain your current weight.
Now comes the fun part, let's determine fat loss calories:
Burning stubborn body fat is hard work and difficult to achieve for some. Research has shown that a 20-30% deficit is a good range to shoot for. Previous studies have shown that male athletes will successfully lose fat without significant decreases in testosterone or drops in performance with a roughly 25% deficit. Start with a 20% deficit, see how you progress, and adjust between the 20% and 30% range if you hit a wall.
Example: If your desired caloric deficit is 25%, you'd multiply the 2700 maintenance calories you calculated above by .8, giving you 2700 x .8 = 2160 calories.
Diet Phase Macros
Using our 2160 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:
Carbohydrates: There are 4 calories per gram of carbohydrates. So here's how to calculate how much you should consume per day: 2160 calories x .35 (from the 35% above) = 746 calories. Now to get back to grams, divide by 4 and you will get 189 grams of carbs per day. This is how many grams of CARBS you should consume each day.
Protein: There are 4 calories per gram of protein as well. Here's how to calculate how much you should consume per day: 2160 x .35 = 746. Now to get back to grams, divide by 4 and you will get 189 grams of protein per day. This is how many grams of PROTEIN you should consume each day.
Fats: There are 9 calories per gram of fat. Here's how to calculate how much you should consume per day: 2160 x .30 = 648 calories. Now to get back to grams, divide by 9 and you will get 72 grams of fat per day. This is how many grams of FAT you should consume each day.
Note: It's more important to hit your target number of calories and protein intake than the carbohydrate and fat numbers. If you'd like to increase or decrease the amount of carbs you consume, just adjust accordingly.
That adds up to:
2700 calories per day - 189 grams of carbohydrates, 189 grams of protein, and 72 grams of fat.