How To Calculate Your Leangains Macros

This guide has been viewed over 1 million times since the first publication in 2011. I’ve made revisions over 100 times since.

There is a school of thought that it can be beneficial for nutrient partitioning (and therefore body composition) to have more calories on the days you work out, and less on the days you don’t. Martin Berkhan, in particular, took this a step further by experimenting with higher carb/lower fat intake training days, and higher fat/lower carb intake rest days as he was forming his Leangains system.

This is my guide to calculating macros based on Martin’s Leangains system. You can see the results that this system produces here. This is how I set things up for the vast majority of clients for years.

As with any serious nutrition strategy, these initial calculations are just the start point. The key to your success will be fine tuning your macros so that you keep progressing. These will come in later guides on the site. For now, I’ve worked to make this guide as simple as possible, without compromising on the efficacy. I’ve given the bare-minimum theory because most people don’t want it when they are first starting out.

If you’d like to make this even easier, my macro calculation spreadsheet and detailed nutrition set-up guide is available for free download here. – Andy.

First, Calculate Calorie Intake

It’s necessary to calculate calorie intake first, before then dividing it up into macros. Here are the steps.

Step 1. Calculate your BMR

I like to call BMR your ‘coma calories’ – the energy intake you need, should you fall into a coma, to maintain your body weight. There are a variety of formulas, all of which produce a guess at best, so don’t worry about trying to calculate things perfectly because we’ll adjust our intake based on how we progress.

The Harris-Benedict formula is commonly used, but doesn’t work very well if you are particularly fat (it’ll overestimate your calorie needs) or particularly jacked (it’ll underestimate your calorie needs). Therefore I recommend the Katch-McArdle BMR formula as it’s based on body-fat percentage and is a little more accurate.

Metric: BMR = 370 + 21.6 * Lean Body Mass (in kg)

1 kg = 2.2 lbs, so if you’re used to using pounds, just divide your weight by 2.2 to find your weight in kg.

Lean Body Mass (LBM) = weight – (weight * (body-fat %/100))

You can estimate your body fat percentage with a few quick body measurements here.


Step 2. Adjust for Activity

You need to add an ‘activity multiplier’ (x1.2~x1.9) to your BMR depending on your lifestyle/training.

  • Sedentary (little or no exercise): BMR x 1.2
  • Lightly active (training/sports 2-3 days/week): BMR x 1.375
  • Moderately active (training/sports 4-5 days/week): BMR x 1.55
  • Very active (training/sports 6-7 days a week): BMR x 1.725
  • Extremely active (twice per day, extra heavy workouts): BMR x 1.9

From these two calculations we now have our approximate daily energy expenditure (TDEE). We need to adjust this number based on our goal, which we’ll do next.




STEP 1: BMR = 370+21.6*75*(1-0.1) = 1828 kcal STEP 2: TDEE = 1828*1.55 = 2833 kcal



STEP 1: BMR = 370+21.6*90*(1-0.2) = 1925 kcal STEP 2: TDEE = 1925*1.375 = 2647 kcal

Step 3. Adjust Calorie Intake Based On Your Goal

It’s important to choose a goal – fat loss or muscle gain. Yes, I know you want both, and you might be able to achieve that to a degree, but for now I need you to look at yourself in the mirror and choose what you think is most important right now. If you need help with this, have a read of my Goal Setting Guide.

Goal: Fat Loss

A calorie deficit is required for fat loss, so we need to have a calorie intake under our TDEE (the calorie figure calculated in the previous section). The fatter we are the quicker we can lose body fat; the leaner we are, the more slowly we must take things so that we preserve muscle mass. Therefore, it’s best to make reductions to TDEE based on our body-fat percentage:

Current estimated body fat %Reduce calorie intake by
Goal: Muscle Gain

Increase TDEE by 20%.

Goal: ‘Body-recomposition’ (Both)

No changes will be made to calorie intake.

I rarely recommend this.

There is the idea that if calorie intake is kept at weight-maintenance levels, but the training is right and the meal timing is right, then muscle will replace fat in a perfect 1:1 ratio. Now while this is true it is rarely the quickest way for someone to go about achieving their goals. For most people this will simply compromise both, slow up the progress of everything, which will threaten adherence to the plan significantly. The exception are certain ‘skinny-fat’ trainees.

The idea usually comes from a misguided sense of importance that tricks with meal timing can play and is especially prevalent in the Leangains community. (This isn’t a fault of Leangains, it’s just human nature to want to believe in shortcuts.)

We now have our target average daily calorie intake. The next step is to adjust that to give us more calories for our training days and less for the rest days.



TDEE = 2833 kcal GOAL: BULK, SO ADD 20% TO TDEE





Step 4. Calculate Training & Rest Day Calorie Intake Targets

We want to split the calorie intake so that we are consuming more on our training days than our rest days. The idea is to optimize recovery.

An approximate 40% difference between your training and rest day calorie intake figures will do, and if you are training 3 or 4 days a week, here is the simplest way to do this:

Take your average daily calorie intake and multiply by 1.2 – this is your training day calorie intake figure.

Take your average daily calorie intake and multiply by 0.8 – this is your rest day calorie intake figure.

If you’re not training 3-4 days a week then see my more detailed diet set up guide




TRAINING DAY INTAKE = 3400*1.2 = 4080 kcal REST DAY INTAKE = 3400*0.8 = 2720 kcal



TRAINING DAY INTAKE = 2118*1.2 = 2542 kcal REST DAY INTAKE = 2118*0.8 = 1694 kcal

Next, Calculate Your Macros


It’s now time to divide our calorie budgets for the training and rest days between the three macros. Protein will be kept high always. Training days will have a high carbohydrate, low fat intake; rest days will be higher fat, lower carbohydrate intake.

There are fairly strict guidelines for protein setting, there are looser guidelines for fat intake setting, and the carbohydrates balance the calorie budget.

Step 5. Set Your Protein Intake

Protein is good. You’ve heard this even if you can’t remember why. Here’s why: It forms the building blocks for muscle, it has a protective effect on muscle tissue when dieting, and it’s the most satiating of the macronutrients (i.e. it keeps away hunger).

Ignore what your mom says she read in the newspaper – high protein diets do not cause kidney damage, nor do they raise your risk of cancer – unless you’re eating processed red meat, all the time, and in very large quantities. (For a full summary of the research and practical recommendations regarding high protein diets see this excellent article over on

Protein Intake When Cutting

The research data suggests an intake somewhere in the 2.3-3.1 g/kg (~1.1-1.4 g/lb) of lean body mass (LBM) range when dieting is where we want to be. Lower than this and we risk muscle loss; higher than this serves no real purpose – it will just make your supermarket visits more expensive, as well as limit the carbs and fats you could otherwise be eating in your diet. The higher end of this range comes from research data on bodybuilders going through contest prep – you won’t need to go this high, unless you are already shredded, and wanting to get to stage shredded levels of leanness from there.

→ I recommend 2.5 g of protein per kilogram of lean body mass each day when cutting. (~1.2 g/lb)

You can choose to go to up to 3.1 g if you have issues with hunger, as protein will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Check out the site’s main FAQ also if hunger is causing you issues as you can go fairly far just from altering food choices without adjusting your macros.

Protein Intake When Bulking

When bulking the optimal range of intake it slightly lower: 1.6-2.2 g/kg (~0.8-1.0 g/lb) LBM. If you go lower than this and you may not grow as much a you otherwise could have from your training; higher than this your body simply isn’t capable of using directly for muscle growth and repair. (Unless you’re pumping yourself full of drugs, which will raise the cap on how much muscle can be synthesized from protein each day, which is why you see drug-using bodybuilders go much higher than this range.)

I suggest we set it slightly higher than this range for a couple of reasons:

  1. There are inter-individual differences on how much protein is needed. You don’t know which end of the range your needs will lie, so as long as you have the budget, I’d argue that it’s better to go with the higher end of the range to be conservative.
  2. As you’re bulking, you’ll be growing so you’ll eventually need to eat more protein as you grow anyway.

→ I recommend 2.5 g of protein per kilogram of lean mass on both training and rest days. (~1.2 g/lb)




PROTEIN INTAKE = 2.5*75*0.9 = ~170g/DAY



PROTEIN INTAKE = 2.5*90*0.8 = ~180g/DAY

Step 6. Set Your Fat Intake

Consumption of dietary fat is important for hormonal regulation, especially testosterone production. It should never be eliminated from a diet. Make sure your average daily fat intake goes no lower than 0.9 g/kg (~0.4 g/lb) of LBM.

Fat Intake When Cutting

Average daily fat intake when cutting should be somewhere in this range: 0.9-1.3 g/kg (~0.4-0.6 g/lb) of LBM.

Go with the higher end of the range if you prefer a higher fat diet, the lower end of the range if you prefer more carbs in your diet. Those carrying more body fat will do better with a higher fat intake on training days than leaner individuals. This is to do with insulin sensitivity, which increases when you get leaner.

Now, we want to set your fat intake so that you have it higher on your rest days, and a lower on your training days. This is an attempt to improve calorie partitioning (less fat storage, better recovery and muscle gain).

The average male client will typically have a fat intake somewhere in the ~40-65 g range on training days, 60-100 g on the rest days. For the purposes of the calculation box below, I’ve taken the average fat intake figure, and then set it 30% higher and lower than that for the rest and training days respectively.


Fat Intake When Bulking

  • When bulking have your average daily fat intake around 20-30% of calorie intake.
  • Choose a percentage in that range based on whether you prefer a higher fat or higher carbohydrate intake. Then divide that by 9 to find how many grams of fat you should consume on average each day. (There are nine calories in each gram of fat remember.)
  • We want to have a fairly large split between the fat intake on the training days and rest days. So, multiply by 0.7 to find your training day fat intake figure, multiply by 1.3 to find your rest day intake figure.




AVERAGE DAILY FAT INTAKE = (0.25*3400)/9 = 85g TRAINING DAY FAT INTAKE = 95*0.7 = ~65g REST DAY FAT INTAKE = 95*1.3 = ~125g




Step 7. Calculate Carb Intake

Just think of carbs as being here to balance the equation so that you hit your training and rest day calorie targets. Carbs have 4 calories in each gram.

→ Training day carb intake = Training day calorie intake – training day fat intake – training day protein intake

→ Rest day carb intake = Rest day calorie intake – Rest day fat intake – Rest day protein intake





TRAINING DAY CARB INTAKE = 4080 – 170*4 – 65*9 = 2815 kcal = ~705g

REST DAY CARB INTAKE = 2720 -170*4 – 125*9 = 915 kcal = ~230g




TRAINING DAY CARB INTAKE = 2542 – 180*4 – 60*9 = 1282 kcal = ~320g

REST DAY CARB INTAKE = 1694 -180*4 – 90*9 = 164 kcal = ~40g


What about macro ratios? I read somewhere that I should have 40/40/20.

Ignore the idea of macro ratios, these are just a function of the stage of dieting rather than something to target.

As you have just seen, protein intake is best set based on lean body mass, there are minimum recommendations for fat intake, and carbohydrate just makes up the calorie balance. What this means is that the ratio of the macronutrients that make up your diet will change as you progress – there will be more carbohydrate when we are bulking, and less when we are cutting. If you target specific macro ratios you’ll end up with a diet that is suboptimal for you.

Do these macros look right?

It’s not possible for me to look at a set of calculated macros and say whether they are correct or not. It’s going to vary greatly from person to person.

Now, one important thing to note it that the initial calculations we make are an estimation – a starting point and nothing more. Everyone’s actual energy expenditure will vary somewhere between plus or minus ~20% of that due genetic differences, the current state of metabolic adaptations, and NEAT variance. (More on this here).

We can’t calculate for these things, so a better question is, “How are these macros working for you?

If you’re not tracking, you don’t know, so get started and make sure you don’t miss any points. From there you can fine tune things based on how you progress. Make sure you read my guide to tracking your progress.

I get a negative number for my carb intake on the rest days. What did I do wrong?

Check that you didn’t set your fat loss rate too high for your current level of body fat. If you have that right, then reduce the calorie split between the training and rest days (from 30% to 20% for example). If you’ve already done that, then reduce it further manually by just taking some of your carb intake from the training days and adding it to the rest days.

What should I read next?

Make sure you check out my progress tracking guide. A lot of people miss that at their own peril.

If you’re looking for meal timing suggestions specifically for Leangains then I’d suggest my Leangains Overview and Meal Timing Guide.

If you’d like something with fuller explanations which will allow for further customization, then check out my free 67 page Complete Guide To Setting Up Your Diet ebook. You’ll get my automated macro calculator also.

The guides covering how to adjust and fine tune and your diet are all here.


Good luck. Thanks for reading. Questions are welcomed in the comments. – Andy

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1. Macro calculator
2. 'The Complete Guide To Setting Up Your Diet' book
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About the Author

Andy Morgan

I am the founder of, this is my sincere effort to build the best nutrition and training guides on the internet. Some readers hire me to coach them, which I've been doing online, via email, for the last six years. If you're interested in individualized, one-on-one nutrition and training coaching to help you crush your physique goals, let's start the conversation.

2,024 Comments on “How To Calculate Your Leangains Macros”

  1. Umair says:

    Thank you for this great resource you have here, Andy. I am in the middle of reading your e-book and keep coming back to your website for various things.

    This looks all good, the guidance on setting up a diet, I understand it through and through. But for somebody belonging to the Asian sub-continent, the execution of it becomes a problem, of sorts. See, our dinner plate here looks something like this: a serving or two of meat or veg curry eaten with either ‘chapati / nan’, which is basically flatbread, or a serving or two of boiled white rice. We like yogurt, pickles or chutneys as accompaniments. The only measure anyone has of how much they eat is by keeping a count of the number of flat breads consumed in each meal, e.g. I eat up to two, or have a serving and a half of rice, usually. The portion of curry consumed only varies slightly for each meal. All curry is cooked in some form of vegetable oil most of the time unless someone wants to add ‘ghee’ for flavour, which is a hydrogenated high-fat form I think. Moreover, to make matters complicated, the amount of oil used can vary from one recipe to another!

    So when a meal make up looks something I have just described, it is beyond me at the moment how to go about calculating the macro requirements for myself.

    Any advice at all?

    Thanks again for all the great advice you have here for everyone!

    1. Hi Umair, thanks for the question. Three solutions:

      1. Cook everything yourself, count what you put in the recipe. This is what most people do.
      2. Google around to see if any sites have made nutritional estimations for popular local dishes.
      3. Don’t count, adjust relatively. I’ve covered more on this in my macro counting guide.

      Hope that helps.

  2. Erica says:

    Hi Andy,
    Thanks for all the information! It’s very useful. My problem with most macro calculators is that I am fairly light (120 pounds) and 5 feet tall. Most of the time, I hear people say that you shouldn’t go under 1200 calories, regardless of your weight. When I used this calculator, it sets my rest day calorie intake to about 800 calories, which I think is kind of insane…what are your thoughts on this? I think I could deal with 1150-1250 calories on rest days, but 800 seems like borderline starvation.


    1. Hi Erica, thanks for the question.

      You are smaller than average, so you have to eat less than the average person.

      Most of the time, I hear people say that you shouldn’t go under 1200 calories, regardless of your weight.
      This is a well meaning statement intended to prevent people from slashing calories too hard, but it misses nuance and is not applicable to all in all situations:

      • Smaller people need less on average. You are smaller than average. This sucks, but that’s just how it is.
      • People who have been dieting for a while will need less due to metabolic adaptation.
      • When cycling calories, the rest day will have a lower intake to make up for the higher intake on the training day.

      Double check your calculations. If you’re sure you’re right, set your intake as you have calculated. Track your progress, then adjust things after a few weeks if things move faster than you have been targeting. – See the adjustments articles in the nutrition menu for how to do that.

      Your other option is to exercise more so you can eat more. This isn’t a recommendation I typically make, but a valid strategy for smaller bodied people.

      Hope that helps.

      1. Erica says:

        Thank you for your input! I’ve checked the calculator a few different ways and I think my highest potential calories on a rest day would be 1000….I will try it out and see how it goes.

        1. Sure. And if you find it more sustainable, you could always close the gap between training and rest days.

  3. Pierson Scarborough says:

    Hi, Andy. I’m a very active individual, I do crossfit workouts about 5 times a week as well as train heavy olympic and power lifts. Despite my training regimen I’ve never looked the way I feel I should. Im 6 foot, muscular and fairly skinny however I am not as lean nor as big as I want to be. So my question is what should I set my goals for? Muscle gain or weight loss?

    1. Hi Pierson, thank you for the comment and sorry for the delay in replying. (I had been unable to do so while the website went through a big update over August.)

      Lean out first, then bulk later.

  4. Ben says:

    Hey is fat more than twice as high on rest days?

    1. Certainly could be.

  5. David Lee says:

    Hi, Andy

    I went through the entire calculation which I believe I did correctly and got a carb intake of 400+. This seems absurdly high as opposed to other calculators and calculations I’ve seen. Does this seem normal for a “cut” goal? Thanks

    1. Hi David. If you’re a big guy with high activity levels, that wouldn’t be absurd for a training day number.

  6. Usman says:

    Hi Andy,

    Great article! Im interested in that spreadsheet.

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hi Usman, box at the bottom of the article or see here.

  7. Kyle says:

    Hi Andy,

    My apologies if this has been asked already. Should I be counting vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, green beans, etc. towards my carbohydrate allotment? I’ve seen programs where it’s done both ways and I want to make sure I don’t go over on my carbs/calories.



  8. Jonnie says:

    Hi! I’m a little confused. I did the calculations (116 lb. 21% BF = 42.6 LBM) and got 106g for my daily protein intake, using the recommended 2.5 formula. In the instructions, you mention that protein should approximately be 1.2 x our weight (in yellow). That would be approx. 140g. If I’m eating 140g of protein, am I eating too much?

    1. Hi Jonnie. That’s per kilogram of lean mass. 140g is not necessary ‘too much,’ but may be unnecessarily high.

  9. Ben Lucas says:

    Hi Andy,

    Long time lurker here and finally decided to use the LG approach to cutting as I think the alternating feast and fast days, as they are, will really be something that I can stick to!

    I was wondering if you used or recommended any particular app for tracking macro intake where you can set variable macro targets depending on what day you’re on? Sorry if you’ve covered this already elsewhere.

    Cheers mate,


      1. Ben Lucas says:

        Cheers, Andy. I’d read that article ages ago and not seen that. Great resources here, by the way.

        One of the things I’m already loving about having different training day and working day macros is that I can almost ‘binge’ every day, even when on a diet, instead of just my carbs and fats being evened out across all days. Yesterday was all about bacon and cheese. Today, it’s bread!

        Thanks for all the stuff on this site. I’ve pointed several mates to your diet set-up guide in the past.


        1. Most welcome, Ben. 🙂

  10. sascha reif says:

    Thank you for the superb articles

    1. Most welcome, Sascha. 🙂

  11. Michael says:

    Hello Andy,

    there seems to be an inconsistency in the method of determining training day and rest day fat intake between this article and the macro calculator spreadsheet you provide (at least in the latter’s 1.7 version, which is the one I have on hand):

    In this article, you state that one should “multiply by 0.7 to find your training day fat intake figure, multiply by 1.3 to find your rest day intake figure.”. Assuming the value that should be multiplied is the daily average fat intake (which is confirmed by the inline calculator right above that quote on this page), this actually means that fat intake on training days is (0.7 / 1.3) ~= 0.54 = 54% of rest day fat intake. But in the spreadsheet, the training day fat intake is determined by multiplying the *rest day* fat intake by 0.7 (or by whatever fat split you have set in the spreadsheet) — NOT the *average daily* fat intake. This results in a difference of (70% – 54%) = 16% between the two formulas for calculating training day fat intake!

    1. True, but it doesn’t really matter (it won’t make any meaningful difference to outcomes). Thanks for pointing it out though, Michael.

  12. Francesco says:

    Hi Andy!
    When should you have calorie deficit if you workout every day?


    1. Hi, Francesco. In this case, every day will have a slight deficit. Skip step four. See my more detailed diet set-up guide linked above if you get stuck calculating the macros from this page as you can do it in the spreadsheet calculator.

  13. RD says:

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for the website, very helpful!
    But what about body type? I myself am more of an endomorph who puts on fat easily!
    I’ve just recently lost weight but don’t want to put on fat to rapidly, should I decrease carbs a bit and go really low carbs on rest days?

    Regards RD

  14. Joe Klaric says:

    Hi Andy, just after the detailed macro calculation spreadsheet. Thanks, Joe

    1. Hi Joe. Just scroll up, the box for your email address for me to send it to is at the end of the article.

  15. Conner says:

    Hey Andy, quick question, I think I’m doing my calculations wrong. I feel like the number for my daily carb intake is way to high. It’s stating a daily intake of roughly 450g. Are there any other calculations I have to do other then the input ones you have set up. I’m just trying to lean out here. I have everything figured out until the carbs section. If I was eating that many carbs that’d be more then 60% of my calories.

    1. Conner, thanks for the comment and question.
      “Are there any other calculations I have to do other than the input ones you have set up?”
      No, just the calculations above. There’s no reason to suspect you’ve done it incorrectly. If you would like to see a more detailed guide then click the link to the complete guide and put your email in the box and you’ll get a spreadsheet that will calculate it all out for you.

      This article may also be worth a read for you:
      The Myth of the ‘Best’ Macro Ratio

  16. Hayley Clark says:

    Hi Andy,

    I’ve worked out everything using the calculators here but on my rest days with required cals of 1134, once protein and fat is calculated using the recommended, it is leaving me in a minus figure for carbs. What do i do?

    Many thanks

  17. Eduardo says:

    Hy Andy! I’m a big admirer of your job in here.
    When I started reading the site I was in the middle of a diet process, so I decided to wait for this process to end but the results were not the best and the calories are running out. Could I start with your method of calculation without much prejudice to the progress I made in my last cut? Ps: Even though the results were not wonderful, it had some effect and I did not want to lose them. Thank you again.

    1. Metabolism is adaptive, so calculations are an estimation at best. It’s far better to adjust based on your current setting than recalculate. This course will show you how.
      The Diet Adjustment Mastery Mini Course

  18. Hannes says:

    Hi Andy, what factor do I use for a desc job but weight train 3-4 days a week.
    Thanks for the brilliant guide.

    1. Try half way between the two suggested Hannes.

  19. Judith says:

    Just completed the above calculation to set my carbs and target rest day carb intake. Rest day carb intake is 23.4g this seems a bit low to me but cannot see what I have done wrong.

    [Calculations deleted – See comment rules. See FAQ.]

  20. keven M says:

    hi, I calculated [DELETED – see comment rules and FAQ] is this seeming right? and will it make me fat?

    1. Usually, I’d suggest this article on how to bulk Keven. Unfortunately, however, it may be too late!

      Form the comment rules:
      Comments that do not follow these rules will be deleted, and the gods of aesthetics will curse you with stubborn fat and shitty muscle gains.

  21. João Guimarães says:


    I train 4 days/week and do cardio the other 3 days. So, how many calories do you advice to ingest on the cardio days?

    – The same Like as a normal training day?
    – The same as a rest day?
    – In between? Calculate how many calories I need in each cardio session and add them up to the rest days value?

    Thanks, I really enjoy your articles!

    1. Hi João, this will be taken care of in the activity multiplier section, step 2.

  22. Adrian Fuller says:

    Please would you kindly email me the maco calculation spreadsheet. Thank you.

    1. Sure. Put your email in the box and the download link will be sent.

  23. Christine says:

    Hi Andy, What is your protocol for BCAA’s on non training days?

  24. John says:

    Hi Andy, great guide, just a question: why there is an additional value when calculating the protein intake? I mean the additional x0.8 and x0.9 that you put in the two examples? Why there isn’t just a (Proteins in gr)x(LBM) ?

    1. Hi John, we’re calculating protein intake by fat-free body mass. As the people in the examples are 20% and 10% body fat, we multiply weight by 0.8 and 0.9 respectively to find lean body mass.

  25. Salim says:

    Hi Andy,

    I asked you below in the comments whether I should use this calculator or read the articles on slow bulk / finding my maintenance after having finished a cut. I tried to reply on your answer but couldn’t find a way too, so sorry for posting again.

    I just forgot to mention that I am now doing 2 intense boxing sessions per week, 2 hours long each, which explains why even at 2900 Kcal per day, I don’t gain weight, in addition to 3 heavy workouts per week.

    I have followed a high carb / low fat diet for several months now and am a little bit lost when considering to switch to a macronutrient cycle as advised by the calculator / IF leangains style. I don’t really see the point to be on a high fat / lower carbs day on boxing days… What would you advise in such a case?

    Many thanks in advance for your feedback.

    1. It’s all about adjusting based on your baseline. Take this email course I put together Salim:
      The Diet Adjustment Mastery Mini Course

  26. Nick says:

    Dear Andy,
    I’m confused why the complete guide and the leangains guide are giving me different results when putting the same initial values and choosing the same options on the calculators e.g. training days/week etc. I get for example different average daily calorie intakes varying by 150 calories with the same values given from me on the calculators. Which guide should I follow since my goal is to cut.

    1. Hi Nick, go with the complete guide.

  27. Crystal says:

    I’ve been following the Eat More 2 Weigh Less Method and doing a body recomp. Is this something I should follow instead? I don’t want super fast results, I just want results that will last and that I won’t gain.

    1. I haven’t heard of what you’re doing so I can’t answer. But I guess the questions you need to ask yourself are:
      1. Do you enjoy what you are doing?
      2. Do you have the ability to sustain it?
      3. Are you seeing results from it?
      4. Do you understand why it works so you can keep on progressing?

      If no to any of the above then consider changing.

  28. alexandros markoulakis says:

    Hi Andy,
    please send me your macro calculation spreadsheet and detailed nutrition set-up guide.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Alexandros. Just click the link in the last FAQ answer.

  29. Salim says:

    Hi Andy,
    Should I consider using this calculator to have an insight about the macros for bulking, or should I use the “how to find your maintenance calories / how to bulk properly” article? Because I increased calories up to 2700-2900 Kcal per day and no weight/fat gain occurs so far (I’ve been doing this for 2 months). At the end of the week, the scale indicates 160 lbs…

    Thanks in advance for your time.

    1. Hi Salim. Don’t recalculate. Use both those articles, they’ll show you how to move from your current baseline of calorie intake.

  30. Carly says:

    Im looking for your macro calculation spreadsheet and detailed nutrition set-up guide

    1. Hi Carly, see the last point in the FAQ.

  31. Tony Uribe says:

    Hey Andy thanks for all this useful info!
    I was just wondering, my training calories are only 100 calories less than my TDEE will I still lose weight this way, if I only have two rest days during the week?

    1. Hi Tony. What matters is the weekly calorie deficit. If it isn’t sufficient then you won’t lose weight. Use the calculation method on the complete set-up guide given that you train 5 days a week. Link to this page at the bottom of the post.

  32. Emily says:

    Hey Andy! You’re amazing! You’ve taught me so much! Thank you!!!

    Just wondering, as a female – in terms of macros (and cutting), if my fat intake percentage on rest days is higher than my protein intake percentage, does that mean I probably calculated wrong? Does my daily protein intake have to be a higher percentage of my calories than either fat or carbs? Or can my bodyfat% and my LBM create a fat-heavy macro ratio that is still healthy and will help with cutting?

    1. Hi Emily, glad you’ve found the site helpful and thanks for the questions. When people give suggestions based on ratios, they’re making simplified suggestions. The ratios are irrelevant when you’re setting macros based on lean body mass as we are here, which will be a more accurate way of doing things. Go with what you’ve calculated, track things over a month and then adjust based on progress and feeling.

  33. David Brown says:

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for putting this leangains macro calculator together, super valuable!!!

    Quick question? I have put all me details in but my carb intake amount for rest day looks really low… just wanted to run it pass you to see if numbers add up?? Thanks.

    Screenshot can be found [DELETED BY ANDY]


    1. Thanks for putting this leangains macro calculator together, super valuable!!!
      Most welcome David.
      …just wanted to run it pass you to see if numbers add up??
      No. See the second FAQ, and the fourth bullet point in the comment rules written above the comment box.

  34. C S says:

    Hey! Love these calculations, thanks so much for putting this together! The one questions I have is: If my target Average Daily Calorie Intake is 1531.5 (so about 1600 for 6 days of training, and 1120 on my rest day), is this my NET calorie goal (calories consumed-calories burned off through exercise) or is it just the intake calorie goal (meaning JUST the number of calories consumed). For example, on a training day when the goal is 1600, can I eat 1800 if I do cardio that burns off 200 calories? Or is this goal meant to be 1600 calories to be eaten regardless of exercise amount? I’m guessing it’s the latter and I’m not meant to subtract the exercise calories (since there’s already a variance in rest and training days). Just asking because I’m using an app to keep track of everything and it has the option to subtract exercise calories or not to!

    1. on a training day when the goal is 1600, can I eat 1800 if I do cardio that burns off 200 calories?
      – Yes.

  35. Mike Choi says:

    Hey Andy, I had read through your “setting up your diet” pdf and learned quite a bit about the pyramid…so thanks!

    My question was specifically about the training day/rest day calorie/macro counting calculations. When I did my calculations on excel, I noticed strange numbers, like the fat amount on rest days being too high and the carbs amount going into the negatives (meaning there was no room for carbs on rest days…). I must be doing something wrong. Could you maybe help me out?

    [Calculations Deleted by Andy]

    1. Hi Mike, most welcome. See the third FAQ, then the second.

  36. Jenny says:

    Hi Andy. I’ve just completed calculating my macros (this article and the calculators are amazing) and then it struck me that these calculations might just be for guys. Can women use these calculations as well?

  37. Kyle says:

    Hey Andy!

    I’ve been a big fan of this site for ages now. Thanks for providing all this great information.

    Apologies if I have missed this explanation somewhere! I remember ‘back in the day’ the overall recommendation for Leangains cutting was -30%/+10% of your maintenance calories (for rest days/training days respectively). Is there a reason you no longer recommend this? Is it an adherence issue? I rather enjoyed doing it this way as it allowed me to eat at a surplus on training days and kept my (voracious) appetite in check. As it is now, my calculations have all days in a deficit (my maintenance being 3000, training being 2600 and off days being 1800).

    Thanks as always for the great content!

    1. Hi Kyle. I still have that way of doing it, that’s steps 3 and 4 above combined.

  38. Ramy says:

    Hey Andy,

    Just wanted to start off by saying that I think your website & information are amazing and I can’t thank you enough for being so generous in sharing all this knowledge.

    I’ve been training for just about two years now and of course I have noticed my progress drastically slow down, compared to the wonderful newbie gains. Based on the mirror I would say that I am hovering around 12% body fat and I am looking to get shredded but of course pack on some more muscle. I have read all over the internet that body recomp (losing fat and gaining muscle simultaneously) is a futile and pointless goal especially after having a few years of training under your belt. It seems that traditional bulk and cut cycles are the more popular way to go about it.

    Based on the information above, it seems that body recomposition is a very plausible and doable goal as long as nutrition and macro cycling are in line with training and non training days. Do you personally have any experience with this method and do you believe it will be effective. This type of method is something that appeals to me because I am extremely capable of controlling and tracking my food intake and frankly, who doesn’t want to get more muscular while stripping off fat all at once. My only fear is that this method might cause me to spin my wheels since I am not choosing a goal (cut or bulk). Please let me know what you think and thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Ramy, thanks for the comment and compliments.
      – Yes, this is exactly what I recommend in my goal setting series of articles.

  39. juca pato says:

    Andy, thanks for your answer. But I couldnt find meal timing instructions when I would like to go training fasted at 11am. Should I take 10g BCAA at 8am and at 10am, since I wake up 6am? Thank you 🙂

  40. juca pato says:

    Hey Andy, tks for all your guides.

    I searched all your content for an answer for this question, sorry if i didnt find it:

    How should I do if i want to train fasted at 11am, and lunching at 12:30?
    I wake up at 6am. Should I have 10g BCAA at 8am and again at 10h50am?

    1. Hi Juca. See the first link in the “What should I read next?” FAQ at the end.

  41. Sean says:

    Thanks for the link to that article. I thought I had read everything on the site but I hadn’t seen that one. I am going to add the day and see how I respond to the added stress.
    BTW.. Your response to the kg question was masterful and I laughed my ass off. Well played sir and thanks again!

    1. Haha, glad someone liked it. 🙂

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