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Macronutrient Calculator

A macronutrient (“macro”) is a nutrient that your body needs in large amounts to survive, with the main ones being protein, carbs, and fat. If you want to gain muscle, lose fat, and get strong, you generally want to follow a high-protein, moderate- to high-carb, moderate- to low-fat diet. Use the Legion Macronutrient Calculator to discover how much of each macronutrient you should eat every day to reach your goals.

The Legion Macronutrient Calculator

None (little to no physical activity) A little (one to three hours of exercise or sports per week) A moderate amount (four to six hours of exercise or sports per week) A lot (seven to nine hours of exercise or sports per week) A TON (ten or more hours of exercise or sports per week) Custom Activity Multiplier
Lose fat ("cut") Build lean muscle ("lean bulk") Maintain the same weight ("maintain")

A macronutrient (“macro”) is a nutrient that your body needs in large amounts to survive, with the main ones being protein, carbs, and fat. If you want to gain muscle, lose fat, and get strong, you generally want to follow a high-protein, moderate- to high-carb, moderate- to low-fat diet. Use the Legion Macronutrient Calculator to discover how much of each macronutrient you should eat every day to reach your goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really need to eat this much protein?

You don’t have to, but study after study has already confirmed that high-protein dieting is superior to low-protein dieting in just about every meaningful way. Specifically, research shows that people who eat more protein:

Protein intake is even more important when you exercise regularly or restrict your calories for fat loss, as both of these factors increase your body’s demand for protein.

Protein intake is important for sedentary folk as well. Studies show that such people lose muscle faster as they age if they don’t eat enough protein, and the faster they lose muscle, the more likely they are to die from all causes.

So, if you want to be lean, strong, muscular, and healthy, you want to eat a lot of protein—about 1 to 1.2 grams per pound of body weight per day, or about 40% of your daily calorie intake.

Do I really need to eat this many carbs?

If you’re healthy and physically active, and particularly if you lift weights regularly, chances are that you’ll do better with more carbs in your diet, not less.

And yes, that applies equally to gaining muscle and losing fat. The reality is a relatively high-carb diet can help you do both faster and easier.

The biggest reason for eating a high-carb diet is that it helps you perform better in your workouts, which produces more muscle gain and fat loss over time.

How many carbs should you eat to optimize your performance?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but 1 to 3 grams of carbs per pound of body weight per day works well for most people. As a percentage of calories, this generally works out to:

  • 40 percent of calories when cutting
  • 55 percent of calories when lean bulking
  • 45 percent of calories when maintaining

If you’re over 20% body fat as a man or 30% body fat as a woman, however, this formula will overestimate your carbohydrate needs (for example, a woman who’s 5’4 and 200 pounds doesn’t need 200 to 600 grams of carbs per day).

Thus, I recommend overweight people set carb intake at 30% of daily calories.

What if I want to eat more fat?

Whether we’re talking fat loss, hormone optimization, or muscle growth, the benefits of high-fat dieting have been oversold.

Following a high-fat, low-carb diet doesn’t help you lose fat faster than a high-carb, low-fat diet. It doesn’t “supercharge” your hormones and boost your libido. And it doesn’t increase muscle growth or strength gain.

Although many people have lost weight while following low-carb diets, this wasn’t because they restricted their carb intake—it was because they drastically reduced their overall calorie intake, which resulted in a larger calorie deficit.

Thus, there’s no advantage to following a high-fat diet over a low- or moderate-fat one. Eating more carbs also improves your performance in the gym, which increases strength and muscle gain and fat loss.

This is why I recommend you get around 20% of your calories from fat when cutting and lean bulking and 25 to 30% when maintaining. This is enough to maintain your health, keep hunger at bay, and improve the flavor of your meals while still leaving plenty of calories for protein and carbs.

That said, it’s also fine if you want to eat more fat than this, so long as you eat sufficient protein and are making progress in the gym.

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Enter your email address below to get the free Legion Meal Plan Tool. With it, you can estimate how many grams of protein, carbs, and fat you should eat to reach your fitness goals and create 100% custom meal plans for cutting, lean bulking, and maintaining your body weight in under five minutes flat.

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