Fat Loss Nutrition 101: How Many Calories, Carbs, Protein & Fat Should I Eat?

In This Article You Will Learn

1.) Discover a solid starting point for how many calories, carbs, proteins and fat you should eat for fat loss

2.) If you’re an experienced coach or fitness enthusiast, you can skip to the bottom see the template calculators

3.) These are just some baseline numbers to give you an idea of where to start and not an end-all-be-all

Beware: there are grammatical errors in this post, if that bothers you, you may want to stop reading.

Hey there, it’s Ryan.  And for today’s message, I’d thought I would go ahead give everyone a refresher course on nutrition.


Because it’s sometimes easy to forget the basics.  I’m also naïve to my own experience that I forget I’ve gone through these formulas thousands of times with people while others haven’t.

This short article is meant to be a short message to my email newsletter, so it’s not mean to exhaustive, however it is practical.

This is what I use to go over with clients on the first or second session, but these days I don’t.  Can you guess why?  I’ll leave a little cliffhanger for another email or blog post.


How a Typical Consult on Nutrition goes for Beginners

Let’s Figure out Them Macros

1 pound of fat is 3500 calories.


To lose one pound of fat you need to create a deficit of 3500 calories over the course of days/weeks/months.

Deficit = fat loss

Next we need to figure out your daily calorie need.

There are a lot of calculators out there, but to get the basic gist of things I have 2 options to figure this out:

1.)  Take your body weight add a zero to the end of it, then add another 30-60%


2.) Multiply your body weight by 15

You can use the Harris Benedict formula or some other calculator online, but what I’ve provided here will be close enough.

And as a general rule, whatever formula you find on the internet, I recommend you choose and work with the lower predicted calorie need.

Using a body weight of 185lbs x 15 = 2,775 is the theoretical maintenance calories

With a goal of 1-2 pounds of fat loss per week, the target goal calories are 2,275 – 1,775.

Can you see that?

2,275 would be a 500 calorie deficit, done over x 7 days would be 3,500 calories = 1 lbs

1,775 would be a 1000 calorie deficit, done over x 7 days would be 7,000 calories = 2lbs

For the purpose of this article, we will use an in-between calorie goal of 2000 calories a day

Figuring out your “Macros”

Always start with protein. Why?

Again, I’ll save the long explanation for a future article, but for now, just realize that eating enough protein every day is difficult for most people when compared to fat and carbs.

Eat close to your body weight in ounces for protein every day. If you want to do more math, multiply by 0.8.

Using the example body weight of 185lbs, that would make my protein requirement 148 grams…

…the equivalent of roughly 22 ounces of lean meat every day. If you’re vegan or vegetarian figure an equivalent source.

How Many Carbs & Fat Should I Eat?

This is the most tricky part that requires tinkering and self-experimentation but lets’s remember that carbs and fat are the 2 main fuel sources of the body.  Your body will either use more carbs or more fat. (Note: It’s more complicated than that)

With a protein recommendation of 148g that accounts for about 600 calories.

This leaves us with 1400 calories to play with to divide with carbs and fat.

Now the all-important question: Which works better for you?






A.) low carb / high fat diet


B.) higher carb / moderate fat diet

If you are in the “B” category, the sample I provide will not be for you. However, you will be able to adjust the numbers to fit your circumstances.

For non-competitive training fitness friends that have a goal to a get rid of your midsection for the summer, I recommend you start at 150g of carbs (~600 calories).

With the calorie allotment in this example, that leaves 800 calories left for fat.  Remember that 1g of fat has 9 calories.  800 divide by 9 = ~89g

And there you go! For a 185lbs person with a goal of losing 1-2 pounds per week, the final starting numbers are as follows:

2,000 calories
148g Protein
150g Carbs
89g Protein

So all you have to do is follow this and BAM! Six pack abs are on their way!

I’m just kidding… kinda.

Wait you have questions?

What if I’m female?

What if I’m an athlete?

What if I like to train multiple times a day?

Isn’t that too much fat, carbs, and protein?

What about fiber?

Maybe in the future, I will write about these questions, but as I’ve said before, this is just a base template to work from.

Super Simple Macro Low Tech Calculator

Here’s how you can calculate your numbers below for a goal of losing 1.5lbs of weight loss per week:

(print it out and fill in the blanks)

_______ (Body Weight) X 15  = _________ minus 750 =  ________ (Goal Calories)

_______ (Body Weight) X 0.8 = _________ (Protein recommendation) x 4 = __________  (calories of protein)

__________ (Goal Calories) minus  __________ (calories of protein) = _____________ (calories left over for fat and carbs)

__________ (Carb recc.) x 4 = __________ (calories of carbs)

__________ (Goal Calories) minus _________ (calories of carbs) minus _________ (calories of protein) =  _________ (calories left over for fat) Divide by 9 = _________ (Grams of fat)

Okay, I realize this might look confusing, but here is what it looks like filled in with the information I explained above:

__185_____ (Body Weight) X 15  = __2775_______ minus 750 =  __2075______ (Goal Calories)

__185_____ (Body Weight) X 0.8 = __148_______ (Protein recommendation) x 4 = ___592_______  (calories of protein)

__2075________ (Goal Calories) minus  __592________ (calories of protein) = ___1483__________ (calories left over for fat and carbs)

__150________ (Carb recc.) x 4 = ___600_______ (calories of carbs)

_2075_________ (Goal Calories) minus ___600______ (calories of carbs) minus __592_______ (calories of protein) =  ___883______ (calories left over for fat) Divide by 9 = ___93______ (Grams of fat)


If you’re wondering why the numbers aren’t the same as in the above explanation, it’s because I didn’t round numbers this time.

And there you go, that’s how you figure out your macros for fat loss!

What about for muscle gain?

What about performance?

What about muscle gain and fat loss?

What if you’re older?

What for kids?

Again, that will be for another discussion.  However, in case you like content like this, sign up and you’ll get a free gift.

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