Intrermittent Fasting Diet – How I calculated my macro’s and calorie requirements.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, head over here and find out about the intermittent fasting diet protocol I’ll be following for 12 weeks for this project.

Now, I sat down with a calculator and a notepad ready to calculate and plan my calories and macro nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat volumes) for Leangains a few hours ago.  Then I started reading about several different formulas people in the personal-training and bodybuilding world use to calculate their body-fat, and how many calories they need per day.

I’ll tell you this : it’s SUPER complicated.

Formula after formula, I ran numbers and tested different ideas I could find to calculate these things based on the information I had.  Basal metabolic rate… Mifflin-St Jeor Formula, Multipliers, Harris-Benedict Formulas…  and then I stumbled upon something amazing.

A super-geek somewhere has put together an online calculator that SPECIFICALLY deals with Leangains and intermittent fasting (IF).  Thank you, glorious, amazing, beautiful super-geek, whoever you are.  You can find the calculator for yourself here.

So let’s get to my stats :-

This is totally misleading.  I'm not that fat - really.

This is totally misleading. I’m not that fat – really.

First of all, don’t cringe at my waist-line.  The website specifically says to measure your waist-line 1/2 -1 inch below your belly-button.  It’s strange it came out as 39 since I wear size 32-34 trousers (and they’re not tight!), but I thought it best to do exactly as the website says to do, so as not to mess up the calculations later on.

Also, I put my activity level down as “sedentary”.  I’m quite active, I walk to and from work sometimes (few miles each way) and train heavy kettlebell circuits 3x a week, but I’ve read that the majority of people wildly over-estimate their own activity levels, so  I wanted to ensure I wasn’t in that category.

Note 1 : If you do this and, like me, you don’t know your body-fat percentage, you must click the “calculate” box next to body-fat, or it will register as 0% and mess up the calculations – not good.

Note 2 : I know I look amazing for my age – no need to send me e-mails going on about it.  Although…….. feel free to send me e-mails going on about it.  Constantly.

Using the Mifflin-St Jeor formula, my Basal Metabolic Rate (number of calories I need to survive, in a coma, not moving, without losing any weight) comes in at 1873 calories.

My Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), however, comes in at 2248 calories.  This takes into account my :-

  • Basal Metabolic Rate
  • Non-Exercise Associated Thermogenesis (NEAT) – the calories I will need to walk to the printer at work, brush my teeth, dance around in my boxers in the morning, etc.
  • Exercise Associated Thermogenesis (EAT) – the calories I’ll need 3x a week to swing my kettlebells around like a savage.
  • & the Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF) – the calories I’ll need to digest the food that I eat.

Interesting fact : TEF is different depending on what you’re eating.  If you’re eating protein, the TEF can be up to 30% of the consumed calories, carbohydrates around 6% and fat 3%.  This means that, in theory, if you eat 1000 calories worth of protein, you might only end up with 700 calories of usable energy, since your body may potentially use 300 calories to digest it.

Now we get to the presets :-

Macronutrients - now we're getting somewhere...

Macronutrients – now we’re getting somewhere…

I’ve decided that as I’m trying to drop some fat (whilst maintaining my muscle-mass) that I’d go for a -20/0 split.  This means that on workout days I’ll eat my Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), and on rest days I’ll eat my TDEE – 20%.  Simples.

Every percentage, weight (g) and calorie is accounted for, for workout days and rest days below.  Take a look :-

Workout day macronutrient breakdown

Workout day macronutrient breakdown

Rest day macronutrient breakdown

Rest day macronutrient breakdown


You can have a look at a sample meal-plan I’ve put together for workout days here, and for rest days here.


About the author: James



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