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Macros for a Cutting Endomorph? Help!


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The next major step for me zeroing in on my goals has got to be figuring out my macros. The trouble is, all the websites seem to disagree with what my macros should be!


All of these ratios are of Protein/Carbs/Fats (in that order). For all, I'm researching recommendations (if there is a difference) for an endomorph who is cutting, not an endomorph who is bulking, and not for an ectomorph or a mesomorph.


Most of them come out super carb heavy:


http://iifym.com/iifym-calculator/ - Entering my info comes out with 30/40/30


http://healthyeater.com/flexible-dieting-calculator - Same info comes out with 30/55/15


http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macronutrients_calculator.htm - Same info comes out with 35/45/20


http://sareyko.net/leancalc/ - Recommends 30/20/50 for rest days, and 20/60/20 for training days (I train five days a week)


http://www.freedieting.com/tools/nutrient_calculator.htm - 25/50/25


http://macronutrientcalculator.com - 30/40/30


http://www.active.com/fitness/calculators/nutrition.htm - 25/50/25

But some of these come out quite differently:
And there are articles that seem to suggest a diet for a cutting endomorph be very low carb:
One of the physiological mechanisms that cause endomorphs to gain fat easily is poor insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity refers to the cells response to insulin or insulin's efficiency on cells. A cell that is very insulin sensitive needs less insulin to uptake glucose (carbs) than a cell that is insulin insensitive.
Insulin is anti-lipolytic (blunts fat oxidation) and increases fat storage. Therefore, when more insulin is secreted, fat oxidation will be blunted and fat storage will be increased to a greater degree than if their cells were more insulin sensitive. In order to maintain better health one must control insulin.
The consumption of carbohydrates leads to a large output of insulin since insulin is necessary for the uptake of glucose into cells. Eating large amounts of carbohydrates throughout the day will lead to elevated insulin levels, thereby decreases fat oxidation.
Dietary carbohydrates are necessary to gain muscle mass and normal body functioning, therefore they cannot be eliminated from the diet. Instead they should be consumed during specific meals when your body needs them.
Endomorphs can put on a lot of muscle, but they also tend to carry more adipose tissue and thus have a greater propensity to store fat. Because excess carbohydrates in the endomorph's diet end up as fat, a high carbohydrate intake will make it difficult for them to get lean or lose weight.
Diet Recommendations: Endomorphs should stick to the low end of the carbohydrate range, between 10-40 percent of total calories, depending on their goals. Here, I recommend no more than 30-40 percent carbohydrates for mass gains, the middle range for maintenance (20-30), and low-end for fat loss (10-20).
As with the other body types, protein and fat provide the remainder of your calories, with 25-50 percent of total calories from protein and 15-40 percent from fat.


In order to lose body fat, you need to increase your fat intake, while decreasing carbs.  Sounds EXTREMELY counter-intuitive, I know, but there’s a lot of science behind this fact.
With little or no exercise, anything totaling more that 80-100g of carbs per day will likely lead to fat storage, and will certainly not allow fat loss to occur. Please remember this, and be aware of your carbohydrate intake. Remember, carbs are your fuel. If you don’t use it but keep pumping it in, you will have a surplus of unused energy, and this will become fat in your body. 
The only time you should eat starchy and/or sugary carbs is immediately after your workouts. Other than that, avoid starchy/sugary carbs all-together (still eat mounds and mounds of vegetables). Carbs are hard on your body because of your relationship with insulin. Insulin is a hormone that tells your body to absorb glucose (sugar) from the blood and use it as energy. Fat and protein both have very little effect on insulin. Carbohydrates, however, have a profound impact on insulin. The problem is, through a combination of genetics and environmental conditioning, your body isn’t efficient at using insulin to lower blood sugars. Make it easy on your body by not giving yourself sugary or starchy carbohydrates that send your blood sugars and insulin levels bonkers.
From a metabolic perspective, the endomorph body type sometimes has varying degrees of carbohydrate sensitivity and insulin resistance. Pay close attention, because this is an important point. If someone is metabolically carbohydrate intolerant due to a genetic tendency, then high carbohydrate diets are not the preferred choice for fat loss goals as they will stimulate excess secretion of insulin and glucose will be partitioned into the fat cells more easily.
A nutrition strategy for the carb intolerant endomorph then is to immediately clip the processed and refined carbs from the diet, particularly white sugar and white flour products. These concentrated carbs will be much more problematic for endomorphs, while the ecto and meso's seem to get away with it a little bit more.




Endomorphs typically do best on a higher fat and protein intake with carbohydrate intake being controlled and properly timed (e.g., after exercise). So that’s what we recommend: more fat and protein, less carbohydrate.



Applying this...
Does that mean I should be aiming for a high protein, high fat diet? Ignore all those early calculators and stick with the wisdom of the articles, supposing the articles are more specific to my body type and goals than the calculators?
Maybe 45/15/40 is in the ballpark? Or 50/15/35?
What has worked well for other cutting endomorphs?

Orc Warrior | LVL 4

Current Challenge: Milo Sustains

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I'm a fan of 200 - 500 calories of carbs (not grain), 1 g of protein per kilo-lb, fat to round out the remaining calories.

So a 200lb guy on a 2500 calorie diet should be something like

100g carbs (400 cal)

150g protein (600 cal)

leaving 1500 calories for

150g fat (rounding)


so by weight 37.5/25/37.5

so it looks like I match your bottom grouping the best.


I've temporary cut weight quickly with fewer carbs. These days I'm finding it harder to cut so maybe one diet doesn't work at all weights even for the same person. 

Barbarian of the Battle Logs

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Something I read on another forum from a bodybuilder and coach, posted because it seems relevant:


The following is what I stress and coach for my competitive bodybuilder/figure athletes but this can also apply to the recreational lifter, as well. Especially if they have the desire and consistency required.
Nutrition will be the most crucial factor for endomorphs. They seem to hold a lot of water and may also have a very sluggish thyroid coupled with severe insulin resistance. They also hold onto glycogen stores at a very stubborn rate and may not even use up all glycogen stores with 4-5 days of zero (or close to zero) carbs. An endomorph can actually go as long as 7-9 days before glycogen stores are depleted. The best course of action is cycling carbs/protein. High fat/high protein/low carb for several days, followed by a moderate carb/low fat day.
For cardio, endomorphs respond more favorably to high intensity cardio for 15-25 minutes, 5x per week. They also respond better to multiple short bursts of hard cardio spread out during the day. As an example, 24 minutes of cardio for an endo would be optimal when splitting it into two 12 minute bouts, or three 8 minutes sessions for effective fat burning. Endomorphs also respond better with shorter rest times between sets with weight lifting, where the lifting session becomes more aerobic in nature, as opposed to longer rest times. Cutting rest intervals to 30-40 seconds will burn a great amount of body fat. Further, endomorphs are very resilient to overtraining and thrive on volume training, while pushing the envelope with intensity and keeping short rest times between sets.
For a possible under-functioning thyroid, take your body temperature 10 minutes after waking up in the morning. If the reading is 97.6 or below, the evidence points to an under-active thyroid gland.

Orc Warrior | LVL 4

Current Challenge: Milo Sustains

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One thing to take away is that there is amazing variation in "what works" between people, and even for the same person at different points in your journey.  


I'm afraid you're going to have to pick one, try it for a couple months and see what works....the 'ideal' diet for you is one that you 

1) can afford

2) you are comfortable sticking to

3) moves you towards your body competition goals

4) provides enough energy for your daily activities.


You gotta experiment a bit.  Don't over think it.

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Thanks, I really appreciate the advice. I'll just do my best with the research and see what works.


I've got a friend who paid $1,000/year to a nutritionist with a PhD, and he says everything I'm doing is completely wrong, there's no evidence to back up what I'm reading, and going low-carb is going to make me feel like crap and make me look sickly and five years older. He says all this stuff is written by bodybuilders without PhD's. But... he asks for the rational behind low-carb, so I emailed him summaries, and he said he didn't bother to read them. He won't recommend a single website or book or article other than those by the nutritionist he paid, who has everything behind a very expensive pay-wall. And he said he considers himself a cross between an ecto and a meso: his system handles carbs in a much different way than mine does. I don't think I'm going to talk nutrition with him anymore, because his knowledge flies in the face of everything I can find online, and he's being so stubborn and unhelpful about it.


I'm done with him concerning nutrition.


I've counted up some meals and days, and it's super hard for me to get enough protein without the fat that almost inevitably comes along with it! I think 50/15/35 will be a big challenge for me. I think I'm better off with 45/15/40, or maybe even 40/20/40. I suppose it will just take some experimentation to see what works better for me?


I know I'm making progress. Running all the calculators and finding all the sources to put together this thread taught me a lot. And now that I've been trying to put together meal plans, I'm seeing what these ratios will look like in reality. I guess the rest comes down to finding good recipes that I like that meet my macros?

Orc Warrior | LVL 4

Current Challenge: Milo Sustains

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As Wildross stated, the main thing is working out a ratio that works for you. Somatotypes (endomorph, ectomorph etc) have been long-since discredited. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatotype_and_constitutional_psychology


For me, I focus on hitting my protein goal regardless of whether I'm bulking or cutting (135g for me which is 1g per lb of bodyweight and my preference for satiety but more than strictly necessary), 70-100g fats and then fill in the rest with carbs. 


What does your friend's nutritionist with a PhD recommend?

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Thanks for the reply.


With respect, what I'm describing is miles away from the article you linked me to. That's about the 1940's anthropological theory that "held that the size and shape of a person's body indicated intelligence, moral worth and future achievement." William Sheldon, the inventor, didn't just describe ectomorphs as being lean, thin-boned, and lightly muscled: they were "described as cerebrotonic inclined to desire isolation, solitude and concealment; and being tense, anxious, restrained in posture and movement, introverted and secretive." Yikes!


Reminds me of the Thai soap operas that were regularly played in my environment a few years ago: there was always a group of attractive young guys and girls, great hair, great teeth, great shape, great eyesight. Then there'd be some bumbling idiot with fake horrible teeth and costume super-thick glasses that couldn't figure anything out and made faces like he couldn't add 2+3. I thought it was ludicrous that attractiveness equals intelligence, but after the third example of this, it formed a trend, haha.


Thank goodness Netflix has content other than low-budget Thai soap operas ... if they have them at all ...


No, what I'm talking about is merely body-type, which as far as I can tell, has not been discredited. I'd love to see more evidence, but from what I can find, the difference between ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs has everything to do with metabolic speed, thyroid performance, and the ability for insulin to oxidize fat. Or, in layman's terms that have saturated even the lowest rung of fitness intelligence in our culture, whether you're "born with a fast metabolism or a slow metabolism", and that there's people skinny as a rail, there's jocks, and there's people that gain a pound just from thinking about donuts.


This is not to say that a person with a gut is always an endo. I have a co-worker (in his 50's) with a gut, and everyone says in his 30's he was as skinny as a rail. He eats like he's never heard of dieting in his life. I still consider him an ecto. An ecto can train a belly through years of diet abuse. And an endo can be a bodybuilder through careful dieting and lots of exercise for a sustained amount of time (where I hope to be).


I'm more interested in learning the truth than "being right on the internet". If you have evidence that, psychological assumptions aside, body-types and their causes are still a work of fiction, I'd love to learn more.


- - - - -


Sundae, am I missing something with your fats? 135g of protein is 540 calories, and 85g of fat is 765 calories. Assuming you're aiming for 2,000 calories a day maintenance (based on wild guesses that you're 30 years old, 5'7, and exercise 5x a week), that puts you at 175g carbs daily, or a ratio of roughly 25/35/40. That's quite a bit of fat! Is my math off? If it's not, and the diet works for you, I'd like to try it! Fats are the first limit I bump into daily, particularly when eating the amounts and types of proteins I enjoy.


- - - - -


I haven't spoken with the friend's nutritionist. $1,000 is more than my disposable income for an entire year, hobbies and restaurants and dates included. My friend said macros are everything, and body type is everything for determining macros. But I'm guessing the PhD told him what macros are right for his body type, which he said is an ecto/meso cross. I may be a meso/endo cross, maybe further towards endo. (All of my family members are chunky, even my vegan sister who home-cooks all her meals). So unless the nutritionist schooled my friend on correct macros for all body types, he's probably pretty unprepared to tell me what my macros should be.


I spend hours doing research, developing context, gaining understanding, and developing a plan. Then he'll send some random text asking me how it's going, and I'll explain. He'll ask how I'm doing it, and I'll toss out the newest nugget I'm incorporating. He'll tell me it's baloney, and I'm doing it all wrong and making my goals much harder than they need to be. And then I get upset, viewing my research as a waste of time, feeling too poor to afford a nutritionist, despairing that weight loss is too complicated to figure out and I'll never get anywhere. I swear, I'm starting to think I should make part of my next 6-week challenge refusing to talk to this friend about nutrition. We can still talk audio equipment and sipping rums, but I think I need to draw a line in the sand for my own sanity (and for not getting needlessly discouraged concerning my goals).

Orc Warrior | LVL 4

Current Challenge: Milo Sustains

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My point is that your body type isn't set in stone, nor is your metabolism. Work around your personal situation rather than chalking it up to being something you were born with and are stuck with. Your metabolism is a consequence of your body composition and activity levels rather than something you're living with permanently.


My calorie goal is closer to 2500 calories a day when I'm not ill or injured (so most of the time). Exercising 5x a week only giving 2000 calories must work on the assumption that I'm deeply sedentary (which I'm not). My macro goals therefore come out at roughly 21.5% protein (135g), 30.5% fat (85g) and 48% carbs (300g) (although everything is a movable feast based on my activity levels, as my programming changes regularly and thus my time in the gym).


Whilst cutting, I'm usually on around 2000 calories a day with fat at the lower end of the scale which puts me at 27% protein (135g), 31.5% fat (70g), 41.5% carbs (205g).


That doesn't mean that those ratios are good for everyone, but they work for me in terms of satiety and adherence.

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I like the idea of life-changes leading to changed body types. By no means have I decided I'm always going to be round. I'm determined that I will be muscular and that I will taste life on the other side of 10% body fat.


I'm hopeful that what you're saying is true: that once I get to the body-type that is my goal, carbs will no longer be an uphill battle for me. Either way, I expect my metabolism to be much quicker with months to years of frequent activity, and months to years of bringing my fat down and my muscle up.


Thanks for sharing your macros. Every data-point helps.

Orc Warrior | LVL 4

Current Challenge: Milo Sustains

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I'd classify myself as an endomorph as well for what that's worth and what worked the best for me and still does whenever I'm looking to lose some fat is low carb. I think there's a lot of truth to that what you wrote about insulin sensitivity and endomorphs. Your friend's assumptions about low-carb are at best incomplete, at worst judgemental bullshit born out of ignorance. I've never felt more energetic and ready to tackle the world as when I was/am when I've got my diet dialed in. The important part here is to still get enough carbs to function well and avoid the lack of energy your friend mentioned.

In the beginning I tried a ketogenic diet and while I could do it, I felt a lot better with a higher carb intake. So instead of 40g/day I ended up at 80-120g, varying a lot. I'm not even counting them anymore because it's easy if you avoid a lot of problem foods to begin with, like bread, pasta and 95% of processed food. I might be an anomaly both in this matter and in terms of caloric intake, but I usually cut rather steep, but not for too long. So instead of going with a say 10, 20 or 25% deficit, I usually end up at closer to 40-50%, which translates to 1200-1500 calories per day and that is workout days and rest days alike. The times I feel sluggish and low on energy actually are those where I overeat carbs and/or processed foods. Your friend clearly views the issue from an ecto-ish perspective, combined with the fact that he put a lot of money into something that as a result he just HAS to believe to be the one and only truth.

Now as far as actual macros go, wildross and sundae already said what I was going to so I'll just nod agreeingly.

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How about a glass of purgatory with a splash of heaven?

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My all time high was 227lbs of no muscle flabbiness. I was plump. Does that count as an endomorph? I don't know, but in the last year I got my act together. For 9 weeks (Nov 28 - Jan 29) I've netted 0 lbs staying at exactly 185 lbs. This is what my weekly routine has looked like.


Fasted 5rep evening workout

Very high fat day. 140-200g protein, filled to 3000-3200 calories from fat, minimized carbs (only from fibrous veggies, eggs, cheeses).


Rest day

Low carb medium fat day. Break the fast with late lunch. 100-150g protein. Aim for half lean sources, half fatty. Minimized carbs. Small tail meal at home to fill protein. 100-150g fat Total, less is OK.


5rep evening workout.

Lean lunch. Aim for half of daily protein, minimize fat. Some carbs OK if fiber included. High carb (400-500g) immediately after workout. Remaining protein before bed.


Rest day. See Monday.


5rep or 5/3/1 evening workout.

Very high fat day like Sunday, but split between lunch and dinner.


Rest day. See Monday.


8rep fasted midday workout.

Carb overload (500-600g) after workout. Protein goals met during second half of feeding window. Small amount of fat at end, carbs will be gone before fat is available This is when I eat a cookie, because I have to ;p

My go to foods per category:

Fibrous veggies = broccoli, spinach

fast carbs = dextrose, baked bananas, potatoes.

Slow carbs = fibrous veggies, v8

Lean protein = tuna, chicken breast, egg whites, whey isolate, gelatin

Carby protein = fat free milk, jerky

Fatty protein = cheese, pork, beef, nuts, eggs

Fats = avocados, avocado oil, Coconut milk, Coconut oil, olive oil, flax seeds, butter, bacon fat, heavy whipping cream

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Thanks to everyone who responded. I've read and re-read all your posts. It's a complicated subject, and everything shared has been helpful.


As several of you mentioned, I have to see what works. I tried 50/15/35, and it was really tough to actually meet. I tried 45/15/40, still really tough. Right now, I'm testing out 40/20/40, and it looks like I can do it. I did it yesterday: 44/21/35 at 1726 calories. I would have been nearly spot on with everything if I had remembered the peanut butter on my banana after the gym.  :rapture:


The trouble is planning out meals. Anybody have a favorite go-to website for macro-fitting meals?

Orc Warrior | LVL 4

Current Challenge: Milo Sustains

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Oddly, I find it really easy to hit my macros by instinct these days. Sounds dumb but sometimes I'll log a day where I've eaten without much thought and have absolutely nailed my macros without thinking.


If you're not paleo, I've got a few of my recipes on my blog (mostly whole foods/healthy but not paleo) http://theproteinpig.wordpress.com. You kind of just have to feel your way to get the right balance.


Additionally, isn't 1726 calories for a guy pretty low?

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Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.


Yeah, 1726 is pretty low calories for a guy. I do short-rest-time strength training 5x a week (has a cardio effect), but my job is completely sedentary. I'm actually working on that, trying to find a way to mix it up. My latest strategy is to drink loads of water, and every time I use the restroom, I do 50 jumping jacks in the isolated conference room.


If I would have remembered the dang peanut butter last night for my banana, I would have been at 1916 calories with 39/21/40 (pro/carb/fat). I think my expenditure is around 2600-2700 if I trust the calculators. Assuming 2600, an aggressive 25% cut puts me at 1950 calories. I'm just having a hard time eating enough calories while meeting my macros without resorting to desserts and amazing empty carbs. I suppose the rum will help (or hurt) a little when I resume drinking it. It's about 65 calories a serving, and I'm looking forward to 1-3 servings on select nights.

Orc Warrior | LVL 4

Current Challenge: Milo Sustains

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short answer: no. 

longer answer: If it's veggies by themselves or cooked in some fat, I eat it. If it's grilled meat, I eat it. If it's fried or bread or breaded, I try to not eat it. There's a gap in that philosophy for carbs. When eating out, I tend to try and lay off. If I want to take in some carbs, I try to go for carbby veggies or a small portion of rice.

So, no website, just a rule of thumb.

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Barbarian of the Battle Logs

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Rules of thumb are good!


As for my size: as of this morning, 205.6. A new low that I'm proud of. I've been dieting and exercising since January 5th, so about a month. I think I'd say I have more muscle mass than most people who aren't weight lifters even though I haven't been at this long, but I've got a long way to go in the gym in terms of strength. I'm somewhere between 27 and 30% body fat, which puts me at 150 lbs of lean mass. My scale tells me I'm 39.9% muscle (up from 39.1%), which if it can be trusted, means all of my muscles combined weigh 82 lbs.


What do you think for calories?


Which calculators do you trust for TDEE?

Orc Warrior | LVL 4

Current Challenge: Milo Sustains

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Careful with counting alcohol calories. The metabolization of alcohol takes precedent over both fats and carbs. Any fats or carbs available after digestion will get stored as fat if alcohol is present in your system. This includes the high amount of sugar in rum. The sugar is quickly digested and your body is too busy dealing with alcohol byproducts to burn the sugar off.

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