The Best Macros for Cutting Based on Your Somatotype
The best macros for cutting depend on a variety of factors that must be accounted for. That’s why it’s best to try to calculate your macronutrient intake yourself to account for individual differences, rather than simply copying the cutting macros of fitness models you see online (who most likely take performance-enhancing drugs as well).
A major factor that must be accounted for when considering macros for cutting is your body type. There are three main body types, or somatotypes. These are endomorphs, ectomorphs, and mesomorphs. If you were a little chubby growing up and struggle to lose fat, you’re likely an endomorph. If you were skinny your whole life and struggle to gain fat, you’re likely an ectomorph. Lastly, if you were always naturally muscular and easily gain muscle then you’re likely a mesomorph. However, we are all a mix between the 3 body types but will predominantly represent one body type over the others. Your somatotype will play a major role in what your macros should be when cutting.
Fat loss diets should have three main goals: maintain as much muscle mass as possible, lose as much fat as possible, and maintain healthy energy/hormone levels to perform optimally in the weight room and in daily life. In this article I’m going to show you how to achieve these three main goals with cutting macros that suit your body type.
1 ) Endomorphs
Endomorphs typically do best with a high fat, high protein, and low carbohydrate diet. This may be because one of the physiological mechanisms that cause endomorphs to gain fat easily is poor insulin sensitivity, which is one of the arguments why a relatively low carb diet is best for endomorphs.
The first thing we need to calculate is our calories:
To calculate your caloric needs, we are going to do a few calculations to see how many calories you need to eat to maintain your current weight.
Calculate your basal metabolic rate, which is the number of calories you burn at rest:
Men: (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) + 5
Women: (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) – 161
Step #2: Take that number and multiply it by your activity level…
Sedentary = 1.2 (little to no exercise)
Lightly Active = 1.375 (light exercise: 1-3 days a week)
Moderately Active = 1.55 (moderate exercise: 3-5 days a week)
Very Active = 1.725 (intense exercise: 6-7 days a week)
Extremely Active = 1.9 (intense daily exercise and strenuous physical job)
The resulting number represents what you need to eat everyday in order to maintain your weight. Since you are cutting, we want to ideally be in a 15-25% caloric deficit from maintenance. I suggest starting in a 20% caloric deficit then slowly lowering your intake as your fat loss slows down.
For example, if the number I got above was 2500 calories, and I wanted a 20% caloric deficit, I would do the following:
2500 calories x 0.2 = 500 calorie deficit
This means I should eat at 2500 calories – 500 calorie deficit = 2000 calories total every day in order to lose fat.
Next, we need to calculate our macronutrient needs.
Adequate protein intake, regardless of body type, is essential during a cut for many reasons. The most common recommendation for protein intake is to stick with an intake of 0.8g-1g/lb bodyweight daily. Since we are dealing with endomorphs, we want to stick to the higher range (1g/lb). However, if you are quite overweight/obese, then you should stick to the lower range (~0.8g/lb bodyweight).
To calculate this, for example, let’s say I am not extremely overweight and weigh 170lbs. As an endomorph, I would multiply 1g/lb x 170lbs = 170 grams of protein daily. To change this to calories if you prefer it that way, you simply multiply the number of grams by 4 (because 1 gram of protein = 4 calories) which would give you 170 grams x 4 = 680 calories.
Your fats will be calculated as a percentage of your overall calories. Adequate fat intake during a cut is vital to maintain balance of your hormones and internal processes. We will be using a range of 15-30% as our fat intake range. Since we are dealing with endomorphs, we want to stick to the higher range (~25-30%).
For example, let’s say I determined that I need to eat 2000 calories a day in order to lose fat, and wanted a 25% fat intake. I would simply multiply 2000 calories x 0.25 = 500 calories coming from fat. To change this to grams, simply divide this by 9 (since 1 gram of fat = 9 calories) which would give you 500 calories / 9 = ~56 grams of fat.
For endomorphs, we want to eat a relatively low amount of carbs. However, not too low as this will impair energy levels and do more harm than good.
To calculate carbs, we simply use whatever calories we have left over. We calculated that we need 680 calories from protein and 500 calories from fat and our total caloric intake to lose fat is 2000 calories.
Therefore, the calories we have left for carbs is 2000 calories – 680 calories from protein – 500 calories from fat = 820 calories for carbs. Since 1 gram of carbs = 4 calories, we can simply divide 820 calories / 4 = 205 grams of carbs.
So our calories and cutting macros for our example would be the following: 2000 calories, 170 grams of protein, 56 grams of fat, and 205 grams of carbs. Keep in mind that this was just an example, and you have to run through the calculations yourself to find your own macronutrient needs.
2 ) Ectomorphs
**Please see the above calculations in the “endomorphs” section in order to calculate caloric and macronutrient needs for ectomorphs.
Ectomorphs tend to do best with mid/lower fat intake, higher carbohydrates, and mid/high protein intake. When calculating macros for cutting, a high carbohydrate intake is important because their high metabolism usually means they are less sensitive to intake of carbs and more susceptible to muscle loss because their glycogen depletes very rapidly.
Calculate calories based on the method described in the “endomorphs” section.
The most common recommendation for protein intake is a range of 0.8g-1g/lb bodyweight. Ectomorphs benefit from a mid/high protein intake, thus stick to a range of around 0.9g/lb bodyweight.
Ectomorphs tend to do best with a mid/lower fat intake to make more room for carbohydrates. We are using a recommended range of 15-30%, thus a good fat intake for ectomorphs should be around 15-20%.
Ectomorphs benefit the most from a relatively high carbohydrate diet when in a caloric deficit. This is accounted for by lowering the fat intake to make more room for carbohydrates which will help maintain high energy levels and prevent muscle glycogen depletion.
To calculate this, use the method described in the “endomorphs” section (subtract caloric requirements from protein and fat from your total caloric requirements for fat loss).
3 ) Mesomorphs
Mesomorphs are most likely to be similar to the ectomorphs when it comes to macros for cutting, but this varies a lot based on the individual. If you mainly have a mesomorph body type, then I suggest you try out the ectomorph recommendations and adjust accordingly. If you feel bloated and sluggish, try lowering the carb intake and increasing fat intake. Also, if you think you are mainly a mesomorph but more on the endomorph side than ectomorph, then use the endomorph recommendations and vice versa.
Things to Keep in Mind:
To check if your macros for cutting are working accordingly, use a weight scale and see each week if your weight is dropping and at what rate it’s dropping at. If it’s not dropping, then decrease calories further by 100-150 calories and repeat the process. Beginners may see an increase in the weight scale if they are new to weight training, as they may gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.
Keep in mind that the cutting macros you calculate are not set and stone. You should always be tweaking them based on how you feel and how you perform in the gym. I also highly recommend that you stick to a HIIT routine during your cut in order to accelerate your fat loss.
Now that you have some very reliable macros for cutting in place, implement it in your diet and you will get a lean, defined body if you stay consistent. Let me know if you have any questions down below.