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Percentage model or Hybrid LBM model for setting your macros

We get this question often: guys I have figured out my total energy intake and even set a deficit to monitor my progress, BUTTTT how do I set my macros?

If you have ever found yourself in a similar situation, then we have the answer to it

Understanding the % model

Most coaches would use this model to ease their way out of setting macros for their clients.

We mean it is not a bad approach, just a more lazy version of coaching.

A typical % split would look somewhat like this








Ease of calculation

Does not require body composition metric


Inaccurate for obese individuals

Macros set can be extremely difficult to hit

Let's understand this with an example:

Bunty weighs 80kgs. His TEE is at 2000 calories. Based on his goals he decides to give max weightage to protein (40%) followed by fat (30%) and carbs at the remainder (30%)

Simple math: 40% of 2000 is 800 which when divide by 4 (because 1g protein has a caloric value of 4) , his daily protein intake Is at 200g

Similarly his fat intake (1g=9 cal) turns out to be at 66g

Carb intake is set at 150g

Bunty's Macros using % model:

Protein : 200g

Carb: 150g

Fat: 66g

Note: Dietary fat is considered an essential macronutrient since the body cannot biosynthesise adequate amounts of essential fatty acids to sustain health and survival. The Institute of Medicine proposes that 20–35% of total energy intake should come from dietary fat (Manore, 2005).

Reducing fat intake below 20% of total energy intake could have adverse health outcomes due to the role of dietary fat has in sex hormone production.

In our experience of coaching over 125+ clients in a year; on an average a client hits 130g / day with utmost difficulty. Not to forget the dietary preference or budget Bunty is on to spend amount on supplements.

The % model is difficult in terms of adherence and this creates nutritional barrier.

The LBM Model

It takes into account the body composition of Bunty. From a scientific standpoint, your muscles are made up of protein so it makes ideal sense to calculate the total lean body mass of an individual and assign protein requirement to that only.


Bunty at 80kg has a body fat of 30% and with online calculators has found a 2000cal energy intake for his fat loss journey

Total Lean body mass which is also called as fat free mass accounts 70% which is 56kg

1: From an evidence standpoint protein intake of 1.6–2.2 g/kg is appropriate for the general population with no specific goals (Morton et  al., 2018; Schoenfeld & Aragon, 2018)

2:Lean, resistance-trained individuals in hypocaloric conditions (dieting) can benefit from protein intakes of 2.3–3.1 g/kg of fat-free mass (Helms et al., 2014)

Using 2. and setting 2.5g protein intake /kg of fat free mass his protein intake accounts for 140g which is 560 calories.

Now the remainder of the calories can be set based on his dietary behavioural preference ( if he loves his carbs more than fat or vice versa)

Applying the % model to the new set of energy intake (2000-560= 1440)

Fat intake stands at 48g followed by carbs intake at 250g

Bunty's Macros using LBM model:

Protein : 140g

Carb: 250g

Fat: 48g

Let's Compare the two models:


% model

LBM Model










It is evident that model 2 is much more sustainable and doable by Bunty in the long run.

Final Notes:

On paper, such calculations look easy and doable but at the end of the day, your personal preference matters.

We prefer the hybrid model for the rationals mentioned above

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