When it comes to counting calories and splitting out your ideal macronutrient (macro) ratios this is often a large and confusing task for the vast majority of people. For most people it’s the equivalent of being given a large sum of money and being told to go and invest it in the stock market.
Unless you know what you are supposed to be looking for it’s going to end up being a confusing process and the same can be true for your macro splits. If you don’t consume enough protein and want to build muscle then you are going to struggle.
Likewise if you don’t consume enough carbs or fats then your energy and mood can drop or if you consume too many carbs and fats then you risk putting on excess body fat. It’s a tricky area to navigate and something that I believe is crucial for managing your physique and body composition.
As an endomorph, the importance of an ideal macro ratio is compounded because just by nature of genetics and body type, an endomorph is highly susceptible to easily gaining excess body fat due to a low carb tolerance.
Endomorph macro ratios? Endomorph macro ratios will depend on the individuals specific goals. For most however, a cautious approach would be best and for an endomorph engaging in resistance training you should look at a split of 40% protein, 35% fat and 25% carbs.
Endomorph Macro Ratios
When looking into endomorph macro ratios I first need to point a few things out. Endomorph is a term used to describe your body type (somatotype), the other two are an ectomorph and mesomorph. These body types are grouped together based on certain characteristics.
It’s a hotly debated topic with people either placing too much emphasis on a body type and using it to make excuses like “my metabolism is too fast so I can’t gain weight” or “I gain weight just by looking at carbs because I’m and endo” whereas other dismiss the idea of a somatotype completely.
My stance is that every is of course unique and has specific individual characteristics that make them different from someone else. What works for one person will have a completely different effect on someone else when it comes to training and dieting.
What I do believe is that these groups of body types allow you to target an issue that a larger number of people can relate to which is the goal. Therefore my recommendations will be generalised to an extent and therefore it will take some trial and error to see what works for you specifically.
My second point is that when it comes to calculating macro ratios I’d always recommend the same specific formula which does not take into account macro percentages. My general guideline for most will be:
- Consume 1g protein per 1lb body weight
- Consume 0.4g fat per 1lb body weight
- Make up the remaining calories from carbs
This to me is easy to track, monitor and adjust as your weight changes. If you got from 200lbs to 190lbs then you go from 200g protein daily to 190g protein daily. For the average gym goer this is the easiest macro split to follow and gives your body time to adjust to this consistent macro and calorie intake.
I work these out based on a custom built calculator but if you want to see how you can work this out for yourself then check out my article on it here. That article is specifically for endomorphs looking to lose belly fat and love handles so It might be highly relatable if this is your current situation.
As an endomorph however, I can appreciate that this could give you unfavourable ratios (particularly in the way of carbs depending on what your current physique goal is) and therefore we will look at all three phases of physique development and work out ideal splits based on each.
For the ease of this article I will make an assumption that your daily calorie target is 2,500 calories in order to maintain weight.
Endomorph Cutting Macros
The first goal for many endomorphs is likely going to be fat loss. The reason for this is because endomorphs typically tend to store more body fat and at a quicker rate so this is usually the spark to start working out and dieting in the first place.
What you’ll find when looking at cutting macros online is that everyone has their own recommendation as a percentage however for endomorphs there does tend to be a similarity among the recommendations and this is because carbs are restricted in the majority of cases.
This is simply because endomorphs have a very low tolerance to carbs and do not utilize them well during physical activity or endurance training. By that I mean it takes them a longer period of time on average to deplete their glycogen stores.
This means that additional carbs then get stored as body fat in a snowballing effect. Again there will be exceptions to this rule but for the purpose of playing the percentages it’s better to take the cautious approach to begin with then it is to assume you are the exception and can consume carbs freely.
My difference in approach is a higher tendency to favor protein and make up a larger percentage of your macro split from protein. The reason for this is that I’m strongly in favour of resistance training through weight lifting when going through a body transformation.
It’s one thing to lose excess body fat in order to look and feel better but these results are enhanced 10x when you also commit to a workout routine focused around building muscle. A good 75% of people will focus on cardio and diet to lose body fat and to be honest these will have a huge impact on your physique.
When you start to build muscle though then it changes your body composition at a much quicker rate and the majority of people should be looking to increase their muscle mass while also focusing on decreasing fat mass.
You don’t need to do this at the same time (though it is possible) and this is where bulking and cutting cycles come in. Therefore I prefer to recommend more protein to support muscle growth as this is where I believe you should be placing focus alongside fat loss.
For a cutting diet you want to take it steady, even as an ectomorph where you likely have more scope for fat loss. Therefore if your maintenance calories are 2,500kcal per day we are going to reduce this by 200kcals to give a cutting total of 2,300kcal.
This will need to adjust overtime as you lose more weight however the initial adjustment from having a set routine along with preferential macro ratios will mean you could lose weight at a consistent rate 1lb-2lb per week for 2-6 weeks before you start to plateau.
At this stage you can either reduce your calories by a further 200kcal or increase your cardio. Both are effective methods but unfortunately not the topic of this article.
Your cutting macros could therefore be set at the following:
- Protein – 40%
- Fat – 35%
- Carbs – 25%
Precision Nutrition (where I gained me nutrition certification so follow their recommendations and practises closely) actually recommends a split of 40% fat, 35% protein and 25% carbs. As mentioned though, I’m placing more emphasis on muscle growth/retention which is why I’d personally up the protein requirement.
Protein is more satiating as well meaning that if you struggle with hunger pangs and cravings then a higher protein intake can help alleviate that, though not eliminate it completely unfortunately.
Carbs will however stay the same and it would look something like this:
Make no mistake, 230g is a high protein intake but lean meats, fish and even whey protein are an easy way to keep these numbers up. The key thing here is keeping carbs low.
Anything under 100g carbs is considered to be very low and anything under 50g is quite extreme and not recommended for an average gym goer. Therefore 150g is manageable and gives you some flexibility to drop it the further you go into a cut.
Endomorph Maintenance Macros
Maintenance calories for an endomorph are probably the most difficult to adhere to. If you have consecutive days where you fall off track and overeat too much then you can put on excess fat at a relatively quick rate.
I’m not saying it’s impossible or even that difficult if you are good are sticking to a plan or at tracking and manipulating your macros, it’s more the case that if you do not have these skill sets and combine it with a low level of self control than you body composition can quickly take a turn for the worst.
Maintenance macros for an endomorph are therefore more interesting (to me anyway, you might not see it that way!) and this is because you don’t want to get too complacent with your carb intake and let it increase too drastically.
Therefore with an increased calorie intake (compared to if you were cutting) it’s important to keep the percentage ratio the same. For ease of dieting purposes I’d therefore agree with the earlier Precision Nutrition example and give the following macro split for a maintenance calorie amount of 2,500kcals:
- Protein – 35%
- Fat – 40%
- Carbs – 25%
This will give you a daily intake that looks something like this:
This is more manageable from an everyday lifestyle perspective and 150g carbs and over 100g fat gives you plenty of flexibility and choice when it comes to your food selection.
Endomorph Bulking Macros
While maintenance calories for an endomorph might be the most difficult to stick to I’d say that a bulking phase is the most difficult to try and implement. What I mean by this is that the purpose of a bulk is to gain muscle mass which has the side effect of weight gain.
Of course it is possible to lean bulk but when looking for optimal progress, most people will need to accept some fat gain in the process to maximise their gains.
With that said endomorphs are notoriously prone to gaining and favoring fat storage over, say muscle glycogen utilization and storage. Therefore if you don’t calculate your calories and macros precisely then you can quickly put on excessive fat in the process.
Again I’m not trying to deter anyone from the process, all I’m trying to say is that there is a smaller margin of error when it comes to bulking as an endomorph so again I’d look to take a more cautious approach when it comes to setting macros.
To start with, you will look to increase your daily calorie intake by 200 calories to put you into a surplus. This is the reverse process of a cut and is enough of an increase for you to progress. If you see recommendations of 500kcal surpluses and you are an endomorph then just ignore that suggestion straight away, it’s not for you.
I’m what can be considered a hardgainer but I would rarely push a surplus that high for myself because it won’t speed up the muscle building process, the only thing it will speed up is the accumulation of fat.
Therefore with a calorie surplus of 200kcal you are now looking at a daily consumption of 2,700kcals to start your bulk. This can be adjusted over time to continue to make progress but the important thing I’d keep consistent is the percentages.
This is because as calories increase, so too will the quantity of grams you are consuming for each macro group. As calories go up so will your macros, therefore if you jumped up in percentages for carbs as an example then you’d not only see the increase from a higher carb percentage but also from the natural increase of calories.
This is something that often gets missed when people recommend macro changes and force too many changes in one go. Any dieting phase should be about starting with the lowest possible change and then adjusting over time based on how your body responds.
The macro ratio for a bulk would then be:
- Protein – 35%
- Fat – 40%
- Carbs – 25%
This will give the following quantities if you were to consume 2,700kcal:
As you can see between a cut an a bulk your carbs have already increased by 20 grams, now if we were to adjust the macro ratios to make the following split:
- Protein – 30%
- Fat – 40%
- Carbs – 30%
The reason you would bring protein down is because with higher calories you will naturally consume more protein which will cover your basic requirements which would be true when cutting and dropping calories.
This then gives the following breakdown:
As you can see carbs are now over 200g per day! This is a significant jump, especially for an endomorph and it’s why you need to be careful when looking at these recommendations online. This would be considered a high carb intake for most endomorphs and in most cases would lead to excessive fat gain.
I hope you’ve picked up some useful information from this article, I’m not claiming to have a better macro ratio recommendation than any other site or individual out there but rather I wanted to show you how a percentage recommendation without any solid foundational knowledge could give you poor results.
This was especially true in the bulking example where people can give themselves a bit more flexibility but accidentally make very large changes to their diet which will in turn lead to less than favourable results.
A key take away will of course be carb management but this can’t apply to everyone, therefore make sure you test your own responsiveness to different macro ratios. Just do it in smaller increments so that you results don’t end up being too drastic if you miscalculate.