Body Recomposition Calculator

By Ted KallmyerUpdated June 5, 2024

Discover the perfect calorie and macro amounts for body recomp with our customizable calculator.


Biological Sex

Current Weight


Formula ?


3 weight training sessions per week (minimum duration 30 minutes).

Additional Weekly Calories Burned ?

Recomposition Goal ?

More Fat Loss
More Muscle Gain




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Lose fat & build lean muscle faster with Expert Macro Calculations – Eliminate the guesswork and dial in your unique macros for optimal results.

Adjust Meals Per Day

Adjust Protein Amount

What is body recomposition?

Body recomposition is the process of improving your body composition by increasing muscle mass and decreasing fat simultaneously.

Favorable body composition has many health benefits and improves athletic performance.

There is ample research-backed evidence showing it is entirely achievable. However, it requires a commitment to weight training and a nutrition plan.

How to do a body recomposition

Step 1: Enter your details into the calculator

If you know your body fat percentage (calculate here), choose Lean Mass Formula and input your percentage.

The lean mass method yields better results than weight and height alone.

Step 2: Choose your recomposition goal

  • If you choose More Fat Loss, there will be less muscle gain.
  • If you choose More Muscle Gain, there will be more muscle gain, but probably some fat gain.
  • If you choose Even – it’s a compromise between the two.

Step 3: Take note of your calories and macros

The calculator will recommend your daily calorie and macro amounts. If you’re new to macros, you’ll need to get up to speed.

You will be told how much carb, protein, and fat you must eat daily. You can adjust this to show per meal to help you get an idea.

It’s best to eat more on workout days (the increased carbs fuel your workouts) and less on non-workout days. Protein remains relatively constant throughout – muscle recovery can happen anytime.

Step 4: Stick to a consistent workout routine.

Consistent workouts are not optional for body recomposition.

Your workouts must be resistance-based, not cardio-based. Do weight-bearing exercises rather than running or walking.

As a basis, we recommend this:

  1. Have three weight training sessions per week.
  2. Minimum of 30 minutes per session.
  3. Focus on compound movements.
    For example, squats, deadlifts, pull-ups (or lat pull-downs) – rather than bicep curls, etc.
  4. Rest only 30-60 seconds between sets (i.e., leave your phone at home).
  5. Three sets per exercise, 8-15 reps per set.

Step 5: Track your macros

For the maximum chance of success, you will want to track your macros.

This can be tricky.

If you’ve got the budget, use Factor Meals, which has consistent 500-550 calorie meals. These can form the basis of daily meals, and you can then add in protein shakes to meet the required calorie amount.

Step 6: Get enough sleep

It might seem odd, but let’s quote the research:

Sleep deprivation […] seems to create an “anti” body recomposition environment, where building muscle mass and losing FM [fat mass] would be less likely.

Step 7: Measure results

Rather than using basic scales, use an advanced scale system like Renpho. This gives far more precise body recomp metrics.

How long does it take to recompose your body?

5 steps to achieve body recomposition

We recommend a minimum of 8 weeks.

Take measurements (fat skinfold tests, photos, etc.) weekly. You can weigh yourself – but that won’t tell you anything about your body composition.

Depending on your results, you will want to adjust your settings.

If you need help, Coach Ted has helped hundreds achieve their goals.

How much protein should I choose?

  • The default option (high) is best.
  • Maximum is only for those doing longer, more intense weight-lifting workouts.
  • Plant-based protein is set lower: It’s challenging to meet the protein macro without carbs and fats getting too high. If you are vegetarian or vegan and okay with 1-2 protein shakes daily, use the default option.

If I do extra workouts, do I need to account for the calories?

You can account for the extra calories if you do over three weight training sessions a week.

  • Track your extra calories over a week.
  • Be conservative (i.e., don’t overestimate).
  • Enter them into the “Additional Weekly Calories.”

The additional energy expenditure will be allocated to the overall weekly algorithm.

If you need help, use the calorie burn calculator. Remember you are looking for extra calories expended over a week.

How many calories should I eat a day for a body recomposition?

There is no one-size-fits-all here. Calories and macros for body recomposition are highly individualized.

Your biological sex, height, weight, and activity level will predict your daily energy expenditure. By making minor adjustments to this, you can begin the process of gaining muscle while losing fat mass.

The technical bits – how to calculate calories for body recomp

  1. Apply the Mifflin-St Jeor equation to calculate your basal metabolic rate.
  2. If you know your body fat percentage, use the Katch-Mcardle formula.
  3. Multiply BMR by 1.2 to get your maintenance calories.
  4. Adjust the calorie amount for training days based on the goal:
    +20 % for more muscle gain and +10% for more fat loss.
  5. Adjust calorie amount for rest days based on the goal:
    -5% for more muscle gain, -15% for more fat loss.
  6. Calculate protein amount
    The default is 0.95 grams protein/lb (~2 g / kg) of body weight. Plant-based is 0.65 g/lb.
  7. Calculate the fat amount.
    Calculate fat at 30% of daily calories.
  8. Calculate the carb amount.
    All remaining calories are allocated to carbs.

Yes 🤓. That’s why we made a calculator.

Is this the same as the macro calculator?

No, there are many differences.

The standard macro calculator is aimed at people wanting to lose weight, and exercise is optional.

There are differences in both the calorie calculation step and the macro calculation step.

How much cardio for a body recomposition?

The traditional bodybuilding method involves a ‘bulk’ phase (lots of calories + heavy weights), followed by a ‘cutting’ phase (reduced calories + lots of cardio).

Body recomposition is a different process. Cardio alone (such as steady-state running or walking for 20 mins+) won’t increase muscle mass.

You should keep cardio to a minimum. However, it’s good for the heart and mental health, so don’t give up going for bike rides or walks if this is your thing.

It’s a good idea to account for the extra energy expenditure from cardio.

If you burn a lot of calories through cardio, you will not achieve the desired body recomp results. You are not doing a body recomposition!

Help! I’m not getting the desired results

  • I’m gaining some muscle but not losing fat
    Adjust calories down lower.
  • If your goal is Even, change it to More Fat Loss.
  • Are you eating more on workout days? And less on non-workout days?
View article sources


  • Barakat, C., Pearson, J., Escalante, G., Campbell, B., & De Souza, E. O. (2020). Body recomposition: can trained individuals build muscle and lose fat at the same time?. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 42(5), 7-21. (full text)
  • Ribeiro, A. S., Pereira, L. C., Schoenfeld, B. J., Nunes, J. P., Kassiano, W., Nabuco, H. C., ... & Cyrino, E. S. (2022). Moderate and Higher Protein Intakes Promote Superior Body Recomposition in Older Women Performing Resistance Training. Medicine and science in sports and exercise.Link


  • Philz 3 weeks ago

    Hello Ted, thank you so much for the calculator. I was wondering how many calories should be left after each day to do body composition. I weigh about 155 pounds and in an hour of single weight training workout, I burn 500-650 calories. Additionally, it seems like I burn about 1800 kcal by metabolism alone as my height is 5.7ft. I am also thinking of doing high-intensity cardio for like 3 days a week with weight training in between. I know that you said that high-intensity cardio is not helpful but I still want to improve on my cardio continuously like my weight training. Do you think I just need to eat more on the cardio days? Thank you.

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 weeks ago

      Hi Philz. Glad it helped. How many pounds of fat do you feel you have to lose?

  • Taz 4 weeks ago

    Hello. I’m very new to this so I’m struggling to figure this out. First which app would you recommend that’s easy to use for tracking macros and allows you to set daily goals. So I would like my training days to be different from my cardio days. If I weight-lift 3 days a week, how much cardio do I need? My goal is to build muscles and lose fat. For reference I’m 175lbs, 5’8. Thank you for your help.

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 4 weeks ago

      Hi Taz, I use MyFitnessPal and just add in the exercise I do with the “add exercise” feature in my logs. This adjusts things to your exercise day. I would shoot for 2-3 cardio days.

  • Gabs 1 month ago

    At 304 pounds female and 43 years old. Do you think it’s okay to walk 2 miles on rest days. I find it helps me lower stress. Do you recommend adding a bit of cardio to warm up on training days?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

      Hi Gabs! Yes walking on rest days is fine and yes a cardio warm up is great just do something low impact. Also note that if you have 40+ pounds of fat tissue, this will skew the calculations causing it to recommend eating more than would be optimal. I’d love to dial things in for you for much faster results.

  • Dogbiter 1 month ago

    What if i go slightly over my protein and under my calories?
    my goal is to lose more fat and build muscle i need 188grams of protein and my max calories on workout days is 2470 and on rest days 1910 calories. the protein I get on my workout days Is 190grams and on rest days I get 211grams. is it bad if so is it better to go a little bit under of protein or what is kind of the balance here?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

      Hey Dogbiter, for protein, what your body can’t use for it’s amino acid needs, will be converted to energy. Protein is an expensive energy source. Therefore is better to keep protein at levels that your body needs. On your rest days, you can cut back on the protein to around 150 g.

      • Dogbiter 1 month ago

        won’t i lose muscle then because the calculator says I need 188 grams of protein

        • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

          I’m giving you more precise recommendations. Calculators have some limitations.

  • Christopher 1 month ago

    Thank you for this calculator! I’m sorry that this is a little long, but I have a question. I’ve been eating according to your macros based on “even” and working out hard 3-4 times a week for 3½ weeks now (started as 180cm/77kg). I’ve (26, male) trained periodically, but unseriously, in shorter periods of my life, but never in a gym and never this hard and calculated. According to my fitness’ bodyscanner I’ve only lost 1.3kg and 0.3% bodyfat (18.7% – 18.4%) / 500g fat while also losing 400g muscle. So my weight seems to be going down less than 0.5kg per week, but I’m also losing and not gaining muscle. I feel like my weight loss is going slowly, but I’m also not building muscle. My body type is “skinnyfat” or what it is called and my first priority is probably getting rid of fat over building muscle, if I really have to choose – I’d like to do both. But losing almost as much muscle as fat in the process seems off to me. I do not know what to do or what specifically to change and it feels a bit frustrating. If you have any tips or help at all I would greatly appreciate it. Kind regards, Christopher

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

      Hey Christopher, Try adding 100-150 calories to your training days and makes sure you’re also giving your muscle groups adequate recovery time between lifts. Not sure what methodology you are using, but this can be a factor.

  • Natalie Sell 2 months ago

    Thank you! I am not new to weight training, would recomp work for me still? Also, I got a little confused on accounting additional weekly burned calories. I weight train 4-5 days a week. So would I calculate the 1-2 extra days of calories burned from weight training? Or do I just eat training day macros for those 4 or 5 days? Thanks again!

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hi Natalie, Thanks for stopping by. You’d eat the training day macros on each of your weight training days and then use your rest day set on days you don’t workout.

  • Laura 2 months ago

    Hiya! Thank you so much for this information. It has helped me lose 5 stone and be much stronger.
    A quick question! Why is it that with everything is going the right way eg weight lose, strength increase, body fat % decrease my calories go up? Many thanks, Laura

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hi Laura, Great work so far! I’m not sure I understand your question, could you clarify?

  • H 3 months ago

    Hi ted
    my goals is body recomposition 153cm 72.8kg female my lower body muscles are low and upper body are normal I don’t know if I should stay with body recomposition or do the bulking and cutting also i walk 10 k steps plus weight lifting 6 times a week is the 10k steps effect my recomposition

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 months ago

      Hi! It’s all about the right nutrition as well as the right weight lifting progression for your lower body and I definitely think you should avoid bulking and cutting cycles, which are hard on the body. Also make sure you are giving muscle groups adequate time for recovery/rebuild. The older you are the more time is needed. Happy to evaluate and calculate everything with the custom option.


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