Body Recomposition Calculator

By Ted KallmyerUpdated May 10, 2023

Discover the perfect calorie and macro amounts for body recomp – with a 30-second calculation.


Biological Sex

Current Weight


Formula ?


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

Additional Weekly Calories ?

Recomposition Goal ?

More Fat Loss
More Muscle Gain




You may be able to use Factor Meals (~500 cals) for some of these (instead of cooking).

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 mass simultaneously.

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

There is ample research-backed evidence showing it is entirely achievable. So believe it!

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.

Enough said.

5 steps to achieve body recomposition

How long does it take to recompose your body?

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 are doing over and above 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


  • Srii 9 hours ago

    Hello Ted!
    I am:
    – Male
    – Age = 28 years
    – Current Weight = 75 Kilo grams
    – Height = 168 cms
    – Goal = To loose a lot of weight, not to loose existing muscle mass + build on more muscle mass
    – I will be working out 5 – 6 days a week + maintaining a healthy diet
    – Do you recommend 15 – 20 minutes of cardio before/after weight training?
    – Please recommend a work out flow for me! Thanks in advance!

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 7 hours ago

      Hi Srii, Start with “more fat loss” on the calculator. Do 10-15 minutes cardio as a warm up and eat more on your workout days and less on your rest days.

  • Nat 1 day ago

    I am curious as to my calculations. I am 38 years old female. Currently 147 pounds with a pooch. I think my BMI is around 24%. I am wanting to gain muscle in my glues and legs really and slim down my stomach. I workout at home 3 days a week.

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 7 hours ago

      Hey Nat, Start with even above and then evaluate, if you aren’t losing fat subtract some calories (~100-150)

  • Thalia S Reyes-Gonzalez 6 days ago

    Hello, I am going to trying Body Recomposition as I feel like it fits what I want to do, which is to lose body fat and gain muscle. I am 5’1 with a current weight of 196, I carry a lot of my weight in my legs and mid section(mom pooch). I currently try to strength train 4-5 days a week ( 3 lower body days , 2 upper body days & 5 min ab session daily) . the calculator said train days I should eat 2089 calories per day and rest days 1614 calories per day, my question is am I doing it correctly, to where I will see results or am I doing it wrong? Help Please

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 4 days ago

      Hi Thalia, Thanks for reaching out. Since it seems like you have more than 40 pounds of fat tissue then this will skew the calculation and recommend that you eat more than you should. Also since you have more fat to lose you’ll want to aim the calculations more in the fat loss direction at first, otherwise the recomp will take forever. I’d love to help you get all of this dialed in for optimal results and I offer this as part of my Macro Solution program.

  • Jonny 1 week ago

    Hey Ted,

    This is so helpful, and it means a lot that you are doing this especially for those of us that aren’t making a lot of money.

    Just curious, I do jiujitsu for about 3 times a week, but I my biggest things I need to work on to help my jiujitsu is building muscle, losing weight (fat), and overall conditioning. I train with some fitness trainers and they suggested body composition. However, I want to not lose my cardio because endurance is key to to jiujitsu, but I am fine prioritizing body recomp and leaving cardio to the side until I get some results. What would you suggest for me? I know I need to build muscle and strength right now. I am 6 feet and 1.5 inches, 212 lb, I have big legs and butt, but my upper body is quite weak and I lacks muscle.

    Any advice would be helpful

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 week ago

      Hi Jonny, happy to help! You can still do some cardio during recomp. Here’s what I recommend: Start by skewing your calculations more towards the fat loss side of things. Commit to 3 days of strength training per week and this can be a full body workout that lasts 45-60 minutes. Keep reps slow and controlled using heavier weights lower reps instead of light weight lots of reps. You can also do a couple days of cardio, 30+ minutes but don’t do it on the same day as you lift.

  • MDelo 2 weeks ago

    Hi Ted,
    First I wanted to say, the resources you and your team are providing here are great, thorough, concise, and much needed, so thank you. So I’m a 39 yr old male, 6’2to6’3, about 244-245 lbs with around 28-30% body fat. Lot of weight gained in the last 2 years. Was not doing much out of any working out and have a pretty sedentary job. I’m looking to do a body recomp to gain muscle but also lose somewhere b/w 25-40lbs of fat. The amount would depend on how I feel, move and look after the recomp. I have started this journey, again, with a training plan of working out 4-5 days a week and also increasing non exercise activities such as walking, mobility, stretching and standing a lot more. Looking at the TDEE calculator my maintenance calories are somewhere b/w 2500-2600 calories at my recent activity level. The recomp calculator had my training calories at around 2800 (266C 232P 95F) and rest days 2196 (153C 232P 73F). This all at a high protein count. Wondering if these are accurate for the amount of weight loss and muscle gain I’m looking for. Should I use my current weight for the recomp calculation or the goal weight? Also should I increase the protein level due to the amount of fat I’m trying to lose? Thank you again for your help and guidance.

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 weeks ago

      Hey there, First of all, I’m so glad you find the resources useful. Secondly, If I were coaching you and you have more than 10 pounds to lose, I’d skew your calculations more towards the fat loss side of the pendulum. A 15-20% deficit would be good to start and you really don’t need more protein that 200 g per day since that should be based off of lean mass and not total body weight. Fat tissue doesn’t require protein so it needs to be taken into account for an accurate calculation.

      • MDelo 2 weeks ago

        Thank you for your response and insight. The point regarding protein consumption not being based off total body weight is key and very helpful. With your suggestion of using a15-20% deficit from my maintenance calories and 200g of protein, are you recommended using that same caloric intake for both rest and workout days or should I adjust higher on workout days or lower on rest days? Appreciate the guidance.

        • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 weeks ago

          You’d want to eat less on rest days (sedentary calculations) and more on workout days.

  • Sara 2 weeks ago

    Is it possible to still run (I love trail racing – anywhere from 3mi-15mi per race) and change my body composition?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 weeks ago

      Hi Sara, It sure is with the right nutrition in place as well as training schedule. I’m currently coaching a triathlete to do exactly that.

  • Amrik Shergill 3 weeks ago

    Hi Ted,
    I’m getting confusing numbers in terms of my macros. Your numbers are drastically different than what I was using before. I’m 41, M, 5’10” and 186lbs. I aim to weight train 4 days per week with 2 days of moderate intensity cardio for a total of 6 days per week. You recomp calculator has me at 214g/protein 135g/carbs 66g/fat on rest days vs. 214g/protein 232g/carbs and 85g/fat on workout days. I was originally advised to go 200-215 g/protein 60g/fat but the carbs were significantly higher at 350g. Ideally, id like to lose body fat to around 15% from my current 27% but also build muscle without losing too much weight. Is this possible? If so, what’s the best way to do this? Looking for some guidance on the best approach.

    • Amrik 3 weeks ago

      I should say that the intention was to gradually lower the carbs but I have no idea to what level. I’m happy to follow the recomp carb numbers if you feel they are more in line with what I need.

      • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 weeks ago

        Hi Amrik, Thanks for reaching out. A couple pointers. It seems like your body fat calculation is off. @27% this means you have 50 pounds of fat on your body? Doesn’t seem likely since you are 5’10” and 186

        Secondly, you don’t need that much protein. I’d cap it at 190 anything more than that is likely being used for energy, not building muscle. Thirdly, you will have to be in a deficit to lose fat so my calculator’s numbers seem more realistic for that goal. Given your stats and activity the 2740 calories that someone else advised would place you in a calorie surplus.

        • Amrik 3 weeks ago

          This is super helpful Ted, thank you. You’re right, I’m off for sure on the body fat% as i dont have a caliper. Will use the default ‘normal’ option to have the calculator make an estimate. I’m excited to try this recomp out and will keep you posted on the results. One question though: can I maintain my weight while losing body fat and gaining muscle? If so, how do I do this?

          • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 weeks ago

            Happy to help. Given where you’re at and that fat loss usually out paces muscle gains I would think that you might drop some in weight but the key will be not losing muscle mass and still making some gains during the process. Sometimes we can be too fixated on the scale and should base our progress more body fat/muscle ratios and pictures.

  • Maddie 3 weeks ago

    Hi! I have lost 20 lbs but I am only eating 16-1700 calories and about 140-150 gs of protein, about the same for carbs and about 60gs of fat. I weight train 5 days a week 20-30 min along with steady state cardio (30 min) and weekends are rest days. Is it ok for me to up my calories to 1900 as this calculator recommends and still keep fat off? I’m scared to gain fat again.

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 weeks ago

      Hi Maddie, Great job so far! Use the calculator as a goal to get to, but start adding calories slowly and evaluate after each increase. so first add in about 100, do that for two weeks and evaluate. If things are looking good, add in 100 more.

  • Daniel 1 month ago

    Hi Ted,
    I am 37 year old male. 5’11, 78kg. Got belly fat and skinny arms/legs. Started the macro counting 6 weeks at 2380 calories per day on training day and 1865 on rest days but have not made any progress. I do 5 days of gym, push pull and legs. Steady walk for 20 mins each day and Muay Thai twice a week. Can you please advise where I’m going wrong?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

      Hey Daniel, If you aren’t losing fat at those numbers then you should cut back by 100-150 calories per day and then evaluate after two weeks. You probably shouldn’t do Muay Thai on the same days as you lift and make sure you’re giving muscle groups time to recover before working them out again.

  • Pablo 2 months ago

    Hi Ted, this is incredibly helpful. I am a 44-year-old male, 5′ 8″. I started off 150 lbs 12 weeks ago, but have lost 10 lbs by tracking macros closely. The macros I have been following so far are (1,588 calories, 119 gms of protein, 159 gms of carbs and 56 grams of fat). I am now 140 lbs and my body fat % based on the (likely inaccurate) Renpho scale is 17.8.

    I started doing a 3-day split push, pull legs program 3 weeks ago (30-minute workouts).

    I have really enjoyed tracking macros and losing weight and I am tempted to simply continue doing that (I feel great!). However, I worry that my current macros are inadequate given my workout (am I eating too little?), and also want to gain some muscle and improve muscle definition while I continue losing fat (my goal is not simply become super skinny).

    Shall I start following your recomp macros now? Or shall I do some additional weeks of fat loss at my current macros before switching to your recomp program?

    Thanks again for your resources. Yours is the by far the best (and one of the few) recomp calculators out there!

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hi Pablo, Glad this is helpful. You really need to be eating more on your lifting days so start by adding in calories/macros for that and then after a couple weeks start adding in more for recomp. Assess every two weeks. Keep up the great work!


Discover the best path to achieving your optimal health and fitness goals

Take a quiz