Flexible Dieting Macro Calculator

Our macro calculator is designed by flexible dieters for flexible dieters. IIFYM stands for If It Fits Your Macros, and is also referred to as Flexible Dieting.

Use it to calculate your optimal macronutrient ratios based on your age, height, weight, gender, and activity level. Then use your results with flexible dieting or IIFYM and count macros to lose weight, maintain, or gain muscle.

Age

Gender

Weight

Height

Formula ?If you know your body fat %, Lean Mass formula may be more accurate.

Activity Level

Goals

Carbohydrate

Protein

Fat

MEALS PER DAY

ADJUST PROTEIN

Need help putting your results into action? Download our Flexible Dieting Solution and reach your goals faster!

Lose, Maintain, or Gain?

This IIFYM macro and TDEE calculator gives you the ability to adjust your TDEE and macros at 4 different goal settings.

  • Lose puts you in a 20% calorie deficit which promotes safe, steady weight loss.
  • Lose 10% puts you in a 10% calorie deficit and is intended for those with less than 10 pounds to lose and who also wish to build muscle at the same time.
  • Maintain allows you to eat at macro levels that will keep you at your current weight.
  • Gain puts you in a 20% calorie surplus and is designed for people who are wanting to build muscle fast in conjunction with a comprehensive weight training program. It can also be used by people who are underweight.


What Are My Macros?

The following formula is used:

  1. Protein ratio is set at .825 grams per pound of bodyweight.
  2. Fats are set at 25% of daily energy expenditure.
  3. Carbohydrate grams come from the remainder.

Daily energy expenditure is calculated from your age, gender, height, weight, and exercise output.

See the full guide to macro ratios here.

Which IIFYM Formula?

The default formula is fine for most people. However, there are some exceptions.

1. If you are very lean (low body fat percentage) the standard formula may not be accurate. Use the “Lean Body Mass” setting. This uses a formula that factors specific body fat percentage into the equation and since muscle tissue burns many more calories than fat tissue while even at rest, it will give you a higher TDEE. This is perfect for “athletic body types” that want to use IIFYM to gain more muscle mass.

2. If you are classified as obese and have a lot of weight to lose, the standard formula will not be accurate because the equation used, factors for an average body fat percentage. If you happen to be above average it will skew the results. Please see this article for more clarification on how to do flexible dieting if you are obese.

You can calculate your ideal body weight here.

Adjusting Protein

Setting protein to Low adjusts the ratio to .65 grams per pound of body weight. Higher will set to 1 gram / lb.

Higher protein levels may be helpful if you have a strength training component in your IIFYM exercise routine. There are many differing opinions about this.

Try starting at the Normal level. If however you do a lot of lifting (3 times a week or more), then set to the High level.

Counting Macros per Meals per Day

By default, the results show the amount of grams of macronutrient should be eaten each day. Click on meal numbers to split this into a “per meal” basis for counting macros.

See our Healthy 5 Day Flexible Dieting Meal Plan. It includes 3 meals and 2 snacks per day.

IIFYM Goals

By default, the results are for maintaining weight with IIFYM. Select either lose or gain if you are trying to lose fat or gain muscle. These are good starting points, but since IIFYM is highly individualized, you may have to play around with your macros until you find your personal goal reaching sweet spot. You can then count macros until you reach your desired goal.

Activity Level

A higher level activity means a higher daily calorie goal (TDEE). For example; if you can maintain your weight at 2,000 calories per day, then adding vigorous daily exercise to this means you need more calories to maintain your weight.

The same rule applies even if your flexible dieting goal is to lose weight.

If you are sedentary and your goal is to lose weight, your calorie goal might be (for example) 1,600 calories per day. If you decide to start exercising, the calculator will increase your daily calorie goal (say, to 1,800 calories/day). Although it may seem counter-intuitive, more energy is required to fuel your workouts, and your metabolism is increased – therefore calories should be higher.

Many people struggle with which exercise level to choose. Basically each level breaks down as follows:

  • Sedentary: Just normal everyday activity like a little walking, a couple flights of stairs, eating etc.
  • Light activity: Any activity that burns an additional 200-400 calories for females or 250-500 calories for a males more than your sedentary amount.
  • Moderate activity: Any activity that burns an additional 400-650 calories for females or 500-800 calories for males more than your sedentary amount.
  • Very Active: Any activity that burns more than about 650 calories for females or more than 800 calories for males in addition to your sedentary amount.

This varies based on your individual stats, but you can get a more specific amount of calorie burn by simply subtracting your sedentary calorie amount from the chosen exercise level amount.

You also need to determine how many calories you are burning: For this use an exercise database or a good app like MapMyFitness or a device like FitBit.

Too much physical activity combined with low calories could lead to muscle catabolism (breakdown of muscle fiber). This is not a good thing, and can actually stall your weight loss, so eat up!

If you need some inspiration, check out these incredible transformation stories of from people who used counting macros to reach their goals and get started with flexible dieting or IIFYM today.

References

  • Mifflin, M. D., St Jeor, S. T., Hill, L. A., Scott, B. J., Daugherty, S. A., & Koh, Y. O. (1990). A new predictive equation for resting energy expenditure in healthy individuals. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 51 (2), 241-247. Link
  • McArdle, W. D., Katch, F. I., & Katch, V. L. (2010). Exercise physiology: nutrition, energy, and human performance. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Link
  • Lemon, P. W., Tarnopolsky, M. A., MacDougall, J. D., & Atkinson, S. A. (1992). Protein requirements and muscle mass/strength changes during intensive training in novice bodybuilders. Journal of Applied Physiology, 73(2), 767-775. study abstract link

Comments

  • CArmen

    Hey there, I’m trying
    To lose weight and
    I’m sooooo confused with respect to all the articles out there from reputable
    People but they are all contradicting each other! Eat more, but some won’t say how much more, carb cycle, fast, your body was designed to fast it
    Is ok, eat all the time like6 times a day, don’t eat that much your body does
    Not need it, if your fat u have fat sources that your body can use so u don’t need to eat more if u workout… blah blah blah. My god my head is spinning. Iam a type A personality and I just need to know cold hard facts and numbers. I think
    This idea makes sense
    To me and is a sensible way to lose weight.
    It says my tdee is 1800 calories, so that is to lose about 1 lb a week?? If I wanted to lose a bit
    More like 1.5 lbs would I reduce just a bit more to like 1600 cal or 1700 cal??
    I finding it hard to eat 1800 cal some days….. now don’t get me wrong I could eat chocolate to make up for the extra calories lol but trying
    To not do what I used to do!!
    Please help!

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Carmen, Unlike other diets, flexible dieting uses a pretty straight forward and science-based approach. You calculate how much energy your body requires and then eat a healthy proportion of each macro to satisfy that. You really want to maintain a safe calorie deficit to ensure sustainable results and actually, a 1-2 pound loss per week is expected with a 20% calorie deficit which is used above. Also, you want to have a rest day set of macros for any day you don’t exercise since on these days your body needs less energy than it does on exercise days.

  • Stephie

    So I signed up with IIFYM months ago. When I did, I wasn’t nearly as active as I am now. Not only do I workout now, but I also walk a lot too, burning many more extra calories. Should I be eating more than what was initially prescribed? I am trying to lose weight.

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Stephie, Yes, you should have your macros recalculated and eat more to adjust for your increased exercise. I can do this for you if you want and I adjust them for free for a period of two months as part of our coaching package.

  • Kelly WIlkins

    Hello. I have just completed my 3rd round of Whole30 over the past year. I am feeling like I need a little something different at this point for weight loss and toning. I am around 132 lbs and 5’6″ and on a good week I run and workout about 4 days weekly. I am a SAHM. I feel good at preparing meals, eating health, and working out. What are your thoughts about my moving forward from this type of eating plan to what you offer on this website? Thanks in advance.

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Kelly, As I’m sure you know, the goal of whole30 is to identify which foods cause problems or sensitivities for you. You should be able to now switch to a plan like Flexible Dieting and just avoid the foods you identified and be free to eat everything else as long as the foods fit your prescribed macro. It’s a much more sustainable plan than whole30 because you are always aware of how much you need to eat and how much food you’re eating. I say, go for it!

      • Kelly WIlkins

        Thanks, yes I started doing more research and tested the water today. But my question is about healthy fats. I barely had any today, cashews, almond butter and eggs and it put me over around 11g and I didn’t go over my calories at all. So how do healthy fats fit into this way of eating?

        • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

          You really just have to cut back. Even healthy fats only need to be around 25%-30% of your calories. This is another problem with whole30. So many foods are forbidden that people get used to eating a higher than normal proportion of fat to get enough calories.

  • Kyle

    Ted, I have been doing a Keto-style diet for the last 6 weeks. I am 29 years old 6’2 and started jan 1st at 265 lbs. I am down to 240 already but have seen big drops in strength. I would like to lose another 10lbs of fat but hate the loss of strength. these are the macro guidelines i am following now:
    calories per day: 2751
    carbs: 30g
    protein: 241g
    fat: 183g

    Do you think i should get off this keto-stye diet and go less fat and more carbs?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Kyle, Great job so far! Yes, definitely. Keto is only good short-term and lack of strength is a common complaint. You should have a workout day set of macros and a rest day set. No need to carb load as you’ll be now eating adequate carbs on your workout days.

  • Ryan

    Hi Ted
    I’m 30, 6’2 ~189lbs. I lift 6 days a week with a combo of stretching and cardio sprinkled in for ~100mins a day. And average ~9-10K steps a day. Would I be moderately active?
    Also, I want to gain about 12 lbs of lean muscle, while also cutting up a little (everyones dream, right?) Gains would be the correct goal to choose, right?
    I also wanted to maybe up the protein a little, too (not by too much, carbs and fats are your friend) to maybe help lean out? Is that the right approach?
    Ive read in multiple places if you want to gain you need more than 1g protein : 1lb body weight.
    Thanks a lot for your help!

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Ryan, It seems like you would be very active to me at 100 minutes plus all the walking. The gain setting won’t give you lean gains so you probably want to scale back. You’ll have to be in a slight deficit to burn fat. I would encourage you to check out the muscle gain edition of my book as it spells everything out for you in detail.( https://healthyeater.com/ebook ) As for protein, it’s really 1 gram per pound of lean muscle so if you consume 189 grams you are eating more than this. 200 grams would probably be the max.

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  • Steve

    hi Ted,
    When I calculate the calorie intake required to maintain 23% bodyfat as opposed to 15% of bodyfat, the calorie intake, carb and fat is lower to maintain a bodyfat of 23% than that of 15% with all other content remaining constant. i.e. male, 35, 190lbs, height 183, moderate activity, protein normal. I’m aiming to reduce my bodyfat percentage from 23% to 15% but this is suggesting that I do this by eating more carbs and fat and increasing my calorie intake…please explain how this work?

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Steve, Lean muscle requires more energy than fat even at rest. If you get down to 15% body fat but stay the same weight, you would have replaced the fat weight with muscle weight. 1 pound of fat only uses about 2 calories per day to be maintained. You have to eat in a way that will burn the fat and for this you’ll have to be in a calorie deficit.

  • Yuzaru

    Hi Ted,

    I’m trying to build muscle but maintain weight (or is it better to just gain for now and cut later). I workout 6 days/week
    day 1: chest 30 min + back 30 min + cardio 30 min
    day 2: shoulders 30 min + arms 30 min
    day 3: legs 40 min + abs 10 min
    day 4: back 30 min + chest 30 min
    day 5: arms 30 min + shoulders 30 min
    day 6: 1 hour cardio + 15 min abs

    would i be moderately active? should i go with gain or maintain? thanks in advance
    macros so far: ~2500/ day i’ve been stuck at 145 for 2 months but am getting leaner (from the looks of it)

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Yuzaru, Thanks for stopping by. It looks like you’d be averaging moderately active. You really have to be in a slight deficit for fat to burn so often you have manually calculate your macros in order to find your sweet spot. Some people have good success with the “lose 10” setting. I encourage you to check out the Gain Lean Muscle edition of my book offered through this site as I go into a lot more detail about the process there.

  • Melissa

    Hello Ted,

    I found this article extremely helpful, I just still seem to be confused of which formula to use, etc. I am 5’3, 214 pounds. I have just started moderate activity and plan on maintaining that or improving. I would love a plan to lose weight, while gaining muscle.
    What should my macros be?

    Please and thank you!

    • http://www.caffeineinformer.com/ Ted

      Hi Melissa, you would want to use the regular formula but also account for the fat weight you are carrying since it’s more than 50 pounds. I can’t calculate your macros for you here, but can do so as part of our coaching package. I would love to help you, so please consider that option. https://healthyeater.com/personal-coaching