Calculators

Macro Calculator

By Ted KallmyerUpdated July 17, 2022
Macro calculator

This free, easy-to-use macro calculator gives you your optimal macronutrients and calories. It serves as a weight loss or muscle gain calculator for both women and men.

Combine with macro counting, flexible dieting, or IIFYM to reach your goals faster.

Age

Biological Sex

Current Weight

Height

Formula ?

Activity Level ?

Goal Customize

Carbohydrate
Protein
Fat
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Lose 5-10 pounds the first month using The Macro Solution already trusted by 13,000 users.

Adjust Meals Per Day

Adjust Protein Amount

How to calculate your macros for fat loss

The foods we eat are made up of three macros (macronutrients). These are carbohydrates (carbs), protein, and fat.

Chicken is high in protein but has no carbs; rice is high in carbs but has very little fat or protein.

The three macronutrients provide the body with energy and raw materials for growth and repair.

By calculating the appropriate daily calorie amount for you, we can then break this down into the best macronutrient ratios to achieve weight loss.

The calculator is based on sound science, combined with data from years of coaching hundreds of successful clients.

What is a good macro ratio for fat loss or muscle gain?

Your macros should be based on your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and your goals.

The calculator defaults at the best macro ratio proven to work for most people.

This ratio is:

  • 30% fat
  • Protein is 0.65 grams per pound of body weight,
  • The remainder is carbs.

Depending on your goal, this will be either a calorie deficit or a surplus.

You can go further and make more adjustments: Perhaps you’re an extreme endomorph and do better with fewer carbs. Or perhaps you have one kidney and need to eat less protein.

You can fine-tune your results for you with a bit of math. See how to change your macros here.

MACRO COUNTING

  • 140 page step-by-step guide.
  • Achieve fat loss without starvation.
  • Individually tailored to your body composition.
Learn More

What is a good protein ratio?

Rather than a percentage, proteins are based on your body weight.

Our calculator has three settings:

  • Moderate adjusts the ratio to 0.65 grams per pound of body weight.
    This is appropriate for sedentary individuals or people with higher body fat percentages.
  • High is for active people with moderate strength training and an average body fat percentage.
  • Maximum will set the ratio to 1 gram per pound.
    This amount is good for bodybuilding and gaining muscle mass. You must be doing intense training.

Find out how to fine-tune your protein ratios when counting macros

Fat macro ratio

Set fat at 30% of daily energy expenditure.

Most people do very well with this amount of fat. See more about choosing the best macro fats. Because of high-fat diets like keto, many people are now eating more fat than they need to.

Carbohydrate macro ratio

Once you’ve calculated protein and fat, the remainder of your daily calories should be from carbohydrates.

Carbs fuel your body and workouts and are the body’s preferred energy source.

If you are coming from a low-carb background, this may seem high. However, according to respected nutritional research, this is a moderate amount of carbs.

If you are eating according to your TDEE, the notion that carbs cause weight gain or stop fat loss is incorrect.

Using as a Calorie Deficit Calculator

As a weight loss calculator, this tool establishes a safe calorie deficit only.

The Lose option puts you in a 20% calorie deficit, promoting safe, steady weight loss.

The best macro ratio for body recomposition

If you want to recompose your body (lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously), then use the body recomposition calculator.

Macro ratio for maintenance

The Maintain button shows you the macro levels to maintain your current weight.

This is great if you have lost weight and don’t want to gain it back.

Macro ratio for muscle gain

The Gain button puts you in a 20% calorie surplus.

The macro breakdown is designed to build muscle fast in conjunction and must be combined with a comprehensive weight training program.

It can also be used by people who are underweight.

TIP: Try starting with the maintenance goal and then gradually increase calories from there if you want lean muscle gains.

Calculating macros using your body fat percentage

The calculator uses your body weight to determine calories and macros.

However, you can obtain superior results by using your body fat percentage. The calculator allows you to choose which method; Normal for body weight, Lean Mass for fat percentage.

When to choose the Lean Mass Formula

If you are lean (have a low body fat percentage), choose the Lean Mass formula, and enter your body fat %.

If you are classified as obese and have a lot of weight to lose, the lean mass formula is superior. You can read more about macro counting and obesity.

Help? Calculate your ideal body weight or get an assessment of your body fat percentage.

Why the difference? Muscle cells burn more calories than fat cells, so the more accurately we measure this, the better your results will be.

How to calculate macros per meal

Once you’ve calculated your daily macros in the calculator, you can break this down into meals.

Choose from 2 to 6 meals per day to see the macro ratio you can track for each meal. For some people, this is easier, but for others, this is too much detail.

Do what works for you.

Meal Plans

See a 5-day macro-based meal plan. It includes three meals and two snacks per day.

Macro calculator activity level settings

A higher activity level means a higher daily calorie goal.

For example – if you maintain your weight at 2,000 calories per day, adding vigorous daily exercise means you need more calories to maintain your weight.

If you are sedentary and trying to lose weight, adding exercise will increase your daily calorie goal.

The idea seems counter-intuitive, but more energy is required to fuel your workouts. More workouts lead to increasing metabolism; therefore, more fat is burned!

Undereating is one of the leading causes of the weight loss plateau.

So many of our clients previously “hit the wall” with dieting. They would continually reduce calories, stop losing fat and gain weight when they eat a little more.

Macro counting defeats this by prescribing the right food and calorie levels.

Which activity level do I choose?

  • Sedentary: Just regular everyday activity like a bit of walking, a couple of flights of stairs, eating, etc.
  • Light: Any activity that burns an additional 200-400 calories (females) or 250-500 calories (males) over your sedentary amount.
  • Moderate: Any activity that burns an additional 400-650 calories (females) or 500-800 calories (males) more than your sedentary amount.
  • Extreme: Any activity that burns more than 650 calories (females) or more than 800 calories (males) in addition to your sedentary amount.

Other options for determining your calorie burn

Why should I eat more when I exercise more?

High physical activity not fueled with enough calories will lead to muscle catabolism (breakdown of muscle fiber).

This lack of nutrition could stall your weight loss, so eat up if you love to exercise!

I’ve got my macros – now what?

Once you’ve identified your target daily macros, you must determine the macros in all the foods you eat.

By tracking them daily, you can reach your recommended macro targets that encourage fat loss, muscle gain, or whatever your goal may be.

You can learn more about the macro counting system and the flexible dieting philosophy. Many people use an app like Myfitnesspal to track macros.

For more specifics on what to eat – see a sample macro meal plan or a list of macros for familiar foods.

Accelerate Your Diet and Fitness Goals with My Macro Solution System

Step-by-step self-guided program -or- fully customized personal macros coaching. Feel exhilarated as you conquer your goals!

MACRO COUNTING

  • 130 page step-by-step guide.
  • Achieve fat loss without starvation.
  • Individually tailored to your body composition.
Learn More

Show article references

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
  • Jequier, E. (1994). Carbohydrates as a source of energy. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 59(3), 682S-685S.
  • 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
  • Grundy, S. M. (1999). The optimal ratio of fat-to-carbohydrate in the diet. Annual review of nutrition, 19(1), 325-341. abstract
  • Conlin, L.A., Aguilar, D.T., Rogers, G.E. et al. Flexible vs. rigid dieting in resistance-trained individuals seeking to optimize their physiques: A randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 18, 52 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-021-00452-2
Ted Kallmyer is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, author, and macros coach. He has helped hundreds of clients reach their body transformation goals.

2,045 Comments

  • Leon L Pyett 2 weeks ago

    If I’m around 14% body fat at 5’9 178 and have my weight loss set at losing 15%. How much weight should I focus on losing per week to know if I’m at an effective weight loss range?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 weeks ago

      Hi Leon, At a 15% deficit you should be seeing about .5-1 pound per week of fat loss.

      Reply
  • Cookie 3 weeks ago

    Greetings,
    So I am trying to lose 35lbs to enlist into the Air Force. I work out 2-3 times a week doing strength training, I add in cardio throughout the week. In May, I was recommended to eat 1870cals with macros at 180C/175P/60F. I weighed 245.5. Currently, I weigh 250.8 (a little about me, I’m 6’2F, yes I’m tall 😁), the scale is going up and I’m beyond frustrated. What am I doing wrong?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 weeks ago

      Hi Cookie, sorry to hear that you’re frustrated. Firstly your macros add up to 1960 calories, secondly because you have a more than 50 pounds of fat tissue you also need to adjust down some for that and you should be eating less on days that you don’t exercise. I’d be happy to get everything dialed in for you so that you can start losing. Choose the Macro Solution Ultimate option here: The Macro Solution

      Reply
  • Thomas 2 months ago

    I’m always wondering what really is the point of these calculators. Yes, it is a great way to track what you eat on a day and is important to get an indication to get you started, no matter what your goal is.

    But the thing is, I have tried dozens of these calculators and man they are all inaccurate as possible. From the lowest to highest calories intake on calculating for fat loss, there was a difference of a whopping 750 (!) calories!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hi Thomas, All calculators provide just an estimate but mine uses one of the most trusted formulas in the industry and gets results. I use this formula with all my clients and personally whenever I change up my personal goals.

      Reply
      • Thomas 2 months ago

        Hi Ted, thank you kindly for your reply. Well, the thing is that about a year ago I started training with a personal trainer and he gave me a list of things to eat so I could lose fat. I was at roughly 20,3% fat and currently I’m at 15%. Great achievement, but I want to go down to 10 %.
        The list with what to eat, was roughly around 1750 calories per day, but I’ve noticed that wasn’t enough, I just felt as weak as a sponge at some point. Right now I cranked it up to around 2120 calories per day, having a balanced intake on carbs, protein and fat.

        I train about 3 – 4 times week, doing weight lifting and of course I have a day of rest between each training day. But I start noticing my weightlifting isn’t improving anymore, I don’t know if I should eat even more or not. Cause I don’t want the fat loss to halt.

        Reply
        • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

          No worries, happy to help. Add in 100-150 to your workout days only and then evaluate after a couple of weeks by assessing your gains and body fat percentage. I think you’re right in thinking that you aren’t eating enough. It can be a balancing act for sure.

          Reply