Counting Macros

Macro Calculator for Accurate Daily Macronutrients and Calories

Ultimate Macro Calculator

This easy-to-use macro calculator shows your optimal macronutrients and calories based on your age, height, weight, gender, and activity level. It serves as a weight loss calculator or a muscle gain calculator. Use your results with macro dieting, flexible dieting, or IIFYM to reach your goals faster.

Age

Gender

Current Weight

Height

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

Activity Level

Goal

Carbohydrate

Protein

Fat

Get Faster Results! Lose 5-10 pounds the first month using the The Macro Solution already trusted by over 12,000 users.

ADJUST MEALS PER DAY

ADJUST PROTEIN

Macronutrient Calculations are Important

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 very little fat or protein.

These 3 macronutrients are from which the human body obtains energy and raw materials for growth and repair.

What Are the Right Macro Ratios for You?

The right macros for you are based on your personal Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and goals.

My macro calculator defaults at the best macro ratio that’s proven to work for the majority of people. You should achieve your weight loss or muscle-building goals using the default setting.

However, there is nothing wrong with adjusting this ratio if needed. Perhaps you’re an extreme endomorph and do better with fewer carbs. Or, perhaps you only have one kidney and need to eat less protein. You can adjust to the levels that are right for you personally with a little math, which is explained in detail here.

How to Calculate the Right Daily Protein Amount

Setting protein to Moderate adjusts the ratio to .65 grams per pound of body weight. This is appropriate for sedentary individuals or for people with higher body fat percentages.

High is appropriate for people who are active, do moderate strength training, and have an average body fat percentage.

Maximum will set to 1 gram / lb. This is appropriate for those who are wanting to gain weight/muscle mass and do intense training.

I go into greater detail about how to choose an appropriate protein level when counting macros so give that article a read if you’re still unsure.

How It Calculates Daily Fat Amount

Fats are set at 30% of daily energy expenditure. This is a healthy moderate amount that most people do well with and is based on recommendations by nutritional guidelines.

When choosing foods that contain fat, focus on getting predominately healthy fats as part of that 30%.

Calculating the Right Carb Amount

After protein and fat are calculated, the calculator assigns the remainder of your calories as carbohydrates. This usually results in a moderate amount of carbs that are in the healthy range recommended for most people. Carbs fuel your body and workouts and are the body’s preferred energy source.

Many people coming from a “low carb” type of dieting may feel like this weight loss calculator factors carbs on the high side. However, this is a moderate amount of carbs according to respected nutritional guidelines and the notion that carbs cause weight gain or prevent fat loss when eaten in relation to your TDEE has been debunked.

How the Calculator Adjusts Your TDEE Based on Your Goals

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

You can easily use the macro calculator to adjust your energy levels to lose fat, maintain your current weight, or gain muscle.

By default, the results are for losing weight. Select either lose or gain if you are trying to lose fat or gain muscle. These are good starting points, but 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.

See the full guide to macro ratios here.

Using this tool as a weight loss calculator (Fat Loss)


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

  • The Lose button puts you in a 20% calorie deficit which promotes safe, steady weight loss.
  • The Lose 10% button 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.

For Maintaining Your Current Weight

The Maintain button shows you the macro levels that will keep you at your current weight. This is good for people who have lost weight and who don’t want to gain the weight back.

Using this tool as a gaining muscle calculator

The Gain button 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.

Some people may want to use the maintenance button and then gradually increase calories from there if they want their muscle gains to be lean.

Which Formula – Normal or Lean Mass?

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

1. If you are very lean (low body fat percentage) the default 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 macro counting 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 macro counting if you are obese.

You can calculate your ideal body weight here.

How Do I Calculate My Daily Macros

This calculator shows you how to calculate your daily macros and by default, the results show the number of grams of each macronutrient you should eat each day. Simply make sure you have eaten those macro amounts by the end of the day.

How Do I Calculate My Macros for a Meal

If you want to calculate your daily macros by meal, Click on meal numbers to split this into a “per meal” basis for tracking macros. For some people, this is easier, while for others it becomes too much to keep track of. Do what works for you. Either method is fine.

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

Setting Activity Level Accurately

A higher activity level 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.

Figure out your activity level using the Calories Burned Calculator.

The same rule applies even if you are using this as a weight loss calculator.

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

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: Any activity that burns an additional 200-400 calories for females or 250-500 calories for a males more than your sedentary amount.
  • Moderate: Any activity that burns an additional 400-650 calories for females or 500-800 calories for males more than your sedentary amount.
  • Extreme: 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 can also determine how many calories you are burning using a exercise calorie burn MET database or a good app like MapMyFitness or a wearable device like FitBit or Apple Watch. (Note that activity trackers tend to overestimate calorie burn.)

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

Taking it Further

After you have your personal macro calculations, you need to determine the macros in all the foods you eat. By tracking and counting them each day, you can reach your recommended macro targets that encourage fat loss, muscle gain, or whatever your goal may be.

I have a wealth of information and resources to help you get started on the right foot from free resources, my Macro Solution System, to personal macros coaching. Here are some places to start:

These should help you start putting what the calculator is showing you into action that gets results.

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
  • 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, is an expert macros coach, and the author of The Macro Solution. If you need personal help reaching your weight loss/fitness goals see his nutrition & macros coaching options. Follow Ted on Instagram
Last Updated: September 16, 2021

1,998 Comments

  1. John 2 weeks ago

    Hi Ted, I’m 51, I weigh 300 and am 6’1″. What protein level should I choose to lose body fat?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 week ago

      Hi John, Since you have about 100 pounds of fat tissue, you should use the low setting or a max protein of 170-190 grams. You also may want to consider having me help you with your calculations since having a lot of fat tissue will skew the formula used in my calculator. All the best with your journey to improve your health!

      Reply
  2. Leon 2 weeks ago

    Say our gain calories and activity level are set right. How much weight should we be gaining each month? What would be too much so that we know to scale back on the calories or increase the energy input?

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

      Hi Leon, A lot of this would depend on what weight training program you have in place and your consistency there. But 2-4 pounds per month is a realistic goal. You should be tracking your body fat percentage because you want the gains to be lean mass and not fat mass. If you’re gaining fat, you want to cut back on your calories.

      Reply
  3. James Hennessy 1 month ago

    I show the numbers from macro calculator the same value in Cronometer, but it shows the same number value for grams here as it does in kCal from Cronometer. For example, with carbs=200kcal in Cronometer vs. here at 200g. If I switch to Grams in Cronometer, it reads 130grams for carbs.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

      Hi James, I’m not quite sure what you mean. 200 g of carbs is 800 kcal. 130 grams of carbs is 520 kcal. There are 4 kcals per gram of carbohydrates. If Chronometer isn’t reflecting that then something is wrong there.

      Reply
  4. Destiny 2 months ago

    Hi Ted ,
    Quick question,

    I have a TDEE of 2259 and my carbs is 159 protein 157 fat 60.

    Currently at 242 pounds I want to lose about 40 pounds does that sound right to you and feasible?

    Sendentary activity due to health issues can’t really excercise but walk 30 mins a day

    And calorie intake will be 1759

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

      Hi Destiny, Make sure you set your macros based off of 1759. Also since you likely have more than 50 pounds of fat tissue you may have to shave off a little more to compensate. Start there and see how it goes and shave off more in the weeks to come once you see how your body responds.

      Reply
  5. Cody D 2 months ago

    Great Calculator and Article man! Just put it in my favorites

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

      Thanks, Cody! Glad you found it useful.

      Reply
  6. Jenn 2 months ago

    Hi I’m hoping you can help me. In 2017 I had gastric sleeve surgery. I would like to lose 35-40 lb of regain. I’ve been doing Optavia for a few months and lost 22. I still have some restriction in my stomach. I also have a lot of lose skin. I used the calculator and it gave me
    1487 Cal
    Carb 100
    Protein 160
    Fat 50
    I put in I was sedentary but started doing strength training 6 days a week for an hour using body weight and 8 lb dumbbells. I have been doing this for two weeks and gained 2 pounds. Help! Do you have any experience with Bariatric people, higher fat percentage, and lose skin…..wondering if that is skewing things for me.

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

      Hi Jenn, Thanks for reaching out. I have had many GS clients over the years. It does look like your sedentary calculation is being skewed a bit and recommending you eat a little more than you should be. Also, if you are strength training it’s not uncommon for your weight to increase a little from the training which is both from added muscle and water retention in your muscles. I’d be happy to have a look at everything and calculate some optimal numbers for you to use. See my coaching page in the site menu above.

      Reply
  7. Chris 2 months ago

    I have never commented before on any forums or discussion, however, I found this so helpful that I wanted to reach out and thank you. I literally just found out I’ve been undereating, probably my entire life. The amount of carbs I currently eat is far lower than what I should have. Crazy, just crazy.

    Reply
  8. Julie Wienke 3 months ago

    Hi Ted… Just a quick question – I have a TDEE of 2100
    Im in my 60’s – VERY ACTIVE- do a few workouts each day, including walking 2-3 miles daily…
    I feel like Im stuck— weight is 190 (have had some success with Lindora) but, feel with macro nutrients I can do this on my own…
    If my goal loss is 2 lbs. a week (my goal weight is 145 lbs. by Nov.)
    What would my macro %% be daily??
    Thank you

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

      Hi Julie, Your macro percentages don’t determine weight loss but the correct weight-loss TDEE does. This should be a deficit that is safe and produces about 1 pound per week of weight loss. 2 pounds per week isn’t sustainable or realistic. I’d be happy to calculate everything for you and get you on a healthy track. See my coaching options and I have an affordable “calculations only” option.

      Reply
  9. Jennifer 3 months ago

    Calculator gave me:
    1520 CALORIES PER DAY
    Carb 130g34.1%
    Protein 137g35.9%
    Fat 51g30.0%

    But I do
    Calories 1100-1300 (1 major Cheat day of approx 2400)
    Carb 100ish
    Protein 90-100
    Fat 30-35

    Some say this is low but I live a very sedentary life and this seems to work for me. DO you have any suggestions?

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

      Hi Jennifer, It seems a bit low to me too and if you have too many of those cheat days you could be also slowing your progress. However, I can’t really say for sure because I don’t know your stats or much about your lifestyle.

      Reply
  10. Stacey 4 months ago

    I started tracking macros a few weeks ago. I am very consistent and weigh my food etc and track in my fitness pal. I haven’t really lost much weight…maybe 1-1.5 lbs. I noticed your calculator has me at a lower calorie intake than the other online one I used. What am I doing wrong and why am I not losing any weight?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 4 months ago

      Hi Stacey, It’s important to understand that all calculators give you an “estimation” and use different formulas to do so. This often needs tweaked as you implement. If you aren’t losing about a pound a week then you should go a little lower.

      Reply