Flexible Dieting Macro Calculator

Calculate your optimal macronutrient ratios based on your age, height, weight, gender, and activity level. Use your results with macro counting, flexible dieting, or IIFYM to lose weight, maintain, or gain muscle.

Age

Gender

Current Weight

Height

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

Activity Level

Goals

Carbohydrate

Protein

Fat

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MEALS PER DAY

ADJUST PROTEIN

What Are Macros?

Each of the foods we eat are made up of three “macros” (macronutrients). These macros are carbohydrate (carbs), protein, and fat. Chicken is high in the protein macro, but has no carbs. Rice is high in carbs, but very little fat or protein.

This calculator tells you the best ratio of macros that you should eat to achieve your goals. From there, you need to determine the macros of all the foods you eat. By counting them each day, you can reach a target that leads to fat loss.

Macro counting is extremely successful, and can free you from the “good food, bad food” mindset.

You don’t need to make radical shifts in your diet, nor deprive yourself from your favorite foods. Just make sure you are within your macro counts for each day, and you’re good to go!

If you need help, we publish some extensive guides here.

Lose, Maintain, or Gain?

This macro calculator gives you the ability to adjust your 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.

How Do You Calculate the 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 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.

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 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 Meal Plan. It includes 3 meals and 2 snacks per day.

Goals

By default, the results are for maintaining 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.

Activity Level

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 your 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: 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 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.

You'll Love Our Macro Solution Program

Step-by-step ebooks, or fully customized personal macros coaching. Now with complete vegan edition.

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

1,465 Comments

  1. Kristin 2 days ago

    I’ve been under eating with as little carbs as possible for about 3 years and have lost a decent amount of weight . However now it seems I only lose if I practically eat nothing. So, I’ve been counting macros and calories and been eating the recommended amount to lose and instead I’ve only gained a few lbs (been doing it 2 weeks ). I feel like my body is freaking out with all the new carbs And calories it’s getting but I’m freaking out because I’m not at all losing , I’m gaining . Just side note – I do crossfit and Zumba And have since the beginning of my weight loss, I’m only trying macros now because my coach insists I’m ruining my metabolism. I am getting stronger in our workouts but I’m also getting FAT, not just in the scale , I can see it in my clothes that are getting tighter . Anyway my question is – how common is it to first gain weight in a situation like mine before losing ? And how long will it take to start going back down ? I’m getting to a point that I want to diet again because I’m terrified of continuing to gain And getting to far that I’ll never lose it again.

    Reply
    • James 2 days ago

      Hi Kristin. Your story is (unfortunately) all too common. Your coach is probably correct – constantly undereating has lead to your body having a reduced metabolism. Our coach Ted has worked with many clients like yourself, and often finds that after a period of time, things can start to get better. Also the combination of going from very low carb, back to moderate carb may lead to increased muscle glycogen, and your muscles storing more fluid.

      You are doing the right thing. Just this week a new large meta-analysis of low-carb diets has shown that low-carb high animal protein diets lead to an earlier death, and that moderate carbohydrate (what we advocate with a macros approach) is the best for the health (see source).

      Reply
  2. dan alex 2 days ago

    i’m well below the threshold the calculator says i should be in for losing fat with my diet, which is clean, with 5-7 rather heavy training sessions/week + cardio. Still getting fat.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 2 days ago

      Hi Dan, Usually in that case, you are overestimating how many calories you are burning during your workouts or you have a slow metabolism which can result from heavy workouts coupled with a long period of too strict of a calorie deficit. Not sure which applies to your situation. How much are you eating and how long has that been the case? There can also be medical issues that cause this but this is rarer.

      Reply
  3. Ernie 5 days ago

    Hi Ted,
    I am 5foot 10 and weigh usually between 175 and 178 on any given day. I due a combination of resistance training and crossfit..But i find it really hard to see much gains i have notice a slighltly better physique but just not quite the gains i want…What would be the macro ratio you would recommend. I am hard gainer as well so …Currently eating around 40g fat/ 150-160g Protein/ 250-300 carbs daily…

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 4 days ago

      Hi Ernie, Thanks for stopping by. I can’t give you specific macro guidance without you signing up for macros coaching but it does look like you could eat more fat and a little more protein with fewer carbs. But, as part of macros coaching I would look at many factors and come up with a plan that’s tailored for you.

      Reply
  4. James Jepson 6 days ago

    How often should i recalculate macros using the calculator for weight loss ?

    Thanks in advance James

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 5 days ago

      You should recalculate after every 10 pounds. All the best!

      Reply
  5. Sarah 2 weeks ago

    Hello, i am 5ft5 female who weighs 69kg. I find it really difficult to plan my meals around my macros. can you suggest anything?

    Reply
    • James 2 weeks ago

      Sarah, there are lots of helpful resources on this site. There’s some example meal plans here. Also with the Macro Solution premium, there is a load of meal plans for different macros.

      If you are tracking your macros as you go, you will be able to get a sense of what sort meals are going to hit your targes.

      Reply