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 or flexible dieting to lose fat or gain muscle.

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

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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 of 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 but this can be adjusted depending on your individual stats and goals.
  2. Fats are set at 30% 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 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.

We 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.

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 our 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 (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

1,602 Comments

  1. Trevor Austin 6 hours ago

    I work out 5 days a week, im looking to build muscle and strength but lose body fat. Using the lose the 10 % answer would be the best way?? I would appreciate some help thank you!

    Reply
  2. cathy dear 12 hours ago

    This may be what I have been trying to find

    Reply
  3. Naina Luthra 6 days ago

    Hi Ted,

    I’m wondering if there is a way to lose body fat from certain parts of your body only. By this what I mean, I have a tendency to lose more weight and more quickly from my face as opposed to other parts of my body. I wanted to isolate my weight loss in a way that I can lose some body fat from the body parts that I want to, by setting macros to lose 10%, but at the same time maintain it on my face. I probably know the answer to it but checking in just in case my brain cells went on vacation 🙂

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 5 days ago

      Hi Naina, Sorry but spot fat loss reduction isn’t possible. Fat comes off from different areas of the body as the body needs it for extra energy. Some believe that it’s the reverse order from how the body stored it, but this isn’t scientifically verified.

      Reply
  4. Luke 6 days ago

    Hi Ted the mower is a self propelled? I work about 8 hours a day do you guys have any healthy low prep meals with high carbs or even snacks to make up the carb count?

    Reply
  5. Michelle 6 days ago

    Hello
    Should I be in a caloric deficit to burn fat and gain muscle? OR should I just should hit my daily MACROS. I do tweak my MACROS according to how my body looks and feel. But I am still a little confused if I just watch my calorie intake also??

    Reply
  6. Michelle 6 days ago

    Hello
    Should I be in a caloric deficit to burn fat and gain muscle as the time??

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 6 days ago

      Hi Michelle, If you want your body to burn fat for extra energy, then you have to be in some kind of negative energy balance/calorie deficit.

      Reply
  7. Leon 1 week ago

    So from sedentary to light is an extra 250-500 calories per day or per week?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 6 days ago

      Hi Lean, That is per day.

      Reply
  8. Martina Azzopardi 1 week ago

    Could you kindly give me meal plans

    Reply
  9. Luke 1 week ago

    Hey my job is mowing and maintaining lawns for a living would this mean I have an extreme line of activity or could I class it as moderate even though the heat is like 33 degrease some days?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 6 days ago

      Hi Luke, It kind of depends on several factors. Are you cutting the grass on a riding mower or are you pushing them? How many hours are you working per day? It seems like it would be in the extreme category if it’s mainly pushing mowing. Also, heat and sweating doesn’t increase the rate of calorie burn. In fact, the cooler you can keep your muscles the longer they can keep going.

      Reply
  10. Pamela Hartley Byrd 1 week ago

    Is there something I could drink to give me the healthy fat that I need

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 6 days ago

      Hi Pamela, You could do a smoothie with avocado and ground flax seeds along with some fruit.

      Reply
  11. Kait 2 weeks ago

    Hi ! I’m doing the keto diet and haven’t seen as much of a change in my body. I’m wondering if it’s also possible to count my macros while on keto? I get my food delivered to me by a supplier so it’s higher in protein and fibers, is there a way to do this properly ?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 1 week ago

      Hi Kait, Even with keto, you should be tracking macros to ensure you are staying in a calorie deficit.

      Reply
  12. andrea 2 weeks ago

    hey I weight train for 30min 3 days a week and do 30 min tabata circuits 2 days a week am I light or moderate?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 2 weeks ago

      Hi Andrea, That sounds like light activity to me.

      Reply
  13. Naina Luthra 2 weeks ago

    Hi Ted,

    The macros have worked amazingly well for me. I’ve noticed tremendous change in my body and probably i’m in my best shape of my life. I just have one question- I didn’t lose much from my belly or as much as I was hoping too. Is there something else I could do w.r.t macros to get rid of some belly fat? I’m currently maintaining my weight (my current weight is 133lbs)
    Thanks Naina!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 2 weeks ago

      Hi Naina, Unfortunately, belly fat is difficult to get rid of. It’s often the first place the body stores fat and the last place stored body fat is released. Stress can also cause the body to hang on to body fat. You really just have to be committed to a calorie deficit and strength training routine and be patient. Doing core work can also help because what some of the “bulge” people complain about is actually from weaker lower abdominals that allow the internal organs to protrude outwards.

      Reply