Calculators

Macro Calculator

By Ted KallmyerUpdated February 11, 2024

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

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

Age

Biological Sex

Current Weight

Height

Formula ?

Activity Level ?

Goal Customize

Carbohydrate
Protein
Fat
Get Faster Results!
Lose 5-10 pounds the first month with Expert Macro Calculations – Eliminate the guesswork and dial in your unique macros for optimal results.

Adjust Meals Per Day

Adjust Protein Amount

How do macros work?

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.

Basic steps for macro counting

  1. Enter details into the calculator
    Make sure to choose the correct goal.
  2. Take note of your calories and macros
    These will be the targets you are aiming for each day.
  3. Track your macros
    Use an app or pre-plan your meals.
  4. Measure results
    Don’t use basic weight scales. Use proper body composition scales, such as FitTrack, to measure fat and muscle mass changes.

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 goals.

The calculator defaults to 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 with a bit of math. See how to change your macros here.

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.

Underweight people can also use it.

TIP: Try starting with the maintenance goal and gradually increasing calories 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

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

Choose from 2 to 6 meals daily 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 200-400 calories (females) or 250-500 calories (males) over your sedentary amount.
  • Moderate: Any activity that burns 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 your foods.

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.

View article sources

Sources

  • 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

2,087 Comments

  • MG. 2 weeks ago

    Hello, I would like to lose weight. I’m 48, 5’5″, 210. I do HITT classes 3-4 times a week and ride a spin bike or elliptical 2-3 times a week for 30 min. I have a desk job where I sit most of the day (trying to make a habit of getting up every hour to do something). do you suggest the moderate activity? The calculator already creates a calorie deficit when choosing lose weight correct? How often should we come back to adjust macros?

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

      Hi MG, It seems like some days it could be moderate and others it may be light exercise. You should always be monitoring your progress but generally after every 10-15 pounds lost. Since you have more than 40 pounds of fat tissue, that will skew the calculations some. It my be worthwhile for you to have me do the calculations for you to make sure everything is dialed in.

      Reply
  • Diana 1 month ago

    I would like to lose weight, I am 63 5’6 . Not very active. I have had 2 not very good knee surgeries. But we are going to try to start walking. I weigh 206.6 . My husband is 6’ 225 pounds and 1 knee surgery. I understand Atkens and lost 40 pounds, I was also inmy late 40’s. with a starting weight of 175.I have tried several times to do it again and it just doesn’t work What do I have to do to make it work again? I just don’t understand keto or how to do it.

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

      Hi Diana, I would recommend the balanced approach or you’ll likely be in the same boast several years from now since keto nor atkins teach you sustainable habits. I’d be more than happy to meet with you and your husband and give you some more recommendations. Click the book a consult tab in the menu.

      Reply

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