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
Ted Kallmyer is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition and is our lead macro coach. If you need help reaching your weight loss/fitness goals see our personal coaching options.

1,675 Comments

  1. Jo Hinson 3 hours ago

    Is this net carbs?

    Reply
  2. Joselyn 7 hours ago

    I am 23 5’1 female , I workout 5 days a week for an hour or less . I do strength training, But I’m also a part time waitress . Are my macros correct? they’re 1440 cals or should they be higher?

    Reply
  3. Loraine Hansen 2 days ago

    Hi Ted, I have lots of questions. The most pressing are these: I’m 56, female, fighting systemic lupus, inflammation, bloating. I’ve been eating/living Primal Blueprint/Keto for several years, to try to reduce fat and inflammation. I’ve been at a stand still for many months/years. My goals are simple, but my body is complicated. I don’t have any issues with living/eating this way, i.e., I love the foods/meals I eat, my exercise habits, it is sustainable. What I struggle with is results. My goals are to reduce fat, inflammation, bloating and to increase muscle, stamina, energy, strength. I don’t care much what the scales say, but I’m about 30 lb over what I think I should be and have about 30% body fat (guess). I need to find something that will work. Do you have experience with anything like this? Would this program be helpful for my goals, specifically reducing inflammation, bloating? I have figured my macros from your calculator, but am also interested in what you might advise (coaching). I don’t want to invest in yet another dead end. Having eaten low carb/high fat for years, the carb macros I’ve figure out alarm me. Protein: 165 grams x 4 = 660 calories — Fat: 81 grams x 9 = 729 calories — Carbs: 260.75 grams 1043 calories.
    Do you have any advice, or think you can help? Like I said, I’m complicated. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Ted the Macro Coach 1 day ago

      Hi Loraine,

      When it comes to weight loss, the most important factor is maintaining a safe calorie deficit. Even eating “keto” a calorie deficit must be maintained for weight loss to occur. If you like eating the keto way, that is fine and it may be beneficial inflammation-wise as long as you keep your triglycerides in balance. What you calculated above (2432 calories) would not be putting you in a calorie deficit so therefore would not promote fat loss. Try or Keto calculator and select “lose”.

      Reply
      • Loraine Hansen 1 day ago

        Thanks for your quick reply. Those numbers were calculated using the formula on your website. Perhaps I didn’t understand how to do it? I don’t necessarily need to keep eating Keto. I’m not positive it’s helping with much of anything, to be honest. When I said low carb, using the Primal formula, that’s anywhere from 150 grams or less per day. Again, do you have experience helping someone with an inflammatory auto immune like I have? I’m starting counting macros today, using your formulas, but am wondering if signing up for coaching is a better option for me with the complications I have. I don’t want just fat loss, also looking to reduce inflammation, bloating and gain muscle strength. If you think you could help me reach my goals more specifically, I would like to sign up for coaching. I’m a self-starter and don’t need motivation. Just guidance and to be informed. I do like to do things right from the beginning.

        Reply
        • Ted the Macro Coach 1 day ago

          Hi Loraine, I can coach you on losing fat and general nutrition but since I’m not a medical professional, my certification doesn’t permit me to give advice about or treat a medical condition. Perhaps just having me calculate optimal macros for you would suffice? Then you can put the numbers into action on your own.

          Reply
  4. Kristen 2 days ago

    Hi Ted. Thanks for the tool. Have the formulas changed recently? I plugged in the same information awhile back, then entered them again today and am getting different percentages. Total calories is the same, as is total protein, but the macro % has changed from 44/31/25 to 39/31/30. I’ve triple checked all the data I entered and it’s the same as last time. Thank you.

    Reply
    • James 2 days ago

      Great observation. Yes we did tweak the formula a few months ago. After much thought, and based on Ted’s work with hundreds of clients, we tweaked the fat macro up to 30% (from 25%). We found that these new macros a much easier for clients to follow, and still get the results!

      Reply
  5. Naina Luthra 3 days ago

    Hi Ted,
    Hope you’re doing well. So after losing 10lbs, i’m not seeing any further drop in my weight (current weight 134lbs). I have made sure to revise my macros but haven’t seen any success so far. Do you know what could be possibly wrong? It appears my body isn’t reacting to macros anymore. LOL!

    Reply
  6. Jaime 6 days ago

    Hello Ted, which plan would not only provide personal macros, but also tailor a diet that aligns to health issues along with giving the right foods and measurements to meet those macros? Ex: how much rice to get to the amount of carbs per meal.

    Reply
    • Ted the Macro Coach 5 days ago

      Hi Jamie, The advanced coaching option gives you access to our meal plan database that you can use to find meal plans that match your calories and macros. As far as health issues we have some vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free plans but it may not include your specific issues.

      Reply
  7. Yesenia 7 days ago

    Ok so based on the information I typed in ..I need to eat 547 calories per meal, and when I scale my food it looks not enough to get me full.. I don’t know if I’m doing this right .. first I scaled my rice for carbs which the app tells me it suppose to be 57g, but I feel this amount is to small. Also my protein should be 38g but I still think my piece of chicken is to small .. am I doing something wrong?

    Reply
    • Ted the Macro Coach 6 days ago

      Hi Yesenia, No, you aren’t doing things quite right. Rice isn’t 100% carbs so you have to weigh an amount and then use a nutritional database to find out how many grams of carbs are in that particular portion of rice. This is explained in more detail here: How To Find Macro Amounts in Foods

      Reply
  8. David Stewart 1 week ago

    Once you pay the fee associated with one of the three plans, how many plans for eating do you get?

    Reply
    • Ted the Macro Coach 1 week ago

      Hi David, Thanks for your interest. All coaching plans include customized macros and free adjustments as needed but only the full-service option gives you access to our meal plan database. The other two offer the meal plans that are found in the Macro Solution and the Meal Plan Bonus.

      Reply
  9. Diana 1 week ago

    My intake says 1640, but I’m a breastfeeding mother so what should I really intake?

    Reply
  10. Amira Sami 2 weeks ago

    How many grams of sugar should i eat if i’m at 1600 calories per day?

    Reply
    • Ted the Macro Coach 2 weeks ago

      You should keep added refined sugars to a minimum but there’s no specific guideline for sugar. Many foods contain natural sugars (fruit) which are counted towards your carb allotment.

      Reply
  11. Marline 2 weeks ago

    How do I work out macros for carb cycling. I track macros now and want to maintain.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Ted the Macro Coach 2 weeks ago

      Hi Marline, I think it’s best to eat more carbs when your body needs them and less when your body doesn’t. Therefore, your carbs should be higher on exercise days and lower on rest days. Randomly assigning high and low carb days doesn’t have any advantage and wouldn’t be based on any scientific evidence of its effectiveness.

      Reply
  12. Helio 2 weeks ago

    Hi,
    Silly question: 300g carbo is the same than 300g of rice?
    I’m really confuse!
    Tks

    Reply
    • Ted the Macro Coach 2 weeks ago

      Hi Helio, No, it is not. Rice is not 100% carbs. You need to use a nutritional database like MyFitnessPal to find the macronutrient breakdown of foods you are eating.

      Reply