Calculators

Macro Calculator

By Ted KallmyerUpdated June 3, 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

Now what do I do with my macros?

Our comprehensive macro-based fat loss program shows you what to do. Learn more

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 (we recommend Renpho) 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.

Personal Trainer? Or wanting to become one? The National Personal Training Institute run a six-month program. Personal training skills + the macro calculator, leads to amazing results.

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 come 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.

Although it seems counterintuitive, more energy is required to fuel workouts. More workouts lead to an increasing metabolism, which in turn burns more fat!

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 a diet tracking app to help them stick to macro targets.

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

2,106 Comments

  • Charlie 1 month ago

    Hello,
    I’m a 35 male, 6’2, 230lbs and weight lift (push/pull/legs) 5-6 time a week. I have a desk job where I sit most of the day but I get myself to walk and hit 10k steps daily. I’m not sure what “activity” level to use. Would it be light or moderate?

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

      Hi Charlie, I think moderate would be the right place to start for 10k steps plus weight training. If you want me to dial them in more specifically click though the link in the calculator.

      Reply
  • Ashley 2 months ago

    I weightlift 4-5 times a week 30-45 minutes, and I walk 30-40 minutes 1 time a week, and sprint 1 time a week. I also walk about 7,000 steps a day. Would this be considered light or moderate activity?

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

      Hi Ashley, It seems like you would be moderate most days. You could also calculate a light day set for days you might not be as active. It’s typically good to have a couple different sets on hand to use since life can be unpredictable and you want the right nutrition to determine your rate of fat loss not exercise. 🙂

      Reply
  • Matthew 3 months ago

    Thanks for all of this!

    When estimating activity level does that include long walks (I try to walk briskly). I try to do other more intense cardio like rowing in addition to resistance training classes at F45 about 2 times a week (I am trying to start 3 times), but I also walk a lot. Example yesterday I walked to work and back and tried to walk briskly about maybe 8000 steps.

    Also see your breakdown below, would that calorie burned number be per day or week?

    Thanks!

    Matt

    Reply
    • Matthew 3 months ago

      This is your breakdown I was referring to:

      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.

      Reply
      • Matthew 3 months ago

        Sorry Ted. I think the right question for me is when assessing my activity level in the calculator should I include the walking (example an hour of walking – ideally brisk – in a day split – even if split into two periods).

        Here is how you describe it at a high level. Trying to decide if I am light or moderate:

        Assess your weekly activity level

        Sedentary

        No purposeful exercise.

        Light

        1-3 hours exercise per week.

        Moderate

        3-7 hours exercise per week.

        Heavy

        7+ hours intense exercise per week.

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

          Hey Matthew, I think you you it makes sense to do sedentary set as your base. Then use your phone or watch to track your activity and adjust your calories and macros based on that days activity. MyFitnesspal will do this for you if you connect sync your device.

          If you set the calculator to “lose” then that deficit should be consistent throughout the week.

          Does that help?

          Reply
  • Lisa 3 months ago

    Is this net carbs or true carbs? Thanks!!

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

      Hi Lisa, The calculator displays total carbs.

      Reply
  • Salina 3 months ago

    I’m a 15 yo female, 5’9, approx. 245 lbs and have PCOS. I’ve been told I have my dad’s bones ;/. I know I have to lose weight but everything involving my knees hurts really bad. Especially since I got hurt in my athletics class where I had to do 100 yd lunges and bleachers because I was too slow in running. I know get extremely anxious when it comes to working out. How can I adjust my macros to help me lose weight?

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

      Hi Salina, Focus on your macros to lose weight using the sedentary setting and then just shoot for around 6-8k steps a day. You can increase exercise down the road once you’ve lost some fat tissue weight.

      Reply
  • caitlin 3 months ago

    Hi Ted! When entering these goals into something like MyFitnessPal, should this be the NET calorie goal?

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

      Hi Caitlin, If you want MFP to adjust your macros based on the activity being fed into it from your wearable, then put in your sedentary calorie and macro set as a base.

      Reply
  • Brody Barnes 3 months ago

    let’s go

    Reply
  • Brian 4 months ago

    I’m a 26 y/o male who is 6’4″ and 215 lbs. I like to think I’m around 25% body fat based on pictures. I want to gain more muscle mass but lose a bit of a belly that I have acquired. I’m struggling with calculating my macro ratio that is best. I have a TDEE of ~3000 calories a day. What should my macro chart be? I’m aiming for a -10% calorie deficit based on your advice on this website to lose fat and gain muscle. Thanks for the help.

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

      Hey Brian, I’d be happy to help you dial in those calories and macros to achieve the goals you mentioned. Fill out my form here: Expert Macro Calculations

      Reply
  • Leon 4 months ago

    I walk 10 miles a day as a mailman and weight train 4x a week for an hour. Would that be considered very active? I burn an average 3600 calories a day.

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

      Hi Leon, I would think so, but you may want to use the sedentary amount above and then add in your exercise to be more specific. Since trackers can “overestimate” use our exercise calorie burn calculator which is more accurate. Calories Burned Calculator

      Reply
  • MG. 4 months 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) 4 months 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 5 months 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) 5 months 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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