Calculators

Macro Calculator

By Ted KallmyerUpdated November 10, 2022
Macro calculator

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

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

Age

Biological Sex

Current Weight

Height

Formula ?

Activity Level ?

Goal Customize

Carbohydrate
Protein
Fat
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Adjust Meals Per Day

Adjust Protein Amount

How to calculate your macros for fat loss

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.

The calculator is based on sound science, combined with data from years of coaching hundreds of successful clients.

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 your goals.

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

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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.

It can also be used by people who are underweight.

TIP: Try starting with the maintenance goal and then gradually increase calories from there 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

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

Choose from 2 to 6 meals per day 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 an additional 200-400 calories (females) or 250-500 calories (males) over your sedentary amount.
  • Moderate: Any activity that burns an additional 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 the foods you eat.

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.

I've helped 14,000+ people lose thousands of pounds by tracking their macros.

Choose either my self-guided program or let me coach you.

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References

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
  • 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

2,069 Comments

  • Jamie 3 weeks ago

    I have a question! My husband is very lean, he could stand to gain 5-10 pounds but he needs to watch his carbs for cholesterol and glucose numbers. I am not sure but I am thinking he should have about 150 grams of carbs a day. My problem is I don’t know what to do with the protein and fat ratios. Can someone help me please? TIA

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

      Hi Jamie, Thanks for visiting. If he wants to limit his carbs to 150 then that means 600 of his daily calories will come from carbs. You would then need to find his protein and fat amount by dividing the remaining calories among those two. Here’s an article where I explain the math. https://healthyeater.com/how-to-calculate-your-macros
      I also do custom calculations for people so let me know if you are interested in that option.

      Reply
  • Patti 2 months ago

    Hi Ted, I work out with a trainer 3 days a week, weight lifting and some cardio not much. I weigh 118 lbs and I am 5 ft tall. I want to lose 10 pounds what should I do as I can’t seem to lose weight. Thank you so much

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

      Hi Patti, Great job on working to get stronger! What have you been doing nutritionally to lose fat?

      Reply
    • Joe S Smith 1 month ago

      How old are you

      Reply

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