Flexible Dieting Macro Calculator

This macro calculator is designed by flexible dieters for flexible dieters. Flexible dieting is sometimes called IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros).

Use it to calculate your optimal macronutrient ratios based on your age, height, weight, gender, and activity level. Then use your results with flexible dieting or IIFYM and count macros to lose weight, maintain, or gain muscle.

Age

Gender

Weight

Height

Formula ?If you know your body fat %, Lean Mass formula may be more accurate.

Activity Level

Goals

Carbohydrate

Protein

Fat

MEALS PER DAY

ADJUST PROTEIN

Need help putting your results into action? See our Flexible Dieting Solution and reach your goals faster!

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.


What Are My Macros?

The following formula is used:

  1. Protein ratio is set at .825 grams per pound of bodyweight.
  2. Fats are set at 25% 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 IIFYM Formula?

The default formula is fine for most people. However, there are some exceptions.

1. If you are very lean (low body fat percentage) the standard 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 IIFYM 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 flexible dieting if you are obese.

You can calculate your ideal body weight here.

Adjusting Protein

Setting protein to Low adjusts the ratio to .65 grams per pound of body weight. Higher will set to 1 gram / lb.

Higher protein levels may be helpful if you have a strength training component in your IIFYM exercise routine. There are many differing opinions about this.

Try starting at the Normal level. If however you do a lot of lifting (3 times a week or more), then set to the High level.

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 Dieting Meal Plan. It includes 3 meals and 2 snacks per day.

IIFYM Goals

By default, the results are for maintaining weight with IIFYM. Select either lose or gain if you are trying to lose fat or gain muscle. These are good starting points, but since IIFYM is highly individualized, 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 level activity 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.

The same rule applies even if your flexible dieting 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 activity: Any activity that burns an additional 200-400 calories for females or 250-500 calories for a males more than your sedentary amount.
  • Moderate activity: Any activity that burns an additional 400-650 calories for females or 500-800 calories for males more than your sedentary amount.
  • Very Active: 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 an exercise database or a good app like MapMyFitness or a device like FitBit.

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 and get started with flexible dieting or IIFYM today.

You'll Love Our Programs

Step-by-step ebooks, or fully customized personal coaching. Let us help you succeed!

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

1,247 Comments

  1. Andrea

    Hello Ted! How are you? I have a couple of questions. First, I have been reading that the optimal macro ratio for weight loss is 40%f 40%p 20%c is this true? Would i loose fat faster with this ratio? And the second thing is I work out 6 times a week, 3 sessions of Kayla Itsiness BBG guide that`s resistance training and 3 spinning 45 minute classes that are very hard and challenging. So, what do I put in activity level? Light or moderate? I want to loose fat and build muscle, I`m 160m and 60kilos, female. Thanks a lot for your valuable input 🙂

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Andrea, I’m great thanks 🙂 A more low carb type diet can produce faster fat loss results as long as a calorie deficit exists, but these benefits are more short-term. Flexible dieting, with a more “normal” macro ratio, is more sustainable long-term and while the results may be slower at first, it evens out as the diet progresses. You probably would want to choose “lose 10%” since you are about 5kg away from your ideal weight and you want to build muscle. How many calories does your spin session burn?

      Reply
      • Andrea

        Thanks for answering!! I`m guessing around 400 cal, its very intense, dripping sweat level. I was also thinking of replacing the BBG days for weight lifting sessions.

        Reply
        • Ted

          That’s right at the borderline between light and moderate so it’s your call. Maybe start with light and then see how you go? Yes, weight training will probably do a better job of building muscle. I have an easy to do circuit outlined in my book here: https://healthyeater.com/ebook

          Reply
  2. Tina

    Hello. I need to lose more than 50 lbs. I used my lean body mass in my calculator, chose: Lose goal and Low protein. Is it correct? Can I use Normal protein instead or stick with Low for some time? I started excercising too.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Tina, I’m not sure as I’d have to see your stats and know more details about your exercise. Using lean body mass isn’t always appropriate.

      Reply
      • Tina

        220 lbs, 5 6”, 28 years
        Lean body mass:126 lbs, BMI 35,01, FFMI 20.4, adjusted FFMI 19,7.
        I want to lose at least 50 lbs.
        I go to the gym 3 times a week (light work on the machines plus bike or elliptical machine) plus 20-30 minutes easy workout for beginners 3 times a week. Other than that my lifestyle is rather sedendary.
        I was really skinny my whole life but I was suffering from depression for over two years and eat a lot of junk food with almost no activity.
        I would really aprecciate any help.

        Reply
        • Ted

          Thanks for the clarification. Using lean body mass would be part of the equation in your case, but fat tissue isn’t non-metabolic so we can’t ignore it. It would have to be considered as well. You would also need to use two sets of macros. One set for rest days and one set for your exercise days. I would love to coach you and help you reach your goals. Check out the options here. https://healthyeater.com/ebook With the 3rd option, I calculate your macros for you. All the best with your journey to get healthier!

          Reply
  3. Berenice Calzada Sandoval

    btw. I am trying to lose weight and track macros at the same time.

    Reply
  4. Berenice Calzada Sandoval

    Hi Ted! I am trying to figure out my macros but
    Im having trouble figuring out my car intake. I am a 25 year old female. I weight 65kg and I am 165cm. I consider myself very active. Please Help!
    Thanks,
    Berenice

    Reply
  5. Karla

    Hi Ted, I’m 49, 244, and 5’6″ and am wondering if I have the correct calculations. Protein 206, Carbs 114, Fat 47. Due to my A.S. I am not able to exercise at this time so whatever exercise I get is just daily office work and cooking dinner at night with clean up after.

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Karla, For those with more than 50 pounds to lose it can be a tad trickier to get your macros /TDEE in the most productive ratios/amount. You would want to choose “low” protein and consider your fat free mass index when coming up with your TDEE. I would ask that you consider buying my book with the coaching option. This way I can personally calculate your macros for you and help you be successful. Since you can’t exercise, it’s crucial that we get your macros at the best ratio possible. See here: https://healthyeater.com/ebook

      Reply
  6. Jennifer

    Ted, I have more than 50lbs to lose. How do I use my lean body mass to calculate macros?

    Reply
  7. Jamjam

    Hi Ted, I’ve just started on my cross fit routine and since stopping, I’ve put on 15-20 pounds. Would this type of diet be what I should going for?? My goal is to lose some fat and tone up. I am 5 ft 28 year old Female.

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Jamjam, Yes, flexible dieting is an effective method for achieving that goal.

      Reply
  8. l-j terron

    Hi ted I’m 34 130lbs n 5ft6 n I want to lose some weight n tone up doing 5x hitt a week n some weights after so it says on those hitt days 1650 cals n on rest 1270 cals well I’m scared as I was only going 1200 n eating low carb high protein and fat.so if I stick to these macros n add to my mfp I should start losing pls advise me as don’t want to go down Rd of fad diets I need to do this correctly any help or advice I’d really appreciate it ?

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi L-J, Flexible dieting isn’t a fad but advises eating a normal ratio of macros in relation to your target TDEE. I suggest that you give it a try. You need to fuel your body properly to get results at the gym and on the scale. Check out my book which explains everything you need to know. https://healthyeater.com/ebook

      Reply
  9. devin

    ive been trying find a reliable calculator. ive lost some weight having my macros at 1313, p115, c 75, f 63…ive plateaued and cant figure out what i need to change. i do crossfit 3 days a week. the calculator gave me really high carbs…any recommendations?

    Reply
    • devin

      goal weight for me is 125, shooting for fat loss

      Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Devin, it seems like you need to be eating those carbs and eating more on your CrossFit days. You could use sedentary macros for rest days but should be using exercise adjusted macros for workout days. Otherwise you’re in too much of a deficit and this tends to slow results for many in my experience.

      Reply
  10. Eric Brown

    Goal weight or actual weight should be used in calculating your macros?

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Eric, Actual weight unless you have more than 50 pounds to lose. Then it should be your Lean Body Mass.

      Reply
      • Christina D E Land

        So when you reach the point where you then need to lose less than 50 lbs, then you plug in your actual weight & start using thag number ? I went from 1432 calories via the calculator using my actual weight down to 1205 calories using my lean body mass… so stick with 1205 since I need to lose more than 50 lbs?

        Reply
        • Ted

          Hi Christina, You seem like you are at the borderline so you should do the 1432. Is this sedentary or with exercise factored in?

          Reply
          • Christina D E Land

            This is sedentary. I got down to 117 before my youngest child and was lean doing p90x etc and had lost 75lbs to get there (that was my preggo weight from first born). I started wit counting calories then switched to high protein low carb when i got down to 132. I got super lean doing that. I think I switched because I was down to 800 cal a day and had plateaued again so needed to switch. Think I stared the diet at 1500 cals the first time. Now I have discovered macros 🙂 I’m up to 177 and want to be at 110 or 115… so that’s about 62-67 lbs I need to lose…

          • Christina D E Land

            Although I will be working out…not sure how Consistent I can be to begin with or what approach im gonna take yet …

          • Ted

            I think in your case, either will deliver results. 1432 may be a little easier to stick with since it allows you to eat more. Either way, you’ll still be in a calorie deficit. Start with 1432 and try it for a few weeks, just make sure that when you exercise you adjust your TDEE/macros to account for that.

          • Christina D E Land

            Awesome I’ll start with 1432 then. Thank you bunches Ted, you rock!!

  11. Lauren Baldwin

    Hello, I was wondering if you could help me out, I’ve figured out my daily needs using the moderate activity level – as I’m an office worker 5 days a week, but I like to walk it into work which takes 25 mins each way, with five weight lifting days one boot camp cardio day, three HIIT workouts and one 5k and my rest day I’m using as an ‘active rest’ would this seem right?

    I’m 175 cm and 69 kg
    Worked out about 2110 calories? 🙂 I want to ensure I’m keeping as much muscle as possible

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Lauren, Choose the high protein setting and you should be able to maintain your muscle. Your exercise seems pretty varied so you may want to use a more fluid approach which is outlined in my MFP tutorial here. https://healthyeater.com/iifym-myfitnesspal-tutorial. Also, you should really give yourself a true rest day at least once a week.

      Reply
      • Lauren Baldwin

        Hi ted thanks for replying, I’m gonna use my moderate levels on exercise days and use my one full rest day as sedentary levels 🙂 will it be normal to experience bloating on higher calories? I already consume 2080 anyway and 10g less carbs 🙂

        Reply
        • Ted

          Great! I wouldn’t think so. In my experience bloating is caused by what you are eating more than how much.

          Reply
  12. Rachel Irene

    Hi thanks for this macro calculator but I’m in need of help I’ve never done this macro counting but how can I figure what my high intake of carbs? Do I need this for carb cycling because that’s what I’m trying to do. Im 5’3” and 24 and weight 146lbs but I burn almost 500-600 cal on cardio and then do about 1 hr in weights. Any advice?

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Rachel, There’s no need to worry about carb cycling with flexible dieting. The only time you could consider eating less is by eating at your sedentary macros on rest days. It sounds like you would be very active on exercise days. Since you are new to all of this, I would highly recommend my book which explains everything step by step. https://healthyeater.com/ebook

      Reply
  13. KORNELIA

    Hi, thank you for all the great resources. I just recently started calculating macros and I though I had it all figured out but then I noticed that MFP adds macros to days I have exercise. So her is my question – If my macros are based on the sedentary lifestyle (desk job) and I have to eat 1400 calories per day, do I also eat the ecxercise calories on top of that? this got me really confused because the macros keeps changing daily if I have any activity.

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hey Kornelia, You’re so welcome, happy to help. Yes, you have to eat more calories according to how much exercise you do, otherwise, your calorie deficit will be unhealthy. See my MFP tutorial here: https://healthyeater.com/iifym-myfitnesspal-tutorial also please consider getting my book which has tons of info on how to be successful with IIFYM https://healthyeater.com/ebook

      Reply
      • Matt

        If I’m selecting moderate activity and eating back the exercise calories, isn’t that sort of like getting double credit for calories burned from exercising?

        Reply
        • Ted

          Hi Matt, when you select moderate activity it already factors those calories into your total, so you do not “eat them back again” Simply eat at the TDEE and macro amounts given on your exercise days.

          Reply
  14. Teresa Dill

    I’m new to this macro calculating. I’ve used this calculator for almost 2 months now. I’m 25 yo 5’4″ started at 130lbs currently 125lbs when I last weighed myself probably about a ago. I have several questions #1 I want to lose about 15 more pounds of fat but maintain/gain muscle while doing so. Should I use the lose calculator or just the lose 10% calculator? #2 I am relatively sedentary but I do weight lift training 3 days a week for a hour or more. Do I select light activity? #3 Do I change my calories and macros on the days I do from the days I don’t workout? Thanks for the information ?

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Teresa, great job so far. It looks like you are already at your ideal weight so losing 25 pounds would put you way underweight. https://www.freedieting.com/tools/ideal_body_weight.htm. If you want to change your body composition then you’ll have to do lose 10, moderate activity on workout days and sedentary on rest days. Start measuring your body fat percentage as this is a better measure.

      Reply
  15. Claudia

    Hi! Does the flexible dieting meal plan ebook come in a vegetarian option?

    Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Claudia, Flexible dieting doesn’t have a “vegetarian option” because the very nature of the diet allows you to eat anything as long as it fits your macros. You can choose plant sources to accomplish this. The meal plan does have meals featuring meat, but these could be swapped out. I always recommend that vegetarians find a good vegan protein supplement to ensure they’re getting their daily protein requirement.

      Reply
  16. Ellie

    Hi Ted,
    I’ve been tracking for a few months and losing weight slowly but surely. I’ve recently reached a plateau and was wondering if I am using the right activity levels.
    I am on my feet most of the day for work, averaging about 5,000-7,000 steps a day. Most of these work days, I also go to the gym for an hour and do a mix of cardio and weights. I have a rest day twice a week. One of the days is a work day and the other is a weekend (I use sedentary macros then).
    What should I be using for work days and workouts?
    What about the day when I just work and don’t workout?
    Hope you can help, I’ve been so pleased with the results previously!

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Ellie, It seems like you would be moderately active on workout days. There could be several reasons for a plateau. How close to your goal weight are you? Have you been measuring body composition by using body fat percentage and by taking pictures? Your weight training can be skewing results due to muscle growth.

      Reply
      • Ellie

        I think that might be the problem, I’ve only been using ‘lightly active’ macros when I’ve been at work and working out so should change that. I’m less than 10 pounds away from my goal weight and I haven’t lost weight in the last two months. I did wonder whether the strength training would build muscle and increase weight?

        Reply
        • Ted

          The last 10 are the hardest. Yes, try increasing your calories on workout days.

          Reply
  17. Jennifer Stover

    Iam a 31 year female. I weigh 139 and my goal is 130! I have been tracking my calories for almost 2 weeks at around 1250-1350 a day I do crossfit 3 days a week and a spin class 2 days a week. I haven’t lost any weight yet with my calories restriction. Your macro calculator recommended 1711 calories a day I feel like that would make me gain weight. Other then exercising at the gym for an hour 5 days a week I’m pretty in active except for house hold chores. Can you help me make since of what I should do

    Reply
    • John

      you need to eat more. by only eating 1300 calories your metabolism slows way down and you won’t burn them off as fast. if you don’t feed your body enough it goes into “starvation” mode in which it hordes all the food you do eat, thus not seeing any results despite being at such a calorie deficit. I know it seems counterintuitive but by eating more your metabolism will pick up and you will burn more. hope this makes sense and helps you…good luck!

      Reply
      • Jennifer Stover

        Thank you!

        Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Jennifer, I do agree with John. Please see this article of mine. https://healthyeater.com/eat-to-lose-weight

      Reply
  18. Megan

    Hey there,
    Do you know what activity level I should select if I’m breastfeeding? Google says my 6 month old would drink around 30oz a day and making it would burn 20 calories per ounce – so 600 calories a day. I lost a lot of weight after having my baby so am looking to gain! I enjoy exercise and would like to start some resistance training.
    TIA 🙂

    Reply
  19. Elisa Looby

    Hi Ted,
    Just reading all the comments and you’re giving great advice so thought I’d ask my query 🙂
    I’m a 30 yr old Vegan, 5’7 and weigh in at about 128lbs. Using hanging around 9 stone to 9 stone 2. My general activity would be moderate walk everyday with the dog for 30 mins to an hour. I workout 6 days a week. Burning from 200-600 calories a day depending on what I do. I don’t lift heavy yet so my workouts consist of weights no higher than 6kg dumbbells. I am not looking to bulk as such but gain some muscle and stay lean. My biggest issue is my stomach. Everywhere else leans up pretty well. Would you recommend I choose sedentary as well and add in my exercise as I do it? I don’t track the calories I burn during my walks but maybe I should start that too? The calculator tells me 2053 calories with a moderate activity level but maybe that’s too much? I just moved from Ireland to Australia so currently im not working and will be attending a fitness course in 2 weeks so my activity level will stay pretty active. Any advice would be amazing because there are so many difference opinions about all of this. Vegans that I have researched seem to eat crazy high carb such as 801010. I tried to eat a heavier carb diet the past 2 weeks and I’ve gained a little on my mid section. So some advice is totally appreciated. Anyway I’ll stop rambling 🙂
    Thanks so much in advance,
    Elisa.

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Elisa, I loved my time in Austrailia so that’s a great life change! I would say definitely try to track your exercise, it’s really the most precise method but it requires a little more diligence and yes, track your walking. I also always recommend that vegetarians or vegans find a good vegan protein supplement as it’s too hard to get enough protein without going over on carbs. The mid-section is always tough and a bulge is not always an indication of fat. It can also be your internal organs pushing against your abdominal wall. If your stomach looks flatter in the morning than it does later in the day, this is the case. Strengthening your lower abs can help. All the best and please check out my flexible dieting book. https://healthyeater.com/ebook

      Reply
  20. Jorge

    Hi Ted,

    I can’t seem to figure out what I should put as my Activity Level to figure out how many calories I really should be eating. I have a desk job so I am sedentary most of the day. However, I weight lift 3x a week and do cardio 2-3x a week as well, usually going for 500 cal sessions.

    I’m a male, 175 lbs, 5’9″ so at sedentary I’m eating about 1900 calories a day and I’m doing the higher protein options since I’m trying to build more muscle. To give you an idea of my fitness I can squat 235 lbs and deadlift 225. Not sure my body fat % though.

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Jorge, So your goal is to build lean muscle or do you also have some fat to lose?

      Reply
      • Jorge

        My goal is both at the moment. I went from about 215 lobs to 175 lbs in about a year and so far I haven’t “lost weight” in the last 6 months but my physique has been improving bit by bit, so I know I’m burning fat and gaining muscle at almost the same rate. I would like to use more fat in general.

        Reply
        • Ted

          In that case, you should do moderately active on your exercise days and sedentary on your rest days. It seems like you would only have about 10 pounds to lose so it would probably be good for you to use “lose 10%”. All the best and if you would like additional coaching see the options here: https://healthyeater.com/ebook

          Reply
          • Jorge

            Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions! I really appreciate the help! Definitely getting the book now!

          • Ted

            Awesome and I recommend adding the members only forum where I’m standing by to help coach you and answer your questions. Glad I could help.