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, flexible dieting, or IIFYM to lose weight, maintain, or gain muscle.

Age

Gender

Current Weight

Height

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

Activity Level

Goals

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 from 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.
  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 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 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 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 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 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.

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

1,504 Comments

  1. Danny 3 months ago

    Hello, I’m trying to work out my daily intake but getting a little bit confused. Say I have 100g of chicken which contains 27.6g of protein, do I use the 100g or 27.6g towards my daily protein I take ?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Danny, Great to hear that. You would use the amount of protein that’s in the chicken which is 27.6 g.

      Reply
  2. Lillian 3 months ago

    Hello, I used the calculator to figure out my Macros. I have been working on those percentages for about a week and I’m finding out that I quickly hit the fat goal half way thru the day. I thought it was easy to meet protein goal but I’m finding this is a challenge also. The problem for me is how to eat less fat considering that most everything has fat including chicken and fish. Today I had 2 pieces of high protein toast and 3 hard boiled eggs for breakfast and I’m already at half of my fat goal. I’m wondering if the amount of fat on the calculator is disproportionate to the carbs and protein which is really high. My numbers look like this: 167g C, 118g P, 42 g F. I’m a female 5’2″, 143 lbs looking to lose fat and gain muscle. I work out 5 days a week.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Lillian, 25% fat is just a baseline but you can adjust this to 30% and still have great results. Do 30% fat and deduct 5% from your carbs.

      Reply
  3. Vicky 3 months ago

    Hi, I am almost 34, 5ft10 and 191lb. I go to the gym 4/5 times a week and do a 45 min session doing resistance training (bootcamp) Its telling me I need to have 1813cals a day – I never have this many yet I’m not loosing weight? I have stayed the same for about 2 months now after having lost almost 2 stone since Jan. Any help would be hugely appreciated.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Vicky, Give this article a read and see if it makes sense regarding your situation.

      Reply
  4. Naina 3 months ago

    Hi Ted,

    Now that I’m eating a balance diet I’m, however, noticing that I’m getting constipated which is ironic to me. I haven’t changed the food that I’d been eating before macro diet drastically other than the fact that, I’ve increased my protein intake and reduced my fat intake. I’m wondering if consuming more protein can have this side affect. Do you happen to know? If so, do you have any tips?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      It can take time for your body to adjust. Are you now using a protein supplement? This could be causing some GI issues if it’s whey based. Also, how much fiber are you eating per day?

      Reply
      • Naina 3 months ago

        How much time does it typically take? It’s been a month for me and I don’t see any improvement. Instead of feeling light, I feel bloated and nauseated. I have 1 scoop of whey in a day but I used to have it before macro diet as well with the only difference that nowadays I’m having it daily whereas before I used to skip a day or so. On an average,I’m having 18g of fiber. Please advise as I’m feeling very frustrated. I see some good results and I don’t want to give up however, if it continues like this I’m not positive if I can’t survive.

        Reply
        • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

          If you’re feeling bloated an nauseated that is probably due to something you are eating, not counting macros in general. Since you are using whey protein daily, it could be the culprit. You could try switching to plant-based protein or egg white based. Also, I would recommend upping your fiber intake a tad.

          Reply
          • Naina 3 months ago

            Ok I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the advise

  5. Betho 3 months ago

    I just counting my macros.. the grams it gave me I scaled it before cooking or after?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Betho, It depends on the food. Some food is measured using the precooked weight and others the cooked weight. Also, remember that you have to use a nutritional database to find out the exact macros in a food. i.e. chicken isn’t 100% protein. Give this article a read.

      Reply
  6. Naina 3 months ago

    Hi Ted,

    Is it a good idea to recalculate macros with new weight? I lost 3 pounds but my weight doesn’t seem to go down any further. Well! It’s not been that long since I started on my macro journey which was around 3 weeks back but I was just curious to know. Also, I’m tracking my macros using MFP and I’m noticing that my calories are going in negative even though I’ve not met my macros for the day so I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong here or is it just the way this app works? Do you happen to know what the deal is?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Naina, You don’t need to recalculate until you’ve lost about 10 pounds. With MFP, errors in nutritional info can cause this. Some entries list calories but show macros as zero. Always make sure a listing includes a food’s macros before using that entry. Another reason is if you consume alcohol. It counts towards your calories but not your macros.

      Reply
      • Naina 3 months ago

        Sure, so far I’ve been making sure I add the ones with macros and I add the alcohol manually but it’s a guesstimate since not much info is available online. When I started with this I noticed immediate difference in my weight (I went down to 138) and I also was feeling lighter however I’m noticing that the past few days haven’t been that great and my weight has gone up a little and has been fluctuating between 140-141 Lb and since then I’m trying to figure out what could possibly have changed

        Reply
        • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

          You may be dealing with water weight fluctuations especially depending on where you are in your monthly cycle. Read more here.

          Reply
          • Naina 3 months ago

            I hope so! Thank you once again

  7. Jessica 3 months ago

    Hi, I am a 27-year-old female who weighs 150. I work at a desk all day but I get up and walk around and do mini workout throughout the day. When I am off of work I go the gym every day for an hour. Burning anywhere from 500 to 650 calories during my workout. I have about 15 more pounds I would like to lose, but I also want to build some muscle. I have lost 50 pounds so far but I have hit a wall. What would you say my activity level is at? Nothing has changed for months and it is getting very frustrating.
    Thank you for your help!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Jessica, It looks to me like you are overestimating your calorie burn for an hour at the gym. How many calories/macros are you eating daily now?

      Reply
  8. Mae 3 months ago

    Hi – how come the calculator gives me different results when I enter my weight and height in imperial vs metric? Shouldn’t it give the same numbers?

    Reply
    • Mae 3 months ago

      Incorrect question. Woops.
      What I meant was, why are the results different when I do the manual calculation as per https://healthyeater.com/how-to-calculate-your-macros which is metric measurements based versus this macro calculator in imperial measurement mode?

      Reply
      • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

        It probably has to do with how the calculator rounds decimal points during the metric conversion. The results are probably just slightly different, no? Remeber, that all calculations and formulas are just an estimate of your likely TDEE.

        Reply
  9. Allison 3 months ago

    Hi, I’m a 5’4, 172 pound female trying to lose weight.
    I’ve already lost 14 pounds the last two months with counting macros and exercising.
    However, I am unsure of my activity level as a stay-at-home mom who also exercises a bit.
    I spend most of my time at home, or shopping for groceries. But at night, I power walk/jog (3.2-4.5 speed) a full mile every other day on the treadmill… Do around 20 squats, 50 (10lbs) bicep curls, and 50 jumping jacks. Sometimes I arrow-pull 90lbs weights on a machine 50 times. I like to get in about 5 different exercises a day.
    Does this make my activity level Sedentary, or Light? I go by Sedentary, but my weight loss eventually stalled and I wondered if it was because I wasn’t eating enough.
    Please help me find the correct activity level! Thank you ❤

    Reply
    • James 3 months ago

      You definitely fall into the Light category, and with sedentary calories, you probably are not eating enough.

      Reply
  10. Julisa 3 months ago

    Im 28 female 170 lbs and last time i checked i was 26-27 pbf what percentage would u recomend i should be aiming? My built is just normal clothing size medium lower and top small-medium

    Reply
  11. Gail 3 months ago

    Hi
    I’m 48 years old. 55kg and 5ft 4. I have done spin for many years but lately I have lost my motivation for the gym. I used to be toned but now I’ve lost all my muscle tone due to not eating or exercising. I really need to get my muscle tone back as wyivk as possible

    Reply
  12. bianca 3 months ago

    Hello,
    Im a 35 yo old female . 178 cm and 60 km with a BMI of 18.9.
    Im the definition of skinny fat.. I do not look fat at all but Im the opposite of toned. Im really trying to improve by running a lot and doing workouts,but without lifting yet. My legs still look like jello.
    I also am the type of person that can eat everything and maintain,also a vegetarian. What can I do to gain some muscle on my legs? Thanks!!

    Reply
    • James 3 months ago

      The best advice I can give is to stop running, and start lifting weights. It’s weight-bearing exercise that will lead to the muscle development that you are looking for. That, combined with eating the right daily macros will help you reach the goals you are looking for. Note that we have a complete vegetarian edition of our macro counting book. See more here.

      Reply
  13. Ragnar 3 months ago

    Hi, I’m an 24, 180cm, 75 kg I want to gain muscles and lose fat at the same time, I workout 5 days a week, how I calculat my macros! And how much fat do I have to eat dayilly!, thanks 🙏

    Reply
    • James 3 months ago

      Ragnar, enter your info into the calculator above, and choose the Lose 10% goal. Gaining muscle and burning fat at the same time can be done, but it is difficult to achieve. I would encourage you to consider the Macro Solution – Muscle Gain Edition — we’ve recently revised it for people exactly like yourself.

      Reply
  14. Eva Colarusso 3 months ago

    When should you be using Lean mass? I’m 144 lbs and 5” 3 just went to the doctor yesterday and got a BMI of 25%.

    Age 22 female

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Lean mass is more appropriate for woman 18-15% body fat or less and men at 12-10% body fat and less.

      Reply
  15. Naina 4 months ago

    Hi-
    I’m new to this and trying to figure out the best macro for my body. I’m 32yrs, 143lb, 5’3” female looking to lose body fat and gain muscle. I go to gym 4 times a week (my workout are intense as I do lot of resistance, weightlifting training on upper, lower or total body for at least 65 mins with minimal breaks followed by 10mins stair master) and the other days I try to hit my daily activity goal on my Apple Watch by walking( light walk) or keeping myself engaged or active on other things such as running errands etc. When I used this calculator I’d selected light activity level so my calories intake came out to be 1646. It’s been 8 days and my weight dropped to 140.8 lb already. However, I’m noticing that my energy level is dropping too especially while working out in the gym (at times I felt light headed). I!m guessing its because of the calorie intake so today, I changed my stats by selecting moderate activity level and my total intake came out to be 1860. It’s encouraging to see some results but I’m not sure if I’m going in the right direction so any advice is highly appreciated as I’m worried if I’m doing more harm than good to my body after experiencing low energy. Im using MyFitnessPal to track my macros.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 4 months ago

      Hi Naina,

      I think you accurately found the problem. You originally were in too much of a calorie deficit on days that you lift. What you could do is eat at your 1646 level on days you don’t go to the gym and eat at 1860 level on days you do.

      Reply
      • Naina 3 months ago

        Awesome! That’s what I was thinking to do. Really appreciate your time. If I’m not mistaken MFP doesn’t let you log calories for rest day. Is that correct?

        Reply
        • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

          Only the premium version allows multiple macro sets. Just enter your exercise macros and manually stop when you reach your rest day goals.

          Reply
          • Naina 3 months ago

            Great, thanks for your time!

  16. Maarouf 4 months ago

    Hello, I’m an 18, 67 kg, 169cm,male. I’m trying to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time by having a caloric surplus on work out days, and a caloric deficit on rest days. For non workout days, I put sedentary activity level with lose %10 and got 1,773 calories on non workout days . For workout days, I put moderate activity level( I do weight training with few calisthenics for around an hour and a half to two hours including rest time) with gain and got 3,053 calories on workout days. Do these valuable seem reasonable? I feel like 3,053 is too much for me. Am I underestimating how many calories are burned through workout?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 4 months ago

      Hi Maarouf, For that method, I would recommend starting at just a 10% surplus on workout days.

      Reply
  17. McGregor 4 months ago

    Hi, I’m 20, Male, 122 lb, 5’4. I want to gain muscle weight / Bulk :)!
    Sports (Tennis) 4x week, Gym 4x week.
    Macro : 450 carbs, 122 prots, 85 fat = 3050 calories.
    Q1: I was wondering, before starting eating that much calories, if it was normal that the calorie intake (3050) was that high! and if those macros are accurate or I should go see a nutritionist?
    Q2: On rest day, I should take my normal calorie intake, but how do I know / calculate my ‘normal daily calorie intake’?
    Q3: Is it essential to be 100% accurate with my macro counting…?
    Q4: Is it essential to go to the gym in order to gain muscle weight / bulk or I can do exercises in my house?
    Big thanks <3, It'll be very helpful !!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 4 months ago

      Hi McGregor,
      Q1 I’m not sure how you calculated things but 3050 does seem a little high based on your stats. You may want to start a bit lower since you want your gains to be lean and not also coupled with fat storage.
      Q2 Select sedentary and maintenance for your rest day macros.
      Q3 No, but you should be within 5 g of your targets.
      Q4 You can have some gains at home using bodyweight exercises and dumbbells but a gym will give you access to more equipment and will give you the ability to work your muscles harder.

      If you need more help dialing in your macros, check out our macro coaching options.

      Reply