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. James 3 months ago

    Sowhat is the time frame for 20% lose

    Reply
    • James 3 months ago

      You mean Lose 10%? There isn’t a timeframe. This is a slight reduction in calories to help people maintain muscle mass while still burning some fat. Macro counting is a medium/long term technique.

      Reply
  2. Samantha 3 months ago

    Hi! This is a great site for calculating macros. However I am breastfeeding currently, how much P, F, C should I add to my numbers? Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Carmel 3 months ago

    Hi, I am 51 and have been told i have adrenal fatigue. I am not sure where i shoukd sit with my macros, currently they are P 109 C 145 F 48. I am gluten, wheat intolerant too and it doesn’t seem to matter what I do, weight doesn’t shift.
    I am still working out but only doing easy swimming walking and few weights without raising cortisol or heart rate levels.
    Are these macros ok?
    Thanks

    Reply
  4. James 3 months ago

    Hi Marya, we’ve seen your support ticket and will answer on there.

    Reply
  5. Mayra 3 months ago

    Hello, I workout 4x a week would this be considered light or moderate ? Please help! Thank you

    Reply
  6. Sonia 3 months ago

    I just tried the 16/8 intermittent fasting approach to weight loss and got zero results. I am a 65 year old female, do Crossfit 2-3/week, tennis 2/week and try to fit in yoga. I am ready to try this macro approach. Tips for success please! I found the fasting easy to do and am so disappointed that it did not yield results.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Sonia, We have many articles on the subject that you should take the time to browse but one in particular is about making sure you are eating enough. Check that one out here.

      Reply
  7. Matilda Lindberg 3 months ago

    Hi!

    My goal is to get lean and fit body. I am a vegeterian so counting macros would also let me see that I am eating right amount of protein.

    Reply
  8. Kateri 3 months ago

    I did set it to lose 10%

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Great, you should be all set then. Make sure on days that you don’t exercise that you eat at sedentary levels.

      Reply
  9. Martin Martinez 3 months ago

    Hello im Martin i weigh 503 lbs and want to desperately lose weight for me first and secondly my family. Im lost dont know how to start this plan about macros!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Martin, Great, glad you want to make a change. We have a lot of article on the subject on this site so I encourage you to take some time and read about the method. Also, we have a 130-page book, The Macro Solution, which takes you through the process step by step. It sounds like it would be extremely beneficial for you.

      Reply
  10. Kateri 3 months ago

    Hi,
    I used this calculator on here to calculate my macros and it says that I should do 1828 calories per day and that my daily stats are below. Does this seem right? I’m 5’4 and 120 pounds, I want to lose a little fat and gain some lean muscle. I also work out 5 days a week on the norm and it’s cardio and weight training. Let me know!
    Carbs: 244g
    Protein: 99g
    Fat: 51g

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Did you set the calculator for a deficit? You’ll need to select at least “Lose 10” to cause fat loss.

      Reply
  11. Rafael 3 months ago

    Hey I’m trying to loose weight and I’m 28 I weigh roughly 220lbs I’m 5’7I have a question on the micros calculator is the amount of protein, carbs,and fat after I put the numbers a daily intake?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Rafael, Yes, it is a daily intake recommendation.

      Reply
  12. Yey 3 months ago

    I’ve got a lot of information. That’s why I’v joined this website…

    Reply
  13. Naina Luthra 3 months ago

    Hello Ted,

    So I’m excited to say that I have lost little over 10lbs 😀 I think that’ll do it for me and I wouldn’t want to lose anymore lbs. I decided to punch in the numbers again to adjust my macros and used Maintain instead. I noticed, however, my protein intake is low compared to what i’ve been having (5’3”, 33, 131lbs, P108g, F48g, C219g) I selected high protein option. Does it look fine to you? I wasn’t sure if I should use maximum option as I don’t want to gain weight but I do instense workout for 3-4 days. Thanks for your time! You guys rock!!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Naina, Great job! Glad we could help. It seems like 108 grams is pretty aligned with your estimated lean mass but you could increase the protein on days you do your workouts.

      Reply
      • Naina Luthra 3 months ago

        Got it!! Thank you again!

        Reply
  14. sharo 3 months ago

    hey!
    i’m working out 4 to 5 days a week to lose weight, i weight 216lbs i lost 55lbs so far and i wanted to know if that calculator result work for me or not?

    Reply
  15. Angelica 3 months ago

    If you do 40 mins weight lifting and 20 mins cardio 3 to 4 days a week which category of exercise does it fall into. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Angelica, Use our activity calculator to figure out your burn for each type and then add the two together and compare it to the descriptions above.

      Reply
  16. Chris 3 months ago

    Hi ,

    I’m working out 3 times a weeks for chest and arms, 3times a week for legs, what’s the best meal plan for me and I weight 140 lbs. Trying to gain more weight and muscle!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Chris, You can use the calculator above and set it for “gain”. This puts you in a 20% calorie surplus. If you feel you are also gaining fat at that amount, you can set the calculator at “maintain” and then manually add 10% more calories. Set the protein at “Maximum”.

      Reply
  17. Theodor 3 months ago

    Hi

    I am doing weight training 5 times a week and not sure if you then could say that my activity level is “moderate” or “light” due to the fact that I am not doing any cardio training. Usually, each of gym sessions takes 1h- 2h (6-8 exercises, 3 sets, 12 reps). Furthermore, most of my time I am studying and during my leisure time I hang out with friends. So, except for working out 5 times a week, I am not active.

    Thank you in advance for your answere!
    Best regards, Theodor

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Theodor, Usually that duration of weight training would be moderate. Weight training continues to use energy even after the activity is finished as your muscle tissue is broken down and repaired.

      Reply
  18. Lisa 4 months ago

    Hi Ted,

    I have been so frustrated calculating macros for every single formula gives me such a different result. My question is, would working out 5x for about 30 mins be considered moderate or light? I would highly appreciate the help!
    Im 5’2 standing at 118 lbs.

    -A girl trying to lose 2% body fat while building muscle.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 4 months ago

      Hi Lisa, First off, all calculators/formulas are giving you an “estimate” of your TDEE. Some are better than others and the formula we use is one of the most trusted. If you already have a low body fat percentage, you should use the “lean mass option”. Secondly, most of the time a 30-minute exercise session is considered light exercise. You probably also would want to use the “lose 10” setting based on your current weight and goals.

      Reply
      • Lisa 4 months ago

        Im currently 22 % bf

        Reply
  19. Eugina 4 months ago

    I want to loose 30 pounds

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 4 months ago

      You’ve come to the right place. Enter your details in the calculator above and it will tell you how much to eat to lose weight safely.

      Reply