Flexible Dieting Macro Calculator

Ultimate Macro Calculator

This macro calculator shows your optimal macronutrients and calories based on your age, height, weight, gender, and activity level. Use your results with macro counting or flexible dieting/IIFYM 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

Why Macros are Important

The foods we eat are made up of three “macros” (macronutrients). These macros are carbohydrates (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.

These 3 macronutrients (macros) are from which the human body obtains energy and raw materials for growth and repair.

What Are the Right Macros for You?

The right macros for you are based on your personal Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and goals.

Our macro calculator defaults at the best macro ratio that’s proven to work for the most number of people. You should achieve your goals using the default setting.

However, there is nothing wrong with adjusting this ratio if needed. Perhaps you’re an extreme endomorph and do better with fewer carbs. Or, perhaps you only have one kidney and need to eat less protein. You can adjust the macros to levels that are right for you personally with a little math, which is explained in detail here.

How to Calculate the Right Daily Protein Amount

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.

Using the Macro Calculator to Calculate Daily Fat Amount

Fats are set at 30% of daily energy expenditure. This is a healthy moderate amount that most people do well with and is based on recommendations by nutritional guidelines.

When choosing foods that contain fat, focus on getting predominately healthy fats as part of that 30%.

Using the Calculator to Calculate the Right Carb Amount

After protein and fat are calculated, the calculator assigns the remainder of your calories as carbohydrates. This usually results in a moderate amount of carbs that are in the healthy range recommended for most people. Carbs fuel your body and workouts and are the body’s preferred energy source.

Many people coming from a “low carb” type of dieting may feel like this calculator calculates carbs on the high side. However, this is a moderate amount of carbs according to respected nutritional guidelines and the notion that carbs cause weight gain or prevent fat loss when eaten in relation to your TDEE has been debunked.

How the Calculator Adjusts Your TDEE Based on Your Goals

Daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is calculated from your age, gender, height, weight, and exercise output.

You can easily use the macro calculator to adjust your energy levels to lose fat, maintain your current weight, or gain muscle.

By default, the results are for losing 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.

See the full guide to macro ratios here.

Setting the Calculator for Weight Loss (Fat Loss)

  • The Lose button puts you in a 20% calorie deficit which promotes safe, steady weight loss.
  • The Lose 10% button 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.

For Maintaining Your Current Weight

The Maintain button shows you the macro levels that will keep you at your current weight. This is good for people who have lost weight and who don’t want to gain the weight back.

Settings for Gaining Weight or Building Muscle

The Gain button 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.

Some people may want to use the maintenance button and then gradually increase calories from there if they want their muscle gains to be lean.

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.

How Do I Calculate My Daily Macros

By default, the results show the number of grams of each macronutrient you should eat each day. Simply make sure you have eaten those macro amounts by the end of the day.

How Do I Calculate My Macros for a Meal

Click on meal numbers to split this into a “per meal” basis for counting macros. For some people, this is easier, while for others it becomes too much to keep track of. Do what works for you. Either method is fine.

See our Healthy 5 Day Flexible Meal Plan. It includes 3 meals and 2 snacks per day.

Setting Activity Level Accurately

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 (the breakdown of muscle fiber). This is not a good thing, and can actually stall your weight loss, so if you love to exercise, eat up!

Which App is Best for Tracking Macros?

After you have your personal macro calculations, you need to determine the macros in all the foods you eat. By tracking and counting them each day, you can reach your recommended macro targets that encourage fat loss, muscle gain, or whatever your goal may be.

While this may seem like a lot of work, there are some really good smartphone macro apps that do most of the work for you. We rank the best macro tracking apps here so you can get started tracking quickly.

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!

You'll Love My 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
  • Grundy, S. M. (1999). The optimal ratio of fat-to-carbohydrate in the diet. Annual review of nutrition, 19(1), 325-341. abstract
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.
Last Updated: June 11, 2020

1,914 Comments

  1. Kaitlin 2 months ago

    Hi Ted, I’m a breastfeeding 33 year old 174cm and 74kg with a fairly sedentary lifestyle at present. I’m wanting to lose 10kg slowly but maintain my milk supply. Where do I add the additional 500 calories recommended.
    Thanks,
    Kaitlin

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

      Hi Kaitlin, Congrats on the birth of your new baby! You would divide them among your macros at the percentages given, but set the protein to “Moderate” first. Also start with 400 calories added in and increase only if there are changes to your milk supply.

      Reply
  2. Sydney Marshall 2 months ago

    Hi ted! my name is Sydney, 13 year old female, 172 cm, 70 kg, and i am very active. I play volleyball about 4 days a week, moderate strength training 3 days a week and i do cardio everyday and sunday is my off day. so i think that a lot of my weight is muscle but i also have stomach fat. I just started trying to count my macros and i don’t think that i have the correct portions because if i eat anything else i will be over the amount i should be… but at the same time i know i haven’t had enough calories. I also proabably shouldn’t be tracking calories either for my age but i just want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So is there any suggestions you could give me?

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

      Hi Sydney, Thanks for stopping by. It seems like the main thing you need to have in place is the correct energy balance for your energy output given all your exercise. Then you can establish a 20% calorie deficit for safe fat loss. All macro counting first involves estimating your TDEE. As far as macros are concerned you would want to make sure you are consuming adequate protein and carbs to support all your activity. If you need me to help get your numbers all set check out my coaching options. All the best!

      Reply
  3. Marianna 2 months ago

    Hi Ted really interesting! I am 154cm and weight 66kg… I lost 12Kg in a year and have now reached a plateau…I crossfit 6 days a week and am very active… I count my macros and eat about 1300cal divided in 20% carbs, 40% protein and 40% fat. I would like to loose more fat… I know I should change something to achieve fat lose because now I am stuck but need a little input on how to move fw.

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

      Hi Marianna, You’re undereating. 1300 calories aren’t enough to support the intense exercise you’re doing as well as a healthy metabolic rate. I help people with this problem all the time and it’s pretty common. See here: https://healthyeater.com/eat-to-lose-weight and you can read Amanda’s story on my coaching page.

      Reply
  4. bella 2 months ago

    hi Ted
    i’m bella i’m a femelle of 18 age i weight 38.4kg and my height is 160cm. I will be starting aerobic’s sessions next days which takes 2 hours every 5 days i basically spend my entire day in front of the computer and i eat only small snacks so what is the diet i should follow in purpose to gain weight !!!!

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

      Hi Bella, You should start by calculating your maintenance macros with the intense exercise setting. Keep track of your progress and then make gradual increases based on what the data reveals.

      Reply
  5. Leon Pyett 2 months ago

    should I have my protein set at maximum when I’m gaining or losing weight?

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

      Hi Leon, Not necessarily. It depends on your fat mass to lean mass ratio and the type of exercise you do. Here’s a good article for more clarification. Top 20+ Protein Foods When Counting Macros

      Reply
      • Leon 1 month ago

        I weight train 4 days on 1 day off. Each weight training session last about an followed by a half hour of cardio. My goal right now is to burn fat and hold on to as much muscle as possible. The link you showed me said high protein if you’re average body fat. I’m currently 14-15% so is that considered average?

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

          Calculate a rest day set and a workout day set. If you’re only 14-15% body fat you could do high or max.

          Reply
  6. Tony 2 months ago

    Hi Ted!

    Thank you for such an amazing site and all well laid out/in depth articles!

    Since January I have lost close to 30 pounds through exercise, calorie deficit eating, and Intermittent fasting (16:8) all at the same time. I’ve recently started my macros counting journey on top of everything, but have some quick questions to start streamlining/gaining a better understanding of my overall personal processes.

    For the sake of efficiency, Ive listed most of my questions below all together. I did want to start off though by asking about the whole losing fat while gaining muscle process that you’ve detailed.

    I am a 36 y/o male, 5’8” and currently weigh 175 lbs. My current body fat percentage is 24.09%.

    My gym just recently reopened and I wanted to lose about 10-15 more pounds of fat while adding muscle simultaneously. I know that in your article ‘Macros for Gaining Muscle and Cutting Fat’ (https://healthyeater.com/gain-muscle-lose-fat-iifym) you mention on rest days that you eat your sedentary weight loss levels. I plan on doing the same, but wanted to know given my current stats should I set the macros calculator to sedentary while selecting the Lose option or Lose 10% option? Also, on those rest days should I also drop the protein from High back down to Moderate?

    I’ve included the rest of my short questions below. Looking forward to hearing back and thanks again for the great site Ted!

    Remaining questions:

    Can I continue with Intermittent Fasting (16:8) while counting my macros?

    Since net carbs are our true energy metric, should I consume my current 168g of carbs on the calculator in net carbs or total carbs for an accurate carb macro?

    Since you mentioned that our bodies can only absorb so much protein in one sitting (25g-35g) what is the appropriate time between meal times/protein intake as to avoid loss/inadequate usage of protein?

    In addition to protein, are overall macros more efficient when consumed in specific time periods? IE Every couple hours…having a certain amount of protein, carbs, fat, and/or calories pre or post workout, etc? Or is it unnecessary as long as you get your macros numbers in for each day?

    Thanks,

    Tony

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

      Hey Tony, Great job on your progress so far, that’s really a great accomplishment and you should be proud of yourself. As you can see from other comments, I’m more than willing to give some pointers or answer a question but your number of and level of questions are reserved for my clients. Thanks for understanding, but it’s not fair to those who are paying for my expertise.

      Reply
  7. Jacqueline 2 months ago

    Hi Ted i’m excited and over whelmed at the same time. I’ll be 55 in November but inspite of my weight feel like I’m 30. I’m 5’4” and 232pounds which I hate. But I’m going to do this. My questions is what can I do to understand this new word of Macros, TDEE, ENDOMOPH ETC.?? what advise can u give me

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

      Hi Jacqueline, Glad you’re motivated to keep getting healthier. I have tons of free resources on this site (I suggest look under the counting macros heading) but here’s a good starting point: Counting Macros for Losing Weight Without Starvation and of course I have my book for sale called the Macro Solution. So, I suggest you take some time to read up on everything before jumping in.

      Reply
  8. Alice 2 months ago

    Hi I’m looking at burning 300 calories 3x a week with exercise. Which activity level should I use?

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

      Calculate a sedentary set for days you don’t exercise and then a light exercise set for days you do.

      Reply
  9. Jasmine 2 months ago

    Hi Ted ! Im a female 5’2 age 38 weight 130. i lift weights 3 times a week fullbody. no cardio. I sit at a desk for 4 to 6 hours. my daily steps range from 4k to 10k. I want to lose 15 pounds. what should I set the calculator too ?

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

      Hi Jasmine, How long are your weight lifting sessions?

      Reply
      • Jasmine 2 months ago

        60 min

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

          On days you lift set to moderate activity and lose. For days you don’t, set it to sedentary and lose. If your lifting sessions are more casual meaning you rest a lot between sets then set it to Light exercise.

          Reply
          • Jasmine 2 months ago

            Awesome. Thanks. 🥂

  10. Bilal 2 months ago

    hi Ted i am men 23 years old and have skinny fat so what type of nutrition you recommend? i also want to lose fat and build muscles

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

      Hi Bilal, I’d recommend starting with “lose 10” on the calculator. There are some more tips in the muscle building article I’ve written here: Macros for Gaining Muscle and Cutting Fat

      Reply
  11. Judith 3 months ago

    Hi Ted! I weight 137lbs, I am 5’4 and exercise about an hour 4 days a weeks. Currently I am eating 1700 calories per day. I want to lose a little bit of fat but mainly gain muscle. Any recommendations? do I need to be eating more?

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

      Hi Judith, Since you still want to lose some fat, you’ll have to be in a calorie deficit to accomplish this. But, since you also want to gain some muscle the deficit can’t be too much. This is what the “lose 10” setting is for. Give the calculator a try but I’m also available to help you with your macros as part of my coaching services. All the best with your goals!

      Reply
  12. Petra Diana Popovici 3 months ago

    Hi Ted! So many thanks for what you are doing and especially for how you are doing it: with devotion, passion and love.
    I can tell from a mile that you are a pro but also a modes lovely person by replying free of chare toanyone asking for advice. Thumbs up ! You inspired me to do the same on my field 🙂

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

      Hi Petra, That is so kind of you to take the time to tell me that. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. All the best with your endeavors and goals!.

      Reply
  13. Vidhi gupta 3 months ago

    Hello,
    My name is vidhi. I hava a question guys how can i loss my weight about 15 kg without doing any exercise…….. Can anyone suggest me best diet and i am pure vegetarian…….

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

      Hi Vidhi, Sure, use the calculator above and set it to sedentary, “lose”, and low protein.

      Reply
  14. Lindsay 3 months ago

    Hey Ted,

    I’ve been counting macros for close to a year now and I’ve hit a plateau. So, I tried dropping my calorie intake to 1200 and did that for about 2 months. Then I read that I probably wasn’t feeding my body enough. I’ve read your TDEE website and have read the site on your take on macros and I guess I just need some guidance. You can read so many different opinions on the internet and it’s starting to confuse me! I weight about 128 lbs and am 5’1. I’m trying to get around 118. I exercise 3-5 days a week and live a pretty active lifestyle. Which is why it’s so frustrating that I’m maintaining but not loosing anything. Any suggestions?

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

      Hi Lindsay, I’ve coached over 1000 individuals and about 50% of them had stalled their weight loss by not eating enough to support all the activity/exercise they do. It’s really common because the message that most people are given is that if you aren’t losing, you have to eat less. This is bad advice for active people. Muscle tissue needs to be supported with enough nutrition and healthy muscle tissue is key to a healthy metabolism. If you need help calculating everything to get things moving again, please reach out.

      Reply
  15. Alesia 3 months ago

    This is GREAT!!

    Reply
  16. Starlette 3 months ago

    Hello,
    My name is Starlette. I have a question. I do Intermittent Fasting; the Warrior Diet, 20/4. How would I be able to calculate my macros using an app with only eating in a 4 hour window? My 4 hour window of eating is from 2:30-6:30. I weigh 130 and desperately trying to get back to my ideal weight which is 115. I would love the advice.

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

      Hi Starlette, Whether you eat in a 4-hour window or a 9-hour window, your body’s energy requirements are the same. Use the calculator, set it for “lose” and eat all the macros recommended within 4 hours. IF can be good because it teaches you to listen to your body and have a dedicated fasting period each day which is a natural rhythm of our bodies, but a 20 hour fast each day would be out of the scope of a “natural rhythm”. It’s too severe in my opinion. Perhaps try a less severe approach. You’ll get the same results with an 8-10 hour eating window.

      Reply
  17. Leon 3 months ago

    As a bodybuilder is it okay to have my protein at high instead of maximum when trying to lose weight? I find that when my proteins at 147 instead of 178 I lose weight. When I keep it at 178 I usually stay around the same weight. Which is weird because my total calorie stay the same for both intakes.

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

      Hi Leon, It would be wise to see what your body composition is doing when you lower your protein. Are you losing muscle weight or is it fat tissue weight? Start tracking your body fat percentage to give you some insight. To me, it seems like it would be a lean mass drop.

      Reply
  18. Karen 4 months ago

    Hi Ted I want to transition from a keto lifestyle to a more balanced one. I’m afraid I’d gaining weight after trying so hard the past few months. I have started resistencd training 4 times a week and walk for at least 30mins a day. Wouid you recommend slowly increasing carbs etc? Thanks in advance

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

      Hi Karen, As long as you are keeping your overall calories at a deficit, carbs won’t make you gain weight other than the small water retention factor they cause. Increasing carbs after keto is more for allowing your body to readjust and not feel bloated or out of balance. Perhaps increase by 50 grams every few days until you get to the recommended moderate level.

      Reply
      • Karen Farrell-Guerin 4 months ago

        Ted I appreciate your reply, its speaks volumes about you that you offer free advice. Can you suggest a programme for me that would incorporate both exercise and nutrition to lose fat and gain more muscle definition? Im wondering do any of your exercise programmes use resistance bands which Im enjoying training with

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

          You’re welcome. Glad to help. I can definitely help you get your nutrition in a good spot and recommend a good fitness routine. I’m pretty flexible with fitness modalities and believe my clients should do things that they enjoy. So, I would find a good routine for you that uses resistance bands. Nutrition is key though and the foundation for success. Here’s my coaching page: Personalized Macros Coaching

          Reply
  19. Jordan 4 months ago

    Hi Ted,
    I have kidney disease so I can only have about 61 grams of protein a day. Since I can have limited protein will the marco calculator still work for me? Should I increase my fat and or carbs to supplement what I’m missing in protein? My goal is to lose weight.

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

      Hi Jordan, Sorry to hear that. It will work for establishing a goal TDEE but you’ll have to adjust your macro levels manually. The math’s explained here if you need help. How to Calculate Your Macros to Transform Your Body you could do up to 35% fat and then do the rest carbs after what’s leftover from your max protein amount.

      Reply
  20. Dede 4 months ago

    For carbohydrates. Do you count full carbs Or only met carbs? I’ve heard it both ways.

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

      Hi Dede, Technically you only need to count carbs that supply energy which is net carbs, but this can be tricky because not all nutritional information for food has net carbs listed or calculated. Therefore, it’s easier to just track total carbs and then use your fiber intake as a buffer in case you go over your carb or calorie recommendation.

      Reply