Macro Calculator

Filed under Counting Macros

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

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

Age

Gender

Current Weight

Height

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

Activity Level

Goal Customize

Carbohydrate
Protein
Fat
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Adjust Meals Per Day

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How to calculate your macros for fat loss

The foods we eat are made up of three macros (macronutrients). These are carbohydrates (carbs), protein, and fat.

Chicken is high in protein but has no carbs. Rice is high in carbs, but very little fat or protein.

The human body obtains energy and raw materials for growth and repair from these 3 macronutrients.

By calculating the appropriate daily calorie amount for you, we can then break this down into the best macronutrient ratios to achieve weight loss.

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

What is a good macro ratio for fat loss or muscle gain?

Your macros are based on your personal Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and goals.

The calculator defaults at the best macro ratio that’s proven to work for the majority of people.

This is around 30% fat, protein to around 0.65 grams per pound of body weight, and the remainder will be carbs.

By adjusting your goal, this can be either a deficit or surplus.

You can go further and make more adjustments: Perhaps you’re an extreme endomorph and do better with fewer carbs. Or perhaps you have one kidney and need to eat less protein.

You can adjust to the levels that are right for you with a little math, see how to adjust your macros here.

MACRO COUNTING

  • 140 page step-by-step guide.
  • Achieve fat loss without starvation.
  • Individually tailored to your body composition.
Learn More

What is a good protein ratio?

Rather than percentage, protein should be based on your body weight.

Our calculator has three settings:

  • Moderate adjusts the ratio to 0.65 grams per pound of body weight. This is appropriate for sedentary individuals or for people with higher body fat percentages.
  • High is for people who are active, do moderate strength training, and have an average body fat percentage.
  • Maximum will set the ratio to 1 gram per pound. This is good for bodybuilding, and gaining muscle mass. You must be doing intense training.

Find out how to fine tune your protein ratios when counting macros

Macro Fat Percentage

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

See more about choosing the best macro fats.

Carbohydrate Macro Ratio

After protein and fat are calculated, the remainder of your daily calories should be carbohydrates.

Carbs fuel your body and workouts and are the body’s preferred energy source.

If you are coming from a low-carb background, this may seem high. However, this is a moderate amount of carbs according to respected nutritional research.

Provided that you are eating according to your TDEE, The notion that carbs cause weight gain or stop fat loss has been debunked.

Using as a Calorie Deficit Calculator

As a weight loss calculator this tool establishes a safe calorie deficit only.

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

Macro ratio for body recomposition

If you are looking to recompose your body (lose fat and gain muscle at the same time), then use the body recomposition calculator.

Macro Ratio for Maintenance

The Maintain button shows you the macro levels to maintain your current weight.

This is great if you have lost weight and don’t want to gain it back.

Macro Ratio for Muscle Gain

The Gain button puts you in a 20% calorie surplus. The macro breakdown is designed to build muscle fast in conjunction, and must be combined with a comprehensive weight training program.

It can also be used by people who are underweight.

TIP: Try starting with maintenance goal and then gradually increase calories from there if you want lean muscle gains.

Calculating Macros Using Your Body Fat Percentage

By default, we use your body weight to figure out your calories and macros. However if you know your body fat percentage this may provide a better result.

  • If you are lean (have a low body fat percentage), the default formula may not be the best. Choose the Lean Mass formula, and enter your body fat %. This is because muscle tissue burns many more calories than fat tissue – even at rest.
  • If you are classified as obese and have a lot of weight to lose, the standard formula may not be accurate. You can, read more about macro counting and obesity.
Help? Calculate your ideal body weight or get an assessment of your body fat percentage.

How to calculate macros per meal

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

Choose from 2 to 6 meals per day to see the macro ratio you can track for each meal. For some people, this is easier, but for others it is too much to keep track of. Do what works for you.

Meal Plans

See a 5 day macro based meal plan. It includes 3 meals and 2 snacks per day.

Macro calculator activity level settings

A higher activity level means a higher daily calorie goal.

For example – if you maintain your weight at 2,000 calories per day, then adding vigorous daily exercise means you need more calories to maintain your weight.

If you are sedentary and trying to lose weight, adding exercise will increase your daily calorie goal.

This may seem counter-intuitive, but more energy is required to fuel your workouts. More workouts lead to increasing metabolism, therefore more fat is burned!

Undereating is one of the leading causes of the weight loss plateau. So many of our clients have “hit the wall” with dieting as they continually reduce calories. They stop losing fat, and gain weight the moment they eat a little more.

Macro counting defeats this by prescribing the right food and calorie levels.

Which activity level do I choose?

  • Sedentary: Just normal everyday activity like a little walking, a couple flights of stairs, eating etc.
  • Light: Any activity that burns an additional 200-400 calories (females) or 250-500 calories (males) over your sedentary amount.
  • Moderate: Any activity that burns an additional 400-650 calories (females) or 500-800 calories (males) more than your sedentary amount.
  • Extreme: Any activity that burns more than 650 calories (females) or more than 800 calories (males) in addition to your sedentary amount.

Other options for determining your calorie burn

Why should I eat more when I exercise more?

High physical activity that is not fueled with enough calories will lead to muscle catabolism (breakdown of muscle fiber).

This could stall your weight loss, so if you love to exercise, eat up!

I’ve got my macros – now what?

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

You can learn more about the macro counting system, and the flexible dieting philosophy behind it. Many people use an app like Myfitnesspal to track macros.

For more specifics on what to eat – see a sample macro meal plan or a list of macros for common foods.

Accelerate Your Diet and Fitness Goals with My Macro Solution System

Step-by-step self-guided program -or- fully customized personal macros coaching. Feel exhilarated as you conquer your goals!

MACRO COUNTING

  • 130 page step-by-step guide.
  • Achieve fat loss without starvation.
  • Individually tailored to your body composition.
Learn More

Show article references

References

  • Mifflin, M. D., St Jeor, S. T., Hill, L. A., Scott, B. J., Daugherty, S. A., & Koh, Y. O. (1990). A new predictive equation for resting energy expenditure in healthy individuals. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 51 (2), 241-247. Link
  • McArdle, W. D., Katch, F. I., & Katch, V. L. (2010). Exercise physiology: nutrition, energy, and human performance. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Link
  • Lemon, P. W., Tarnopolsky, M. A., MacDougall, J. D., & Atkinson, S. A. (1992). Protein requirements and muscle mass/strength changes during intensive training in novice bodybuilders. Journal of Applied Physiology, 73(2), 767-775. study abstract link
  • Grundy, S. M. (1999). The optimal ratio of fat-to-carbohydrate in the diet. Annual review of nutrition, 19(1), 325-341. abstract
  • Conlin, L.A., Aguilar, D.T., Rogers, G.E. et al. Flexible vs. rigid dieting in resistance-trained individuals seeking to optimize their physiques: A randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 18, 52 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-021-00452-2
Ted Kallmyer is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, author, and macros coach. He has helped hundreds of clients reach their body transformation goals.
Updated May 18, 2022

2,037 Comments

  • Christine 7 months ago

    Hi I am struggling to work out how many calories I should intake to lose fat and gain muscle ? (In skinny fat) I’m 4ft 11, 112 pounds and 39 years old . Would appreciate it if you could help , I want to build muscle and lose body fat thanks Christine x

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 7 months ago

      Hi Christine, I’d love to help and that can be a balancing act so glad you reached out. My Macro Solution Ultimate includes custom calculations plus also my Muscle Gain Edition. Seems like both would be really beneficial.

      Reply
  • Jay 7 months ago

    Hi,

    Would you recommend going straight into a deficit or start at maintenance for a couple weeks and then start the deficit or start at maintenance for a few weeks and then jump straight down to the deficit numbers?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 7 months ago

      Hi Jay, Most of the time you should go straight to the deficit. The only exception would be if your deficit TDEE is more than 800 calories lower than what you’re eating presently. Then you may want to gradually get to your full deficit to be less of a shock to your system. All the best!

      Reply
  • Claire 7 months ago

    How do you adjust your macros and how long should you wait to see results before adjusting your macros? If my macros are 150c, 45f, 125p and I am wanting to lose weight. How would I adjust these numbers if I do not see weight loss after a few weeks. Additionally, what if at the end of the day I still have macros I need to consume but I am not hungry is it ok to stay below the macros number bc its less calories or should I just make myself eat so I hit those macros?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 7 months ago

      Hi Claire, Weight loss is determined first by getting your weight loss TDEE right and then macros are based on that. You should evaluate every two weeks and then make adjustments. Usually shaving off 100 calories is a good starting place. If you’re not hungry then you may have been too generous in calculating things or you’re eating exercise day macros on rest days. I’d love to help you with all this so if you need me to do your calculations there’s an option for that here: The Macro Solution

      Reply
  • Kayla 7 months ago

    Hi im 5’1 I weight 155 pounds! I would like to loose around 30-35 pounds what would be my macros?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 7 months ago

      Hi Kayla, Thanks for stopping by. You can use my calculator for an estimate but if you want a more fine-tuned estimate consider one of my coaching options. Personalized Macros Coaching

      Reply
  • Vanessa Birruete 7 months ago

    Hi! Im getting back into the groove of working out (its been a while) but plan to incorporate it at least 3 times per week. It will be high intensity with a mix of lifting. Should I keep activity level at light throughout the entire week, or should macros be adjusted on non workout days?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 7 months ago

      Hi Vanessa, Great job in getting back into the groove. You should try to align, best you can, your energy output with your energy input. Therefore eat more on days you workout and less on days you don’t. This is one of the keys to a life-long healthy weight Maintainance.

      Reply
  • John 9 months ago

    Hi Ted, I’m 51, I weigh 300 and am 6’1″. What protein level should I choose to lose body fat?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 9 months ago

      Hi John, Since you have about 100 pounds of fat tissue, you should use the low setting or a max protein of 170-190 grams. You also may want to consider having me help you with your calculations since having a lot of fat tissue will skew the formula used in my calculator. All the best with your journey to improve your health!

      Reply
  • Leon 9 months ago

    Say our gain calories and activity level are set right. How much weight should we be gaining each month? What would be too much so that we know to scale back on the calories or increase the energy input?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 9 months ago

      Hi Leon, A lot of this would depend on what weight training program you have in place and your consistency there. But 2-4 pounds per month is a realistic goal. You should be tracking your body fat percentage because you want the gains to be lean mass and not fat mass. If you’re gaining fat, you want to cut back on your calories.

      Reply
  • James Hennessy 10 months ago

    I show the numbers from macro calculator the same value in Cronometer, but it shows the same number value for grams here as it does in kCal from Cronometer. For example, with carbs=200kcal in Cronometer vs. here at 200g. If I switch to Grams in Cronometer, it reads 130grams for carbs.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 10 months ago

      Hi James, I’m not quite sure what you mean. 200 g of carbs is 800 kcal. 130 grams of carbs is 520 kcal. There are 4 kcals per gram of carbohydrates. If Chronometer isn’t reflecting that then something is wrong there.

      Reply
  • Destiny 10 months ago

    Hi Ted ,
    Quick question,

    I have a TDEE of 2259 and my carbs is 159 protein 157 fat 60.

    Currently at 242 pounds I want to lose about 40 pounds does that sound right to you and feasible?

    Sendentary activity due to health issues can’t really excercise but walk 30 mins a day

    And calorie intake will be 1759

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 10 months ago

      Hi Destiny, Make sure you set your macros based off of 1759. Also since you likely have more than 50 pounds of fat tissue you may have to shave off a little more to compensate. Start there and see how it goes and shave off more in the weeks to come once you see how your body responds.

      Reply
  • Cody D 10 months ago

    Great Calculator and Article man! Just put it in my favorites

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 10 months ago

      Thanks, Cody! Glad you found it useful.

      Reply
  • Jenn 11 months ago

    Hi I’m hoping you can help me. In 2017 I had gastric sleeve surgery. I would like to lose 35-40 lb of regain. I’ve been doing Optavia for a few months and lost 22. I still have some restriction in my stomach. I also have a lot of lose skin. I used the calculator and it gave me
    1487 Cal
    Carb 100
    Protein 160
    Fat 50
    I put in I was sedentary but started doing strength training 6 days a week for an hour using body weight and 8 lb dumbbells. I have been doing this for two weeks and gained 2 pounds. Help! Do you have any experience with Bariatric people, higher fat percentage, and lose skin…..wondering if that is skewing things for me.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 11 months ago

      Hi Jenn, Thanks for reaching out. I have had many GS clients over the years. It does look like your sedentary calculation is being skewed a bit and recommending you eat a little more than you should be. Also, if you are strength training it’s not uncommon for your weight to increase a little from the training which is both from added muscle and water retention in your muscles. I’d be happy to have a look at everything and calculate some optimal numbers for you to use. See my coaching page in the site menu above.

      Reply
  • Chris 11 months ago

    I have never commented before on any forums or discussion, however, I found this so helpful that I wanted to reach out and thank you. I literally just found out I’ve been undereating, probably my entire life. The amount of carbs I currently eat is far lower than what I should have. Crazy, just crazy.

    Reply