Calculators

Macro Calculator

By Ted KallmyerUpdated July 3, 2022

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

Biological Sex

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

Adjust Protein Amount

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 has very little fat or protein.

The three macronutrients provide the body with energy and raw materials for growth and repair.

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 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 your goals.

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

This is around 30% fat, protein to about 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 a 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 right levels for you with a bit of math, see how to change 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 a 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 amount 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.

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 the 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 three 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 regular everyday activity like a bit of walking, a couple of 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 not fueled with enough calories will lead to muscle catabolism (breakdown of muscle fiber).

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

I’ve got my macros – now what?

After your macro calculations, you must determine the macros in all the foods you eat. By tracking them daily, 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. 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 familiar 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
  • Jequier, E. (1994). Carbohydrates as a source of energy. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 59(3), 682S-685S.
  • 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.

2,041 Comments

  • Thomas 4 weeks ago

    I’m always wondering what really is the point of these calculators. Yes, it is a great way to track what you eat on a day and is important to get an indication to get you started, no matter what your goal is.

    But the thing is, I have tried dozens of these calculators and man they are all inaccurate as possible. From the lowest to highest calories intake on calculating for fat loss, there was a difference of a whopping 750 (!) calories!

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

      Hi Thomas, All calculators provide just an estimate but mine uses one of the most trusted formulas in the industry and gets results. I use this formula with all my clients and personally whenever I change up my personal goals.

      Reply
      • Thomas 4 weeks ago

        Hi Ted, thank you kindly for your reply. Well, the thing is that about a year ago I started training with a personal trainer and he gave me a list of things to eat so I could lose fat. I was at roughly 20,3% fat and currently I’m at 15%. Great achievement, but I want to go down to 10 %.
        The list with what to eat, was roughly around 1750 calories per day, but I’ve noticed that wasn’t enough, I just felt as weak as a sponge at some point. Right now I cranked it up to around 2120 calories per day, having a balanced intake on carbs, protein and fat.

        I train about 3 – 4 times week, doing weight lifting and of course I have a day of rest between each training day. But I start noticing my weightlifting isn’t improving anymore, I don’t know if I should eat even more or not. Cause I don’t want the fat loss to halt.

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

          No worries, happy to help. Add in 100-150 to your workout days only and then evaluate after a couple of weeks by assessing your gains and body fat percentage. I think you’re right in thinking that you aren’t eating enough. It can be a balancing act for sure.

          Reply