Macro Calculator

By Ted KallmyerUpdated February 2, 2023

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.


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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 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.

You can learn everything in about 60 minutes with the macro solution video course.

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 should be based on your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and your goals.

The calculator defaults to the best macro ratio proven to work for most people.

This ratio is:

  • 30% fat
  • Protein is 0.65 grams per pound of body weight,
  • The remainder is carbs.

Depending on your goal, this will be either a calorie 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 fine-tune your results for you with a bit of math. See how to change your macros here.

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What is a good protein ratio?

Rather than a percentage, proteins are 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 people with higher body fat percentages.
  • High is for active people with moderate strength training and an average body fat percentage.
  • Maximum will set the ratio to 1 gram per pound.
    This amount 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

Fat macro ratio

Set fat at 30% of daily energy expenditure.

Most people do very well with this amount of fat. See more about choosing the best macro fats. Because of high-fat diets like keto, many people are now eating more fat than they need to.

Carbohydrate macro ratio

Once you’ve calculated protein and fat, the remainder of your daily calories should be from 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, according to respected nutritional research, this is a moderate amount of carbs.

If you are eating according to your TDEE, the notion that carbs cause weight gain or stop fat loss is incorrect.

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, promoting safe, steady weight loss.

The best macro ratio for body recomposition

If you want to recompose your body (lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously), 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

The calculator uses your body weight to determine calories and macros.

However, you can obtain superior results by using your body fat percentage. The calculator allows you to choose which method; Normal for body weight, Lean Mass for fat percentage.

When to choose the Lean Mass Formula

If you are lean (have a low body fat percentage), choose the Lean Mass formula, and enter your body fat %.

If you are classified as obese and have a lot of weight to lose, the lean mass formula is superior. You can read more about macro counting and obesity.

Help? Calculate your ideal body weight or get an assessment of your body fat percentage.

Why the difference? Muscle cells burn more calories than fat cells, so the more accurately we measure this, the better your results will be.

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, this is too much detail.

Do what works for you.

Meal Plans

See a 5-day macro-based meal plan. It includes three meals and two 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, 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.

The idea seems 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 previously “hit the wall” with dieting. They would continually reduce calories, stop losing fat and gain weight when 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?

Once you’ve identified your target daily macros, 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.

I've helped 14,000+ people lose thousands of pounds by tracking their macros.

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  • 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).


  • TB 3 days ago

    Hi. I read a study on how people with high insulin resistance lost more weight when they went low-carb versus people with high insulin sensitivity who lost more weight when they went high-carb.

    I’m someone who deals with insulin resistance so I want low-carb but I’m going to be doing a combination of strength training (5x) and cardio (4x) every week so I can’t go too low. I’ve already calculated my daily calories and my workout schedule. Is 40% protein, 35% fat, 25% carb a good macro ratio? Thanks.

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 days ago

      You may want to lower your protein a tad since you don’t want protein to be converted to energy. Perhaps try 35% protein, 40% fat, 25% carbs. After two weeks evaluate based on progress, energy levels, and performance.

  • Elsie 1 week ago

    Hi, I’m on antidepressants and find it hard to lose weight. I don’t think I eat enough but worry I will put on more weight if I eat more. Do you have experience of helping anyone on AD’s lose weight? I’m currently 210lbs, 5ft 6″ do strength training 3 times a week and walking (bad knees). I eat around 1200 cal a day can’t lose a pound.. thanks Elsie

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 week ago

      Hi Elsie, I do. I’ve worked with over 1500 people over the last 8 years with all kinds of obstacles. ED can definitely play a part in making things more difficult but I’ll put a plan in place to get things moving and yes you should be eating more at least on your strength training days.

  • Alexander 2 weeks ago

    Hi..Alex here, I’m male, 31, 6’8, 250lbs, body fat 12.4% and fat free body weight is 217.6lb I am moderately active. I do more weight lifting, and less cardio. I want to build more muscle, but I’ve struggled doing this in the last 4 year span. I am slowly building, but it’s little by little..I’m not sure if it’s because of my height, or if I’m not eating enough.. any guidance would be great.

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 weeks ago

      Hi Alex, great job on your efforts so far. Given that you’re 6’8″ you probably do have pretty crazy nutritional needs especially if you want to gain. How many calories are you currently eating?

  • Kate 1 month ago

    I want lose weight, but gain muscle to keep curves.. 5’6 195. Weight train 3 times per week and do cardio remaining 4 days. What is the best way to achieve this?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

      Hi Kate, You’d want to use the lose setting and the lowest protein setting. Also, figure out where your execise sits calorie burn-wise here: Calories Burned Calculator

  • Ethan Norris 1 month ago

    If I am 18 and I am 140 lbs and I’m 5’11 and my goal is to weigh 180 in muscle mass what is the best ratio of macronutrients?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

      Hi Ethan, In addition to macros you’ll need to increase your total calories. Use the max protein setting.

  • Stephen 2 months ago

    Hi, not sure if you can help. 5’4, 40 years old, 210 lbs. My PT has advised I need to consume 2734 calories per day including 241g daily of Protein (275g carbs, 77g fat). I am a fitness noob but my brother says this sounds insanely excessive and surely puts on and doesn’t reduce weight. A few online calculators including yours are suggesting calorie consumption of 1800-2000 per day with 200g protein intake.

    Does my PTs figures sound right to you? They are vastly diffefent from what this websites calculator gives me. Seems excessive?

    • James (Moderator) 2 months ago

      Yes, it sounds excessive. Unless you are doing a large volume of exercise (intense daily workouts), it’s very unlikely you would lose weight on this diet (if that is your goal).

      We stand by our macro calculator. It’s the basis of helping over 14,000 paid customers and over 1,500 personally coached clients.

      • Tasha 4 weeks ago

        Hi I am 36, 5’5 and weigh 168 lbs. I am considered an endomorph after my pregnancy but was thin my whole life before. Wanting to lose about 20 lbs of fat. I’m pretty sedentary bei g a nurse working from home. Some days when looking at my fitbit it says I’ve only burned 1650, 1800, or even sometimes 2000 calories. What is the best way to achieve my 20 lb goal? Could I do it by May? Thank you!

        • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 4 weeks ago

          Hi Tasha, You want to establish a safe calorie deficit and eat moderate protein. You also need to adjust your consumption based on how active you are on a given day. If you need some more exact guidance, check out my Macro Solution program or 1 on 1 coaching options.

  • Audra 2 months ago

    Just wanted to comment and give a big kudos to you guys & the new features. I’ve been using/recommending your site to people for years in their fitness journeys. I’ve used it in my own for years and years as well. It’s worked wonders and gotten me noticeable results every time I’ve needed them. So congrats on the upgrades and thank you for your role in helping me over the years.

    • James (Moderator) 2 months ago

      Thanks so much for your kind words. Happy to hear how helpful some of the features have been. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any help.

      • Dani 2 months ago

        Hi, hoping you can help, I’m stuck! I’m 14.7 stone, age 45, and 5’6 height female.
        I go to the gym and do legs or upper body strength excercises 4 x a week, walk the dog briskly 5 times a week 4km. I also do trigger pilates 2x a week, and boxing Hiit 1x a week.I eat around 1200-1500 calories most days and also have a bottle of vino on a friday and Saturday. I eat between 8am and 6pm, drink 3ltr water a day. My weight just won’t budge, I log everything. Food – porridge for brekkie and generally meat/chicken/fish with green veg most lunch/times. I have rice once a week. Do I need to be eating more? Whilst I’m active I’m sedentary most afternoons ands evenings- all my exercise is between 6am and midday.

        • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

          Hi Dani, It does seem that you are under eating and not supporting your exercise properly. The bottle of wine would be around 650 calories but isn’t providing anything your body needs for muscle development, etc. If you look after your muscle tissue then it will start rewarding you. Feed the muscle, burn the fat.

  • Richard 3 months ago

    I thought low carbs lost weight faster. I understand as far as energy levels a moderate amount but more carbs than protein. That’s not ideal is it?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 months ago

      Hi Richard, There are a lot of myths and misconceptions regarding carbs. The bottom line is that they don’t not cause fat gain unless you eat an amount that pushes you into a calorie surplus. If you eat more protein than your body can utilize it will also convert to energy. Protein is an expensive energy source, therefore, you really want to reserve it for repair and building, not energy. This means that carbs are typically a higher proportion of the diet than protein.

  • Chloey 3 months ago

    My question is around calculating the protein macro. Some recommendations say we should have at at least 1g of protein per KILOGRAM of bodyweight, and others say it’s 1g of protein per POUND of bodyweight.

    Can you give some guidance on if we should be multiplying by KILOGRAMS of bodyweight or POUNDS of bodyweight to arrive at our protein measurement?

    • James (Moderator) 3 months ago

      Thank you for your question! The general recommendation for protein intake is to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. However, this number can vary based on your age, sex, and level of physical activity. For example, athletes and highly active individuals may require more protein to support muscle recovery and repair.

      However, our calculator uses a higher amount than this (about 1.4 grams per kilogram). For several reasons we have found this to be more helpful (better management of hunger, satiation, and supports resistance training).

      Overall, it’s important to consider your individual needs, so we recommend working with a personal coach.

  • Jamie 4 months ago

    I have a question! My husband is very lean, he could stand to gain 5-10 pounds but he needs to watch his carbs for cholesterol and glucose numbers. I am not sure but I am thinking he should have about 150 grams of carbs a day. My problem is I don’t know what to do with the protein and fat ratios. Can someone help me please? TIA

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 4 months ago

      Hi Jamie, Thanks for visiting. If he wants to limit his carbs to 150 then that means 600 of his daily calories will come from carbs. You would then need to find his protein and fat amount by dividing the remaining calories among those two. Here’s an article where I explain the math.
      I also do custom calculations for people so let me know if you are interested in that option.

  • Patti 6 months ago

    Hi Ted, I work out with a trainer 3 days a week, weight lifting and some cardio not much. I weigh 118 lbs and I am 5 ft tall. I want to lose 10 pounds what should I do as I can’t seem to lose weight. Thank you so much

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 6 months ago

      Hi Patti, Great job on working to get stronger! What have you been doing nutritionally to lose fat?

    • Joe S Smith 5 months ago

      How old are you


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