Use this macros calculator to determine your daily macronutrient and calorie needs.
PLUS we’ll send you a free copy of one of our meal plans.
This macro calculator shows optimal macronutrients and calories based on your age, height, weight, gender, and activity level. It serves as a weight loss, maintenance, or muscle gain calculator. Use your macro calculations in conjunction with a comprehensive weight training and cardio program to achieve your best results.
**If you are trying to lose 20% or more of your body weight we recommend consulting a registered dietitian or medical professional.**
Here are a few helpful recommendations for using our free macros calculator:
- Enter your “height” in inches, NOT in feet. Your calculations will be way off if you mess this up.
- If you mark your activity level as “sedentary” or “lightly active”. We recommended setting your protein intake to “lower” or “moderate.” This will balance out your macros better and allow for more carbs.
- If you feel you need even more carbs, try to increase your activity level and focus on getting more steps each day.
- A good rule of thumb for determining activity level is as follows.
- Sedentary: an average of fewer than 5,000 steps per day.
- Lightly active: an average of 5,000-7,500 steps per day.
- Moderately active: an average of 7,500-10,000 steps per day.
- Very active: an average of 10,000-12,500 steps per day.
- Extremely active: an average of 12,500+ steps per day.
What are macros and why are they important?
All foods are made up of three “macros” (macronutrients). They are carbohydrates (carbs), protein, and fat. Most white meat is high in protein but low in carbs. Most grains are high in carbs, but have very little fat or protein.
These 3 macronutrients are essential for our bodies to derive energy and materials for muscle growth and repair.
How do I know what my macros should be?
Your macros are based on your Total Daily Energy Expenditure or “TDEE” (which we’ll cover in more detail further down) and your fitness goals.
Our calculator allows you to adjust the ratio of your macros based on your goals and lifestyle. Maybe you see better results with fewer carbs or a medical condition requires fewer carbs. You can set your protein intake to “high”. Or perhaps you have kidney disease and need to eat less protein. You can set your protein intake to “lower”. Or if you feel the calories per day seem too low for you, you can increase your activity level in order to eat more food and still achieve your goals.
You can adjust to the levels that are right for you. That being said, we are not registered dietitians and these calculations are estimates based on limited information. These calculations should work for most individuals but if you have health concerns or issues like the ones described above, we recommend you consult your physician and/or a registered dietitian.
How much protein should I eat?
There are different schools of thought on this topic but here’s what our research has shown.
Setting protein to “lower” adjusts the ratio to .6 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This is tends to be adequate for sedentary individuals or for people with higher body fat percentages.
“Moderate” sets the ratio to .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight and works well for people who are active, do moderate strength training, and have an average body fat percentage.
“High” protein intake will calculate 1 gram per pound of body weight. This works best for those who are wanting to gain weight/muscle mass and do intense weight training.
How is daily fat intake calculated?
Fats are set at .4 grams of fat per pound of body weight which keeps it within the recommended 20-35% of total daily calories. 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, try to focus on consuming mostly healthy fats.
How many carbs should I eat?
After the calculator figures out your protein and fat amounts, it designates your remaining calories as carbohydrates. This typically results in a moderate amount of carbs that are in the recommended range for most people. Many people think “carbs” is a bad word and that you can’t eat carbs and lose weight or be healthy, but carbs an essential macronutrient. They fuel your body and workouts and are the body’s easiest source of energy to break down.
If you are coming from a “low carb” type of dieting or mindset, you may feel like the carbs are high. However, this is a moderate amount of carbs according to respected nutritional guidelines. The myth that carbs cause weight gain or prevent fat loss when eaten as a portion of your total daily calories has been proven false.
How we adjust your TDEE based on your goals.
We calculate your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) with your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level.
You can use the macro calculator to adjust your energy levels to lose fat, maintain your current weight, or gain muscle.
Provide your information and goals to the best of your knowledge and the calculator will provide accurate macros and calories based on the information provided. It will be a good starting point, but you may need to tweak your macros until you find what works best for you. Macros have worked for countless people and can work for you too.
Setting your fitness goal for “cut/weight loss.”
When you set your fitness goal as “cut/weight loss”, this calculator calculates a 20% calorie deficit based on the information you provide. This is a safe/stable method for weight loss and for most individuals should result in roughly 1-2 lbs of weight loss per week.
With that said, if you feel like your calories are too low or you don’t want to be as aggressive with your weight loss, you can increase your activity level on the calculator or simply increase your macros by 5-10%. For example, if your macros come back at 145 g protein, 58 g fat, 171 g carbs just multiple each macro by 1.05 (5% increase) or 1.1 (10% increase). Like so: 145 x 1.05 = 152 protein, 58 x 1.05 = 61 fat, 171 x 1.05 = 180 carbs.
Calculating your macros to “maintain weight.”
The “maintain weight” option calculates the macro levels that will keep you at your current weight. This is a great option for people who have recently lost weight or cut and don’t want to gain back the weight.
This is also a great option for people who want to build some lean muscle mass. We recommend starting with maintenance macros and setting a “high protein” intake goal. Then gradually increase your maintenance macros every few weeks until you’ve achieved your goal.
Using the calculator to “bulk/gain muscle.”
The “bulk/gain” option puts you in a small calorie surplus and is designed for people who want to build muscle at a moderate pace in conjunction with a weight training program. It can also be used by people who are slightly underweight.
This information along with your macro calculations should help you get started with your macros counting journey and start seeing results.