Calculate Macros For Weight Loss


Calculate Macros For Weight Loss

Do you want to lose weight or gain muscle? We have a macro calculator that can calculate your macros for weight loss or muscle gain. You can get the right portion of food that you need to eat and see whether or not you are getting the right amount of macro nutrients.

MacroCalc is the ultimate macro calculator for bulk and cutting. It’s simple to use, but powerful in its capabilities. You can save your own profiles, see exactly how many calories you are consuming (or burning), and track your progress over time. Learn more about macro counting and how to calculate your macros with MacroCalc here .

What Are Macronutrients?

In order to successfully count macronutrients, it’s important to know what they are and why some people need different macronutrient ratios than others.



Carbohydrates include sugars, starches and fibers

Most types of carbs get broken down into glucose, or blood sugar, which your body either uses for immediate energy or stores as glycogen — the storage form of glucose — in your liver and muscles.

Carbs provide 4 calories per gram and typically make up the largest portion of people’s calorie intake.

Carb intake is among the most hotly debated of all macronutrient recommendations, but major health organizations suggest consuming 45–65% of your daily calories from carbs

Carbohydrates are found in foods like grains, starchy vegetables, beans, dairy products and fruits.


Fats have the most calories of all macronutrients, providing 9 calories per gram.

Your body needs fat for energy and critical functions, such as hormone production, nutrient absorption and body temperature maintenance

Though typical macronutrient recommendations for fats range from 20–35% of total calories, many people find success following a diet higher in fat.

Fats are found in foods like oils, butter, avocado, nuts, meat and fatty fish.


Like carbs, proteins provide 4 calories per gram.

Proteins are vital for processes like cell signaling, immune function and the building of tissues, hormones and enzymes.

It’s recommended that proteins comprise 10–35% of your total calorie intake

However, protein recommendations vary depending on body composition goals, age, health and more.

Examples of protein-rich foods include eggs, poultry, fish, tofu and lentils.


The three macronutrients to keep track of are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Macronutrient recommendations vary depending on many factors.

How to Count Them

Learning how to count macronutrients does take some effort, but it’s a method that anyone can use.

The following steps will get you started.

1. Figure out Your Calorie Needs

In order to calculate your overall calorie needs, you need to determine resting energy expenditure (REE) and non-resting energy expenditure (NREE).

REE refers to the number of calories a person burns at rest, while NREE indicates calories burned during activity and digestion

Adding REE and NREE gives you the total number of calories burned in a day, also known as total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) (6Trusted Source).

In order to determine your overall calorie needs, you can either use a simple online calculator or the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation:

  • Men: calories/day = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) + 5
  • Women: calories/day = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) – 161

Then, multiply your result by an activity factor — a number that represents different levels of activity (7):

  • Sedentary: x 1.2 (limited exercise)
  • Lightly active: x 1.375 (light exercise less than three days per week)
  • Moderately active: x 1.55 (moderate exercise most days of the week)
  • Very active: x 1.725 (hard exercise every day)
  • Extra active: x 1.9 (strenuous exercise two or more times per day)

The end result gives you your TDEE.

Calories can either be added or subtracted from your total expenditure in order to reach different goals.

In other words, those trying to lose weight should consume fewer calories than they expend, while those looking to gain muscle mass should increase calories.

2. Decide Your Ideal Macronutrient Breakdown

After determining how many calories to consume each day, the next step is to decide what macronutrient ratio works best for you.

Typical macronutrient recommendations are as follows

  • Carbs: 45–65% of total calories
  • Fats: 20–35% of total calories
  • Proteins: 10–35% of total calories

Keep in mind that these recommendations may not fit your specific needs.

Your ratio can be fine-tuned in order to achieve specific objectives.

For example, a person who wants to obtain better blood sugar control and lose excess body fat may excel on a meal plan consisting of 35% carbs, 30% fat and 35% protein.

Someone pursuing a ketogenic diet would need much more fat and fewer carbs, while an endurance athlete may need higher carb intake.

As you can see, macronutrient ratios can vary depending on dietary preferences, weight loss goals and other factors.

3. Track Your Macros and Calorie Intake

Next, it’s time to start tracking your macros.

The term “tracking macros” simply means logging the foods you eat on a website, app or food journal.

The most convenient way to track macros may be through an app like MyFitnessPal, Lose It! or My Macros +.

These apps are user-friendly and specifically designed to simplify tracking macros.

In addition, a digital food scale may help you track your macros — though it isn’t necessary. If you invest in one, weigh each food item you eat before logging it into your app of choice.

Several apps feature a barcode scanner that automatically inputs a serving of a scanned food into your macro log.

You can also hand-write macros into a physical journal. The method depends on your individual preference.

Keep in mind that it’s not necessary to hit your macro targets exactly. You can still meet your goals even if you go a few grams over or under each day.

4. Counting Example

Here’s an example of how to calculate macronutrients for a 2,000-calorie diet consisting of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat.


  • 4 calories per gram
  • 40% of 2,000 calories = 800 calories of carbs per day
  • Total grams of carbs allowed per day = 800/4 = 200 grams


  • 4 calories per gram
  • 30% of 2,000 calories = 600 calories of protein per day
  • Total grams of protein allowed per day = 600/4 = 150 grams


  • 9 calories per gram
  • 30% of 2,000 calories = 600 calories of protein per day
  • Total grams of fat allowed per day = 600/9 = 67 grams

In this scenario, your ideal daily intake would be 200 grams of carbs, 150 grams of protein and 67 grams of fat.


To count macros, determine your calorie and macronutrient needs, then log macros into an app or food journal.


Macronutrient counting may provide several benefits.

May Improve Diet Quality

Counting macros can focus your attention on food quality rather than calorie content.

For example, a bowl of sugary cereal may have a similar number of calories as a bowl of oats topped with berries and pumpkin seeds, but these meals vary widely in macronutrient content.

Counting macros may lead you to choose healthier, nutrient-dense food in order to fulfill set macronutrient ranges.

However, unhealthy foods may still fit into your macros and calories — so it’s important to make healthy food a priority.

May Promote Weight Loss

Counting macros may be particularly effective for weight loss because it sets out specific dietary recommendations.

For instance, tracking macros can help those following high-protein, low-carb diets, which are linked to weight loss

Plus, research shows that tracking food intake may aid long-term weight maintenance

May Assist With Specific Goals

Macronutrient counting is popular among athletes and those with specific health goals other than weight loss.

Anyone looking to build muscle mass may have greater protein needs than people simply looking to drop excess body fat.

Counting macros is essential for people who need to consume specific amounts of macronutrients in order to boost performance and gain lean body mass.

For example, research shows that resistance-trained athletes may need as much as 1.4 grams of protein per pound (3.1 grams per kg) of body weight per day to maintain muscle mass

Counting macros may ensure that your macronutrient needs are being met.


Macronutrient counting is an excellent tool for those looking to lose weight or build muscle. It can promote healthier eating and improved diet quality.

Take Control of Your Health

Staying at a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for your long-term health. Learn how weight can impact your quality of life, and discover your healthy weight range by taking our free, online healthy weight range assessment. Take the assessment.

How to Read Nutrition Labels

People who start the IIFYM diet very quickly become experts in reading food nutrition labels. Labels indicate how many grams of protein, carbs, and fat a portion of food has. Those figures are used in counting macros. 

However, another important number you need to look for on a nutrition label is servings in the container. That number must be multiplied by the number of grams of different components to tell you the total grams of, say, fat in the food. 

For example, if an item’s nutrition label says it has 3 grams of fat per serving and there are 2 servings in the package, if you eat the whole package, you’ve consumed 6 grams of fat. It’s not uncommon for people to focus only on the number of grams of a particular macro and to feel like they’ve stayed within their plan when they consume the whole package, only to realize later it had 3 or 4 servings—meaning, in some cases, that they greatly exceeded their macros. 

Helpful Weight Management Resources

If you’re looking to manage your weight more effectively, a health risk assessment (HRA) can be very useful. It’s a free, confidential questionnaire that helps you better understand your health risks. 

Another helpful resource is the Baptist Health HMR Weight Loss Program. This nutrition-based program is safe and effective and has been awarded the best FAST Weight Loss Program in America by US News and World Report for five consecutive years.

When you set yourself up for success, reaching a healthier weight can be easier than you think!

What are the benefits of a macro diet?

There are several benefits in counting macros versus counting calories. First, it may help you make more nutritious choices by forcing you to consider the quality of your food. For instance, let’s say you’re following a calorie-counting diet and are allotted 200 calories for your afternoon snack; that means you could eat something healthy like an apple and a tablespoon of almond butter, but it also means you could eat a 200-calorie bag of nutritionally devoid Cheez-Its. If you’re counting macros, on the other hand, you’d need to choose a snack that would fit your macros.

And if weight loss is your goal, counting macros has one major benefit: People following a macro diet tend to eat a little more protein than the average eater. “Protein requires more energy to digest and use than carbs or fat, plus it dampens your appetite,” says Georgie Fear, R.D., the author of Lean Habits for Healthy Weight Loss. A macros diet may open your eyes to healthy portion sizes.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of a macro diet is having the flexibility to choose foods you truly enjoy, as long as it fits your macro plan. Finding a good balance of nutrient-dense foods is important, but choosing an IIFYM plan allows you the freedom for an occasional indulgence, which, for many people, makes it easier to stick to in the long-run.

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Are there any downsides to the macro diet?

In some cases, counting macros is easier than counting daily calories, but not always. It can be pretty easy if you’re following basic guidelines, like filling a specific portion of your plate with protein, carbs, and fat. (More on that a little later.) But meeting specific number goals (like aiming for X grams of protein per meal) isn’t really any easier, Goodson says. After all, you’re still counting stuff. Except now, it’s three different numbers instead of just one, so it could actually be more challenging.

The macro diet also tends to turn meal and snack time into a puzzle. “It creates a macros Tetris game of trying to find something to fill in exactly what you need for one macro without going over on the others,” Fear says. That can be tough since very few foods are made up of just one macro. While a cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt packs 20 grams of protein, for instance, it also has 8 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fat.

Finally, it can exacerbate or lead to disordered eating. Placing a lot of attention on measuring, counting, and recording macros can fuel obsessive habits around food. A macros diet can also feel restrictive with trying to attain the correct ratios.

Who can benefit from counting macros?

In theory, macros dieting can help anyone lose weight. But it’s not any more effective than counting calories or even just paying attention to your portions, Fear says. And in practice, it can be a lot of work.

Still, it’s worth trying if the whole puzzle-piecing aspect sounds like fun to you. “If it’s enjoyable as a game, then macros counting helps someone to continue eating in a certain way when they might otherwise get bored,” Fear says. But if that kind of attention to detail feels like a chore or makes you anxious, it may be tough to maintain.

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How do you count macros for weight loss?

That depends on your age, size, and activity level. “Those who work out need a different amount of carbs and protein than someone who is more sedentary,” Goodson says. But in general, these ratios are a good place to start:

  • If you exercise for an hour or less daily: 30% protein, 30% fat, 40% carbs
  • If you exercise for one to two hours daily: 30% protein, 25% fat, 45% carbs
  • If you exercise for more than two hours daily: Consider seeing a certified sports dietitian. “You need personalization to maintain that high physical output and lose weight safely,” Fear says.


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