This calculator will find your macronutrient (macro) requirements based on your daily caloric needs and type of diet. It will break down your macro requirements into fat, protein, and carbohydrate proportions and their amounts. You can then keep track of your macro intakes in grams. When tracking macros, you're counting the grams of proteins, carbs, and fat you consume instead of counting calories.
Enter your daily calorie requirement and select a diet type. If you don't know your daily calorie requirement, check out TDEE Calculator for All Age Groups for an estimate of the number of calories your body burns daily and to maintain your current weight. If planning on losing or gaining weight, use the calculators at Calorie Deficit Calculator for Weight Loss or Calorie Calculator for Weight Management to help you determine your daily calorie requirement for a weight loss or a weight gain.
The type of diet determines the fat, protein, and carbohydrate proportions. The calculator predefines proportions for balanced, low fat, low carb, high protein, standard keto, and high protein keto diets. You can also customize the macro proportions to suit your requirements. Click the "Customize" button, and use the sliders, or click the arrows to adjust the fat, protein, and carb percentages. Each macro's calorie and gram amounts will recalculate dynamically with your changes.
Recommended Macronutrient Amounts
The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) recommends that 45% to 65% of your total calorie intake should come from carbohydrates, 10% to 35% from protein, and 20% to 35% from fat. So, let's say your daily average daily calorie intake is 2000 kcal. In that case, 900 to 1300 kcal should come from carbs, 200 to 700 kcal from protein, and 400 to 700 kcal from fat, which calculates as follows:
For carbs (45% to 65%):
2000 kcal x 0.45 = 900 kcal
2000 kcal x 0.65 = 1300 kcal
For protein (10% to 35%):
2000 kcal x 0.10 = 200 kcal
2000 kcal x 0.35 = 700 kcal
For fat (20% to 35%):
2000 kcal x 0.20 = 400 kcal
2000 kcal x 0.35 = 700 kcal
To determine the amount in grams, you first need to know that fat contains 9 kcal of energy per gram, and carbs and protein each contain 4 kcal per gram. The macro calorie amounts given in the previous example for a 2000 kcal total calorie intake would translate into a carbohydrate intake of 225 to 325 grams, a protein intake of 50 to 175 grams, and a fat intake of 44 to 78 grams, which calculates as follows:
For carbs (900 to 1300 kcal):
900 kcal / 4 kcal per gram = 225 grams
1300 kcal / 4 kcal per gram = 325 grams
For protein (200 to 700 kcal):
200 kcal / 4 kcal per gram = 50 grams
700 kcal / 4 kcal per gram = 175 grams
For fat (400 to 700 kcal):
400 kcal / 9 kcal per gram = 44 grams
700 kcal / 9 kcal per gram = 78 grams
The total amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat determines the caloric intake of a macro diet. The recommended proportions provide a broad enough range to meet the needs of most active individuals.
The calculator's predefined macro amounts for balanced, low fat, low carb, and high protein diet types all fall within the IOM recommendation range. For the standard keto and high protein keto diets, be sure to do plenty of research about those kinds of diets as they may not be suitable for you.
Why Count Macros Instead of Calories?
Tracking macros create an incentive to make wise and healthy food choices. Body weight changes when you consume fewer or more calories than you burn. Counting macros helps you understand where the energy comes from and how it affects your body. Not all calories are the same.
Individuals focus more on food composition, so they will pay more attention to how they fuel their bodies and observe their body's reactions.
It may help people meet their fitness goals because they will have greater satiety when focusing on getting enough protein and drawing more attention to the carbohydrates they consume rather than just calories alone.
- Manore M. M. (2005). Exercise and the Institute of Medicine recommendations for nutrition. Current sports medicine reports, 4(4), 193–198. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.csmr.0000306206.72186.00