This macronutrient calculator, or macro calculator for short, is a comprehensive tool that can serve as your personal diet companion. After providing a few basic pieces of information such as the current level of exercise or target weight, you will receive a detailed, week-by-week diet plan based on your macros intake. Additionally, you can scroll down for some tips on how to calculate macros or what is the optimal calorie deficit for a safe weight loss.
This OMNI calculator was created in cooperation with a dietitian Dorota Sokół, who runs the portal Przewodnik Żywienia about healthy nutrition.
Remember that no online tool can replace a personalized consultation with a professional dietitian. If you’re planning on losing or gaining a lot of weight, make sure to schedule an appointment with an expert before you attempt a drastic change in your eating habits!
What Should My Macros Be?
If you’re trying to estimate the daily intake of each macronutrient, you need to take a few aspects into consideration. The first one is your required calorie intake. This value is different for each individual, as it is based on factors such as your age, sex, weight or activity level. Additionally, you need to adjust this value based on the target weight – intuitively, you will need to eat more if you want to gain weight, and less in a case of planned weight loss.
Once you know the total number of calories you should consume each day, you can calculate how many of them should come from proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. You can use the following rules of thumb:
10-15% of all calories should come from proteins. A second recommendation, issued by the Food and Nutrition Council of the National Research Council, suggests consuming approximately 0.8 g protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
50-70% of all calories should come from carbohydrates. The macro calculator uses 60% as a recommendation. Additionally, you should limit simple sugars (such as sweets or white bread) to maximally 10% of your diet.
20-35% of all calories should come from fats. In the case of this macronutrient, though, it is essential to monitor the type of fats you consume as well. In general, you should minimize the number of saturated fats (e.g. butter or cream) and trans fats (e.g. margarine), and substitute them with healthier unsaturated fats coming from sources such as nuts or avocados.
These numbers give you a good starting point in planning out your own diet, but make sure to distribute them between meals in a sensible way, too!
How The OMNI Calculator Works?
The macro calculator finds your current calorie requirement based on the Mifflin – St Jeor equation:
BMR(men) = (10 * weight / 1kg + 6.25 * height / 1cm – 5 * age / 1 year + 5) kcal / day
BMR(women) = (10 * weight / 1kg + 6.25 * height / 1cm – 5 * age / 1 year – 161) kcal / day
This equation determines your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) – the amount of energy that your body needs to sustain basic functions. As you can see above, the equation is different for men and women.
Once your BMR is calculated, its value is multiplied by a factor corresponding to your physical activity level:
Sedentary lifestyle (little or no exercise): 1.2
Slightly active lifestyle (light exercise or sports 1-2 days/week): 1.4
Moderately active lifestyle (moderate exercise or sports 2-3 days/week): 1.6
Very active lifestyle (hard exercise or sports 4-5 days/week): 1.75
Extra active lifestyle (very hard exercise, physical job or sports 6-7 days/week): 2
Professional athlete: 2.3
The result of these calculations will be the number of calories needed to maintain your current weight.
How To Calculate Macros for Weight Loss or Weight Gain
If you’re planning to lose or gain weight, you will need to adjust the number obtained in the calculations described in the previous paragraph. It is typically assumed that each pound of body fat stores approximately 3500 kcal of energy. This is why you need a calorie deficit of 500 kcal a day to lose one pound or 0.5 kg a week. Naturally, if you want to gain weight, you will need to add the same amount of food to your diet.
If you want to calculate macros for your weight loss or gain, you need to input two additional pieces of information into this macro calculator:
The first one is your target weight – how much you want to weigh after your diet.
The second factor is the type of diet. You can choose a regular diet that will help you lose one pound a week or a strict one that leads to losing two pounds every week. In most situations, you shouldn’t cut more than 1000 calories a day from your diet – such a massive calorie deficit may have a terrible impact on your health.
Dietitians recommend never reducing your calorie intake below your Basal Metabolic Rate. The macro calculator will display a warning if you are trying to plan a diet with a daily intake lower than the minimum allowable value.
Once you provide all the necessary information, two graphs will appear below the calculator. The first one shows how your weight will change over time. Remember that this is only an approximation – don’t worry if the weight loss is not as regular as shown here!
The second graph shows the suggested calorie intake for each week of your diet plan. As your weight changes over time, so does the number of calories in your diet. The macro calculator dynamically determines a new value for each week, so you can make sure to always eat exactly as much as needed.
- Have you calculated your target weight macros? How does it compare with your guestimates from the previous learning unit?