What is TDEE (How to figure it out and what is the point)

Coach Jack explains TDEE (how much to eat)

How much do I eat?

The biggest question on everyone’s mind. Second only to “what are my macros?”

This is what I recommend:

Find out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) for maintenance. Yes for Maintenance. A caloric deficit is not required to lose weight. Can it assist in losing weight? Yes it can but only if done properly and not chronically. It is far more healthy to eat at a maintenance with proper Macros in order to keep insulin low enough/glucagon high enough to prompt weight loss.

More about that here: Insulin and Glucagon

Rules for the TDEE Calculator:

1. Use your current weight not your goal weight.
2. Read all the notes on the calculator as well as the notes in the little question marks next to the data entry fields.
3. You can eat to your TDEE and still lose weight. If it is above 2500 for a woman and 3000 for a man you can click the check mark next to “Show me the Max calories I can eat” and it will drop the calcs down to these numbers. I have found that it can be very hard to get above these numbers while still maintaining the proper protein to fat ratios so you can cap the calories there if you wish.

Tdee Calculator here: TDEE Calculator

Once you find your caloric need you need to figure out your macros or how many grams of each you need. Here is what I recommend to all my clients:

20g TOTAL carbohydrates – Not net carbs. Every gram of carb whether it be fiber or sugar has some insulin response. Ask a type one diabetic if they can ignore the effects of fiber and not take insulin after eating fiber. Hint: They can’t.

1.0g of protein per Kilogram of IDEAL BODY WEIGHT (You can find your ideal weight here: Ideal Weight Chart)

Here is an example using myself:
200lbs total bodyweight
6’0″ tall
medium Frame
From the Linked chart above that makes my ideal weight 170lbs
Convert to KG by dividing by 2.2 = 77.3kg

So my ideal protein level would be:

77.3 x 1.0 = 77.3g

For Athletes (an athlete is someone who competes in sport professionally not an average gym goer or recreational athlete):

An athlete, as described above can go higher in protein. Not more than 1g per KG of ideal weight is needed really but you can go as high as 1.5g

The rest of you calories should come from fat.

If your TDEE is 2,000 calories this is how it would break down for a lightly active woman:

20g total carbs = 20×4(4 calories per gram of carb) = 80 cals
55g protein = 55×4(4 cals per gram of protein) = 220 cals
That leaves 1700 cals for fat. There are 9 calories per gram of fat so:
1700/9= 189g of fat

Macros for a lightly active woman with a TDEE of 2,000 calories:
20g total carbs or 4% of calories
55g Protein or 11% of calories
189g of fat or 85% of calories

Funny story. 10% protein is actually directly in line with what a staunch anti-protein advocate, Colin T. Campbell author of The China Study, says is the optimal level of protein for human beings and is the basis of his argument why low carb diets are bad. Being that they are too high in protein. 

This is what works for my clients. If you gain weight on this method, this is a major red flag that you have some serious metabolic derangement. Considering that this method uses a maintenance level of calories even according to calories in vs calories out mentality, you should bare minimum maintain weight not gain. Also considering that this would promote an optimal state of low insulin, there is definitely an issue. All the more reason to work on eating more to get your metabolism and hormones in check. Sometimes you have to rebuild before you can move forward.

Now that we know what TDEE is, on to what is the point of it exactly.

Pretty much everyone knows that eventually you stop losing weight at some point. This is pretty much a guarantee.
Here is the truth about weight loss.

Caloric restriction works. The problem is that while it is working it is slowing your metabolism and damaging your natural levels of hormones. Eventually you are eating 1,000 cals a day and you are losing more hair than weight. It takes longer for some than others to get there but it happens to everyone. The true problem with CICO (calories in/calories out) is that as you reduce calories in, the body also reduces the calories out to compensate. The body always wants to stay where it is. Equilibrium.

Will eating to your TDEE immediately fix your problems? Sometimes it will and sometimes it won’t. Some people gain weight. I have yet to see substantial gain. I think the most was 5-6lbs. Some people lose right away.
What we need to realsize is that this gain should not be happening at this level. This is your maintenance caloric level. Meaning you should maintain at this weight. This is direct evidence that you have a slowed metabolism. If your metabolism was not slowed you wouldn’t gain even at a normal diet containing higher carbs.

While this minor weight gain or maintenance of weight is going on while eating TDEE what we also need to realize is that you are raising your metabolism. Multiple studies have shown that metabolism drops much faster in restriction than it raises when eating normally. In other words it gets damaged easy yet is hard to repair.

Theoretically, if you were to never have calorie restricted at all and ate to TDEE from day one, you would lose weight until you hit your ideal weight.

A better way to approach a safer and faster weight loss is to cycle calories.
Eat to TDEE for 2 or three days then cut 300-400 cals out for 3-4 days and repeat. This will keep your body from thinking energy is at a constant low supply and lowering metabolism.

Now that we know what TDEE is and what is the point of it, we can get to Keto’ing. The Common sense way.

Keto On,

Coach Jack

267 Replies to “What is TDEE (How to figure it out and what is the point)”

  1. Thank you for sharing this! Just got the Keto Bible and will emerge myself in it. Love your FB group!

    PS- i think the math might be off on this one (if I understood it correctly). I think I need to keep reading.
    If your TDEE is 2,000 calories this is how it would break down for a lightly active woman:

    20g total carbs = 20×4(4 calories per gram of carb) = 80 cals
    55g protein = 55×4(4 cals per gram of protein) = 220 cals
    That leaves 1800 cals for fat. There are 9 calories per gram of fat so:
    1800/9= 200g of fat

    Wouldn’t 2000 calories – 300 cals be 1700 not 1800?

      1. I am new to this mentality and want to try it. I’m still breastfeeding my son but starting to wean him. Should I just go by the TDEE I calculated or should I add some calories for breastfeeding? Thanks

    1. I have been eating keto for 6 weeks I’m not loosing:( I am 163 pd 35 years old 5″4 and I deliver mail so I’m sitting most if the day my goal weight is 125 can you please tell me how many calories and fat and protein I need.

  2. Jack I see that this is a different TDEE calculator. According to it I should only be eating around 1600 calories. Can that be right?

    1. Not very likley. Unless you are about 150lbs and sedentary (NO exercise).

      1. Mine is 1538 on the calculator you linked, I am 5 ft 2 and weigh 51 kg, that’s with exercise 3 x as you stated too put and maintenance.

  3. Thank you so very much. I know truly understand what I need to do to loose and maintain a weight. I have waivered on keto for a few months now.. Lost 20 but never really knew if my protein to fat ratio was right. Thank you so much

  4. How do I eat 1300 calories of fat and lose weight and what fats would i need to eat? I usually eat salmon, avocado , a little peanut butter if im hungry to satiate, coconut oil in my coffee in am IF for 16b hours. I know im not getting enough greens but cant imagine what kind or how to get that much fat its actually scary to think i would eat that much fat.

    1. This would be assuming that calories are what has anything to do with weight.

      You should read these two books:

      The Calorie Myth


      Good Calories, Bad Calories

      You can also read this from me:

      Why Calories in, calories out does not matter

      AS for what fats can you eat? That is pretty easy. Fatty meat, eggs, bacon, cheese, avocado, pecans or macadamia nuts, coconut oil, butter, olive oil, heavy cream, the list goes on. Cream cheese, boursin cheese, and double and triple cream brie is great.

      Some spinach with 4 tbsp of olive oil is 500g of fat. A coffee with 4 tbsp of heavy cream is 200 calories of fat. 1/2 cup of pecans is 110 cals of fat and if you sautee them in a couple tablespoons of butter that is 330 cals of fat. 1 egg has 100 cals of fat and fry it in butter it has 200 cals of fat. It is not even remotely difficult to eat 1300 cals of fat and what is scary about it? Also, stop IF 16 hours a day. If you are eating keto there is zero benefit to that. Eat normally and if you want to fast do an actual 24 hours fast every so often. Daily IF is just a receipe for improper caloric restriction.

      Greens are not necessary and I have two posts already showing that:

      Plants are not Vitamin Dense


      Plants are not Mineral dense either

      1. OMG, I am having to wrap my mind around all this. I have been doing 16:8 IF for about 2-2.5 weeks. OMG. I suppose as it pertains to glass half full/half empty I may take the attitude good thing I caught this now vs. months in . . . yes?

        Just completed The Complete guide to Fasting and thought I could pay mysf on the back with my IF success; been sticking to it religiously for the time mentioned above.

        Well, take a step back. I’m going to read your FB Group information. J should probably delete a couple Keto geoups I am with. It is starting to get to be information overload. I just want to get this right. The name of your group appealed to my frame of mind.

        Best re. your studies and thank you for the time and effort sharing with folk like me in the WWW. 👌

      2. I weigh 259#, 5’8″ IBW: 145 ish
        This has my TDEE at 2545calories with 251fat low activity, or 230fat high activity. (intense exercise 3xwk for 45min).

        2545 seems like a crazy amount of food and fat. Or am I doin something wrong

        1. I recommend a max of 2500 cals for women if TDEE is above 2500.

          It seems like alot but it is not. Fat is very caloric so a small amount adds up quick. 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts is 500 cals. That is a large handful and anyone who eats macadamia knows you could eat 2500 cals of macadamia in one sitting.

          I would do this:

          20g total carbs max
          60g protein MAX
          225-250g of fat

          Fat sources:

          3 cups spinach with 4 tbsp of olive oil – 54g of fat
          coffee with 4 tbsp HWC – 20g fat
          2 eggs fried in 1 tbsp butter – 26 grams of fat
          4 egg yolks – 18g fat
          0.5 cups macadamia with 2 oz cream cheese – 57g fat
          2 oz triple cream brie – 24g fat
          hollandaise sauce – 31g fat (2 egg yolks, 30g melted butter, lemon juice to taste and whisk together. Put on meat or whatever you want)
          Boursin cheese 2 oz – 24g fat
          0.5 cup macadamia sauteed in 2 tbsp butter – 62g fat
          Half an avocado – 11g fat
          10 olives – 5g fat
          1 tbsp butter – 12g fat
          1 tbsp avocado mayo – 11g fat
          1 tbsp almond butter mixed with 1 tbsp MCT or coconut oil – 22g of fat
          Liver pate https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liver_pâté – tons of fat with little protein and tastes amazing

          This is 377g worth of fat.

          Spinach with olive oil
          0.5 cups pecans with 2 tbsp butter
          Coffee with 5 tbsp hWC
          2 eggs friend in butter

          over 200 grams of fat with zero fat bombs or zero fat shakes.

          1. Thank you Jack, I’m a girl on the heavier side than this poster and about croaked when I saw how much fat I needed to consume (maintenance weight = 2905 and IBW = 167). I will put my max cals at 2500 and adjust accordingly. I’m glad I read through the comments!

          2. Thank you for this answer. New and learning! I am very obese, glad to read this about the 2500 max calories and the examples you shared.

          3. I too have a high TDEE of 3051. So following this post I stick to the 2500 correct? Also would a history of gastric bypass change anything?

          4. 2500 is plenty for a woman but you can go higher and it might be beneficial to go higher. The higher you go and the longer you stay there the faster your metabolism will get. No difference for bypass.

      3. This also explains why my body stopped losing after I started IF! Four weeks after doing IF, my weight loss stalled. So frustrating! I couldn’t imagine why a diet that allowed me to lose 21 pounds in eight weeks, even a good bit of that of that was probably water weight, would all of a sudden stop working, especially considering that I had dropped to two meals a day and reduced calories. Thank you for putting this out here for all of us!

    2. Still confused! It says I should eat 1397. I’m not
      Calculating my macros correctly. I’m 155 trying to get down to 135.
      Thank you

      1. Put in your age, weight and height. Set to 3 days a week exercise. Eat teh amount of calories it says for maintenance.

        1. I’m 50, female, 5’8″, 145lbs. It says maintenance 45 percent carbs. That ain’t keto…

          1. If you read the article correctly it specifically states not to look at the calculators recommendation for carbs and clearly lays out how to get each of the macro nutrients. Things don’t make sense when you don’t read them correctly.

            As per the directions in the article, 20g total carbs is the recommendation. You get only caloric need from the calculator.

  5. OK, I need another set of eyeballs to check my math:
    My Maintenance calories is 2,377, ideal weight is 65.5 kg

    So, I came up with this:
    20 g carbs = 80 calories
    52.4 g protein = 209.60

    And the rest, 2,087.40 calories, should come from fat…

    1. Looks about right. Really you could flux around between 1800 to 2400 and do just fine. Just dont spend all your time at 1800 or that will be your new maintenance.

  6. Does this work for type 2 diabetics? I fear maintaining my current weight and not losing as my metabolism now is probably shit.

    1. I work with several Type 2 and have worked with several type 1s as well. It is the best possible choice. You do have to be in contact with your doctor in regards to your medications as your need for insulin will be reduced.

  7. This isn’t coming out right on my tracker.
    2200 cal
    20 carbs – 80 cal (4 cal/carb)
    47g-89g protein – 188 – 359 cal
    195g – 214g fat – 1932 – 1761 cal

    My tracker has be at 20g carbs, 66 protein and 220 fat. I’m not active AT ALL so I don’t see needing this much protein. But I’d have to up my fat then, which puts me over your guidelines. I’m so lost

    1. It doesn’t have to be down to the gram.

      Just do 20g total carbs, 50-60g protein (50 would be plenty) and 180-200g of fat. That will be fine for most women. The whole idea is keeping the ratios of carbs/fat/protein correct and keeping calories from getting too low. 1800-2200 cals is perfectly fine for most women really.

  8. If we are using total carbs then if I have an avacado and it has 12.4g of carbs then my day is almost out of carbs?

  9. Hi! I’m currently completely sedentary (recovering from pneumonia). Should I still be calculating my TDEE as “three days of exercise” or move it over to “sedentary?” I’m definitely not getting any exercise (or even really any normal movement) right now. Thank you!

    1. If you are truly not moving at all and are bed ridden then choose sedentary. If you are still moving about the house but limited I would see what sedentary says and what 3 days of exercise says and use somewhere in the middle.

  10. Need som help with the math please my TDEE is 2619 based on maintenance 46 y/o women 5-6 days moderate exercise – day on day off of cardio, full body work outs. Ideal weigh should be 58kg

    How to I work out what my carb/protein/fat intake should be?

    1. 20g total carbs or less
      58kg x 0.8-1.0g = 46-58g of protein
      The rest is fat

      20g carbs = 80 cals
      50g of protein = 200 cals
      2619-280 = 2339 cals
      2339/9 = 260g of fat.

      You likely dont have to eat that much.

      I would do 20g carbs
      200-225g of fat
      50-60g protein

  11. Hi. I wanted to double check my numbers.
    53 year old female, 5′ 1″ tall
    Current weight = 180
    Ideal weight = about 115 lbs
    Walk 3-4 times a week, 30-45 mins, low to moderate intensity
    Med to small frame.
    Maintenance calories = 1871
    20g carbs = 80 calories
    Protein = 41.8g / 167.2 calories
    Fat = 180.4g / 1624 calories

    Is this correct?

    Thank you. I’m so anxious to get started!!

  12. I’ve been doing Keto for over a month now and feel like I’m hitting a stall. Was doing 70/20/5 and was in a caloric deficit. Just read this and want to make sure my calculations are correct.

    TDEE sendeantary is 1818
    TDEE 3x a week is 2084

    I don’t work out at all right now. I’m 37 yr old female, current weight is 172.4 and goal is 150. My calculations are 171g fat, 50g of protein and 20g of carbs based off the sendeantary calories. Is this right?

  13. First time figuring out TDEE (or even hearing it)
    I’ve been Keto since July 25, 17. Was 215 in May of 2016 (cancer, radical hysto July 2016 so hormones way out of whack- I refuse estrogen) dropped to 197 by July 2017 & started Keto. Today 172. (Stalled- ty holidays! Lol)
    With your configurations- my new macros are below. I was surprised to see the cals were so much higher than recomended by another site. I was only consuming 1200 cal or less. Being conditioned for 1200 I’m scared to step up. I’ve already gained 4.2 with the holidays (my bad). I’ve been losing a lot of hair tho. (Your other article said lack of cals will do this)
    I’d love any advice- extra links. Your information makes sense.
    Thank you!

    172.2# (fluctuates 168-172.2)
    I work 12hr in an ER but do not ‘work out’ other than yoga or walking. (Lots of physical healing but finally have ok for core)

    1865 Cals.
    Carbs 20g.
    Protein 46g.
    Fat 174g.

    1. You may gain weight initially but that is the price to pay for ruining your metabolism by abusing the body by trying to make it run on 1200 calories when it needs 1800. with time you will reverse the metabolism and the body will understand you are feeding it and start to run properly again. Then the weight wills tart to move back in the opposite direction. You can even play with a caloric cycling approach or even alternate day fasting strategies.

      1. I started tree and my weight has gone up. I am OK with it because I have dieted most my adult life. My question is when I cycle calories where do I take them from? From just the fat or fat and protein? Thank you!

          1. On cycling out 300-400 cals every 2-3 days, how does “take them equally from all macros” work when the carb macro is only 80 cal total? Does this mean for those 2-3 days I will eat zero carbs? (I personally don’t have an issue with that, as I eat barely any carbs most days anyway.) Please and thank you. ~:0)

          2. Percentages.

            At say 2000 cals if you are eating 5% carbs/15% protein/80% fat when you drop to 1600 cals maintain the same percentage.

  14. Want to verify my numbers – seems like a lot of fat! I am 6 ft 2 and currently weigh 263, I entered my ideal weight at 225. My numbers are 20g carbs, 82g protein & 287g of fat

  15. Any particular app that you recommend? I started with senza but they only measure NET carbs. How can I accommodate (or figure out) total carbs?

  16. When you begin to lose weight, does your TDEE stay the same or change with it?
    Also, my “maintenance” said 2285–is that the number of calories I am supposed to take in everyday? I’m confused based on exercise and what not. Also confused by how I hit my macros and still do not hit the caloric maintenance number. Help?!

    1. You can recalculate it every 10-15lbs that you lose. Yes that would be the number of calories you should aim to eat every day. You cannot hit the macros but not the calories. Mathematically impossible.

      1g of carbs has 4 calories
      1g of protein has 4 calories
      1g fat has 9 calories

      If you hit your macros you hit your calories.

  17. I’m having trouble with the numbers. I just stepped on a scale and am horrified, it says 360. I do NOT want to maintain that weight. My job involves sitting all day, I am very sedentary. Do I really use the numbers for 360? I need to lose half of me – please help, I might be your biggest person ever to begin to use keto and need to do it right.

    1. I would find your TDEE at base metabolic rate, the calc can be set for BMR, and at 3 days per week and use a caloric number in the middle of those two.

      The standard TDEE calc works best for people with 100 or less lbs to lose.

      1. I’m in the same boat as Shana… 360lbs to start. My TDEE is 3268 cals, if I do the BMR it says 2377, so would 2868 be a good starting point?

        I’m getting 20g/80 cals carbs, 68g/272 cals Protein, and then 2516 cals of Fat. Does this make sense? I’m 5’10”, large frame, I went with goal of 180lbs, but realistically expect a goal of 200, as I have been overweight my entire adult life, and have so much skin.

        1. I would go even a bit lower. I don’t think there is any need for any woman to exceed 2300 cals. Your BMR is even thrown off at this point because of the starting weight.

          Do 2300 cals

          20g carbs
          60g protein
          225g fat

          That will do you well.

  18. My TDEE is showing 1786 calories..

    How would that be broken down for my daily macro counting?

    I’m 5’2.5 inches (yes, I really count that half inch)

    I appreciate your help and all the resources on this page

  19. Hi!! 😃
    My question is about exercise. I do Crossfit 5-6 times a week (I’m a flight Attendant on long haul flights, lots of walking, my rest days depend on my schedule and how tired I am), and weather permitting run 5-10k 4-6 times a week (I’m an ultramarathon runner).
    Should I pick 5 times/week exercise, or would Crossfit categorize as intense? As you know some WoDs are more intense than others. I’ve been doing it for 4 years, so yes I lift heavy and like to go all out. However I unfortunately rarely have time for more than 1, 1.5 hours of crossfit/day.
    For protein would I account for 1g or less? 1g of protein/ ideal body weight would be 68g.. I’m 5’9!
    My macros are set like this:
    20g carbs
    200g fat
    59g protein

    1. 5 days a week is fine for the calculator.

      I would stick to around 60g a day for you. I do 80g and I am 205lbs and do crossfit 10 hours a week.

  20. Hi admin, I am a 53 year old female I weigh 221lbs I’m 5 ft 9inches. My TDEE works out at 2302 cals
    Could you please help me with my macros Carbs i know is 20g i think protein is 77g what would my fat be and what % would they all be. Your help would be much appreciated.

    1. Females need no more than 50g of protein a day. I eat 60-80g a day and I am a 205 lb athlete who trains 10 hours a week.

      I would say you should eat:

      20g total carbs
      50g protein
      200g fat

      That would do you just fine.

    2. Ann-You are my spirit animal! Stats are exactly the same and I turned 53 last Sunday.

      Best of luck you on this WOE!

  21. Hi! I am a 40 year old female, I weigh 185 lbs I’m 5 ft 4 inches. My TDEE works out at 2035 cals. Could you please help me with my macros?? Carbs i know is 20g & protein is 50g what would my fat be and what % would they all be. Thank you for your help!

    1. 20g carbs = 80 calories
      50g protein = 200 calories

      Total: 280 calories

      2035-280 = 1755 calories

      Fat has 9 calories per gram

      1755/9=195g of fat

      20g carbs (3.94% of calories)
      50g protein (9.83%)
      195g Fat (86.24%)

  22. I want to start keto but have read so many articles that tell me different macros. Can you please tell me what mine should be.
    I am 5ft 2. 146 lbs. I need to lose 16 lbs. Appreciate your help

  23. 56 , 220# moderate exercise 5’3. Can you help me with micros.. been in Keto 3 days but gaining weight😳😳😳 I thought I had this figured out😳😳😳🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️Also can you direct me to a website to help me keep this inline…

  24. Just want to double check my calculations:
    Maintenance calories: 2453
    Ideal protein level: 47g
    Ideal Weight: 58kg
    Current Weight: 107.

    I entered these into My Net Diary, and these are the macros it came up with:
    Fat: 243g (89% of calories)
    Carbs: 20g (3% of calories)
    Protein: 47g (8% of calories).

    Please confirm that these figures are correct. And many thanks for the great explanations.

    1. You could up the protein to 10-12% of calories and reduce the fat a bit.

      I would do somethign like this:

      85% fat
      12% protein
      3% carbs

  25. I’ve read all these comments and I still do not understand how people get to even 1800 TDEE. I’m 52, 5’3″ 146lbs. I crossfit 2 to 3x per week and yoga at least 2 times as recovery. I put in my details and only chose 3 x per week exercise and got 1703 TDEE. hmmm.

    1. Every single female client I have ever had eats at least 1900 calories per day. I assure you it is easily done. The more you eat the more you will get your metabolism going and the more you will be able to eat.

      I have several women your size eating 2500 cals a day and had one woman eat 5,000 a day for 21 days and she lost 2 lbs and broke a 9 month stall.

      I would not have you eat any less than 1900 cals a day if you are doing crossfit.

      20g total carbs max
      60g protein MAX
      180g fat MINIMUM

  26. I’ve had gastric bypass in the past. I have figured out my TDEE and macros. I’m a 5’3 and 254lbs female.

    2500 calories
    20g carbs
    66g protein
    239g fat

    I’ve been following this for the past week and I honestly feel great. I’m having hard time getting all the fat in. I feel like I need to have a fat shake to meet the fat macros as well as the calories. Is this normal? I’m drinking BPC and adding fat to my meals. Regardless, I’ve lost 7lbs.

    1. Yo could likely go a little less than this.

      20g total carbs
      50-60g protein
      200-225g of fat

  27. I have been eating Keto for about 50 days now. I am stalled and loosing my hair. Lost 11 lb so far with 25 more to go but most of all I love the way I feel or felt in the beginning. Muscles and joints stopped hurting and now I am in the gym 5 days a week and love it. I understand the concept that I could be in starvation mode but the calculator say I should be eating 2130 cal. I am blown away by that number. I am not even sure if I can eat that much. It is TWICE what I am eating now. I’m going to keep reading your pinned information.

    1. If it is twice what you are eating now then you are 100% in starvation mode and killing your body ever so slowly. No human being can survive on less than 1500 calories long term. You are likely nutrient deficient in 20 or more vital nutrients.

      2100 is not alot. I have nearly every one of my clients eating this much. I have a few women that are less than 160lbs eating 2500 a day. I had one woman at 139 lbs eat 5,000 cals a day for 21 days and she lost 2 lbs.

      you can’t survive on 1200 cals a day

  28. I’m in need of some guidance.
    I am 29 years old, 5’4″ and 239 pounds. I would like to lose 100 pounds as my long term goal. My TDEE comes out to 2470 calories. Broken down I have gotten:
    20g of carbs
    60.91g of protein
    238g of fat.
    Is this correct? I wouldn’t consider myself active but I am a mom of 2 children under 3 years old and stay busy. I chose large frame and lower level activity. Are these numbers correct? Thank you for your time.

    1. You don’t have to be exact either. So long as you are close and the fat is high enough and the carbs and protein are low enough.

      I would do 20g total carbs, 60g protein and 225g fat.

  29. I am confused, please help me!!!
    I am 65 year old female.
    cw 240lb, height 5’4
    my mtnc would be 2229 clories,,,,, that is alot for me in my mind
    but I really want to do this
    can you figure the rest for me please

    1. 2100 to 2200 cals is about the same really.

      20g total carbs (not net, you have to count all carbs even fiber)
      50-60g protein MAX
      200 plus grams of fat

      It is not allot. I have nearly all of my female clients eating this amount of food. I have several that are under 160lbs eating 2500.

        1. The issue not that it raises glucose. Blood glucose has nothing to do with it. It raises insulin and keeping insulin low is the entire reason that keto works.

          Fiber may lower glucose but this is not anything that you need to be concerned with and is not the point. Lowering glucose does not equate to lowering insulin. Fiber delays emptying of the stomach which slows the release of any glucose raising foods that are contained within. This slowing causes a slower and more controlled increase in blood glucose. For the diabetic that is not eating a ketogenic diet this would matter in regards to managing blood glucose. WE are not talking about this. We are talking about insulin management not glucose management.

          On a side note, the only thing that can lower blood glucose is insulin or usage of it via exercise. Therefore if fiber does lower blood glucose then it clearly demonstrates that it does have an insulin response and reducing insulin response is what we are trying to do. Therefore fiber is counter productive to the goal.

  30. 75yo, 176lbs, doing 1 hour water aerobics x 3 times a week needs to know how to calculate TDEE and how much carbs, how much protein and how much fat, in order to lose about 20kg

  31. Jack, I apologize in advance. I really have tried to figure this out but I have a mental block when it involves math in word problem format which this basically is. 🙁 I’m female, 61, medium boned, 5’10”, cw 205, I am very lightly active. If I have figured this correctly using the link you gave my TDEE is 2168. So, I calculated my protein to be 69.1kg. But I just can’t follow the rest of your instructions to figure out my macros. Could you please help me??? Thank you millions in advance.

    1. The protein cannot be right.

      I have yet to see a woman need more than 60g of protein and that is often far more than you need.

      Protein is determined by 0.8g-1.5g per KG of idea weight. 0.8g is more than enough for anyone unless they workout 5-6 days a week at high intensity or are an olympic or professional athlete.

      at 5’10” I would guess you idea weight to be about 130lbs so your protein would be:

      130lbs = 60kg

      60kg x 0.8 = 47g

      That being said, your macros would be:

      20g total carbs = 80 cals (4 cals per g)
      50g protein = 200 cals (4 cals per gram)
      total = 280 cals

      TDEE = 2168

      2168-280 = 1888 cals for fat

      fat has 9 cals per gram so:

      1888/9= 209g of fat

      20g carbs
      50g protein
      209g fat

      1. Thank you but I’m confused. I’m 5’10” and medium to large boned and as I read the chart at medium boned my ideal weight should be 142-156 and large boned weight should be 152-173. That being said I set my GW at 160. Would my macros be any different? TIA

      2. Thank you but I’m confused. I’m 5’10” and medium to large boned and as I read the chart at medium boned my ideal weight should be 142-156 and large boned weight should be 152-173. That being said I set my GW at 160. Would my macros be any different? TIA

  32. Please help. My TDEE is 2584
    I am 32 and I’m 5’7. I don’t do any real work outs beside chase my kids and some walking. I have been doing keto since the first and I’m down 7.7 pounds. CW 250
    GW 160

    Thanks for your help.

  33. Checking numbers 49, 5’1, female, 202
    Keto macros
    Carbs. 20
    Fat. 180
    Protein 50
    Calories. 2036

  34. I am so excited to have found this. I have looked into calculating macros before and I have never really understood it. This has been the best explanation I have found so far. But just to make sure I am figuring it correctly:

    Age 29/Female/Currently 164#/Ideal 140#

    20g Total Carbs
    140/2.2=63.7kg(.8)= 50.96g Protein
    195.7g Fat

    A couple of questions I have are where the 20g for Total Carbs comes from, and should I be rounding these numbers up or down?

    1. The carbs should come mainly from incidentals like the carbs in cheese or eggs and meat as well as some leafy greens if you choose. Rule of thumb is to avoid any veggies with seeds and nightshades as these are high in lectins.

      YOu can round number slightly. Like this combo would be fine:

      20g total carbs
      50g protein
      195g fat

      YOu can feel free to go slightly higher in fat as well. it won’t hurt. I wouldn’t go nuts and eat like 300g but you could easily go up to 225 or so.

      1. This does help. I was actually interested in where the number 20g of Carbs comes from? Why is 20 the go to number?

  35. My husband is starting Keto with me and I just want to check his numbers. He’s 44, weighs 270lbs and is 6 ft 4 inches. His TDEE is 3051 cals. I show his macros to be:

    20g total carbs = 80 cals
    86g protein = 345 cals
    292g of fat = 2626 cals

    Is this correct?

  36. I have seen Jack comment multiple times saying that he has yet to recommend less than 2000 calories and more than 60g of protein to a woman. I am 42, complete 3-4 intense workouts per week (25 min HIIT cycling + 45 min weightlifting for each workout). I am 5’3″ and currently weigh 150 lbs. Using the ideal weight chart (I am medium-boned) my ideal weight should be 135. I calculated by TDEE using the tools he suggested and this is the result:

    Carb: 20g
    Protein: 61.3g
    Fat: 164.8g
    TDEE: 1809

    Despite what I have seen Jack comment, is this correct? Or should I modify it? Thank you!

    1. I have 150lb women that workout half what you do eat 2500 cals a day and lose weight. With the amount of exercise you do you are likely in the range of needing 2200-2500 cals a day. I had a 139 lb woman eat 5000 cals a day for 21 days straight and she broke a 9 month stall and lost 2 lbs. After the 21 days she went to 3000 cals a day and lost 7 more. 1800 cals will feed you if you are sedentary but 1800 cals doing the exercise you do will do nothing other than ruin your metabolism.

      I would not have you eat less than this:

      20g total carbs
      60g protein
      200-225g of fat.

      1. Thank you so much for your reply. I have changed my daily goals and admittedly, am totally freaked out that I will gain weight rather than lose, but I trust your methods and recommendations. I have been experimenting with keto for the last month or two. But when I stumbled across your FB page and this site, it captured my attention with information that makes so much sense and is in line with much of what I’ve learned from Jason Fung and Dom D’Agostino. Thank you again! Excited to learn more from you.

  37. I think I did it correctly. I am about 5′ tall sedentary woman. I ran in and out of that calculator quickly and came out with 1850 cal. I went with 20g carbs because I see that recommended everywhere (80 cal). I also took the suggested 55g protein (220 cal). I was left with 1550 cal which worked out to 172g of fat.

    1850 cal > guideline to working out what i actually NEED to know

    20g carb 80 cal 4% <% of total calories
    55g pro 220 cal 12%
    172g fat 1550cal 84%

    I hope I am understanding this correctly. I have tried about six "keto calculators" and have seen such a variety of results that I am finding it a little off putting. I see the sense in Keto but would like to have a solid foundation of understanding. I can't wait until the mental clarity aspect of eating keto kicks in. This took me more tries and longer than I care to admit to work it out.
    Thank you for your clear explanation of the subject.

    1. I would go a bit lower on protein. 45-50g.

      20g carbs
      45g protein
      180g fat

  38. Hmmm… Here are my numbers: 51-year-old female, 5’10”, 447lbs (down 64 since September). The calculator says I should be consuming:

    3737 calories on maintenance
    3560 on weight loss
    20 grams of carbs
    63 grams of protein
    378 grams of fat

    I’ve seen on a few comments that you recommend never going over a certain calorie count for women, but then I’d definitely be in a caloric deficit… What’s the correct number, please. And why? Thank you!

    1. You will likely not be able to eat that much fat. I usually top women out at 2500 cals unless they are highly active.

      2500 cals
      20g carbs
      60g protein
      240g fat

  39. I am 44 and 5’6. I weight 150 and would like to be 140. I work out 4-5 days a week. The workout I do requires me to wear a heart monitor that also calculates calories burned. Most every work out I burn 500-700 calaories. When I used the TDEE it said to eat 1800 calories. I think from what you have instructed others this may be to little calories with how much I work out. How many calories would you suggest I eat daily? I am thinking 2200-2500 calories a day. I understand how to do the TDEE calculations for my daily macros I just do not want to under eat and ruin my metabolism.

    Thanks for your help

    1. Put the calculator at little/no exercise and then add the average daily burned calories on top.

      So if 1800 was the little/no exercise number and you average 800 cals burned a day, eat 2600 cals.

    1. You are super welcome. Not sure about the genius part but I’ll take the compliment. 🙂

  40. Hi..is there smeone tht i cld pm to further clarify this whole tdee thing as i do not want to cause the rest to hv to read thru my lengthy post? Hv lots to ask as im into my 3rd mth of doing keto but hv every signs tht im doing wrng. Want to knw the right way of doing this as my blood sugar is always on d high side n no im not diabetic . Wld appreciate if theres smeone i cld tke my question to. TIA.

      1. Tq for d reply. I did read there prior to posting this.
        Need to clarify if i hv to opt rule no.1 although i do not wrkout/exercise?
        However im always moving ard d hse wth hse chores wth almst no rest time.
        Occassionaly i do pick up my weights but nthing more than 15mins.

  41. I have been eating by the TDEE calculator and gained 4 pounds (I knew I would because I have dieted most my adult life) at first and have lost them. I am now staying the same. My jeans are getting tight, it is worrying me. I am 48. The calculator has me eating 20 carbs, 50 protein and 188 fat. I’ve only not met my fat two or three days. I am drinking around 100 ounces of water a day and taking vitamins. What else do I need to do? Also if I need to cycle calories, where do I take them from? Fat? Everything you have said makes a lot of sense to me. Thank you.

  42. I just want to get a 2nd set of eyes on my numbers.. 32 yr old female, 5’5″, CW 230, Ideal weight 141, GW 170, sedentary lifestyle

    Calories: 2415
    Carbs: 20 g
    Protein: 52 g
    Fats: 236 g

    Thinking about eating that many calories is mind blowing to me.

    1. Looks right to me. You could go anywhere from 200-236g of fat. Don’t aways do 200 and don’t always do 236. Mix it up. Majority of my female clients eat this much. Even ones that weigh 150 lbs.

  43. I need to cut my protein! I eat over 65/75 g mostly.
    My TDEE is 1538 for maintenance (43 yr old, 5 ft 2 and 50/ 51 kg)
    I only eat meat of an evening usually, I do eat nuts and seeds and coconut. I am dairy free.

    1. I have been experimenting this week with 40g of protein and I am 210 lbs and train 10 hours a week. I just replaced protein at dinner with a big bowl of romaine lettuce and some nice garlic infused olive oil.

  44. Ok, so I´m totally lost here. I live in Denmark, and we go by KG an CM. When I try to change this to lbs an inches, I get a different result every time. My numbers are: 169 cm height. 98 Kg. 46 years old. lightly active. My TDEE can be calculated from the website you provided to: 2254. using KG and CM.
    As i read most of your answers, a woman should eat around 50 grams of protein. with 20 grams of carbs, that will leave 215 grams of fat. Is this correct? or am I missing something?

  45. Hi Coach Jack,

    I’m new to Keto, although I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading about it.

    I am a post-menopausal, 63-year old female weighing in at 222, practice yoga 3-5x/week and have a desk job that keeps me on my butt for most of the day. After looking at the ideal weight chart, I should be about 130 pounds (this is what I weighed when I got married 41 years ago).

    I have a question about the TDEE calculation… I used the calculator link you provided and was surprised at how many calories it says I should eat. I’ve seen you tell other women to have 20 total grams of carbs, 50 to 60 grams of protein and 200+ grams of fat.

    Please provide guidance on my macros, either confirming that the numbers you’ve given to others will also work for me, or adjusting them accordingly. Thanks!

    1. I don’t know your height but likely you should be somewhere in the range of 2100 cals a day

      20g total carbs
      50-60g protein
      200g of fat

  46. Hi…. i’ve tried to figure out my macros before and I’ve failed, but I feel your explanation is finally explained it to me. Can you just make sure I’ve done this right. I weigh 140 pounds, medium frame, light to sedentary exercise level. I would like to get down to 125 pounds. By using the Calculator it came up with maintenance calories 1734, fat loss 1388 and extreme fat loss as 1120. When you said maintenance do I use the maintenance calorie amount? If so this is what I have for macros. 20 g carbs equals 80 cal, 59.09 g protein equals 236 cal , 157 g fats Equals 1578 cal. Equals 1418 cal in fat. If I should be using the other total calories then I will adjust them accordingly, I just need to make sure I’m using the right calorie amount. Thank you so much for your help

  47. Hello – Glad I found your fb group. Not sure I’ve really been given good Keto advice up to now. (started about Oct. 15th, just before some minor surgery, so far, lost about 10 lbs).
    According to your calculators, my TDEE is 1965.
    I am 56 yrs, female, 5’8″ and 174. Looks like my goal weight is 155-ish. I am thinking my numbers are: 60.87g Protein (do we round up?), 20g carbs (that’s the easy one!), 185g fat.
    So, 4% Carbs, 12% Protein, 84% Fat.
    Is this correct. (I really HATE math!)
    thank you!!

    1. That looks like a good starting point. Just for ease I would do:

      60 protein
      20 carbs
      185 fat

      1. I am new to common sense keto. Have been trying keto since Jan 1 and have lost 12 lbs. I haven’t been able to track my intake into accurate macros because of database anomalies in carbs vs net carbs…hence this group. I am currently 60 yrs old…196 lbs. 5’9″ and ideal weight ~153 lbs.
        TDEE is 1836 – maintenance I have chronic fatigue so exercise is minimal. May I please request a macro breakdown so I can follow that and hopefully get the weight loss moving. I have found that using MFP for a database is frustrating because unless it is a barcode food the nutritional values can vary greatly….ie) celery some show carbs…some show none is there an accurate database I can refer to?

  48. Does it matter if I don’t get my target for proteins on occasion?
    I would make up the calories in fat to hit my TDEE.

  49. Lil’ Help with Macros please?..:
    223lb/5’6”/Med Build Female
    Ideal Weight: 135
    Coming out @ 49.12g Protein/20g Carb/??? Fats
    Any help appreciated.

      1. Even if you are 60 or over?
        Btw great info!
        I’m putting this page up on my two fb pages… one is Keto over 50 with Angela. Hope it’s okay? 🙂

  50. Can I get some feedback on my numbers please?
    I want to make sure I’m not screwing them up :/
    5’6″ Med Frame 225lb Female Light Exercise
    Ideal Weight 135

    TDEE on here: 2366 Maint

    Calculations are saying 49.12 Protein (@.08)
    I understand >20g Carbs, but cannot figure out what my Protein & Fat should be at. Also 2366 TDEE seems over what I read in the Pinned Post regarding the Max for women.
    Any help is very much appreciated, thank you!

    1. Max for women is 2500

      this would work for you

      20g carbs
      50g protein
      225g fat

  51. My # seems big, im 52yo male 378 lbs lg frame, 3605 calories a day 20g carbs, 62g protein, and 364g fat?, 3277 calories of fat? Did i do this right

    1. 3200 cals is likely plenty for any man.

      I would do this:

      20g total carbs
      100g protein
      300g fat

  52. I’m being following keto since a month now and have seen weight loss of about 17 lbs. But I’m really feeling lost as to what my macros should be and I’m definitely calorie deficient (about 1100 is what I get). I’m 45, 5’4″, 178.4 lbs, exercise involves about 4-5 days of walking for an hour. (My ideal weight would be 140-145 lbs). Appreciate any help from you.
    Thank you

  53. I think I’m close 52 y old. 235 lbs 5’6 should be 130. I do not want to end up with same health problems as my mom. I currently take thyroid medicine and hormone therapy. So i should be eating 2331 calories. Here is my numbers I got 93 calories of carbs. 256 calories of protein 1981 calories of fat for a total of 2331 total calories. I have so many numbers in my head. Please help me break this down, ☹

    1. I would do this:

      20g total carbs (80 cals)
      50-60g of protein (200-240 cals) 50g would be plenty
      232-236g of fat (2091-2131 cals)

  54. Ok, so this is what I understand from this post :
    Ideal weight = 57kg & 1.62cm tall.
    Cals as per your calc (maintain) = 1813 (Gym 4 x per week for 30-45min Med Workout)

    Protein – 57 x 1.2 = 68.4 x 4 = 274 Cals
    Total Carbs = 20 g x 4 = 80 Cals
    Fat = 1459 Cals / 9 = 162 g

    Is this correct ? Thank you for helping 🙂

  55. Hi there

    Could you check my calculations please?

    Female, Age 45, Current Weight 225lbs (used to be 340), Ideal Weight: 151lbs (68.4kg). Lightly Active (Jog for 30 mins, 3 times per week)

    TDEE: 2272

    Carbs: 20g Total *4 = 80 cals
    Protein: 68g * 1 (for light exercise) = 68 x 4 = 272cals
    Fat= 1920cals/9 = 213g

    So, rounding it up/down a bit I come up with:
    20g Carbs
    65g Protein
    200g Fat
    Would that be about right?

    Also, if calorie cycling, which macro would I eat less of on the days when I ate 400cals under my TDEE? The fat? Or protein?

    1. No need for any more than 60g of protein for a female. I am a 210 lb man who trains intensly 10 hours a week and i usually only eat 60g.

      I would do 20g carbs, 50-60g protein and 225g fat.

      If calorie cycling you lower proportionatly from all.

      the above macros would be likely something like 3% carbs, 12% protein and 85% fat. Keep the percentages the same and just lower calories. so if you did a day at 1500 cals you would do the above percentages of each macro.

  56. If I were to cycle calories, where do I cut the 300-400 calories from? From fat?

  57. If my math is correct?
    61 yo, female 165 lbs 5’1” small frame, ideal wt 106

    TC = 20g = 80 cals
    TP = 40g = 160 cals
    TF = 164 = 1482 Val’s

    If I understand correctly would this be accurate? Thank you.

    1. According to north american standards for adequate nutrition a female should have a minimum of 1800 calories per day. This is from my registered nutritionist reference manual.

      20g carbs
      40-50g protein
      Rest fat – 168-173g

  58. Hi.

    Thanks for all of this information.

    So, I make mine to be as follows:

    Carbs 20g/80cals
    Protein 49g/196cals
    Fat 240g/2163cals

    This is based on:
    Light exercise

    2439 maintenance (from calculator)
    61kg ideal weight (medium frame from chart)

    Am I doing something wrong as everywhere I look, people seem to have higher protein and lower fat?

    Any advice very welcome as I want to start off right.

    Many thanks.

    1. According to my methods this is right. You will get all kinds of different plans from different people. You just have to do as much reading as you can and decide what you think is right. It has worked well for myself and all my clients and followers. Remember, keto is a high fat, low carb and MODERATE protein diet. If you have a group telling you to eat low fat and high protein, not keto.

  59. I am a 50 year old female, 155 lbs, 5’5. I work 12 hours night shift as a nurse. I have been following the keto for almost 3 weeks and have only lost 8 pounds.

    Thank you!


    1. 3000 cals would be right.

      20g or less of total carbs
      100g protein
      280g fat

      1. My goodness that seems high but what the heck do I know, I thought I was doing something wrong…

  61. I’m 52 yes old male my weight is 380 and I’m 6’1 I did my tdee and my calories came out to be 3605 , fat 364grams and 68grams of protein, I have not lost any weight, I haven’t gained, but haven’t lost. Someone in the group told me Max calories are 3200, what do I need to cut out? Please help me out.

  62. Okay, what is said here about TDEE seems to make sense, but if we are trying to reset our metabolism by eating at this level, I’ve lost why it is also necessary to be keto? If we eat the correct amount of calories, but with disproportionate macros, aren’t we throwing our body out of whack in a different way? I have been following a CICO Keto diet, and my fat macros would more than double – I don’t want to switch from eating too much protein to too much fat… Also, this article says .8 to 1.5g protein per kg of ideal weight, but in the comments of another article you mention that WHO now says .45g per kg; if i stick with TDEE, I’m not sure how I can naturally eat more than 200g of fat daily. Please help.

    1. I don’t really understand what you are trying to say. Are you keto or not keto? What do you mean about throwing off your body with disproportionate macros? You can’t eat too much fat. I have and have had a 139lb female eat 5,000 cals with more than 400g of fat and I gained muscle and she lost a total of two pounds. If you don’t eat enough calories your body just lowers its metabolic rate. Look at the Biggest Loser study. They kept with the CICO and lost all the weight then gained it back 6 years later:

      Biggest loser study

      The WHO does recommend 0.45g per KG of lean mass. This is just to ensure you don’t die from lack of protein. Just not dying is not necessarily ideal for health.

      I have on average 100 clients at a time. 95% of them eat more than 200g of fat daily with no issues what so ever.

  63. Hello & thank you for all the info! I was vety confused before finding this…have been eating Keto & lost 31 lbs, but now stalled…(probably bc I’m only eating 1200 cal a day!!) Please just confirm that I understand your explanation..I really want this right.
    65 yr old female CW 154.4 lbs. 5’5″ ZERO exercise. GW 127lbs (57.73 kg)
    This is what I came up with….
    TDEE (maintenance) 1713 cal
    20 g carbs, 46 g pro, 161g fat
    Do these #’s sound right, or should I adjust?? Thank you so much!

    1. Minimum cals for women should really be 1800 cals.

      I would do this:

      20g total carbs or less
      50g protein
      170g fat

  64. Hello, thank you for the great information. I’m new to keto and glad I started here. I am 49 and had thyroid cancer in 2010 and had my thyroid removed. Every doctor I’ve found will only prescribe synthetic t4. I don’t think I convert to t3 well as my reverse t3 ratio is out if whack. Either way, I have a desk job and like wine now and then (wink/ wink). I’ve gained 50 lbs in 5 years. My question (finally) is can keto help without a thyroid? Can my metabolism improve without a thyroid? Thank you.

  65. So any tdee that comes up for a woman that is under 1800 should just be recalculated to go up to 1800?!Every calculator says around 1600 for me and i dont want to eat that little. 5’2 122 i do want to maintain, maybe start adding in excersize but right now do nothing. With the 3 day a week model and maintinance it gives me 1643 cals?! So your saying round up to 1800 no matter what for woman? what about when i add in excersizing, ideally 3 days a week for 45 minutes, should i add more on top of the 1800?! Thanks for your help!

    1. Yes minimum recommended daily intake for a woman is 1800 cals so round it up.

  66. Great to have this info. My wife and I did Atkins 15 years ago and lost bunches and seemed to be always eating. Started keto in June 17. Got other groups saying drop dietary fat to burn stored fat, IF, and eat calorie deficit. Stopped losing @ 30lbs. This is what I needed. Thanks.

    1. You are very welcome. I spent years in the cut calories from fat camp and spent those years losing nothing but lean mass. Now I enjoy eating 2500-3,00o cals a day and am leaner than I have ever been and though I wouldn’t say I am ripped, I can see my abs when I couldn’t say the same eating 1500 cals a day.

  67. Morbidly Obese Female here – 335lbs, 5’6″
    Says my maintenance cal is 3142, and I’m lightly active 4 days at gym doing cardio 45 mins/25 mins weight lifting.
    So am I understanding that I should eat:
    20g Carbs
    55g Protein
    315g Fat

    Started Keto 1/2, dropped 35lbs since… want to make sure I keep dropping.

    1. I would not exceed 2500 cals for a woman.

      20g total carbs
      50g protein
      250g fat

  68. I’m the same.
    I have a BPC in the morning, for lunch I have two scrambled eggs w/2 bacon 1/4 c cheese and 1/2 avocado
    Dinner is usually salad with chicken breast and tomatoes, avocado, cheese olive oil, a piece of cheese cake later that I made with coconut crust
    I am 130 lbs, 5’3 and my cal count should be 1360.

    1. If you are at maintenance it is not as bad to eat that low of calories as your body will just down regulate metabolism. You don’t have to eat that little and it is likely not in your best interest. It is very hard to get adequate vitamins and minerals with this low of calories. Ideally to ensure you get adequate nutrients in the diet 1800 calories is the minimum for an adult woman.

  69. Hi can you help with my macros? I’m 29yr, 5’8”, small frame, currently 174lb. I’m breastfeeding a 3 month old and am lightly active. I’ve tried calculating on my own using the info in the article, but I get lost trying to account for breastfeeding (mainly with figuring out how much protein).

    Thank you!

  70. So, I got over 2500, I saw that you said women should stay at no more than 2500 no matter what it tells you. I am brand new to this. Not very good with math, and a little confused. I exercise every week day and have a HR ave of about 180 for my HR long work outs, I mainly lift and do HIIT type training by myself. I would like to make sure I am ideally where I need to be. I just jumped in on Keto eating and used to be a HUGE carb-o-holic! 🙊🙈 any suggestions?

    1. First recommendation is if you want to lose weight the best exercise to do is steady state cardio where your heart rate stays around 120 bpm. Lifting heavy weights is Ok as well provided it is slow and deliberate lifts with plenty of rest between sets keeping the heart rate low. Next is not to workout every day. 3 on and 2 off is the ideal way to work out. Without adequate rest you do more harm than good.

      As far as macros it would be this for 2500 cals.

      20g or less total carbs
      50-60g protein
      240g fat

  71. HELP PLEASE…. please help me figure this out.

    I am 48 (49 in July)
    Current Weight 251 lbs or 56.36kg?????????
    Sedentary just a little walking, but small to medium frame…I came up with Ideal Weight of 124??????

    and that is where I got lost… I THINK… maintenance number was 2414?????

    And then again… I got lost!!! I want to lose weight! I want to exercise! I see all these pictures and I am like WOW I want this… and then all these times, minus, subtract, divides, just to get what I need to eat!!!!

    Please help me!!!!

    1. I would start out with something like this:

      20g total carbs
      50-60g protein
      200-225g of fat

      This will get you started. It is between 2000-2400 cals a day.

  72. Thank you for the great information! I’ve been doing strict keto for about 6 weeks and have lost 23lbs on an 1800 calorie diet using 5% carbs, 70% fat and 25% protein but I’m struggling with the correct ratio and the amount to eat as there is so much conflicting information and then I found your site which is very informative and makes so much sense.

    My TDEE and fat grams seem very high. I’m 57, 6′-5″, 240lbs and medium build (7″ wrist and fingers just touch around wrist).

    My calculated maintenance TDEE is 2796 calories. I walk 3 miles a day and do another 30 minutes of light exercise, 6 days a week. Using your guide above, my ideal body weight is ~190lbs (extrapolated) so I believe my macros should be:

    20g total carbs, 20 x 4 = 80 calories
    86g protein assuming 1g/kg, 190/2.2=86kg, 86 x 4 = 344 calories
    263g fat, 2796-80-344=2372 calories left, 2372/9 = 263g

    Wow! Is 263g of fat correct for my size and if not, what is your recommendation on macro for a big guy like myself?


    1. That looks exactly right Bill. I eat 250-300 plus grams every day. I have been eating 450 plus grams for the last 19 days straight.

  73. Jack, I am currently getting back into fitness. Prior to injuries about a year ago I was doing crossfit 5-6 days a week. I am starting back slow and plan to incorporate running. My goal is crossfit 3x week and running 3x a week.

    I am 285lbs and have always had a goal weight of 185. I am broad shouldered and according to the chart my ideal weight at 5′ 8″ is 152-172. I am tracking with everything you have shared so far and have read through most of the comments and responses. My calculations are as follows:

    285lb current weight
    172lb goal weight
    Exercise = Daily

    3122cal Maintenance
    20g (80cal) Carbohydrates
    60-117g (240-469cal) Protein
    285g-311g (2573-2802cal) fat

    After reading that you only consume 60-80g of Protein daily and that I should adjust every 10-15lbs lost my questions are as follows;

    1.) How much protein should I shoot for?
    2.) Is there a max calories for men as you have identified a max for women.
    3.) You mention you are not a fan of fasting – does this include intermittent fasting? As I have been holding off eating until lunch time. Should I just shoot for 5-6 meals a day and eat when I wake up?
    4.) When recalculating my maintenance calories – to confirm – carbs always stay at 20g Gross and protein will also remain consistent and I would simply adjust my fact intake based on the numbers, right?

    1. Men don’t really need to eat more than 3200 cals a day. I typically eat 2500-3,000 a day at 210lbs maintenance.

      For you you can probably do something like this just fine:

      20g carbs
      80-100g protein
      250-275g fat

      You should eat 3 meals a day. Don’t skip breakfast. If you want to time restrict eat your last meal earlier in the day.

      Eat breakfast

      Protein is based on lean mass so that number shouldnt really change as you lose. Just fat should go down. Carbs are always 20g or less.

  74. I am a 56 yo woman weighing 300lbs trying to get to a healthier weight of 160-180. The TDEE says just over 2700 cals daily but I saw your post saying a woman should not eat over 2500. Does this seem accurate. I can figure macros myself if this is correct.

  75. So my protein calculation came out to under 2 oz per day. Can this be right?

    1. Protein is measured in grams not oz so I am not sure where you got this from. The average woman needs between 40-60g a day.

  76. I have been following what I thought was a Keto based WOE, but this article has me so confused now. My caloric intake WAS 1500, but by the calculator I should be taking in 2048. That is scary! I have been tracking everything, keeping carbs at 5 percent or less( but counting only net carbs). Protein at 20 percent and fat at 75 percent. I will not start using these perimeters, a little scared! BUT I have not lost as much weight over the past 6 weeks as others seem to. I have now learned that by me using Stevia in the Raw I have sabotaged myself!

  77. Just joined, thank you!
    So I did calculations, just want to make sure all is correct.
    47 years
    CW: 210 lb
    GW: 140 lb
    TDEE : 1870 cal
    Protein: 51g (204 cal)
    Carbs: 20g (80 cal)
    Fat: 176g (1586 cal)

    Not exercising currently (except for walking my dog 2x/day, about 5-6 miles total), but do plan to start boot camp once my work schedule normalizes.
    Am I correct to assume that once I start exercising I need to re-do my macros to increase protein?
    It actually doesn’t seem difficult. I don’t have sweet tooth, and I’m not crazy about carbs, except fruits. That’s my weak point, especially in summer. Is having a few berries a strict no-no?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. I don’t know your height but if you are more than 5’4″ your TDEE is 2165 cals. You never need to go above 60g of protein for a woman unless pregnant, breastfeeding or a professional athlete.

      This is what I would do for you:

      2080 cals
      20g carbs
      50g protein
      200g fat

  78. I’m confused, If you calculate TDEE using your current weight like the calculator suggests, does this mean that you need to recalculate every so often? Or do you calculate your maintenance calories based off of your ideal weight like you do with protein?

      1. So essentially the only thing you would be adjusting once your calories are recalculated is the amount of fat since carbs often remain 20g or under and protein is calculated off of ideal weight? Would it be simpler to calculate off of ideal weight in the first place and eat to maintence, then when you hit your weight simply adjust the amount of carbs and fat to account for adding more fruits etc, or would this put You at too much of a caloric deficit?

  79. My thought process is simply that if you never eat below 1800 calories for maintence, but eat the maintence for your ideal weight, it would be a deficit without sending your body into a nutritional downward spiral, and would be more gentle on the body adjusting for carbs when you hit goal weight, if you are eating generally the same calorie amount all the way through

  80. Hey Jack,
    An amazing set of documents you have hear, I’m reading it all avidly. I’ve been Keto for about 6 months and have been working from other calculations and even though I’ve been losing weigh I did get some hair shedding even at 1400 calories a day (this now seems like far to little food). I just need a sanity check as I’ve never been good at math. I’m 46 5’4″ 174lbs and I’m sedentary. I’ve calculated my TDEE as 2156kcals breaking that down it would look something like 20g carbs, 63g protein and 1824kcals remaining for fat. Does that sound right? If so this would be a game changer for me and allow me more freedom with this way of eating.

    1. Meant to mention, my ideal weight is 138lbs as I am small frame. Thanks

  81. My head is spinning, I’m completely new to this – I’m 51, 5’ feet tall, and weigh 180lbs. I’ve been completely sedentary because of medical conditions for the last 3-4 years.

    Do I read the calculations correctly? I should consume around 1850 calories with the appropriate macros?

    Less than 20g TOTAL carbs
    40-75g of protein
    The rest healthy fats?

    My goodness, what a complete lifestyle and mindset change this will be!

    1. I would not exceed 50g of protein for you. I am 210lbs and very lean/athletic and only eat 80g. The rest would be correct.

      20 carbs MAX
      50g protein
      170-180g fat

      This would work

  82. Female-weight 370 -53 y
    Macros-Calories (went with what max for women should be)
    Fat 225-250
    Pro 50-60
    Carbs <20 total
    Is this ok or should fat (and maybe protein) be higher because of my starting weight?

  83. I calculated 2159 calories daily. I see posts in regards to checking if this is correct with Admin. Was wondering if this is how I go about it?

    1. Yes just post in teh group what you got and what your stats are and an admin will check it.

  84. Very nice job you’ve got here…a lot of info and a very direct approach for what is really keto diet..
    I just have one question…
    I’m following for 3 days the “rule” of eating to my TDEE which is 2240 kcal ,i’m a woman ,40 years,1.70 and weighed now 94…before i’ve started i was 93.3…i’m on keto 3 months now but i’m not loosing i’m going up and down 1-2 kgs…my kcals were around 1800 to 2000 max and i’m weightlifting 3 days/week.
    I’ve read that “gaining” some weight (which in my case is water i pressume not actual weight) is kind of a red flag for my metabolism…so the question is should i continue like this,let’s say for 2 whole weeks or is better to do calorie cycling?
    Thank you in advance and keep up the good work 🙂

    1. I would eat to full tdee for a full 6 weeks before making any changes then you can do some calorie cycling by doing one week 3 days at 500 cals less than tdee and 4 days at tdee then one week with 4 days at 500 cals less and 3 days at full TDEE after that. Give your body some time to get the metabolism up to TDEE before you start cycling.

      1. ok..
        I will follow your advice and try that and see how it goes 🙂
        Thank you and have a nice day

  85. I’ve been on a few different calorie calculator websites for keto and always get a different number. I used your tdee method and came up with the numbers

    Fat 249
    Protein 100
    Carb 20
    Totaling around 2700 for maintenance.

    Does this seem right.? I am a 24 year old male and I’m 276 pounds.

    1. Anywhere from 2500-2700 cals would be fine for you and not for maintenance. You should lose on keto with these calories.

      20g total carbs MAX (not net)
      80-100g protein
      the rest fat

  86. Hi Jack
    I work out
    mon wed fri 1hr H.I.I.T (500-700 calorie burn)
    Run tues thurs sun 20-22 miles a week (800-1000 calorie burn days)
    Which days would I reduce my calories if I wanted to cycle calories
    As of now My TDEE is 2157
    94g protein
    20g carb
    189g fat
    According to the calculator
    Thank you

    1. Max protein for a woman is 60g. I don’t even eat 94g and I am 210lbs, lean and workout at very high intensity 4-5 days a week.The rest looks good.


      20 carbs
      60 protein
      225 fat

  87. Good Morning! Just hoping you’ll double check my macros calculations.
    I’m 45, 5 foot 3 and 300 lbs.
    Ideal weight would be 130 lbs
    2500 calories
    20 carbs
    47 protein
    248 fat

  88. hello could you please check my macros calculations and which one should i use please and thankyou
    5 foot 2 inches 171 lbs
    ideal weight is 121
    1585 calories little to no exercise
    20 grams carbs 69 g protein 136.5 fat

    with exercise 3 times a week
    20 grams carbs 69 g protein 185.2 fat

    i didnt kow what options i was to choose i dont exercise much just some walking
    again thanks so much for the help

    1. i forgot to add my 1816 calories for calculation with exercise to my previous comment

    2. 1800 calories is the bare minimum for a woman. You always put 3 days for exercise regardless unless you are bed ridden.

      This is what your macros would be:

      1871 cals
      20g carbs
      50g protein
      180 fat

  89. Ok question about carbs. 20 total is number thrown around regularily..does it HAVE to be 20 or can it be less? There are days where I only eat like 5 grams or so…thx

    1. 20 is a hard max. You can do less if you like. There is no human requirement for carbohydrate. The body will make what it needs. I have not had more than 20g in years.

  90. Hi. Thanks for all the info. Just want to make sure I’m good. I’m 5’9″ 225. Was 137 5 years ago. Had 3 children. Was/am quite active. The calculation is telling me around 2300 TDEE is that right? That’s prob why I’m not losing so quickly, I’m definitely eating maybe half that. Any info is, appreciated

    1. yes that sounds about right.

      20g carbs max
      50g protein Max (40 MIN)
      225g fat

  91. I’m trying to make sure I’m calculating properly:
    I’m 36 years old, 5’3” medium frame. Maintenance Cal 2131

    49g protein
    20g carbs
    206g fat

  92. I’m a 55, 242 lbs, 6 feet 1 inch Male. My numbers, if I calculated correctly, are 20 grams of carb, 134 protein and 235 gram of fat. Is that correct?

  93. Please check mine for me, and thank you.
    Female, 278lb, 5’6″, Ideal Weight 160, Large Frame
    Sedentary, long hours at a desk job.
    I came up with TDEE 2649.
    20 Carb
    58 Prot
    259 Fat * **Seems very high to me, but I’m not the expert.

    Please verify for me. Thank you.

    1. max calories for a female is 2500 cals. Oddly enough this was the average intake for a 130lbs female in 1940s.

      20g total carbs max
      50g protein
      245g fat

  94. I apologize if I seem repetitive of other posts, but I have been taking a stab at this keto lifestyle for approximately 6wks, with all the conflicting information out there, and have been following your page for the past few days. I am now trying to calculate my TDEE, and as previous poster’s have commented, it seems high to me (but that’s why I’m here – HELP!)

    I have a sedentary desk job, and stopped walking due to a knee issue still to be diagnose. 51yr old Female, SW=322, CW=295, GW=144 (high end, med. frame ideal weight).

    If I have calculated my TDEE properly, it would be:
    Total Calories = 2719
    20g Total Carbs = 80 cal = 3%
    52.4g Proteins = 210 cal = 8%
    607g Fats = 2430 cal = 89%

    I am typically good at the math, but this just looks all wrong. Honestly struggling with consuming that many calories, let alone 89% from good fats. Please point me in the right direction.

    Thanks so much for your help!!

      1. I am 5’2 “, weigh 138, medium frame and ideal weight is 125
        Maintenence is 1541 calories. I have calculated:
        Carbs: 20 grams 80 calories
        Protein: 55 grams 220 calories
        Fat: 138 grams 1241 calories

        Is this correct? I have been doing 1 meal a day up to this point since January and have dropped 24 lbs. I am excited to be eating more food although I have not been hungry. It will definitely be a change of mindset for me!

        1. Minimum caloric need for any woman is 1800 cals

          20 carbs
          50 protei
          165-170 fat

  95. Maybe this is a tricky question:
    How long time does it take before you start losing weight after you have upped your calories to maintenance for 3-4 weeks after you have had a stall?

  96. I am 164lbs, 64in. female, ideal weight is 140lbs
    Maintenance is 1864 calories a day

    20 c = 80 cals
    51 p = 204 cals
    176 f = 1580 cals

    Is this correct? Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom.

  97. 47F 5″4′ CW 247 Goal Wt 127
    TDEE 2396 (how can this be)?

    Protein 46g 184 cal
    Carb 20g 80 cal
    Fat 160g (WHAT) 2132 cal from FAT?
    can this be right?

    1. The calories, carbs and protein are right but not the fat.

      236g of fat.

      As long as get the protein 45-50g, carbs 2g or less and the fat above 200g that will work. I eat roughly 200-300g a day and I weigh 188lbs.

  98. Hi Jack, I want to increase muscle while cutting body fat through CSK. With that in mind, the protein measure is too low (as I want to build, not maintain). What is your suggestion? Below are my TDEE and Macros based on 5 times intense per week:
    TDEE: 2807
    Weight 194
    Ideal Weight 154 (70kg)

    Carbs 20g x 4kcal = 80kcal
    Protein at 1.5g/kg ideal = 105g x 4kcal = 420kcal
    Fat 256g x 9kcal = 2304kcal

    105g protein is not enough per day to build muscle. Can I increase to 150g (600kcal), and reduce fat accordingly (236g x 9kcal = 2124kcal)?


    1. Why would you think that 105g is not enough to build. I never consume more than 80-100g and I consistently build lean mass. I have put on 50lbs of lean mass in the last 10 years. You require 0.45g per KG of lean mass to maintain. That is about 34g for someone that is 170lbs of lean mass like l am. If you can maintain lean mass with 34g, why would 105g not be enough to gain. All you need to gain lean mass is a positive nitrogen balance which is just eating slightly above base requirements and an energy surplus.

      Lots of protein does not build muscle. working out with enough intensity to tear muscle fibers builds muscle.

      Could you increase to 1.5g? Sure. Will it make much of a difference? Yes. In the amount of protein you use for fuel vs the amount of fat you use for fuel. There will be plenty of excess protein being used as krebs cycle intermediates and as an input rather than fat. For certain. It won’t help you add any mass above 105g of protein.

  99. please help. i’ve been trying to start keto and everytime i do my macros i feel like they are wrong. i feel like i’m starving myself. 155 pounds 5 foot 2 and 21 years old. i was getting 20 g net carbs, 154 g fats, and 123 g protein and 1956 calories. i feel like the protein is wayy high. can you double check this for me please?? i’ve tried many different calculators and i’m getting WAY different answers. i was using carb manager.

    1. at 155 I would have you at this:

      1900 cals
      20g total carbs not net
      50-60g protein
      180g fat

      1. Question please. Sorry to interrupt the flow.

        Would you say that 20 g carbs, 200-225 g of fat and 50-60 g of protein is the “go to” amount? I am kind of confused with the math part myself.

        I am 5’3, 190 lbs and have been on a low-no sugar, low to no carb diet for a few months now, and not seeing any change. Should I just stick to what you posted about the standard for women?

        Thank you for your articles. I’ve read a few already and appreciate all the work!!!

        1. For a quick go to number I would say that is a safe start. Pretty much all women are fine with 50g of protein. Carbs are always locked in at 20g.

          The fat depends on what your TDEE is and that can be obtained by using the calculator. For you it is:

          2050 calories

          So the 20g carbs, 50 protein and 200g of fat works out fine.

          20g carbs is 80 calories (4 calories per gram)
          50g of protein is 200 calories (4 calories per gram)
          200g of fat is 1800 calories (9 calories per gram)

          2080 calories.

          You can go higher on fat if you want and it could be beneficial. I routinely do 21 days at double my calories. I usually eat 2500 and this year I have done 2 cycles of 5,000 calories for 21 days. I gain little to no weight and after I stop I lose weight when I go back to 2500 cals.

          The reason is because with eating keto adequately you cannot store fat well. There just isn’t enough insulin to keep fat stored. Because of this there is an excess of energy available when you are eating this high. This causes the body to find ways to waste it. Through ketones, excess body heat and increasing non exercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT.

          When you go back to lower calories you are still going to be using energy at the higher rate for some time until the body adapts. I have successfully gotten myself to my leanest body every using this strategy.

  100. Hi Jack – I love your articles and info! I am very new to Keto and think I’ve clearly been reading too much in general and am now confused. I’ve worked out my numbers with the calc and am using an app to track my numbers but it’s telling me to only eatting 1100 calories, 14gm of net carbs, 90gm of fat and 60 of protein. Your calc is telling me I should be 20carbs/60 protein and 186fat and 2000 calories. I’m struggling currently to eat more fats without increasing my carbs but picking increasing my fats will increase my calories but how do I do this without increasing carbs? I’m not going to sound like a broken record but doubling my fats sounds like a lot? Unless I missed something in one of your posts? I would prefer to follow your suggestions given your knowledge and experience already to date in this field so any help would be great please 🙂

    1. 1100 calories will break you fundamentally. The required calories for a 1 year old that weighs on average 23 lbs is 1600. I am guessing you weigh more than 23 lbs. How do we think that it is ok to eat less than a 1 year old and be functional? Your brain uses about 500 cals per day so that leaves 600 calories for the rest of you to function? That is not logical. Yes you have fat stores but the body does not have any interest in using all your fat stores as a constant fuel source. That is not their function. They are emergency fuel. Emergency for when no food is coming in. If you are eating then you are not in a state of emergency. The body has systems to slow energy output to match input so if you are eating but not much all the body does is slow energy out to match energy in and the end result is little to no fat being used.

      The only way I have managed to keep off the 125lbs I lost 14 years ago is by maintaining my metabolic rate by eating. The only way I have gone from 175lbs at 20% plus body fat to 195lbs at 11% bodyfat is by eating massive amounts of fat and calories and dropping back to normal calories in cycles.

      1 year of fasting netted me a 1 pound increase in weight. 214lbs to 215lbs after 12 months of starving. After 1 year of cycling from higher than TDEE back to TDEE I have dropped from 215 to a low of 187 and a stable weight of 193-195 with no effort and no cutting calories.

      Here are some examples of ways to get fat without added carbs or excess protein.

      Fat sources:

      * 3 cups romaine with 4 tbsp of olive oil – 54g of fat (3g protein and 3 carbs)
      * coffee with 4 tbsp HWC – 20g fat (1g protein and 2g carbs)
      * 2 eggs fried in 1 tbsp butter – 26g fat (13g protein and 1  carb)
      * 4 egg yolks – 18g fat (11 protein and 2 carbs)
      * 0.5 cups macadamia with 2 oz cream cheese – 57g fat (8 protein 11 carbs)
      * 2 oz triple cream brie – 24g fat (10 protein and 2 carbs)
      * hollandaise sauce – 31g fat (2 egg yolks, 30g melted butter, lemon juice to taste and whisk together. Put on meat or whatever you want) (5 protein and 1 carb)
      * Boursin cheese 2 oz – 24g fat
      * 0.5 cup macadamia sauteed in 2 tbsp butter – 62g fat (5 protein and 9 carbs)
      * Half an avocado – 11g fat (1 protein and 6 carbs)
      * 10 olives – 5g fat (0 protein and 2 carbs)
      * 1 tbsp butter – 12g fat (0 protein and 0 carbs)
      * 1 tbsp avocado mayo – 11g fat (0 protein and 0 carbs)
      * 1 tbsp macadamia butter mixed with 1 tbsp MCT or coconut oil – 22g of fat (4 protein and 3 carbs)
      * Liver pate https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liver_pâté – tons of fat with little protein and tastes amazing – (100g is 28g fat with 11 protein and 2 carbs) 
      * Raw Cacao butter – (10g of butter is 10g of fat with no protein or carbs)

      This is 377g worth of fat. 

      Spinach with olive oil (3 protein and 3 carbs)
      0.5 cups macadamia nuts with 2 tbsp butter (5 protein and 9 carbs)
      Coffee with 5 tbsp hWC (2 protein and 2 carbs)
      2 eggs friend in butter (13 protein and 1 carb)
      Hollandaise (5 protein and 1 carb)

      over 200 grams of fat with zero fat bombs or zero fat shakes. 

      This 200g of fat has a total of 28 g of protein and 16g of carbs. That still leaves you with 22g pf protein for the day. 

      1. Okay – so you are super awesome! Thank you for all your info on the page and your in depth response. I must say I felt a lot better today after increasing my carbs to 20gm and having more healthier fat!

  101. Totally new to this and it’s a little overwhelming
    But was just wondering If you could help me figure out my ideal body weight and my tdee? I’m female 28 5ft tall 10st 5lbs and do a little exercise

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