The Best TDEE Calculator – Track Your Diet And Lose Weight Safely

The Best TDEE Calculator - Track Your Diet And Lose Weight Safely

Table of Contents

Over 75% of consistent TDEE trackers see faster weight loss [source: National Institutes of Health]. This tool personalizes your daily calorie needs (based on age, weight, activity) – like a diet buddy telling you exactly how much to eat! Ditch the guesswork and unlock safe, healthy weight loss with the best TDEE calculator.

The best TDEE calculator helps you pinpoint your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), the exact number of calories your body burns each day. This unlocks safe and sustainable weight loss by guiding you on how many calories to consume.

A TDEE calculator estimates your daily calorie burn to guide healthy weight loss. It factors in age, weight, height, and activity level to personalize your calorie needs.

The Best TDEE Calculator - Track Your Diet And Lose Weight Safely

Key Takeaways

  • The best TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) calculator is an essential tool for tracking your fitness journey.

  • It provides accurate information about how many calories you burn in a day, helping you tailor your diet and exercise regime.

  • This calculator considers various factors like age, gender, weight, height, and physical activity level to estimate your daily caloric needs.

  • Having regular updates on your TDEE can effectively guide your weight loss, weight gain, or maintenance plans.

  • This TDEE calculator is user-friendly and convenient, making it easier for anyone to use.

  • It’s a reliable resource for personal trainers and individuals striving for healthier lifestyles.

What Is Total Daily Energy Expenditure?

Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is like your body’s personal calorie furnace! It’s the total number of calories you burn each day, considering your age, weight, height, and activity level. Knowing your TDEE is key to weight loss or gain goals. Eat fewer calories than you burn to lose weight, and more to gain muscle!

TDEE isn’t just a straightforward calculation. It also accounts for weight gain over time, which can slow your metabolism. If you have more muscle mass, your TDEE is higher. That’s because muscles burn more energy than fat. When you aim to lose weight by changing your diet or activity level, your TDEE decreases. This prevents your body from burning too many calories too fast.

How Does My Metabolism Work?

Your metabolism is a process that converts the food you eat and oxygen into energy. It’s essential to your life and happens in every cell in your body.

Your metabolism involves every chemical reaction in your body. It also covers activities like breathing and heartbeat, where atoms don’t change. This process determines how your body uses energy from food. It controls whether this energy is quickly used, saved as fat, or turned into muscle. Additionally, metabolism involves how much heat your body creates during digestion. This heat helps convert food into fuel for daily activities.

Your metabolic rate is measured by how your body uses energy—how many calories each day. This measurement can vary based on several factors:

Calculating Your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)

You can calculate your BMR by multiplying your weight in pounds by 10, and then adding the result to 6.25.

So if you weigh 190 pounds: 190 x 10 = 1,900 + 6.25 = 2,015 calories per day

Now that we know how many calories you burn at rest, let’s figure out how many calories you burn while exercising.

Calculating TEF (Thermic Effect of Food)

The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the amount of calories your body burns digesting food. It’s a small part of your total calorie burn, but it can be significant over time.

The TEF makes up 10% of your daily energy use, or TDEE. If you eat 2,000 calories daily, as recommended, you burn 200 calories just by digesting food. Eating high-quality foods is more motivating because proteins have a higher TEF than carbs!

When using Lose It! to plan meals or track progress, remember a higher TEF means you’re burning more energy. So, aim for a higher number!

TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) calculation

TDEE Calculator

TDEE is the total amount of calories you burn in a day, and it’s calculated by adding your BMR (basal metabolic rate) to TEF (thermic effect of food) and exercise.

TDEE Calculation: Activity Level Multipliers

Activity Level



Sedentary (little or no exercise)

Minimal physical activity


Light (light exercise/sports 1-3 days per week)

Light exercise or sports for a short duration


Moderate (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days per week)

Moderate exercise or sports for a moderate duration


Heavy (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days per week)

Hard exercise or sports for extended duration


Very Heavy (very hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or training twice a day)

Strenuous exercise or a very physically demanding job


TDEE Factors to Consider

TDEE depends on several factors, including your gender, age, height, weight, and body composition.

The most important factor is your RMR. This is the number of calories you burn at rest—when not exercising or doing anything else to expend energy. If you’re sedentary (meaning that you spend a lot of time sitting), then this number will be higher than if you move more and regularly exercise.

Another thing that affects TDEE is the thermic effect of food (TEF). When we eat food—especially protein—our bodies use some energy digesting it into smaller molecules that can pass through our cells’ walls as nutrients.

What is a TDEE calculator?

A TDEE calculator helps you find out how many calories you need every day to keep your current weight. This is called your “maintenance calorie level.” To lose weight, eat less than this number. To gain weight or stay the same, eat more.

These calculators look at your age, gender, height, and how active you are. They help you decide how many calories to eat when you’re trying different diets or workout plans. This way, you won’t eat too little or too much, avoiding future issues.

The total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) determines an individual’s daily calorie needs.

The total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) determines an individual’s daily calorie needs. It calculates your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and the energy your body uses digesting food, called the thermic effect of food (TEF). The TDEE considers how active you are throughout the day, including physical activity and exercise.

The formula for calculating your TDEE is: BMR x TEF + Activity Energy Expenditure = Total Daily Energy Expenditure

How Do You Calculate Your TDEE?

I’m going to make this simple: The TDEE calculator is the most accurate way to calculate your daily calorie needs. It takes into account body size, activity level, and age. It’s also easy to use (not really) and uses scientific formulas that have been tested on thousands of people over many years.

How to use a TDEE calculator

  • Determine your basal metabolic rate (BMR).

  • Determine your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).

  • Determine your thermic effect of feeding (TEF), which is the number of calories burned digesting food.

What size are you?

The second thing you need to know about your body is your size. This can be a bit confusing because there are many different ways to determine this, but I recommend using either weight and height or (if you’re not overweight) weight and age.

If you don’t already know what your ideal weight should be, check out this article on the subject: How Much Weight Should You Lose? How Fast? It covers how much weight is too much and when it’s time to take action. For example:

A man 5 feet 10 inches tall should weigh between 150 and 170 pounds. A woman 5 feet 4 inches tall should weigh between 120 and 140 pounds. If they get above these weights, they have an increased risk of obesity-related diseases such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes.

How active are you?

The next thing to consider is how active you are. This isn’t just about your gym time and daily routine. Are you an office worker? Do you sit at a desk all day? Or do you work in an office but get up and move around every 20 minutes? Do you commute by car or train? Do you drive everywhere or walk/bike as much as possible?

There are other factors that affect TDEE too. For example, if you play sports outside the gym. This includes how often you play, the duration of the games, the intensity and type of the workouts, and the time of day they occur. There’s a lot to consider!

The TDEE calculator formula

Your TDEE is your BMR multiplied by your activity factor.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
  • BMR is the short form for basal metabolic rate. It is the number of calories your body burns by simply existing. Your BMR depends on your age, sex, height, weight, and if you are pregnant, even in the early stages.

  • An activity factor increases the calories you burn based on your BMR. This is because it considers your daily activity level. If you exercise little or not at all, except maybe at work sometimes, your activity factor is 1.2. If you work out moderately, about two to three times a week, your activity factor is 1.375. For more exercise than that, you should use a higher number. The highest, 1.9, is for those who do intense cardio workouts six days a week.

How to calculate your TDEE manually

Now you understand what TDEE is and its calculation method. Let’s move to manual calculation.

The Harris-Benedict equation came about in the early 1900s. W.O. Taylor and H.R. Benedict created it. This equation helps calculate BMR based on gender, age, and weight (or height). It remains popular for its accuracy for many. However, other equations are also available if this doesn’t suit you.

To use this equation:

  • Enter your age, gender, and weight into the calculator provided (or just use our handy calculator above!)

  • Click “calculate” after entering your information into the appropriate boxes

  • Now add up both columns of numbers from step 1 – these are your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and activity level figures, respectively

  • Add these two figures together

  • Divide this total by 7 – you’ll get your total daily energy expenditure or TDEE!

Knowing how many calories to maintain your current weight allows you to plan for weight loss or gain.

Once you’ve determined your TDEE, you can use it to plan your meals. If you want to lose weight, eat less than your TDEE; if you want to gain weight, eat more than your TDEE.

How to Use Your TDEE to Lose Weight?

The first thing to know about the TDEE calculator is that it’s a tool for calculating your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).

This is basically how many calories your body burns in a day, and it’s based on several factors:

  • Your gender, age, and height

  • How active you are (for example, if you’re regularly doing heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise)

  • How much weight you have to lose (the heavier you are, the more calories burn at rest)

Factors That Impact Your TDEE

  • Gender

  • Age

  • Height/Weight

  • Body Composition (muscle vs fat)

While these are all important factors, you can consider a few more when calculating your TDEE. These include:

Physical Activity Level

Physical Activity Level (Calories Burned) – This tells you how many calories you burn through activities like running, biking, or swimming. You can measure the distance with a running distance calculator. To find out the calories burned during these activities, use a heart rate monitor. Check your heart rate when exercising at different intensity levels. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, you can still estimate calorie burn. Use an online calculator and input your weight and the exercise type.

Stress Level – Stress increases the hormone cortisol in our bodies. This can lead to weight gain. It does this by messing with insulin function and slowing down the thyroid. The thyroid helps control metabolism. When stressed, we might eat less. But, our bodies don’t burn energy as efficiently as usual. This can slow down weight loss unless we build more muscle. Muscle burns extra energy. Stress also makes us hungrier. It activates certain brain areas, leading to strong cravings for sugary foods.

What if I’m Overweight or Obese?

If you're overweight or obese, you may need to eat fewer calories

If you’re overweight or obese, you need fewer calories than your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) suggests. Your daily calorie intake should be lower than that of a person who isn’t overweight or obese.

Also, if you’re overweight or obese, you should exercise more than someone who isn’t. To estimate your daily energy needs, multiply your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) by 1-1/3 if you’re moderately active. This calculation gives you an idea of the daily calories you need based on your weight.

Imagine someone wants to lose weight by being more active and eating less. They could start eating 1/3 less than their estimated TDEE and exercising more than before.

This approach helps reach goals faster. Both eating fewer calories and exercising more are crucial in losing weight or gaining muscle mass, depending on the person’s aim.

How Does TDEE Fit Into Weight Loss?

Imagine you are a 25-year-old woman. You weigh 130 pounds and are 5 feet 6 inches tall. Here’s how to calculate how many calories you need each day. First, multiply your weight by 12. Then, add this to your height in inches, which is 35. Next, adjust this number based on how active you are. If you’re lightly active, doing 30 minutes of cardio 3 times a week, choose one multiplier. For moderate activity, like 60 minutes of cardio 3 times a week, pick a different multiplier. If you’re very active, doing 90 minutes of cardio on 4 or more days a week, use another multiplier.

If your goal is to lose weight, take 500 calories off your total. To gain weight, add 500 calories. In this scenario, remember that 1 pound equals 3,500 calories. So, to lose 1 pound of body fat per week, you must eat 2,800 calories less than your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) each day.

How to Use Your TDEE to Lose Weight

To lose weight with your TDEE, start by finding your daily calorie needs. Divide your TDEE by 10 and add 200 calories to it. For instance, with a BMR of 2200 calories and a sedentary lifestyle, aim for 2100 calories daily to shed pounds.

If tracking every calorie is daunting, consider these alternatives:

  1. Cut 500-750 calories from your daily intake.

  2. Mostly eat until nearly full, and occasionally fast, such as skipping meals some days.

To lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than your body requires.

Understanding how many calories your body uses daily can help you eat fewer calories.

First, figure out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This helps track your food intake. To lose weight, eat fewer calories than your TDEE.

Everyone’s TDEE differs due to varying body types and lifestyles. Calculate yours using a WebMD calculator or apps like FitDay or MyFitnessPal.

Once you know your extra calorie needs, create a meal plan with healthy foods.

For muscle building, focus on eating healthy extra calories, not just more calories. Include protein and vegetables in every meal. However, snacks like ice cream or chips don’t count as they lack sufficient nutrients, especially protein.

For snacks, question if they are truly beneficial.

Consume plenty of protein and good fats for muscle building, and to maintain healthy skin, brain, and hair. Good protein intake is crucial for muscle, but excessive protein can cause health issues.

Eat foods rich in good fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fish oil supplements for omega-3s. Omega-3s reduce inflammation, aiding in exercise and recovery from injuries.


What is the best TDEE calculator?

The best TDEE calculator is subjective, but many fitness enthusiasts prefer calculators that consider activity level, age, gender, weight, and height for accurate results.

How does a TDEE calculator work?

A TDEE calculator works by taking into account your activity level, weight, height, age, and gender to estimate your daily caloric needs.

Why should I use a TDEE calculator?

Using a TDEE calculator helps you understand your daily caloric needs. This can guide your eating habits to meet fitness goals, whether it’s weight loss or gain.

Can a TDEE calculator be inaccurate?

Yes, a TDEE calculator can be inaccurate if the inputted data isn’t correct. It’s essential to be as accurate as possible when entering information.

How often should I use a TDEE calculator?

You should use a TDEE calculator regularly, especially when your weight changes significantly or you modify your exercise routine.


So, there you have it! Using the best TDEE calculator is like having a secret cheat code for weight loss. No more guessing games about how many calories your body burns. This nifty tool takes the mystery out of dieting and sets you on the path to a healthier, happier you. Ready to ditch the frustration and reach your weight loss goals? Grab a TDEE calculator, track your diet, and watch those pounds melt away!