Knowing how to use the Best TDEE Calculator will help you estimate how many calories you must consume daily to start losing weight.
The total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) determines an individual’s daily calorie needs. The TDEE calculator considers your BMR (basal metabolic rate), TEF (thermic effect of food), and activity level to give you the most accurate picture of how many calories you need per day. A basic understanding of how these numbers are calculated will help you better understand how your body functions and respond to your diet plan accordingly.
What Is Total Daily Energy Expenditure?
TDEE is the amount of calories you burn in a day. It’s the sum of all the energy your body burns to perform basic bodily functions and carry out activities like eating, digesting food, moving around, and thinking about things.
It’s not quite as simple as that, though—TDEE also considers how much weight you’ve gained over time (which slows down your metabolism). The more muscle mass you have, the higher your TDEE will be because muscle tissue uses more energy than fat tissue. And if you’re trying to lose weight, this number will go down when you make changes to your diet or activity level so that it doesn’t burn off too many calories too quickly.
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 includes all of the chemical reactions in your body and many things like breathing and heartbeat that do not involve a change of atoms. It also includes how much energy you get from the foods you eat, how quickly this energy is used up or stored as fat or muscle, and how much heat (thermogenesis) your body produces when digesting food and converting it into fuel for everyday use.
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 accounts for about 10% of your total daily energy expenditure or TDEE. This means if you eat 2,000 calories each day as we recommend, 200 calories are burned just by digesting the food you eat (and not doing anything else). If that’s not enough motivation to choose high-quality foods, consider this: protein-rich foods have a larger TEF than carbohydrate-rich ones!
When you calculate TEF when planning meals or tracking progress in Lose It!, higher numbers mean more energy burned—so make sure that number isn’t too low!
TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) calculation
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.
Your TDEE is calculated by multiplying your BMR by a factor based on your activity level. Your “activity level” can be one of three things: sedentary (little or no exercise), light (light exercise/sports 1-3 days per week), moderate (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days per week), heavy (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days per week), or very heavy (very hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or training twice a day). This results in a range of numbers representing how many calories you burn every day just existing on this planet Earth.
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 is a tool that can be used to calculate your burn rate. It’s also known as the “maintenance calorie level,” which is the number of calories you need to consume daily to maintain your current weight. If you want to lose weight, you’ll need to eat fewer than this amount; if you want to gain weight (or at least not lose any), the number should be higher.
The following calculators consider factors such as age, gender, height, and activity levels (which may vary depending on how active someone is). They are great tools for helping people figure out how many calories they should eat while trying out different diets or exercise routines so they don’t end up with too little or too much food intake that could cause problems later down the line
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?
And then there’s other stuff in life that can impact TDEE – like if you play sports outside of the gym (for example), how often do those games take place, how long are those games, how intense are those workouts (and what kind?), when exactly did they happen during the day… There’s just so much to think about!
The TDEE calculator formula
Your TDEE is your BMR multiplied by your activity factor.
- BMR stands for basal metabolic rate, the number of calories you burn by just existing. Your BMR is based on your age, sex, height, weight, and whether or not you’re pregnant (even if you’re still in the first trimester).
- The activity factor multiplies the calories burned from your BMR because it accounts for how active you are throughout the day. If you do little to no exercise or physical activity outside of what’s required at work—and even then maybe only occasionally—then use an activity factor of 1.2. If you’re doing moderate amounts of exercise two to three times per week (or more), then use 1.375 as your activity factor; anything beyond that should result in a higher number, up to 1.9 if you work out six days per week with very intense cardio workouts included in that schedule!
How to calculate your TDEE manually
Now that you know what TDEE is and how to calculate it, it’s time to learn how to do so manually.
The Harris-Benedict equation was developed in the early 1900s by W.O. Taylor and H.R. Benedict as a method for calculating the BMR of people based on their gender, age, and weight (or height). It’s still used today because it provides an accurate estimation of BMR for many people—although several other equations are available if this one doesn’t work for 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
- 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 (Calories Burned) – This is the number of calories your body burns doing physical activity such as running, biking, or swimming. To measure the distance, you can use a running distance calculator. To figure out how many calories you burn during exercise, use a heart rate monitor and measure your heart rate while exercising at different intensity levels. If you don’t have access to this device, there’s still hope! You can still estimate how many calories you burn by using an online calculator based on your weight and the type of exercise performed.
Stress Level – Stress causes our bodies’ main stress hormone cortisol to increase which can lead to weight gain if we’re not careful because it interferes with insulin function and suppresses thyroid hormones which regulate metabolism so even though we eat less than usual when stressed out our bodies aren’t burning as much energy as they usually would otherwise which means less weight loss over time unless other factors are taken into account such as increased muscle mass (which requires extra energy). Stress also increases hunger signals by activating neurons in areas like reward center giving us intense cravings for sugary foods!
What if I’m Overweight or Obese?
If you’re overweight or obese, you may need to eat fewer calories than your TDEE. This means that your daily calorie intake needs to be less than what it would be for someone who isn’t overweight or obese.
Similarly, if you’re overweight or obese, you may need to exercise more than someone who isn’t overweight or obese. You can estimate your total daily energy expenditure by multiplying your BMR by 1-1/3 for moderately active people (as opposed to sedentary).
This would give them a rough estimate of how many calories they should consume daily relative to their weight. Now let’s say this hypothetical person decides that they want to lose weight by increasing their activity level and decreasing their caloric intake together: they could start by eating at around 1/3 below their estimated TDEE while also exercising more than usual.
This combination will help them achieve their goals more quickly because both factors will play an important role in helping them reach whichever goal is most important for them (losing weight vs gaining muscle mass).
How Does TDEE Fit Into Weight Loss?
Let’s say you’re a 25-year-old woman who weighs 130 pounds and stands 5 feet 6 inches tall. To determine your daily calorie needs, multiply your weight by 12 and add that number to 35 (your height in inches).
Then multiply that total by your activity level: lightly active (which includes doing cardio for about 30 minutes 3 times a week), moderately active (which includes doing cardio for about 60 minutes 3 times a week), or very active (which includes doing cardio for 90 minutes 4 or more days per week).
If you want to lose weight, subtract 500 calories from this total; if you want to gain weight, add them back on. In this example above 1 pound equals 3,500 calories so we need to burn 2,800 calories per day below our TDEE to lose 1 lb of body fat per week.
How to Use Your TDEE to Lose Weight
To use your TDEE to lose weight, you first need to calculate your calorie intake. To do this, divide your TDEE by 10 and add 200 calories. For example, if your BMR is 2200 calories per day and your activity level is sedentary (the least active category), you’ll want to eat 2100 calories per day for weight loss.
If you want to use your TDEE for weight loss but don’t want to count every single calorie that goes into your mouth for the rest of your time, there are other ways of doing so:
- Underfeeding yourself by 500-750 calories per day
- Eating until you’re full around 80-90% of the time and then fasting intermittently (like one meal a day) on days when you don’t feel like eating much at all
To lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than your body requires.
Knowing how many calories your body uses in a day can reduce the number of calories you eat accordingly.
Knowing your TDEE is the first step in keeping track of how much you’re eating. If you want to lose weight, this number must be lower than the number of calories you consume every day.
Because everyone has a different body type and lifestyle, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for determining your TDEE. The best way to find out what yours is is by calculating it yourself using a calculator from WebMD or an online tracker like FitDay or MyFitnessPal.
When you know how many extra calories you should be eating every day, build a meal plan based on healthy foods that meet that need.
To build muscle, you don’t need to eat more calories—you just need to ensure that the extra calories you eat are healthy. This can be a tough concept to grasp if you’re used to eating a lot of junk food (or even if you aren’t).
The trick is simple: ensure every meal includes some protein and vegetables. Sounds easy enough, right? But what about all the other snacks in between meals? What if your favorite snack is ice cream or potato chips? Do those count as part of your three-meals-a-day plan?
The short answer is no; they don’t count as part of your three meals per day plan because they don’t contain enough nutrients (protein) for their size. However, here’s the real question: should we even be counting them as snacks at all?
Make sure to eat plenty of protein for muscle building and good fats for skin and brain health.
To build muscle, you must ensure you’re eating plenty of protein and good fats. Protein is the building block of muscle, so it is important that you get enough of it in your diet. It’s also important not to overdo it on protein since too much can lead to other health issues like diabetes and heart disease.
Good fats are needed for brain health and healthy skin and hair. Good sources include avocados, nuts/seeds (hint: I have a lot of recipes using these), olive oil, and fish oil supplements (make sure you’re taking omega-3s). Omega-3s are particularly important because they help with inflammation which can lead to pain while exercising or injury recovery time if injured while working out!
Whether you’re looking to lose or gain weight, knowing how many calories to eat daily can help you reach your goals. The best way to calculate TDEE is by using an online calculator that will ask you a few questions about your lifestyle and then give recommendations based on your responses.
We hope you now have a better understanding of how to use the Harris Benedict Equation and Cunningham Equation to calculate your individual basal metabolic rate (BMR). These equations are very useful to ensure that your workout efforts are paying off or if you want to make changes in your diet. As always, check with a doctor before trying any new diet or exercise plan because they know best!
Alex is a passionate fitness enthusiast dedicated to helping people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. He encourages small – sustainable changes over drastic transformations and works with people to create customized wellness plans. His mission is to help others benefit from the most effective methods available, sharing tips, strategies, and health & fitness tools on Gearuptofit.com to inspire people to live their best lives.