What is the TDEE Calculator?
You just landed on one of the best total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) calculators on the internet. Your TDEE is an estimation of how many calories you burn per day when exercise is measured. It is calculated by first figuring out your Basal Metabolic Rate, then our calculator uses an algorithm that adds in your reported activity. The resulting number is a close estimate that tells you how many total calories you burn every single day.
Once you get your TDEE number you can effectively figure out how many calories you need to eat in order to accomplish your fitness and body composition goals. If you want to lose weight you will need to eat less calories than your TDEE number, and if you want to gain weight you will need to eat more than your TDEE number.
For weight loss:
- We generally recommend aiming for about 500-700 calories below your TDEE
- For weight gain we recommend aiming for 500-1000 calories above your TDEE.
Ready to learn how?
Table of Contents
Use the your TDEE number as a guide to help you determine how many calories you should be consuming every day to achieve your fitness goals. Fat loss requires a calorie deficit and muscle gain requires a calorie surplus. This means you need to eat less calories than you burn (your TDEE) for fat or weight loss and you need to eat more calories than you burn (your TDEE) for muscle gain.
To lose weight or gain muscle you must follow the above advice, but there is more to it than just calories. Calories coming from junk food or unbalanced calories can make getting to your goals a lot harder. Eating junk food can mess with your appetite making your hungrier, it can wreck havoc on your mood and energy levels.
Unbalanced calories (too much or too little proteins/fats/carbs) can do the same. Aim for unprocessed food.
Studies show that losing weight (body fat weight) and gaining muscle are accomplished much faster and more effectively when protein intake is high. High protein is roughly 0.6 to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight in relatively normal weight individuals (if you are more than 30lbs overweight subtract your fat mass from your weight and use lean body mass). This means a 150lbs person should eat between 90-150 grams of protein a day.
There are two main ways you can increase your TDEE number. One way is to simply move more and be more active which burns more calories. The other is to increase your “at rest metabolism,” so that your body burns more calories on its own. Although the latter is what should be focused on for best results, your daily activity is also something you should pay attention to.
Resistance training is a fantastic way to speed up your natural metabolism to increase your TDEE. The process of building muscle tells your body to burn more calories. Having more muscle on your body means that your body needs to burn more calories to support itself. By the way, just lifting weights or doing resistance training exercises does not guarantee that this will happen. You need to follow a WELL PROGRAMMED workout that uses the best exercises and prescribes the best reps, sets, tempo and structure. A good resistance training program can have a profound effect on your TDEE while a poor resistance training program can have little to no effect.
To increase your TDEE through activity you can either do more scheduled workouts or simply try to move more throughout your day. The most long-term success any of my clients ever had was through moving more during the day. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the end of the parking lot and being more active in general is a great approach because it’s a lifestyle approach.
Doing lots of cardio does burn a lot of calories, but don’t overdo this or rely on this. Too much endurance work can lead to metabolic adaptation where your body learns to burn LESS calories as it adapts. I usually don’t recommend more than 90 minutes of structured cardio a week for most people.
Use your TDEE as a guide to help you get to your goals. Don’t forget to check in with the calculator regularly as your activity levels change and as your body changes. Your TDEE is never static and will change as you do.