What is a TDEE Calculator used for?

The basic notion for the TDEE calculator is to know how much energy your body burns each day. With that number in mind, people have a jump off point to adjust their diet based on what goals they are setting for themselves. Maybe one day you need to take 5 flights of stairs because the elevator is out and you realize you have some extra baggage around your belly! Or maybe a friend asks you to help them move and carrying one box has left you winded! Sometimes it just helps to know how many calories you should be consuming to maintain a healthy lifestyle. No matter what your goals are, knowing what calories go in and what calories go out will lead to a better understanding of your body, health, and overall wellbeing. TDEE is especially useful if you are trying to cut and lose some weight. However, if you are trying to retain your strength, you should calculate your one rep max using our 1rm calculator. If you are a serious powerlifter, don’t forget to visit the wilks calculator.


How to use the TDEE Calculator

Input the following:

  • Gender
    • Women’s Basal Metabolic Rates are lower than men’s on average
  • Age
    • Younger individuals typically have a higher Basal Metabolic Rate
  • Weight
    • This is used to calculate your Body Mass Index (body fat ratio)
  • Height
    • This is used to calculate your BMI
  • Baseline activity
    • More active baselines such as jobs that require physical activity equate to higher Basal Metabolic Rates
  • Additional Exercise
    • More exercise means more calories burned or more energy exerted!


What is TDEE?

TDEE stands for Total Daily Energy Expenditure and it is a way to figure out how many calories we burn per day. This value is important when you are trying to gain muscle or burn fat. The inputs in figuring out your TDEE are

  • The amount of calories you burn while at rest
  • The amount of calories you burn while digesting food
  • The amount of calories you burn with casual movement
  • The amount of calories you burn during exercise

You may think that the first two points should be the same amount for every person but people’s metabolisms for burning calories differ depending on their body fat percentage, gender, age, level of regular activity, and genetics. Therefore, the amount of calories each individual burns every day can range a lot even if two people seem to appear similar in body shape and size.


How is TDEE calculated?

The majority of calories burned during your day unless you are a professional athlete takes place at the Basal Metabolic Rate. The Basal Metabolic Rate which is commonly referred to as your metabolism, is the amount of energy, or calories your body burns in order to function when at rest. Even when you are sitting or laying down in a relaxed state, your body needs energy for all the reactions and bodily functions it takes to survive. For example, you may not think about it actively but using brain power to read about the TDEE calculator is using up calories! Your Basal Metabolic Rate typically accounts for around 70% of an individual’s total daily calorie burn.

The Harris-Benedict formula is based on gender, a person’s weight, height, and age:
Male: BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)
Female: BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)

Activity Multiplier:
Sedentary = BMR x 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)
Lightly active = BMR x 1.375 (light exercise/ sports 1-3 days/week)
Moderately active = BMR x 1.55 (moderate exercise/ sports 6-7 days/week)
Very active = BMR x 1.725 (hard exercise every day, or exercising 2 xs/day)
Extremely active = BMR x 1.9 (hard exercise 2 or more times per day)

The other 30% can be calculated based on physical activity whether it’s casual such as walking to and from the bus stop or a hardcore session at the gym and the calories it takes to break down food.