If you are counting calories to gain or lose weight, you need to know how many calories your body uses each day. Once you calculate how many calories your body needs to live, breathe, walk, talk and exercise, you can use this number to calculate the number of calories you need to add or reduce each day to reach your diet and fitness goals. This number is known as your Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE, the total number of calories your body burns daily.
Why is calculating your TDEE important?
You can use this information to bring a more scientific and reliable approach to your weight and body fat loss or to eat properly to add muscle mass. Once you understand your TDEE and calorie requirements, ensure that you understand how to calculate and track your calorie intake to match. Generally, if you consume fewer calories than your TDEE you would lose weight and if you were to go over you would gain weight. Alternately, you can maintain the same calorie intake while you increase your activity level (exercise) to burn body fat.
How to use the TDEE calculator.
To use the TDEE calculator, you will need to input your age, gender, weight in pounds, your height in inches. You will also need to identify and choose your activity level:
- Sedentary – Little to no exercise and/or a desk job.
- Lightly Active – Light exercise 1-3 days/week.
- Moderately Active – Moderate exercise 3-5 days/week.
- Very Active – Heavy exercise 6-7 days/week.
- Extremely Active – Very heavy exercise, hard labor, training twice per day.
As an example, a 30 year old male, 70 inches tall who weighs 200 pounds and is sedentary would require 2249 Calories to maintain his current body weight. If that same man increased his activity level to “Moderately Active” he would burn on average 2904 Calories, an additional 600+ calories.
Using your TDEE numbers.
Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE is the total number of calories that your body burns in one day. Once you know your TDEE, you will be able to design your weight loss (or weight gain) program more effectively. Eat more to gain weight, eat less (or increase your activity level) to lose weight.