TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) Calculator

TDEE is a more comprehensive measure of daily energy expenditure compared to Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) because it takes into account the energy an individual burns through physical activity and digestion. 1

TDEE Calculator

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Age:

Weight (in pounds):

Height (in inches):

Activity Level:

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TDEE is used in the field of nutrition and dietetics to help individuals determine their caloric needs and guide them in creating a balanced diet that meets their energy requirements. By knowing TDEE, individuals can make informed decisions about their food intake, physical activity, and energy balance to reach their health and fitness goals. 2

It’s important to note that TDEE can vary greatly from person to person and can be influenced by a number of factors such as age, gender, weight, height, and physical activity level.

What is TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure)?

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is an estimate of the amount of energy (in calories) that an individual burns in a day. It takes into account the amount of energy an individual burns through basic metabolic processes (BMR), as well as through physical activity and digestion of food.

How to calculate TDEE (total daily energy expenditure)

There are several methods to estimate TDEE, including the following:

  • BMR equation: One way to estimate TDEE is to start with calculating your BMR using one of the popular BMR equations such as the Harris-Benedict equation or the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation. BMR can then be multiplied by a physical activity factor to estimate TDEE.
  • Online calculators: There are many online TDEE calculators available that allow you to input your height, weight, age, and physical activity level to estimate TDEE.

Harris-Benedict Equation

The Harris-Benedict equation is a formula that was created in 1919 to calculate an individual’s basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR is the number of calories a person needs to maintain basic body functions such as breathing and heart rate.

The Harris-Benedict equation uses the following formulas:

  • For men: BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) – (5.677 x age in years)
  • For women: BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)

To calculate TDEE using the Harris-Benedict equation, we multiply the BMR by an activity factor to account for physical activity:

  1. Sedentary (little or no exercise): BMR x 1.2
  2. Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): BMR x 1.375
  3. Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): BMR x 1.55
  4. Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): BMR x 1.725
  5. Super active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training): BMR x 1.9

Example:

A 30-year-old woman who weighs 70 kg, is 160 cm tall, and is moderately active would have a TDEE calculated as follows:

  • BMR: 447.593 + (9.247 x 70) + (3.098 x 160) – (4.330 x 30) = 1366.59
  • TDEE: 1366.59 x 1.55 = 2116.29 calories

Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation

The Mifflin-St. Jeor equation is another formula for calculating BMR, and it is considered to be more accurate than the Harris-Benedict equation.

The formula is:

  • For men: BMR = (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) – (5 x age in years) + 5
  • For women: BMR = (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) – (5 x age in years) – 161

To calculate TDEE using the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation, we multiply the BMR by an activity factor:

  1. Sedentary (little or no exercise): BMR x 1.2
  2. Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): BMR x 1.375
  3. Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): BMR x 1.55
  4. Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): BMR x 1.725
  5. Super active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training): BMR x 1.9

Example:

A 30-year-old woman who weighs 70 kg, is 160 cm tall, and is moderately active would have a TDEE calculated as follows:

  • BMR: (10 x 70) + (6.25 x 160) – (5 x 30) – 161 = 1426.25
  • TDEE: 1426.25 x 1.55 = 2207.19 calories

Other

There are several other methods for estimating TDEE, besides the Harris-Benedict equation and the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation. Some of the other methods are:

  • Katch-McArdle Formula: This formula is based on body composition and is more accurate for people who have a high amount of muscle mass. It calculates TDEE by multiplying BMR by an activity factor.
  • Cunningham Formula: This formula is based on body weight and is used specifically for bodybuilders and athletes who have a high amount of muscle mass. It calculates TDEE by taking into consideration the energy used during weightlifting and other physical activities.
  • Instantaneous Compensatory Model: This method uses an accelerometer to measure physical activity throughout the day and provides a more accurate estimate of TDEE.
  • Self-reported physical activity: This method involves recording daily physical activity levels and estimating TDEE based on that information.
Note:
All of these methods should be used as rough estimates and may not be 100% accurate for everyone. The best way to get a more accurate estimate of TDEE is to speak with a healthcare professional.
Sources
  1. Melanson EL. “The effect of exercise on non-exercise physical activity and sedentary behavior in adults.” Obes Rev. 2017 Feb;18 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):40-49. doi: 10.1111/obr.12507. PMID: 28164451; PMCID: PMC5388457.
  2. Ostendorf DM, Caldwell AE, Creasy SA, Pan Z, Lyden K, Bergouignan A, MacLean PS, Wyatt HR, Hill JO, Melanson EL, Catenacci VA. “Physical Activity Energy Expenditure and Total Daily Energy Expenditure in Successful Weight Loss Maintainers.” Obesity (Silver Spring). 2019 Mar;27(3):496-504. doi: 10.1002/oby.22373. PMID: 30801984; PMCID: PMC6392078.
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