TDEE Calculator

By Ted KallmyerUpdated May 11, 2023

Use this TDEE calculator to quickly find your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (daily calorie needs).


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Formula ?If you know your body fat %, Lean Mass formula may be more accurate.

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Your maintenance TDEE is

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Why is TDEE important?

Your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) tells you exactly how much you must eat daily to maintain weight.

Is TDEE and BMR the same?

No, they are not.

Every day your body burns a specific number of calories just by existing. This is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR.

BMR is based on weight, height, and age but does not include daily activity or exercise.

TDEE is effectively your BMR + extra exercise or activity.

TDEE and BMR are not the same, and as most people do more than lie in bed each day, TDEE is a more helpful tool.

Should I eat my TDEE to lose weight?

No. Your TDEE shows you your daily maintenance calories. If you eat your TDEE, you will stay the same weight.

How do you calculate TDEE for weight loss?

You lose weight by having a calorie deficit.

A calorie deficit means eating less than your body needs to maintain itself.

Ever had more bills than you had money? You had a financial deficit.

A calorie deficit is consuming less energy than you need to stay the same weight.

TDEE Weight Loss Example

Let’s say your BMR is 1,700 calories per day. With some physical activity, you end up with a TDEE of 2,300 calories.

To lose weight, you should consume around 1,840 calories per day.

How much should I subtract from TDEE?

After working with hundreds of successful clients, we’ve found a deficit of 20% from your TDEE is optimum.

You can also achieve a deficit by burning more calories through exercise.

Every effective diet, whether high fat, low fat, high carb, or low carb, uses a calorie deficit to achieve weight loss.

Why shouldn’t I subtract more calories?

Technically you could eat nothing all day and achieve weight loss through having a calorie deficit.

Many well-publicized crash diets put you into a severe caloric deficit. They result in short-term weight loss but will damage your metabolism.

Reducing your calories by more than 20% may lead to muscle loss. This is not desirable as muscle helps burn additional calories.

How long does it take to see results from a deficit?

There are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, so with a 20% calorie deficit, most people will lose about a pound a week.

Your body can become conditioned to repeated exercise affecting your calorie intake and TDEE.

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So switch things up from time to time! Change exercise routines, intensity, and duration.

Total Daily Energy Expenditure - Exercise Changes

How to get results with TDEE and a calorie deficit

Macro counting is a great way to hit your daily calorie target. You lose weight healthily and sustainably.

Counting macros (and flexible dieting) is non-restrictive. It means you still eat your favorite foods – provided they fit within your TDEE and macro goals.

You could eat unhealthy foods and still achieve weight loss. – as demonstrated by the 27-pound weight loss of Dr. Mark Haub.

However, loading your diet with fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and lean meats is best. This way, you can feel awesome AND achieve weight loss.


Does it matter what I eat if I count calories?

Yes and no.

You could eat nothing but snack cakes or pizza and still lose weight – if you maintain a calorie deficit.

However, for healthy body composition, a balanced diet is recommended.

Tracking macros will ensure you get enough of each macronutrient and meet micronutrient needs.

Does TDEE include exercise?

Yes, the TDEE is your total daily energy expenditure, so it must include all your movement in 24 hours.

Even non-exercisers are still doing activities around the house – eating, showering, running errands, etc.

Don’t confuse TDEE with Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) or Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). These two represent energy expenditure if you lay in bed all day and did nothing.

How do I measure my TDEE and calorie intake?

Use the calculator above. It uses the most common variables.

If you want a genuinely accurate TDEE – talk to a coach.

Totaling your calories for the day is usually done with a macro tracking app.

How often should I recalculate my TDEE?

It would be best if you recalculated your TDEE as you lost weight. Do this every 6-8 weeks.

Does this have anything to do with BMI?

Body Mass Index or BMI is a measure of height and weight. It’s not the same thing as TDEE.

How do I use TDEE to gain muscle?

Once you’ve calculated your TDEE in the calculator above, add 10% to the calorie amount. The new calorie amount gives you a good starting point for weight gain.

If you still aren’t gaining, move this to a 20% surplus (use the macro calculator).

View article sources


  • Rising, R., Harper, I. T., Fontvielle, A. M., Ferraro, R. T., Spraul, M., & Ravussin, E. (1994). Determinants of total daily energy expenditure: variability in physical activity. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 59(4), 800-804. study link
  • Schulz, L. O., & Schoeller, D. A. (1994). A compilation of total daily energy expenditures and body weights in healthy adults. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 60(5), 676-681. study link


  • Zenaida Greenberg 4 weeks ago

    Build muscle and maintain weight

  • Lucy 2 months ago

    Advice would be so meaningful!
    I started in a calorie deficit in Jan
    1300 calories and walking 2-4 times a week. iv now lost 12 kgs
    I have now signed up to the gym to tone and gain my ass back! I get to the gym about 2 times a week (walking has stopped but getting in around 7k a day still.
    I have always been high protein about 146g and have upped my calories to 1500 and carbs to 80g

    I really don’t want to undo all my hard work and I’m worried my calories are too high – but I’m sooo hungry on my gym days
    All the TDEE calculators tell me something different.
    Any advice anyone has would be amazing as far as my macros
    I’m 38 and 164cm weighing 56kg

    I just want to tone and whine at the gym I am doing weights for 2 hour and waking on incline for 40mins

    Thank you in advance

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hi Lucy, Great job on your progress. If you’re spending 2+ hours in the gym, you definitely need to be eating more. I’d be happy to get your numbers dialed in for you so that you can gain muscle but in a lean way. Here’s my program.

      • Lucy 2 months ago

        Sorry I should have been clearer
        I get to the gym around 2 times a week and do about an hour weights and 40 mins on the treadmill switching from flat to incline during that 40 mins

        I’m just so lost with my macros
        I had them dialed in for weight loss but how to maintain and being at gym I am struggling to lock in a calorie amount 😢

        • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

          Thanks for the clarification. I think my recomp program would be a great investment and you can opt for me to do all your calculations which seems like would be really helpful since your schedule is a tad more complex.

  • DEBORAH 3 months ago

    My bmr is 1300 and my tdee is 1550 so how can I lose weight if I don’t go under my bmr?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 months ago

      Hi Deborah, I don’t know your starting stats but you can be slightly under your BMR during weight loss and still do it in a safe way. If you ate at 1200 calories this would create a 350 calorie deficit daily and lead to fat loss.

  • Selena 3 months ago

    I’m 18 years old girl . I weigh 220 lbs . I want to lose weight . I consume 1500 calories a day and burn 500 calories just want to know that how much should I burn calories ?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 months ago

      Hi Selena, You probably need to be eating a little more if you are eating 1500 and burning 500 through exercise. Have a look at my macro calculator and set it to “lose” for activity select moderately active. Macro Calculator

  • Xzavier 4 months ago

    What formula is being used for this calculation? Thanks.

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 4 months ago

      It’s the Mifflin, M. D., St Jeor formula


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