Use this TDEE calculator to quickly find your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (daily calorie needs).
Why is TDEE important?
Your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) tells you exactly how much you need to eat daily to maintain weight.
- Eat more than this, and you will gain weight.
- Eat less, and you will lose weight
This is called a calorie deficit – calculate it here.
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 your 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 2300 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 loss of muscle. This is not desirable as muscle helps burn additional calories.
How long does it take to see results from a deficit?
There are 3500 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.
So switch things up from time to time! Change exercise routines, intensity, and duration.
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 the movement you do 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 your energy expenditure if you lay in bed all day and did absolutely 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.
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).
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- 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
Hi my name is Adam,
First of all thank you for this amazing site you made.
I have one question regardless the TDEE calculator. I am 20 years old, with a 173 cm and 76 kgs. I want to lose a couple of kilograms and I am not sure what to put in the activity factor. I am running 5K 2-3 times a week and doing some very light body weight excersise for 20 minutes 2-3 times a week. Is this considered as light activity? except that I am sitting all day behind my desk or in school studying.
Thank you for reply.
Assessing exercise activity is always tricky. We consider moderate activity to be:
Any activity that burns an additional 400-650 calories (females) or 500-800 calories (males) more than your sedentary amount.
You would do this on the 5K days, but not on the other days. I suggest choosing “Light Activity”, then seeing how this goes for a few weeks.
Hey there I’m a 36 year old male 310 lbs 6’1″ large frame . I’ve lost 20 pounds in the last 2 months doing keto (kinda) and doing a 16/8 intermittent fast. I started doing cardio 5 times a week and want to start lifting weights. My question is if my tdee is around 2600 cal to loose weight and I’m usually eating around 2000 and feeling full should I eat more calories to compensate for the 300-500 burnt from exercise, or is that just quickening the weight loss?? I’m trying to burn fat and tone muscle simultaneously so I’m keeping my protein macros at higher levels even if it keeps me out of ketosis (haven’t monitored ketones yet) my macros are usually 40-50% protein 50-60%fats 5-10%carbs. Im just afraid the additional workout calories will bring me below my BMR and I’m worried about potentially slowing down my metabolism. I feel great and satiated so it’s a bit confusing lol. Hoping to you can give me some much needed advice!
Hi Shane, Because you have more than 50 pounds to lose, that fat tissue weight will skew your calculations so you actually need less than 2600. However you should eat a little more than 2000 on your workout days and a little less than that on your rest days. Happy to do all the calculations for you. Custom Macros and TDEE Calculation
Hi I’m 51 take biologic injections for Rheumatoid and also on levothyroxine for underactive thyroid I burn around 2300 calories aday and eat 1800 calories aday but I’m getting heavier please help 🙂
Hi Sally, Is the 2300 from a wearable like fitbit or apple watch? If so, these tend to overestimate greatly. Also if you are more than 40 pounds overweight this also skews TDEE calculations.
Hi, could you please help me understand why light activity increases my TDEE from 2,200kCal when sedentary – to 2,500kCal light – and then to 2,800kCal moderate? I ask because 4 vigorous weight sessions a week (60 minutes each) supposedly burns 2,000kCal for me (500kCal a session potentially up to 550kCal) – and calculated over a week that is approx 2,485-2,515kCal per day surplus to maintain…. I know that would not be considered light activity, and other calculators have similar results – it feels misleading? Am I missing something? Thank you!
Hi Harry. Assessing calorie burn from exercise is very difficult. The formula applies energy expenditure as a percentage of your basal metabolic rate. It is an attempt to simplify something that is complex.
If you feel confident that your calorie tracking is correct (i.e. 500-550 kcal / session), then use the sedentary value from the above calculator and add your calories burned for that day. In reality your workouts sit somewhere just above LIGHT but less than MODERATE.
Hi. I am 131 pound and I’m five foot. How many calories do I need to eat to lose weight? Can I eat anything?
Hi Sophie, Head over to my macro calculator here Macro Calculatorand it will also show show how much protein, fat, and carbs you should aim for to ensure you lose weight in a healthy way.
Hi, thank you for all the free information ? Your TDEE calculator gives me the number of 2150 kcal. When I read my IWATCH I see an average of 2000 KCAL. How reliable is my watch ?
Hi Wuchang, It seems like you might be overestimating your exercise amount on the calculator?
hi iam a 60 year old male that stop smoking it been 2 years now since I stop but the weigjht gain won’t stop iam now at 340 pounds need to get to 225 iam Comfortable at that weight Help……
Hi Anthony, I’d be happy to meet with you and talk about how I could help you can on a sustainable path to losing the weight and keeping it off long-term. See my coaching page here: Personalized Macros Coaching
I am ftm transgender and on lupron injection which block estrogen, should I calculate my tdee as male of female?
Hi Freddie, calculate TDEE as female. Then monitor as needed. Depends on your goals – if weight maintenance, and you are keeping an eye on calories you will be able to see how accurate the TDEE is.
Hi I am 5.1 inch and age is 50. I weight 70.9kg and I am peri menopausal… I am very active workout 5 days a week and burn at least 1000 calories.. I need go to loses weight at least 10.kg so what should be my deficit. I am consuming 1200 for the past week but I am feeling very week and tired. Can you calculate how many calories i need to lose weight plZ.
Hi Aroona, I’d be glad to help you get your nutrition in a good spot for healthy fat loss. 1200 calories are definitely not enough on your workout days. I can calculate everything for you with my Macro Solution Ultimate program here: The Macro Solution or you can use my macro calculator here to calculate a safe deficit: Macro Calculator
Hi-. I am a 47 year old female. I’m 5’3.5″ and weigh about 110. I am a recovering anorexic, athlete, very active, and have fibromyalgia..but am soft and have trouble w my midsection. I just recently had a hysterectomy (ovaries still intact) and since that my stomach just feels doughy and looks soft. I eat healthy now but feel like I am not eating correctly. Please Help.