Nutrition & Fitness Calculators

TDEE Calculator for Daily Calorie Intake and Weight Loss

Quick TDEE calculator

Use this TDEE calculator to quickly find your Total Daily Exercise Expenditure also known as your calorie needs.





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

Activity Level

Your TDEE is:

Not sure how to use this? Read on and find out!

Need Your TDEE calculated by an expert?

Let our certified nutritional specialist do all the work for you to get your weight loss TDEE calculation that takes into consideration all your lifestyle factors. Learn more here.

A TDEE Calculator Establishes Your Unique Daily Calorie Intake

Every day your body burns a specific number of calories just by existing. This is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate. The BMR is based on your weight, height, and age. (Calculate your BMR here)

When you exercise or simply expend energy through physical activity, you burn additional calories. When you combine your BMR with the calories you burn through physical activity, you get your Total Daily Energy Expenditure.

This is what is known as your maintenance calories. If you eat this amount of calories you will maintain your weight.

Therefore, this calorie intake calculator shows you what you should be eating to maintain your current weight.

Use it as a Weight Loss Calculator

You lose weight by having a calorie deficit.

A calorie deficit is eating less than your body needs to maintain itself and thus creating a deficit. Ever had more bills than you had money? You had a financial deficit. A calorie deficit is having less energy than you need to stay the same weight.

Let’s say that based on your age, weight, and height your BMR is 1700 calories and through some physical activity you end up with a TDEE of 2300 calories. To maintain your weight you simply eat 2300 calories every day.

To use this tool as a weight loss calculator, deduct 20% from the maintenance TDEE is calculates.

To gain weight you eat more than your TDEE and to lose weight you eat less.

Of course, you can also achieve a deficit through burning more calories through exercise.

Every effective diet I’ve come across, whether it’s high fat, low fat, high carb, low carb, uses a calorie deficit to achieve weight loss.

how many calories to eat

How Many Calories Are We Talking?

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

Many “miracle diets” claim incredible results through eating specific magical foods or using unique protocols. Unfortunately many diets out there are nothing more than glorified Crash Diets. These diets put you into a severe caloric deficit resulting in, yes weight loss (usually short-term), but they can also cause health complications and damage to your metabolism.

To avoid doing damage, the general recommendation I’ve found and used is 20% calories less than your TDEE. Some people advise more, but I’ve found that to be unnecessary.

Also, having any more than a 20% calorie deficit makes it likely that along with losing fat you will lose lean muscle, which is not ideal as lean muscle helps burn additional calories.

There are 3500 calories in a pound of fat, so at a 20% calorie deficit a day most people will lose about a pound in a week. (src.)

Note that your body can become conditioned to the same repeated exercise and/or diet. This can affect your daily calorie intake and TDEE (see more about this). It’s always a good idea to switch things up from time to time bit exercise-wise and diet-wise.

get started

How Do I Get Started?

I suggest that you use Macro Counting to accomplish the goal of hiting your daily calorie intake and creating a calorie deficit in order to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

Counting Macros (a.k.a. flexible dieting) is non-restrictive and allows you to eat all of your favorite foods as long as they fit within your TDEE and macro goals.

You could eat unhealthy foods and still achieve weight loss (as demonstrated by The Twinkie Diet). but weight loss and health are not mutually exclusive. My advice would be to fill the majority of your diet with fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and lean meats. This way you can feel great AND achieve weight loss.

I have a multitude of Macro tracking resources on this site, plus a comprehensive program that you can buy and get started straight away.

Don’t get bogged down by the latest and greatest research coming out of universities you’ve never heard of. All the conflicting diets and controversial advice from health gurus are enough to give anyone a headache.

Focus on your TDEE, which has proven time and time again, to be the most important tool for weight loss and getting healthier.

FAQs regarding your TDEE.

Does it Matter what you eat if you count calories?

Yes and no. Regarding weight loss, you can eat nothing but snack cakes or pizza and still lose weight if you maintain a calorie deficit. (This has been proven by several studies.) But in regards to healthy body composition and overall good health, a balanced diet is recommended. This is why we recommend tracking macros as a way to ensure that you are getting enough of each macronutrient and in turn micronutrients from ensuring that you are eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit.

Does TDEE include exercise?

Yes, the TDEE is your total daily energy expenditure so it should be factored to include all the movement you do in a 24 hour period. Even if you are sedentary there is still movement factored in because you are still doing activity around the house, eating, showering, running errands, etc. Don’t confuse TDEE for your REE which is your energy expenditure if you simply laid in bed all day and did absolutely nothing.

How can I calculate my calorie intake?

Calculating your TDEE or daily calorie intake using the calculator above is also calculating your calories. Your TDEE is an estimation of how many calories you need in one day. Once you have your calories calculated, you can focus on reducing your calories in a way that will help you reach your fat loss goals. calculating your TDEE is one of the best ways to calculate your calories.

Just remember that whatever you decide to eat – the above information is enough for the majority of the population to get started losing weight.

How do I calculate my BMR For weight gain?

Calculating your BMR (basal metabolic rate) really isn’t a useful measure. This measurement is the calories your body uses to function absent of all movement and even digestion. Since no human exists in that context, the more accurate measure is The TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) which includes digestion and activity. Use your TDEE as the basis for calculating how much you should be eating for weight gain. Usually, adding 10% to your maintenance TDEE is a good starting place.  

Accelerate Your Diet and Fitness Goals with My Macro Solution System

Step-by-step self-guided program -or- fully customized personal macros coaching. Feel exhilarated as you conquer your goals!

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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
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Ted Kallmyer is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, is an expert macros coach, and the author of The Macro Solution. If you need personal help reaching your weight loss/fitness goals see his nutrition & macros coaching options. Follow Ted on Instagram
Last Updated: May 28, 2021


  1. Mike 3 weeks ago

    My weight is 161lb, I’m 5’7″, I lift 4 days per week with 30 mins of cardio after lifting. Then 2 days of only cardio, and 1 rest day. All the activity should be counted as moderate activity for my TDEE? right? or is that very active? trying to find the right calorie intake, my goal is trying to lose fat while gaining lean muscle, which I find it incredibly hard!

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 weeks ago

      Hi Mike, Sometimes multiple macro sets are more suitable if your energy expenditure varies. You definitely should have a rest day set. You can use my MET calculator to assess your calorie burn for those exercise days to see where it fits. Calories Burned and Activity Calculator

      • Mike 3 weeks ago

        thank you. good article!

        • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 weeks ago

          You’re welcome, Glad you found it helpful.

  2. Tj 2 months ago

    I’m doing 36:12 fast w/ 2 meals a day on the 4 days out to the week the eat. My BMR calorie intake to lose weight is around 1721. Which has me at a 12,047 weekly calorie intake. I plan on dividing that by 4 and by 2 which gave me a daily calorie intake of 3012. This give the fuel I need to sustain me through my workouts on my fasted days

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hi Tj, Why are you doing that? Besides, your body works on a 24-hour energy cycle, not a weekly one. Why not just eat a reduced amount each day that fuels your body but allows room for fat loss?

  3. Geetah Krishnan 2 months ago

    I am 51, 171 lbs 5’7’ i was 33 when I lost pregnancy weight of 20 lbs in 2 years dieting and jogging. But now I am 51 and it’s been a yo-yo I really want to lose another 20 lbs again but it’s so tough although I am at the gym 1 hr I tend to snack a lot than have good meals. How can I lost weight again and keep stable? Can I do 1300 calories daily and work out 45 mins?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hi Geetah, 1300 calories is too low for your workout days and even rest days since you’re 5’7″ Go with what my calculator says for light exercise on exercise days and sedentary of your rest days.

  4. Steve Isaak 3 months ago

    So I am 56 and it says my total calories a day is 3090, but I am on a betta blocker due to a heart problem. I have started walking again, seeing a massage therapist to work on the knee, and spreading out my walking to two walks 2 to 3 miles each walk. I am eating, typically 1100 calories a day, but the weight is slow to come off. Will it just take longer?

    PS I took time off to let the inflammation in the knee subside. I am not taking multi vitamins, joint formula vitamin, and iron. Suggestions?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 months ago

      Hi Steve, While it might seem logical that If you’re eating that little, weight loss should be fast but you’re actually making your calorie deficit too severe which will slow your metabolic rate. I don’t know your stats but it seems like you shouldn’t be eating fewer than 1800 calories. I would guess that this calculator is skewing your maintenance TDEE a tad because of fat tissue weight. I’d be happy to calculate everything for you so you can do this in a safe and healthy way. See my coaching options here: Personalized Macros Coaching

  5. Eleanor 4 months ago


    I have a question about how i should be measuring my exercise. I do weight training 3 days a week, cardio the other 3 with one rest day. I do weights for about 45-50 minutes while i do cardio for 30. I also like to train my abs for around 10 minutes after each session. Would this be considered light or moderate exercise? There are so many different answers out there and i’d really appreciate your perspective! Thanks.

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 4 months ago

      Hi Eleanor, You should calculate your calorie burn which will then give you an idea of where it fits. Here’s a good tool to use: Calories Burned and Activity Calculator

  6. Allie 4 months ago

    Do you know how we should adjust this if breastfeeding?

  7. Mary may 5 months ago

    Doest the 500 less calories still work on someone who’s had weight loss surgery

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 5 months ago

      Hi Mary May, That rule isn’t good for everyone. A safer approach is to deduct 20%.

  8. Ellie 5 months ago

    Hi, sorry asking the question again as I forgot to include some information. I’m 20, female, 5 ft 6 and 280lbs, and i have PCOS which I heard makes things more difficult/complicated when losing weight, it says my TDEE is 2460 as I’m sedentary, so should I be eating roughly 1900 calories to lose weight? and on days when i do 30-45 mins of cardio exercise, should my calorie intake go up? If so, by how much roughly?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 5 months ago

      Thanks for adding that. One problem is that your fat tissue weight is skewing the calculation since you have more than 40 pounds. It would be helpful if you have your macros calculated by a professional such as myself. 1900 would still be too high.

  9. Ellie 5 months ago

    Hi, i’m 20, female and it says my TDEE is 2460, so should i be eating roughly 1900 cal a day to lose some weight?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 5 months ago

      Hi Ellie, head over to my macro calculator which will establish your safe deficit. Make sure you calculate a set to use on rest days and a separate set to use for exercise days. Flexible Dieting Macro Calculator

  10. James 5 months ago

    I’m 56, 285, 6 foot. my bmr is 3600 I’m consuming 1950 daily. I count my calories will I loose weight?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 5 months ago

      Hi James, You should lose weight around 1950 calories, yes. Your Basal Metabolic Rate wouldn’t be 3600 though. Not sure where you got that number? If you have a lot of fat tissue, this will skew traditional calculations higher. Fat tissue has a very low metabolic activity.

  11. Salma 5 months ago

    Hii, i’m 17 old female student , 160cm tall and i weigh 60kg. My tdee said i need to eat 1625cal a day, currently i’m starting a diet to lose some weight ( 1000cal a day and sometimes less then it) . I don’t know if that right or no so can i get some advices and how much i should eat in order to lose one kg (2pounds) a week?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 5 months ago

      Hi Salma, That deficit is too severe and not healthy. Eat just 20% fewer calories. You can look at my macro calculator for more specific guidelines.

  12. Tanya Singer 5 months ago

    Hi Ted,
    I am a 40 year old woman, 5’3”, 212 lbs, 30 lb weight gain from chemo unfortunately. I would like to start losing weight, my TDEE is 1923 that is without any exercise but my goal is to do 10000 steps per day so should I be consuming 1423 calories per day?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 5 months ago

      Hi Tanya, That’s a good place to start on days you don’t exercise. On days you get 10k steps you’d want to add 150-200 calories.

  13. Sarah Holland 5 months ago

    Hi I have just been told my TDEE is 2246 so to lose weight, which I do want to I need to take of 500 calories from 2246. Is this right.

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 5 months ago

      Hi Sarah, It’s actually better to deduct 20%. You can use my macro calculator which will do it for you. Are you athletic? 2246 seems on the high side for a female so either you have a big exercise energy expenditure or you have a lot of excess fat tissue weight that’s skewing the calculation.

  14. Jessica 5 months ago

    I’m a 26-year-old female, 5’1 tall. I’ve been lifting weights six days a week and doing cardio two days a week for three months and I’ve gone from 115 pounds to 125 pounds in that time, most of which seems to be fat rather than muscle. I’m eating between 1950-2150 calories a day (and between 90-110 g of protein). This calculator says my TDEE is 1931 calories, which would mean I’m eating the exact right number of calories for a clean bulk (50-200 calories a day over my TDEE). My goal is to gain muscle without gaining too much fat, but I’ve still gained noticeable inches around my waist and elsewhere. Am I eating too many calories, or is it normal to gain this much fat with weight lifting?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 5 months ago

      Hi Jessica, Calculators can give you an estimation but in practice, you have to be evaluating progress and making adjustments. Since you are gaining fat and muscle you would want to cut back. Every two weeks should be an evaluation based on your weight body fat percentage and measurements. Then you can increase or decrease depending on what the data is showing. Up until this point, you’ve just been eating a specified amount and hoping for the best which often leads to fat gain. Try to be more scientific in your approach.

  15. Phoebe 6 months ago

    Hi there. I’m 21 years old, female, 75kg and 167cm tall. My TDE says my maintenance is 2101 and if I am in a deficit I should be eating 1708 calories per day. Normally on a day to day basis I eat 1300-1400 and never feel starving but I am gaining weight whist lifting weights and doing cardio 2x per week. Why is this? If I were to start eating 1708 would I gain weight drastically? Confused here.

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 6 months ago

      Hi Phoebe, It looks like the 1708 level would only be appropriate on days that you exercise. the other 5 days a week you should be eating at your sedentary weight loss levels.