TDEE Calculator : Easily Calculate Your Daily Calorie Needs

Quick TDEE calculator

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

Age

Gender

Weight

Height

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!

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TDEE – The Science Behind Weight Loss

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.

So How Do I Lose Weight?

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 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 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 500 calories less than your TDEE. Some people advise more, but I’ve found that to be unnecessary.

Also, having any more than a 500 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 500 calories a day you will lose a pound in a week. (See how much exercise burns a pound of fat here.)

Note that your body can become conditioned to the same repeated exercise. This can affect your TDEE (see more about this).

get started

How Do I Get Started?

I suggest that you use Macro Counting to accomplish the goal of 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.

We 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 needs/intake?

Calculating your TDEE 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.  

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    Citations:

  • 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 and is our lead macro coach. If you need help reaching your weight loss/fitness goals see our personal coaching options.
Last Updated: September 26, 2019

302 Comments

  1. Maryam 5 days ago

    Hey Ted, I’m 29 years old,and stand 172cm and 65 kg ,I work out 5 times per week for 60 min,and I do running 5 time per week for 45 mins(8 to 9 km), I want loss weight and loss belly fat,I want achieve to 60 kg,how many calories , protein,carb and fat amount per day I should eat a day?

    Reply
  2. Frank 3 weeks ago

    Hey Ted,
    I’m 24 years old and stand 1,87 m and started lifting weights and going to the gym 4 times a week about a year ago now. When I started I was weighing 69kg, so I was very very thin. Now after about a year of consistence exercise and I guess predominantly good nutrition I managed to pack on some muscles and currently weigh around 82-83kg. Nevertheless, I also loaded up a bit of belly fat and love handles. A bioelectrical impedance analysis in November showed I had about 15% fat percentage. I still do to this day according to my scale (which may not be that precise).
    I really want to try to get rid of that fat.

    Can you tell me whether I should try some sort of body recomposition or a straight cut?

    And what exactly should I put in on Activity level when calculating the TDEE?
    If I’m not in the gym, which I am 4 times a week for about 90 to 120 minutes, I’m sitting at a desk or at home.

    Have a nice day, Ted!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 weeks ago

      Hey Frank, Great job on putting on all that muscle! Head to my macro calculator and do “lose” which is a 20% cut for a few weeks. Calculate two sets on set for gym days and one set to use for rest days. At 20% you lose the fat but not sacrifice all that muscle that you worked so hard to build. Flexible Dieting Macro Calculator

      Reply
  3. Sakshi Pande 3 weeks ago

    Hello, I’m 20 years old, female and I weigh 93 kgs. How many calories should I burn daily in order to achieve a 4 kg weight loss in a month? Also, should I consume 1500 calories as a rule or is it flexible? What if I only eat 1250? Since I’ve hypothyroidism, will that affect my weight loss goals? If so, how can i minimise the damage? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 weeks ago

      Hi Sakshi, Head over to our macro calculator to determine a safe deficit. Flexible Dieting Macro Calculator If you exercise, you don’t want to be in a severe deficit but you want to support your exercise with the right nutrition especially if you have a thyroid condition. Eating a healthy diet with moderate carbs coming from whole foods along with medication is the best way to manage thyroid health. All the best!

      Reply
  4. Robert Barker 4 weeks ago

    Hey I’m 28, 5.11 and weight 86 kg, I wanner lose weight I belive I eat around 3000 Calories a day! But my job I do burn around 400-700 calories on every other. I am eating 2500 calories now but do I have to up that because I burn them calories at work? And i worked out I need 188g protein a day how do I even fit that much protein in a day?
    Any tips would help?
    Rob

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 4 weeks ago

      Hi Robert, It seems like you’re overestimating how much your body needs daily. What do you do for a living and what are your workouts like? This is pretty common for guys to do especially as they age which is another factor that has to be considered.

      Reply
  5. Charlotte 1 month ago

    Ok so I was just reading the nutrition labels on the bread, margarine and marmite (condiment) I have every day in sandwiches or toast, using the calculator on my iphone, and which order are you supposed to put the numbers in, because all the time before I just counted the bread calories and no more because I didn’t think the other ingredients were gonna be that much off, but when I multiply the calorie bread number just on its own with the amount that I have (around 8 slices, usually, don’t judge!) it comes up with 752, yet, when I start from the beginning and add the calories from the butter and marmite to the bread it comes up with a much lower number! What am I doing wrong?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

      You have to add each thing separately. 8 slices of bread, the total amount or margarine used, and the total amount of Marmite used. For Marmite you can afford to estimate but you should be pretty exact with calorie-dense foods like Margarine or butter.

      Reply
  6. Charlotte 2 months ago

    hi ted, i’m so sorry to keep on pestering you, but i was just wondering If you eat a lot of healthy stuff but also exceed your daily recommended sugar intake, will you still lose body fat?
    Because I eat a lot of healthy stuff, lots of meat, fish, chicken, pasta, bread (carbs, protein, fat etc etc etc) but I also do eat quite a bit of unhealthy stuff, I have been trying to cut down a bit during lockdown but my weight has always been fairly stable (I also spoke to a doctor recently and he said I didn’t need to lose much weight at all), my BMI is in the healthy range, I’m female, 5 foot 9 and around 11 stone 2. Even though I’m in the healthy weight category and I do eat a wide(ish) range of foods, I do have some slight belly and chin fat, that I think I wanna get rid of, so if you eat all the right macros but go over some of them, particularly the sugar and fat are the ones I’m worried about, will the body fat still go down? By the sounds of what my dr said I’m not at risk for any conditions like diabetes or anything like that?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

      Hi Charlotte, One particular food or macro group doesn’t make you fat or keep you from losing fat and this myth has been disproven time after time. It’s about energy balance. If you want to lose fat then you need to be in a negative energy balance or a calorie deficit. This deficit doesn’t have to be severe as some people are led to believe. Just 10-20% is sufficient. Have a look at this calculator which will allow you to set a deficit. Flexible Dieting Macro Calculator

      Reply
      • Charlotte 1 month ago

        I just meant like if you are in a calorie deficit but still eat some foods that are high in sugar, fat etc etc etc then will the body fat still come off?

        Reply
        • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

          Yes, That’s right, “One particular food or macro group doesn’t make you fat or keep you from losing fat”

          Reply
          • Charlotte 1 month ago

            Also could you explain to me how BMR works? I know it’s the amount of calories that you burn at rest, but if you are sedentary, you are still moving around the house and burning calories right? So do the calories burnt from that get included in the BMR? I’m so sorry for the incessant questions I just wanna make sure I’ve got it right

          • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 month ago

            BMR isn’t the amount you burn at rest, that’s REE (resting energy expenditure). BMR is basal metabolic rate. It the amount of calories needed to perform vital functions only or if you were in a bed lying absolutely still and not digesting food. Because people don’t live this way, the more accurate measurement is your sedentary TDEE it’s your REE plus a general movement factor. Since people have movement throughout the day living life.

  7. Navien Rajendren 2 months ago

    Hye Ted,
    I wanted to lose belly fat and love handles especially at the mid section. I started to lift weight and running, yet cant see the different much. FYI, I have pectus excavatum (sunken chest). I reduced weight yet belly still big. Should I do more cardio to rid belly fat or just bulk with existing shape?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hi Navien, What’s your diet like? Are you eating in a calorie deficit?

      Reply
  8. Charlotte 2 months ago

    Hi again Ted
    I was wondering, does cardio exercise help to build or at least maintain muscle mass? I was just scared of my BMR decreasing while I’m stuck indoors a lot of the time, but once this lockdown gets lifted a little bit I want to exercise a few more times a week than I did before in order to hopefully get fitter. I don’t want to be like a bodybuilder or anything like that, not necessarily after a flat belly either, but my muscles ache after I do exercises like swimming, horse riding and even walking so thought that could have been making me stronger?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Cardio is typically pretty leg focused so it can keep leg muscles toned but I suggest that you add in some bodyweight exercises that focus on your upper body and core. There are a lot of great youtube workouts that can guide you.

      Reply
      • Charlotte 2 months ago

        I’m not trying to build muscle or bodybuild or anything like that, I’m just a bit worried some of my muscle tone has dropped off during this lockdown, but when the lockdown drops I wanna still lose fat/keep fat off but keep the muscle tone that I have (if I have any just from the cardio I was doing before), so I guess I just keep exercising?

        Reply
        • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

          yes, keep moving and stay healthy.

          Reply