TDEE Calculator : A Tool for Weight Loss That Trumps ALL Else

Use this calculator to quickly find your Total Daily Exercise Expenditure (TDEE).

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.

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

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Step-by-step ebooks, or fully customized personal macros coaching. Now with complete vegan edition.

    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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220 Comments

  1. Louisa Clark 4 weeks ago

    I read so many sites trying to understand what i should do to lose about 5kg and there was none that i could fully understand. This site gave me all the answers i was looking for. Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Tashieka Stewart 1 month ago

    I have by April 17Th to lose weight 20 lbs for surgery how can I do that? A liquid diet?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 1 month ago

      Hi Tashieka, That’s simply an unrealistic expectation. Pretty much the only way that will be achieved is by a very low-calorie diet and those are not healthy.

      Reply
  3. Adriana Martinez 1 month ago

    How can I figure Out how much protein, Fat and carbs I should consume if my BMR is 1,249 and my T.D.E.E. Is 1,717

    Reply
  4. Suraj Patil 1 month ago

    Hi
    My BMR is 1700
    And
    My TDEE is 2300

    How can I lose 10kg in a month

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 1 month ago

      Hi Suraj, Please see our Macro Calculator here.

      Reply
    • Hamza 7 days ago

      If u set yourself at a calorie deficit then you will be able to lose approximately a pound of fat a week if you minimize your activity level by 500 while staying under the macro restrictions

      Reply
  5. Mel 1 month ago

    I’ve determined that my body looks better (more defined, less fluffy) with high carbs, high protein, low fat diet. As summer approaches I’d like to lean out & lose some fat. I’m 5’4”, 122 lbs so weight loss isn’t the goal. I lift 3xs a week (moderate active). If I’m trying to maintain weight but cut to lose fat, do I cut by 10% off my TDEE? My macros would look like 1750 at 50% carbs (219g), 15% fat (29g) and 35% protein (153g). ???Based on my goals, do I eat the same amount of calories on workout days or push my calories to 1900? Thanks for your help!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 1 month ago

      Hi Mel, You have to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat so you would want to deduct at least 10%. You should eat more on days you workout and less on days you don’t because your TDEE is different depending on how much energy you expend.

      Reply
  6. Mark 1 month ago

    Hi I’m 1700 over my calorie intake for day will i put on weight

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 1 month ago

      yes

      Reply
  7. Kai 2 months ago

    My question is if my BMR is 2370 and that’s the calories my body needs for daily function. Is it safe to say I shouldn’t eat less then that? Because for the longest time I was eating around 1800 calories and working out but I felt so drained all the time.

    Reply
  8. Kim 3 months ago

    My BMI is 1477 and reads as being underweight, and the standard is 1587. I am only consuming 1240 calories or less a day, losing 1 1/2-2lbs per week. I lost 22 lbs already in 3 1/2 months. So it’s working. My question is, when I reach my goal if 145 lbs, 5ft 5”, age 51, and want to sustain, how many calories will I be allowed per day. I walk 4 days a week at 3-4 miles per walk and burn about 200 calories in that walk. Thank you

    Reply
    • Kim 3 months ago

      I meant to say BMR, not BMI

      Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Kim, You would enter your new weight of 145 and calculate. Then add an additional 200 for the exercise. You could also use the light activity setting which would be pretty close to the exercise you described.

      Reply
  9. Jessica 3 months ago

    I have a question. If my BMR is 1500, and my TDEE is 1800, a caloric deficit of 500 would take me below my BMR. Is that safe? Or should I eat to net my BMR and accept that the weight loss with take a while cause I’d only be netting a 300 calorie/day loss?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Jessica, -500 isn’t always a good deduction or rule to follow. A safer amount is 20%. Head over to our Macro Calculator which will do the weight loss calculation for you.

      Reply
  10. Camila 3 months ago

    Can someone explain the activity levels for the tdee calc? I’m not sure which to choose.

    Reply
  11. Kevin R Morin 3 months ago

    So here is my question in a nutshell. I am n Endomorph body type. I am carb sensitive. According to my Macro chart it says for me to consume 160gr/carbs a day. Being carb sensitive , at that rate I won’t lose weight. I am trying now to eat less than 80 carbs a day. Please! Your thoughts on this

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      You are more than welcome to adjust the macro percentages to fit your individual needs. If you eat 80 g of carbs than the rest of your calories should be divided among protein and fat.

      Reply
  12. Lena 3 months ago

    Hey!

    This was incredibly helpful! And the comment section is also a great source of both inspiration and information.

    I have one question however. I neve know how to determine my activity level. I have a dog, so that means around 1 and a half hours of walking every day. I also don’t have a desk job, but so I drive and walk around the city mostly. But not always. Sometimes it’s just meetings all day or driving a lot. And then I excersize almost daily for 40-50 minutes. So how would one put that into account?

    I am around 174cm talk and weigh 70kg. Lost around 25kg already and want to slowly lose around 10 more. I think I should be fine eating 1500 calories a day and still lose?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Lena, Glad you find our site useful! Great job on your weight loss so far! I think you should be eating a little more on days you workout. You don’t want your metabolism to start slowing due to too steep of a calorie deficit. Use our activity calculator to determine your calorie burn. Factor for your dog walking and your scheduled exercise. As for your casual walking around the city etc. for work don’t factor that since that is considered general movement and is already factored for in the sedentary calculation.

      Reply
  13. flanagan 3 months ago

    So you mean to tell me, that my 135 kg (297 lbs) sister would MAINTAIN her weight with 2553 calories a day? Seems legit……

    Reply
  14. Aliceson Bell 3 months ago

    Hi! Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am an recovering drug addict. I am female and weight is at 188. In April of 2018 I was at 203. My heaviest ever. So I went from a sedentary lifestyle to going to the gym regularly 5 or 6 days a week with cardio for at least 20 or more minutes and 30 to 45 minute weights training. Here’s my issue. I have only lost 18.9 lbs. I don’t eat a lot and what I do eat isn’t junk. Mostly chicken baked or grilled. I’m pretty sure the lbs I have lost are from the water pill my doctors gave me along with a diet pill which doesn’t seem to do anything. How can I lose weight. I’m not consuming enough to maintain my current weight and I’m sure it’s not to little. I’ve lost 3 inch on arms and 4 inch on legs but nothing from my waist at all. Please help!!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 3 months ago

      Hi Aliceson, Great job on your recovery and your weight loss so far. It sounds like you aren’t eating enough which has slowed your metabolism. You need to eat enough to support your exercise. How many calories have you been eating?

      Reply
  15. Danielle Ivy 4 months ago

    Hi I’m a female that weighs 240 pounds height is 5ft 3 inches I work out thirty minutes 4 times a week my tdee was 2420 to lose weight what should my calorie deficit should be

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 4 months ago

      Hi Danielle, Since you have more than 50 pounds of fat tissue your deficit should be around 25-30%. It’s a bit more complicated for you since excess fat tissue skews traditional calculations like the one the calculator uses. This is because fat tissue is low metabolic tissue. Please see one of our coaching options if you would like professional help getting your numbers as accurately as possible.

      Reply
  16. Ankt 4 months ago

    I don’t know what I should pick for my activity level. I do 20,000 steps a day but it is walking, and it’s on a flat surface. Should I pick lightly active, moderately active, or active? Please give an explanation too if possible. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 4 months ago

      20k steps sounds like it would be moderate. You can convert your steps to calories with our workout calorie burn calculator to give you a better idea. Steps can be difficult because casual steps burn less than steps you’d take during purposeful walking which is usually at a much faster pace. But 20k is a lot so I would suspect that a good portion are purposeful.

      Reply
  17. Sarah 5 months ago

    Hello! I am a 28yr old female 5’4 at 168.2lbs. I have been eating healthy and dropped 16lbs, but now all of a sudden I am gaining weight. I eat between 950-1200 calories a day depending on my appetite. It was going great for almost 2months, but now suddenly I am gaining instead of losing. Any advice? The calculator says my TDEE is 1750 so 1200 should be fine for losing weight, but I’m gaining? Please help.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer 5 months ago

      It looks like you have slowed your metabolism by eating too little. You need to eat more. Give this article a read.

      Reply