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.





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.

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.  

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!


  • 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 BA, M.Ed., is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, Certified Trainer, the author or Healthy Eater, and a professional nutritional coach. If you need help reaching your weight loss/fitness goals see his personal coaching options.
Last Updated: December 21, 2020


  1. Jane Barron 4 days ago

    I’m 57, 5’3″, 145lbs lightly active. I learned here my TDEE is 1645, so I’ll aim for 1145 calories to lose. (Yikes!) What is your opinion on Intermittent Fasting 16:8…. I find it relatively easy to manage my food intake within that format, unless it damages my metabolism and works against me and my progress. What are your thoughts?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 days ago

      Hi Jane, First, in your case, you wouldn’t want to use the “deduct 500 rule” Please you my macro calculator to establish a safe deficit that’s appropriate for your stats. Flexible Dieting Macro Calculator Secondly, IF is good as long as it isn’t too extreme. Your body was designed to have a fasting period each day. 14 hours is more than adequate but don’t go any longer than 16. All the best!

  2. Jessica Pineda 1 week ago

    So I am 33 currently weigh 325 and am 5’1. I am pretty sedentary but am trying to become more active little bit at a time. My fitness pal has me at 1633 calories a day to loose weight but your calculator has my TDEE at 2544. Which if I eat at a 500 deficit would put me at 2000. Should I start at the 2000 and work my way down over time or continue at the 1600 that MFP has me at. I want it to be sustainable long term as I obviously have alot to loose.

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 1 week ago

      Hi Jessica, Since this calculator isn’t adjusting for your fat tissue weight it will show higher numbers for those that have a lot of weight to lose. I would advise that you go with the MFP numbers as it seems more in line with what you should be eating for weight loss. I usually recommend that people in your position have their numbers calculated by an expert. Fat tissue is low metabolic tissue so it skews standard calculations. All the best with your journey and it’s great you’re on the path to better health.

  3. Ashleigh Hatton 2 months ago

    Hiya iam a female aged 30 weighing 13stone 12.. and 5ft 8. I have used the calculator which states my TDEE is 2558 .. i have a mixed lifestyle of being active walking and the gym and two jobs one of which is not an active job alot of sitting down.. id like to lose around 2 stone would i be right in thinking i need to calorie deficit of 2000? So reducing by 500? I cant get my head around it iv tried to work it out but im confused thanks in advance

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hi Ashleigh, It seems like you may be overestimating your energy output a tad. You can get a better idea of your calorie burn here: Calories Burned and Activity Calculator you can then use that info with my macro calculator to establish a safe deficit. Flexible Dieting Macro Calculator If you need me to help, I can do all the calculations for you so check out my coaching page.

  4. Tamieka 2 months ago

    Thank you so much for this information.

    Ok…I want to make sure I am doing this correctly ….My TDEE per the calculator is 2450 and the zig zag BMR recommendation from the suggested BMR link is between 1586 and 1938. The suggested BMR calorie intake is just a little less than the suggest 500 calorie deficit. So which should I work towards….2450-500 or the zig zag BMR at between 1586 and 1938. I’m leaning towards the zig/zag.
    Tha is in advance

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hi Tamieka, I think you should head over to my macro calculator which will calculate a 20% deficit. Also, it is best if your TDEE aligns with your energy output and not some random “zigzag”. Eat more on days you’re active and less on days you are more sedentary.

  5. Mark 2 months ago

    I’m going to give this a try. I have been on a fat burning program since June 1, 2020, and although it has been working I seem to be losing that last little bit of belly fat at a few grams a day now, and it’s just not totally disappearing. Don’t get me wrong though…it has been disappearing, but it appears that my metabolism is so low now that this last little bit of fat is disappearing at an excruciatingly slow pace.

    I have read a few articles on this subject and a some of them focus on eating close to one’s TDEE (but staying under) as one’s metabolism might be so slow at this point that this is probably the rate that one is losing that last bit of belly fat anyway.

    I experimented with this fat lost at 1850 calories per day since the beginning of August (2000 calories per day from June 1st to August 1st), but I’m now thinking that this may have been a bit too extreme, and the body just felt as though it was starving; hence, it went into fat conservation mode. As my calculated TDEE here (on this site) is 2747 calories, I’m going to experiment starting today and increase my calories to 2250 per day as this will put me at a 500 calorie deficit based on this current TDEE. Perhaps my body won’t think it’s being starved anymore and get on with this fat loss.

    I workout all week long, but most of my workouts involves my weight-training program at home. I ride my bike to and from work and I count that as my HIIT workout twice a day (it’s 15 minutes each way with hills and I ride as hard as I can to get a workout). That amounts to about 300 calories burned per day if I’m lucky.

    Once I have burned off the last of this belly fat I want to embark on a bulking program (perhaps 1 lb per month at first) and see how that goes. I was doing this for 8 months prior to June 1, 2020, but I was doing it all wrong and ended up eating too much, which only put on more fat that I wanted. But my current body fat is somewhere between 15% and 16.5%, so I’m at a pretty good starting point right now.

    Since June 1st, 2020 I have dropped one pant size too; hence, I know the fat is coming off. But in spite of that loss there’s still that stubborn thin layer of belly fat that is obscuring my abs, which I know are there because I can feel them (they should be there because I have been doing a LOT of crunches over the past year) :-).

  6. Charlotte Morgan 3 months ago

    Hi Ted
    Might be a bit of a silly question but could you confirm for me whether you can reduce portion sizes to the ones that they’re not actually recommended to (as per the food packaging/nutrition label), and still be healthy and lose weight? Because I don’t think I could live on some of the recommended serving sizes of things in the UK lol! Hopefully you’ve seen some of them are ridiculously small!

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 months ago

      Hi Charlotte,

      Portion sizes are there as a point of reference. You are free to eat any amount of a particular food in a way that meets your nutritional needs. For example, A portion of chicken breast may be 100 grams but I typically eat 250 grams because I need more to meet my personal protein needs.

      • Charlotte 3 months ago

        That’s good, because I don’t know of anyone who follows the recommended serving sizes anyway lol!

      • Charlotte Morgan 3 months ago

        Hi again Ted, can you also tell me whether it is safe to eat under my BMR, especially for long periods? My BMR is around 1498 and my TDEE around 1800, according to calculators online, so I was wondering what is the lowest I can go in calories?
        Also, are you ever supposed to eat below your BMR at all? I know it decreases as you lose weight, but I thought if a person had a BMR of around 2000 for example, then if they wanted to lose weight would it be safe to eat underneath that, or just below their TDEE? Thanks!

        • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 months ago

          Hi Charlotte, Are you confusing BMR with REE? A safe way to approach this is to figure out your TDEE and then deduct 20% for safe weight loss.

          Also with online calculators, if you have a lot of fat tissue, this will skew the calculations which is why I questioned if 1498 was your BMR or your REE.

          • Charlotte 3 months ago

            Hi, my BMR is 1498 and REE is 1509? Thanks.

  7. marisela 3 months ago

    Hi Ted,
    I did a calorie deficit and I am eating about 1,200. I am 5’4 153lbs, but it seems I hit a plateau. My TDEE shows 2178 CALORIES with the calorie deficit I should be consuming 1,700cal. I am afraid to increase my calories intake.

  8. Sam 4 months ago

    Hello Ted.
    I came across this post and am very excited to get you answer my questions.
    Please reply.
    My question is:
    I weigh 66 Kg and my height is 5 ft and 3 in. I have pear-shaped body. My butts and thighs are more and I am good from my upper body.
    My TDEE is 2349. I am doing gym and consuming around 1200 calories per day.

    What should I do so that I can shed fat from my butts and thighs?

    Waiting for your answer.

  9. Amy C 4 months ago

    Hi Ted,

    Amazing responses to people’s health goals. I am 47, my calculated TDEE is 2100. Planning on 1600 calories per day. When I use a seated elliptical and it shows a 300 cal burn, should I increase my calories by 300 that day to 1900?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 4 months ago

      Hi Amy, It looks like you are already factoring activity in your TDEE and a 500 calorie deficit isn’t a one size fits all recommendation. My macro calculator does a better job of calculating a deficit that’s appropriate. If you select an activity level greater than sedentary then there’s no need to add in calories for exercise since this has already been done for you. If you have a lot of weight to lose (which could explain the high TDEE) then some additional calculations may be needed to account for the fat tissue since it can skew the calculations. Flexible Dieting Macro Calculator

  10. Hind 4 months ago

    Hi Ted, I’m 25 years old, I weigh 45 kg and I’m 152 cm, female. I have also been diagnosed with hypothyroidism for a a year and a half now, I have been taking levothyroxine and doing tests every 2-3 months in order to adjust my TSH levels. Since last November the dosage reached 100 mcg and I was 48 kg, I have lost 3 kgs and it was maintained, then my dosage was reduced to 75 mcg for a couple months and it was not sufficient, so I was back to 100 mcg and again it was more than I needed, now since last month I landed on a dosage between 75 and 100 mcg and I will do a test next month to see how my TSH level will be, my weight hasn’t changed since. I am trying to gain weight but I still cannot even though I’m trying to take 500 – 1000 calories more than my TDEE. What should I do to in order to gain weight and maintain it if the dosage isn’t fixed yet?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 4 months ago

      Hi Hind, Getting your Thyroid levels balanced is important so keep working on that but another important aspect of weight gain is doing the right exercise in conjunction with eating more. Are you doing some sort of strength training?

      • Hind 4 months ago

        Yes, I started doing strength training at home in March for two consecutive months using my body’s weight, but I stopped because I had an injury in my wrist.
        I recently started doing low inpact exercises and sometimes I do yoga foundations to strengthen my muscles.

        Ps. I didn’t gain weight when I was doing the strength training. 😅