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!

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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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  • 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


  1. NL 2 months ago


    I have a question. I’ve been consuming 1200 cals a day but took your TDEE calculator and it said I should be consuming 1462 to lose weight (my TDEE is 1821 cals). I’m 4’10, in an electric wheelchair and exercise 2 times a week at the gym, for about 2.5 hours. My apple watch says I burn approx 600cals each time. I would like to lose weight sustainably. Will I gain weight if I increase my calories? What should I do?

    Many thanks!

    • Ted Kallmyer (Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hi NL, At 1462 calories you are still in a deficit of almost 400 calories, right? You have to be in a calorie surplus to gain weight. If your body needs 1821 on your exercise day to maintain itself than how can it create fat when you are eating just 1462? At 1200 calories your deficit is a bit too low which could cause a plateau. You have to support your exercise with enough nutrition for a healthy metabolism. Here’s a good article to read about the subject. If You Want to Lose Weight, You Have to Start Eating!

      • NL 1 month ago

        Hi Ted,

        Thank you for the reply and advice! I’ll up my cals and see how I get on.

  2. Jarrod 2 months ago

    Another question. I have a heart rate monitor that tracks calories burned. Would it be more accurate to start with a sedentary TDEE and simply add in the calories burned to my daily calories, or is it safer to use the formulas to calculate them? I have been cautioned against letting MyFitnessPal manage my TDEE

    • Ted Kallmyer (Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      I think it’s better to establish an average burn. Often such devices overestimate a cardio burn and underestimate a strength training burn. Using METs is a little more dependable in my opinion. I have a great calculator here which should help: Calories Burned and Activity Calculator

  3. Jarrod 2 months ago

    I have a question about activity level. Should I be following 1 set of macros on the days I exercise, and the sedentary macros on the days I dont, or is there a way to calculate TDEE based on average weekly exercise levels?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hi Jarrod, It’s better to have two sets. Learning how to vary your consumption based on the amount of activity you do is very helpful in maintaining a healthy weight throughout your lifetime. Eating the same thing day in and day out doesn’t teach you this.

  4. Amanda 6 months ago

    Hi There,
    I was wondering if you could please hep me. There is so much conflicting information out there. Arrrgh!!!

    Weight= 48.2kg
    Body fat = 5%
    Age = 34
    Height = 164cms
    BMR = 1318

    The calculator states that my TDEE currently sits at around 1863. Is this number for basic maintenance and taking into account overall exersize? I’m looking to gain a little weight in addition to overall muscle mass which currently sits at 79.7% (lean muscle tissue). Would you recommend sticking to this number to begin with as currently i’m working in a massive calorie deficit without realising.

    Any advice would be amazing.

    • Ted Kallmyer (Macro Coach) 6 months ago

      Hi Amanda, That number would be your maintenance amount after factoring in the exercise level you selected. If you want to add mass then you would have to eat more than 1863 on the days you workout. Here’s a helpful article of mine that takes about building lean muscle: Macros for Gaining Muscle and Cutting Fat

  5. AC 6 months ago

    Should I use the normal setting or the lean mass setting to decide how many calories to eat per day?

    • Ted the Macro Coach 6 months ago

      Hi AC, lean mass is for those that already have a low body fat percentage. For guys, this would be 12% or lower

  6. Cc 7 months ago

    My TDEE is 2254 and I’m going to cut back to 1800 cals per day to lose fat. Do I factor in my calories burnt through exercise or eat 1800 no matter how many cals I burn during a workout.

    • Ted the Macro Coach 7 months ago

      Hi Cc, If 2254 is your sedentary TDEE then any additional exercise you do would have to be factored in. So, if your deficit TDEE is 1800 and you burn 400 calories at the gym, your new deficit TDEE is 2200 calories for that day.

      • Pedro 6 months ago


        My TDEE is 2692 (this number is with moderate activity level)

  7. WJ 9 months ago

    Hi, im new to this and getting confused with all the websites. If my BMR = 1300, TDEE is about 1700, does that mean that to lose weigh, i should be consuming about 1500 calories (calories in = 1500) or should 1500 be the final total calories i achieved after factoring the activities for the entire day (calories in – calories out = 1500)?

    • Ted the Macro Coach 9 months ago

      Hi WJ, It would probably be helpful to use our macro calculator here: Flexible Dieting Macro Calculator It does all the calculations for you. Basically to lose weight you should eat 20% less than your exercise included TDEE.

  8. pHoss 10 months ago

    MY BMR is 1800 and my TDEE is 2159. 90 days ago i started counting macros and was 161 with a skeletal muscle mass of 85.1lbs and body fat of 8.7%. I was eating 150 grams of protien a day and averaging about 1800 calories a day. Today (90 days later) i weight 161 still but my muscle mass dropped to 84 lbs and body fat increased to 9.5%. Is it possible i am not eating enough and my body is storing energy in Fat??? I’m caloric defecit so how am i gaining body fat?……and disturbing that eating 150g of protien a day i lost muscle? Goal is to maintain muscle mass but get rid of the last layer of stomach fat so show the six pack

    • Ted the Macro Coach 10 months ago

      Hi PHoss, It sounds like you’re trying to cut back too much while also working out. This isn’t good and that 150 grams of protein will go to fuel and not rebuilding muscle tissue. Also, your body will break down other muscle tissue to repair the tissue that’s been stressed during your workout. Eat more and since you already have a low body fat percentage do no more than a 10% calorie deficit.

    • Eleven 9 months ago

      At low % body fat you need to reduce your deficit, the less fat you have the slower the loss has to be to retain muscle. You also should be throwing in a bunch of re feeds if you are that low but it sound like you are a bit higher, abs are usually easily visible between 8-10%

      • Pedro 6 months ago


        My TDEE is 2692(this number is through moderate activity level) and my BMR is at 2297, would I have have to cut my calories to around 2200 to lose the last of fat I have and get lean muscle? Also, will setting my protein at maximum prevent me from losing the muscle?

        • Ted the Macro Coach 6 months ago

          Hi Pedro, That sounds like a pretty sensible deficit. You can always check it using our macro calculator: Flexible Dieting Macro Calculator. If you have just a little fat and want to preserve/still make lean gains, sometimes less of a deficit is better. Our macro calculator gives you a choice. You would want to do at least high protein as I assume you are also weight training?

          • Pedro 6 months ago

            So would doing the 20% deficit be my best bet on the flexible macro calculator? And yes I am currently doing weight training

          • Ted Kallmyer (Macro Coach) 6 months ago

            You could start with 20% and if you feel like you’re losing strength, cut back to 10%.

  9. Stephanie Raj 10 months ago

    I’ve been trying to figure out how many calories I should be eating and burning to lose weight but get toned.

    TDEE is showing 1957 calories,
    I’ve been trying to not go over a 1500 calorie intake in a day while burning at least a total of 2,282 calories a day (700-900 of those being active). I am just wondering if I am doing the right thing or should I be eating less or burning more active calories. Thank you.

    • Ted the Macro Coach 10 months ago

      Hi Stephanie, You can use our macro calculator and see what a 20% calorie deficit looks like. It also looks like you’re wearing an exercise tracker. Just note that they tend to over-estimate calorie burn so keep that in mind.

  10. Carol 10 months ago

    I’ve been stuck in a weight gain swing for the past year. I originally lost 75 pounds on WW, but had to quit due to finances. I exercise 3-4 times a week (HIIT, elliptical, walking, light weights) and have been keeping myself at and around 1335 calories daily. I’ve gained 30 pounds 😞. Please tell me what I’m doing wrong

    I don’t eat processed foods, no fried foods, minimal sugar, minimal fruit, and don’t drink soda

    My daily consumption usually consists of protein, veggies, and the occasional potato.

    My stats:
    54 yrs old
    5’ 9”
    231 lbs
    Strong but flabby

    • Ted the Macro Coach 10 months ago

      Hi Carol, Unfortunately, you’ve slowed your metabolism by eating too little. You need to support both your metabolism and the exercise you are doing with enough nutrition. Here’s an article that explains this in more detail. If You Want to Lose Weight, You Have to Start Eating! I suggest you eat at your maintenance levels for a month and then cut back to no more than a 20% deficit.

  11. Rox 10 months ago

    Hi, I’ve been eating on extremely low calories for about 2/3 years now. Roughly 800 a day along with excessive exercise (double gym sessions along with hobby exercise).
    To begin with I lost weight really fast but soon become bloated all the time & now I’m just chubby.
    I want to start eating more so I can actually lose some fat & define my muscles, how long should I eat on my Maintenance calories before going into a deficiency to lose some fat?

    • Ted the Macro Coach 10 months ago

      Hi Rox, I would give your body a solid month to 2 months to recover. Strength training in conjunction with this will also be helpful.

  12. M 10 months ago

    My tdee is 1500. If I – 500 calories a day to lose weight is it still healthy to only eat 1000 calories a day?

    • Ted the Macro Coach 10 months ago

      Not everyone should deduct 500. In your case, 20% would be more accurate.