Knowing what your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is can help you take control of your weight. That’s because your TDEE tells you how many calories you burn in a day. When you know how many calories you burn then you can also figure out how many fewer calories you should consume to lose weight.
If you’re wondering, ‘What is TDEE?’, you’ve come to the right place. Up next we’re going to show you how to calculate TDEE with the TDEE formula. We’re also going to share the differences between TDEE vs BMR and explain what you need to do for TD weight loss.
What Is TDEE?
Your TDEE number represents the amount of energy your body needs every day. That number includes the energy you need for physical activities like running, hiking and even playing with your kids in the park. The TDEE meaning also includes the energy your body needs for your inner processes.
Your inner processes include breathing, blinking, cell regeneration, sleep, digestion and all of the other things that go on inside of you. When you figure out your TDEE number you find out how many calories your body uses on average every day. When you consume fewer calories than your TDEE number, you can lose weight.
Factors Included In TDEE
Your TDEE takes into account your weight, height, sex as well as your activity level. The thermic effect of the foods you consume also can affect your TDEE.
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Your BMR takes into account your age, sex, weight and height. It represents the number of calories your body uses regardless of whether or not you get off the couch. Even while you think you are doing nothing, your body is working at helping you breathe, think, blink, digest and thousands of other things.
All of your body’s standard processes require fuel to run. Your BMR number tells you exactly how much fuel in the form of caloric energy your body needs.
We’ve established that your body uses energy even when you are not physically doing anything. Now, the second part of figuring out your TDEE is to add in the number of calories you expend when you are physically active.
There are different levels of activity of course. If you are working out several hours a day, then you’re on one end of the spectrum and if you don’t leave your house much then you’re on the other end. However, there are quite a few activity levels in between to choose from.
Going for planned walks, swimming, hiking, and dancing are all considered physical activities. Determining your average activity every day will give you a pretty good idea of your TDEE.
Thermic Effect Of Food (TEF)
Did you know that some of the foods you eat help you burn calories? It’s true, and it’s called the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). The more complex the food you consume, the more difficult it is for your body to break it down, extract the nutrients, and digest it. The more difficult it is, the more calories your body uses to make it happen, which means you burn more calories.
This thermic effect can last for several hours after you consume certain foods. High protein foods are one of the most difficult for your body to break down, which means you get a high TEF from them. Good protein choices include lean beef and chicken as well as complex carbohydrates like beans and lentils.
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)
In addition to exercise and everyday body functions, you also spend energy on a third thing. That thing includes all of the movements you do in a day. This includes everything from playing with your kids to cleaning. Both of those things require energy as do many others like cooking, walking, and climbing the stairs.
These types of things can also help you burn energy and the more vigorously you do them, the more energy you burn.
How To Calculate TDEE
To calculate your TDEE, you need to calculate your BMR and multiply it by your activity level.
TDEE Formula For Men
(9.99 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) - (4.92 × age in years) + 5 = BMR
BMR x Activity Level = TDEE
TDEE Formula For Women
(9.99 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) - (4.92 × age in years) - 161 = BMR
BMR x Activity Level = TDEE
Your activity level will by a number running from 1.2 to 1.9 as per the following.
Activity Level for Men and Women
Little to no exercise - BMR x 1.2
Lightly active - BMR x 1.375
Moderately active - BMR x 1.55
Very active - BMR x 1.725
Extra active - BMR x 1.9
How To Measure Activity Factor
The easy way to measure your activity is to simply determine how physical you are on average. Based upon your self-determination you choose a number from 1.2 - 1.9 in the table above. However, if you want to get more specific, you can do a few more calculations to determine your activity level.
The chart below shows you what the typical calorie burn is per hour based upon your level of activity.
Figure out how many hours of each activity you do and multiply it by the calories burned. Add up all of the calories burned per activity. Then divide that number to get your activity level per day.
Now to calculate your TDEE, take your BMR x 1.2 and add your activity level per day to it.
TDEE Calculation Example
For this example we are going to use a 30-year old woman who is 5’4”, weighs 80 kg, and is lightly active.
So first let’s calculate her BMR.
FORMULA (9.99 × 80kg) + (6.25 × 162.56cm) - (4.92 × 30) - 161 = BMR
799.2 + 1016 - 147.60 - 161 = 1506.6
BMR = 1506.6
Now we calculate her TDEE.
BMR x 1.375 (activity level) = TDEE
1506.6 x 1,375 = 2071
TDEE = 2071 calories
How To Use TDEE For Weight Loss
Knowing your TDEE number brings you a whole lot closer to losing the amount of weight you need to lose. Once you know what your TDEE is you can create a calorie deficit, which is the difference between the amount of calories you burn and the amount of calories you consume.
You need to consume fewer calories than your TDEE number. If you want to lose about 1 lb a week, you should consume 500 fewer calories than your TDEE number.
In order to reduce those calories, you can eat more filling foods with fiber and protein. These types of foods keep you fuller for longer so you don’t feel hungry so often. They also reduce cravings so you aren’t driven to consume unhealthy snacks.
BMR Vs TDEE For Weight Loss
Both your BMR and your TDEE numbers can help you lose weight quickly as they tell you how many calories your body burns on average. Your BMR tells you the number of calories you burn at rest, which is a valuable part of TDEE. The second part of TDEE is your activity level. When you add BMR and activity level, you get your TDEE, which gives you a more accurate count of the calories you burn on average everyday.
Consult A Nutrition Coach
While you can calculate your BMR and even your TDEE on your own, a nutrition coach can help you put a plan together. Your nutrition coach can help you figure out how many calories you can afford to reduce and how to go about reducing them with filling foods and activity. Regardless of what your weight is, you should not try to change your weight too fast.
If you limit your calories too suddenly, your body can go into starvation mode and hold onto more fat. Therefore, consulting with a nutrition coach is always a great idea before making any major changes in your diet. Losing weight gradually under the guidance of a professional can help you keep that weight off for the long run so you never have to think about dieting again.
Take the Fitmate quiz to find out how a weight loss coach can help you create a custom plan.
What is the difference between BMR and TDEE?
The big difference between BMR and TDEE is that TDEE includes your activity level when calculating how many calories you expend each day while BMR doesn’t.
Does TDEE include exercise?
TDEE includes all forms of activity. That activity can be exercise in the form of workouts at the gym, yoga, pilates, or running. That activity can also be walking, cleaning, or playing with your kids in the park. The TDEE requires you to include your activity level - and that activity can be anything that requires you to move around.
Is TDEE your maintenance?
In a way, you can call TDEE your maintenance. Your TDEE number represents how many calories you can consume in a day to maintain your weight. If you consume more than your TDEE number then you will gain weight and if you consume less than your TDEE number then you will lose weight.
Is metabolism a TDEE?
Your metabolism is the chemical process that breaks down the food you eat and the liquids you drink into energy. If you eat complex foods like those with protein, it takes more energy for your body to metabolize them, which means you burn more energy.
So yes, the simple act of consuming food and drink is an item of energy expenditure. However, if you consume simple sugars like candy and soda pop, it won’t take that much energy, but consuming things like chicken, meat, beans, and lentils will take more energy.