What is TDEE?

TDEE is an acronym for Total Daily Energy Expenditure. It represents an estimated total of the calories your body burns for energy each day. TDEE is an essential factor if you are trying to lose weight or gain weight because the two are basically about the deficit between your calorie intake and calorie expenditure.

Because every individual has a unique set of genes, in addition to gender, age, and weight, we all have distinct TDEEs. If you are trying to gain muscle mass, lose weight, or maintain your current body weight, it’s important that you understand the effect of Total Daily Energy Expenditure on your goal and how to calculate it.

For somebody aiming to lose some pounds, your target is to make your calorie intake less than calorie burn, i.e., eat below your TDEE. And if you are training to be the next Mr. Olympia, you need to eat above your TDEE so your body can get the nutrients it needs to make you bigger and stronger. But if you are okay with your current body, all you have to do is calculate your TDEE and keep your calorie intake close to that figure.

The challenge is how to calculate that number.

How to Calculate Your TDEE

If you want to do it the easy way, use our TDEE calculator right here. We also have a BMR calculator right here.

But for those of you who want to know how the math works… read on! You can calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure using different formulas, but almost all of them are confusing and inaccurate. When calculating your TDEE, you first have to know your basal metabolic rate (BMR), level of activity, and daily food intake. The BMR is the number of calories you need to perform metabolic activities like respiration, digestion, and circulation. All you have to do to determine your TDEE is multiply your BMR by your level of activity.

Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation

According to the American Dietetic Association, the most reliable formula for calculating TDEE is the Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation.

Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation for Male TDEE

Step 1

BMR = (Height in centimeters x 6.25) + (Weight in kg x 9.99) – (Age x 4.92) + 5.

Step 2

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) = BMR X Activity level

Levels of Activity

Sedentary (BMR x 1.2), Lightly Active (BMR x 1.375), Moderately Active (BMR x 1.55), Very Active (BMR x 1.725) and Extremely Active (BMR x 1.9)

Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation for Female TDEE

Step 1

BMR = (Height in centimeters x 6.25) + (Weight in kg x 9.99) – (Age x 4.92) -161

Step 2

TDEE = BMR x Activity level

Levels of Activity

Sedentary (BMR x 1.1), Lightly Active (BMR x 1.275), Moderately Active (BMR x 1.35), Very Active (BMR x 1.525)

Calculating Your Lifestyle

After calculating your BMR, you have to calculate your Activity Level based on your lifestyle.Now, this is where many people get it wrong when calculating their Total Daily Energy Expenditure. People tend to overestimate their activity levels, and this results in TDEE figures that are way off the mark, considering that the TDEE is an estimate in the first place.

To avoid this pitfall, it’s better to choose the lesser of the activity level which you think you belong to. That means if you believe you are Moderately Active, go for Lightly Active when calculating your TDEE to avoid overestimation errors.

Once you have your TDEE, you can use it to help maximize the effect of your diet and workout programs. If you want to lose weight, reduce your calorie intake by 15-20% less than your TDEE. If you want to bulk up, increase calorie intake by 10-15% to pack on more muscle mass.

And when you’re ready to take it to the next level, remember that TDEE is just one part of the formula used by the IIFYM Calculator, which calculates the macro split that will help you meet your goals as quickly as possible.