The TDEE formula has recently gained a lot of traction online, and within the weight-loss industry as the most scientific and accurate strategy to lose weight. Regarded by many as a more refined method than merely counting calories, it could be the solution you have been looking for to finally help you shed those excess pounds. So let’s examine in-depth exactly what the TDEE formula is, how to work it out, and ultimately, how to utilize your newfound knowledge to lose weight. Before we go any further, it is important to understand three straightforward and related concepts.
1) If you aim to lose weight, then you need to ensure that you are eating less energy, than you are burning over a sustained period of time.
2) If on the other hand, you are trying to gain weight, then you need to eat more energy than you burn over time.
3) Finally, if you want to maintain your current weight, then the amount of energy you consume, should match the amount of energy burned over time.
What Is The TDEE Formula?
TDEE or Total Daily Energy Expenditure is quite simply, the total amount of energy you expend over a 24 hour period. Most people have become accustomed to measuring this in calories, which is simply a measure of energy. One calorie is the amount of energy it takes to heat one kilogram of water one degree Celsius.
Part of the problem when trying to work out your TDEE is that naturally, it will vary day by day. Let’s assume that you have a sedate office job, Monday to Friday, and then go out on long mountain walks every weekend. Your TDEE on the weekend is going to be significantly higher than during the week. The good news is that in order to lose, gain, or maintain our weight, all we really need to know is our average TDEE.
The TDEE Formula
Your TDEE consists of three separate factors
- Basal Metabolic Rate
- Any Additional Energy Burned Through Exercise
- The Food You Eat
Basal Metabolic Rate
Our bodies need to burn a certain amount of energy every day to function and stay alive. Breathing, pumping blood around our body, and even swallowing requires energy. So if you did nothing at all for 24 hours, your Basal Metabolic Rate would be the number of calories it took just to keep you alive.
Body Movement Costs Energy
Even the smallest amount of movement has a cost in energy terms. The process of walking to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee will still require your body to burn some calories. So if you decide to go out for a long walk or hike, or play a game of squash, then this will significantly increase your TDEE.
It Costs Your Body Energy To Digest and Absorb Food
Scientists refer to this as the Thermic Effect of Food or TEF. You might be shocked at how much energy it costs our bodies daily to break down and consume food. Research has identified that about 10 percent of total daily energy expenditure is used for these processes. And this can increase depending on the macronutrient composition of your diet.
At this point, you might be thinking that it is going to be virtually impossible to work out your TDEE, but the scientists have developed a very simple to follow formula.
BMR – The Foundation For Everything
Every aspect of the calculation revolves around knowing your Basal Metabolic Rate, so before you do anything, it is critical to work out your personal BMR properly. In our opinion, the Katch-McArdle variant is the most accurate formula. The formula is as follows
P=370+ (21.6 LBM)
LMB stands for lean body mass. This is a measurement of every component of your body, that is not fat. It includes muscles, bones, organs, and blood, amongst other things. That is why, in our opinion, the Katch-McArdle formula is better because it takes into account differences in body composition. Remember that muscle burns more energy than fat. Simply put, if two people weigh the same amount, but one of those people have a lot more muscle, then their Basal Metabolic Rate will be significantly higher.
Now that you know your BMR, the next step it working out how much additional energy you burn daily. The Katch-Mcardle equation includes multipliers, which you can easily apply to your BMR based on your general activity levels. The Katch-McArdle multipliers are as follows
- 1.2 = sedentary (little or no exercise)
- 1.375 = light activity (light exercise/sports 1 to 3 days per week)
- 1.55 = moderate activity (moderate exercise/sports 3 to 5 days per week)
- 1.725 = very active (hard exercise/sports 6 to 7 days per week)
- 1.9 = extra active (very hard exercise/sports 6 to 7 days per week and physical job)
In our opinion, the activity multipliers have a tendency to overestimate the actual amount of energy you are burning. This is not a medical statement, but rather an observation, based on the thousands of people we have worked with over the years.
Provided you factor this into the equation, you will still be able to navigate the challenges of weight loss successfully.
As you can see, your TDEE and your Basal Metabolic Rate are closely connected, and you need a comprehensive understanding of both, to work out your calorie intake. Although all of this may sound extremely confusing initially, there are many TDEE calculators available for free online, and so it is easy to set up and execute your strategy starting today. If you have any further questions, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.