TDEE Calculator

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) estimates how many calories you need per day based on your weight, height, age, sex, and activity levels in order to maintain your weight. In other words, these are your maintenance calories. Once you know how many calories it takes to maintain your weight, you can then determine how many calories you need to lose weight (caloric deficit) or gain weight (calorie surplus).

Do you know your body fat percentage?

What is TDEE?

The TDEE is how many calories you need to maintain your weight. The calculations are based on your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and your daily activity levels. 

About 60 to 70% of the calories in your TDEE calculation represent your BMR (how many calories it take to simple survive).  10% of the calories come from the thermogenic effect of foods (the calories the body spends to digest and absorb food), and 15 to 30% from activity or daily movement. 

  • Interested to learn how many calories it takes to simply survive, check out our BMR Calculator.

How the TDEE Formula Works

For the calculator to work, you need to input the following information:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Height
  • Weight 
  • Activity level: sedentary, lightly active, moderately active, very active, and extremely active. 
  • Fat percentage (optional)

First, the calculator needs to determine your BMR. 

We use the Mifflin St. Jeor Equation (if you don’t know your fat percentage) or the Cunningham Equation (if you know your fat percentage). Here are the formulas:

Mifflin-St Jeor Equation (default if they don’t know their body fat %)

  • Men: (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) + 5
  • Women: (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) – (5 × age in years) – 161

Cunningham Equation (default if they know their bodyfat %)

[BMR = 500+22*{kg of free fat mass (FFM)}]

Once the calculator has your BMR, it multiplies by the activity factor to establish how many calories you need per day. 

Here is a table of the activity factors we use and how to determine which activity level you fit into. 

BMRActivity FactorDefinition
x 1.2SedentaryLittle to no exercise
x 1.375Light ActivityLight exercise/sports 1-3 days per week
x 1.55Moderate ActivityModerate exercise/sports 3-5 days per week
x 1.725Very ActiveHard exercise/sports 6-7 days per week
x 1.9Extra ActiveVery hard exercise/sports and physical job

So, for example, if you have a BMR of 1,200 calories and you have moderate activity, this would mean multiplying the BMR by 1.55. This would result in a TDEE of 1,860. 

With that said, to maintain your current weight, you would need to consume 1,860 calories. 

What To Do With Your TDEE Results?

Once you know your TDEE you can determine how many calories you need depending on your goals (weight gain or weight loss). 

If you are looking to gain weight (caloric surplus), you need to consume more calories than your body needs. 

For example, if your TDEE is 2,500 calories, you can add 50 to 500 calories depending on how fast you gain weight. 

On the other hand, if you want to lose weight (caloric deficit), you reduce your caloric intake. 

For example, if your TDEE is 2,500 calories, you can reduce 20% of your total calories to reach a caloric deficit, which is an aggressive weight loss. If you want a less aggressive weight loss, you can decrease your TDEE by 5-15%.

For example, if you want to reduce 20% of your total calories, this would mean instead of consuming 2,500 calories, you consume 2,000 calories. 

Thanks to your TDEE, you can also calculate your macro breakdown. Once you figure out how many calories you need based on your goal, you can determine how many grams of carbs, protein, and fats you need. 

Learn more in the following articles: 

BMR vs. TDEE: What Are The Differences?

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the calories your body needs to perform the most basic functions. This means staying in bed only breathing, not moving. 

On the other hand, the TDEE is the calories your body needs throughout the day to maintain your weight based on your daily activities. 

Here, you include the BMR, the thermogenic effect of foods, and daily activity or movement. 

Is There A “Healthy” TDEE? 

There is no such thing as a healthy TDEE. Everyone has a different TDEE since it depends on the BMR, thermogenic effect of foods, and activity levels.

This means that your TDEE might vary depending on your activity levels. The higher your activity levels, the higher your TDEE is going to be since your burn more calories through movement. 

On the other hand, the more sedentary and inactive lifestyle you lead, the lower your TDEE. This means that it might be easier to gain weight if you include more energy-dense foods (foods higher in calories) with a lower TDEE.  

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