Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) Calculator - Forbes Health

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) Calculator – Forbes Health

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If you’re looking for an accurate estimate of how many calories your body burns each day, consider calculating your total daily energy expenditure, or TDEE. Using scientifically supported calculation methods, TDEE estimates the amount of energy (or number of calories) your body burns over a 24 hour period, considering how much energy it uses at rest, your typical physical activity level and the thermic effect from food metabolism.

You can get an accurate estimate of your TDEE using the Forbes Health TDEE Calculator below, which was created with guidance from members of the Forbes Health Advisory Board. Select the gender that best suits your hormonal makeup and enter your age, height, weight and activity level to see an estimate of how many calories your body burns each day.

TDEE Calculator Methodology

The Forbes Health TDEE Calculator estimates the number of calories your body burns per day based on your basal metabolic rate (BMR), an activity multiplier that reflects how much you exercise in a given week and the thermic effect of food. It uses the Mifflin-Saint-George equation to provide these calculations, with the American Council on Exercise (ACE) noting it the most accurate way to estimate basal metabolic activity.

What is TDEE?

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) estimates the number of calories your body burns per day by calculating three main contributing factors: your basal metabolic rate (BMR), your activity level, and the thermic effect of food metabolism.

Basal metabolic rate (BMR)

Basal metabolic rate (BMR) estimates the number of calories your body burns over a 24 hour period while at rest. For your body to truly “at rest,” your digestive system must be inactive, which typically requires a 12-hour fasting period, and your outside environment must be at a neutral temperature. BMR makes up the bulk of TDEE for most people.

activity level

The more regularly you move your body, the more energy it takes to maintain a baseline. People who exercise regularly or maintain a very active job or lifestyle burn more calories per day than people who exercise less and maintain a fairly sedentary job or lifestyle.

The Forbes Health TDEE Calculator uses the following ranges to help determine the right activity multiplier for you:

  • lazy: Little or no exercise
  • Minor active: Exercise 1 to 3 days a week
  • Moderately active: Exercise three to five days a week
  • Energetic: Exercise six to seven days a week
  • very active: Hard exercise six to seven days a week

Thermal effect of food

The thermic effect of food is the amount of energy your body uses to metabolize the food you eat. The Mifflin-St Jeor equation used in the calculator above represents the estimated contribution to your body’s daily calorie burn.

How is TDEE calculated?

There are many equations you can use to calculate your TDEE, but the Forbes Health TDEE Calculator uses the Mifflin-St Jeor equation because experts from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) consider it the most accurate. It first estimates your basal metabolic rate (BMR) based on your gender, age, height, and weight input. It then selects the appropriate activity multiplier based on your activity level entry, providing an estimate of your TDEE.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the best TDEE calculator?

There are several formulas commonly used to calculate BMR, including (but not limited to) the revised Harris-Benedict equation, Katch-McArdle equation, and Mifflin-St Jeor equation. The activity multiplier is then used to determine the TDEE. Today, experts consider the Mifflin-St Jeor equation to be the most accurate, which is why we use it in the calculator tool above.

Should I eat my TDEE to lose weight?

No, your TDEE is the amount of energy your body burns on a daily basis and therefore the amount of energy you must expend to maintain your current weight. If your goal is to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories (or less energy) than your TDEE. Use the Forbes Health Calorie to determine a safe and sustainable way to reach your weight goal.

Is it necessary to calculate your total daily energy expenditure?

TDEE can be a useful tool for anyone looking to estimate how many calories their body burns per day so they can effectively approach their health and wellness goals. Regardless of whether you are looking to gain or lose weight or maintain your current weight, understanding your body’s baseline is a vital starting point.

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