TDEE Calculator

The TDEE calculator provides an accurate estimate of your daily caloric expenditure using your BMR and several other personal characteristics.


There was an error with your calculation.

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)

2,626Calories per day


Extreme Weight Loss

-2 lb/week 1,626 cal/day 62%

Weight loss

-1 lb/week 2,126 cal/day 81%

Mild weight loss

-0.5 lb/week 2,376 cal/day 90%

Maintain weight

0 lb/week 2,626 cal/day 100%

Mild weight gain

+0.5 lb/week 2,876 cal/day 110%

Weight gain

+1 lb/week 3,126 cal/day 119%

Extreme Weight gain

+2 lb/week 3,626 cal/day 138%

Table of Contents

  1. The Ultimate Guide to the TDEE Calculator
  2. What a TDEE Calculator is
    1. The inputs involved with a TDEE calculator include the following:
  3. How a TDEE Calculator Works
  4. Assessing Your Caloric Needs for Weight Loss
  5. Tips for Achieving Your Weight Loss/Gain Objectives
  6. Don’t Eat Too Much or Too Little
  7. Don’t Set Unrealistic Goals
  8. Don’t Focus on the Scale

TDEE Calculator

The Ultimate Guide to the TDEE Calculator

While it’s enough for some looking to achieve a given health or fitness goal to simply begin eating healthier or exercising more, others prefer to approach their journey more precisely. If this sounds like you, tracking and measuring your caloric intake and activity level, among other things, is the likely approach for you!

One resource that’s imperative to this approach is the TDEE calculator.

Suppose you’ve ever heard about the notion that weight loss or weight gain is as simple as calories in and calories out. In that case, this is, at its most basic, what calculating your TDEE helps you accomplish.

To accurately adjust your activity level and caloric intake to coincide with your health or fitness goal, you should first identify how many calories you burn throughout the day.

With that said, in what follows, we’ll be defining what TDEE is, how the TDEE calculator works, what problems it solves, and why you, the user, can benefit from its function. So, if you’re ready to achieve your health and fitness goals with greater accuracy, this article is for you.

What a TDEE Calculator is

Before diving into the specifics of a TDEE calculator, it's crucial to understand the relationship between TDEE, or Total Daily Energy Expenditure, and BMR, the Basal Metabolic Rate.

BMR is the number of calories your body needs to perform basic life-sustaining functions at rest, like breathing and keeping warm. It represents the minimum calorie requirement necessary to sustain life if you were to do nothing but rest for 24 hours.

However, BMR is not the whole story when it comes to daily calorie expenditure. TDEE takes the concept of BMR and expands upon it by adding the calories you burn through daily activities and exercise. Thus, while BMR calculates the energy needed at rest, TDEE includes BMR and all additional energy expended.

Therefore, to manage weight, you look to your TDEE, which gives a complete picture of your calorie needs. To lose weight, aim to consume fewer calories than your TDEE. For weight gain, exceed your TDEE. A TDEE calculator thus uses your BMR as a base and incorporates activity levels to give you a comprehensive view of your daily calorie expenditure, guiding your diet and exercise decisions for effective weight management.

The inputs involved with a TDEE calculator include the following:

  • Age;
  • Gender;
  • Height;
  • Weight;
  • Activity Level (Sedentary, Light, Moderate, Active, Extremely Active, etc.).

Because our TDEE varies daily based on what we eat and how active we are on that particular day, TDEE calculators are seldom accurate. This doesn’t, however, mean they’re ineffective. Using a TDEE calorie calculator frequently enables you to arrive at an average estimation, thus more accurately measuring your TDEE.

How a TDEE Calculator Works

Wondering how to calculate TDEE, but unsure where to start? Fortunately, it's pretty easy, especially if you use the free TDEE calculator.

As mentioned, the TDEE calculator requires the user to input a set of considerations (age, gender, height, weight, activity level) to arrive at a somewhat accurate estimate of one’s TDEE.

A more comprehensive calculator may also require you to measure and input your BMR and the thermal effect of food.

After entering this data into the calculator, the calculator itself uses a set of algorithmic equations to produce a single number to determine TDEE. Lucky for you, you don’t have to learn more about the equations, but can rely on the calculator to do the work for you!

Let's illustrate more clearly how to use the TDEE calculator and in what context it should be used. To do this, we will look at the following practical example of a person seeking to lose weight and using the TDEE calculator as a measurement and guidance tool.

Assessing Your Caloric Needs for Weight Loss

Setting a goal to lose 1-2 pounds per week is considered a safe and attainable rate for many people. Individuals with a higher body weight may see more rapid initial losses due to the larger caloric deficit created by their higher energy needs. However, weight loss is not just about simplicity in numbers; it requires a holistic and sustainable approach, focusing on health rather than just the scales.

Online tools can provide an estimate of your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), which is the number of calories your body uses in a day. With this information, you have a few options:

  • Create a caloric deficit by consuming fewer calories than your TDEE (typically a deficit of 500 calories per day is suggested to lose approximately 1 pound per week);
  • Increase your physical activity to burn more calories, thereby increasing your TDEE;
  • Combine both methods for a potentially greater calorie deficit.

However, it's critical to approach these strategies with caution. A deficit that's too large or increased activity without proper nutrition can be unsustainable and unhealthy. The process is not as linear as it may seem, and adjustments are often necessary. No online calculator can perfectly predict individual responses to diet and exercise.

For instance, it may be projected that a 500-calorie daily deficit could result in a 15-pound loss over 15 weeks, but individual metabolic variations and changes in body composition can affect this timeline. Consultation with healthcare providers for personalized advice is advisable for safe and effective weight management.

Tips for Achieving Your Weight Loss/Gain Objectives

Embarking on a fitness journey, whether it’s to lose weight, build muscle, or both, is a journey that requires discipline, commitment, and accuracy in approach to accomplish the said goal(s). Without these components, you can make many mistakes along the way.

Taking full advantage of the online resources available to you, including but not limited to the TDEE calculator, will undoubtedly help you. But without taking the proper steps, you can achieve suboptimal results.

You should consider and implement a few helpful tips to make the information you get from your calculator work for you and avoid the most common mistakes associated with any fitness goal or task.

Don’t Eat Too Much or Too Little

If you’ve researched what’s required to lose weight and reduce body fat, you’ve likely come across the saying "calories in, calories out." If not, it simply means that your body requires a caloric deficit to lose weight and trim fat. The same is true for weight gain goals (a caloric surplus is required).

Another way of looking at it is via TDEE. Understanding your TDEE will help you determine how many calories you need to cut daily. You can accomplish this by reducing your food intake (i.e., eating less than you choose to count calories to maintain). Or you can increase your daily physical activity with exercise to burn more calories than you consume.

Reducing your calories (or increasing them) is a balancing act. You can overeat or eat too little. You really need to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight. But too much of a deficit will lead to metabolic disruption, muscle depletion, increased hunger, destruction of energy stores, release of hormones, and much more.

Find the balance and use the TDEE calculator to help ensure accuracy.

Don’t Set Unrealistic Goals

Because of the saturation of misinformation (and information in general, for that matter), fad diets, and false claims comprising a large portion of the fitness industry, many have unrealistic expectations regarding their fitness goals. This includes the desired results, the effort they think is needed, and the time in which they expect to achieve them.

Instead, you should approach any goal with a long-term outlook. Yes, you can lose 10 pounds and significantly reduce your body fat percentage in a short amount of time. But you risk jeopardizing your overall health, not to mention the inevitable return to where you started.

One way to combat unrealistic goals related to weight loss or gain is to use the information provided via the TDEE calculator to hold yourself accountable and choose realistic and attainable caloric requirements.

Don’t Focus on the Scale

While this mistake is based on reason, it isn’t as reliable a metric as you might think. It may result in unjustified feelings of frustration, dissatisfaction, and defeat. Here’s why.

If you’re truly serious about losing weight or gaining muscle, exercise and resistance training are a likely and welcomed prescription to be implemented with "dieting" and eating in a caloric deficit/surplus.

While this will undoubtedly result in progress, it may not show in the ways you might think (i.e., on the scale). Interesting fact: if you take the same amount of muscle and fat, the fat will weigh less because it is less dense! So visually you may be losing a significant amount of fat, but the numerical weight figures may not impress you as much. As such, while your weight on the scale will drop, it may not drop as quickly as you hope. This ISN’T a bad thing!

In short, don’t allow the scale to deter you from your weight loss or gain journey. Although it might be telling you the truth about a singular number, it doesn’t paint the entire picture regarding your progress and overall health.

Results will come with time if you stick to the plan and have patience.