Keywords: tdee definition, total daily energy expenditure, calculate your tdee, most accurate tdee calculations, what does tdee mean
You want to read this article if you want to know what does TDEE mean.
Besides providing you with TDEE definition, I have also created a TDEE calculator that will help you calculate your TDEE. This calculator will provide you with the most accurate TDEE Calculations that you will find anywhere.
It uses the Mifflin-St Jeor Formula which is regarded as the most accurate formula for TDEE calculations.
Now, most of us overeat and underestimate the number of calories we eat.
Why do we do that?
Well, for starters we don’t know how many calories we are actually eating on a daily basis.
Try and estimate the number of calories in the two food items given below:
4 whole egg omelette (medium eggs) cooked in 1 Tablespoon(15gm) coconut oil:
Mc Donald Family Meal: 1 Big Mac, Large Vanilla Shake and Large French Fries.
Image Source: McDonald Website
Caloric content given at the end of this post.
Your TDEE—Total Daily Energy Expenditure is the number of calories your body burns in a 24-hour period while sleeping, working, exercising, playing, and even digesting food.
TDEE is the sum of BMR + TEA + TEF.
Let’s briefly discuss each of these measurements.
Basal metabolic rate (BMR): This is the number of calories you burn at rest (lying down, watching TV, or working on your laptop). These calories are required for your brain to function and for your heart to beat.
Most people’s BMR is about 60 – 75 percent of their TDEE depending on their activity levels.
There are various formulas for estimating your BMR.
Let’s look at the two most popular ones.
The Katch-McArdle Equation
BMR = 370 + (9.79759519 x lean mass in pounds)
The Mifflin-St Jeor Equation
For men: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5
For women: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) – 161
Once you have determined your BMR, you need to multiply it by the appropriate activity factor to determine your total daily caloric needs.
Thermic effect of activity (TEA): The more you move and exercise, the higher your TEA. In addition, the more intense your training session, the more calories you burn overall.
That’s why weight training burns more calories than a moderate intensity cardio session.
Studies show that energy post-oxygen consumption (EPOC) following a period of intense heavy resistance training elevates the metabolism for as long as 24 hours following the resistance session.
These factors are:
1.200 = sedentary (little or no exercise)
1.375 = light activity (light exercise/sports 1 – 3 days/week)
1.550 = moderate activity (moderate exercise/sports 3 – 5 days/week)
1.725 = very active (hard exercise/sports 6 – 7 days/week)
1.900 = extra active (very hard exercise/sports and a physically demanding job)
Further explanations of the above activity multipliers and how to choose the
A ‘Sedentary’ lifestyle is self-explanatory. This is where you sit all
Choose ‘Lightly Active‘ if you walk a bit, perhaps do 20-30 minutes of cardio 1-2 times a week.
Choose ‘Moderately Active‘ if you weight train 3-5 times a week or play any intermittent type activity like a sport for these many times a week. In addition, you supplement this with few cardio/HIIT sessions.
Note: I mostly choose the moderately active range.
‘Very active‘ is reserved for those people who do all the activity discussed above plus they remain active throughout the day. I would say they average more than 10,000 steps per day.
Lastly, ‘Extra Active‘ is reserved for someone who probably works out 2 times a day [close to 3 hours or more per day]. This person can be a regular marathon runner, a powerlifter or perhaps a professional athlete.
If you’re having trouble deciding between two activity factors, choose the lower one to be on the safe side.
Thermic Effect of Food (TEF): The thermic effect of food is the caloric cost of digesting and processing different macronutrients in your diet.
When you eat Protein: 20-30% of calories burned through processing. This means a high protein diet will have a higher TEF.
–Carbohydrates: 5-15% of calories burned through processing
–Fats: 0-5% of calories burned through processing
To put this in tangible terms, if you eat 200 calories worth of protein, your body will use between 40 and 50 of them indigestion.
The most common estimate for the total thermic effect of food is around 10 percent of your total caloric intake.
So if you eat 2000 calories, your body will burn 200 calories in order to digest and absorb that food. Makes sense?
Knowing your BMI, TDEE surely helps and can accelerate your weight loss (or gaining) goals. But try not to get too stressed about it. They simply give you a good starting point to work with.
One last thing that I highly recommend is to buy a food weigher.
The next time when you are cooking your meals, simply weigh your food and immediately ‘Google’ the caloric content of that item.
This can surely help you figure out the calories in that food. Overtime you’ll be surprised how you get good at ‘counting calories’ as most of us don’t consume more than 20 core ingredients on a regular basis.
And ya, by the way here is the caloric content of the menu items I asked you at the beginning of this post:
Calories in Omelette (cooked by me:)): 440 calories
Calories in the McD meal: ~1,700 calories
By the way, I deliberately chose these two different menu items (Whole food Vs Junk) to also convince you of the fact that figuring out your TDEE is just Step-1.
The next step is obviously trying to determine the best type of calories that you should eat for best results.
Did you manage to determine your TDEE? If not, I recommend you give this TDEE Calculator a try!