How Many Calories Should I Eat? TDEE Calculator

Find how many calories you should eat based on Total Daily Energy Expenditure

If you’re reading this, then you understand the idea of calories in vs calories out. But you’re confused about how many calories you should eat.

After all, how can you know how many calories to eat if you don’t know how many calories you burn?

The solution is to calculate your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). But it’s tricky because your energy expenditure depends on several factors. Including your individual body and your activity level.

For that reason, I updated my TDEE calculator to be even more accurate and easier to use. So you can find your ideal calorie balance and reach your fitness goals.

What the New TDEE Calculator Delivers:

  • Find out how many calories to eat based on your activity level

  • Create a meal plan for fat loss & muscle gain (optional)

  • Transform your body with the power of energy balance!

Find Your Calorie Target

How to Use the TDEE Calculator

Step 1: Body Type

  • Enter your weight using the slider
  • Choose your gender
  • Use the slider to match your approximate body composition
  • Choose which best describes your body type

Step 2: Activity Level

  • Select your normal activity
  • Select how often you work out
  • Use the slider to indicate how long you work out
  • Choose which describes your type of exercise

Step 3: Preferences

  • Choose what time of day you work out
  • Choose your fitness goal

Step 4: Get Your Plan

  • Access your calorie targets and recommended plan
energy balance and tdee calculator

Why You Struggle to Manage Your Weight

Energy balance is the difference between the calories you burn and the calories you consume. More importantly, it’s the biggest factor for losing weight or gaining weight.

Think of energy like money going in and out of your bank account. If you spend more than you deposit you have a negative balance.

Whereas if you deposit more than you spend you have a positive balance. At the end of the month you’ve either lost money or saved money.

In the same way, energy balance effects body weight. Over time you lose weight or gain weight as a result of a negative or positive balance.

Balancing in vs out is a simple concept. Yet people struggle to manage their weight and their money! Why is that?

The reason you struggle to manage your weight is that you don’t know how many calories you burn in a day. Just like you struggle to save money if you don’t know how much you spend each month.

The solution is to calculate your calorie budget and see how much you spend each day. As unsexy as that sounds, it’s a necessary starting point. And the TDEE calculator makes it easy.

With your TDEE calculated you know how much to eat to “break even”. This is known as your maintenance calorie target. And it’s equivalent to knowing how much money to deposit in the bank to maintain your account balance.

From here you can create a plan to reach your fitness goals.

How the TDEE Calculator Works

The amount of energy you expend in a day comes from 3 things – BMR (base metabolic rate), daily activity, and exercise. As a result, TDEE varies with activity level.

components of tdee calculator

Variable Activity Level

Other calculators base activity level on how often you exercise each week. Meaning you get an average TDEE… and average results!

Instead, my TDEE calculator breaks activity level into two parts – daily activity and exercise. So you know how many calories to eat on days you rest and days you workout.

Long story short, you make faster progress towards your fitness goal.

A More Accurate Base Metabolic Rate

It’s important to realize that BMR accounts for up to 80% of your daily energy expenditure. In other words, it’s really important to calculate this correctly.

Also, BMR is directly correlated to lean mass. In other words, the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate. Yet some formulas calculate BMR without lean mass.

But the new TDEE calculator helps you find your body fat percentage. Then calculates lean mass and BMR. As a result, you get a more accurate TDEE.

Don’t Know Your Body Fat Percentage?

No worries. The new TDEE calculator helps you find your body composition without taking measurements.

How to Use Energy Balance to Reach Your Fitness Goals

Finding your TDEE is an essential first step in reaching your fitness goals. However, your goal probably isn’t to maintain your weight. More likely, you want to lose fat and gain muscle.

Calorie Target Fat Loss

When your goal is to lose weight, you need a negative calorie balance. In other words, eat less than you burn each day.

Standard advice is to eat 500 calories less than you burn. However, there is no one size fits all deficit.

Instead, your calorie target needs to be specific to your body. So you burn the most fat without losing lean mass.

Calorie Target for Muscle Gain

On the other hand, to gain muscle, you need a positive calorie balance. That is, eat more than you burn each day.

Again, standard advice is to eat 500 calories more than you burn. But everyone’s body and circumstances are different.

Therefore, your calorie target needs to be specific to you. And that allows you to maximize muscle gain without the excess fat gain.

Create Your Custom Meal Plan

Nutritioneering’s Custom Meal Plan shows you how to eat to reach your individual fitness goal. Including personalized calorie and macro targets that adjust to your activity. With the Premium plan you also get healthy recipes formulated to fit your macros.

So click the button below to customize your personal meal plan and start getting results today.

Get Your Plan

About the Author

Jeremy Fox  –  Founder of Nutritioneering, Engineer, CPT, Bodybuilder, Coach

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