All About Total Daily Energy Expenditure & Weight Loss
General Nutrition • • minute to read • By INFS, INFS Faculty
If you want to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. In other words, you need to burn more calories than you consume.
But how do you know how many calories you are burning? For that, you need to know your Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the concept of TDEE. We’ll also show you how to calculate TDEE so that you can start your weight loss journey on the right foot.
What is Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE?
Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) simply means the total number of calories your body burns in a day. TDEE is the total amount of energy your body burns in a day. It comprises the energy required for various bodily functions such as breathing, heartbeat, digestion, and brain function, as well as physical activity like exercise and non-exercise activities such as fidgeting, standing, and cleaning.
What is the difference between BMR and TDEE?
BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is the number of calories your body burns when you are at rest and not doing any physical activity. It only includes the energy required for essential life-sustaining functions such as breathing and heartbeat. TDEE, on the other hand, includes BMR as well as the energy required for physical activity and non-exercise activities. Therefore, TDEE is higher than BMR.
Components of TDEE
TDEE is comprised of several components, including Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET), Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (), Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), and Adaptive Thermogenesis (AT).
Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)
RMR is the energy your body burns when at rest to maintain essential life-sustaining functions such as breathing, heartbeat, and brain function. It accounts for 60-75% of TDEE. RMR is influenced by several factors, including age, sex, body composition, and genetics. A higher muscle mass can increase RMR, while ageing and a sedentary lifestyle can decrease it.
Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET)
MET is a way to measure the energy expenditure of physical activities. It is a multiple of RMR and is assigned to various activities based on their intensity. For example, sitting quietly has a MET value of 1, while jogging can have a MET value of 7 or higher. By multiplying the MET value of an activity with your body weight in kilograms, you can estimate the number of calories burned per hour during that activity.
Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)
NEAT refers to the energy you burn through all daily activities that are not planned exercise, such as walking, cleaning, fidgeting, and standing. NEAT can vary significantly between individuals and can contribute a significant amount to TDEE. Increasing NEAT can help boost your metabolism and aid in weight loss.
Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)
Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) refers to the energy expenditure associated with the digestion, absorption, and metabolism of food. When you eat, your body needs to break down the food into smaller molecules that can be absorbed and used for energy. This process requires energy, which is reflected in the TEF.
TEF can account for around 10% of TDEE and can vary depending on the macronutrient composition of your diet. Protein has the highest TEF of all the macronutrients, with around 20-30% of the calories in protein being used for TEF. Carbohydrates have a TEF of around 5-10%, while fats have the lowest TEF, around 0-3%.
Adaptive Thermogenesis (AT)
Adaptive Thermogenesis (AT) refers to the changes in energy expenditure that occur in response to changes in energy balance. When you eat more food than you need, your body may increase energy expenditure to prevent weight gain. On the other hand, when you eat less food than you need, your body may decrease energy expenditure to conserve energy and prevent weight loss.
AT can be a positive or negative contributor to TDEE, depending on whether it results in increased or decreased energy expenditure. Factors that can influence AT include diet composition, physical activity, and environmental factors such as temperature and altitude. AT can make weight management challenging, as it can lead to plateaus or rebounds in weight loss efforts.
How to calculate TDEE?
The most accurate way to calculate TDEE is through indirect calorimetry, which measures oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production. However, this method is not practical for most people.
Here’s a much easier way: just head over to any free online TDEE Calculator. Add a few simple details like your age, height, weight, etc. and get your TDEE in a matter of seconds!
I know my TDEE. What should I do next?
To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit, which means consuming fewer calories than your TDEE. It is important to note that the calorie deficit should not be too large, as it can lead to muscle loss, slow metabolism, and other health issues.
Start with a deficit of 200-300 calories per day. For example, if your TDEE is 1800, keep your daily calories target at around 1500 calories. Make sure you track your calories properly. At the same time, increase your activity levels, exercise 2-3 times a week and make sure you’re getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Follow this for a few weeks and you should see a difference.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to increase TDEE?
There are a few ways to increase your TDEE, including increasing your physical activity level, building more muscle mass through resistance training, and eating a diet high in protein. These strategies can help increase your energy expenditure and boost your TDEE.
How accurate are TDEE calculators?
TDEE calculators can provide a good estimate of your daily calorie needs based on your age, sex, weight, height, and activity level. However, they are not always 100% accurate since TDEE can vary between individuals based on factors like body composition, genetics, and lifestyle. To get a more accurate estimate of your TDEE, it’s important to track your progress over time and adjust your calorie intake accordingly.
Can TDEE change over time?
Yes, TDEE can change over time due to factors like changes in body composition, ageing, and changes in physical activity level or lifestyle. It’s important to re-evaluate your TDEE periodically to ensure that you’re still eating the right number of calories for your weight goals.
Can TDEE be used to gain weight?
Yes, TDEE can be used to gain weight by eating more calories than you burn. To gain weight, you need to be in a calorie surplus, which means you need to eat more calories than you burn. FITTR’s Free TDEE calculator can help you determine your daily calorie needs based on your activity level and weight goals, which can then be adjusted to create a calorie surplus.
Is TDEE the same for everyone?
No, TDEE can vary between individuals based on factors like age, sex, body composition, genetics, and lifestyle. TDEE is unique to each individual, which is why it’s important to calculate your own TDEE to determine your daily calorie needs.
The plan that has transformed 300,000+ lives and counting!
- Customized diet & workout plans
- Access to a full suite of smart tracking tools
- Join the world’s largest online fitness community
- Customer Satisfaction score of 95.5%
- Coaching in your local language for clear guidance
Get results or get your money back!