Estimated Energy Requirement Calculator

Use this EER calculator to calculate your Estimated Energy Requirement and from it the optimal nutritional intake needed to keep your weight or to gain or lose weight.

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What is EER?

EER stands for Estimated Energy Requirement and it is a measure of how much energy (in kCal, kilocalories) you require during a typical day in order to preserve your current body mass. It is the same concept as the one denoted by TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure).

There are three main things that affect your daily EER: physical activity, dietary-induced thermogenesis (DIT), and the climate you spend most of your time in. The level of physical activity (PAL) has the largest effect of these three - between 15 and 30% of total EER [1] and it is also the factor that can be affected the most (to a limit). Increased physical activity can greatly increase the need for nutritional food, and likewise a decrease in activity would come with a decreased energy requirement.

A person's diet is also important in terms of the macronutrient composition of the food one eats. The thermic effect of food is part of total energy expenditure and it's range is between 10-13% of the energy provided by the food. The exact value depends on the macro mix and it can go as low as 6 or 7 percent with a strict Keto diet which is, however, very hard to maintain in the long run.

Climate is a factor over which one has limited control. Hot climate can increase your EER by 5-20%, but cold climate can have similar effects due to shivering and increased metabolism to maintain core temperature so it is a factor not generally taken into account.

Body size and composition play a role in EER and one can tell this by the output of our EER calculator for the two genders. As women tend to have a higher percentage of body fat and smaller muscle mass, this results in lower energy expenditure relative to their weight than a similarly weighted male. Age is also a factor our tool takes into account. Older individuals expend less energy than younger ones of the same weight and gender as you will note if you enter a different age in our online estimated energy requirement calculator.

For women pregnancy is also a factor due to the related increase in the energy cost of all physical activities. Although there are general guidelines, it is always recommended to consult your doctor on the recommended increase in food intake during pregnancy.

Estimating your daily energy requirement

To determine the daily EER one needs to estimate or know:

  • the resting metabolic rate (includes basal and sleeping conditions and the cost of staying awake), RMR
  • the thermogenic influence of any food consumed during the day (DIT)
  • the energy expended during physical activity and post-activity recovery (physical work, sports training, etc.), a.k.a. PAL

The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the minimum energy requirement to stay alive and awake. It is measured by the oxygen uptake under strict conditions, namely: no food consumed and no undue muscle exertion in the 12 hours preceding the measurement; the measurement is taken after 30-60 min of resting or laying quietly in a temperature neutral environment [2]. The concept is almost identical to that of resting metabolic rate which usually results in slightly higher calorie values due to the more relaxed conditions before and during measurement. You might see the two concepts being used interchangeably.

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In our calculator we use body mass, stature, gender, and age to predict the resting daily energy expenditure (RDEE) which combines BMR, NEAT, and DIT, and then add to that with the level of exercise you specify to arrive at an accurate daily energy requirement [1].


EER formula

The formula used in this estimated energy requirement calculator is: EER = BMR x Activity Multiplier, where BMR is calculated using:

BMR = 10 x weight(kg) + 6.25 x height(cm) - 5 x age(y) + s

where s is a gender constant set at 5 for males and -161 for females. The activity multipliers the tool uses for the EER equation are averages, which results in the calculation possibly being skewed if you select an exercise level that doesn't correspond to your actual energy expenditure during workout or physical work. Therefore, it is important to correctly estimate the physical activity level (PAL) to get an accurate energy estimate.

How much energy does your body need?

The EER calculator shows the expected energy requirement in kCal per day. The amount shown should be consumed in order to preserve one's current body weight. It might be wise to calculate two separate EER values - one for days with exercise or physical work, and another for days without, as these can differ significantly. Even if you keep strict counts, it is still recommended to keep track of your body mass on regular intervals and adjust accordingly, if needed.

Here are mean values split by age group and gender. The graph and table data is based on weight and height data from the U.S. NCHS National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2011-2014) [3] and assumes light physical activity.

average eer age gender

Mean (average) EER by age
Age or age groupMale EER (kCal / day)Female EER (kCal / day)
5 years 1,654 1,404
6 years 1,761 1,523
7 years 1,878 1,633
8 years 1,984 1,754
9 years 2,074 1,870
10 years 2,193 1,965
11 years 2,324 2,094
12 years 2,412 2,259
13 years 2,590 2,330
14 years 2,734 2,401
15 years 2,856 2,454
16 years 2,923 2,462
17 years 2,946 2,481
18 years 3,005 2,475
19 years 2,983 2,481
20-29 years 2,988 2,477
30-39 years 2,970 2,459
40-49 years 2,907 2,384
50-59 years 2,826 2,306
60-69 years 2,749 2,197
70-79 years 2,607 2,100
80+ years 2,497 1,922

It is easy to see that total daily energy requirements increase with age to about 20-25 years of age, then decline slightly but steadily with age. Males of all age groups require 10-20% more calories per day than females, on average, which is reflected in the EER equations used in the tool.

The above table data consist of general guidelines and should not be taken as recommendations at the individual level. You should always consult with your physician or nutritionist before undertaking a significant change to your nutritional and exercise routine based on estimated energy requirement.

Notes on the EER calculator output

Some results from the EER calculator above come with an asterisk, denoting a different remark you should take into account.

Where the output states "calories" it actually stands for "kCal", or kilocalories. Common usage shortened "kilocalories" to "calories" so we are adhering to that convention. This is denoted with a single asterisk (*)

A double asterisk (**) accompanies the calorie intake estimation produced by the calculator denoting that this is a rough guideline. We recommend you use our weight loss calculator for a significantly more precise estimate.

References

[1] Katch V.L., McArdle W.D., Katch F.I (2011) "Essentials of Exercise Physiology", fourth edition

[2] Henry CJK, (2005) "Basal metabolic rate studies in humans: Measurement and development of new equations." Public health nutrition. 8:1133-52.

[3] US NCHS (2016) "National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2011-2014)" DHHS Publication No. 1604, s.3, N 39

Cite this calculator & page

If you'd like to cite this online calculator resource and information as provided on the page, you can use the following citation:
Georgiev G.Z., "Estimated Energy Requirement", [online] Available at: https://www.gigacalculator.com/calculators/eer-calculator.php URL [Accessed Date: 26 Jan, 2021].