Total Daily Energy Expenditure Calculator

Use this calculator to estimate your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) and from it your optimal daily calorie intake you need to keep your weight stable, to gain or to lose weight.

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* where the calculator states "calories" it is actually "kCal", or kilocalories. Common usage, however, shortened "kilocalories" to "calories" so we are adhering to that convention.

** this is a rough guideline. We recomend you use our calorie calculator for weight loss for a much more precise estimate.

What is TDEE and why it matters?

TDEE stands for Total Daily Energy Expenditure and it is a measure of how much energy (in kCal, kilocalories) you expend during your day and this is exactly what our TDEE calculator helps you estimate. There are three main things that affect it: physical activity, dietary-induced thermogenesis, and the climate you spend your day in. For women pregnancy is also a factor as it increases the energy cost of physical activities. Of the three, the most profound is the effect of physical activity - usually between 15 - 30% of TDEE [1].

Your diet comes in at second place due to the thermic effect of food on total energy expenditure. It's range is between 10-35% of the energy provided by the food. Hot climate can increase your TDEE by 5-20%, but cold climate can have similar effects due to shivering and increased metabolism to maintain core temperature.

Body size and body composition both play a role in your TDEE. For example, women tend to have higher percentage of body fat and smaller muscle mass, resulting in lower energy expenditure relative to their weight. Age is also a factor, with older individuals expending less energy than individuals of the same weight and gender of a younger age as you will note if you enter a different age in our online total daily energy expenditure calculator.

Estimating Total Daily Energy Expenditure

To determine the TDEE one needs to estimate or know:

  • the resting metabolic rate (includes basal and sleeping conditions and the cost of staying awake)
  • the thermogenic influence of any food consumed during the day
  • the energy expended during physical activity and post-activity recovery

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]. Values measured this way are only slightly lower than the resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is measured under less strict conditions. You can use our Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator and our Resting Metabolic Rate Calculator to do these calculations, but if you are only interested in total daily energy expenditure, it is unneeded.

Body surface area (BSA) and Body Mass Index (BMI) are sometimes used to estimate TDEE. Accurate measurement of BSA is a challenge, so usually estimations are used, based on studies, while BMI is mathematically defined, so no estimation is needed.

In our TDEE calculator we use body mass, stature, gender, and age to predict resting daily energy expenditure (RDEE) and then combine that with the level of exercise you specify to arrive at an accurate total daily energy expenditure estimate [1].

TDEE formula

The formula used in this TDEE calculator is: TDEE = 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 are averages and thus the whole result of the TDEE calculation might be skewed if you select an exercise level that doesn't correspond to your actual energy expenditure during exercise.

TDEE and losing weight

Knowing your TDEE is a great way to control your weight. Even estimating it with a tool like our total daily energy expenditure calculator, while not as precise as medically accurate procedures, is still much better than eyeballing, as many people do not have an accurate idea of how much energy they need, leading to a widespread obesity problem some people claim are of epidemic proportions, especially in the West. Understanding what factors influence energy expenditure - as explained above and elsewhere is also a good start, so if you are not yet asking yourself "how many calories should I eat a day?", you should!

tdee calories fitness

Our calculator automatically converts the energy you expend per day to calories (or, more precisely, kCal), so in fact it tells you how many calories you need per day - in other words, how many calories you should eat to maintain weight. Then you can use a macro calculator to come up with a good mix of proteins, carbs and fats for your diet.

If you need to know how many calories to eat to lose weight, our calculator shows you exactly that: it displays how many calories per day to eat to lose 1 or 2 pounds per week (0.5 - 1 kg per week), assuming you maintain your current exercise level. Don't stretch yourself and do not forget that having a diet you can follow up every day, no exceptions, is key in permanently losing weight.

Alternatively, you can explore how increasing your physical activity level can increase your energy expenditure and thus assist in weight control or weight loss. Just select a different activity level in our TDEE calculator and watch the numbers shift. Finding a good compromise between a healthy diet and a good, but not risky exercise level is a must.

You should beware not to use naked BMR as a tool to base your food consumption on, as it will significantly underestimate the required calorie intake, leading to negative consequences such as malnourishment.

How many calories do you need?

We show your energy expenditure per day in kCal per day (or Calories per day, as it is most commonly called, incorrectly). This is the amount you need to preserve your current weight. We then shift up or down to show you estimates of the recommended caloric intake to achieve a certain weight goal, assuming you maintain your current exercise level. It is a good idea to keep track of your weight as you go and adjust accordingly.

Here are some averages for different ages and age groups of both genders, calculated using our TDEE calculator 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 tdee age gender

Mean (average) TDEE by age
Age or age groupMale TDEE (kCal / day)Female TDEE (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 needs increase with age to about 20-25 years of age, and then decline slightly, but steadily as one ages. Males of all age groups require 10-20% more calories per day, on average.

The above are just general guidelines and you should always consult with your physician or nutritionist before undertaking a diet or a significant change to your dietary and exercise routine.


[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., "Total Daily Energy Expenditure", [online] Available at: URL [Accessed Date: 20 Sep, 2019].