What the F*ck is A TDEE, and How Do I Calculate Mine?
If you’re heavy into the fitness world, chances are you’ve already heard the term TDEE before and know why it’s crucial to achieving your overall #bodygoals.
If not, you might literally be thinking - what the f*ck is a TDEE, and why should I care?
Well, to make it simple… once you know your TDEE, you can better control any fitness goal you want to achieve - whether it’s fat loss, muscle growth and weight gain, or even just maintenance.
Sounds too good to be true? Let me prove it to you.
WHAT IS A TDEE?
TDEE stands for Total Daily Energy Expenditure, which is essentially the total amount of calories you burn in a day - including all of your day-to-day activities, the calories you burn while working out, and even the calories you burn in your sleep. Your TDEE greatly differs from person to person, depending on your weight, height, body type and activity level.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Many people don’t know what their TDEE actually is, so they usually feed their body more/less calories than their body actually needs.
What’s more, is that most fitness guides, nutrition plans and “fad diets” don’t take into consideration your own individual TDEE. Instead, they’ll usually just give you a generic number of calories to start consuming - which is one of the reasons why they ultimately fail. That number is rarely the number of calories YOU, specifically, should be consuming at that moment. As a result, you could end up seriously over or under-consuming calories - preventing your body from having sufficient nutrients to carry on its daily activities, and ultimately, slowing your metabolism waaaaaaaay down in the process.
That’s why it’s important to consider your OWN PERSONAL TDEE before starting any fitness program, to ensure you are consuming enough calories for your body and lifestyle.
If you’re convinced, or even a bit curious, about how to calculate your own TDEE before starting your next fitness goal, here’s how…
HOW DO I CALCULATE MINE?
Now, although I WISH there was a universal formula for everyone, unfortunately there isn't. You kinda have to do a bit of trial & error with these options to REALLY determine what the best fit is for you.
Here are a couple options I’d suggest:
OPTION 1: USE AN ONLINE CALCULATOR
Although online calculators are never 100% accurate, they do provide a good starting point. (I use www.tdeecalculator.net!) It has a simple formula that asks for your age, height, weight, activity level, and body fat % (if you know it), and will give you a good estimation based on those stats that you can then use to experiment with when it comes to your fitness goals.
Note: One of the most important elements to get right is ACTIVITY LEVEL. (How frequently do you exercise? How often are you walking/on your feet?) I typically suggest that people use their occupation as a way to determine their activity level; however, one factor that changes this is how frequently you exercise. If you exercise 3-5x per week, but work in an office job. I’d bump up your activity level up a bit to compensate for all the calories you burn while exercising.
OPTION 2: USE A PERSONAL FITNESS TRACKER
With the help of a personal fitness tracker like a Fitbit, you may be able to establish a closer representation of your true TDEE. Using the tracker for a week or two will give you a good estimate of your total daily calorie burn, as well as provide some other important information, like your total steps, resting HR, total calories consumed (if you put in the work to track it!) and even (in some cases) sleep/sleep quality.
REMINDER: Although these two options help to calculate your TDEE, all of the results you will get are still just estimates. Truthfully, the best way to find out your true TDEE is to experiment with what you eat and how you train, or work with a coach who knows how to best figure this out for you!
Regardless, coming from someone who’s been through it all, knowing even an estimate of your TDEE will point you in a closer direction than following any fad diet or program out there. All it takes is a bit of work at the beginning, and you’ll be reaching those fitness goals in no time!
With love and wellness,
PS - If you’re tired of all the fitness programs out there and are looking for a coach who will not only design a plan that’s uniquely tailored to your own individual goals, but also hold you ACCOUNTABLE to reaching them, I’d love to help you on your journey! I’m now accepting new clients - just send me an email and let’s talk!