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Figuring out your TDEE is very important whether aiming to lose fat, maintain current weight, or gain mass. Even if you are not counting calories it is good to know.

Total Daily Energy Expenditure consists of:

  • RMR (resting metabolic rate/energy expended while resting or sleeping)
  • EAT (exercise-associated thermogenesis
  • NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis/energy used from daily tasks like walking to car and brushing your teeth)
  • TEF (thermic effect of food/calories used to digest and absorb the food you consume).

Note: There is a very simple and relatively accurate way to find your fat loss, maintenance and weight gain calories that is very close to the second more thorough method (the recommended way by NFPT/National Federation of Personal Trainers). In this way you simply multiply your current body weight by 12, 14, or 16. Using the first example of the 175 lb man as an example, calculating for maintenance calories….. 175×14=2,450. As you can see this is only 63 calories off the NFPT method calculation of 2,387.

Below are two examples using the 12, 14, 16 method.

In this way you simply multiply your current body weight by 12, 14, or 16. Using the first example of the 175 lb man as an example, calculating for maintenance calories….. 175×14=2,450. As you can see this is only 63 calories off the NFPT method calculation of 2,387.

Example 1: 175 lb individual
Fat Loss- 175×12=2,100

Maintenance- 175×14=2,450

Weight Gain- 175×16=2,800

Example 2: 145 lb individual

Fat Loss- 145×12=1,740

Maintenance- 145×14=2,030

Weight Gain- 145×16=2,320

Steps for second method:
1st-Determine body fat percentage. (You can do this using the anthropometric measurement found on the internet through several sites. Though a skinfold caliper test would likely be more accurate, the anthropometric measurement method is much simpler and relatively accurate.

2nd-Subtract body fat in lbs from total body weight (=lean body mass/LBM)

3rd-LBM×11=RMR

4th-Determine activity level from chart

You can also add 10% of total to account for TEF (thermic effect of food) for a even more accurate number.

Activity Factor Chart

Sedentary– 1.2

Lightly active– 1.375

Moderately active– 1.55

Very active– 1.725

Extremely active– 1.9

Example 1: For 175 lb lightly active male with 18% body fat

175×.18=31.5

175-31.5=143.5(LBM)

143.5×11=1,578.5

1578.5×1.375=2,170.4375

2170×.10(TEF)=217

2170+217=2,387

TDEE=2,387 calories

Example 2: For 145 lb lightly active female with 25% body fat

145×.25=36.25

145-36.25=108.75 (LBM)

108.75×11=1,196.25

1,196.25×1.375=1,644.84

1,645×.10 (TEF)=164.5

1,645+165=1,810

TDEE=1,810

Goal Calculations

Fat loss- Subtract 500 from TDEE

Weight Maintenance- Follow TDEE

Weight gain- Add 350-500 calories to TDEE

Notes:

– If not losing fat, maintaining weight, or not gaining muscle add or subtract calories slowly. If you are aiming to maintain weight and are losing weight, add 200-250 calories to TDEE. If you are aiming to gain weight and are not, increase calories by increments of 200-250 not 500. The slower you gain mass the more likely it will be muscle as opposed to fat. As with fat loss, the slower you go the better. If you are gaining more than 1 lb a week you may want to re-evaluate your calorie intake.

– Never eat below your RMR. This is not healthy and will only lead to negative consequences. Generally speaking, the quicker you lose weight the more lean mass you will lose. Go slow and…

– Aim to lose no more than 1% of your total body weight a week and preferably aim for a 1lb loss a week.

– If you are eating at your deficit and not losing weight, do not be so quick to lower calories further. First, check to see if you are truly eating the amount of calories you think you are. Many times people miscalculate their daily calories and eat much more than they think. If you re-evaluate and find that you are indeed eating your recommended daily fat loss calories, and not losing fat, lower your calories by 200-250 instead of by 500 again.

Many times we miscalculate our caloric intake (eating much more than we think). If you re-evaluate and find that you are indeed eating your recommended daily fat loss calories, and not losing fat, lower your calories by 200-250 instead of by 500 again.

– If you are in any disease state you should always seek the advice of your physician when starting any new exercise regimen and a dietitian when adjusting your calorie intake. Put safety first.

These are all general guidelines and will vary from person to person and from situation to situation.

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