How Many Energy Ought to I Eat Every Day? A TDEE calculator for whole day by day vitality prices

“Steve, how many calories should I be eating each day? I have goals! "

Good question.

Knowledge is power, that's why we're going to make you more efficient today by calculating your total daily energy costs (TDEE).

Of course, “Knowledge is half the struggle. "The other half is what you actually do with your TDEE information!

Fortunately, we've helped thousands of online coaching clients lose weight and get healthy. TDEE is just one of many factors we consider when developing a specific strategy for a person's goals.

Do you want an exercise and nutrition program that you REALLY follow? Learn more:

Okay well, I'll share the other factors and strategies below as well.

Just click the section below for a quick read. However, I would recommend that you read the entire enchilada in order to properly apply your TDEE to your life:


We'll start with some math.

Don't worry, our robot computer (Beep Boop Boop) will do it all for you.

We need to know your height in inches, weight in pounds, and an idea of ​​your activity level.

(Are you using the metric system? I wish we had done it here in the states too! Click here for our metric calculator.

Although you can customize it, I would like you to set your "Activity Level" as "Sedentary" (I'll explain why in a moment):

Nerd Fitness Daily energy consumption calculator

(Note: we used the Mifflin-St Jeor equation to create this calculator! (1))

Hooray! You know now Estimates Your BMR and TDEE! (2)

You may be thinking, "Ah, Steve, what does both mean?"

I finished you

Make sure you write down your two numbers and then move on to the next section.

If you are already overwhelmed, do not be afraid! We're helping hundreds of men and women calculate their calorie goals, and we're happy to help too!

Your nerd fitness coach can help you create a sustainable weight loss plan!


The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the total amount of calories needed to keep your body functioning.

Breathing, making cells, pumping blood, and maintaining your body temperature all require calories to function.

This means that even when you sit completely still, you are consuming a lot of calories to keep your body in good condition.

"Basal" means, more or less, "Basic," so you can think of BMR as the number of calories needed for basic daily functions.

Your gender, weight, and height all affect the number of calories you need, which is why they are variables in our equation above.

The taller you are or the more you weigh, the higher your BMR.

You just have to refuel more: pump more blood, produce more cells, transport and manage more body mass.

Your age is also taken into account: the older you get, the lower your BMR.

About two thirds of the calories you need every day go into your body.

The other third?

This is what defines your movement.

You know, because going from one place to another requires energy. Lifting things too.

Next, let's talk about Total Daily Energy Cost (TDEE).


Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is an estimate of the total amount of calories you will burn in a day.

Since your BMR calculates the calories you need to go to a rest, we need to factor in exercise and exercise to get a real total.

To do this, we take your BMR and multiply it by the factor "activity level". (3)

Activity levels can be viewed as follows:

Sedentary lifestyle. You need to regularly tell Netflix that you are still watching. You are not exercising on purpose at all.

Sedentary lifestyle = BMR x 1.2

Little activity. You casually stroll through your neighborhood a couple of times a week. On average, you run about 30 minutes a day to exercise. Another way to think about it would be to do 15 minutes of vigorous exercise a day like running or lifting weights.

Light active = BMR x 1.375

Moderately active. If we call the gym on a weekday and look for you, they will find you. This equates to an average walking time of around an hour and 45 minutes per day (for exercising, not walking around your house) or 50 minutes of intense exercise per day.

Moderately active = BMR x 1.55

Very active. You work in construction during the day and are a member of the company's softball team. This equates to an average of four hours and 15 minutes of walking (again for deliberate exercise) per day or two hours of intense exercise.

Very active = BMR x 1.725

As you practice at home, you may find that different levels of activity can make a huge difference in calories burned.

Let's use some numbers:

For example, say you are male, 35 years old, weigh 200 pounds, and are six feet straight (72 inches).

You're also wearing a recently ironed collar shirt and it looks great on you. It really brings out your eyes.

Great shirt or not, we know your BMR is 1,882 calories given the variables we identified. That means you need around 1,900 calories for basic body functions.

This is where things get interesting.

If you are Sedentary lifestyleWe multiply 1,882 (BMR) by 1.2 to get a TDEE of 2,258. This means that you need 2,258 calories to maintain your current weight, support body functions, and walk around your house and get from your car to your office, your home office, etc.

Let's imagine a scenario that you are in Not Sedentary lifestyle. Instead, we calculate that it is you Little activityThat means you walk around your neighborhood a couple of times a week.

We take your BMR of 1,882 and multiply it by 1.375 to get a TDEE of 2,588.

The difference between Little activity and Sedentary lifestyle is 230 calories, roughly what you would find in a single glazed donut.

Let's move on.

Let's say you go to your local gym a few times a week to practice weight training. And on your days off, you do some yoga and go for walks.

This will put you in the "Moderately active"Category.

We take your BMR of 1,882 and multiply it by 1.55 to get a TDEE of 2,917.

The difference between Sedentary lifestyle and Moderately active would be 659 calories.

That's an extra meal worth calories!

For your reference, here are some examples of things that contain around 650 calories:

# 1) A whole meal of Sicilian fish and sweet potatoes:

# 2) A Big Mac® with bacon:

# 3) A large Orange Dream Machine® from Jamba Juice:

All three of the above options have the same number of calories – but they differ greatly in how full you will feel!

IMPORTANT NOTE: I have used the word "estimate" several times in this article and will continue to do so.

It's important to note that while BMR and TDEE can be helpful calorie information for many, there are limitations to how they can be calculated.

Hormones, genetics, medicine, and macronutrient ratios can all affect an individual's calorie needs.

In other words, it is critical that we use our BMR and TDEE as Starting point, not the final "answer".

This is where we can start and then adapt depending on how our body reacts!

As we have just seen, different levels of activity can also greatly affect TDEE.

For this reason, the activity level in TDEE calculations can be a "trap"!

Let a nerd fitness coach guide you on your way to losing weight!


We humans are notoriously bad at assessing our level of activity.

We tend to underestimate how many calories we are consuming and then overestimate how much exercise we do (often by up to 30-50% + percent).

One study after another shows that people rate their movement and movement better than they actually are. (4)

In addition, our fitness trackers overestimate at least 20% How many calories do we burn through exercise? (5)

We think we train “intensely” for 60 minutes and then eat too much, provided we have a lot of extra calories in our “daily budget”.

However, when researchers look at things like heart rate, VO2 max, and calories burned, they find that we were actually exercising “moderately”.

What does that mean for normal people like you and me?

If the goal is weight loss, you will overestimate your activity level and underestimate how much you are eating.

If duplicated, choose the activity level below your original guess.

Instead of "Moderately active, "Pick"Little activity. ”

This gives you a more accurate estimate of your calorie needs and a greater margin of error when trying to lose weight!

The other thing to consider would be weight training.

As we mentioned in our "Lose Weight and Build Muscle" article, strength training requires a lot of energy, not just for the exercise itself, but also for building muscle in the days after the activity.

In general, we consider strength training to be the “vigorous exercise” that we highlighted above.

If it takes 30 minutes a day to "Little activity15 minutes of daily strength training would be roughly equivalent.

If the estimate of your activity level and TDEE freaks you out:

Trying to choose and calculate the right amount of calories can be stressful.

Especially if you have had problems losing weight in the past. And that's just the math part – we don't even have the psychological part about how delicious pizza and ice cream are.

That's actually why we created our hugely popular product 1-to-1 coaching program. We tried to take the guesswork out of the way by creating a program that tells you exactly what to do.

Let a nerd fitness coach design a weight loss plan for you!


If you've read this far into the article, you are probably interested in knowing your total daily energy costs for weight loss.

I can also imagine that you support my conviction The Shawshank Redemption is the greatest movie ever made:

I mentioned earlier that you are having trouble losing weight because you are eating too many calories.

The TDEE calculated above gives us a good estimate of the calories you will need each day – if your scale stays constant: congratulations!

You have found your calorie balance.

This means that your body is burning as many calories as you are consuming each day.

I am assuming you are here though because your goal is to shrink the scale!

Think about it like this: If your weight is fairly constant, your body is currently in balance. You burn the same number of calories that you consume every day.

In order for you to lose weight you need to reduce your total caloric intake, which forces your body to burn the stored fat that you have for energy.

You have already calculated roughly how many calories you burn each day (your TDEE). Let's roughly see how many calories you are consuming each day, too!

(If your weight stays constant, these numbers should be fairly close together – assuming your tracking is correct!)

It's this nerd's humble opinion that the easiest way to track calorie consumption is with an app.

We live in the future.

Use a smartphone and download one of the following programs to track your food intake:

  1. My fitness buddy. The gold standard for calorie counting apps. It's also the most popular and supports the largest food database in the game. It can also download recipes from the Internet and provide an estimate of the calories.
  2. FatSecret. FatSecret is simple, easy, and free, and a great calorie tracker. You can connect with other users and have a barcode scanner for calorie content of labels. Super clever.
  3. Lose it! Another free calorie counting app that focuses more on goal setting. You can also use images for data entry with the Snap It ™ feature. Double nifty.

You certainly don't have to chase your food forever.

However, a solid week's data will help you get a feel for the food you are consuming, especially if you are eating roughly the same food every day.

Not sure if your portion sizes are correct? Most people don't. For real portion sizes, consider a cheap grocery scale! You can also check out our portion control guide, which will teach you how to use your hand to estimate calories:

The most important thing is to compare your daily calorie consumption with your TDEE.

To lose weight, your calories need to be consumed less than your TDEE, on average.

(If you are currently thinking, "But Steve, by my statistics, I burn a lot more calories than I burn, but I'm not losing weight!" I would read this.)

Some numbers to think about:

  • 3,500 calories are roughly equivalent to a pound of fat.
  • There are seven days a week.

Basic math suggests that if you want to lose a pound of body fat in a week (a sustainable goal for some) you need to create a calorie deficit of 500 calories a day: either by consuming 500 fewer calories, burning 500 more calories, or a combination of both both.

When you are consuming fewer calories than you are burning consistently, your body needs to begin drawing on your stored fat in order to perform its daily functions.

Aka weight loss.

Let's imagine your TDEE is 2,500. This means that you want to use around 2,000 calories a day to lose roughly a pound a week.

As we said in "Why can't I lose weight?" Discussing in detail, sustained weight loss is largely the result of rigorous management of the first half of the equation: "calories in".

In other words: it is much more difficult to sustainably increase your level of activity than to reduce the consumption of calories.

Which is more likely to become a lifelong habit? Are you replacing the food you consume or suddenly finding the time to do vigorous exercise for 90 minutes each day after being a couch potato?

First, focus on correcting your food intake!

What's the Easiest Way to Consistently Eat Fewer Calories? By prioritizing REAL Food.


Because real foods are more likely to fill you up and satisfy your hunger while staying below your caloric intake goal for the day.

Consider the example above comparing a full dinner with a burger for a shake:

Towards a Healthier Way to Eat

The nerd fitness philosophy on nutrition can be written in six words:

"You are smart. Eat more REAL food."

I've laid it all out in our Beginner's Guide to Healthy Eating, but again, you're smart – you know what real food is:

Food that grew in the ground, on a tree, ran on land, swam in the sea, or flew through the air.

Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts are good examples of real foods.

You should eat more of that.

The fine folks at WiseGEEK wrote a great post taking pictures of what 200 calories of a particular food look like.

With 200 calories of broccoli, you'll have enough broccoli to fill a whole plate:

Or half a Snickers bar:


When you eat REAL food, you have a MUCH higher margin of error to stay below your calorie goal for the day.

  • If you accidentally eat too much broccoli, You could accidentally eat an extra 20-30 calories.
  • If you accidentally overeat candy or soda or processed foodsallows you to consume an additional 500-1000 calories without feeling full or full.

Alltogether: If you want to consistently create a calorie deficit, focusing on REAL foods gives you the best chance of staying below your daily calorie goal.

And yes, I know a Snickers bar is way tastier than broccoli – it was designed by scientists in a lab to be AMAZING!

I'm not going to tell you to never have a Snickers again.

Instead, start being proactive in your food choices.

If you want to eat a Snickers, plan to do so by deliberately reducing your caloric intake in the meal before or after it (or consider skipping a meal).

And if the scales don't move – You still eat too much!

Do you want help with all of this?

Many of our coaching clients found weight loss previously unattainable until one of our trained professionals objectively reviewed their lives and provided actionable feedback.

Now some of them have lost between 50-100+ pounds!

Learn How Nerd Fitness Coaching Changes Lives!

What is the Best Diet For Weight Loss?

Should You Do The Mediterranean Diet? Keto? Vegan? Paleo?

Could be!

They all follow the same premise: If you change or eliminate certain food groups (or macronutrients), it is more than likely that you will automatically be eating a calorie deficit.

All diets will prioritize protein (as you should), but some diets are low in fat and others are low in carbohydrate.

Everyone will react differently and will be more successful with some than with others.

So yes, any diet can help you lose weight in the short term – just remember that you must stick to the changes permanently in order for the results to be permanent!

After all, temporary changes produce temporary results.

Personally, I follow a mental model diet that focuses on real food most of the time, with the occasional junk food. I plan my meal week in advance:

# 1) Minimize processed foods – They are designed so that you overeat them. Take another look at the Snickers bar.

Do you really think you'd only eat half of this to stick to 200 calories? Of course not. This argument is more or less the rationale for a paleo diet.

# 2) Eat vegetables. Vegetables are rich in nutrients and low in calories. Also, because of all the fiber, they are difficult to overeat.

Imagine eating all that broccoli.

Are you walking for seconds Probably not. So eat your vegetables to keep you full. Hate vegetables? I was like you once. Read How To Make Vegetables Taste Good.

# 3) Be careful with liquid calories. Cut down on sodas, juices, smoothies and any high-calorie drink.

Even most coffee orders (with sugar, cream, etc.) contain a ton of hidden calories.

All of these drinks are sugar bombs as there is no fiber to make up for all of the carbohydrates you consume. Stick to water and unsweetened tea or coffee. Here are our thoughts on diet soda.

# 4) Prioritize protein. When your body is healing itself, like after a workout, your body is using protein as a building block in building muscle.

Outside of repairing your body, protein will also help keep you full and full: 400 calories of chicken makes you way more than 400 calories worth of Gatorade. (7)

When you prioritize protein on your plate, you will do a lot for proper nutrition.

As we said in our epic "How Much Protein Should I Eat?" Some great sources of protein are chicken, eggs, beef, pork, fish, nuts, legumes, quinoa, and most dairy products.

These four points will help you create a calorie deficit on your journey.

Disclaimer: This is easier said than done. After all, 70% of the country is overweight. Don't worry, most of them don't read Nerd Fitness.

They do. This is like a strategy guide to life.

We have helped thousands of people like you here at NF and we really focus on nutrition.

As I said, it's 90% of the battle!

That's why we created our own free, fun 10-level feeding system. Each level gets a little more challenging and healthier, but you can progress at your own pace so your changes will persist.

You can download ours 10-step nutritional guide If you enter yourself in the field here:

Download our free weight loss guide

THE NERD FITNESS DIET: 10 levels to change your life

  • Follow our 10 step nutritional system at your own pace
  • What you need to know about weight loss and eating healthy
  • 3 simple rules that we follow every day to achieve the goal

Here's how you can lose weight with your TDEE

Let's wrap up this entire guide for you with some actionable steps:

# 1) Determine your BMR and TDEE. This is crucial in calculating your calorie deficit. These are good numbers to keep in mind throughout the experiment. Calculate your TDEE here.

# 2) Follow everything as it is for a week. Keep a record of everything you eat. No judgement. If you eat five slices of pizza in one night, count each slice.

This step alone has helped many rebels change their lives. Consider using a food tracking app or an online tracker to educate yourself!

# 3) Compare numbers. Where is your current calorie intake? How does that compare to your TDEE? If your intake is higher than your TDEE, you are likely gaining body fat. We want to reverse the equation.

# 4) Create a consistent calorie deficit. The easiest and most sustainable way to do this is to eat REAL foods. Mixing weight training and fun cardio can also help.

# 5) Track progress. Keep tracking calorie intake to make sure you are consuming more calories than you are consuming.

That's it.

You can. I know you can because many of our readers did it themselves.

Do you need help with your next step after calculating your TDEE? I have several options for you. Choose the path that best fits your goals and schedule:

1) If you want a step-by-step guide If you know how to lose weight, eat better, and get stronger, read our killer 1-to-1 coaching program::

Our coaching program changes lives. Learn how!

2) If you want an accurate blueprint on how to eat better and get in shape, check out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app will help you exercise more, eat healthier, and (literally) improve your life.

Try your free trial here:

3) Take part in the rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion.

Sign up in the box below when you download our free weight loss guide!

Download our free weight loss guide

THE NERD FITNESS DIET: 10 levels to change your life

  • Follow our 10 step nutritional system at your own pace
  • What you need to know about weight loss and eating healthy
  • 3 simple rules that we follow every day to achieve the goal

You can do this and we have your back!


PS: Seriously how great is The Shawshank Redemption? I could quote this movie all day.

But if you disagree …


All photo quotes can be found here. (8th)

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