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Understanding Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is the total number of calories one burns in a day, combining Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) with calories burned through physical activities and digestion. It is a crucial metric for anyone looking to manage their weight effectively.

Pros and Cons of TDEE


  • Provides a comprehensive overview of calorie needs.
  • Enables personalization of diet and exercise plans.
  • Adjusts for different activity levels and lifestyle changes.


  • Potential for estimation errors in activity levels.
  • Daily variations in activities can affect accuracy.
  • Does not account for metabolic rate changes over time.

Practical Applications of TDEE

Understanding TDEE helps individuals tailor their caloric intake for weight loss or gain. For example, consuming fewer calories than your TDEE can lead to weight loss, while exceeding your TDEE supports weight gain.

How to Interpret Activity Levels

Activity levels range from sedentary (little to no exercise) to extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job), with TDEE adjustments made accordingly.

For more detailed information on TDEE, the following resources are recommended:

National Institute of Health (NIH): TDEE Tools and Articles
American Council on Exercise (ACE): Diet and Exercise Planning