TDEE - The Most Important Number for Your Health!
How many calories your body uses in a given day as well as the average calories you have been eating over time can be calculated using this TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) calculator. The calculator calculates your BMR (basal metabolic rate or calories required to just stay alive) and then adds your Lifestyle (Calories needed to do other stuff like walk around and exercise).
There is only ONE way to lose weight and that is to eat less calories than what your body burns. If you eat more calories than what your body burns it gets stored as fat and your weight goes up.
All diets revolve around this simple principal and they may hide it by using a point system or allowing only certain foods to be eaten but rest assured eating less calories than what your TDEE is results in losing weight over time.
This TDEE calculator can be used in two ways:
- Enter in your weight now to find out how many calories your body burns today (This number is what you need if you are to MAINTAIN your weight). But, there is another way to look at this number, that it is the average amount of calories that you consume a day (I'll explain more about this below).
- Enter the weight you would like to be to find out what your caloric intake would be if you were at your goal weight and also what it would take to stay there. You will need to learn how to live at this level if you really want to get and stay there.
The trick to losing weight and keeping it off is not unlike keeping a budget for your finances but in reverse (kind of like golf). If you want to save money you have to spend less than you make. If you want to lose weight you have to eat less than your body burns.
Your body burns a base amount of calories to stay alive (digestion, heart beating etc,) and it also burns calories doing activities (climbing the stairs, walking the dog, going for a jog). Obviously, some activities like jogging are going to burn more calories than walking. Anything that burns calories is like a source of income for your finances.
If you ever tried to budget to save money you know that lots of little purchases add up to quite a large amount at the end of the month. The same goes for eating; little snacks here and there add up over time and before you know it your weight is not in the healthy range you want it to be.
In fact, your weight is just the result of the average amount of calories you have been eating. (as mentioned above). So if you are 35, female, weigh 140 lbs, are 5' 3" and do little or no exercise not only do you burn 1667 calories a day but you have been eating an average of 1667 calories per day.
Because your TDEE number is also the average of how many calories you have been consuming over time it highlights a very important point - YOUR WEIGHT DOES NOT DEPEND ON JUST ONE BAD DAY but rather the average of many many days. This is good news because so many of us will give up on eating healthy because we gave in and ate two (or three) pieces of cake at our kids party.
Just like you want to know how much money you make on your pay check and where you are spending it through the month, use this calculator to get a feeling for where you are and what it would take to get where you want to be. The next step would be to track your calories for a month using MyFitLife to get a better idea of where your calories are coming from.
Know yourself and take control of your own body today starting with this TDEE calculator!