TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure)

Updated: Feb 9

What is TDEE?

Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is an estimation of how many calories you burn per day when exercise is taken into account. It is calculated by first figuring out your Basal Metabolic Rate, then multiplying that value by an activity multiplier. Your TDEE is how many calories you expend every day. If you want to lose fat, try to eat about 15-20 percent less than you burn.


Factors that determine how many calories you burn in a day, or your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure)

How fast is your metabolism? How many calories do you burn when you exercise? How active are you in your daily life? These are all common things I ask new clients to help me determine the true calories burned a day. Unfortunately most people have the misconceptions that they have slow metabolism and why they can't lose weight. Or that they can exercise a lot to increase their daily total. In fact, there are more than just those two factors that determine the number calories burned. I’ve helped thousands of clients lose weight and get healthy, and TDEE is just one of many factors I consider when building a specific strategy for your goals.

  1. NEAT-non exercise activity thermogenesis - Outside of resting metabolic rate, This is where most people burn the most amount of calories in a day. As the name indicates, these are calories you burn through any activities that aren't direct exercise. Some examples are walking around at work, doing chores, standing at work instead of sitting, and just moving around more in general throughout the day. The more you can keep moving at even a minimal pace in your daily life the more calories you will burn every day.

  2. Resting metabolic rate - These are calories burned by your body just to maintain homeostasis and normal bodily functions like respiratory rate, circulating blood, and building cells. 60-75% of your daily calories burned come from here.

  3. Calories burned from exercise - The number here will vary depending on the intensity and duration of your exercise. Typically 15-30% of the daily calories burned.

  4. Thermic effect of food - Your body Burns calories to chew, digest, and store food. so basically your body has to burn calories to eat! This is one of the main reasons I emphasize to people that they need to be eating 4 to 5 small meals a day. Protein, carbs and fat All burn different amounts of calories. But proteins take the edge for more calories burned to be consumed. The Thermal effect of food accounts for 10% of your daily calories burned.

Photo of a diet plan book and a large salad

How to Increase Your Daily Metabolism

Your TDEE is often referred to as your daily metabolism - although these two things are pretty different! Regardless, when someone speaks about increasing or decreasing their metabolism, they are typically referring to increasing or decreasing the number of calories their body burns and uses each day.