How to calculate your TDEE?

How to calculate your TDEE?

If you’re tired of practicing bodybuilding without taking muscle or doing cardio training, without losing a single gram, it may be time to calculate your TDEE. So you will put the odds on your side to achieve your goal. You will not say “I must eat more” or “I must eat less,” but you will know exactly how many calories you must eat.

What is the TDEE?

When you want to gain muscle or lose fat, it is necessary to adjust your dietary intake accordingly. Many practitioners are content to eat a little more or a little less, hoping to see the result. However, this way of doing things can be risky to say the least, since it is subjective. You may feel like you have eaten more, or less, during a day, when in the end you have not. Similarly, your calorie intake may vary from day to day without you noticing.

Yet, there is a much more objective method to reach your goal, it is to calculate your TDEE. The Daily Energy Expenditure is, as the name suggests, the amount of calories your body burns each day. By eating fewer calories than your TDEE, you will lose weight. By eating more than your TDEE, you will gain weight. And, if you practice bodybuilding effectively, a good deal of that weight will be muscle.

How to calculate your TDEE?

To get your TDEE, there are several methods.


The first method is to calculate the calories you eat by eating normally over 1 week, weighing your food, then divide the result by 7 to get an average calorie intake over a day. For example, if you have eaten 17500 calories over a week, that means you have consumed, on average, 2500 calories a day.

Then, if eating in this way you tend to gain weight, it is because you are above your TDEE. If, on the other hand, you tend to lose weight, it is because you are below your TDEE. And, if you keep a stable weight, it is because you consume as many calories as your TDEE. Then simply adjust your food intake accordingly to get the desired result.

This method is interesting, because it already allows to have an idea, of visu, of what you eat and corresponding calories. This will make it easier for you to make changes to your diet afterwards.


To get your TDEE, you can start by calculating your Basal Metabolism, which represents your body’s caloric expenditure, when it is totally at rest. For this, there are different calculations. Here is one of them:

  • For men: BM = 66.5 + (13.8 x m) + (5 x h) – (6.8 x a)
  • For women: BM = 655.1 + (9.6 x m) + (1.9 x h) – (4.7 x a)
  • m = Mass in Kg
  • h = Height in cm
  • a = Age in years

Then, you will only have to multiply your Basal Metabolism by your Physical Activity Level (PAL), depending on your case:

  • Multiply by 1.2, if you are sedentary
  • Multiply by 1.375, if you are not very active but practice a little sport (2 to 3 times a week)
  • Multiply by 1.55, if you are active (sport 4 to 5 times a week)
  • Multiply by 1.725 if you are very active (sport 6 to 7 times a week)
  • Multiply 1.9 if you are very active, with a physical job and regular sport

Once you have obtained your TDEE, you will then simply adjust your diet according to your goal. The best is to prepare a food plan. Obviously, the calculation remains an average and will not necessarily correspond exactly to your case, you will have to adapt.


This last method takes the previous method but, instead of doing your calculation yourself, you will enter your data in an online calculator and it will automatically give you the result.

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