Whether you have weight loss goals or weight gain goals, or you're simply someone who is passionate about living a healthy life, you should know your daily energy expenditure, so you consume in line with your energy needs.


Some of you may already be familiar with Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which stands for the minimum caloric requirement to sustain life in an individual. It doesn’t account for the exercises/activities you do. Total Daily Energy Expenditure (or TDEE) is the total number of calories you burn in an average day, including all the activities you do. It takes into account our activity level and is a closer measure to the calories we burn on an average day.

Basically TDEE = BMR (Calories burned when you do absolutely nothing) + Calories burned from activities (This is a calorie expenditure that occurs on top of your BMR).

Consuming lesser calories than TDEE will lead to a weight loss. On the other hand, consuming more calories will lead to a weight gain. Consuming the same calories will lead to maintenance of your current weight.

To figure out how many calories you should consume a day to achieve your weight goals, we need to first know your TDEE. Hence, this week’s task is on calculating your TDEE!. Some of you may be feeling like… @what do we have to do this? yes, you need to do this to succeed, these are the secrets we dietitians don’t share with you. This is because if you are fully aware, you won’t need to pay any consultation to see a dietitian. So please, JUST DO IT. Web sites are included to make it easier for you to calculate.

Step 1: Calculate Your TDEE

1) Calculate your BMR. Use this BMR counter. This is the energy requirements just to sustain your body.
2) Multiply #1 by 1.2. This is the calories you burn a day when you have light activity.
3) Add your calorie output via exercise. Use this activity counter to know how many calories you’re burning with your exercises. Sum up your calorie output with the answer from #2 and you’ll get your TDEE for the day.

For example, if your BMR is 1400 and you went jogging this week and burned 300 calories, your total energy expenditure will be 1400×1.2 + 300=1680 + 300 = 1980 calories for the day.

Step 2: Pay attention to your calorie intake and energy expenditure

Ask yourself, how many calories did I have for breakfast how much am I expending. Help your colleagues to count theirs too, make it fun. Try calculating for everyone around you, educate people this week on TDEE, you will never forget it and this will help your health for many years to come.

Congratulations, please carry on.

If you want to maintain your weight, simply eat in line with your TDEE from Step #1.
To lose/gain weight, you’ve to consume lesser/more calories than your energy expended every day (exercise notwithstanding). It’s generally recommended not to set a calories difference bigger than 500. So if your TDEE is 1700 and you want to lose weight, you should have a calorie intake between 1200 to <1700 calories. By setting your ideal weight and the date you want to achieve this ideal weight, you can then work backwards and calculate your calories intake a day.

  1. Calculate the difference between your ideal weight and current weight. If your ideal weight is 60kg and your current weight is 63kg, the difference is 3kg
  2. Multiply answer #1 by 350. This is the total calories you need to lose. To lose 500 g, you need to have a calorie deficit of 350 calories. Example: If you have a 3kg difference, that will be 3kg x 350 (calories per 500g)= 1050 calories. You will need to create this deficit to lose about 3kg a month. Start slowly, losing more than 3kg a month is very drastic and not sustainable.

Now that you know your TDEE and the daily caloric intake needed to achieve your weight goals, next week, we will work on designing your ideal meal plans to make that happen. These will be the ideal meal plans you are going to strive to adhere to for the rest of your 21NLS journey. Stay tuned!


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