Working Out Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure

Today I wanted to talk about TDEE or Total Daily Energy Expenditure, what it is and why it is important to know this.

Knowing your bodies Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) or also known as maintenance or baseline calories is the key in achieving your goals!

Once you know your TDEE number then you can put yourself either in a calorie deficit (to loose body fat) or a calorie surplus (gaining body fat/muscle) depending on your individual goals. What is your TDEE? It is the amount of energy you can consume without gaining or losing any weight. There are a number of factors taken into consideration when working this important number out. 1. BMR (Basal Metobolic Rate) which refers to the amount of calories you need to stay alive and function. 2. Daily Activity - Your planned activity 3. Your NEAT Activity - The calories you burn outside of planned activity (such as walking etc.) It can get tricky with all this information but the easiest way to find your baseline is to track your food exactly as you eat it (don’t change a thing) for a period of 2 weeks using My Fitness Pal. Weigh yourself along this – do daily weigh in’s at the same time each day and record this information. After the 14 days you can get your average calories and weight. This will determine how many calories were being consumed over the past 2 weeks and whether your weight increased, decreased or remained the same over this period.

For example if you weight remained the same over the past 2 weeks then you are currently sitting at your maintenance weight. If your weight increased over the past 2 weeks then you were sitting in a surplus and will need to lower your calories to find your baseline (once you have found your baseline your weight will remain consistent).

Once you have worked out your baseline number, stay there for a couple of weeks until your body and metabolism resets itself… Now the exciting part and depending on your goal; put yourself in a calorie deficit. I would recommend if you are wanting to lose body fat (and depending on your goals) to put yourself into a calorie deficit anywhere between -(15-30%)... .

Then similar if you are wanting to gain body fat/muscle. Increase your baseline number up to anywhere between +(15-35/40%).

Then train hard (depending on what your goals are). I would recommend to continue to track your food intake (ie. calories in versus calories out) and check in each week to see how your changes are going and adjust accordingly.

Still unsure of what to do? We teach all our clients about this during their 8 week program here at Merri’s Nutrition and Fitness. So contact us here today and will we help you get started to hitting those goals of yours.

Have a great day!


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