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The Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) Calculator is a measurement of the amount of calories you should be eating to maintain your weight, according to your lifestyle. It takes into account your basal metabolic rate (BMR), and also, your level of physical activity.
While at rest, the body burns a specific amount of energy; that is the basal metabolic rate (BMR). The BMR is the minimum amount of energy it costs to stay alive, i.e. the minimum amount of calories you need to eat for your body to properly function. Your BMR is unique to you; it is based on a person’s sex, height, weight and age.
To maintain a specific weight, you must ensure that the amount of energy coming in is the same as the amount of energy going out. If there is more energy coming in than going out, then the extra energy that the body does not use is stored, and your weight goes up. If there is less energy coming in than going out, your body burns more than you put in and as a result, you lose weight.
Trying to figure out how to lose weight can be a very daunting task. With many articles suggesting to watch the amount of fats and sugars you eat, to others telling you to lift more weights and focus less on cardio, it’s no wonder that many of us don’t really know what it takes to lose or maintain your weight. Luckily, it all comes down to one (maybe not so) simple thing: calorie tracking.
By definition, a calorie is the amount of energy required to raise one gram of water by one degree Celsius. A calorie is a unit of energy and in relation to food, they are essential. The human body needs calories to survive; the foods you eat (as a result of their accompanying calories) provide you with energy so that your body can properly function.
Calories and weight come together through the laws of energy balance. Energy balance is the relationship between “energy in” (calories from food) and “energy out” (calories used by our bodies). Our bodies naturally use up energy every day, even when we are sleeping. The body needs energy to create protein, convert oxygen to carbon dioxide, to digest, to think, to work out; to conduct every process that occurs within you.
A more active lifestyle will increase your TDEE score: you will need to take in more calories to maintain your current weight, since you burn extra calories during physical activity. A more active lifestyle, however, allows you to decrease the amount of calories you need to cut back in order to lose weight.
Using Your TDEE Score to Lose Weight
It is recommended that you reduce your TDEE by 20% to safely lose weight. It is also not advised to drastically reduce calories, but rather to do so gradually or by a maximum of 500 calories per day.