TDEE, or total daily energy expenditure is the total amount of energy you spend in a period of 24 hours. It is a figure that remains somewhat constant if you are used to a certain routine in your day. It increases in those days when you are engaged in an intensive activity and reduces on days when you are somewhat sedentary. These variables notwithstanding, your TDEE hovers around a predictable average.
TDEE and weight loss
Knowing your TDEE is extremely important when you are looking to lose weight. It basically actuates this intention through discernible math that will pave out the path to successful weight loss. To burn fat, you need to expend more energy than you consume. Your TDEE is what guides you on this consumption-expenditure relationship and ensures that it leans towards the latter.
There is an easy way and a hard way to calculate your total daily expenditure. For those who really like getting into the technical details, the calculation starts by first establishing your BMR, TEF and activity level.
BMR stands for basal metabolic rate or the amount of energy you spend when you are at rest. The TEF or thermal effect of food is the amount of energy it takes to digest and absorb the food you eat. These metabolic processes do in fact require energy and must be taken into account. It averages at 10%, depending on what your macros are. And finally, your level of activity which is also your fitness level accounts for how much energy you spend throughout your day. There are formulas to help you calculate or estimate each of these, and these can easily be found online with little effort.
The road of lesser resistance
If you don’t feel like putting your algebra knowledge to the test, you can take the easier path and simply use a TDEE calculator. These too are available in some abundance, and they are designed to offer additional information, such as your BMI. While convenient, these calculators are not fool-proof, as they are vulnerable to a few biases. Since they employ data entry points only, they cannot differentiate between muscle mass and fat when it comes to weight. But they do work well enough to help you estimate your TDEE to some acceptable degree of precision.
Once you have established how energy it costs to keep you alive every day, you can adjust your calorie intake to match your goals. The most important thing is to ensure your calorie sources and ratios are healthy and balanced. Mind your macros, and your battle will be half won. Remember to keep recalculating your TDEE with progress. Like everything else about life, it is never truly constant.
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