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What are TDEE and BMR?

How to use them to lose weight 

The most common question I’m asked is...... How many calories should I be eating to lose weight and how do I track this? 

Firstly, If you can't measure it, you can't manage it and for many people, weight loss success is dependent on having an effective system of tracking calories. 

Calories in Vs Calories out (CICO) Weight loss really is that simple, but how can you figure out how many calories you burn per day? In other words, how do you figure out your baseline and determine how many calories you should be eating? 

That's where understanding BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) comes in. These formulas calculate how much energy you spend per day, and this allows you to set your calorie goals much more efficiently. 

So when you understand your BMR and TDEE and the relationship between them, it gets a lot easier to reach your weight loss goals. 

Let's start with a bit more detail on what they are, and then we'll discuss using them in your day-to-day weight loss routine. 


Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is how many calories you burn when your body is resting. In other words, it's the calories your body needs to keep you ticking over in day to day life with no physical activity needed! 

People use BMR and other metrics to figure out how many calories they burn per day regardless of what they do. By knowing this number, you can then factor in your additional physical activity and figure out how many calories you need per day to meet your weight loss goals. 

Basal means "forming or belonging to a bottom layer or base". It's the fundamentals. But, that doesn't there isn't a lot happening beneath the surface. In fact, between 60-75% of your daily calories are burned during these processes. Think about everything going on while you lie in bed: your heart has to pump blood, your lungs need to pull in and push out oxygen, and then that oxygen needs to be delivered to your brain and the rest of your body. 

The energy required to perform the fundamental processes like ventilation, blood circulation, and temperature regulation is dependent on your weight, height, age, and gender.

Calculating Your BMR

There are a number of ways to calculate BMR, but the formulas all consist of some essential elements: 






Body Fat (optional)

We have created the quickest and easiest way to understand your BMR which is to use the calculator linked further down this page however now it’s time to understand TDEE! 


Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is an estimation of how many calories you burn each day, including physical activity. It is calculated by multiplying your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) by your activity level. 

TDEE is just BMR with estimations added in. It's the same formula except you add in a multiplier that's dependent on how much "activity" you have in a given day. 

You think of TDEE as adding in everything you do in a normal day to your BMR calculation. 

This includes all the working out we do as well as all the little things we do like showering, walking around the office, general housework, cutting the grass… You know just the normal daily stuff! 

By adding the number of calories needed to do these things with your BMR you get your TDEE. 

If your calorie consumption is equal to your TDEE, you will maintain your current weight. 

If your calorie consumption is less than your TDEE then you will lose weight.

 It's really that simple.

Calculating Your TDEE

You really need to be honest in terms of the amount you exercise whether it be 

you rarely exercise, you exercise on 1 to 3 days per week, If you exercise on 3 to 5 days per week or If you exercise 6 to 7 days per week.

This will determine how accurate your TDEE is. You can calculate your BMR and TDEE using the calculator below

TDEE & BMR Calculator


Once you know your BMR and TDEE, all you need to do is make sure your caloric intake is less than that number! 

So if your TDEE ends up being 2,200 calories per day, you need to eat fewer calories to achieve "weight loss". 

How fast you lose it depends on how much your deficit is every day. 

Generally speaking, there are about 3,500 calories in a pound. 

Most dieticians recommend eating a deficit of anywhere between 500-1,000 calories a day. 

The goal is not to lose weight the fastest — it's to be consistent... I’m pretty sure you have heard Charlotte and I preach this many of times 

So looking at a TDEE of 2,200, if you aimed for 1,700 calories per day, you’d be eating at a 500 calorie deficient. This would put you at approximately losing 1 pound of fat per week. 

And to test the accuracy of your TDEE, just see if your weight drops by about a pound per week. If not, you may be over or underestimating your BMR or TDEE 

Pretty simple, would you agree? 

All you now need to do is track your calorie intake via an app like MyFitnessPal and adjust your TDEE multiplier as your exercise routine changes. 

kitchen scales will also be your best friend — being able to measure out your foods saves a lot of guessing and headaches when calorie counting. You can grab one these for less that £10 and it will be the best money you will spend! 

Meal prepping is going to be your best bet for staying on top of a calorie deficit! You only need to look at my social media channels to see how much easier this makes things. 

The more barriers you can reduce when having to think about your calories, the better you will do, I can promise you that! Without your metrics, you’re just guessing. 

Now it’s time for you to go and smash those weight loss goals

 Wishing you the best of luck 

John & Charlotte