A user-friendly tool to help you home in on your fitness goals by calculating your metabolic rate and estimated calorie-expenditure
How many calories do you burn each day?
Does it matter? Strictly speaking: no – at least not to everyone.
But, if you're serious about losing weight or building muscle, then yes – I would strongly recommend you track and understand your progress – at least for the first 1-3 months, using one of the many calorie tracking applications available.
After that, it's up to you. If you're ready to change your life, start by using the calculator below to get your:
Estimate BMR (not BMI) and TDEE according to your current physical activity-level (PAL). (See corresponding table below and take care not to overestimate your level.)
Determine your future TDEE to fulfil one of the pre-set goals, or a customized one.
Obtain macronutrient ratios to support your fitness-goals.
(Terms and formulas briefly explained below. For details and supporting research, see: Understanding how to calculate BMR and TDEE).
This is also known as TEE, and is the sum of all your calorie needs over a 24-hour period, in order to maintain your current weight.
It comprises these 4 components (breakdown illustrated in the pie-chart):
BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate is derived from the internal heat (thermogenesis) generated while driving your vital functions;
TEF – Thermic Effect of Feeding (energy costs of processing the food you eat);
NEAT – Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Low-intensity movements like sitting, walking or standing. (Since NEAT represents a negligible contribution to TDEE, it isn't factored into the mathematical formulas on its own, but is instead taken into account as part of PAL.);
PAL – Physical Activity Level, corresponding to a factor best estimating the energy expended by an individual (as shown in the table below).
Of the several models available for calculating BMR, the more contemporary are those established by Harris-Benedict, Mifflin-St Jeor and Katch-McArdle.
Both the Harris-Benedict and Mifflin-St Jeor equations estimate BMR by taking mass, gender, weight and height into account. Although the Harris-Benedict formula (established in 1919) was revised in 1984, it is the Mifflin-St Jeor formula of 1990 (around 5% more accurate), which is more widely accepted. (See: Understanding how to calculate BMR and TDEE to learn more.)
Although these formulas have been devised on the basis of scientific procedures, you do need to allow some margin for error – primarily because of the law of individual differences.
Therefore, none of the predictive equations will be free of inaccuracy. Because of this, you might find that they over or under-estimate BMR-TDEE values.
However, if you're consistent in applying and monitoring your numbers, you'll find that these tools can be used as effective guidelines and adjusted to you – the individual.
Establishing your metabolic 'set-point' is of significant help in monitoring calorie-expenditure, whether to lose, maintain or add mass. (The page on: Understanding how to calculate BMR and TDEE, has more on fine-tuning your calorie-intake for specific needs.)
Don't hesitate to reach out, should you have any doubts or questions.
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