Why Calculating BMR And TDEE Is Important For Weight Loss

Before starting out on any health and fitness journey, it’s a good idea to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). Though they might not mean anything to you right now, these figures are important in working out how much you should be eating a day in order to reach the goal you have in mind. Here’s everything you need to know about calculating BMR and TDEE and why it’s important for weight loss. 

What Is BMR?

Your BMR is your ‘basal metabolic rate’, which is essentially the amount of energy your body burns if you do nothing but rest for 24 hours. Calculating your BMR therefore gives you the amount of calories your body needs to function, without taking into account the calories your body uses for exercise or general movement.

How To Calculate BMR

To calculate your BMR, you’ll first need to know your weight in kilograms and height in centimeters. Once you’ve got these numbers, use one of the formulas below to calculate your BMR:

Women: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) – 161

Men: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5

Now that you’ve worked out what your basal metabolic rate is, you can calculate your total daily energy expenditure in the next section. 

What Is TDEE?

TDEE, or Total Daily Energy Expenditure, is the amount of calories your body burns when performing its functions and physical movement such as exercise and general daily activities. Calculating your TDEE will help you understand how many calories you need to be eating in order to maintain, lose, or gain weight. 

How To Work Out TDEE

Before calculating your TDEE, think about the level of activity you do on an average day. Activity falls into five categories: sedentary, light, moderate, heavy, and athlete.

  • Sedentary lifestyle – This typically applies to people with office jobs who use transportation to get to and from work, don’t walk long distances, and tend not to exercise or participate in sports. 
  • Light activity – For those exercising 1-2 days a week alongside any activity at work.
  • Moderately active lifestyle – Describes individuals with a job that involves more movement than a sedentary one such as a construction worker or retail staff.
  • Heavy exercise – Exercising 6-7 days a week 
  • Athlete – Training 2+ times a day

These categories are based on the data used in this TDEE Calculator. Once you have a good idea of which one you fall into,  click the link to work out your TDEE.

BMR, TDEE, And Weight Loss

To lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit. And to work out how many calories you should be consuming to be in a deficit, you need to calculate your BMR and TDEE. It’s recommended that you subtract 500kcal from your TDEE to lose around 1 pound a week. 

Though you should keep in mind that this isn’t completely accurate, as during periods of your calorie deficit, your body will also use energy from muscle mass. This means you can lose lean tissue while dieting too. 

To reduce the amount of muscle mass that you lose while dieting, ensure you are getting enough protein at every meal and incorporate weight training into your workout routine. 

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