BMR Calculator with TDEE (total daily energy expenditure)

One question I am getting a lot related to this calculator is how to use the information.  Currently we offer a Q&A series when you buy the book Carb Back Loading and soon that series will be expanding.  Some of the topics will include meal planning, using supplements as well as a weekly guest speaker that will be focused on what Eating to Perform looks like in real life.

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  1. If my Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2,625 calories – I should be eating that much every day to lose fat?

  2. So, if my Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2,625 calories- that means I need to eat that much each day to lose fat?

    • it might but you have to realize even this is just a guess. Try something like 2400 with adequate protein, fats high and slightly more carbs than you are probably doing now. And then you basically adjust upward as your metabolism starts rolling. That doesn’t mean pizza every day but it might mean pizza and wine on Friday’s to see what happens. Also realize that the scale doesn’t always show effects for women that do or even the following day.

  3. Okay, I’m confused. My TDEE is 2810 calories, BMI us 31.2 and average BMR is1629 calories. I suspect that my calorie intake is too low for my current activities. I don’t count calories, but would put myself around 1500-1800 calories. Do I aim for a number closer to TDEE?

    • Yes you do, start around 2500 with a few more carbs and see how that feels and adjust upward if you are seeing favorable results.

      • Thank you. I suspected that I was undereating given the amount and intensity of my workouts. While I’ve lost a few inches, I am not losing any weight and have woken up at 3 .am. starving.

    • I just file it under, the more information the better. Crossfitters aren’t like normal people. To a certain extent we need to be told to eat more and which foods to eat because when eat intuitively that doesn’t always equate to the proper amount.

      • Ah, that makes a little more sense. I can completely agree as someone who thought they knew how much they were eating and after tracking realized I was eating extremely low with a paleo diet.

    • Is another browser an option? It’s Javascript, it’s possible you have a blocker.

  4. I bought & read CBL recently…I’ve heard (before) that with your post-workout shake that adding fat can interfere with the absorption process of the protien & carbs…any truth behind this? I normally add a banana and a spoonful of PB to my shake. Thx

    • there are two thoughts on this but there isn’t a ton of scientific data where fats are added to shakes. The two thoughts go like this, when you add fats it blunts the insulin response. Even in CBL Kiefer suggests you keep them out. I disagree (but only slightly) I drink a lot of my shakes with coconut milk light. The other side of the coin is that fat slows the absorption rate and gives a more manageable uptake of nutrients. Kiefer actually does talk about using fats to block the insulinogenic affects from protein. Frankly I don’t think either strategy is wrong, it’s just what feels most right for you.

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  6. I am obese, yet I do Crossfit 4-5 times a week plus lots of walking. According to the calculaor, my TDEE is 3200. On days I CF, I usually eat 1900 to 2000 calories. I am new to your information, so you’re saying i should be consuming 3200 calories?? I have been reading a lot the past few days on CBL etc. I need help getting the fat OUT! Thanks so much!

    • I have your answer coming in an article today. You will have to play with it a bit but essentially what you are saying is correct. You have to be closer to 3200. Details will be in the article later today. I think you are going to dig it.

  7. I too am obese but do CrossFit. I had lapband surgery a year ago. This states I should be eating around 2500 but I can’t physically do it. Any suggestions? I can only eat about a cup of food in a sitting and can’t eat anything until after about noon each day. And yet I’m not losing as fast as my dr. thought I would – I often wonder if it’s because I’m eating too little.

  8. Read CBL and just starting my lab experiments with eating for performance. My problem after just a couple days seems to be managing to eat the total amount of calories and especially meet the fat content goals. My TDEE – 10% is 2932. Assuming I delay eating beyond the morning shake until noon, I am struggling to make numbers. I am adding coconut milk to day shakes, eating avocados and at 4:00 today I’m at 55g fat 101g Prot 70g carbs (mostly salad and avocado) 1179 total calories. My targets are 175g fat, 190g Prot, 150g carb. I’m stuffed and have no idea how I’m going to eat another 1800 calories and get to my numbers.
    Suggestions?

    • With CBL most of your energy density comes at night. Extremely routine to get 1500-1800 in. Either way you are probably eating a bunch more than you had. Work up to what feels right and explore choices and timing to get there.

  9. Hi Paul. I’m tired and may be missing something simple here, BUT…my BMR formulas are saying I need 1340-1440 kcals but the TDEE is stating 2100??? And I selected the TDEE-10 option in the calculator, but is this TDEE -10%?

    • That’s correct, the BMR is simply the calories you need to exist if you are just alive and not moving. The TDEE number is the one you should be concerned with.

  10. Paul,

    Thanks for the site and I probably ask too many questions, but I’m curious to a theory and I feel like it related to the BMR calculations. I know that CBL does not ascribe to the normal calories in/out ideas, but is it still calories in/out?

    What I’m asking is why is it that cycling macros in this way is believed to work? Is it because the thermal effect increases metabolism and forces us to actually still be doing calories in/calories out? Obviously hormones can effect whether we lose muscle or fat, but I’m extremely curious. Maybe I just need to reread CBL.

    • It’s because it allows your body to function the way it wants to function and does not repress hormones that you need for performance. Additionally the performance increases added to the positive hormonal profile=gainz in muscle and that ultimately leads to favorable body composition.

  11. I have been training for about two years now, began with resistance/cardio 4 nights a week and a fasted 3 mile walk early morning. I lost a load of fat, came down to about 12% BF.
    It took about 12 weeks to lose a stone, I didn’t really track my cals but I knew that I was calorie deficient……biggest thing was I stayed off the alcohol.
    I ditched the cardio, began doing stronglifts and ate more…..and went back on the alcohol, this has caused me to put the weight back on and my body composition has suffered.
    I’ve got a new job which means a lunchtime 2 mile walk and a 3 mile evening walk with a 5 day split
    I’ve lost a kilo a week over the past 3 weeks by reducing my cals down to 1700 and coming off the weekend only alcohol, but I’m not as strong as I was.
    All this conflicting info is doing my head in!!
    So, at 180cm, 82Kg, I should be consuming about 2800 cals, thats 1000 more than I am consuming now…….confused!!?

    • yes you should, you don’t need a calorie deficit what you need is an approach to eating where you eat carbs occasionally and cycle fats to keep your calories high. That is the true secret to body composition goals.

      • Hi new to this information. I typically CF 5 days a week with 2 off days as a split. It is getting me stronger etc. But i would like to lean or get rid of the fat. On your plan is it necessary to count calories or not? I just need something simple. thoughts?

        • definitely not but I provide the calculator so people know what general ballpark they need to be in. Count for a few days and you should be fine.

  12. I’m a little lost. I had used a basic calorie tracker in the past (MyFitnessPal), which I knew was off. It basically had me only eating about 2/3 of what I thought my Protein intake should be, which I always go over. Also using BMR Calculator the App had me at half of what my Daily Fat intake should be and 1.3g per lb of weight for Carbs. So I basically need to ditch those numbers and calculate differently. If I am a 132 lb woman and Active-extra active I basically need about 150g protein 130 from fat but I’m lost when it comes to the carbs. I am a runner and crossfit. I would say I have body fat % of around 20 but that is just a guess. I can’t really say how many WODs I do a week as there is not a gym in my area but I try to follow the WOD app or make up my own.
    Just wanted some clarification on my numbers since I seem to be a little lost. Help please!

    • what you are describign is exactly what my calculator does for people, you already know your protein, you know your fats now solve for carbs. I can tell you this, you may want to play with that fats number a bit to try and get your carbs to about the 150g range. At your level of lean you need to start conserving muscle. That and supplementing with creatine will help. Here are a couple of links to my recommendations for creatine and the supplements I use. I have a dairy protein allergy so I use the sweet potato stuff after my evening WOD’s.

      http://eattoperform.wpengine.com/2013/03/05/bulking-series-the-skinny-on-creatine/

      http://eattoperform.wpengine.com/2013/03/15/simply-pure-nutrients-special-eat-to-perform-offer/

      • Thanks for the reply. I’ve been playing around with my diet for the last year or so. I don’t think I have a dairy allergy but am very intolerant and have noticed when I switch to a plant based protein I feel much better. I have never really liked the paleo approach for eating however, I do eat a lot of nutrient dense foods and try not to eat empty carbs, but struggle sometimes getting my protein intake high enough through whole proteins and according to BMR calculator my fats as well. Also balancing the meals and when to eat “starches” I just came across your facebook page a few days and am curious about how your book can help me. I guess I struggle sometimes because I do like to run and compete in races, typically half marathons and under, but I do not take a traditional approach to long races because I incorporate crossfit and weight training in with my running. Sorry to get long winded…. will your book help with all of this?

        • It will help give a base of understanding but I think you will find your Science Lab membership to be more valuable as it relates to specifics.

  13. I love reading your website. It truly makes a ton of sense. I have not tried CBL yet since I am not able to get into a crossfit till the summer. I currently play soccer 2-4 times a week and go to a typical gym around 1-3 times a week. I may start BJJ soon as well. I have been following Carb Nite the past 2 and a half weeks and I like it. I followed your recommendation and picked up Creatine (in pill form). Any advice? Im feeling and looking a bit better but I dont know if I was doing things right.

    • your activity level is likely too high for Carb Nite. CBL is going to be a better compromise for you in my opinion. You will just need to have high fat control days timed according to your active days.

      • First of all, thanks for your timely response. I thoroughly enjoy reading this blog and have put a few friends onto your work.

        To give you a bit of background, I hurt my back a while back and with the New England weather (less soccer), I gained some fat. I was up to 220 but now down to under 210. My ideal weight (the one in which I feel the most comfortable and content as an athlete) is between 188-192. I thought Id do CarbNite for a bit until I dropped the fat, and then switch to CBL afterwards. Like I said, Ive lost some fat and weight. I also took your advice and started creatine. I play soccer 2-4 times a week and go to a typical gym 1-3 times a week. I will be starting a running program soon and perhaps crossfit or BJJ.

        Now, I know I will have to add carbs as I work out more, but I wanted to drop the fat quickly (Vacation coming up and back issues). I was thinking of adding another Carb Nite a week in a month, then around June, going into CBL full time. What are your thoughts? And what are high fat control days?

        Thank you so much for your time. I appreciate your work. Now, I just need to get my wife on board.

        • high fat control days is a CNS approach but ignore the 30g suggestion and do more like 75g on those days.

  14. I’m 6’1″/173 lbs/age 23/CF 5x/week with 2 off. My calorie intake should be just north of 3000 calories, but I’m not quite sure I’m getting that much. I’m curious to know what 3000 calories looks like.

    Currently my diet:

    Breakfast (pre-workout): 1 egg, handful of blueberries and blackberries, coffee
    Post-workout: 1 scoop whey protein w/ 8oz of coconut milk
    Lunch: 1 large chicken breast or pork chop w/ lots of veggies, sometimes 1 fried egg.
    Mid-afternoon: broccoli slaw salad with 2-3 oz of tuna, 2 TBS Italian dressing.
    Dinner: Large salad w/ chicken breast and balsamic vinaigrette, sometimes 1-2 boiled eggs.

    I’m currently eating at about 90% clean Paleo, but am not attached to it, certainly willing to add good carbs to diet. In fact, I really miss pasta and bread.

    So, what kinds and what quantities should I be adding to my diet, if any? I’d definitely like to up my strength gains and lose a few more percent body fat.

    Thanks for insight.

    • Your breakfast is an insulin cocktail and likely stalling your fat loss for the day as a result, drop the carbs pre-workout and possibly do that workout fasted depending on time of day (for me anytime before 10am). PWO the coconut milk helps. Lunch has no fat in it, I would be starving by 3pm. Which is why you need the snack mid-afternoon. Dinner is too lean, too clean. Honestly man you need to jump in the science lab, like yesterday, you are just listening to the wrong folks.

      http://eattoperform.wpengine.com/2013/03/23/eat-to-perform-science-lab/

      • If Nick substitutes a bell pepper for berries for breakfast, would that be considered a good breakfast for someone who works out at noon? It’s weird for me to think of eating meals without veggies since I’ve been following paleo zone. When you say drop the carbs pre-workout does that include vegetables? I dialed in to the science lab but family stuff ended up coming up so I had to leave.

        • no, I say over and over fibrous veggies are fine and optimal. Bell pepper is better than berries, yes.