Daily Caloric Needs Estimate Calculator

Knowing how many calories your body needs each day known as “Total Daily Energy Expenditure” (TDEE) or “Daily Caloric Needs” can be helpful in managing your weight.

Finding the right amount of calories to consume each day is a battle that many people struggle with when trying to structure their nutrition plan. Eat way less than your body requires and you retard muscle growth, leading to potential muscle loss, resistance to lose fat and low energy levels. Eat too much and your body will soon begin to store body fat, making it hard to lose fat. Match your Daily Caloric Needs and you will be able to maintain weight.

Once you determine your Daily Caloric Needs, you can make sure that the nutrition plan you follow is appropriate for your level of energy expenditure and that it isn’t giving you too many or too few calories, then you will have more control over fat loss and muscle gain by slight calorie manipulation!


What Affects Your TDEE?

A person’s daily caloric requirement is determined by three factors:

  • Basal metabolic rate (BMR
  • Physical activity
  • HThermogenesis (calories required for heat production)


Basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy (measured in calories) expended by the body during quiet rest. BMR makes up between 60 and 80% of the total calories used daily. Physical activity is the second largest factor contributing to daily calorie requirements. This is the most variable component of daily caloric requirement, as this number changes based on the frequency, intensity, and duration of a person’s workouts.

The bottom line is that regular physical activity is the most effective way to increase the body’s caloric expenditures.


How to uses this calculator to lose fat or gain muscle?

If a person eats more calories than he or she burns each day, weight gain will occur. On the other hand, if more calories are burned than are consumed on a daily basis, weight loss transpires. Knowing how many calories your body needs each day is the first step in managing your weight.

The best fat loss results are usually seen with a moderate calorie deficit. This allows for steady fat loss while also preserving lean muscle mass and performance. Ideally you’d use a deficit of about 15-25%. For most people this would mean 500-700 kcal under maintenance or Daily Caloric Needs. In other words, if you want to lose fat consume 15-25% less calories than you burn (15-25% Less than Daily Caloric Needs). As you lose weight you’ll have to set your calorie intake again because a smaller body uses less energy at rest and during activity.

Muscle growth is maximized only when we’re eating more calories than we burn. New muscle tissue cannot be created out of thin air; therefore, a slight surplus of calories is necessary for growth. Many people make the mistake of eating too much during a bulking phase and end up gaining more fat than muscle.

In order to maximize muscle gain and minimize fat gain (Lean Bulk) most people need to eat about 10% more than maintenance (Daily Caloric Needs). This is a great starting point for beginners and intermediates and based on their progress they should adjust their intake up and down to grow at the set rate. Please note that this number will probably need to be adjusted. Some people grow perfectly with a 10% surplus but others may need six or seven hundred calories above maintenance to gain 2 pounds a month. So I would recommend you start with the lowest numbers first (200-300 kcal above maintenance) and see how you progress from there. If you’re not gaining weight at all or you’re barely gaining, then you need to increase your calories further (add 200 more kcal).