What is BMR & TDEE?


So, we mention BMR & TDEE a lot. You might be a little confused if you haven’t Googled these terms before, so I’m going to explain it in simple enough terms so it’s easy for you all to get your head around & start putting it into action.

Let’s start with BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). 

Now that term alone just sounds confusing, but I’ll break it down for you:

In order for your body to function every single day (and for each organ and cell to do their jobs) it needs a specific amount of calories. Each person is slightly different, mainly because it depends on age, gender, how active somebody is, how much lean muscle they have, and how thermogenic their body is.

So, every single day your body uses these calories when you’re doing absolutely shite all. Even if you’re laying in bed all day doing NOTHING, your body will burn this many calories. People with a sedentary lifestyle, such as sitting as a desk all day, will have a lower BMR than someone who is active on their feet all day. 

How can you calculate this? Well there are stacks of calculators you can use online. I’ll link one before to work out your BMR & TDEE. This will give you a very close estimate.  

Let’s use myself as an example here. At this moment, according to calculations, I burn 2221 calories everyday, regardless of what I do. Now this will change in proportion to how active I am. If, for example, I sit at a desk all day and skip training, overtime, my BMR will decrease because my body is not requiring as many calories to operate. The exact same principle applies if I become more active, start hammering 3 hour daily sessions and pack on lots of lean muscle. My body will then require more energy to keep it running! You starting to see the picture now?

Ok, so we’ve got 2221 Calories = MY BMR.

Now that I’ve explained BMR in it’s simplest form, we can move onto TDEE. 

This is Total Daily Energy Expenditure. 

Let’s look at EE (Energy Expenditure) :

Energy Expenditure is simply how many calories you burn from doing whatever. This can be literally ANYTHING. Getting out of bed to make toast, Walking to work, walking the dog, jumping on the spot, gym, running, cycling-I’m sure you get the picture. Anything you do on a day to day basis counts towards this. Which means that this number will vary every day.

Unlike BMR, which will more or less remain the same, your EE varies daily. Which is why we always advise to look at your changes over the course of the week as oppose to each day.  

Now, you can roughly calculate your own TDEE via this calculator link HERE <<<. However, if you want a more accurate report, use a fitness tracker (fitbit, garmin, tomtom). I use GARMIN VIVOACTIVE HR. There’s a million and one these days, you don’t have to use this one. 

Look at the image below which shows my BMR on the LEFT & my ACTIVE CALORIES (EE) through the day on the right. 


This is calculated from the Heart Rate monitor in my watch and gives me an accurate reading for the whole day.

BMR on the left is added to the active calories to give me my TDEE for the whole day. 

So basically BMR + EE = TDEE 

Now you have the total calories for that day. 

If you track your total daily caloric expenditure over a 7 day period, you can then work your total calories expended for the week. Mine is detailed below:

You can see that on average, in a week, my TDEE is 24394 calories. 

If you divide by 24394/7 = 3484 calories, this is my daily allowance. 

In order to lose fat, it’s paramount that you eat below those calories. Don’t be a dick and eat stupidly below that amount. We advise you eat only around 500 calories less that your TDEE per day.

There’s a reason for this. Dropping back to BMR again, if you start to eat significantly lower than your BMR (if for example, you follow the stupid 500 calorie a day bullshit diet), then, it’s going to fuck you up. Your body will undergo massive stress, metabolic damage will occur, and you may not be able to recover. This means that your body’s BMR drops significantly. So, instead of it being 2221 calories for me, it could drop to say 1900 for example. READ ON

Now this may not seem a lot, but is significant. There comes a point where you’re happy with your weight loss-you’ve lost 2 stone and you just want to maintain and keep that weight. 

All well and great, except that you may not realise that you’ve fucked up your metabolic rate. So even though I may still think my BMR is 2221 + EE (600 calories) = 2821, it really is 1900 + EE (lets say 600 calories) = 2500 calories. So basically, every single day I’m eating 300 calories extra per day, and 300 calories x 7days = 2100 EXTRA calories PER WEEK. Now you can see where you’ve gone wrong in the past on your crash diets!


The weight gain might be slow and you may not notice it straight away, but 3 months down the line when you’ve put on 1 stone, it will be upsetting and the whole process starts again.


I hope this has been of some help for you guys. 


I’ll do a video on this at some point, but give us a shout if you’re completely stuck with this and we’ll try our best to explain it in depth to you.