Head to www.tdeecalculator.net, enter your details, and calculate your estimated maintenance calories.
While a TDEE calculator can be pretty accurate most of the time, sometimes it still falls short and doesn’t produce an accurate maintenance estimate.
Let’s also cross-compare with the multiplier system.
To calculate using the multiplier system: take body weight in lbs and multiply based on the suggestions below:
10-12 Sedentary – very little to no exercise, desk job, workout for 30-60 minutes.
12-14 Lightly Active – exercise 3-4 times a week for 30-60 minutes.
14-16 Moderately Active – exercise 4-6 times a week for 30-60 minutes.
16-18 Very Active – exercise 4-5 times a week for 1-2+ hours.
19-23+ Super Active // Athlete – exercise 5-6 times a week for 2-4 hours or double sessions.
To figure out Macro goals aim for 0.7-1g per lb/body weight or ideal body weight, in grams of protein. Then take your total calories, multiply that by 40% and then divide that by 4 and that will be your daily carb goal. To figure out Fat take your total calories and multiply that by 30% and then divide by 9 and that is your fat goal.
You can also simply enter your calorie goal in your food tracker and then set your Protein at 30% Carbs at 40% and Fat at 30%.
If maintenance is your goal, stick with these numbers. Really focus on Protein and let those carb and fat goals flex depending on intake for each day.
For weight loss take that maintenance number and subtract 300-500 calories from your daily goal depending on how quickly you want to see progress – *do not get more aggressive than this unless we are in the realm of medical obesity- typically that daily intake will not be sustainable and could lead to binges or too much restriction
For GAINZ – Take your maintenance Calories and add 250-500 calories each day. Set your protein slightly higher than the recommended /.7 X Body weight and then focus on a 40% split for Carbs and 30% Split for Protein.
Those who have a lot of weight to lose, or aren’t super active, will likely use a multiplier of 10-16. Those who love high-intensity modalities like CrossFit, Orange Theory, Spin, etc or those who exercise multiple hours a day likely need to use something like 15-20+.
If step count is lower, consider the “lower” multiplier of an activity range (for example: pick “10” if using 10-12 range). Reversely, if you typically average 8-10k+ steps daily, you’ll likely want to choose the “higher” number of an activity range.