To accurately estimate your TDEE/Total Daily Energy Expenditure, all you need to know is your BMR/Basal Metabolic Rate (which you can calculate using the weight loss calculator here), and your activity factor.
But deciding which activity category you fit into can be tricky – often, the descriptions are frustratingly vague and it can be difficult to pick which is the most accurate for you. I’ve done a lot of research and put together this short guide, which I hope will help you pick the right category, and get a more accurate TDEE result.
Little or no exercise, has a desk job or restricted mobility (e.g. always drives rather than walks, takes the lift or escalator rather than the stairs, does not exercise or play sports at all). (E.g. a web designer who works from home and drives everywhere else.)
Light exercise or sports 1-3 days per week. This includes people who walk on a daily basis, take the stairs, but do not have an exercise regime as such, or basically sedentary people who exercise or play sports fewer than three times a week. (E.g. An office clerk who walks a couple of miles to work every day.)
Moderate exercise or sports 3-5 days per week. This level is for people who exercise or play very active sports at least three times a week, every week – e.g. fit people who exercise on a regular basis, or who have consistently active jobs (e.g. a waiter in a busy restaurant who is on his feet all day, or a programmer with a desk job who goes to the gym every day.)
Hard exercise or sports 6-7 days per week, or a physically demanding daily job. This level would include serious non-professional athletes, (E.g. a marathon runner who trains hard every day, or a manual agricultural worker/fruit picker.)
Very hard exercise or sports more than once every day or a physical job that requires exceptional fitness. (E.g. a professional tennis player, bodybuilder, lumberjack or soldier.)