BMR, TDEE, NEAT, EAT, TEF, What the what???? Let's break it down!

fitness tips lifestyle Oct 05, 2021

What does BMR, TDEE, NEAT, TEF?????

It’s no wonder we get overwhelmed and confused when it comes to fueling our bodies properly. Diet fads, acronyms, it can all be too much! Understanding a few basics about your energy in and energy out can really help you to fuel your body properly and reach your goals. So let’s break down a few basics that can help.

BMR - basal metabolic rate – this is the number of calories you burn at rest and it is based on how much muscle you have (why I encourage choosing strength training over cardio) as well as the physical ‘shape’ your heart, lungs, and other organs are in. You CAN control how much muscle you have on your body to increase your overall rate. ⁠⠀ 

NEAT - non-exercise activity thermogenesis – this is the calories you burn through your everyday movement. This can easily be increased through small actions like parking farther away from the grocery store entrance or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.⁠⠀The more NEAT you include in a day, the more calories you burn!  NEAT actually contributes to more calorie burn than your daily exercise when done properly.  So move your body!

TEF – Thermic Effect of Food – this is the number of calories burned via digestion. Less processed, ‘whole’ foods and protein take more energy to digest, so, to get the most from the TEF, up the protein and eat fewer processed foods.⁠⠀

EAT - Exercise Activity Thermogenesis - this is the number of calories you burn during exercise.  This will vary based on how long you workout or how much energy is exerted during your workout. 

TDEE - Total Daily Energy Expenditure - This is the number of calories you burn at rest + all your daily activity including exercise.  All of the above (NEAT, BMR, TEF, EAT) make up your TDEE.  This is your maintenance calories or how many calories you should be eating in order to maintain your current weight.  Many people never actually eat at their true TDEE because they are chronically dieting, over eating or their metabolisms have adapted so their maintenance calories drop to adapt to the lack of food.  It's important to spend periods of time eating at your TDEE in order to allow your metabolism to have a reset and to keep your hormones happy.

TOTAL DAILY ENERGY EXPENDITURE (TDEE) and what it means for you.. -  Bathurst Strength & Conditioning (BxSC)

If you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle or even maintain weight, it’s a good idea to know your BMR and TDEE. You can get a general idea of these by using an online calculator but having a trained professional calculate based on your specific stats, activity level etc., is going to be the most accurate. Once you have those numbers, you’ll know your minimum amount of daily calories and your maximum amount.

You can increase or decrease your NEAT(move more) and your TEF (eat less unprocessed foods) to manipulate how many calories you burn throughout the day.

Still sounds confusing? I get that it can be overwhelming and time consuming to figure it all out in order to reach your goals. So let me help! I’m a certified macronutrients coach who can help you calculate your specific needs and target what exactly you need to do in order to get you to where you want to be. So let’s chat!


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