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Understanding TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) and Macro Ratios

When it comes to achieving our health and fitness goals, TDEE and macro ratios is crucial. Whether you want to lose weight, gain weight, or just maintain a healthy lifestyle, having a grasp of these fundamental principles can make a world of difference in creating an effective nutrition plan. In this article, we'll explore the concept of TDEE, talk about the significance of macro ratios, and discuss how they work together to optimize your nutrition.

What is TDEE?

TDEE, or Total Daily Energy Expenditure, refers to the total number of calories your body burns in a day. It encompasses various factors such as your BMR, level of physical activity, and thermic effect of food. Your BMR represents the calories your body requires to maintain basic bodily functions at rest, such as breathing and digestion. Physical activity includes both exercise and  everyday movements like walking, standing, and fidgeting.  Calculating your TDEE involves estimating your BMR and then multiplying it by an activity factor that accounts for your level of physical activity. Numerous online calculators can help determine an estimate, but keep in mind that it's not an exact science. Your TDEE may vary based on individual factors and lifestyle choices.

Macro Ratios

Macro ratios refer to the distribution of macronutrients—carbohydrates, proteins, and fats—in your diet. Each macronutrient plays a unique role in the body and provides a specific number of calories per gram:

  • Carbohydrates: Carbs are the primary energy source for the body. They provide 4 calories per gram and are found in foods such as grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
  • Proteins: Proteins are essential for building and repairing tissues, supporting immune function, and maintaining various bodily functions. They also provide 4 calories per gram and are present in foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and plant-based sources such as legumes and tofu.
  • Fats: Fats serve as a concentrated energy source, provide insulation and protection for organs, and aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Fats contain 9 calories per gram and are found in sources like oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish.

Finding the Right Balance

The optimal macro ratio for an individual depends on various factors such as goals, body composition, activity level, and personal preferences. However, three common ratios are often discussed:

  • Balanced Ratio: A balanced macro ratio consists of approximately 40% carbohydrates, 40% proteins, and 20% fats. This approach is suitable for individuals looking to maintain their current weight and promote overall health.
  • Low-Carb, High-Protein Ratio: This ratio involves a higher protein intake, with lower carbohydrates and moderate fat. Typically, it includes around 30% carbohydrates, 40% proteins, and 30% fats. It is commonly followed by individuals aiming for fat loss or muscle gain.
  • High-Carb, Low-Fat Ratio: This ratio focuses on higher carbohydrate consumption, lower fat intake, and moderate protein. It may consist of around 55% carbohydrates, 15% proteins, and 30% fats. It is often favoured by athletes engaging in endurance sports or individuals following a plant-based diet.

*Remember, these ratios serve as general guidelines, and individual preferences and goals should be taken into account.  Keep track of your progress along the way to see how your body responds to your macronutrient targets.