Estimated Energy Requirement Calculator
Use this calculator to get an estimation of the minimum amount of food energy you need to live a healthy life. It uses formulas developed by the Institute of Medicine. It covers all age groups as well as pregnant and nursing mothers. For children, pregnant and lactating women, it includes the energy needs associated with the deposition of tissues and milk production. A unique EER equation is provided for each of the different groups.
What is Estimated Energy Requirement?
Estimated Energy Requirement (EER) is an estimate of the average amount of food energy you need daily to balance out your body's expenditure of energy in order to maintain body size and composition at a level of physical activity consistent with long term good health.
You need energy to support your body’s autonomic systems such as breathing, digestion, the nervous system, circulation and regulation of body temperature. Energy is also required in performing physical activities. Energy intakes above the EER would be expected to result in weight gain, whereas intakes below the EER would be expected to lead to weight loss.
The energy contained in food is released into the body through oxidation. The chemical bonds in the foods you eat are broken down and the elements combined with oxygen to produce mostly carbon dioxide, water and heat to maintain body temperature. Energy is transferred to an intermediate chemical form - adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is the main source of energy for most cellular processes and is considered as the body's "energy currency".
Your energy balance depends on the amount of food energy you take in and the amount of energy your body expends. Imbalances between these two amounts will result in gains or losses of mostly body fat and some other components. They determine changes in your body weight.
By definition, EER is applicable only to individuals who are of normal weight. For overweight and obese individuals, the calculator calculates your total daily energy expenditure or TDEE. Consider it as your maintenance energy that you need to maintain your current weight. If you wish to lose weight, create an energy deficit by eating fewer calories than your TDEE. In this way, you burn more energy than you take in.
Results are shown for different levels of physical activities. The activity level categories are defined as follows:
- Sedentary: Typical daily living activities such as household tasks, walking to the bus, light activities while sitting, driving, shopping.
- Low Active: Typical daily living activities plus 30 to 60 minutes of moderate activities such as walking or cycling leisurely, golfing without a cart etc.
- Active: Typical daily living activities plus at least 60 minutes of daily moderate activity. cycling (leisurely), golf (without cart), swimming (slow), walking 3-4mph, etc.
- Very Active: Typical daily living activities plus at least 60 minutes of daily moderate activity plus an additional 60 minutes of vigorous activity or 120 minutes of moderate activity