How Does Body Fat Percentage Effect TDEE?

Posts: 51 Member
edited February 7
So i'm 172cm tall, weight 70kg (male, 26) and I have what can be called a "skinny fat" body. I used the US navy body fat method (including an online calculator) to determine that my body fat percentage is around 27%-28%.

Normally on TDEE calculators without a body fat % it will put me at around 1980 calories, but with the percentage it lowers to 1750 (all sedentary) so which number should I go off? my goal from here is to lose the extra body fat, slimming down with minimal (or maintaining) the lean mass i currently have or hopefully even gaining some muscle/strength along the way with some at-home exercise

Replies

• Posts: 4,842 Member
Taking into account body fat percentage is a more accurate method.
• Posts: 4,229 Member
edited February 7
Muscle is more metabolically active than fat (=burns more calories). So in theory, the calculator that takes into account your fat percentage should be more accurate.

That being said, these are just calculators based on population averages, so no matter what number your pick, you will still need to 'test drive' it to see if you are statistically average or not.

You can monitor your calorie intake during 8 weeks and monitor your weight trend for 8 weeks. Add up your calorie intake for those 8 weeks. One lb of bodyfat is around 3500 calories, so add 3500 calories for every lb lost or subtract 3500 calories for every lb gained. Divide this total by 56 and that's your average TDEE for those 8 weeks.
• Posts: 19,730 Member
But you are basing your BF% estimate on a method that is enormously variable between people, OK for some and badly inaccurate for others (it was comically wrong for me!).

Suggest you pick a number and trial it for a number of weeks and then adjust if required. That adjustment will also take into account your logging inaccuracy. Think of the original estimate as a number to get you started. With your height, weight, age and goals I would pick the higher estimate as you really want to avoid too rapid weight loss.

Apart from lean tissue being more metabolically active (in the case of muscle - not a lot higher burn rate at rest than fat surprisingly) a leaner, more muscular person will typically be able to achieve higher burn rates than a same weight fatter person when exercising. How much you use your muscle is a bigger variable than how much you have you could say.

PS - apart from your purposeful exercise, investing time and effort in not being sedentary also pays dividends for health and body composition.

• Posts: 40,986 Member