T Nation

calorie estimate

Guys, what you think, what is the most accurate method of estimating daily caloric expenditure?

I’m really glad someone asked this question. Something that has confused me about this is that many formulas use total bodyweight as a baseline for calories, but wouldn’t one based solely on lean bodyweight be more accurate. Isn’t fat weight considered metabolically inactive? Don’t get me wrong, I use total bodyweight for my estimates as I am very lean anyway but this is just something I was wondering about.

I think the most accurate, albeit time-consuming, way is to count calories for a week. Weigh yourself at the beginning of the week and at the end. If your weight is the same then the average calories per day from that week is your daily caloric expenditure. If you gain weight then your daily expenditure is lower (how much lower depends on how much weight you gained). If you lose weight then your daily expenditure is more.
Of course, your daily caloric expenditure will vary depending on what type of workouts you do and your general level of activity.