Estimated Energy Requirement Calculator

Calculating Your EER

This calculator can be used to figure out a person’s estimated energy requirement, or EER. The calculator needs a total of five inputs, including:

  • The units of measure the calculator should use, selecting from US Customary or Metric
  • The age of the user
  • The sex of the user at birth, sometimes referred to as biological sex
  • The user’s height, either in feet / inches or in centimeters
  • Finally, the calculator needs the user’s weight, measured either in pounds or kilograms

The calculator then provides the user with a total of four outputs:

  • The estimated energy requirements for individuals broken down into the following physical activity levels: sedentary, low active, active, and very active

Note: According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women in their second trimester need an additional 340 calories a day, while women in their third trimester need an additional 450 calories per day.

Energy Intake and Expenditure

When in balance, which is known as energy homeostasis, the number of calories consumed (energy intake) is equal to the amount of energy expended. When energy intake is not equal to energy expenditure there will be a change in the energy stored by the body. Additional glycogen and body fat will be stored when energy intake is greater than energy expenditure, while glycogen and body fat will decrease when energy intake is less than energy expenditure.

Energy intake includes the calories consumed from food as well as liquids. While energy expenditure includes both the energy required to generate heat as well as perform physical work. Also known as external work, the amount of energy expended will vary by a person’s physical activity level, or PAL. Our calculator provides estimated energy requirements (EER) values for four levels of activity:

  • Sedentary: includes activities such as eating, cooking, sitting (office work), driving to and from work, household tasks, and light leisure activities such as chatting with friends or watching television.
  • Low Active: in addition to the sedentary activities, this PAL level includes standing, carrying light loads, and thirty to sixty minutes of activities such as walking at a pace of around three miles / five kilometers per hour, dancing, jogging, or cycling four to five times per week.
  • Active: in addition to low active activities, includes at least sixty minutes of moderate exercise such as walking at a pace of around three miles / five kilometers per hour, dancing, jogging, or cycling four to five times per week.
  • Very Active: in addition to active items mentioned above, the category includes vigorous activities such as swimming, dancing, cycling, jogging, or walking long distances over rugged terrain, an average of at least two hours per day four to five times per week.

Interpreting the Results of this Calculator

The calculations used on this page are based on research conducted by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, The National Academies and published in 2005. The calculations are sensitive to all the above variables (sex, age, height, and weight). The estimated energy requirements will also vary by the physical activity level (PAL), with increasing caloric intake values rising as the level of activity rises. If someone’s average energy intake exceeds their average energy expenditure, they will store the excess energy in the form of fat and their body weight will increase over time. The opposite holds true when someone’s average energy expenditure exceeds their average energy intake. They will use fat stores and lose weight over time.