BEE Calculator

By Łucja Zaborowska, MD
Last updated: Mar 22, 2021

Our BEE calculator is here to help you calculate your Basal Energy Expenditure in no time; just enter all the necessary data, and receive your daily caloric expenditure - presented both in total and basal energy.

Now you can easily match your meal calorie intake and additional energy-consuming activities to your daily caloric requirements. ⚡

Hey! Our basal energy expenditure calculator allows you to freely change its energy parameters, and temperature units, for a totally hassle-free experience. 🤓

Basal energy expenditure definition

Basal energy expenditure (BEE) is the amount of energy that should be sufficient to cover all movement and bodily processes necessary for an organism to survive for a day, given in kcal/day or kJ/day. This energy requirement is most accurate when it is used to describe an alert, resting human of a calm mental and physical state, constantly in a room temperature. The person needs to have gotten a good night's sleep, and has consumed a meal over 12 hours ago.

Depending on the amount of physical activity, the BEE may constitute 40-70% of the total energy expenditure.

How to use the BEE calculator?

In order to calculate the basal energy expenditure, you'll need the following four pieces of data:

  • Gender - the calculation is gender-specific! (We decided to keep things simple and merge the BEE woman and BEE man calculators);
  • Age - Keep in mind that this BEE calculator is not meant for children;
  • Height; and
  • Weight.

If you'd also like to compute your total energy expenditure (TEE), you'll also need to provide your:

  • Activity level - depends on your lifestyle;
Bed-ridden Lying, sleeping, eating
Light or sedentarySitting (e.g., office work), watching TV, cooking, personal care, driving a car, light walks, typical household duties.
Moderate to activeStanding, carrying light loads (e.g., waiting tables), longer walks, light aerobic exercises, commuting by bus.
Heavily activeAgricultural work, manual labor, heavy-duty cleaning, strenuous exercises performed on a regular basis.

  • Stress factors - are there any stress factors that could influence your energy expenditure? Think about any comorbidities or traumas and find the category that describes you best; and

  • Temperature - do you have a fever? We define a fever as a body temperature that is above 100.4°F or 38°C. Find the temperature that is the closest to yours.

Your results are ready! Would you like to know more about your daily calorie expenditure? If so, try the following tools:

How to calculate BEE?

Our BEE calculator could also be called a Harris-Benedict calculator - as we decided to use the original Harris-Benedict basal energy expenditure formula for our equations. It is presented below:

Metric system version:

  • Women: BEE = 655.1 + (9.563 * weight in kg) + (1.850 * height in cm) - (4.676 * age); and
  • Men: BEE = 66.5 + (13.75 * weight in kg) + (5.003 * height in cm) - (6.775 * age).

Imperial system version:

  • Women: BEE = 65.51 + (4.35 * weight in pounds) + (4.7 * height in inches) - (4.7 * age in years); and
  • Men: BEE = 66 + (6.2 * weight in pounds) + (12.7 * height in inches) – (6.76 * age in years).

TEE calculator

Our built-in total energy expenditure calculator gives you a fuller picture of your calorie expenditure, incorporating more crucial factors.

TEE = BEE * activity * stress * temperature

The values for the activity, temperature, and stress multipliers are specific for certain clinical situations. Below you will find tables with all those values, enumerated, and described:

Activity levelValue
Bed-ridden 1.2
Light or sedentary1.53
Moderate to active1.76
Heavily active2.25

FactorValue for menValue for women
None1.01.0
Solid tumor 1.15 1.25
Leukemia/Lymphoma1.271.37
Inflammatory bowel disease1.111.12
Liver disease1.071.11
Burns1.641.52
Pancreatic disease1.131.21
General surgery1.21.39
Transplantation1.191.27
Sepsis1.331.27
Abscess1.121.39
Other infection1.161.39
Fistula-1.15

TemperatureValue
Normal1.0
>= 100.4°F or 38°C1.1
>=102.2°F or 39°C1.2
>=104°F or 40°C1.3
>=105.8°F or 41°C1.4

FAQ

What is basal energy?

Basal energy is the amount of energy needed to sustain all the basic functions* of a living organism. This energy requirement is most accurate when describing the needs of an alert, resting human in a calm mental and physical state and in favorable temperature conditions.

How to calculate BEE?

We can calculate BEE (Basal Energy Expenditure) using a single, simple formula called the Harris-Benedict equation. This equation takes different forms depending on the metric/imperial system and the sex of the patient.

Metric system versions:

  • Female: BEE = 65.51 + (9.563 * weight in kg) + (1.850 * height in cm) - (4.676 * age).
  • Male: BEE = 66.5 + (13.75 * weight in kg) + (5.003 * height in cm) - (6.775 * age).

Imperial system versions:

  • Women: BEE = 65.51 + (4.35 * weight in pounds) + (4.7 * height in inches) - (4.7 * age in years).
  • Men: BEE = 66 + (6.2 * weight in pounds) + (12.7 * height in inches) – (6.76 * age in years).

What is a factor that lowers basal metabolism?

⬇️ Factors that lower basal metabolism include:

  • Advanced age;
  • Being female;
  • Diet low in iodine;
  • Low level of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism);
  • Low muscle mass;
  • Obesity;
  • Starving or fasting for a longer period of time; and
  • Being shorter.

What is a factor that raises basal metabolism?

⬆️ Factors that raise basal metabolism include:

  • Young age;
  • Being male;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Lactation;
  • Regular exercise (increased muscle mass);
  • Caffeine or nicotine (coffee & cigarettes);
  • High level of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism);
  • High level of mental stress;
  • High muscle mass; and
  • Being taller.

How is basal metabolism related to calories?

The relation between basal metabolism and calorie intake is pretty simple; the higher the basal metabolism/energy expenditure, the higher the number of calories you should consume. In order words, if you need to lose weight (or be able to eat more without gaining weight 🍔), you need to increase your basal metabolism.

What's the difference between basal and total energy expenditure?

Basal energy expenditure depicts the basic, resting metabolism of a human, depending on relatively stable factors (e.g., height, sex, and weight). In contrast, the total energy expenditure describes our physical activity and all the temporary states that may affect our energy consumption (e.g., infection, pregnancy, and sedentary or active lifestyle).

Total energy expenditure gives you a fuller picture of your calorie demand.

Does basal metabolic rate change?

Basal metabolic rate does change over the course of your life. As a child, you need more energy to grow; also, your muscle mass is usually well-developed when you're young. All these factors increase your basal energy expenditure in youth and tend to gradually decreases with age.

You may also increase your energy demand at any age, by:

  • Regular physical exercise;
  • Healthy and regular meals;
  • Avoiding obesity; and
  • Regulating your hormone levels when they are low.

What is total energy expenditure?

Total energy expenditure (TEE) describes the total amount of the energy used by your body throughout the day. TEE consists of Basal Energy Expenditure (BEE) multiplied by the factors that can influence your energy needs, such as:

  • Physical activity;
  • Body temperature; and
  • Stress.

How to calculate TEE?

In order to calculate TEE (Total Energy Expenditure) you need to multiply BEE (Basal Energy Expenditure) by the multiple factors that may affect our basic energy consumption. The general equation looks as follows:

TEE = BEE * activity * stress * temperature

Multipliers take different values, e.g.,

Activity levelValue
Bed-ridden 1.2
Light or sedentary1.53
Moderate to active1.76
Heavily active2.25

What is the unit of basal energy expenditure?

BEE (Basal Energy Expenditure) can be expressed in a number of units:

  • Kilocalories per day (kcal/day);
  • Calories per day (cal/day) = 0.001 kcal/day;
  • Kilojoules per day (kJ/day) = 0.239 kcal/day; and
  • Joules per day (J/day) = 0.000239 kcal/day.

What is a normal BEE for a man?

The typical Basal Energy Expenditure (BEE) for a man is equal to 1600-1800 kcal. Women usually need less energy than men - their typical BEE is equal to around 1500 kcal.

What is the typical daily caloric expenditure?

The typical total daily calorie expenditure is equal to 2000-2500 kcal. Your minimum caloric expenditure, however, is smaller and typically doesn't exceed 1800 kcal.

How can we use the Basal Energy Expenditure (BEE)?

Basal Energy Expenditure (BEE) can be used as a:

  • Basic measurement of how much we should eat within a day to lose or gain weight.
  • In-hospital estimation of the caloric expenses of a patient that needs to be fed through a tube or blood system.

References

  • Barak, N., Wall-Alonso, E., & Sitrin, M. (2002). Evaluation of stress factors and body weight adjustments currently used to estimate energy expenditure in hospitalized patients. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 26(4), 231–238.

  • Human energy requirements, Report of a Joint FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation, Rome, 17-24 October 2001

  • Spodaryk M, Kobylarz K. The usability of Harris-Benedict and Curreri equations in nutritional management of thermal injuries. Ann Burns Fire Disasters. 2005;18(3):117‐121.

Łucja Zaborowska, MD
Gender
Man
Age
years
Height
in
Weight
lb
Activity
Light or sedentary
Stress
None
Temperature
Normal
Results
BEE
kcal
/day
Total Energy Expenditure
kcal
/day
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