Calculating TDEE/BMR for Transgender or Non-Binary Individuals


Calculating Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) involves estimating the number of calories an individual needs to maintain or adjust their body weight/composition and support their daily activities. 


There is currently no calculation or guideline that does not use sex assigned at birth to calculate BMR or TDEE. As such, we are limited to the parameters of the standard calculations when calculating BMR and TDEE in-app. 

This complicates things when individuals are either in transition or do not identify with a binary gender categorization (as this is non-specific when calculating values). 

To calculate TDEE and BMR in the app, individuals can: 

  • Select the sex that most closely aligns with their stage in transition. 
  • Select their sex assigned at birth. 

Note for selecting the Non-Binary option: 

Additional Considerations 

Though there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to gender and fitness–  here are a few considerations for calculating BMR and TDEE for transgender or non-binary individuals: 


Seek Professional Guidance:

As there is currently no standard means of calculating TDEE/BMR for non-cis gendered individuals– consulting with a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian experienced in transgender healthcare, is the best option for receiving personalized calculations. 

Healthcare professionals can take into account an individual's unique hormonal profile, any gender-affirming interventions, and other relevant factors when calculating TDEE and BMR. 



Use Generalized Calculations as a Starting Point:

In the absence of specific guidance, individuals can still use general formulas to estimate their TDEE and BMR.  

We use the Mifflin-St. Jeor equations to calculate TDEE and BMR in-app, which is one of many commonly used formulas that take into account factors such as age, weight, height, and sex assigned at birth.

Monitor and Adjust:

Calculations are just a starting point, and it's essential to monitor and adjust based on individual responses (regardless of sex or gender). Regularly tracking body weight, energy levels, and overall well-being can help determine if the estimated calorie intake is appropriate or requires modification. 


Focus on Individual Needs and Goals:

Every person is unique, and their nutritional needs may vary based on factors beyond gender identity.

Factors like physical activity levels, overall health, body composition goals, medications, and personal preferences play important roles in determining dietary requirements. Customizing a nutrition plan that aligns with individual needs and goals can optimize overall health and well-being.



Fitness embraces individuality and customization– empathy and sensitivity in communication can go a long way when providing support to individuals as they navigate their fitness journeys. 


Related Articles: 
Create a meal plan using the Smart Meal Planner
How to Create a Nutrition Goal for a Client
How to use the Daily Caloric Goal Calculator (BMR and TDEE)


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