Are you thinking about shedding some pounds by eating 700 calories a day? If so, you’ve found the perfect spot.
Throughout this piece, we’ll be exploring some burning questions, such as: can you lose weight using this method? And if you can, how much? We’ll also delve into whether it’s healthy to munch on so few calories.
Can You Lose Weight by Eating 700 Calories a Day?
Weight loss boils down to eating fewer calories than you burn, or burning more calories than you eat. In other words, the key to weight loss lies in creating a calorie deficit.
Now, calories are being burned by your body every day, even if you’re not hitting the gym. It does this for your daily activities and essential bodily functions, like breathing, digesting food, pumping blood, cell renewal, and so forth.
Your daily calorie burn is known as Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). The calories you use up just to maintain your essential bodily functions are known as Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Your BMR makes up the bulk of your TDEE.
Your TDEE hinges on your age, weight, height, gender, and how active you are. But, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, adult women need about 1,600-2,400 calories per day, and adult men need about 2,000-3,000 calories per day.
The British NHS gives numbers that aren’t all that different. They say that the average man requires 2,500 calories a day for good health, and the average woman needs 2,000 calories daily.
So, if you’re eating 700 calories a day, you’re likely to lose weight, unless your TDEE is 700 or less, which is quite rare. But here’s the thing: is it healthy, and can the weight loss be sustained over the long term?
How Much Weight Can You Lose by Eating 700 Calories a Day?
Well, it hinges on your TDEE. Picture this: you are an adult woman with a TDEE of 2,000. If you only eat 700 calories per day, your daily calorie deficit would be 2,000 – 700 = 1,300 calories.
Zoom out to three days, and you’re shedding 3,900 calories. Given that a pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, you’ve bid farewell to over a pound of fat within this brief window. Fast forward to a month, and more than 10 pounds of fat are on their way out.
Now, let’s consider another scenario. Suppose you’re an adult woman with a TDEE of 2,200 calories. If you eat 700 calories a day, your daily calorie loss would be 2,200 – 700 = 1,500 calories. Over a month, you’re saying goodbye to around 45,000 calories, equivalent to about 12.9 pounds of fat.
So, how much weight you can lose by eating 700 calories a day depends on what your TDEE is. The greater your TDEE, the more weight you will lose. The smaller your TDEE, the less weight you will lose.
It’s crucial to note that these calculations assume the majority of your lost calories come from fat, a somewhat unlikely scenario. Extreme diets, especially without strength training, may lead to the loss of lean body mass. Nevertheless, consider these figures as a ballpark estimate.
Now, losing 10-12 pounds in a month may sound rapid, but here’s the kicker: is it healthy? Can you maintain this weight loss long-term? In the ensuing section, I’ll delve into these crucial questions. And if you’re curious about calculating your TDEE, check out my article here.
Is Eating 700 Calories a Day Healthy?
A healthy calorie deficit typically falls within 15-30 percent below your TDEE. So, eating 700 calories a day is deemed unsafe for most people, unless your TDEE is unusually low, at 1000 calories and below, which seems unlikely.
The human body relies on a specific caloric threshold for optimal functioning. A shortfall in calorie intake can usher in a parade of health issues.
First of all, your metabolism could suffer. Drastically slashing calorie intake triggers a survival mode, causing your body to throttle metabolism to conserve energy.
This metabolic adjustment implies that your body adapts to functioning on fewer calories, making weight loss an uphill battle. Consequently, your progress in shedding pounds decelerates.
Moreover, your body resorts to breaking down muscle tissue for energy, further dragging down your sluggish metabolism and making long-term weight loss more of a struggle.
This metabolic downturn makes it easier to gain back weight after you’re done with the diet. Sustaining a prolonged, super low-calorie diet is really tough and usually ends up with throwing in the towel.
Beyond that, eating an insufficient number of calories invites fatigue, weakness, and dizziness, hampering your capacity for daily activities and working out.
Malnourishment also becomes a looming risk, compromising your immune system. A well-balanced intake of nutrients is essential for proper bodily function, and severe calorie restriction may result in deficiencies in vital vitamins, minerals, and protein.
Lastly, shedding pounds rapidly through extreme calorie cutbacks heightens the risk of gallstone development. A swift weight drop prompts the liver to release more cholesterol into the bile, fostering gallstone formation.
A diet severely restricted in calories may also impede gallbladder emptying, causing the bile to stagnate and concentrate, making gallstones more likely to appear.
At first peek, the prospect of losing 10-12 pounds in a month by sticking to 700 calories a day sounds pretty tempting.
Yet, digging deeper, this quick method comes with some serious risks. It can disrupt your metabolism, cause muscle loss, and bring about a range of health issues, including fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and malnourishment. It also puts your immune system at risk and increases the chances of developing gallstones.
Plus, you probably won’t stick to this diet for the long haul. When you eventually ditch it, your weight will bounce back quickly because your metabolism takes a hit.
Thus, eating 700 calories a day is neither healthy nor feasible for most individuals. Instead, healthy and lasting weight loss involves cutting calories moderately, eating a balanced diet, and keeping up with regular workouts.
About the Author
Sasha Lizaveta is a fitness enthusiast and content manager at BadassBodyProject.com. She advocates a conservative yet effective approach to fitness. She believes in the power of gradual changes to achieve long-lasting results. When not working out or creating content, she can often be found engrossed in books, playing with her cats, or travelling.