Creating a calorie deficit is the only way to shed body fat, but is a 700 calorie deficit too much? Should I stick below this? What is an acceptable calorie deficit amount?
A 700 calorie deficit is okay to do, as long as your maintenance calorie amount is not too low, you can tolerate it, and don’t continue it for an extended period of time.
Let’s dive in.
Is a 700 calorie deficit too much?
A 700 calorie deficit can be acceptable for you, but it depends on what your maintenance calorie amount is. If you have a maintenance calorie amount below 1,800 calories, a 700 calorie deficit is not recommended.
It is better to not consume less than 1,200 calories per day. This is due to the fact that if you drop calories below this level, you risk feeling extremely deprived.
You also risk malnutrition if you are not getting an adequate amount of macronutrients in your diet.
Also, for men, it is not recommended to consume less than 1,500 calories per day.
Men should not consume less than 1,500 calories per day because they need more calories than women do.
If you are able to tolerate a 700 calorie deficit, then it is okay to do so. But, if you find that you are feeling weak, tired, or deprived, then it is best to increase your calories.
It is also important to not continue a 700 calorie deficit for an extended period of time.
If you do a 700 calorie deficit for too long, you might start to lose muscle mass. This is because your body will start to break down muscle tissue for energy if your calorie deficit is too strict.
Once you reach your goal weight, you can begin to increase your caloric intake to your new maintenance calorie amount.
Related Post: How Do I Create a Calorie Deficit with a Low TDEE?
How Much Weight Can I Lose in a 700 Calorie Deficit?
If you stick to a 700 calorie per day deficit, you have the potential to lose an extra half pound to one pound more of fat than if you utilized a 500 calorie deficit.
There is about 3,500 calories in one pound of fat.
So, if you create a 700 calorie per day deficit, you could lose one pound of fat every five days.
This equates to about 1.2-1.5 pounds of fat lost in 7 days time.
However, it is important to remember that weight loss is not always linear. You might lose more weight some weeks and less weight other weeks.
It is important to focus more on weight lost over the long term. You may not lose any weight some weeks! This does not mean you screwed up, it just means that you will not lose the same amount of week every single week due to a variety of factors.
These factors include:
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Water weight
- How much muscle mass you have
- Your activity level
Do not get discouraged if you do not lose any weight in a given week. Just stay the course and continue with your calorie deficit. The weight will come off over time.
Is a 600 Calorie Deficit Too Much?
A 600 calorie deficit is not too much, as long as it fits within your maintenance calorie amount. A 600 calorie deficit is not recommended for someone with a maintenance calorie value below 1,700 calories.
If you have a maintenance calorie amount below 1,700 calories, this means a 600 calorie deficit per day would mean you are consuming less than 1,100 calories per day, which is not advisable.
Consuming 1,100 calories per day is pushing it, if you are consuming 1,100 calories per day and begin to lose energy, feel sluggish, or have any other negative symptoms, you may want to increase this deficit a bit.
Also, it is never recommended for men to consume a calorie amount this low.
If you are a man, and a 600 calorie deficit will bring you in below 1,500 calories per day intake, you may want to think about increasing this deficit amount.
How Much Weight Can I Lose in a 600 Calorie Deficit?
You have the ability to lose about 20% more fat when utilizing a 600 calorie deficit per day over a 500 calorie deficit per day.
While a 500 calorie deficit will cause you to lose around a pound of fat per week, a 600 calorie deficit has the ability to help you lose about 700 additional calories per week.
While you may lose this increased amount, the exact number is not always guaranteed.
Just as with any calorie deficit amount, there are going to be weeks where the weight loss is less than other weeks.
Is a 800 Calorie Deficit Too Much?
An 800 calorie deficit is not recommended for someone with a maintenance calorie amount below 2,100-2,200 calories.
An 800 calorie deficit per day is not actually necessary and you may risk feeling deprived.
You have the ability to shed body fat by keeping a calorie deficit maximum amount of 500 calories per day, it will just take a longer amount of time to achieve your goal.
While it may take a longer amount of time to achieve your goal, your weight loss will be more sustainable over the long term.
When losing weight, you do not want to feel deprived.
If you deprive yourself and are ravenously hungry all of the time, your weight loss plans will not last long.
This is why it is important to lose weight at a slower pace with less strict of a deficit.
If you calculate your maintenance calories (TDEE or BMR) and you get an amount of 2,000 calories, you have the ability to lose weight sticking to a calorie deficit of 300-500 calories (1,700 calories per day intake.)
So as you can see, a calorie deficit higher than this amount of 300-500 calories is not even needed.
Is a 1000 Calorie Deficit Too Much?
A calorie deficit of 1,000 calories per day is not recommended and is far to drastic.
You can achieve results without this much of a calorie restriction.
A more sustainable and manageable calorie deficit is 500-700 calories per day maximum, however you can still achieve results with a deficit of even 200 calories per day.
Remember, you always want to make sure that you are consuming an adequate amount of calories to fuel your body while also giving you the adequate amount of nutrients your body needs to adequately function.
A calorie deficit of 1,000 calories per day is not an adequate amount of calories for most people, especially those who lead an active lifestyle.
Is Starvation Mode Possible if My Calorie Deficit is Too High?
Starvation mode is not actually a technical term, but creating too strict of a calorie deficit can cause you to slow your metabolism.
Metabolic adaptation is totally real, and this is why you should not get too drastic with calorie restriction.
You may think that the more calories you cut, the faster the weight will come off.
However, this is not always the case.
Your body is smart, and it will react if you drop calories to an unhealthy amount by slowing down your metabolism, which means you will not burn as much fat as you would with a healthy deficit amount.
You want to make sure that you are still consuming an adequate amount of nutrients and calories to support your body and its functions.
If you cut calories too low, you also risk malnutrition.
Malnutrition is an imbalance between the nutrients your body needs to function and the nutrients it gets from the food you eat.
If you put your body in a malnourished state, it begins breaking down its own bodily tissues and shutting down its organ function. You do not want this.
Avoid malnutrition by making sure you are still consuming an adequate amount of calories and nutrients to support your body.
A calorie deficit of 200-500 calories per day is a safe and healthy range to aim for for most people.
Anything more than this and you risk slowing down your metabolism, feeling deprived, or even developing malnutrition.
Can I Lose Muscle if My Calorie Deficit is Too High?
Yes, you will risk losing muscle mass if your calorie deficit is too high.
Your body needs calories to function, and if you do not consume enough calories, your body will look for other sources of energy.
One source of energy your body can turn to is muscle mass.
So, if you are not consuming enough calories, your body may start breaking down muscle tissue for energy.
While a slight amount of muscle loss is sometimes unavoidable when losing weight, you can avoid significant muscle loss by making sure you are still consuming an adequate amount of both calories and protein.
Aim to consume a healthy amount of protein in your diet to avoid losing muscle, which is about 10%-35% of your daily calorie amount.
To keep things simple, you can try to consume 0.8-1.0 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight.
A 700 calorie deficit per day is fine, as long as your maintenance calorie amount is not too low (below 1,800 calories.)
Whatever calorie deficit amount you choose, be sure to consume no less than 1,100-2,200 calories per day if you are a woman, and 1,500-1,600 calories per day if you are a man.
If your maintenance calories are below these amounts, it is not recommended to create such a large calorie deficit, and it isn’t necessary to see results.
You have the ability to lose weight without having to restrict your intake by such a large amount.
Keep in mind that a higher calorie deficit will cause you to lose weight at a faster rate, but this weight loss is not always sustainable or healthy, especially if you are miserable.
It is important to lose weight in a smart way. This should be a life change, not a “diet.”