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How Long Can You Live on 700 Calories a Day?

How Long Can You Live on 700 Calories a Day?

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Caloric intake refers to the daily consumption of calories, the energy units derived from food and beverages. It plays a vital role in sustaining bodily functions and overall health. Sufficient nutrition is crucial for optimal health, providing essential nutrients for growth, metabolism, and immune response. However, a focus on 700 calories a day represents extreme caloric restriction, which can have significant health implications. It is essential to understand the potential risks associated with such low-calorie diets and prioritize balanced nutrition for long-term well-being.

How Long Can You Live on 700 Calories a Day? Short Answer

You can live on 700 calories a day for a limited time, but it's not recommended for the long term. Severe caloric restriction can lead to health risks, such as malnutrition and muscle wasting. Prioritize balanced nutrition and consult with healthcare professionals for safe and sustainable weight management.

I. Understanding Caloric Needs

To comprehend caloric needs, several key factors come into play, including Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which serves as the foundation for calculating daily energy requirements. Exploring the intricacies of caloric needs involves the following:

  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): BMR represents the minimum amount of energy the body needs to maintain vital functions while at rest. It accounts for approximately 60-75% of total daily energy expenditure and varies based on age, gender, weight, and body composition.
  • Factors Influencing BMR: Several factors can influence an individual's BMR. Age and gender play significant roles, as men tend to have higher BMR than women, and BMR typically decreases with age. Body weight and composition also impact BMR, with lean muscle mass contributing to higher BMR.
  • Calculating Caloric Requirements: Estimating caloric requirements involves considering both BMR and physical activity levels. The Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) takes into account the energy expended during physical activities and helps determine the number of calories needed to maintain, gain, or lose weight.

Understanding these factors provides a foundation for tailoring caloric intake to individual needs, ensuring adequate energy supply for bodily functions and overall well-being.

II. Potential Health Risks of Extreme Caloric Restriction

Embarking on an extremely low-calorie diet, such as consuming only 700 calories a day, can lead to various health risks that should be carefully considered:

  • Malnutrition and Nutritional Deficiencies: Severely restricting caloric intake can lead to inadequate consumption of essential nutrients, resulting in malnutrition and deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, and other vital compounds.
  • Muscle Wasting and Weakness: With insufficient calories, the body may break down muscle tissue for energy, leading to muscle wasting, weakness, and reduced physical performance.
  • Metabolic Adaptation: Prolonged caloric restriction can trigger metabolic adaptation, where the body slows down its metabolic rate to conserve energy, making further weight loss challenging.
  • Organ and System Dysfunction: Extreme caloric restriction can negatively affect organ function and disrupt various physiological systems, potentially leading to health issues like hormonal imbalances and cardiovascular problems.

It is crucial to recognize these potential health risks and seek guidance from healthcare professionals before embarking on any extreme dietary regimens. Gradual and sustainable weight loss approaches that prioritize balanced nutrition are generally recommended for overall well-being.

III. Short-Term Effects on the Body

Extreme caloric restriction, such as following a 700-calorie daily diet, can have significant short-term effects on the body, which should be carefully considered:

  • Initial Weight Loss: Rapid weight loss is often observed in the initial stages of extreme caloric restriction. However, a substantial portion of this weight loss may be attributed to water and glycogen depletion rather than fat loss.
  • Fatigue and Weakness: Insufficient energy intake can lead to feelings of fatigue and weakness as the body struggles to meet its energy demands, impacting physical performance and daily activities.
  • Dizziness and Fainting: Drastic reductions in caloric intake can cause drops in blood sugar levels, leading to dizziness and even fainting episodes, compromising overall well-being.
  • Impaired Cognitive Function: The brain requires a steady supply of glucose for optimal cognitive function. Severe caloric restriction can impair cognitive abilities, affecting focus, concentration, and memory.

It is essential to be aware of these short-term effects and their potential impact on daily life. If experiencing any concerning symptoms, it is crucial to consult with healthcare professionals to ensure proper guidance and support during weight loss endeavors.

IV. Long-Term Effects on the Body

As extreme caloric restriction persists over the long term, potential health implications become more pronounced, characterized by a mix of perplexity and burstiness:

  • Chronic Malnutrition: Sustained low-calorie intake can lead to chronic malnutrition, depriving the body of essential nutrients needed for vital functions, impairing growth, and increasing vulnerability to various health issues.
  • Increased Risk of Chronic Diseases: Prolonged caloric restriction may elevate the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disorders, osteoporosis, and compromised liver and kidney function, due to inadequate nutrient intake.
  • Reduced Immune Function: Insufficient calories can weaken the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections and illnesses, and hindering its ability to defend against pathogens.
  • Hormonal Imbalances: Extreme caloric restriction can disrupt hormonal balance, affecting the regulation of crucial hormones, leading to irregular menstrual cycles in women, and potentially impacting fertility.

Understanding the long-term effects of such extreme dietary practices highlights the need for caution and the importance of adopting sustainable and balanced nutrition approaches to safeguard overall health and well-being. Seeking professional guidance and adopting healthier lifestyle choices are crucial steps toward achieving long-term health goals.

V. Potential Survival Period of 700 Calories a Day

Exploring the potential survival period on a daily intake of 700 calories requires consideration of various factors that can impact an individual's ability to sustain such extreme caloric restriction:

  • Individual Variation: The duration one can survive on 700 calories a day varies significantly from person to person. Factors such as age, gender, genetics, metabolism, and overall health play a crucial role in determining an individual's resilience to prolonged caloric deficits.
  • Influence of Body Composition: Body composition, particularly the proportion of lean muscle mass to body fat, is a critical determinant of survival on low-calorie diets. Individuals with higher muscle mass may better endure the effects of restricted caloric intake due to their capacity to preserve essential bodily functions.
  • Medical Monitoring: Surviving on 700 calories a day poses considerable health risks. Medical supervision is essential to monitor the individual's condition, assess nutrient deficiencies, and address any emerging health concerns promptly. Close monitoring can help prevent severe complications and ensure the individual's safety throughout the restricted dieting period.

It is essential to understand that long-term caloric restriction at this level is generally not sustainable and can lead to serious health consequences. While some individuals may endure this regimen for a short duration, it is crucial to prioritize long-term health and adopt healthier, more balanced dietary practices that support overall well-being. Always consult with healthcare professionals before embarking on any extreme dietary plans.

VI. Recommended Caloric Intake for Health and Longevity

To promote optimal health and longevity, it is crucial to adopt a balanced approach to caloric intake. Consider the following guidelines:

  • General Guidelines: The recommended caloric intake varies based on age, gender, weight, activity level, and individual health goals. Generally, adults need an average of 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day to maintain weight, but this can differ significantly depending on individual factors.
  • Consultation with Healthcare Professionals: Before embarking on any significant dietary changes, it is essential to consult with healthcare professionals, such as registered dietitians or nutritionists. They can assess individual needs, provide personalized dietary recommendations, and help create a sustainable and nutritious meal plan.
  • Gradual and Sustainable Weight Loss: For those aiming to lose weight, a gradual and sustainable approach is recommended. Instead of drastically cutting calories, focus on creating a modest caloric deficit through a combination of a balanced diet and regular physical activity. This approach is more likely to lead to long-term success and helps prevent adverse health effects associated with extreme caloric restriction.

Adhering to recommended caloric intake and prioritizing balanced nutrition not only supports overall health and well-being but also lays the foundation for a healthier and more fulfilling life. Remember that each person's nutritional needs are unique, and seeking professional advice ensures a tailored approach that promotes individual health and longevity.

VII. Safe Ways to Lose Weight and Maintain Health

Achieving weight loss and maintaining overall health can be effectively accomplished through a balanced and holistic approach. Consider the following safe practices:

  • Balanced and Nutrient-Rich Diet: Adopting a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats is essential. This ensures the intake of essential nutrients and helps sustain energy levels while promoting weight loss.
  • Regular Exercise: Incorporating regular physical activity into daily routines is vital for weight management and overall health. Engage in a mix of cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility exercises to enhance metabolism and improve body composition.
  • Adequate Hydration: Staying hydrated is crucial for overall well-being and successful weight loss. Drinking sufficient water throughout the day aids in digestion reduces hunger pangs, and helps maintain optimal bodily functions.
  • Adequate Sleep: Prioritize getting enough restful sleep as it directly influences weight management and overall health. Lack of sleep can disrupt hormone regulation, leading to increased appetite and decreased metabolism.

By adopting these safe and sustainable practices, individuals can achieve their weight loss goals while supporting their long-term health and well-being. Remember that each person's journey is unique, and it's essential to listen to the body's needs and seek professional guidance as needed.

VIII. Conclusion

In conclusion, a daily intake of 700 calories poses significant health risks, including malnutrition and muscle wasting. Emphasizing balanced nutrition and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices are crucial for sustainable weight management and overall well-being. Prioritizing gradual approaches to weight loss and seeking professional guidance ensure a healthier and more successful journey.

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Authored By Dr. Tamanna Chowdhury

Dietetics & Nutrition

Dr. Tamanna Chowdhury is an experienced nutritionist with a diverse educational background. She holds an MSC and BSC (Hons.) in Food & Nutrition from the University of Dhaka and is pursuing an MPH in Hospital Management from NSU.


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