Not long ago, one of our writers conducted an experiment where he meticulously tracked his calories and literally lived with a 700-calorie deficit on a daily basis in order to cut a significant amount of weight rather quickly.
He kept up the experiment for two full weeks to see how it might impact him in the long term.
Here are the things he learned.
1. Sticking To Such A Restrictive Calorie Regimen Is Difficult
A 700-calorie daily dietary deficit is a pretty significant calorie deficit.
This requires quite a bit of self-control.
If you’re used to a calorie surplus and/or breaking even on your calories, that’s basically the equivalent of cutting out one entire meal (and really controlling the calorie consumption on the other two).
This may not seem like such a big deal at first.
But after a day or two, this can really wear on your willpower and on your energy levels
2. He Experienced Significant Energy Loss
On the first couple of days, he felt pretty good about this diet.
However, it quickly became apparent that his energy levels were dropping.
This was especially true on days when he consumed a total of fewer than 1700 calories overall, which were the days when he performed only a minimal workout (his base metabolic rate was about 2,000 calories).
On these days, he actually needed to take a nap in the afternoon, just to have the energy to continue with activities for the evening.
As it turns out, this level of calorie restriction has a huge impact on your overall energy levels.
It definitely isn’t easy. And for most people, it probably wouldn’t be sustainable.
3. Food Cravings Were Out Of Control
He reported that the only reason he was able to withstand the excessive food cravings he experienced was by staying accountable to a group of friends who were also pursuing their own weight loss goals.
In other words, having a goal and having accountability partners were the only things that kept him from immediately breaking his plan and eating a cheeseburger due to the sheer force of the food cravings.
4. He Dropped Weight At A Very Fast Rate
At a 700-calorie deficit, he admitted that even he was surprised by how fast the weight dropped off.
Of course, some days he would eat a full 2000 calories as a daily intake.
However, on these particular days, he always made sure that his workouts were intense enough to still provide him with a 700-calorie deficit.
He ended up losing almost 4 pounds in the first two weeks.
He said that while this diet was difficult enough that he didn’t see it as sustainable in the long term, he admitted that the fast weight loss was a motivator to stick with it until he reached his goal weight.
But that being said, he also said this:
“Once I get to my goal weight though, I’m going back to a normal calorie intake. This severe calorie deficit stuff isn’t fun, and it’s just not sustainable long-term.”