How Many Calories a Day Is Considered Starving?

portrait of a woman sitting on the floor beside a plate of cookies
Make sure you're eating enough calories even when you're watching your weight. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The amount of calories you need per day varies according to your gender, age and body weight, according to the American Heart Association. Eating significantly fewer calories than your body needs over a long period of time can seriously endanger your health.

Calories When Starving

The lowest recommended caloric intake for women and men is 1,200 and 1,500 calories, respectively. According to the National Institutes of Health's Medline Plus, a diet of 500 to 800 calories a day is dangerously too low and should not be done unless its a medically supervised diet.

Effects of Starving

Starving yourself has serious health consequences such as dehydration, constipation, malnutrition and electrolyte imbalances that can cause heart arrhythmias and death, according to Health Tree.

Safe Weight Loss

Reducing your daily calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 will result in a safe weight loss of 1 to 2 lbs. per week. Combining increased physical activity with reduced food intake can help you lose weight without depriving your body of nutrients and calories.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.