My BMR Is 1700: How Do I Lose Weight?

Losing weight with a BMR of 1700 is possible, but you could be setting yourself up for failure in the future if you’re not going about it the right way.

So, how do you lose weight with a BMR of 1700? You lose weight with a BMR of 1700 by estimating your activity level and adding that value to your BMR to find your maintenance level of calories. Once you find your maintenance calories, you can create a calorie deficit by subtracting 100-300 calories from your daily intake.

With that said, to lose weight with a BMR of 1700 you have to ensure that your calorie assumptions are accurate and that you’re setting yourself up for success with how you execute the calorie deficit (i.e. eating fewer calories than your body needs).

After reading this article you’ll learn:

  • If your BMR was measured accurately 
  • If it’s possible to lose weight with a BMR If 1700
  • Why undereating your BMR could be detrimental 
  • Steps to lose weight with a BMR of 1700

Did You Measure Your BMR of 1700 Accurately?

If your BMR isn’t calculated accurately, then you could be under or over-eating and making weight loss harder now or in the future.

To get an accurate Basal Metabolic Rate estimation, the equation you use should consider your age, sex, height, and body weight.

It is also worth estimating your body fat percentage and including that in the calculations as well because the equation is assuming your body composition based on your weight and activity level, but your body fat percentage gives a more accurate depiction of your actual body composition.

Having your estimated body fat percentage included in the calculations is beneficial because if you are someone with more muscle mass then you will need more calories than someone who has less muscle mass.

If you’re underestimating your calories you could be eating fewer calories than necessary to lose weight. Ideally, you would eat the most calories you can while still losing weight, this leads to better diet adherence and prevents your metabolism from slowing down so rapidly.

Key Takeaway: Your BMR will always be an estimation but you can definitely make sure that you’re inputting as many of your specific measurements as possible so that you’re making it as accurate as possible.  I’ll cover details on this later.

Will You Lose Weight If You Eat Your BMR of 1700 Calories?

If you only eat your BMR of 1700 then you will lose weight because your BMR calculation only accounts for basic bodily functions but doesn’t account for any activity that you would do throughout your day.

You will automatically expend more energy than 1700 (the equivalent of your BMR) just by going to work or doing household chores. That’s not even including the additional calories you would burn if you were to exercise.

You can definitely afford to eat more calories than your BMR and still lose weight considering you will be engaging in those activities and burning more calories.

As much as it’s important to be in a calorie deficit (eating fewer calories than your body needs) to lose weight, it’s also important to eat enough calories to prevent your body from slowing down its metabolism more than necessary. 

Is There A Risk of Eating Under Your BMR of 1700 Calories?

There is a risk anytime you’re undereating and not consuming enough energy (calories) to provide fuel for your bodily functions, which is what happens when you eat less than your BMR.

If you continuously eat less than your BMR, you will slow down your metabolism (stop burning calories as readily) to preserve what calories are coming in for bodily functions. 

This makes weight loss really difficult, as well as increases the potential that you will have to break down your muscles and organs for fuel, which can have severe consequences.

I would recommend you avoid eating less than your BMR altogether, but it is something that you might have to do short-term if you’re competing in bodybuilding and you need to be “stage lean”.

If you want me to help you set up your diet, or you have any questions, you can book a 20-min free consultation to discuss your specific situation.  Head over to our coaching page to get started.

How Do You Lose Weight With A 1700 BMR? (4 Steps)

How do you lose weight with a 1700 bmr (4 steps)

The 4 steps to losing weight with a 1700 calorie BMR are:

  • Estimate your activity level
  • Determine your caloric intake
  • Set up your macronutrient ratios
  • Be accurate & consistent

1. Estimate Your Activity Level

Along with your BMR calculator, you need to estimate how many calories you’re burning through activity (exercise & non-exercise activity) so that we can determine how many calories it takes for you to maintain your weight.

Activity and BMR are important measures because they add up to determine how much energy you’re expending. When the number of calories you’re expending and the number of calories you’re consuming are equal, you will maintain your weight.

To determine how many calories you’re burning, you will use an “activity multiplier” based on how active you are throughout the day, where you’ll multiply that number by your BMR.  

You can refer to the Harris-Benedict Equation to pinpoint how active you are and use the corresponding number to calculate your maintenance calories.

  • Sedentary (minimal or no exercise): 1.2
  • Lightly active (light exercise or sports 1-3 days/week): 1.375
  • Moderately active (moderate exercise or sports 3-5 days/week): 1.55
  • Very active (intense exercise or sports 6-7 days a week): 1.725
  • Extremely active (very intense exercise or sports & a physically demanding job): 1.9

Once you’ve found the activity factor that corresponds with your activity level, you need to multiply it by your BMR. So if your BMR is 1700 calories and you are moderately active, then your activity factor is 1.55.

Maintenance calories = 1700 (BMR) X 1.55 (Activity Factor) = 2635 calories

Once you find your maintenance calories we can subtract from this to put you in a reasonable deficit that isn’t going to be too aggressive and cause problems down the road.

2. Determine Your Caloric Intake

Now that you’ve determined your maintenance calories you can subtract 100-300 calories to put yourself into a calorie deficit, which is required for weight loss.

  • If you need to lose weight at a faster rate because you’re on a strict timeline, then you should subtract 300 calories from your maintenance.
  • If you want to lose weight at a moderate pace to maintain your muscle mass, then you should subtract 200 calories from your maintenance.
  • If you want to take the slow and steady approach and maintain as much muscle mass as possible, then you can subtract 100 calories from your maintenance.

For example: if my maintenance calories are estimated to be 2635 calories, and I want to take a moderate approach (-200 cals) then my calories will be 2435 for my calorie deficit.

Those with a lower body fat percentage and higher amount of lean body mass should almost always choose to decrease their calories as minimally as possible (maintenance – 100 = target cals). 

This is because they will burn calories at a faster rate due to their increased muscle mass and will not require as much of a decrease to see progress compared to someone with less muscle mass. 

Additionally, those with a lower body fat percentage will want to go slow and steady to avoid losing muscle as they diet.

Related Article: I Burned My Calories Than I Ate & Still Gained Weight – Why?

3. Set Up Your Macronutrient Ratios

Once you’ve determined your deficit calories then you can begin assigning these calories to different macronutrients to ensure that these calories are being allocated in a way that maximizes muscle retention.

Generally, protein should be set to 1g per pound of bodyweight so that you’re providing your body with enough protein to encourage muscle mass retention while dieting. If you don’t get enough protein, it is more likely that you will lose muscle while dieting.

So if you weigh 190 lbs then your protein intake should be 190 grams of protein per day.

To determine how many calories this will subtract from your total deficit calories we can take the grams of protein and multiply it by 4 because protein has 4 calories per gram.

190 grams of protein X 4 calories per gram = 760 calories allocated to protein intake. This would be around 31% of your total calories ((760/2435) X 100 = 31.2%)

Next up you can determine whether you prefer to eat more fats or more carbs. If you don’t have a preference then a balanced approach is best. 

If you are very active then you may want lean more towards carbs than fats, and if you’re less active then perhaps more fats would be better because your body wouldn’t require as many carbs.

You’ve already allocated 31% of these calories to protein, so now you can determine how to split the remaining percentages. 

100% – 31% = 69% of calories to distribute between carbs and fats.

Balanced Fat/Carb Intake: 34.5% of calories to fats / 34.5% of calories to carbs

Fat Preference: 40% of calories to fats / 29% of calories to carbs

Carb Preference:29% of calories to fats / 40% of calories to carbs

If you choose a balanced carb/fat intake then you can take 2435 (total deficit calories) and multiply it by 34.5% to find out your daily targets for carbs and fats.

2435 calories X 0.345 =  840 calories

To find the grams of carbs per day, we can divide 840 calories by 4 because carbs have 4 calories per gram.

840 calories / 4 = 210 grams of carbs

To find the grams of fats per day, we can divide 840 calories by 9 because fats have 9 calories per gram.

840 / 9 = 93 grams of fat

So you would aim for 190 grams of protein, 210 grams of carbs, and 93 grams of fat which would add up to 2435 calories per day.

Related Article: What To Do If You Go Over Your Carb Macros? 

4. Be Accurate & Consistent

To be successful in losing weight with a 1700 BMR you need to be as accurate as possible and consistent with your efforts.

Use this link and enter the code FEASTGOOD when signing up to get an extra week on your free trial (2 weeks total). You can cancel anytime before your trial ends without being charged.

Using an app like this that is designed to be very user-friendly can set you up to be much more successful with your diet.

Exercising With 1700 BMR: What To Consider

exercising with 1700 bmr what to consider

Initially the goal of your activity will be to adhere to the standard that you have set when calculating your maintenance calories. 

Your calorie deficit is functioning under the assumption that you are burning a certain number of calories each day so you should try to be as consistent with this as possible.

Once progress levels off then you will probably want to increase your activity, if possible, or else you could adjust your calorie intake (i.e. decrease it slightly again).

It’s important to understand that when you calculate your BMR to be 1700 calories, this isn’t reflecting any activity that you’re doing throughout the day (exercise & non-exercise activity), so 1700 calories aren’t giving you the full picture.

Other Weight Loss Articles

I highly encourage you to keep learning about how to lose weight properly by reading the following articles:

Final Thoughts

With a BMR of 1700, there should be no issues losing weight as long as you’re accurately estimating your BMR, your calorie deficit is well planned, and you’re consistent in your efforts.


Jeejeebhoy, Khursheed N.. Malnutrition, fatigue, frailty, vulnerability, sarcopenia and cachexia: overlap of clinical features. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care 15(3):p 213-219, May 2012. | DOI: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328352694f

Stuart M. Phillips & Luc J.C. Van Loon (2011) Dietary protein for athletes: From requirements to optimum adaptation, Journal of Sports Sciences, 29:sup1, S29-S38, DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2011.619204

About The Author

Amanda Parker

Amanda Parker is an author, nutrition coach, and Certified Naturopath.  She works with bodybuilders, Olympic weightlifters, and powerlifters to increase performance through nutrition and lifestyle coaching.

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