Correct Exercise and Caloric Intake for 6'1, 26 Year old Male

Patient

Q: I am a 26 year old, 6'1 male, and over a year ago I lost 25 or so pounds due to a healthier diet and increased exercise (from around 200 lbs to around 175lbs). I always seemed to go weigh anywhere from 173-178 lbs, but recently, probably due to new job and less opportunity to exercise, I've noticed my weight go back up a bit to 182 (and I can tell on my stomach). My question is, what is a healthy caloric intake amount per day, and healthy exercise amount per week? I would like to get back to just below 175, but it seems harder this time than before. I'd like to know the right amount of diet and exercise to then maintain that weight. I see recommendations all over the spectrum. Thanks!

Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. In general healthy calorie intake for a person with your height and weight should be around 2200-2500 calories. What is important is that these calories should be obtained from whole foods, rich in lean protein and vegetables. You should also remove as much process foods from your diet, including refined sugar. Since you are currently around 182 pounds and you want to lose about 7 pounds you should aim to healthily lose this weight in 4-6 weeks (averaging a weight lost of 1-2 lbs a week). To do this you will have to incorporate about 40-60 minutes of daily aerobic and resistance exercise daily. Once you reach your target weight 175 lbs, you will need to maintain this weight primarily with diet, making sure your food is a 'clean' as possible. In other words, free of processed foods high in sugar, salt and preservatives which deliver unwanted extra calories to your body. For more detailed approach to this plan, suited to your personal needs, you will have to consult a personal trainer or dietician to assist you further. Please consult your doctor before starting any new workout and diet routine to make sure these will not put you at risk of personal injury.

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