Recommended calorie intake and exercise for a young healthy man

Patient

Q: If I'm a male  224lbs 5'9 doing a 1200 calorie diet and walk 6 miles a day is healthy? Am I going in starvation mode just kinda concerned. Don't want to jeopardize my weightless and gain the weight in the long run?

Doctor

A:   The recommended calorie intake is based on age, gender and activity level. You are considered active, as you stated that you walk six miles a day. The American Heart Association recommends that men between the ages of 19 and 30, who are sedentary, should limit their caloric intake to 2,400 calories each day. Moderately active men in this age range can eat between 2,600 and 2,800 calories each day. Active men can increase their caloric intake to a maximum of 3,000 calories daily. If you want to lose fat, a useful guideline for lowering your calorie intake is to reduce your calories by at least 500, but not more than 1000 below your maintenance level. For people with only a small amount of weight to lose, 1000 calories will be too much of a deficit. As a guide to minimum calorie intake, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that calorie levels never drop below 1200 calories per day for women or 1800 calories per day for men. Even these calorie levels are quite low. An alternative way of calculating a safe minimum calorie-intake level is by reference to your body weight or current body weight. Reducing calories by 15-20% below your daily calorie maintenance needs is a useful start. You may increase this depending on your weight loss goals.

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