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So, I have summer to lose weight and this summer I have the motivation as well.

I have an exercise bike, cross trainer, rowing machine, pullup/push up bars, free weights and a treadmill at my disposal.

So far, I've been doing half an hour with cross trainer and half an hour on the rowing machine,about 3, 4 times a week.

I have been thinking about doing some free weights, to be honest I can't do any pullups yet.

As for food, I have been having my main meal at lunch, just cafeteria stuff but I think its probably around 1500 calories. My plan at the moment for dinner is to make lentil based soup, so I get proteins and fibre and nutrients but not excess calories.

I weigh around 90 kilos at the moment, and would like to lose as much as possible really.

Any tips/advice would be fantastic, and much appreciated

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What age are you and how's your health? Or do you perhaps have a history with injuries, in which case certain types of exercise is out of the question? And what is your length/BMI, because 90 may or may not be very overweight. –  Ivo Flipse Jun 19 '11 at 19:17
    
@Ivo 20, and I'm fairly healthy. No injuries, I'm not a fan of jogging though. Last time I checked my BMI was hovering around 24, 25, within the healthy range but a bit higher than I would like. –  James Jun 20 '11 at 11:11
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1 Answer

Without knowing your goals, I can provide a few concepts. I went through my weight loss journey in two stages: lose weight first, then exercise. Part of that choice was the diet I was on. So, in general you need to make sure you get:

  • at least .5g protein / lb lean body weight (1g / kg lean body weight). That's the weight of your muscles and organs without the fat.
  • If you want to increase your muscle mass it is safe to go up to 1g protein / lb lean body weight (2g / kg) while you are exercising.
  • All your vitamins and minerals--if necessary take a multivitamin and Omega-3 supplement
  • Proper amount of calcium for your body (keep the bones strong)
  • A healthy amount of veggies that are not too carby (i.e. better to have broccoli and spinach than corn and potatoes)
  • You need some dietary fat. Dietary fat/cholesterol does not directly translate to the same in your blood stream. They carry some vital nutrients your body needs and can't get any other way. Just don't overdo it.

Beyond that you can manipulate the amount of carbs you take in to adjust the fat burning potential. There's a good number of eating plans that suggest you have a long period of time between eating carbs, and this has to do with the pancreatic function. Check out the roles of insulin and glucagon for more details. This approach seems to be working for me. Essentially, if the scale's trend is going up, cut back on the carbs. If it's going down too far (assuming you are on maintenance), increase them.

As to working out, there's quite a few options. Again, depending on your goals and what you enjoy, you can stay active and lose fat.

  • High cardio workouts like running will have you burning the most calories while working out. However, because they aren't making your muscles larger they aren't increasing the amount your body burns at rest.
  • High strength workouts like weight lifting (note, should be a focus on strength rather than endurance at the beginning) burn fewer calories while working out. However, because your muscles are getting stronger (and you are eating more protein), you will burn more fat while at rest.
  • Both traditionally cardio and traditionally strength oriented workouts have components of the other type in them. In short you will improve your cardio performance lifting weights (in particular, you will raise your anaerobic threshold), and you will get stronger running (in particular, your core and your legs will get more conditioned for the task at hand).

The important thing about working out is that you have a good idea of what you want to accomplish, and then pursue that goal. I personally enjoy strength training using a barbell to perform heavy compound lifts. I get a challenge trying to increase weight every workout and that keeps me motivated and interested. There's probably no more efficient way to get strong. But strength isn't everyone's goal.

NOTE: the protein recommendation came from the weight loss program I did. I like the recommendation because it is a better guide than total body weight. If you have a high body fat percentage, you might overfeed yourself protein if you go by guidelines only using total body weight as the guide--which will eventually turn to blood sugar.

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