I'm 23 years old, I've always had a slim build, as a child I spent the majority of my time playing/doing active sports & activities (Football, Marathon, Swimming, Boxing), my other interest has always been programming.
Once I finished school at 16 and got a job in software development, I drifted away from all sports and fell in to the habit of staying inside, for the past 6-7 years my "active" schedule has simply been, wake up go to work (sit at a desk for 8 hours), come home, play games or continue developing my own projects, then sleep (I end up staying up until 3-4am most nights and waking up for work at 8am).
Doing this over time, as expected, my health has deteriorated. I get really badly out of breath just running for 2 minutes, I haven't actually lost much weight, but that might be because I'm almost at the lowest weight I can be...
For as long as I can remember, even as a child, being brought up fairly poor, my diet has been awful, I could probably say for the last 10 years my diet has been something like this (on a good day):
- Some kind of cereal bar (usually im too tired to make anything)
- A Coffee
Dinner/Lunch: would generally get skipped, even while in school, maybe a chocolate bar and a sugary (can) drink at the most.
- Some kind of variated ready meal (Microwave chicken dinner, microwave chicken pasta ect...)
Has to be one of the worst diets ever, right? Obviously that's not fixed, it would change a little every day, but that really is on a good day, some days I just go all day on breakfast.
Around 3 years ago, I did have a spell of going to the gym to try gain weight/muscle, but my motivation quickly ran out, I don't find the gym fun at all, although I know it's not all about fun, so if properly advised I wouldn't complain about starting again.
So to my question... where do I start and what diet do I take up?
I'm unsure because I see my options as:
Go to the gym, lift heavy and eat "heavy" - but will this improve my cardio/health overall? Eating like a pig will just damage my health, will it not? Lifting heavy weights will just put strain on my heart with a (probably needed) fatty, high protein, high calorie diet, is that a good combination? - I tried this before as I said above, but I struggled to eat enough, and made very little progress.
Do cardio and eat loads? I enjoy running and football a lot, but doing this would mean having to eat way more because I'm burning more calories, that sounds easy but for me it really won't be, and if I struggle with this, it will result in losing weight, and that really isn't healthy for me.
Either way I want to improve my health in the long term, and I think I need to start doing it now, but I don't know where to begin, because all I see is "how to lose weight", or topics on gaining weight but thinking that just because you're slim it means you have good stamina/cardio.
My Height: 5'11"/180cm
My Weight: 126lbs/57kg