I'm a student who has struggled with my weight since I went off to college, particularly during my sophomore year. I'm a 5'11 male, and I would guess my starting weight as I entered college was around 175-180 lbs.
After I started working during my sophomore year I started eating out a lot more due to a lack of time to cook and prepare meals (and extra money in my pocket). Before I knew it hit me I had put on almost 30 lbs and was sitting at 206.
This was definitely a depressing thing for me. I was very active in high-school and in-shape. I never had to worry about what I ate because of playing sports and just being generally active.
After I saw 206 on the scale I immediately made a change in my diet and started working out again. I went from 206 to 190 in about 3 months. However, since then (almost 8 months ago) I have hit a plateau and struggled to lose anymore. Now a-days I hover more around 193-195.
I'm looking for advice on what I can change in my eating habits and workout routine to keep dropping the weight. I'd like to lose another 10 at least.
The changes I've made in my diet are this:
Extreme cut back on soda. I used to drink a mountain dew every morning for the caffeine, and maybe another soda around lunch time. I stopped buying soda to keep at home and will only drink it at a sit-down restaurant. I would say on average I consume about 1 soda a week now, maybe less (Coke Zero).
No late night carbs. I was/still am a late night snacker. I used to eat a bagel before bed every night. Looking back I think it's hilarious how stupid this was, so I stopped doing that.
Started going to the gym again. I would say 2-3 times a week after class. More recently (within the last month), I've been going 4-5 times a week.
My gym routine looks like this
- Stretch for 5-10 mins.
- Walk and stretch one lap around the track.
- Run 1 to 1.5 miles around the track. On average I run about a 9 minute mile.
- Walk 2 laps to cool-down.
- Get on the bike (indoor) for 15-20 minutes of interval training.
- Walk another lap to cool down.
- Next, I do some sort of weight training. Depending on how busy the gym is, I might go into the free-weight section and do about 15 minutes of weight training. Or maybe hop on the rowing machine for the same amount of time.
At this point I'm usually done with my workout and head home. On nicer days I walk home, about a mile. During the winter I take the train back.
Now, I will admit that I struggled a lot during the winter to get to the gym. I never completely stopped, but there were weeks when I could only get there once. I'm a full-time college student and I also work about 30 hours per week at an office job. So it can be really hard to get motivated to workout. I started carrying pre-workout with me to work and taking it just before I leave the office. This always makes me energized and pumped enough to get to the gym.
The first thing I'm looking for advice on is my gym routine. I think it was good enough to get me started when I first needed to lose weight, but now I need to ramp it up to get over this next hurtle.
I've always been cautious to do too much weight training while I'm trying to lose weight, so that's why I focus more on cardio. I'd like to be lean and muscular, not thick and muscular. Though, maybe there's certain types of weight training that will help more with weight loss.
Second, I think I could also improve my diet. I'm very busy, so I tend to eat out a lot. It's very rare that I eat fast food like McDonalds, Taco Bell, etc. I usually go to this Mediterranean Grill by my office that offers very healthy options.
Most days I get a chicken wrap that includes rice, mixed greens, garlic sauce, onions, and feta (~700 Cal). This is a common type of meal that I eat at home as well. Or a turkey sandwhich on wheat with a slice of cheese.
My one fast food weakness is Chipotle burrito bowls (Chicken, Rice, Veggies, Cheese, Sour Cream, Lettuce. ~1000 Cal). Which I have about once or twice a week.
I'm also a very big snacker. I tend to try and buy healthier snacks like Skinny Popcorn, or whole-grain goldfish or cheese-itz. I usually try to limit myself to one serving or so (~200 Cal). I would say I snack about 2-3 time a day.
I drink 2-3 bottles of water. And sometimes add a flavor packet or squirt to it (0 Cal). Some days I also have a coffee from home or starbucks. Which I would guess is around 300 Cal. Though, I probably only have about 2-3 a week.
I think the snacking is an issue because my other meals aren't filling enough (excluding the Chipotle). At home, I would say I try to eat about 600 cal meals. With my total intake for the day being around 1600-2000.
I don't drink alcohol very often, maybe once or twice a month with some friends, which is usually followed by some drunk food as well.
If there's anymore information I can provide let me know.
It's very apparent that I have excess fat in my stomach and chest area. I don't have man boobs, but there's definitely fat there. I'd like to have a more well-defined chest so my shirts fit better and lose the excess stomach weight. I realize you can't target specific areas to lose fat, I just wanted to share my goals.
Sorry for the wall of text. In short, the two things I'm looking for help on are:
What can I do to improve my workout, how many calories should I be trying to burn in a 45-60 minute workout? What should I be doing differently?
How can I improve my diet? Are there any red flags? What can I add to my diet? How can I avoid being hungry all the time?
And also, any supplements to recommend? (Pre-workout energy boost, meal substitution, etc.)?