Originally posted by cobracloud
I'd like to drop 20 pounds of fat like...well, immediately. I've used Atkins-type dieting in the past with nice results, save for the moodiness, general weak feeling, and total dependance on diet jello...
The more liveable and realistic your diet is, the more permanent the losses will be. It has been proven that yo-yo dieting is detrimental to ones health and even increases the risk of adult on-set diabetes. Take your time and do it right, just start making better choices and then increase the frequncy of those better choices. Soon enough it will be second nature to say "hold the cheese" and "dressing on the side, no croutons". When you actually want to be eating healthy is when the weight comes off and stays off permanently. Per my own experience, you can embody the healthy low-fat lifestyle, but as soon as the old eatintg (and drinking) habits return, so do the love handles.
My question is, if using (somewhat) proper cardio, can I incorporate a "low-cal" type diet w/o cutting carbs completley and still lose weight quickly? How quickly?
Although I prefer a high-protien/low carb diet when trimming to help preserve muscle mass, there is no problem with eating a few more carbs as long as you watch your overall caloric intake. This is not a license to eat all the breads and sugars you want, however, you need to keep your carbs simple, grainy, and low on the glycemic index such as whole-grain & steamed white rice, baked potatoes & yams, oatmeal, and all the veggies you can handle.
If so, what kind of caloric intake should I take in? 10/pound? 15/pound? 327/pound? Assuming I take in ~200 gms of protein/day, what combination of fat and carbs should make up the rest?
This is where you need to learn you metabolism and find out what works best for you. It also depends on your activity level, as burning calories on the treadmill or in the gym allows you to eat a little more and still be in the "burn zone". At your size I would start at 20002500 calories and adjust from there. Split those calories into 5 or six meals and you should be eating enough that you aren't necessarily having hunger pangs by the next meal time, but your body will definitely be ready for a few more calories.
As for exercise, I am currently stuck in apartment "gym" hell but I'll try my best. Most upper body workouts will be limited to the dip/chin rack I have in my apt, since the machines in the complex are better suited to watching the honies in the hot tub. Lower body workouts will be improvised until I can join a gym and start killing some plate's on the squat rack (I would be a HELLUVA lot more motivated if I could do some breathing squats once a week!!).
When slimming down, bodyweight exercises like pushups, pullups, lunges, dips, etc can be very effective if used properly. Just because you aren't able to add massive weight to a bar and rep out 8-10, doesn't mean you are exempt from using the same intensity. Higher reps are great for toning and keep that heart pumping, oxygen flowing, and fat burning. Do any and or all of these execises slowly and with perfect form, after 20 or so reps these "easy" exercises produce a burn like no other.
I openly admit that I suck at cardio, but I can force myself to complete a 1.5 mile run on the treadmill, followed by stretching, followed by a 5 mile bike ride. Total time = less than 30 min, but I sweat a lot and stuff.
30 minutes is a bare minimum when doing cardio. Unless you are haulin' ass and trying to work on edurance with sprints, it takes a good 20 minutes for your body to get warmed up into fat-burning mode. After that is when you are doing the good work. Even if you have to slow your pace, keep after it for atleast half an hour. Then slowly work up your pace to keep that heartrate up as your cardiovascular endurance rises.
Any tips? I could use some advice/experience/kicks in the ass. The first 5 pounds will be almost as hard as the last 5 pounds, but if I can get down near 10% body fat again and make myself start living without beer and tortilla chips...well that would just be SUPER.
Look in the mirror, if you aren't happy with what you see only you have the power to change it. To be honest, I could care less what your bodyfat percentage is or that you sneeak Ho-hos after midnight. Nodoby can make you do it, nor will anybody enjoy the fruits of your labor as much as you will. What would you rather have, that 6-pack during the game next Saturday, or a wash board set of abs every Saturday?