I'm 19. I've been overweight, basically, for ten years. Not obese, just fat - right now I'm about 6'1" and 235 pounds. I've always wanted to get in good shape, but I've never had the willpower or motivation to do anything about it. I decided I wanted to change that.
I was actually doing pretty good last summer, I managed to get below 230 and gain a lot of stamina just by walking and biking. The problem is, it gets pretty cold here. I'm allergic to cold. Really. So as winter started approaching and I started school again, I basically decided "fuck it", since I wore out my boots, had no money to replace them and biking isn't any fun when the wind chill makes you break out in hives.
My current goal is, I think, a pretty conservative one: to get down to 200 lbs. by the time I graduate college next june.
What can I do?
The main thing I need to do is develop an exercise plan. I don't have much free time. There's also not much daylight left. I'd like to be able to go and just walk for an hour, but not in the middle of town when it's dark. We get our share of muggings and I'm two years away from CCW, so screw that. I suppose I can free up one or two hours a day, at the most. I need things I can do indoors, without equipment. Lots of pushups, I guess.
Diet is obviously important, but a little easier. I work at Subway, I could start eating healthy immediately if I knew the best way to go about it. I do need to learn to cut out sugar, though. I did manage to eliminate soda entirely months ago, but I still drink a lot of minute-maid lemonade when I'm working, which I'm beginning to think isn't any better. It's that or water or iced tea, I guess. I probably drink too much juice at home, too, but pomegranate juice is supposedly really good for you.
Anyway, these are my goals:
1. Lose 35 pounds before the end of June, 2008.
2. Trade even more fat for muscle. Lord knows I could use it.
3. Don't spend a dime. I can't afford to join a gym or spend hundreds on a treadmill or weights or whatever. To work with I've got a pair of 15-lb dumbbells and my mom got me some of those useless rubber tube things with handles on them three christmasses ago. And most of my dinners are free and supposedly healthy since I work at Subway.
Anyway, I plan to record my results over the next 7 months, but I'm better at making spreadsheets than I am at following through.
Any thoughts or advice?
First, good for you. It's like AA, you've admitted you have a problem. There tends to be a lot of good advice in these threads and the BS ratio also tends to be pretty low. Pay attention and see whose advice matches up, etc.
Dropping 30lbs in one year (6 months even) will be easy if you can stick to a 5-6 day diet without cheating. That's what day 7 is for. Since you work at Subway, you get to look at all those food bins while you make sandwiches. Next time you're there, I'd like you to look at them and be able to tell which ones are protein sources, carb sources, or fat sources, and whether or not you ought to be eating it.
Carbs: oats, whole wheat breads and pastas, potatos, rice (the less white the better), and beans
Proteins: lean poultry (not dark meat), lean beef (leanest cuts are typically sirloin, almost no visible fat marbling), lean pork (not salami, ), fish/seafood, egg whites, whey/cassein powders
Other carbs: all fruits, all veggies
Fats: nuts, peanut butter, olive oil, egg yolks
Dairy: milk (all kinds are good, but 1-2% when trying to lsoe weight), 1-2% yogurt, 1-2% cottage cheese (great protein source)
I'm sure I'm missing a few from each category, but you get the idea. They're also in order of priority for a good diet, carbs>protein>fat. Carbs to sustain energy (through the day and through your workout), an equal or slightly smaller amount of protein to repair muscle, and a little bit of fat to keep you warm, protect your organs and keep food appetizing.
Since you probably eat a lot of sandwishes, you have it easy in terms of getting a little bit of each nutrient in a single meal. Your (whole wheat) bread will take care of the carbs you need, so pick a good meat (by the way, 10 slices of turkey is only something like 90-110 calories, so don't get neurotic and only put 3 on there) or fish, load it with veggies, mustard if you like, and enjoy. No chips, no soda.
So, in a single sandwhich, you've eaten a complex carb (bread), flesh protein, some fat from the protein source (generally where you should get your fat from), and some additional complex carbs from the veggies (20 calories tops, don't worry). Perfect.
As far as how much you should be eating/portion sizes, I can be very general or agonizingly precise. Generally, I suggest that you eat a meal to the point that you no lunger feel hungry, but not to the point that you're stuffed or "full". Try to eat each meal until you are satisfied or satiated. Don't undereat, either. You're a big guy, you will require a lot of food to reach the point of just feeling 'satisfied'. Don't be afraid to eat it as long as it's nutritious.
You're assumption that you should be drinking a lot less juice is correct. Even if it's 100% fresh squeezed, that's a lot of carbs from fruit that probably aren't getting used for energy and is instead getting stored as fat. You can drink a glass or two during the day but not all day. You should be drinking waterwaterwaterwaterwater.
Your needs are simple, but the irony is that it's simpler (easier, I guess I should say) to join a gym/buy a home gym than it is to just pick up a routine you can do at home with no equipment.
Lucky for you, another member here turned me on to this: Simple Fit. CrossFit (weighted version) is a strength training philiososphy/community that incorporates olympic lifting and powerlifting into intense workouts that are provided on their website each day. SimpleFit is similar, but its routines are made up of bodyweight exercises.
Many mass-buidling/strength training/endurance/stamina exercises can be done with no weight since they tend to be natural body movements anyway (squats, for example).
Simple Fit is, by no means, pussy stuff. If anyone thinks so, I challenge them to take on one of their advanced workouts...
Browse their site. Check out the nutrition info and bodyweight workouts section. All the thinking and planning is doen for you there. All you must do is provide the warm body. It's like the hard work is already done for you! You can pick one of the workout levels and just do each one one day a week, preferabley every other day.
I've left a lot of specifics for the sake of brevity... God, it could have been longer than this? Things like determining your caloric needs to the thousandth decimal place, nutritional chemistry, explanations of exercises, etc.
I think if you just learn to recognize food in terms of it's nutritient category (carb, protein, or fat), you'll begin eating better. Finally, the most important part about exercise is consistancy. I don't mean doing the exact same thing every single day (that's not good). I mean working out like clockwork and putting forth a concerted effort.
Thoughts about diet...
Actually, 3 slices of turkey is the normal portion for a 6" sub. Unfortunately I'm a big fan of the steak and BMT (salami, pepperoni and ham), but I guess I can eat more cold cuts and chicken. I like oil & vinegar on my subs, don't know if that's a good idea. I usually grab a bag of sun chips, too, which are supposedly less bad for you, but who knows.
Are nuts okay, then? we've usually got a lot of trail mix at home as a snack.
When I'm not working, I usually drink a glass of juice with every meal, and then water throughout the day.
3 slices of turkey is the normal portion for a 6" sub because it is the most expensive part of the sandwich, but from your diet perspective, don't be afraid to double that up. I know I always order double meat if I am ever forced to eat at subway. Obviously, saying so many calories are in so many slices is greatly dependent on the size and thickness of the slice, and IIRC, subway cuts their stuff very thick.
Also, it is very likely that their wheat roll is not WHOLE wheat and is processed and enriched, just like white bread - i.e., not much better for you. Might want to consider bringing in your own WHOLE wheat/grain bread/rolls - they are cheap. Also note that "multigrain" is a marketing gimmick, where part of the "multi" can be processed/enriched flour - if it ain't 100% whole, it really isn't ideal. Eat it dry, or with mustard - no mayo or oil. Skip the chips and eat some raw veggies instead. Dill pickles are also pretty good (no more calories than cukes, really), although obviously high in sodium.
If you eat nuts, you should be going for raw ones and I'm fairly certain that walnuts, almonds, and pecans can be considered "better" for you than, say, peanuts. Most of the calories from nuts are from fat, but unsaturated (i.e., the "good" kind). Still, they are very, very calorie dense, so I'd say avoid eating them regularly while you are trying to lose - as stated, try to get most of your fat from your animal protein source. At the very least, keep a close eye on portion size, as it is really easy to gobble down 500+ calories of nuts as a snack. In fact, you mentioned you eat them in trail mix. Realize that the entire point of trail mix is to give a very, very high energy source (read: lots of calories) in a small, light package. This is pretty much exactly what you don't want when trying to lose weight.
Dude, you can do it.
Cut your portions down. As for exercise, those bands will work great if you use them right. You can simulate all kinds of things, pull ups, dead lifts, ect. You can do a total body work out.
Cardio will burn calories too. Jump rope, jumpping jacks, squat jumps, ect. There is a lot you can do.
Best of luck to you!