Concentrate on weight loss to regain your former weight *while* doing strength training with heavy weight/resistance to maintain the lean muscle you currently have. No extreme calorie deficits, eat right... eat balanced, adequate protein and count your calories. This should give you a jump start on fat loss.
A very slight deficit from your current daily calorie needs *with* a proper strength training while factoring in being a beginner to lifting may land you some serious LBM (lean body mass) gains while burning away fat.
For strength training do full body *compound* exercises with heavy weight/resistance so you really challenge the muscle and create micro tears in the muscle fiber, encouraging fast growth. Heavy weight... low reps.
***compound exercises include; deadlifts, squats, lunges, pull ups, push ups, bench press, overhead press, rows. Exercises that encourage the use of multiple large muscles. There is no need to target tone your abs... this has nothing to do with the fat on top and as others have already stated, you can't target fat loss. Fat is lost by creating a calorie deficit from your maintenance calorie needs (eating less, moving more). Only 10% of your workout needs to be devoted to abs so that is; 1 or 2 exercises. The compound exercises I listed above already work your core because it is used to stabilize while performing the lift.
For cardio, all you need is 30 mins of HIIT (high intensity interval training) 3x a week.
Once you reach your former weight, which I encourage you to do slowly if you want to get lean and change the recomposition of your body. You should still experience changes in recomp. for the next year. It will be a slow process, mind you but if you don't have too high of a BF% (body fat %), it shouldn't take too long. Considering you're young, have remained relatively "fit", it shouldn't be very high to begin with. So 6 months even, may be a reasonable time frame to achieve the body you want depending on how far you want to take it.
Your main focus is going to be your BF% not your scale weight. Invest in some skinfold calipers to track your progress. They run around $10-30. Use the scale as a *very loose* guide. It is not a good predictor of fat loss and if you do begin gaining muscle, your weight may remain the same and can even rise while your measurements shrink. Muscle takes up less room than fat per pound. The problem with the scale is that it doesn't just measure fat, it also measures fluid/muscle/lean tissue. Fat loss is what we all desire. The scale can drop and rise every time a light breeze blows. Your body weight can fluctuate as much as 5 lbs in a single day.
That means... you may weigh more or maintain your current weight but fit in a smaller size and have a rock hard body.
I actually gained weight from 107 lbs to 120 lbs, still wear a size 1 and my stomach is flatter and has less fat than it did at 107 lbs.
Side note: it's unlikely you gained 13 lbs of permanent fat gain in 3 weeks. You don't gain that much fat overnight, just like you don't lose that much fat overnight. If you've been eating a lot of starch lately... most of that is just fluid gain. Carbs retain more fluid than the other macronutrients, this is temporary gain and would disappear within a week of eating a moderate carb intake and watching your sodium intake. For carbs choose veg, fruit, whole grains, legumes/lentils and low fat dairy and limit your intake of added sugars and heavily refined carbs. It will cure that bloat right up.
Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 9/1/2013 (08:33)
Take your focus off the Marshmallow. www.leangains.com/2010/01/marshmallo
"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. If you don't want to get bulky, lift heavy!
I can bench Nicole Richie, eat more than she does in a day before noon, I have a good 20 lbs on her but could still wear her pants.
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