It sounds like you've already made some very positive changes. Eliminating 10 cans of soda (the non-diet kind) amounts to around 1200 fewer calories taken in every day, all by itself. That's great! And it sounds like you're off to a good start with adding some regular exercise into your daily routine. The best approach with exercise is usually to increase your time gradually, rather than trying to do too much from the beginning. So, if you can gradually add a few minutes to the time you spend on your exercise bike and step machine, that should do the trick. It's usually better to add more time at a moderate intensity rather than focusing on trying to go as fast as possible for a short time. For example, if you can increase the time you spend on the exercise bike by 5 minutes/week, and also increase the resistance level a little bit, you'll end up burning more calories and seeing more improvement in your fitness level than if you pedal really fast for a short time with a low resistance setting. Likewise, it will work better to do fewer repetitions of more different exercises, rather than focusing on lots of repetitions for just your core muscles. Working muscles in a particular area, like your abs, doesn't cause fat loss in that particular area--fat loss comes from eating fewer calories than you're burning with all your daily activity.
Even if you're not counting calories closely and trying to stick to a particular calorie range right away, it's a good idea to use the nutrition tracker to find out the nutritional breakdown of your diet. Knowing where your calories are coming from will make it a lot easier to figure out what specific changes you can make to both reduce your calorie total and also make sure you're getting what you need of good nutrition and health, usually without spending any extra money.
There are lots of articles in the Resource Center with detailed info about nutrition, exercise, and food choice options, and the more you know, the easier it is to make the choices that will help you get to your goals. So, be sure to spend some time checking out those resources. Here are a couple articles on the basic info you need to know about cardio exercise and strength training, along with an article that explains how your total calorie intake affects your weight loss.
Calorie range for weight loss:
Hope this helps.
"All your life, you have just been waiting for this moment to arise."
(Lennon & McCartney, "Blackbird")
| current weight: 199.0