I have read so much information and everything contridicts each other. I just want to get the fat skinny (no pun intended) Here is a quick rundown of my situation, and my long term goals.
I am 24 years old, male 5'11 and 196lbs. I have no real lifting experience but I used to work out regularly 7 years ago so I have some decent muscle on most of my body. The problem is, I started eating nothing but fast food, and have been for 7 years taking in an estimated 5k calories per day. My guess is that I must have a very high metabolism because anyone else would probably be 500 lbs by now, but it seems as though I have only added any real noticable fat to my belly and chest. Body fat as measured by a caliper seems to be at about 30%.
My situation is this.... I have ditched all fast food and sweets, and started eating right and my goal is to get all this fat off me in 12 weeks time. I now have a membership to Bally's and the ambition to go every day. I love working muscles but I know cardio is key right now and from what I have read I need to concentrate on low intensity, long duration for max fat loss.
My question is, how many calories should I be taking in? I hear a lot of stuff about how I should only lose 2 lbs per week to avoid losing muscle but I honestly dont know how concerned I should be about this. I just want the weight off, and fast, so that I can start working on getting ripped. I really just want to eat next to nothing, do tons of cardio and worry about gaining muscle later but I dont want to do more harm than good.
So what should I do?
How many calories should I be eating? Different sites tell me different things.
Would it hurt to stay at a really low calorie level (say 1200) ?
Is it true that my body might go into shock now that I dropped from 5k calories down to 1800 or so and could it start storing fat? If so, to what degree? Is this really worth worrying about?
Should I continue lifting weights or just concentrate on cardio until the fat is gone?
I am ready to change my life, but I am in a unique situation with wanting fast results, and completely changing my eating and excercise habits. I just dont want to do anything that could slow down the fat loss or hender my long term goal which is bulking up.
Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!