Currently, I weigh about 150 lbs and am 19 years old. I want to get back to my old weight of 120-130 lbs in about 3-4 months. (I gained the weight over the past 5 months...so it was gained very fast. This is unacceptable for me since this is the heaviest I have ever been.) I understand that I need to burn more calories than I consume, but I only eat about 1500-1600 calories per day. I am a size 6-7 right now and want to be a size 2 again! Losing the inches are more important than losing pounds because I expect to gain muscle in this process..so it would be hard to tell the exact weight loss! I just want to fit into my jeans again. Once I lose the fat, I know how to tone up--I have just never had this problem before so fat loss is a new concept to me. What is a good exercise regime to follow to lose this fat and get back to my normal size? I have bad knees and cannot run, but I can use an elliptical or bike...(or simply walk but I don't feel that would be adequate enough.) Please help!! Thank you!
As far as cardio: Do something that makes you sweat for at least 20-30 minutes a day, several days a week. You are right that walking (at your age and fitness level) probably isn't enough. Make it something fun, so you keep at it.
Toning up can actually help you lose weight, also. Weight training doesn't burn too many calories during the workout, but it burns more over the next couple days, as you build muscle (growing takes energy), and then still more calories to maintain the muscle and carry it around all day. Probably the best thing to do is to get in some of both types of exercise every week.
All that being said, your post is puzzling to me. If you are only eating 1500-1600 calories a day, you should be losing already. Are you sure about that count? Did you make it by measuring portions? Did you count all your snacks and beverages? Perhaps you could tell us a bit about what you eat.
25 pounds in 5 months is a lot of weight gain. Do you know why you gained so fast?
I agree with Jane White. I used to run and lost weight from doing that, but unfortunately started having knee pains, which run in the family... great! Well, now I use the elliptical machine. I keep the resistance low and go at a very fast face and get similar results to running. If I want to work my muscles more (rather than a cardio exercise), I add a lot more resistance or do hill intervals. I also like using different weight machines at the gym. I do crunches on the balance bar and my abs are the best they've ever been. This exercise, combined with a healthy eating plan, made me lose the weight I gained one year. To make sure you don't get discouraged, think about your progress as you exercise. Imagine yourself reaching your goal and it will help you keep going! I try to eat lean protein, lots of fruits and veggies, and healthy carbs to go with my exercise routines. Good luck!