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Cardio vs Weight training? or Both? Please HELP!

I have started a complete lifestyle changing initiative. I am currently 1 1/2 months into my new diet and exercise regiment. I weigh about 287lbs (my goal is approximately 215lbs mostly muscle) at the moment after losing about 25lbs last month. I do cardio 6 days a week for 45 mins each time. I alternate my cardio workouts between the elliptical, the treadmill, and I use the bike and stairmaster seldomly. I am noticing great weight loss with this routine. I also do a pretty decent ab workout (which is tough for a fat guy) one or two days a week. I have coupled this routine with an effective diet as well. High protein, low carbs, lots of vegetables, some fruit, multivitamin, EFA's, and Glucosamine so that my joints stay healthy. I think what I am doing is working very effectively and I have no questions as to how to change what I am currently doing.

My questions is the following: Do you think that I should implement a mild weight training routine as well? I was thinking about doing some weight training 3 days a week? Is that enough or too much? This 3 day weight training routine would be in addition to my cardio 6 days a week. I will in no way shape or form compromise doing less days of cardio to do weight training (especially since what I am doing is working), so all of this will be in addition to my original cardio. My plan was to do 30 mins of cardio on days that i lift, instead of the normal 45. Should I maintain the 45 mins on cardio after my weight training workout or should i decrease it like i was planning?

I do realize that if you want to lose "weight" then cardio is the most effective avenue. but my goal is to lose weight while toning the muscles beneath the fat. I'm pretty sure that losing "weight" generally includes losing muscle as well, unless you can exercise those muscles. I would like to find a good balance between both cardio and weight lifting.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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657315 tn?1319491387
I don't know if you want "an old lady's" perspective, but NoLeafClover pretty much agreed with YOU and I agree with HIM.

When I was in the process of losing my 70 lbs, at a certain point I added weight-training.  I did NOT stall weight loss, nor did I temporarily GAIN weight.  I cringe when people say that they do....  Weight-training is absolutely essential.  

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723660 tn?1247163511
Weight training has the benefit of raising your metabolism for a longer term than cardio. Cardio is great as long as you can keep it up, but the minute you start cutting down, the pounds come right back. When you do weights, your muscles need energy to regenerate for a day or two after, and as you build muscle, your caloric requirements rise as well (since it takes more calories to sustain a pound of muscle than a pound of fat.) So in general, yes, for a healthy lifestyle it is beneficial to work on both weights and cardio, especially when a high percentage of your weight is body fat. Doing weights only every other day is fine, and recommended, or alternating muscle groups between days, so your muscles have time to regenerate between sessions.

In general, you don't lose muscle, it stays with you. when you're working off the pounds, what you're losing is fat, and as long as you're doing it by exercise and not starvation you're likely gaining some in the process. The ultimate goal is to gain a few pounds of muscle while you lose several pounds of fat, and it makes it easier to keep the weight off.
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