Didn't want this buried on page 4 of the health thread, so I'll stick this here and those of you that are trying to be serious about fitness can access it easily... I'm by no means an expert but have done tons of research on this stuff, and have 2 close friends that are competitive bodybuilders... Hope it helps...
(for further research, here's a GREAT site to bookmark: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bbinfo.htm )
Without a doubt the most important part of being fit... Consider other cultures (like the French) where you don't see a lot of fat people... It's not because they're all workout buffs, but rather they eat lots of small meals. Try for 5-7 small meals a day... It's tough, and not everybody can do it. You don't have to do it EVERY single day, but the main thing is to be aware of your diet. This will give you your greatest chance for success... The most important thing is to aim for 1.5 grams of total protein consumption per lb a day. If you weigh 200 lb's that means you need to consume 300 grams of protein daily... This will be nearly impossible without supplementation, which I will get to. From there, avoid sugars as much as possible, avoid white flour, get your carbs early in the day and taper off. Drink plenty of water, and don't run away from fats... Also, try to consume 1/2 of a baked potato after you workout. It will help re-energize your body so you don't feel lethargic the rest of the day... Caffeine is also phenomenal as a fat burner... Just make sure if you're going for energy drinks you're going sugar free... Nothing beats black coffee though. Green Tea is also great, but you can't be adding sugar...
Sample day for me:
Wake-up: Protein shake and apple
Breakfast: 4 egg whites and 2 eggs with yolk scrambled & 1 cup of oatmeal (AVOID INSTANT)
Snack: 2 hard boiled egg whites and slice of whole grain toast
Lunch: Spinach salad with 1 can of salmon, a few raisins, walnuts, cottage cheese, and low-cal dressing
Pre-workout: protein shake
Post-workout: protein shake and 1/2 baked potato
Dinner: Grilled chicken breast, fresh broccoli (I boil florets for about 3 minutes then dump immediately into ice water for 5 minutes and then pat dry... This gives you cool, crisp broccoli that you can eat with your fingers), slice of whole wheat toast.
Late snack: cottage cheese and walnuts
Before bed: Casein protein shake
Looks like a lot, but I don't spend much time in the kitchen, don't spend much money, am always full, and have a healthy diet... Combined (counting using a blender to make shakes) I spend 30-45 minutes a day in the kitchen... Not too bad considering it would take me 15 minutes to go to McDonalds and back...
There are two great ways to burn fat through cardio. One is high intensity intervals or HIIT training. A sample would be to warm up with a brisk walk, then sprint nearly all-out for 45 seconds followed by 1 minute of very slow jogging. Repeat 10-15 times. You could also jog slowly for 45 seconds, and then stop and skip rope as fast as possible for 45 seconds to a minute... Jogging for long periods of time will force you into a catabolic state where your body will burn muscle for energy... You want to avoid this if you're putting time in the gym lifting. Another great way to burn fat is to walk for 45 minutes to an hour first thing in the morning. You would do this before eating anything as this is the best possible way to ramp up your metabolism and boost fat burning throughout the day. You should walk at a pace that's slow enough for you to carry on an easy conversation. I like to walk slowly or sit on an exercise bike at low intensity and read a book or study.
As for lifting, try to keep everything in the 8-10 rep range. Your weight training days should last 30 minutes to an hour. For maintenance lifting 2-3 times a week is fine, but for transformation you need to be lifting 5 days a week... I prefer the push/pull method of training 2 body parts a session. Biceps/Back, Triceps/Shoulders, Chest/Hamstrings, Quads/Calves. However I am not 100% locked into that routine... Mix things up. Always focus on your weakest body part to begin the workout. You want to train that when you are the freshest. For example, I feel my biceps need the most work. So whenever I'm doing a session that includes biceps, that is the first thing I do. Also, start with compound movements first (squats, bench press, military press, barbell curls) and then finish your workouts with more focused movements (leg extensions, dumbbell flyes, reverse flyes, concentration curls). Once again, this is doing heavier movements early, and moving to more precise stuff once you are pre-exhausted.
I'm a huge supporter of proper supplementation... You will probably find it impossible to eat 5-7 small meals a day without 3-4 of those meals being simple quick protein shakes. Also, you'll probably really struggle to get the proper amount of protein without it.
Also, avoid supplement stores like the plague... You pay for the convenience... These are low-volume stores that make you pay for their relative lack of business... Supplementwarehouse is a favorite online site of mine because they offer price matching if you find a supplement you want that's cheaper on another site... It's your money, so take a bit of time and find the best prices. I know there are better sites out there for shipping, so just take some time and compare. Main thing is, don't blow your money on gimmicks and expensive retail stores...
5 most important supplements
BCAA's (branch chain amino acids)
Creatine (not advised if you absolutely have to meet that weight for the Air Force. However, check with your recruiter because I'm more than willing to bet that there are waivers you could get for that weight based on body fat %)
Protein: I take two types of protein. One is whey and the other is casein. Casein is a slow-digesting protein. This is optimal to take combined with Whey early in the day, when you know you may have to go a bit of time without a proper meal, and within 1 hour of bed time. If you don't want to purchase both, a small meal of cottage cheese and walnuts right before bed time will provide you with some natural casein. You always want to take whey right after a workout (within a 30 minute window) because this will provide your body with the nutrients it needs for recovery and will optimize your hard work... My favorite protein is Optimum Nutrition 100% gold standard whey. It's high quality, low carb, VERY cost effective, and has the branch chain amino acid's you need already included. I purchase 2 5.5 tubs at a time. Search around for the best price, but 5.5 lb's should cost 38 dollars or less (i use supplementwarehouse.com) and that's 73 servings at 26 grams of protein per serving... I usually do a full scoop of this, and take it with another 1/2 scoop of the ON 100% casein. Best times to take protein are immediately following a workout, first thing in the morning about 1/2 hour before breakfast, and in between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner...
Multi-Vitamin - EXTREMELY underrated... You want to make sure you're getting proper nutrients. This will keep you healthy and keep you in the gym... Spend a bit extra on these. Gaspari makes a phenomenal vitamin as does Optimum Nutrition
Fish-oil - Another underrated supplement... Important to heart health, healthy joints, and even has minor mood/memory benefits.
BCAA's - the main point of these are to help your body maximize proteins. Also are good for the skin, and help aid in fat burning during workouts... Get it in your protein...
Creatine - You can find 500 flashy creatine's on the market... Most will cost 30-50 dollars for 1-2 months supply... I say "boo" to that... Buy straight up creatine without anything added and you can usually find 1000 g's for under 22 dollars... Considering you'll use 5-10 grams a day MAX (if you load you would use 10 grams for a month, and then maintain forever at 5 grams a day) that's almost a years worth of creatine for under 25 dollars...
Hope this helps...