I have a dumb question though:
What exactly is "carb loading" in real terms? What do people who are carbing up before a workout typically eat?
Could I go through the McDonalds drive-thru and order fries? : ) I'm serious - I haven't eaten that stuff in many months (used to eat fries almost daily it seemed).
On a different note...I'm down to 204.8lb on the scale as of this morning. I still have a lot of belly fat, though with a shirt on I look muscular as the belly is concealed and I'm apparently blessed with a good body, proportion-wise, when not loaded up with too much fat. I've had this belly fat since right around age 11. I'm tempted to just ditch weights altogether and stick with cardio, since the weights are what started the lack of energy. I'm not overdoing it now so it's not too bad. It could be I just need to kick it in gear and work out harder to jump-start my energy level. I did a 'spin' class yesterday and the guy focused on intervals. It was tough but I feel pretty good this morning. But my brain tells me that weight training is where the real benefits are...
I'd go to a personal trainer (there are many associated with my gym) but they will tell me I need to eat lots of carbs.
Not a dumb question at all, but I already answered it for you. Fruits! On Dr. Mercola's website, the trainer recommended carbs at a ratio of 4:1 carbs to protein. In my own experience, I've done higher ratios for muscle mass and about 4:1 for fat loss, so I think you should experiment. At least 50% simple carbs in the form of fruits is what I was recommended by my trainer (one of the few good ones). He is slowly becoming a believer in saturated fats experimenting on himself for a year w/whole raw eggs, organic grass fed beef liver, and raw milk. He just made a plan that only has a daily carb up around the workout and then the rest of the day fats and proteins w/green vege carbs only.
Some believe that because of the higher carbs for the carb up, fats should be kept at a minimum for these 2 meals. Again, experimentation is best, but that is a general rule I've come across.
Some trainers are good, but usually not at any commercial gyms. If they talk to their clients during a workout about things that have nothing to do w/training, avoid them.
Something you really should get out of your head is how much weight you need to lose. This is a horrible attitude and is the reason why people think cardio works better than weights. You want a better muscle to fat ratio. According to Arnold Schwarzeneggar, if no weight training is done, about 40-60% of a 1 lb weight loss is muscle. WHO WANTS THAT?! Here buy these cheap calipers: http://www.amazon.com/Accu-Measure-Fitne...351&sr=8-1
I own some. Use them and measuring tape around your waist to track results. If the numbers are going down despite the scale, you're losing fat. If they go up, you're possibly gaining fat. The calipers are more important than the measure. This is because abdominal exercises can make the belly bigger because of hypertrophy of the abdominal muscles. Keep the carbs as low as you can for max fat loss. If you hit a wall, up the carbs and see if it interferes w/the fat loss side of things.
This isn't some new age supplement ad laded approach. This is definitely an old school approach. Furthermore, this does contradict Gary Taubes and his theories, but IMO, Taubes hasn't done enough research on weight training and admits he's not a weight lifter, he does Yoga am aerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise is different. So keep a record. Just my opinion, but for anaerobic exercise, calories do matter.
I also agree w/you that weight training is where the real benefits are. Even Dr. Eades and Atkins from my readings seem to say that it is more beneficial than cardio. Again, you either have muscle or fat. Cardio reduces fat fast. But weights build muscle faster. More muscle burns more calories at rest. Therefore, it would be logical to build more muscle, if you subscribe to the premises above, lol.