Hi Ruthie, there are plenty of folks on here with a lot more experience than me, but I can tell you what I found to work. I used a combination of good diet (a lot of natural, nonprocessed foods, and a healthy calorie deficit), cardio, and strength training. I have a similar scale to you...again, don't know how accurate it is in absolute terms, but I was at about 26, 27% when I started, and now it consistently shows 18%.
The greater percentage of your body that is muscle, the less is fat. Build your muscles and not only will you have a lower percentage of body fat, your metabolism will be churning along at a higher rate.
Some folks say to skip the cardio in favor of serious lifting. You have to do what is right for you. Cardio burns calories, no doubt about it, and interval training has a ton of benefits for your system. Personally, I believe that cardio is really important, having had a couple ER visits due to a spontaneously spiking heart rate, so I do what I can to be good to my heart.
**Update...from what I've read, your scale is probably more accurate than measuring for body fat, calipers would be more accurate as well, and hydrostatic weighing is the most accurate available to most folks.
And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.
Last edited by cjohnson728; 09-01-2010 at 03:15 AM.