Scorpio_M saidKick up the cardio with gradual increases in time and intensity.To prevent boredom during cardio, you can mix it up by using various equipment. It is all about a good healthy balanced diet and plenty of cardio. Your calorie count should have a deficit of 500-600 calories for the reduction of body fat.
see, this is where i get confused. should I be aiming for a calorie deficit even if I am doing strength training? if im not getting enough calories, wont that cancel out the strength training?
What are you trying to get enough calories for?
If you're trying to lose weight, then you should be aiming for enough calories that you can live, and still lose weight. My partner is taller than you and weighed more, and he managed to lose weight (reasonably quickly) by eating a diet of 1500 calories or so a day. After he had done enough exercise that he could bring a lot of intensity to his workouts, he found that 1500 calories just wasn't enough for him. At that point, he started eating about 1800. Note that that was after he became used to doing a lot of exercise.
My partner did 2 or 3 10KM runs per week, plus two grueling and intense high heart rate weight workouts per week. He did that on top of the diet.
I think the advice that you become accustomed to more exercise is a good one. And the comment that it'll take as long as you want it to is also dead on.
You can lose the weight either by reducing your calorie intake significantly, or you can do it by exercising with an intensity and duration per week that allows you to lose it. Or you can do both. It doesn't sound like you're at the point where you need to worry about getting enough calories to help build muscle. You'll be fine with lower calories and more 'work' each week, most likely until you get your waist where you want it.
After you hit that goal, then you can worry about what to do with your diet to put on quality muscle.