Losing weight & get fit

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by deanie, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. deanie

    deanie New Member

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    I have recently started cycling again. I have a roadbike and am cycling about 16km per day. Is this enough to lose weight? As well and get fit? On 5 days a week.....
     
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  2. otherworld

    otherworld New Member

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    You haven’t has any replies so far and that’s because yours is an impossible question to answer. There are too many variables.

    As a rule however, you need to exercise for at least a solid hour every day at between 75 – 85% of your maximum heart rate. (This is not high effort, it’s just when you are starting to breathe a bit harder and getting a bit of a glow) You need to eat real food but not over-eat. You need to drink a lot of plain water. You need to remember that you won’t die just because you feel a little bit bored or hungry between eating proper meals. Real food means fresh fruit, vegetables grains (rice and pasta) fish, lean meat and a bit of dairy. Real food does NOT mean junk-food, convenience-food, snack-food etc.

    It’s about the amount of time and intensity of the exercise not how far you ride. As you get fitter you will ride further and faster for the same effort and you will need to in order to continue improving.

    Good Luck Jay.
     
  3. parawolf

    parawolf New Member

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    I cycle at the moment about 19km per day, and it is all up about 50 minutes of commuting.

    I have lost 10kg since starting commuting back in October, and 14kg since this time last year when I made a decision to lose weight. I am now well in my healthy BMI range and still losing weight.

    So depending on the course, and whether you push it on the bike and not just dawdle along definately (again depends on your base level at the moment) has the potential to lose weight.

    You will certainly notice a fitness level improvement too - i know I have. I wasn't hugely overweight (95kg 12 months ago and i'm 192cm). This morning I weighed in at 81.2kg.
     
  4. deanie

    deanie New Member

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    Thanks for that guys, that makes sense. I will keep on at it and im sure i will see the results.:eek:
     
  5. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Daily cycling is great for getting in shape, and certainly essential for overall wellness. But, recommend you don't equate it to weight loss. Exercising to lose weight really doesn't work well, because it's only focusing on the expenditure half the equation. Keep the diet and weight a seperate issue from your training and you'll see better results...IMO anyway.

    Consider that if you do your 10 mile daily ride in about 45 minutes, you're burning something like 300 calories. How easy is it to eat back 300 calories? A piece of fruit, some peanuts and a glass of milk (my favorite post-ride snack) makes that up. Even if you go out and ride hard for 3 hours or more, it's still pretty easy to replace the calories burned with snacking and a big meal. Post-ride beer, chips and mexican is my favorite.

    Believe that for many of us, maintaining a good diet and proper weight is tougher than riding the bike. As a racer once told me, the only thing less fun than controlling what you eat is trying to race 20 lbs overweight :)
     
  6. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Good post because I have been involved more lately with club rides and many are overweight even though the majority have really good conditioning and can keep a good sustained pace. You have hit the nail on the head because of how easy it is to overload the carbohydrate replacement during and after a ride. As you say I over hear several talk about going somewhere to have a few beers. That is not a good idea for the person that is on a mission to lose bodyfat.

    That is not to dispute the logic that carbohydrates are absolutely an essential facet to begin the recovery process, but it is not necessary to overload with simple sugars. That is where a person that has a bodyfat loss goal needs to be careful with carbohydrate intake and replacement.
     
  7. Postie

    Postie New Member

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    Interesting... I don't think I've ever seen a post from DHK that I disagreed with, however I don't entirely agree with what was said here.

    I'd really like to focus on this statement "Exercising to lose weight really doesn't work well, because it's only focusing on the expenditure half the equation."

    Yes, cycling 45 min a day may only burn 300 calories, however given a higher intensity it also may be more like 450 (given that intensity probably isn't 45 min over 16k unless it's uphill). Depending on a person's physical make-up and level of fitness prior to starting an exercise program, there are huge physical changes taking place aside from the 300 or so calories burnt while cycling. Metabolism goes up, blood vessels dilate, body mass becomes proportionally growing in muscle while lowering in fat. These things contribute much more then just 300 calories burned and burn more calories all day every day.

    Now given, a 16k ride each day isn't huge exercise so I'm not saying this person should expect amazing results, I'm just speaking in general.

    I was once very out of shape and, not heavy heavy, but I was really in a position to benefit from shedding some pounds (like 40). As I progressed in working out, I started working out like a fiend (very hard but still only 10 hours a week and most of them not on the bike). I burnt a lot of calories but, with the addition of meal replacement drinks, was taking in an insane number of calories (several thousand each day). In fact, it was enough to be equivalent to 5 significant meals a day.

    I continually lost weight slowly so that, after a year and a half, I was 40 pounds lighter. However, no part of my body resembled what it looked like before. It was one of the most liberating experiences of my life. I had a lot of reasons to feel confident about myself, however this really taught me that I was in control of my life and I could do whatever I put my mind to doing. And all of this was through exercise, not counting calories.

    However, there's also more to diet then just calories, so I do know that diet is an important part of the equation. I’m just saying that exercise to lose weight can work very well.
     
  8. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Abstract

    Exercise and diet go hand in hand.
    Exercise prompting the oxidation of fat is efficient and governing the intake of macro nutrients to maintain satisfactory levels necessary for daily living and recovery without excessive consumption of wasted calories that sustain or increase fat levels.

    IMO - what is not efficient are programs that are marketed for those who desire to maintain a sedentary lifestyle. Those programs like "keto-diets" or "Atkins" type of diets. They work, but just not as efficiently.
     
  9. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Not even Lance Armstrong could pedal faster than his spoon. Meaning that when he was competing he still meticulously weighed every peice of food he ate so as not to get overweight.

    Dietary manipulation is the most optimum way to change body composition.

    Frankly, I am of the opinion that aerobics are highly overrated as a fat loss tool and that resistance training in many cases works better. Larger muscles burn more calories even at rest. However, a cyclist or runner may not want to carry around the extra muscle weight.

    For those that prefer cycling or running, HIIT has proven to be superior for fat loss compared to steady state training. However, I cannot recover from HIIT fast enough to be able to do them consistently. Steady state is a good option for beginners and people like me who don't have the recovery ability to do HIIT.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=8028502

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/...ve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=11319629
     
  10. jslopez93

    jslopez93 New Member

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    Calories in should be < calories out as the other guys can definte more technically.

    To start commuting to work is an excellent way to lose weight especially if your body is not used to the load. Eventually though you will hit plateau at which case you need to really make a conscious effort to modify things to lose more weight.

    I remember 1 year and a half ago I kept losing weight the first 3 months of riding even though I felt like I was also eating all the time. Then I hit a wall (of not losing weight that is) decided to eat a bit healthier and lost more weight. Hit another wall and made an even more conscious effort to get a good diet plus I added more cycling into the mix. 45 lb. later I'm trying to lose that pesky final 5-10 to go back to my weight back in Freshman college (Started at 180 now at 135).

    I think the key also is not to try and do too much too soon. It will lead to injury and burn out.
     
  11. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Postie, can't disagree with what you've said, or your personal experience. But it still comes down to controlling your diet while you do all the working out. If you've kept the weight off successfully, bet you've also watched your diet.

    It all comes down to motivation really. I know people who do well at the riding, but they sabotage their progress by keeping the 40 extra lbs; not being willing or able to control their diets.

    We're all different, but for me diet control to maintain the lean weight is tougher than riding the bike. Got down to my "best" weight of 170 lbs in '03, and I'm running 10 lbs over that now. As you know, 10 lbs is a lot to give up on hills...about 5% slower. Have been "thinking about" getting the weight off since the holidays, but just haven't gotten the motivation quite there yet.

    Like Doc said, Lance had to weigh everything he ate in order to get down to his best fighting weight for the TdF. Of course, a pro has a lot more motivation than most of us recreational riders and racers. He's got a million-dollar contract and world records on the line; I've got the finish line clock on the 3 State 3 Mountain Century on May 6. It's a goal for me to ride faster than last time, but it's certainly not the same thing as going for a win in the TdF :)
     
  12. Postie

    Postie New Member

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    Hey DHK.

    I know the truth of what you're saying and I know there's only going to be two degrees of separation in what we're trying to say. I've read your posts for years and know you know what you're talking about.

    What I don't like about Doc's Armstrong example is that none of this discussion is about "What do the best endurance athletes in the world have to do to maintain a competitive weight". Rather the discussion was a post from someone, I'm assuming to be new to exercise, asking if regular exercise, where there was none before, can cause weight loss with every else remaining equal. My answer to that is "absolutely".

    Many years ago, I had a friend that had a spare tractor tire around his waist and he lived a very sedimentary life style even though he was still in his early 20's. Before getting him started in a gym, I told him that he should just go for walks with me every day to see how it would make him feel. So, just about every day for three months we walked. Some times 25 minutes other times 3 hours, averaging somewhere in-between. In three months he lost 20 lbs and several pant sizes, and he did not have one single change in his diet.

    There's not one part of me that is disputing the value of diet. I agree with what you're saying. I too know people that can't lose weight because of bad dietary habits. I also know a lot of relatively fit people with weight they'd love to drop (and look like they could drop). They can't lose any more weight then they've already lost because their genetics require them to be much stricter with their diet then others, and they have trouble applying that level of discipline. Clearly dietary changes would make a big difference.

    At the same time, I know people that have tried dozens of trend diets to no avail because some how the feeling is that it is easier then getting out of their armchair.

    When I read this post I thought to myself that this may be someone that is asking if they can expect to see weight loss by starting regular exercise where there was none before. IMHO - I'd have to say the answer is most definitely "yes". To me this is much better then some trend diet (and, yes, I know you weren't suggesting trend diets over exercise was a better solution :) ). I still think we're on the same page, just with a different reply to the poster.
     
  13. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Postie, not to dispute what you've said, but some people may even gain bodyweight after taking up an exercise program, even though they may be losing bodyfat. The scales aren't always the best measure of success because the body is a dynamic organism. If they've been sedentary for a long time they may put on some muscle weight.

    When I first took up cycling I actually gained weight. My quads got bigger and my pants got tighter in the legs but not the waist (thank God!). I admit that I do not fit the typical cyclist's profile. Quite the opposite in fact. With my body type dieting is a necessity in order to lose bodyweight or bodyfat. In your case it isn't.

    Still, dieting is the optimum way to cut the weight no matter how you slice it. If the OP wants to try to lose weight by cycling only he may certainly be able to do that, but there are no guaranteed results. However, if he wants optimum results, there is no getting around the dinner table.

    Sorry you didn't like my LA example. ;) It was just to show that even though somebody can ride enough hours in a day to burn 5,000 calories that they may still have to watch what they eat. I'm quite certain the OP is not going to be training for the TdF anytime soon. It was just to drive home the importance of eating clean.

    Oh yes, and for anyone considering a trendy diet ... trendy diets however trendy don't really work in the long run. They sell books or video tapes but they don't make people thinner, just richer. Fortunately, most of us on this forum know this already.

    In the bodybuilding world when it's time to get cut they actually eat several times a day. This helps to turn up the metabolism as digesting food is work and requires calories. Also, nutrients will be absorbed more efficiently when taken in several times a day as opposed to the typical 3 meal a day sittings. Several meals a day also help smooth out insulin regulation which is a big factor in fat gain/loss. Larger infrequent meals tend to cause insulin spikes.
     
  14. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    I helped my girlfriend loosing weight and getting fit, the experiment took roughly 1yr and a half.

    Her training regiment was 15 min of weight resistance training + 30 min on a Stairmaster 3 times/week (sometimes 4).

    She lost 25 pounds (from 155 down to 130) over 18 months. A year later (now), she's still on the same regiment, and still at 130 pounds.

    It took maybe 6 months before loosing the first pound for real. Before that, weight loss (or I should say weight variation) was more related to water loss.

    I believe that the fitness program didn't account for much to the weight loss. If there is anything, I'd say that consistancy (never skip a week), and diet did the job.

    I think it takes a while before the body understands that it's time to give up, and not try to compensate for the weekly calorie deficit. That's just a belief of course, for what it's worth.

    If you commit into a fitness program to loose weight, make sure that you aren't gonna quit is 8 months from now, or else, you'll probably gain the lost weight back. Don't skip a week, and ideally, don't even skip a workout.
    :)
     
  15. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    This is true. So many - at least in U.S. culture - go on a diet or fitness program to get into shape and lose weight, then once they have reached their goal(s) they go back to their previous lifestyle. We all know what happens then. They balloon back up to what they were before and sometimes worse. A sound maintenance program is needed afterward.

    This is one reason I'm totally against very calorie restrictive diets or trendy diets like Atkin's. They are simply impossible to maintain. Losing weight over time like youre girlfriend did is a much preferred option but most don't have the patience. They want fast results with a McDiet and a 6 second abs routine. Sorry, don't work like that folks.
     
  16. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Postie, we are on the same page here, just looking at it from two different aspects. Believe exercise can be a great benefit to a weight-loss program, and that most people who are successful in keeping the weight off long-term adopt a regular exercise routine. If the OP takes up regular exercise, and keeps her calorie intake the same, definately she'll lose weight. If the exercise helps to produce a sense of well-being, of course that will help to control the appetite too.

    But, just riding the bike by itself, without monitoring the diet, isn't enough. If I consume 600-800 kcals of rest stop snacks and Gatorade on a 3 hour ride, followed by that big mexican meal and beer I mentioned above (instead of my usual turkey on whole wheat w/club soda), I've gotten a calorie surplus from my day's cycling. As Doc said, if Lance had to control his diet to lose weight in the spring while burning 5000 calories a day in training, it's a good bet the rest of us will need to also.

    Since our discussions, was watching several infomercials on TV for various fitness programs and machines touting weight loss. In addition to the main thing they are selling, the ones I saw include a diet or meal-planning booklet in the package. I noted that the usual disclaimer under the happy customer who's lost 40 lbs says something like "Results not typical. Diet and aerobic activity were also used to achieve results".
     
  17. Postie

    Postie New Member

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    Ya, I knew we were on the same page. One thing that was very subjective from the OP was asking questions so general to say, "will I have weight loss?" or "will I get fit?". Defining a word like "fit" is impossible. Right now I'd say I'm very unfit, but there's no overlap in how I described myself before my life changes and now. It would for sure take me a couple months of serious dedication to be up to completing a century though.

    A guy I worked with died at 45 from a heart attack a couple years back. I had made a comment about how unfit he was and someone else said, "Unfit?!? He mowed his own grass!" (...and where I live that's less then half the year...) Mowed his own grass???? This has something to do with fit?!?!?

    On a forum with a bunch of athletes, it's also common for someone to make a comment about "getting into shape" and the advice will be, "Ok, first get a base of 5000km. Then, next month, start the interval training of 50 mph for 5 minute intervals. Then....." A reply like that is clearly coming from someone with a life style so different then the wanna-be cyclist poster that words like "shape, fitness, and diet" have whole different meanings.

    To some people you can't even use the word "diet" without them thinking about trend diets as opposed to "dietary intake". In my life people ask me about fitness advice because of the life I've been leading for the past 10 years. I'm staggered by the number of people that refuse to exercise, as opposed to try the next trend diet, because the perception is that it will be easier. My response to them usually is, "Just try getting some physical activity in your life. Walk to the grocery store, ride your bike, climb the stairs at work, just start getting physical". Hence, I was happy that the OP was starting by asking if regular exercise would be helpful and would hate that to be discouraged by a subjective word like "diet".

    One comment you just made that I couldn't agree more with is how some progress can help to produce a sense of well-being. That is SO true. I knew how hard I had to work to get those first 5 pounds off. When they were gone, I thought, "that was so freak'en hard that I have to make sure I do the right things to keep this off!" Hence, dietary intake started to improve along with smarter exercise. Eventually it was working better then I had wished for.

    The only trend diet I've ever seen work long term for many, many people is "weight watchers", which is a brilliant way of strictly controlling intake and quality of intake while providing the communal support to do so. They also promote losing weight slowing and maintainably while encouraging exercise. Clearly, this supports exactly the points that you and Doc are making. The importance of the intake part of the formula.

    I also know someone that wanted to reward himself for his exercise by eating worse then before. The exercise was not that significant but the rewards sure were! Needless or not to say, he didn't receive the progress he had hoped for. :)

    I've noticed that too. You'd think there was some accountability to these marketers that make simple disclaimers, when under the full understanding of how they're trying to mislead the viewer, should not be the legal out they need to get away with it. Oh well.... if only we could run the world.... ;)

    Man, some times I hate reading people's long posts. I'm feeling kind of guilty on this thread. :)
     
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