losing weight?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by STXR814, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. STXR814

    STXR814 New Member

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    Whats the best way to lose weight for biking? I recently started biking and some friends of mine at work got me into it and I purchased a Specialized Allez Elite nothing fancy. I hit a plateau right at 200lbs and I've lost right at 25 in the last 3 months and I'd like to lose another 15lbs. What is the best biking for weight loss? Thanks for your help.
     
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  2. rwinthenorth

    rwinthenorth New Member

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    Time. Diet. Read the guy below who can't gain weight?!!! I've dropped about 25lbs. in a year. No diet. Just straight biking and focused training. I do eat well. Unprocessed, whole foods for the most part. But nothing fancy. Everyones body loses weight at different rates. Plateauing is not uncommom when your trying to lose weight. Time. Diet. Train.:)
     
  3. STXR814

    STXR814 New Member

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    Yea, I did read that thread and I'd love to be in his shoes and I'm sure he'd love to be in mine for a while. Unfortanetly, we are who we are and where we are for a reason and I've got unfortunate reasons for weight gain such as epilepsy. My medications have had a definite impact on my weight although I'm not one to make excuses I'm doing what I can to help better myself nomatter the cost even if my medications do prevent weight loss faster than others.

    I will refraise my question a little different in the fact that would biking less farther and more often or more more farther and less often be better for overall fitness and weight loss? Thanks for any input.
     
  4. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    If the distances and intensities work out to be the same then on paper it really doesn't matter since the calories burned would be the same.

    In reality a lot of folks do long rides and then come home famished and feel they've earned a bigger meal than the calories burned would indicate. More frequent shorter rides also tend to be ridden a bit quicker which burns more calories per hour and does more for increasing fitness than longer slower rides. They also have the potential benefit of exercise afterburn or the slightly raised metabolism that lingers a few hours after the exercise stops which can burn a few more calories while you're off the bike. Getting that daily or at least more often effectively raises your Resting Metabolic Rate(RMR) which means you burn more calories on a daily basis even off the bike.

    Anyway I'd suggest more frequent shorter rides ridden at a quick but comfortable tempo perhaps working up to one or two faster more focused rides per week if you enjoy going faster. Couple that with mindful eating where you actually pay attention to things like portion sizes and try to keep snacks healthy like fruit over chips. I made three big dietary changes last fall when I decided to get back to racing weight: I ate a small but healthy breakfast every morning, I paid attention to snacking during the day and ate when I was actually hungry not out of boredom and I took smaller portions at dinner knowing I could have a second helping if I was still hungry after ten minutes. That and a winter of training and I went from 87 kg to 69 kg in about eight months. I actually had to increase my eating a bit to hold at 69 kg now that the racing season is here. I was mostly eating the right stuff before (my wife is a great cook and a registered dietician) but I was eating too much of it and often eating for the wrong reasons.

    Good luck,
    Dave
     
  5. jkemp9

    jkemp9 New Member

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    I've been reading Thomas Chapple's book, Base Building for Cyclists. In it he discusses training and using the aerobic system more than the anaerobic. The book seems to be written for race conditioning (i'm only to page 26) but it may be worth looking into. It seems that chapple is saying that on longer, low to moderate impact rides the body mostly uses the aerobic system and can burn fat for energy. compared to shorter high intensity rides that would tend to be more anearobic and primarily use carbs for energy and build muscle more quickly. Which seems to mean that if someone is trying to lose fat, rather than just burn carbs and build muscle, longer rides would be the way to go.
    I'm sure it is more complicated than that and I may be understanding it wrong. If anyone thinks I am, please tell me.
     
  6. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    You do burn a higher percentage of fats vs. carbohydrates when working at low intensities. But you burn a higher total number of calories and even a higher total number of fat calories at higher but still aerobic intensities. Basically anything over two to three minutes long is fueled by aerobic processes but the kind of quick tempo rides of an hour or two in length that I'm advocating are definitely aerobic. They're just a lot quicker tempo and higher energy than the old school Long Slow Distance (LSD) that was popular when I started cycling.

    Having dramatically increased my threshold power and speed in the last year after decades of failing to do so with a diet of LSD rides I'm a firm believer in higher intensity(but still aerobic) workouts to improve fitness. Sustainable power goes up with a lot less time on the bike, more total and more fat calories are burned and as your power goes up your speed goes up and you burn even more calories per hour on future rides.

    Take a look at this chart of calories burned while cycling based on speed and bodyweight: http://www.nutristrategy.com/fitness/cycling.htm

    It shows that a 195 pound person burns 708 calories per hour riding at 12 to 13.9 mph. If that same person increases fitness and over time is able to ride at 16 to 19 mph they'll burn 1062 calories for each hour on the bike at that higher speed. If they just continue with the lower end workouts they'll continue to burn at the lower rate. Running a power meter and tracking energy burned in Kilojoules after each ride makes this real clear. As my sustainable power has increased so has my caloric expenditure for each hour ridden since I tend to ride at similar levels of perceived exertion which means increased power with increased fitness. That's one big benefit of targeting fitness and sustainable power improvements instead of just targeting miles to burn fat.

    If you don't buy that argument, check out these links to busting the "fat burning zone" myth:
    http://www.prevention.com/article/0,5778,s1-4-88-278-4219-1,00.html
    http://www.myfooddiary.com/resources/ask_the_expert/fat-burning_zone_myth.asp
    http://www.naturalhealthweb.com/articles/Kearns3.html
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0675/is_5_20/ai_92840201

    There really is no "fat burning zone" it's true that you burn a higher percentage of fats vs. carbs at lower aerobic intensities, but you continue to burn quite a bit of overall fat even up through threshold pace which is quite intense and the pace a racer would hold for a one hour solo time trial.

    Anyway, you can definitely do LSD rides and burn fat. Or you can ramp up the intensity to the higher end of the aerobic range and still burn fat, burn some carbs and gain more fitness in the process. Sure you'll need to replenish the carbs you've burned if you want to workout again within a day or two, the key is to estimate and just replenish the carbs or 40 - 60 percent of the total calories burned. That added fitness allows you to put out more power and ride at faster speeds for the same perceived exertion which means you burn even more calories for each hour of training. Either way can help you lose weight, but I'd definitely take the latter.

    -Dave
     
  7. jkemp9

    jkemp9 New Member

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    Very helpful explanation and articles.
    Thanks
     
  8. STXR814

    STXR814 New Member

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    Thanks for the info. Very informative. According to the chart in your first link I'm biking at a "vigorous" effort right now I usually bike at around 15.5 mph for an hour and getting faster weekly so that may be why I dropped the 25 lbs in roughly 2 1/2 mths but I didn't know if I could benefit anymore or not by adding more or taking anything away. I usually ride about an hour sometimes a little more sometimes a little less but no less than 50 min. just depending on what route I take due to what needs to be done that night when I get in that night from work. Well, my next question would be since I've only been doing this for about 3 mths. how often would you recommend biking like this? Can it be overdone, underdone? What is the best for recovery, etc.? Do I just go by how I feel that day or set a schedule and adhere to it strictly or what would some of you recommended? Thanks again for the input, great insight and exactly what I was looking for. One more thing, I need to get a cyclometer but don't want to spend mega $$$ for one which one would you recommend? Thanks again.
     
  9. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    As other posters have stated, there are no great secrets, you have to burn more than you take in.

    A few helpful suggestions (worked for me!):

    1. Ride very regularly (6 days a week if possible);
    2. Ride at a brisk pace for 1.5 to 2 hours per ride (but at a pace which allows you to ride again the following day);
    3. Eat well. You know what this means. Little or no alcohol. Very little sugars, soft drinks, etc.
    4. I found it very useful to have a fruit snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
    5. Limit (within reason!) your carbo intake.
    6. Get sufficient rest.
    7. Drink A LOT of water (at least 2 liters per day, the more the better).
    8. Essentially turn this into a lifestyle change.

    Remember that training gets you to a better fitness level. Losing weight is a battle won at the table...

    Ride a lot, have fun, and I wish you success!
     
  10. STXR814

    STXR814 New Member

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    Pete, thanks for the encouragement. According to you I prob. need to step up my frequency of riding from 4 days a week to 5 or 6 and ride longer from 1 hour to more like 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. I've got the pace down where I like it. I don't drink alcohol and have cut back to maybe 1 coke a week so thats covered. I'm trying to learn about better foods for me instead of just cutting back alltogether. I did see where someone said substitute fruit for chips which I will start. I do drink alot of water which is what I pretty much substituted for the cokes/Dr Peppers months ago, water and Gatorade. My lifestyle has changed and I'm still tweaking. Thanks to you guys I'll learn how to tweak even better and it looks like I'm on the right road.

    About a cyclometer, do you guys recommend a wireless or wired? What brand? What do I need to look for mainly? I'd like to have one but there are so many out what is the difference with them all? Thanks again.
     
  11. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Remember to tailor your intensity and workout times to your current ability/fitness levels, so DO NOT take my proposed workout times as anything more than a vague suggestion. If you are coming home spent and do not think you can up your number of weekly rides, that is fine. You will get there over time.

    I also did some light weightlifting, which helped greatly increase my core strength and make riding more enjoyable. N.B. I am referring to 'general conditioning' and not serious lifting (if you google this you will see that this topic raises a lot of discussion).

    As for bicycle computers, wireless are more expensive, cleaner looking when installed, and more prone to interferences/needing good batteries.

    I ride wireless (Polar CS200 HRM+CAD) and it is fine. It is difficult to go wrong with a wired computer however, which can he had for cheap and tend to be bulletproof.

    For the time being, get a basic model that covers what you need in terms of data - current speed, average speed, time, stopwatch, odometer and ride distance is all you really need. Everything else is helpful, but not necessary.

    The decision depends on your wallet... search this forum and you will find oodles of posts to confuse you in your shopping endeavours!
     
  12. Chipotle

    Chipotle New Member

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    You've lost 25 lbs in the last 3 months and you're asking for advise?! Dude, you're already ahead of the curve. Keep on doing what you've been doing. Ignore the plateau and keep on keepin' on.

    It's taken me years to lose 50 lbs. It only gets easier. The more weight I lose, the less hungry I am and the funny thing is, I've doubled my time on the bike in the past 6 months. I ate way more sitting on my bum.

    Fat is insideous and secretes an evil hormone that makes you crave more calories. Obese people don't over eat cuz their losers, they've become victims. If you can't walk away from the food, try eating anything and everything - as long as it doesn't have a labe. Fruits, veg, whole grains, egg whites, sounds like a yawn, but wow, real food really is a treat with some good olive oil or balsmic viegar, fresh herbs, etc.

    You do have to take some personal responsibility. I'm on a mountain bike team sponsored by a micro brewery. It's my job to support the sponsor to the best of my ability, right. The rule is, though, you can either eat or drink beer. No room for both. Calories in vs calories out, don'cha know. Oh, and kill your television. Ever notice how much people plow into their mouths in front of the cathode ray nipple?

    And good gosh, ignore anyone who wants to suggest less carbs or protein only or no fats or.....

    Keep up the good work.
     
  13. the engine

    the engine New Member

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    Keep riding, and don't increase your caloric intake any more than you need to replenish your usage during a ride ... you'll lose more wait.

    Be patient. Be patient. Be patient.
     
  14. STXR814

    STXR814 New Member

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    Thanks guys for the encouragement. I kindof hoped I was on the right track. Its kindof funny how I even got into riding bikes. I started last year riding an old 12 speed just to get into shape a little bit for racing jetskis. Well, I did the same thing this year only I'm not racing jetski's this year, that's another story in itself, but I kept riding bikes cause I just liked it and I kept losing weight and got in better shape and I figured if I was going to ride I might as well get a decent bike instead of an old 12 speed. So, if any of you have any questions about jetskis shot them at me cause that's where my heart really is and I'll help out all I can. Anyway, thanks again for your help and I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing then.
     
  15. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    What I find works for me is to write down everything I eat and target a daily number of calories around my basal metabolic rate. Anything I eat during exercise I don't count because that is usually a lower number of calories than is actually being burned. I find that it's easy to eat too much, in which case you don't lose weight or lose it very slowly, or eat too little, in which case you feel like crap while training.
     
  16. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    - first while... riding ,eat everything you need to... don't limit what you eat during a workout...

    -i find i losing weight by being very concious and eating 'til i'm full and stopping at that point and not just eating what's on my plate... if you're full just put it back in the fridge... reducing the fat and getting to bed early i find that if i say up late lots i gain weight... don't know if it's because you tend to eat more snack or another partial meal if you stay up late where as if you just go to bed you just eat less.. but i think for me the biggest effect is by just being concious of when i'm full and just stopping eating... also sometime your actually thirsty and not hungry and being concious of that too...
     
  17. Billsworld

    Billsworld New Member

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    There is a theory (that I dont want to debate) thats says every hour of sleep that you get prior to midnight is equal to 2 hours after. early to bed early to rise:)
     
  18. ghostpedal

    ghostpedal New Member

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    I keep a food log with approximate calories eaten also. It helps keep me on track, honest, and avoid eating too much. Junk food might taste good, but writing it down is painful and can help you avoid it. I also like it because if I am going through a very good or bad training or general energy time, I can look at what I ate and how much and adjust accordingly. Great job on your progress, and keep up the good work.

     
  19. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    This is my way;

    I don't limit my intake during rides - it normally works out 1 x sports drink & 1 x muesli bar per hour.
    Races(around 50kms) = every weekend - gel before hand, 1 x during race, 1 x sports drink. Recovery food - fruit and muesli bar & sports drink.

    Daily;
    I've not eaten meat for 11 years.
    My wife is gluten intolerant and I decided not to eat much bread years ago so = basically no bread(often just simple carbs anyway).
    We're both becoming Vegan - so cutting out all dairy
    No sweets(used to be a challenge for me but got it sorted now).

    I eat a lot of vegetables and fruit.

    Plonkers have said I need more protein but there is plenty in non dead animal sources!

    My daily calorie intake is between 1400 - 1550 cal / day.
    My Polar CS200 tells me my rides take 1300 - 2200 calories.

    In the last 2 months of cutting out dairy and sweets(we're talking lollies) and continuing with the same rides I've gone from 74kgs to 69kgs.
    I was ok with 74kgs but notice my hillclimbing is improving with less weight so will aim to get down to 66 kgs.
    Its so nice to weigh this as at my fittest in my early 20s (and only using a 52 chainring for all hills) I weighed 68kgs.

    It reads like you're doing really well - keep it up. Paul :)
     
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