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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 01-10-08, 01:11 PM   #1
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Delayed weight loss ?

Back in October/November I was riding consistently about 100 miles/week. I was eating "sensibly", although not optimally. I weighed myself about once a week and seemed to be stuck on 215. Fast forward a little to December - the weather starts getting colder, holidays etc. I'm riding less, maybe 50 miles/week for about a 3 week period - eating a lot less sensibly. Step on the scale around the end of December. 205!

Does the body need "downtime" to actually shed pounds. What accounts for the delay? Some kind of metabolism issue? Age? I'm 43.

A bigger question. If there is some type of "downtime" factor, does it make more sense to exercise/ride on alternate days instead of every day if you want to hasten weight loss? What has been others experience?
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Old 01-10-08, 02:15 PM   #2
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I have to eat properly and exercise a lot to lose weight. If I take time off, I gain weight.
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Old 01-10-08, 02:24 PM   #3
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Well, based on what happened with me, I would have to say that it varies.

I'm 20, so weight control is probably a lot different with me than it would be for you.

The main rule of weight loss is that you'll drop weight if you burn more energy than you consume (and vice versa). In your case, if you were cycling 150 miles a week (say, every 30 mile ride you went hard and burned 600 cals/hour), yet ate 850 calories (usually more), then you would have made minimal changes. Even though you dropped your riding, you also dropped the amount of food consumed, which probably landed up being less than the amount you burned riding, hence the weight loss.

From what I understand, it's really easy for cyclists to eat more than they need to after a hard ride because of the short term energy shortage. I know it was for me.
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Old 01-10-08, 02:36 PM   #4
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A bigger question. If there is some type of "downtime" factor, does it make more sense to exercise/ride on alternate days instead of every day if you want to hasten weight loss? What has been others experience?
The benefits of alternating (as I understand them) are more for muscle recovery than weight loss. If you are trying to build muscle (weight lifting) you need to rest at least a day to allow for the additional muscle fibers your lifting is causing the body to make.

Taking time off and losing weight? I haven't encountered it. Were you eating larger or smaller portions? I know that larger meals lead to more weight retention. Also, if you were too low in you calorie consumption compared to usage, which it didn't sound like, the body can react by going into storage mode where you lose almost no weight because you've convinced your body that food is scarce and it needs to hoard calories.

My $0.02 for what it's worth...
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Old 01-10-08, 05:18 PM   #5
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Back in October/November I was riding consistently about 100 miles/week. I was eating "sensibly", although not optimally. I weighed myself about once a week and seemed to be stuck on 215. Fast forward a little to December - the weather starts getting colder, holidays etc. I'm riding less, maybe 50 miles/week for about a 3 week period - eating a lot less sensibly. Step on the scale around the end of December. 205!
Maybe your scale is broken?
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Old 01-10-08, 05:25 PM   #6
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Maybe your scale is broken?
Dude, I seriously considered that when I was stuck on 215 . I even used a friend's scale to confirm.
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Old 01-10-08, 05:42 PM   #7
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I am no expert on this, but you may have been building muscle and shedding fat during this period and the two canceled each other out from the weight presepctive. Now that your muscle building has slowed you need more calories your muscles (metobolic rate has increased) and therefore the lbs are starting to deline. Just my opinion on what may be happening. Like I said I am not an expert, but this is what generally happens to me.
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Old 01-10-08, 05:55 PM   #8
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OK, bhammer,

First, your body will adapt to the exercise and nutrition routine. It's called Adaptation Syndrome. In effect, it's a plateau. Drop the calories and up the intensity, and a few less grams of carbs for a while, see it you can jumpstart yourself. Try some different exercise routines as well.

After a plateau, you resume the loss.

Now, also there is a period, as you were wondering, where you are burning off the fat and gaining muscle and bone mass, so your loss rate stalls. Once this process flattens out, you resume loss again.
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Old 01-10-08, 06:11 PM   #9
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I am no expert on this, but you may have been building muscle and shedding fat during this period and the two canceled each other out from the weight presepctive. Now that your muscle building has slowed you need more calories your muscles (metobolic rate has increased) and therefore the lbs are starting to deline. Just my opinion on what may be happening. Like I said I am not an expert, but this is what generally happens to me.
This is something I experienced when I started running back in my 20s. Muscle gain came before weight loss. Of course, that was an entirely different body.

If there's no need for downtime for the body to shed the pounds, which is what I'm hearing, I'll just continue to ride everyday (weather permitting) and try to keep eating sensibly. In the long run it doesn't really matter when the weight comes off as long as it comes off.
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Old 01-10-08, 06:13 PM   #10
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OK, bhammer,

First, your body will adapt to the exercise and nutrition routine. It's called Adaptation Syndrome. In effect, it's a plateau. Drop the calories and up the intensity, and a few less grams of carbs for a while, see it you can jumpstart yourself. Try some different exercise routines as well.

After a plateau, you resume the loss.

Now, also there is a period, as you were wondering, where you are burning off the fat and gaining muscle and bone mass, so your loss rate stalls. Once this process flattens out, you resume loss again.
I can't notice any muscle gain. Maybe I should take some pics now and 1000 miles from now and see if I notice anything.
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Old 01-10-08, 08:04 PM   #11
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I can't notice any muscle gain. Maybe I should take some pics now and 1000 miles from now and see if I notice anything.
Best way to tell......

Is your pant size getting smaller? Muscle is denser than fat by 7X and Bone is 15X the fat density.

If your weight is stable, but the gut and waist are shrinking, you are losing/building simulatnaeously. Once you hit the point where you have more muscle tissue than fatty, your metabolic burn will be higher again as muscle requires more calories to sustain it than fatty tissue.
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Old 01-11-08, 08:22 AM   #12
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IMO weight loss wouldn't be delayed. Also you can burn fat MUCH faster than you can build muscle. I can't remember what the rate of muscle building is, but it's pretty darn slow compared to the speed of fat loss.
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Old 01-11-08, 09:08 AM   #13
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Personally I just try to stick with it and not weigh in to much. If you are doing the right thing it will come off. If you weigh in to often you may get discouraged because you will see weight changes based on time of day, food you ate, if you went to the bathroom, how much water you retained ect...
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Old 01-11-08, 10:04 AM   #14
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Great article on this in this months Pro Cycling (I think) It's an interview with Lemond.(actually the whole issue is the "Lemond" issue). He talks about how if you overwork yourself it's harder to lose weight because the body naturally increases your hunger pangs in response. Optimal workout is high intensity with an hour duration but many times per week. (even multiples in the same day). He said that 6 hour rides aren't any more benificial to your fitness than 1 hour of optimal training (optimal being the important part). (and yeah I like brackets so sue me).
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Old 01-11-08, 01:28 PM   #15
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Great article on this in this months Pro Cycling (I think) It's an interview with Lemond.(actually the whole issue is the "Lemond" issue). He talks about how if you overwork yourself it's harder to lose weight because the body naturally increases your hunger pangs in response. Optimal workout is high intensity with an hour duration but many times per week. (even multiples in the same day). He said that 6 hour rides aren't any more benificial to your fitness than 1 hour of optimal training (optimal being the important part). (and yeah I like brackets so sue me).
(yeah, but LeMond isn't exactly svelte these day)

I've heard the same. Short but intensive workouts are better than long/slow.
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