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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 03-04-08, 02:58 PM   #1
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Best time of day to ride for weight loss

Some people say the earlier the better so your elevated metabolism can work for you the rest of the day. Some don't say this. I usually have the option to ride mid morning (early lunch ride) or later in the work day. Does anybody believe, think, imagine, make-up, etc. that riding earlier is better?
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Old 03-04-08, 03:14 PM   #2
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Before you eat breakfast, presuming you aren't diabetic. That way, when you eat your breakfast, you're still in "Magic Hour", where nutrient intake goes to stock Glycogen, rather than to storage as fat
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Old 03-04-08, 03:17 PM   #3
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So you think the earlier the better, and pre-breakfast. However my current options are mid-morning before a normal lunch time or later in the day.
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Old 03-04-08, 03:26 PM   #4
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i've been working out every morning before i eat breakfast. I am now about to add a morning ride to each day as long as i havent lifted my legs that day. i was exhausted this morning doing both and then not eating breakfast until i got back.
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Old 03-04-08, 03:27 PM   #5
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OK, then right before lunch, or right before dinner. That way, you are still in the accelerated metabolism mode post exercise when you eat, and the nutrients go to glycogen stocks in the muscle and liver instead of adipose storage (fat). AM is best, but before any meal will work.
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Old 03-04-08, 03:38 PM   #6
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Thanks for making this thread, i've always meant to look this up but never got around to it.

and I found a little article on this.

"
Doing cardio first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, before you eat anything, is by far, the most effective. Whether you run, jog, walk, swim, jump rope, take an aerobics class, ride a bike, etc., doing it first thing in the morning is the best time to do it for maximum fat loss. Why? Its simple. When you do your cardio workout, you are burning calories. Lets say you wake up, eat breakfast, eat lunch later in the day, and then a few hours after lunch, you do your cardio. All you will be doing during that cardio is burning the calories and carbs of the food you just ate. When you do cardio first thing in the morning, you haven't eaten anything for the last 8 or so hours because you were sleeping. So, when your body sees that there are no carbs to burn, it goes directly to stored bodyfat. And stored bodyfat is the fat that is on your body, which is the fat that you want to lose!
Understand how it works? When you do your cardio sometime during the day other then first thing in the morning, you spend most of that time burning off carbs that you already ate that day. When you do it first thing in the morning, there are no carbs to burn, so all your body can burn is body fat!"
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Old 03-04-08, 03:42 PM   #7
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In my honest opinion, ALL DAY is the best time to ride for weight loss. You just start in the morning, then don't stop 'til nightfall.

Seriously, though, +1 for JP86 suggestion. The old rule was that early morning, without breakfast, is the best time, as you haven't properly replenished the glycogen stored by your liver and depleted overnight.
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Old 03-04-08, 03:52 PM   #8
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I really don't think the time of day matter as much as timing your intake around the workout. If you can't move the workout to be before a meal then move the meals.
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Old 03-04-08, 04:02 PM   #9
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Ride during the time that you would normally eat, you'll get double the benefit this way. Sorry for being a smarta55, but I couldn't resist. But seriously, more riding and less eating has worked for me.
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Old 03-04-08, 04:05 PM   #10
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Honestly, I am a workout at 5:00 a.m. everyday person. The only thing that works is to watch the calorie intake and make sure it is less than the calories burned. I can do a two hour ride everyday for a week, but if my calorie intake is high it makes no difference in weight loss.

I will agree that in theory the fat loss is supposed to be better if you eat within 30 minutes of a workout.
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Old 03-04-08, 04:15 PM   #11
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I am finishing Joe Friel's Cycling Past 50. He does not like exercising on an empty stomach, as in first thing before breakfast, because the body goes to eating its own muscle. He says you should have eaten within the last two hours before riding.

If I ride very early before breakfast, nothing else is likely to get in the way to keep me from riding. I have also found my weight loss plateaued until I began (at that time) to ride in the evening a couple of hours before bedtime. It was not so late that it kept me from falling asleep, but not so early that I began to snack afterward. If I ride mid-morning or mid-afternoon, my hunger seems to increase a few hours later and I eat more than I would otherwise. I generally try to ride early before breakfast, but after I have had a cup of tea and half of an English muffin with orange marmelade.
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Old 03-04-08, 05:55 PM   #12
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I never work out on an empty tummy even if it's in the morning. BUT I don't eat a meat before hand, just 100-200 calories. Then again I never stop eating from the time I wake up till the time I go to bed. Heck if I wake up in the middle of night I might even graze for while then.
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Old 03-04-08, 06:01 PM   #13
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What really counts is total calories consumed and total calories burned. If you exercise first with the idea that you'll burn stored calories, and then eat later; what you eat will be used to replace the fat that you burned earlier. Gimmicks don't work.
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Old 03-04-08, 06:57 PM   #14
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I used to do a 30 mile ride before breakfast and I dropped weight super fast. Breakfast was a small bowl of cereal at most or a snack 1/2 way through the ride.
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Old 03-04-08, 07:31 PM   #15
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What really counts is total calories consumed and total calories burned. If you exercise first with the idea that you'll burn stored calories, and then eat later; what you eat will be used to replace the fat that you burned earlier. Gimmicks don't work.

I'm certainly not looking for a gimmick, but if I can optimize what and when I do things, I'll take advantage of that information.
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Old 03-04-08, 07:43 PM   #16
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What really counts is total calories consumed and total calories burned. If you exercise first with the idea that you'll burn stored calories, and then eat later; what you eat will be used to replace the fat that you burned earlier. Gimmicks don't work.
Fist, it's not a gimmick. Your metabolism after exercise is accelerated and your nutritional intake goes first to replenish glycogen used in the exercise. If you start in the morning with depleted glycogen, the burn IS directly from protein and fatty tissues in the body. Consume a protein complex and enough carbs to only replace the glycogen your body needs to store while that metabolism is still revved from the exercise (30 - 60 minutes post exercise), that's the biological mechanism in play.

The protein helps to prevent muscle tissue cannibalization and the limited carb intake goes to replenishment rather than storage to fatty tissue.
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Old 03-04-08, 08:01 PM   #17
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Before you eat breakfast, presuming you aren't diabetic. That way, when you eat your breakfast, you're still in "Magic Hour", where nutrient intake goes to stock Glycogen, rather than to storage as fat

Once I ride at work for about two weeks and get my legs in a tad bit better shape I'm going to ride into work in the mornings here and there. That will certainly help. Due to other things most of my riding will be done at the mid-morning or after lunch-ish hour. Based on what I read in this thread I'll take the stand of "The earlier the better" with the understanding that I should wait as long as I can after a breakfast, and right before lunch in order to achieve as close as I can to what Tom is saying.
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Old 03-04-08, 08:08 PM   #18
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I used to lift regularly and it seems I can apply the same nutritional concepts to this as I did then. Of course the cardio I did then equates to a similar demand on the body as my biking will. Afterwards I would eat a certain type of protein meal with limited carbs to accomplish what Tom is talking about. Why I didn't make this same connection I don't know.
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Old 03-04-08, 08:28 PM   #19
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I don't buy into the gimmicks. Timing your intake around your workout if far from a gimmick. Where as calories in vs. calories out is an over simplification that gets people into trouble. We could get into the "is a calorie a calorie" debate, but we'll leave that for another thread.

If you want to burn fat there really is a science behind it. If you just want to lose weight then just about any method will work.
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Old 03-04-08, 08:30 PM   #20
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I'll equate weight to fat for me. I think that generally is the deal.

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Old 03-04-08, 08:36 PM   #21
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Old 03-04-08, 10:43 PM   #22
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Before you eat breakfast, presuming you aren't diabetic. That way, when you eat your breakfast, you're still in "Magic Hour", where nutrient intake goes to stock Glycogen, rather than to storage as fat
That last time I did this, it was bonk city. I have to eat before I ride in the morning.
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Old 03-04-08, 11:00 PM   #23
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You might need to limit this type of activity to a max of 20 minutes at cardio level if you wanted to try it....no more than 70% HR and not long enough to bonk even in a depleted state and still able to route the carbs to Glycogen because of metabolic rampup and then finish the ride later

It doesn't matter physiologically if you exercise in one burst or in intervals through the day, as long as you burn X amount of calories/24 HR period and elevate that HR for X minutes a day.

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That last time I did this, it was bonk city. I have to eat before I ride in the morning.
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Old 03-04-08, 11:08 PM   #24
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Yea, that's true, the last time I was out about 1.5 hrs and limped home for the last 3 miles.
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Old 03-05-08, 08:29 AM   #25
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I spoke to my GP (doctor) last week, he said that for a purely fat burning exercise, then cycling first thing in the morning before breakfast would be best. He then suggested a big glass of water when I get there, then 30 minutes later have breakfast.

Tom explains why much better than my GP did, but he said the same sort of thing.

So I leave at about 8am, cycle the 5-7 miles to work (25-30 mins, 2 hills) and then have a drink, shower, cup of tea and then a banana or an apple at about 9:30.

I find this works quite well for me, not sure if I'm losing weight faster/slower than before but it seems to suit my day. As long as I can resist the bacon sandwiches when I buy my tea, I should be alright.
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