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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 04-03-08, 12:22 AM   #1
empinball
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Miles and Weight Loss

How many miles per day or week did you have to ride before you noticed a substantial loss in weight. I'm 37 yoa, 6'4" and currently tipping the scales at 260. The BMI charts say I need to be about 205 (about 10 pounds more than when I graduated from high school) in order to be in the healthy zone. I can't stand running so I bought a bike last month in order to achieve my weight loss goal. The snow in my part of the country has just melted enough over the last week so I can get out and ride.

TIA from a new guy.
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Old 04-03-08, 12:40 AM   #2
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I would guess that this is very different for people. I personally don't see much of a difference myself. I'm 23lbs lighter from the first of the year (332lbs now). Not long after I started riding I saw more definition in my legs and could feel them toning under the fat layer with my hands. I don't feel any smaller, my waist is still the same size. Others around me say they see a big difference, mainly in my gut. I feel a lot better. I feel a lot stronger. Due to rain I only have about 375-400 miles in this year. Also you have t0o take into account some miles are harder then others. I ride a lot of flat lands for now but if I was on the hills my miles would be less but my workout would still be killer.
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Old 04-03-08, 03:25 AM   #3
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I ride about 10-12 miles each weekday up and down small hills (600 miles this year).
If I don't change my eating habits I lose weight at about 1lb every 2 weeks thanks to cycling.

If I eat properly (fruit, healthy lunches etc.) then I can loose about 2lbs a week.
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Old 04-03-08, 04:12 AM   #4
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Well when I first started trying to lose weight 2 summers ago, I weighed about 250LBs. I would ride about a mile to and from the poll and i would swim about a mile every M,T,W,Th, it took about 6 weeks to get down to 215LBs. I think a lot of the weight was water weight to begin with.

I am back up to 225-230 now due to a knee injury and laziness. . .

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Old 04-03-08, 04:48 AM   #5
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im down from 217 to 190 since jan. of this year but i am riding about 200 miles a week and eating rite
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Old 04-03-08, 05:48 AM   #6
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How many miles per day or week did you have to ride before you noticed a substantial loss in weight.
That would completely depend upon the diet and how hard I would push myself. I have put in 300 mile weeks and not lost a pound, but I have probably gained muscle and lost fat at the same time. Now, I have done 100 mile weeks and lost 5 pounds. It all depends upon my calorie intake compared to my activities.

Good luck with your goals!!!!
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Old 04-03-08, 06:55 AM   #7
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Bicycling is such an efficient method of travel that you probably have to ride about 100 miles to burn the calories in a pound of fat.
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Old 04-03-08, 07:17 AM   #8
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1 pound of fat=3500 calories, so 100 miles/pound of fat isn't very far off.

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Old 04-03-08, 07:46 AM   #9
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Alternatively, you could walk about 35 miles...but bicycling is more fun.
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Old 04-03-08, 07:52 AM   #10
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I have lost a pound every 120 miles I ride approx, But that is going to plateau soon
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Old 04-03-08, 07:52 AM   #11
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When people are starting to get active and pay attention to nutrition, one of their most frequent questions is, "When will I be done?" (or a variant thereof, which is where I think your question is heading). The phrase "goal weight" encourages that kind of thinking. The problem is that your "goal" here isn't a physical place but a state of being. You can say, "If I ride 1,000 miles I'll be in Poughkeepsie," and "If I ride 1,000 miles I'll be at my goal weight," and both statements can be true -- the difference is in what happens after you get there. You get to Poughkeepsie, you throw your bike in a dumpster and sit down on a park bench, and ten years later you're still in Poughkeepsie. You get to your goal weight, you throw your bike in a dumpster and sit down on a park bench, and ten years later you're right back where you are now -- or worse.

It's inevitable, of course, that you'll think of your "goal" -- but it's important, from day one, to understand that the goal isn't the end. Thinking of the goal like it's a physical place is what leads people to try the "crash program" approach to getting healthy, reasoning if they eat half the calories and ride twice as many miles, they'll get there four times as fast. This is a good approach if you really want to end up back on the couch with a double-cheese pizza in three weeks, after your program turns out to be too taxing and unsustainable (and doesn't give you four times the progress after all). If you want to lose weight, permanently and sustainably, you need to think for the long haul -- as in, for the rest of your life.

Losing weight is a matter of calories expended being greater than calories taken in -- so it doesn't exactly map to miles cycled. My brother rides his bike, but on flat terrain at 7 miles an hour, he'll never have enough hours in the day for his cycling to result in significant weight loss. Throw in some intensity with a more challenging pace or some hills, and the "calories expended" part of the equation goes up. IOW, quality counts for at least as much as quantity.
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Old 04-03-08, 08:52 AM   #12
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When someone reports he lost 15 pounds in so many weeks while riding a certain number of miles, you ought ask yourself, "What is this guy's age?" I could lose weight in a predictable way until I hit 38 years of age. Then it became more difficult. I am now 62 and losing weight does not seem to be so simple as calories in vs. calories expended. My body has turned into an unpredictable trickster.

Because of time and stamina, I can manage about 100 miles a week, at most. Once I could lose two pounds a week like clockwork at that amount. Now the scale just sits there and I am eating more wisely than ever. I read things that say weight loss happens when you hit 150 miles per week.

I lost 15 pounds of weight my first year back to cycling. It was in fits and starts. The scale would drop ever so little. Then it would bounce back up, sometimes seemingly for no reason. But, miraculously, little by little, the weight did come down to about 210 pounds. Six or more months later I am 203 pounds and have been for several weeks. I am also working at losing the same five pounds for the fourth time in my life. I would like to get back down to 180 pounds, but I am giving myself about a decade to do that.

I downloaded a bicycling podcast from KBOO radio in Portland, OR about two guys who lost a lot of weight on bicycles. When they got to about 215 pounds they both noticed their rates of weight loss slowed dramatically, even though their eating habits were still good.

When some guy says it is simply calories in vs. calories expended I begin to wish he could spend a year or two in my skin. It is not always that simple.
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Old 04-03-08, 10:24 AM   #13
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At 30-50 miles a week, I don't lose any weight. I just have a *lot* more endurance and can ride my partner into the ground. I can live with that.

Add in a light free weight workout 3x a week, and I still don't lose weight. 5 lb weights are enough to leave me sweating, but not enough help me lose weight. If I'm being good about my weight work tho, I go up to a new weight fairly quickly. I need more upper body strength, and I'm starting from a pretty pitiful point :-/.

My real goal isn't a particular weight or set of measurements tho. If I can do things like swim a mile or bike 50 miles, that's a *lot* more than I've ever done before. If the weight comes off, that's good. If it sticks, well... if I don't have more muscle from biking and swimming, the world is a strange strange place *g*. I'd rather have habits that leave me with muscle than beat myself up over my weight.
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Old 04-03-08, 05:35 PM   #14
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When someone reports he lost 15 pounds in so many weeks while riding a certain number of miles, you ought ask yourself, "What is this guy's age?" I could lose weight in a predictable way until I hit 38 years of age. Then it became more difficult. I am now 62 and losing weight does not seem to be so simple as calories in vs. calories expended. My body has turned into an unpredictable trickster.

When some guy says it is simply calories in vs. calories expended I begin to wish he could spend a year or two in my skin. It is not always that simple.
I'm 68 (almost), and losing weight is as simple as "calories in vs. calories expended" for me. Not necessarily day-by-day, or even week-by-week (there are a lot of short term ups and downs), but on a month-by-month basis (and longer), it's true. You must remember that your body is pretty efficient (and on a bike, very efficient) in its use of calories, so it takes lots of exercise to counteract a small amount of intake.
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Old 04-03-08, 05:47 PM   #15
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miles and weight loss

I have been loosing one pound for each 100 miles on the bike.
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Old 04-03-08, 06:13 PM   #16
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I find I lose weight when I get over 100 miles / week. Unfortunately I'm finding myself at 50-60 miles a week. Ah well.
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Old 04-03-08, 06:25 PM   #17
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I lose when I do 60 miles on Sat and Sunday. And one or two 15 milers during the week

Or a 40 miler with 5,000 ft of climbing on Sat and a 40 mile flat on Sunday

Right now I do 42 on Sat and Sunday, maybe 2 -15 milers with a bit of climbing during the week. no weigth loss!
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Old 04-03-08, 08:30 PM   #18
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I am 33 years old and was 329 pounds on January 1. I started trying to lose weight in January with a combination of eating smarter and bike riding. I have ridden a total of 320 miles with a total weight loss of 36 pounds. I don't count calories, but I estimate that I have cut an average of 700 calories a day from my diet.
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Old 04-04-08, 01:24 PM   #19
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Radio KBOO in Portland, OR has a regular podcast on bicycling. In August of 2006 they had one on two guys who lost a lot of weight while riding bicycles. They began in the 350 pound area and dropped to around 215 pounds, at which point weight loss slowed a lot. But, it is an encouragement to hear. Click here. You can scan their archives for other topics of interest, too.

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Old 07-17-08, 10:15 PM   #20
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remember, you have to burn 3500 calories MORE than you take in in order to lose a pound.
cut back on the junk food - i cut out eating lunch at a restaurant, convenience store stops and starbuck's, not only am i avoiding those calories, i am saving money, too. about $100 a week.
i think the 100 miles a week number is reasonable. it would depend on many factors - especially intensity. I feel like a long 60+ mile ride every week makes a significant difference in weight loss and training. i also do high intensity interval workouts like chris carmichael advocates.
I do notice that once i reach a nice fitness level and a regular routine of riding, my body grabs and stores calories when i do not ride. it seems like it is holding onto food to be ready for the next ride. for example, if i ride hard 3-4 times one week and then don't ride again for 5 days, if feel like i gain a bit of fat in my upper body. it this is true, that would point to the importance of monitoring calorie intake on non-riding days.
mapmyride.com offers a nice tool to estimate how many calories burned during a ride.
remember...3500 calories MORE than you take in loses one pound......good luck
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Old 07-17-08, 11:10 PM   #21
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toss in a well-rounded strength workout on top of your bike riding and you'll lose weight faster
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Old 07-18-08, 04:13 AM   #22
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For the past two years I've mainly road trails at approx 20 to 30 miles per week. I went from 327# down to 275# without making any other changes No other exercising or changing my eating habits. As a matter of fact I probably ate more while riding than at any other time in my life.

Today, I mainly ride a road bike and I'm averaging 40 miles per week....although I'm looking to bump that up. However, I've changed my eating habits to accelerate my weight loss. With just bike riding I was losing 2 to 3 lbs per month. With biking and the change in my eating habits I'm now losing 2 to 3 lbs per week. I don't want to lose any more than that per week.

Good luck with your loss!

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Old 07-19-08, 07:40 AM   #23
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correction to my post

i mentioned that i cut out eating lunch at restaurants - i take my own
i cut out convenience store stops - no junk food
i cut out buying starbuck's
this was all to save money. the extra benefit was saving on calorie consumption
and, i meant to write that i save about $100 a MONTH.
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Old 07-19-08, 09:59 AM   #24
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Over the last 10 weeks since I started cycling, I have averaged 45 miles per week. I am 56. My weight went from 272 lbs. down to 260. I feel great and I look noticeably better. My goal is to get to 230 within a year. I enjoy cycling immensely in addition to receiving important health benefits.
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Old 07-19-08, 10:02 AM   #25
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100 miles per week PLUS careful monitoring of intake (eating). My rule of thumb, 100 miles burns about 3500 calories (= one pound). So if you watch what you eat AND burn an extra pound per week riding, then you should lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. This has been working for me for about four months.
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