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  1. #1
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    34 Weeks to lose 50 lbs. HELP!

    Hey all,
    I am a newcomer to biking and BF. I am 6'1 and weigh 239. I got engaged over the summer and the wedding is May 30th and in Jamaica. This means I can't be fat! I of course want to get healthier but looking good on my wedding day is a big plus. I need some advice...
    1) I have never road cycled and don't know anyone who has, I basically keep a quick cadence and ride until I think I should turn around and head home. Longest ride is 30 miles so far. What should I be doing?
    2) If I only ride solo am I hurting my efforts (would a friend or group push me to lose more weight?)
    3) I ride 4 times a week from 1-2 hours at a go. Is this acceptable or should I ramp it up.

    Typical ride stats:
    30 miles
    16.3 avg speed
    1:49:00 or so

    Any advice or knowledge appreciated! I

  2. #2
    Senior Member daintonj's Avatar
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    That's a pretty good amount of exercise there, the real question is how to do you feel after it. Could you push the pace up a bit, increase the duration or frequency without running the risk of over-training?

    If I had such a definite goal such as yours I'd want to mix my training with cycling to cover all the body parts. This could be a reasonable mix of exercise.
    1) Pilates - Makes you ache in places you didn't realise you had (must be good for you)
    2) High rep, low weight weight training - tone the muscles
    3) Endurance cycling at 65% max heart rate (this is meant to be fat burning but I remain unconvinced by the logic used)
    4) Interval training - Increase cardio fitness to allow for longer endurance rides.

    The main point to remember is a pound of fat is about 3500 KCalories so you need to aim for a 1000 KCalorie deficit each day, this is more than you need to lose but errs on the side of caution as nobody is perfect when it comes to dieting/exercise. By making sure you eat sensibly with a good mix of fat, protein, carbs and vitamins/minerals you can use exercise to accurately manage you weight loss.

    I would definitely find a friend who is fitter than you to yell abuse or encouragement when you're riding, I prefer abuse but some people don't like being told to get their lardy arse up that hill before I hit you.
    London to Paris - Multiple Sclerosis Trust
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  3. #3
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    The biggest factor in losing weight is to eat fewer calories. For the next 34 weeks, eat less than what you used to, more vegetables, few liquid calories, and nothing that you know is bad for you. A lot of people recommend one "cheat day" per week where you eat anything you like. This helps replenish what you haven't gotten during the week and makes it easier to stick to your diet.

    Next biggest factor is your base metabolic rate, which is how much energy your body burns just sitting and doing nothing. You don't even have to exercise to burn calories this way. The easiest way to increase this is by putting on muscle mass.

    Lastly, cardio helps to shave off 300 - 1200 kcals an hour, depending on how hard you're burning, and it can also build some muscle.

    But realistically, the best way to reach your goal is to eat better, start lifting, and then get in cardio when you can.

  4. #4
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Losing almost a quarter of your body weight in 37 weeks is a really aggressive goal. I'd recommend seeing a personal trainer, and a doctor to get both a real training plan in place and some sort of diet that will go along with it.

  5. #5
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Be very careful about sudden weight loss - it can, and usually does, go back on with interest.

    Ideally, to keep the weight off, you should aim to lose excess weight as slowly as you gained it.
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  6. #6
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    Nice plan, but don't worry too much about reaching a goal for your wedding, do it because you really want to lose the weight. The right tux will make you look great no matter what you weigh. I was close to 400 when I was my brother's best man back in January, and I looked fantastic in my tux. You will too.
    I'm down to 336 as of this morning and I did it mainly by cutting out sugars and fat. Don't drink another soda or eat another fatty meal until May and you'll reach your goal. Alcohol is also a big source of empty calories, but I'm not gonna tell a man about to get married to stop drinking

  7. #7
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    You say you want to lose about 1½ pounds per week. To do that, you must eat, on the average, about 750 calories per day less than you burn. You can do that by eating less, and you can also try to burn more, but the body is pretty efficient, and it takes a lot of work to burn fat...probably about 100 miles of biking per pound.

    You might try cutting your calorie intake by about 500 per day, and increasing your riding by about 50 miles per week. If your weight had been stable, that should do the job for you. Both of those would be possible without extreme hardship, I think.

  8. #8
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    30 miles a day, 6 days a week, at your current pace, or even a bit slower, will take it off. Just watch what you eat, and you'll be fine.

  9. #9
    Senior Member racethenation's Avatar
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    I think your goal is very doable, but I would definitely recommend that you approach this from a lifestyle changing standpoint rather than a weight loss stand point. I have lost a little over 21% of my body weight by trying to correct what got me to 329 pounds in the first place. The lack of exercise was only one component. The vast amount of empty calories that I was consuming was the other. I am still not much of a calorie counter. I couldn't tell you how many calories I burn on a ride nor could I tell you how many I consume in a day, but I have examined almost everything that I eat to see if there is a lower calorie substitute than I can live with with the same or almost as much enjoyment. In many cases I have been able to trim out lots of calories, but in many others I have decided that the higher calories is worth it. If I do decide that the higher calories are worth it, then I am careful to watch my consumption of those items. This has left me feeling like I am not dieting at all. This has significantly reduced the chance that I am going to regain any of this weight that I have lost.

    I do feel that I need to warn that losing significant amounts in a short period of time can cause problems in your gallbladder. It is not a huge percentage of people, but it can happen. I had mine out two weeks ago after a couple of gallbladder attacks in September.

  10. #10
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    Thanks all for the great advice. I know that this needs to be a lifestyle switch to last. I suppose the wedding looming on the horizon is my catalyst. I have never been good about drinking water so this week I have started carrying a 32oz Nalgene around and refill it twice a day in addition to drinking water with meals so that should help too I hope. Before this switch I would go a whole day and urinate maybe 3 times...so I knew that was a big problem.

    As for ride intensity, I am usually pretty sluggish the rest of the day when I finish, but I would say I am no where near "bonking" or anything of that sort so I could probably step it up. My schedule isn't conducive to 6 days of riding 30 miles a day. It would be easier for me to do 50 miles 4 times a week. Is that a realistic goal to work towards?

  11. #11
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    For what it's worth I've lost 36 lbs in 8 weeks doing weight watchers. Now I don't think you have to do WW-I only do it because they come to my work and I can attend during working hours. All they do is use calorie and tell you how many calories you can eat a day and lose weight at a controlled rate. Be sure to do some weight training as well so you don't lose muscle and fat. Eat less calories a day than you burn in a day, but don't starve yourself and you'll lose weight at a nice rate. 1-2 lbs a week is considered healthy. We had one guy in our group that had to get his gall bladder removed as the result of rapid weight loss.

    There are calculators online that tell you how many calories, fat grams, carbs, etc. you can eat a day for a specified weight loss rate. Be sure to add calories according to the intensity of your work out.

    The best advice I can give you is to eat a diet that you can maintain when you get that weight off.

    I only have another 36 or so lbs to go.
    Last edited by RobZ71LM7; 10-06-08 at 07:17 PM.

  12. #12
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Yep, 50 miles, 4 times a week, is still 10,000 miles a year........ That's a lot of calories, and you will tone your muscles up at the same time.......

    Good luck, and remember that you HAVE to do it! No excuses...

  13. #13
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    I would have interim goals, say at the 8 week mark, 16 week, etc, or even monthly goals. And I would chart your mileage and your eating. As others have pointed out, you have to do both, eat less and exercise more. And if you find you are not losing enough/fast enough, then eat less and ride even more. If you do not have enough time to ride more, then cut intake. Of course, check with your doctor first.

    Remember, it took most of us years to get to our heavy weight, so it will take some time and effort to lose it.

    50 miles a day, four days a week is an aggressive riding schedule. If you can maintain it, fantastic!

    My target is a minimum of 100 miles per week, three to four days of riding (preferably four). Some weeks I do more. I roughly estimate that 100 miles per week = 1 pound. So if I am only eating at a maintain weight pace (with no riding), then I should lose 1 pound per week. Since your goal is more aggressive, you will need to step it up to perhaps 150 miles per week, and watch what you eat.

    Track everything, as it is really easy to overestimate your riding, and underestimate your eating.

  14. #14
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    The exercise will do you good, but I also suggest looking into the South Beach Diet. I did that in 2005 and lost 70 lb. in 6 months and at the time it wasn't all that hard. The first two weeks are tough, but then it's less restrictive. The first time I did the SBD, I was doing little to no exercise and the weight still came off at a rate of 3 lb./week for several months.

    I kind of let things get away from me and put most of the weight back on and decided to go back on SBD. Since the end of July I'm down 26 lb. The weight didn't come off as easily as the last time, I think because I haven't followed the diet as closely. When I plateaued out, I started riding a lot and the weight is coming off again.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  15. #15
    Senior Member Indie's Avatar
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    Geez, if being fat means never getting married, I'm destined to be an old maid.

    If you go on an aggressive starvation diet on a time scale of months, and then go back to eating normally, you may put on a lot more weight than you had to begin with. The human body reacts to starvation. If there's a period of famine, and then suddenly there's more food, all the excess food energy gets stored away as fat in case of future famine.

    You need to figure out a healthy weight for you that you can maintain sustainably, so that you can stay healthy and fit after the wedding and not end up longingly staring at your tiny little dress a year later. Get the dress fit for your body, not Barbie's.

    Plus, weddings are stressful. You want to be healthy and well-adjusted, not weak and cranky and prone to fainting.
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  16. #16
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Personally, when I dropped the weight, I was healthy and well-adjusted, not cranky and prone to fainting. Bad on me for not maintaining, but SBD is definitely a good diet and part of a healthy lifestyle.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  17. #17
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indie View Post
    If you go on an aggressive starvation diet on a time scale of months, and then go back to eating normally, you may put on a lot more weight than you had to begin with. The human body reacts to starvation. If there's a period of famine, and then suddenly there's more food, all the excess food energy gets stored away as fat in case of future famine.

    You need to figure out a healthy weight for you that you can maintain sustainably, so that you can stay healthy and fit after the wedding and not end up longingly staring at your tiny little dress a year later. Get the dress fit for your body, not Barbie's.

    Plus, weddings are stressful. You want to be healthy and well-adjusted, not weak and cranky and prone to fainting.
    A 500 calorie/day reduction from a diet that maintains your weight is not an "aggressive starvation diet". It'll produce a reasonably fast weight reduction, but is not an extreme measure.
    Last edited by deraltekluge; 10-10-08 at 04:35 PM.

  18. #18
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    I'd say to make a baseline of caloric intake for a couple of days. See where you are currently at and adjust accordingly. It takes self control. I was surprised at how easily calories can sneak in if you don't keep an eye on it (Milk is a good example). Then figure out how many calories that you need to just exist.

    For me, I am 6' 233 lbs, one of the calorie calculators shows the following for a desk job.
    Maintenance: 2385 Calories/day
    Fat Loss: 1908 Calories/day
    Extreme Fat Loss: 1864 Calories/day

    As it is, I am 6' 233 lbs and I carry it very well. Since I've been riding, a lot of fat has been replaced with leg muscle as seen by my diminished waist and other areas. My breakfast and lunch don't even come close to 1,000 calories and I eat a sensible dinner and avoid any sugar containing drinks (except Gatorade). I also ride a hard 100+ miles a week as a minimum of 4 rides.

    Vitamins help too because they ensure that your body is getting the nutrients that may be missing in your diet.

    You lose weight, you ride easier. You ride easier, you go farther faster.
    You go farther faster, you lose more weight.
    Repeat.

    As for diets, I weighed 277 a few years ago. I went on Atkins and lost 60 pounds in 4 to 5 months. I ended up down to 218 without any exercise. If I could get myself on Atkins again for 2 months, I could easily hit my target of 200.

    So diet, exercise, and enjoy.
    Best wishes.
    Old enough to know better and old enough to forget that I do.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowkeyedup View Post
    Thanks all for the great advice. I know that this needs to be a lifestyle switch to last. I suppose the wedding looming on the horizon is my catalyst. <SNIP>
    ?
    Congratulations and good luck. As others pointed out, be sure to cross train to gain the maximum bennefits for your over all health. The cross training will help with the riding as well. Also don't be fixated on weight alone. You will definitely be building muscle along the way and those weigh more than fat.

    Getting aggresive about living healther now is also excellent as I've seen lost of statistics that show that couples tend to put on weight the 1st year they get married (kind of like the "Freshman 15" with colege students). Getting a head start of living healthier will ensure you get off to a great start. Also is your fiancee interested in eating healthy and being active? If not maybe you can start finding some activities you enjoy doing together. Look at Mz. Beanz postings for insparation of getting a spouse involved with cycling.

    As a side question, where in Jamaica are you getting married. My wife and I had our wedding at Sandals Dunn's River. We had a great time. We had family from both sides of the family come in for the wedding as well. In the end all eight of us partied for about a 5 days. We still had plenty of time for ourselves. The resort did a great job with the wedding, the fotos, and the video. We actualy got the album all put together the following day along with all the negatives. It was definitely a good time and very memorable. I hope you have an amazing time as well.

    Happy riding,
    André

  20. #20
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    Andre,
    We are getting married at Sandals Whitehouse. It is supposed to be pretty secluded so it should be nice. 30 firends and family will be down for 3 days, then my bride and I will be staying for 8 more afterward.

  21. #21
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    My wife and I had our honeymoon at Sandals Whitehouse last June. Fantastic fantastic place. You must have a seriously loaded ($$$) group of friends and family though, to get such a large crowd there.

  22. #22
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    It really isn't that expensive, considering it is all inclusive and a vacation!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrelam View Post
    You will definitely be building muscle along the way and those weigh more than fat.
    Not to pick apart a nice post, but this statement is patently incorrect.

    1 Lb of muscle = 1 Lb of ANYTHING ELSE! It's still one pound.

    This is a commonly misconstrued statement. What he meant was that sometimes your weight won't change even though you are getting into better shape. Muscle is denser than fat or most other tissue, so as you build muscle, you may be seeing a transference of weight between fat and muscle, with no difference on the scale.

    In the short term, look at the way your clothes fit. You should notice a loosening at the waistline by a little bit after a few weeks time. You may not have lost much weight, but the weight will be transfered to other areas, and it will show physically.

    Also, specifically look at your distances ridden and effort to ride them. This is easiest when you ride the same route regularly with points that involve higher or lower levels of exertion. Over several rides judge how you feel in terms of tiredness after each ride. Within a few weeks this should start to improve, and you'll find youre finishing rides easier.

    As to whether or not group riding is for you depends on your own motivation. I look forward to some group riding as soon as I can find a group I have a chance of keeping up with.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechKnowGN View Post
    Not to pick apart a nice post, but this statement is patently incorrect.

    1 Lb of muscle = 1 Lb of ANYTHING ELSE! It's still one pound.

    This is a commonly misconstrued statement. What he meant was that sometimes your weight won't change even though you are getting into better shape. Muscle is denser than fat or most other tissue, so as you build muscle, you may be seeing a transference of weight between fat and muscle, with no difference on the scale.

    In the short term, look at the way your clothes fit. You should notice a loosening at the waistline by a little bit after a few weeks time. You may not have lost much weight, but the weight will be transfered to other areas, and it will show physically.

    Also, specifically look at your distances ridden and effort to ride them. This is easiest when you ride the same route regularly with points that involve higher or lower levels of exertion. Over several rides judge how you feel in terms of tiredness after each ride. Within a few weeks this should start to improve, and you'll find youre finishing rides easier.

    As to whether or not group riding is for you depends on your own motivation. I look forward to some group riding as soon as I can find a group I have a chance of keeping up with.
    Technically your correct, however one cc or one inch³ of muscle weighs more then one cc or one inch³ of fat, ao it's possible to lose a lot of fat, gain a lot of muscle, and end up at a higher body weight.

  25. #25
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    In December of last year I was 313 pounds. This morning I was 249. I ride my bicycle every day, though far less than you do. During weekdays I ride to/from work which is right at 6 miles each way (the way home has a very nasty 2 mile uphill I have to do). On weekends I go out with the kid and do a 10 mile loop trail we have here in town on my old, embarrassingly crappy mountain bike that has a trail-a-bike attached to it. I go slower than during my commute, but I am pulling a lot of extra weight behind me.

    I don't think you need to exercise more to lose weight. The weight loss I experienced was largely the result of just not eating a bunch of unhealthy food. I eat a lot of fresh fruit now instead of other fatty choices, and I never eat burgers/fries or things like that (though I certainly used to).

    You don't have to crash diet to lose the weight you want to lose in that timeframe.

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