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  1. #1
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    As you lost weight, how did your diet change?

    Preface: I picked up riding at 295 lbs in fall of 2007, got a nice road bike, started doing group rides, and within a few months, was down at 248 lbs, a very rapid weight loss. Somewhere in March of 2008 I lost steam though, and by May/June I had settled in the high 270's.

    on Thanksgiving day I met a childhood friend who I had not seen in a year. Two thanksgivings back she had resolved to start a very strict weight loss plan. She hired a personal trainer, and in a year had lost 60 lbs, and in the second year toned up; she looked incredible. She convinced me that I absolutely must get a personal trainer. So I went to the local gym and got one. As new years rolled around, I am at 274 lbs, and a 42" waist. My trainer explains his focus is on building muscle, he tells me once I get a good base, the weight loss will come. I trusted him on this.

    Fast forward to the end of April 2009. I am now wearing 38" waist jeans, and the difference is tremendous. However, I'm still 272 lbs, but happy because I look better than I did when I was 248 lbs. I am seeing massive improvements on the weight room floor (tripling of leg press, deadlift and doubling of squat/bench press), and generally feel fitter. I'm substantially faster on the bike, average speeds creeping up towards 19mph from previously being ~15.

    May rolls by, and now: blam. Pounds start shedding. Today I am at 253 lbs, something like 12 lbs lost in May alone. I might be going to 36 waist jeans soon, these are falling off and I'm on my third belt.

    But now I am worried. I'm eating 3000-4000 calories a day where before I started riding I was eating under 2000 (I now eat healthier foods, almost all fresh cooked, but still it's a lot of calories) Nothing's really changed other than I'm working out more. I know if I slack off, the pounds will go right back on. I don't generally think, just eat when I feel like it, but I don't think it's going to last.

    How do you guys who have lost serious weight handle diet changes? is it a day by day thing, do you scale your diet down at each milestone? Do you write down what you will eat, and avoid snacking? Do you have a significantly different diet on days you don't ride, etc?
    Last edited by Crast; 05-17-09 at 07:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Draft Producer Fastflyingasian's Avatar
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    During my heaviest cycles of training i easily can eat up to 5k calories on workout days and some times on off days

    its very hard to continue to perform at your best if your not taking in enough calories. as for snacking..... no, bad. for some snacking leads to snacking on junk (fruit snacks fine). i always do leave in one vise. for me its ice cream and my buddie is doritos. i personally just make better choices. i like to eat alot of rice. but its plain rice with chicken and broccoli. no salad dressings but a bit of BBQ sauce. if i eat pasta its pasta and meat with a veg. no sauce but with Parmesan cheese. i avoid junk food like chips like its the plague. the big thing for me is no alcohol. falls under performance reducer (for me).

    like you at first i started at 1800-2100 calories when i was still 300+. i plateaued at 275. to break through the plateau i needed to train harder so i upped my intake to about 2500. broke into the 250's and was about 3500. then at my height last year in September i was 240's in the best shape of my life i was taking in 5k calories but i was finally putting down my best efforts. this was the first time i averaged 19mph on this 33 mile route i did. when i first started i was averaging sub 15mph.

    and before others get discouraged i started my cycling with a 6 mile ride that took 56 minutes. i walked both short hills and a minute from my house i stopped because my asthma wouldn't let me continue. 3 years later i can do the same 6 miles in under 18 minutes.
    "If you never suffered from over training then you've never trained hard enough"

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Eclectus's Avatar
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    Your specified weight-loss data is a bit confusing: "end of April" 272, now 253 => 19 lb wt loss. But you say "12 lb lost in May alone".

    You have to decide what you want to accomplish.

    Does your PT say you need to shed more pounds to be at ideal weight? If so, what would this ideal weight be, in his opinion?

    What is your body fat percentage now? What is your desired target?

    Can you pull your 38 pants up to your navel? Can you pull them off without unbuttoning them? If the answers are yes and no, that's good, because your mid-abdominal girth should be less than your hip girth. If the answers are no and yes, you need to shed belly fat.

    Since you're losing weight at a good clip now, and you have energy to work out, stick with what you're doing until it stops working, or until your weight and body shape are what you want them to be, and then modify your diet accordingly.

    1+ on ffa's alcohol elimination. It's an individual choice, but EtOH does impair athletic performance, including desire to exercise, leading to doing less, and it slows weight loss.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectus View Post
    Your specified weight-loss data is a bit confusing: "end of April" 272, now 253 => 19 lb wt loss. But you say "12 lb lost in May alone".
    I'm fairly sure I dropped just under 270 at the beginning of may, but I'm not entirely clear. All I know for sure is that in the third week of april I was still at 272. For sure I have lost 19 lbs in a month, though; but I'm not positive where exactly the biggest losses were.

    Does your PT say you need to shed more pounds to be at ideal weight? If so, what would this ideal weight be, in his opinion?
    My PT asked what my ideal weight was, rather than setting one for me. I told him somewhere around 200, and I'd rather look muscular and fit than thin. I'm not looking to be a bike racer. He told me that as long as I was cycling and was working on my aerobic base, the most important thing for me if I was looking to be well rounded was strength training, and reducing my body fat percentage, not the actual weight number, so that's what he focuses on when he trains me, getting a full body set of exercises, no muscular isolation workouts.

    What is your body fat percentage now? What is your desired target?
    I have only measured it with bioelectrical impedance, both on my own scale and my gym's scale. Since the values can vary with hydration, I am not sure of the exact number, but I started somewhere in the range of 42% in December and now I am about 30%, maybe 29%. My target is closer to 20%. If I can get under, even better; but I feel until I get closer to or even under 20%, I'm still at risk for a lot of things (grampa died of a heart attack, was diabetic, and my mom is a type 2 diabetic.) I'm 24 now, and 3 years ago I was diagnosed with the metabolic syndrome, which is a strong pre-indication for type2 diabetes. I was put on metformin, but I didn't want to be; this is what prompted me to get on the bike, I'm too young to be taking diabetic meds. Sure enough, 4 months later my blood work showed me at healthy glucose again, and in the 2 years hence my blood work has shown me as fine. I do blood work frequently and a 5-hr glucose tolerance test whenever I can stand it, definitely trying to keep on top of things.

    Can you pull your 38 pants up to your navel? Can you pull them off without unbuttoning them? If the answers are yes and no, that's good, because your mid-abdominal girth should be less than your hip girth. If the answers are no and yes, you need to shed belly fat.
    Yes, and Yes. I definitely need to shed belly fat, I still have quite a "beer belly" (though I don't drink)

    1+ on ffa's alcohol elimination. It's an individual choice, but EtOH does impair athletic performance, including desire to exercise, leading to doing less, and it slows weight loss.
    Luckily, that is one vice I do not have. I don't stock alcohol and have one drink maybe once a month.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fastflyingasian View Post
    During my heaviest cycles of training i easily can eat up to 5k calories on workout days and some times on off days
    Yeah, I've had my share of 5k calorie days as well. I just seem to have limitless hunger on those days, and anything goes if it can temporarily satiate me. Those days are why I do not stock sweet stuff in my house.

  5. #5
    Neil_B
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    I'm not sure how to answer these questions, since I'm not sure what is being asked. So here goes....

    I started at about 400 pounds in December 2005. I was completely sedentary, to the point I couldn't walk a city block without stopping. So in January 2006 I cut my calories from the 5000 a day I was consuming to 2200 and began a modest program of lifting and cardio. (I still remember how proud I was to manage 20 minutes on an exercise bike!) I dropped 25 pounds the first two weeks, was at 330 by May, and reached 285 by mid October. I dropped another ten pounds by January, when I began to teach myself to ride a bike.

    Until then my diet had gone from 5K calories of fatty, greasy, salty, food to 2500 of better food, much lower in fat and salt, much higher in protein. Once I began cycling, my calories crept up, but my weight went down. I dropped to 242 in July 2007, and bounced back up to 250 by the end of the summer. I added another ten over the winter. I maintained 260 for much of 2008, and over this winter and spring packed back on another 30, largely from inactivity and stress eating as a side effect of depression. I'm sure the weight will come back off again, and perhaps I'll remember in the future to tailor my eating to match my exercise level.

    I'm sure lifting has helped me, but because of my structural problems I'm never going to develop muscles like the gym rats have. (I'm forbidden to do squats, for instance.) So I can't rely on greater muscle mass to lead my metabolism higher and increase calorie burn.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    I'm not sure how to answer these questions, since I'm not sure what is being asked. .
    I think you sort of answered my question in my post, I'm not actually sure how to word it better. I'm at a low weight point for my second time around, yet I'm eating more and more; I don't want the weight loss to reverse and start going up again like it did last year. I don't know if I should re-tailor my diet (ie, should my diet now be N calories less because I now weigh ~250 instead of ~270) or just keep at it with more or less the same, because my muscle mass seems to have increased? All your responses have been helpful :**

  7. #7
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crast View Post
    I think you sort of answered my question in my post, I'm not actually sure how to word it better. I'm at a low weight point for my second time around, yet I'm eating more and more; I don't want the weight loss to reverse and start going up again like it did last year. I don't know if I should re-tailor my diet (ie, should my diet now be N calories less because I now weigh ~250 instead of ~270) or just keep at it with more or less the same, because my muscle mass seems to have increased? All your responses have been helpful :**
    Yeah, aside from my bounce back up, I'm in the same boat. I'm concerned that cutting calories is going to hurt whatever muscle development I've had going on.

    In my case, while I've stopped watching what I'm eating and I've put back on 30 pounds, I'm also lifting heavier weights on the machines than I've ever lifted before. While I don't feel more muscular or stronger, I don't know why that would be happening unless I'd been shorting myself in calories before.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Eclectus's Avatar
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    Your increased appetite is a normal phenom. Think of your body as being stingy: "I've built up this fat bank account, and you're tryna drain it. I don't want you makin any withdrawals, son."

    The trick is to exert willpower, and discipline your body to get comfortable using the fat reserves as an energy source. Actually, your weight loss shows this is happening. You've actually lost more fat than your weight drop alone indicates, because you've built new muscle.

    What many people find is that their appetite diminishes as the body resigns itself to being in a net-calorie deficit, and gives up the fight to keep the fat.

    Based on my experience, it is my belief that a 6-day exercise regimen is much more effective than a 3-4 day regimen, to reprogram your body/brain food-craving signals.

    Eat slowly. Eat with others and converse. If food is left on your plate after 20 minutes, and you feel sated, don't finish the meal, leave what's there. Resist the urge to think it's being "wasted". Feed a dog to overcome this feeling.

    I'm down to 221 today, from 291 exactly one year ago (307 earlier). Got to 240 between mid-May and mid-August, then injury followed by cool fall weather reduced my exercise. The good thing was, I reduced my eating to compensate, thus putting on only about 5 pounds by Christmas. Then injury was over, and I got winter cycling clothes and a trainer, so I was able to ride a fair amount. Now I hope to ride hard for the next several months, and hopefully get to 200 by August. Eventually, I want to be high school/ college weight (180s). In my mind's eye that's the "real me".

    Today I lunched with friends. One of them pointed to a FAT guy and said, "You used to look like him." "I didn't look like that." "Yeah, you did." Of course I did. Fat weighs about 7 pounds per gallon. I've basically lost 10 gallons of fat. Think of 10 one-gallon milk jugs filled with cooking oil. Yechh. What was I doing to myself?

    But I have to get rid of another 3 in the next 3-4 months, so I'm not done yet.

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