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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 04-06-10, 11:23 AM   #1
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Biking to lose weight

My fiancee and I have decided we both need to be in better shape, partly just because we do, and partly because our wedding is in 6 months.

So we've been on weight watchers for ~2 weeks, and are both down 6lbs so far. Now it's getting nicer and we're finally back out on our bikes. I am still pretty slow (tore my ACL a few years ago and my knee has taken a looooong time post-surgery to get stronger), but we're improving. Last week we did 4.8 miles in 45 minutes, yesterday we did 5.2 miles in 45 minutes. Obviously our goal is to increase how long we can go...

Anyhow, just thought I would stop into this forum and say hi. We both have 50ish lbs to lose, so I will be here for a while!
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Old 04-06-10, 11:42 AM   #2
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Welcome, good luck with your riding and congrats on your upcoming wedding!
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Old 04-06-10, 12:03 PM   #3
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Hello and welcome to the forums!

Biking to loose weight's only one tool. If you're depending solely on bicycling you're probably not going to see very impressive results. You need to diet as well. Cycling is a great low impact exercise that can actually be fun. In consideration of your knee trouble you should pay close attention to your seat height. Are you familiar with the proper way to set your seat? Not being a wise guy, it's amazing how many people don't know how. If not let us know and we can fill you in.

So, you planning on posting us some pictures of your bicycle? It's a rule round these parts...
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Old 04-06-10, 12:08 PM   #4
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Welcome! Make sure you have your bike adjusted properly. A seat that is too high or too low will put additional strain on your knees. Also, work at getting your cadence up. Pedaling faster (spinning) instead of harder (mashing) is much easier on the knees as well.

I was having a lot of knee pain before I returned to cycling a few years ago (a combination of old injuries, being overweight and being inactive) and my knees are in better shape now than they've been in decades.

So keep at it and your mileage will increase. Consistency is the best way to get results. Ride often and enjoy your time in the saddle.
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Old 04-06-10, 12:19 PM   #5
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Thanks all!

We're dieting as well (through Weight Watchers) and working out with a personal trainer; the biking is sort of the fun/togetherness part of losing weight and being more active.

I will take some pics of my bike tonight or's nothing special. I bought it at a local sports store that has a dedicated bike dept (with a repair shop) and they set it up, adjusted my seat, etc. My fiancee also used to do a great deal of biking, so she knows what to do as well. I was just excited when I learned how to remove the front tire!
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Old 04-06-10, 12:36 PM   #6
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congrats; good luck and be patient. I think a 45 minute ride is just about right. you might try going a tiny bit faster rather than longer. you know, get your heart rate up.

also walking is a pretty awesome way to keep your metabolism up. so you might try some walking at another time of day. imagine having 2 exercise sessions in one day! :-) Its my favorite thing to do.
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Old 04-06-10, 09:16 PM   #7
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Congrats and good luck. I've lost 33 pounds in 10 months (223 down to 190. I'm 6' tall) with cycling being the only major lifestyle change. I returned to cycling after 25 years off. I've put in over 3,100 miles in the past 10 months and my average speed on rolling to hilly NC foothills rides is almost 17 mph. If I didn't ride this hard and long, I don't think the weight would have come off as easy as it did. At a little over 6 mph, you really aren't expending enough energy to get significant weight loss, IMO. That is unless you are going up a steep hill and 6 mph is as fast as you can go. Keep at it, try to work up to longer rides (2 plus hours, with some rest breaks every 30 minutes or so) and pick up the speed if your knee allows it. Eventually, the weight should come off.
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Old 04-06-10, 11:27 PM   #8
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There is a lot to losing weight. Exercise, is obviously the most important, but so is eating right. Replace starch with veggies, I have been slowly switching over to eating more veggies lately, and I will tell you I feel less hungry. Fruits, too. I feel more full eating an orange and a handfull of grapes for snack at work than eating a 400 calorie danish out of the machine.

I am not sure if it is still available, but Bicycling Magazine put out a book titled: "Nutrition for Peak Performance" its a pretty slim book, but has a LOT of biking related diet info, including a calorie chart, and sample diet meal plans. Its geared for us cyclists

Most of all, congrats on cycling and working towards a better, healthier body! I am working on it, slowly, myself. It will take time to get more miles in a shorter time. I had worked myself up to doing 15 miles in a bit less than an hour on my road bike, Now with a hybrid I am a bit slower... but the fun factor went up exponentially!

6mph will burn calories, but you need to go farther than 5 miles. My girlfriend and I average around 9-11mph on the canal path we ride on, but we go for 15 mile bike rides or longer. The biggest thing is to stay in a LOW gear so you "spin" the pedals in circles, instead of a high gear where you are "mashing" the pedals. Spinning gives you more of a cardio workout, especially if you keep your cadence up (rpm). Spinning is also a bit more efficient! Spinning is also much, much easier on the joints, knees especially. If your knees bother you on your bike, might want to get fitted, any decent bike shop should be able to do that.

Keep at it, and stay hydrated! Before long, you will work your way up to longer rides. Find a nice bike friendly path somewhere, they are more fun than streets.
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Old 04-07-10, 08:05 AM   #9
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Welcome back to biking!!

I wont try to tell you how to eat as you have probably got enough advice on that already.

What I will suggest is that you invest in a heart rate monitor. After you input your personal data, you can pretty much rely on it to tell if you are riding too slow or working too hard. If your goal is to lose weight and get fitter, you might try staying around the 75% zone for around 1/2 hour. I am just getting back into shape after being a slug all winter and my goal is to get to 3 one hour rides a week and keep my HR in the 80% area. If I do this and watch what I eat, I typically drop several pounds a week.

Hope that helps
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Old 04-07-10, 10:03 AM   #10
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You'll get lots of encouragement here. Also, come join us in the Biggest Looser thread, it's not a competition, but more of a weekly weigh-in.

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Old 04-07-10, 06:25 PM   #11
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Congrats on the upcoming wedding and on getting in shape. This is a great contact point. You have a good team around you with the personal trainer, WW and this fine bunch. Also check in with the Training and Nutrition Thread from time to time. I find them helpful as well.

I like to track my resting heart rate as another point of progress. Take your heart rate 3 times tomorrow morning. Use a whole minute each time you take it. Then average your RHR by dividing the total by 3. Do that every two weeks. As your resting heart rate goes down, along with your weight and your mileage increases, you know that you will be that much healthier for each other.
I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.
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Old 04-07-10, 07:54 PM   #12
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You have already gotten some good advice. Some of the things I have found helpful is to start with the obvious things in the diet. High sugar stuff, candy, pop, that sort of thing. Then work on portion size. Take your normal amount, and then put a 1/4 to 1/3 back. (Probably shouldn't do this at a restaurant!) Might also consider a diet diary to sort of track when and what you are eating. I have found these things to be helpful for patients getting started with weight loss.
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Old 04-07-10, 08:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by tdbmd View Post
Might also consider a diet diary to sort of track when and what you are eating. I have found these things to be helpful for patients getting started with weight loss.
Are you MY doc? I kept a diary and took it to him. He said my diet is "crap" and pure gluttony. I'm down 5 lbs from diet alone and can't wait to get back on the bike. Enjoy your journey. It's awesome you guys are getting healthy together!
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Old 04-08-10, 04:45 PM   #14
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Welcome and congratulations on the upcoming nuptials!!! You will find a tremendous amount of support here. Heck, these folks helped me get to Haiti---- but that's another story. You sound like you are doing all the right things-----sensible diet, exercise, support in your effort. Cruise around the forums. You will find a wealth of information and companionship and support.
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Old 04-09-10, 02:11 AM   #15
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i'd suggest if you're planning on dieting and cycling is to take a vitamin supplement to make sure you don't miss out on anything you need other than that well done and hope it goes well for ye both!!
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