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  1. #1
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    not losing weight-->am I not eating enough?

    Hi all, I've noticed recently that the scale is not moving at all (past several weeks). I ride about 40 miles a day, burning about 1000 calories on this ride. I am eating about 1500 calories per day, leaving me with a net 500 calories. I figure that I should be losing about 2 pounds per week, but haven't lost much at all. I feel lighter, but it's not showing on the scale. Anyone experience anything like this? Any suggestions? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member mwchandler21's Avatar
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    ibtl?

    There is no way those numbers are right.

  3. #3
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    A few comments and questions:

    1) What is your current weight and fat percentage (NOT body mass index)?
    2) You should be tracking your fat percentage, not body weight if your goal is to "thin down"
    3) 1500 calories sounds extremely low... your body is probably burning muscle to fuel your long rides. If you are really riding 40 miles -every- day then that calorie intake is super-low.
    4) How are you counting your calories and determining how much you burn on each ride?
    5) Once you are 100% positive that your diet is appropriate for your activity level and weight loss goals then see if you are dropping fat percentage. If not, try shocking the system with a different form of activity (swimming, weights, jogging, etc.).

    In order to burn fat you need to have a -small- caloric deficit. Your body will not go into starvation mode (which -conserves- fat) and it will allow you to burn fat for energy. Now obviously nothing is absolute... you will burn some fat no matter what but you should be able to optimize your results.

  4. #4
    DON'T PANIC!
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    Gross 1500 and net 500 on 40 miles a day is exceptionally low. On top of what others have already mentioned I would also ask how much protein are you getting. I've been making an effort to get 100+g/day to keep up with my exercise program.

    The other number that seems way off is 1000 calories riding 40 miles, how are you coming to that figure? I can hold 15 mph easy over 40 miles, but that is 2.5 hours and 1700 calories by my calculator and I'm down to 162 pounds, it will be higher for someone heavier and only slightly lower unless you are creeping along.

    You are probably more like net 0 if not negative, this is very bad. Take a step back, start eating properly for your activity level, and then re-evaluate your weight loss.
    Weight (April 2010) 200lb -> Goal (Nov 2010) 145lb Achieved -> (Aug 2011) 132lb 10%BF

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  5. #5
    DON'T PANIC!
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    Have you taken the advice from the other thread you started a few weeks ago?

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=#post11189896

    So rather than take a rest you have upped your riding to 40 miles/day?
    Weight (April 2010) 200lb -> Goal (Nov 2010) 145lb Achieved -> (Aug 2011) 132lb 10%BF

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    I'm about 165 and ~30% bf.

    I'm counting calories by measuring food and logging it. I look up online servings of a particular food and log the corresponding calories.

    I use a Garmin, but know that the caloric count is not right (It says I burn about 2500 calories on my ride). My heart rate is usually about 130-135 during these rides. I get the 1000 calories from using a Polar heart rate monitor during my previous workouts. According to this, 2 hours at around 130-135bpm burns about 1000 calories. This seems to be reasonable to me so I use this number.

  7. #7
    DON'T PANIC!
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    what height, age range? You are either really short or really need strength training.
    Weight (April 2010) 200lb -> Goal (Nov 2010) 145lb Achieved -> (Aug 2011) 132lb 10%BF

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brontide View Post
    Have you taken the advice from the other thread you started a few weeks ago?

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=#post11189896

    So rather than take a rest you have upped your riding to 40 miles/day?
    I took a day off. The heart rate problem was mainly at the beach, where I have about 50 feet of elevation rise per ride. Back home, with a still small 1000 ft elevation rise, its fine.

    I'm 5'8"

  9. #9
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    Ok 5'8", 165, 30% BF, eating only 1500 calories a day, and riding 40 miles/day.

    Have you yo-yo dieted in the past? 30% bodyfat seem high for someone at 25.1 BMI, to get in the fitness range you would be 135 pounds ( 17% bf ).

    Personal opinion. Strength training 2-3 days a week and cut down on the mileage but increase your training ( more interval training and the like ). You also need to eat better, I'm 5'6" 162 with around 20% bf and riding 1:20-2:00 5-6 days/week and I'll eat 1800-2800 based on exercise and how hungry I am. If you have coverage go see a nutritionist to get a handle on the food/calorie situation.
    Weight (April 2010) 200lb -> Goal (Nov 2010) 145lb Achieved -> (Aug 2011) 132lb 10%BF

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  10. #10
    Senior Member andrewluke's Avatar
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    at 165, your basic needs should be very close to or exceed 1500 calories. If you're doing those miles, you should be burning close to 1500 calories provided you are keeping your heartrate up the entire time and ride around 2.5 hours or so. most calculators do overcompensate by a lot but I usually maintain 20mph average speed and my heartrate is always between 70-100% of my max so I figure around 700 calories per hour according to a trainer friend (I am at 210 though).

    Basically, you're not eating enough. Calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate somewhere and then add on the physical activity to that. Then subtract 20% of the calories and do not drop below that number. The 500 rule is deceiving because if you think about it, someone like myself needs around 4000 calories a day to break even on a day with a ride like that and 500 calories is only a 12.5% reduction while someone who's required intake is 1500 is losing a third. I've been told 20-25% is a better number to go off of because the 500 rule was based on the "average person" who is typically personified with a 2000 calorie required intake.

    The best practice is to work in rides around meals so you're not eating extra to get energy. then eat cliff bars or something at certain intervals on longer rides. it all takes a lot of planning but it works out better that way. If my meal before the ride is all protein and carbs (I like lean protein shakes, a banana, and toast with peanut butter for breakfast on the long ride days) I know I feel better on the ride and seem to lose faster - even when my calorie intake doesn't change.

  11. #11
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    165 and 5' 8' sounds correct weight to me, are you sure your body fat is accurate?

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    The one question no one has seemed to ask is -- Are you male or female?

    If you're male, you should be pretty close to your ideal weight and may not be able to lose much more. If you're male and using a body fat scale, it sounds like the scale is set for a woman, which will give a much higher body fat percentage. 5'8" and 165 should be somewhere in the very low 20% range for a man.

    If you're female, then the body fat percentage sounds accurate. You may have put you body in self-preservation mode with heavy exercise and low calorie intake.

    Either way, I'd recommend working with a nutritionist to find an appropriate diet for both weight loss and training.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatslowbiker View Post
    I ride about 40 miles a day, burning about 1000 calories on this ride. I am eating about 1500 calories per day
    You must look like the only person with a bike on Schindler's List. You're probably burning about 500 kCal per hour ( give or take as much as 20 % ), so, unless you're doing these rides very, very quickly ( 20 mph moving average ), you're burning much more energy than you think. Even with your estimate, you're leaving yourself 500 kCal per day to support your hungry brain ( 3 % of your body weight but 20 % of your calorie consumption ), heart beat, and everything else you need to do to survive. I don't know how you manage to ride 40 miles like this without hitting the wall hard.

    From the numbers, and without knowing even whether you're a man or a woman, or much else about you, it sounds like this could make your body think it's starving, and horde every calorie you take in. That would prevent you from not losing weight ... although, like others have said, simply checking the scale isn't very helpful in this regard.

    While ( at least at my age ) the doctor doesn't have any useful advice when you ask about changing your diet or exercise ( "if it doesn't cause you pain, it's not hurting you" ), you could probably benefit from talking to yours about this.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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