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  1. #1
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    Starting out --- get into the workout habit before changing diet?

    Greetings,

    I started my current workout regimen with 10 miles per day on the first week. Then 15 miles per day on the second week. Then between 15 and 25 miles per day for 3 weeks. Then yesterday, the middle of my sixth week, I broke the 30 barrier. Which isn't really a barrier... its' just an artificial limitation you have in your brain. So I figure a few more weeks and I'll go for 40. Then after that: a metric century around the first of October.

    Anyway... it all feels good. I've dropped 5% body fat. Very nice. I also no longer need to take ibuprofen like House eating vicodin. And if I miss day I feel awful. Except for either saturday or sunday; I take one day a week off.

    For getting into this workout routine I decided to get serious with getting into a workout habit/schedule before starting on any diet modification. My justification is that if you start a new workout schedule AND change your diet all at one time you are probably setting yourself up to fail. But if you get into a workout routine and make it a habit and then slowly change what you eat for the better you might actually be able to maintain both as a lifestyle change.

    Besides... if I'm losing body fat percentage at a constant rate... do I really need to give up my friday margarita and mexican food ritual? BTW: I have the bartender use less of the sweet high fructose margarita mix in my drink. I let him replace it with tequila. :-) Not sure if that is good or bad. But it is tasty.

    The rest of the week we eat fairly well... otherwise i don't think I'd be seeing the body fat percentage decrease. I know it would probably be more if I did skip friday; I'm sure it takes a few days for the body to recover from the alcohol.

    QUESTION: Any opinions on whether I should drop "the fun stuff" out of my diet, or can I go ahead and maintain them as long as I am seeing what seems to be a constant drop of body fat percentage?

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Keep having the Fun Stuff...
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  3. #3
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum first off. Great start.

    You don't mention your age, weight or prior fitness level. But, in general I would say you can keep "the fun stuff" in your diet as long as you are happy with your weight loss and fitness gains. There may come a time when you want to cut them out for good or for a short period while you get your goal weight.

    As far as whether to start a fitness program or diet first I don't think it matters. I find with I am riding/exercising it is easier to stay on a diet.

  4. #4
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    OOPS... I did skip those things.... 48 years old, 254.5 lbs and 34% body fat as of today.

    I was at 269.0 lbs and 39.5% when I started. (So I've lost 18 lbs of fat and gained 4 lbs of core weight.)

    I used to work out an hour a day at the gym for almost 20 years. Then about 6 years ago I started working from home and sadly about the same time they moved my gym from being 3 minutes away to being 25 minutes away. Needless to say I've not been there recently.

    Besides... I think I might be a bicycle "convert". As "proof" of that I submit that I already bought a $300.00 light for riding in the dark this winter. (I only paid $150.00... I got one of the Princeton Switchback 3 lights that many are selling at closeout prices.)

    BTW: I guess my "goal" would be to not be a clyde.... so less than 200 lbs.
    Last edited by keithlm; 08-18-10 at 01:57 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    Convert huh? More like maniac! You justified the light for your commute.

  6. #6
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Keep the fun stuff. You seem to be doing fine so far.

    A lot of people cut out all of the fun stuff, then when they reach their goal weight and start eating it again they go overboard. You seem to be able to manage it, so why stop?
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Pfishingruven's Avatar
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    You have to keep the fun stuff! Fun stuff is fine in moderation. I notice you never mention dieting because "dieting" doesn't really work. However, you do mention diet modification and changing your diet and that is what works. It is a complete lifestyle change. Could you imagine going the rest of your life without any fun stuff...no, it is just not practical to think you will never have any of the bad stuff ever again. I had to come to this realization...after changing my diet completely and reading Nutrition Facts, I felt bad eating the fun stuff. I have now come to realize it is ok in moderation or on that special occasion. I have also gone with healthier fun stuff like you mention. Makes me feel better that instead of having a milkshake or ice cream, I have a homemade fruit smoothie or frozen yogurt...tastes just as good, but is such a better choice.

    You may hit a point where you might have to for go the fun stuff to make your goals, but until you hit that point don't worry about it.

    Keep up the good work!

  8. #8
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    I agree with Pfishingruven and other posters about keeping the "fun stuff". If you are happy about your goals so far then why stop whats working. Just be careful. You can lose weight and still not be "healthy". Hopefully you've had some bloodwork done or been checked out by a doctor.

    I recently went to the doctor and they said my cholesterol levels were high (the bad kind). And although I consider myself a "healthy" person (I commute by bike year round, eat pretty well, workout 3 times a week) I was not expecting hear that. With some modifications on what I eat I was able to get those levels down (they asked if I would rather take medication but i'd rather see what I could do).

    So congratulations on your accomplishments and best of luck to reaching your new goals.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    As long as you burn more calories than you take in, you'll loose weight. If you asked if you should give up junk food like Ding Dongs and Coke, I'd say yes. But margaritas and Mexican food aren't junk food so I wouldn't cut them out unless you want to progress faster on your weight loss. Then a switch to taco salads and tequila shooters for a breif time would be in order.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithlm View Post
    QUESTION: Any opinions on whether I should drop "the fun stuff" out of my diet, or can I go ahead and maintain them as long as I am seeing what seems to be a constant drop of body fat percentage?
    Stop eating fun stuff. Don't drink any alcohol, either. You can't be around members of the opposite sex anymore. Stop seeing your family. Send all of your money to me.

    Er, hold on, I forgot where I was. Yeah, have some guacamole once a week. If you don't, you'll eventually get fed up and quit. If you want to make a lasting "lifestyle change," snacking has to be part of that. Obviously it's harder to lose weight when you're snacking occasionally, but it's easier to stick with, versus joining a cult. And you won't get to your target weight, stop "dieting" and gain it all back.

    Without meaning to stomp on your balloon, 30 miles in a day isn't all that much. When you get up to doing 75 miles, it will be a lot more demanding, and you'll need to engineer your diet to get every bit of nutrition into your blood that you can. Until then, when you're not enjoying the margarita and Mexican food, snack on apples and such, notice how good food helps with the longer rides ... and everything will continue working itself out, like it is now.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  11. #11
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    I forgot to mention one thing about the 30 miles:

    Elevation Profile: (Bottom of graph is 6000 feet and top is around 7000 feet.)


    I think that if I went out east of here to the flatlands I could probably do twice as many miles.
    Last edited by keithlm; 08-18-10 at 07:23 PM.

  12. #12
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    You're doing just fine with the fun stuff, as you obviously have the willpower to stop after one or two margureitas. You also seem to be in the work habit, so no probs with motivation. Keep going as you are, you're doing well. Your body will tell you when you can push that bit harder on your bike as your fitness grows, and perhaps then you could look at a revised diet. Like a previous post said, eat fruit, choose low fat, low salt snacks and you'll be well on your way.

  13. #13
    DON'T PANIC!
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    You may want to at least log your eating so you have a baseline of what your metabolism is right now. Since you are losing, I wouldn't change anything at this moment. While what you are doing now is working, I doubt you can keep up that level of effort year round and it will be good to know at what level you truly maintain at. There is also the problem of weight loss reducing your caloric needs ( it's a cruel joke ) so as the pounds come off, your metabolism requires less and your exercise will burn fewer calories.
    Weight (April 2010) 200lb -> Goal (Nov 2010) 145lb Achieved -> (Aug 2011) 132lb 10%BF

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  14. #14
    Cute, fluffy, and illegal gotls1's Avatar
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    When I first started losing weight, I just rode as much as I could without changing what I ate. I did that until I hit a plateu. After a while, I decided that continuing to lose weight was worth it to me, so I changed my nutrition. Overall it was much more sucessful than prevous attempts to get fit since I was changing things gradually (exercise first then eating). When I tried to make a bunch of changes all at once it became overwhelming and I just gave them all up in a relatively short time.

    Even though I've changed many of my eating habits, I still have fun stuff with some regularity. Friday is and will always be "Stromboli Night" to me.
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  15. #15
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    ADDENDUM: I was correct in my previous post. Doing 30 miles on a more flat route is much easier than doing 30 those miles with a constant 1000 foot elevation delta. That is not a large angle, but it is big enough to make those miles a bit more difficult than a more flat distribution.

    Anyway the 30 miles I did today was a piece of cake. Not totally flat, but the elevation delta was only 150 feet compared to the 1000 feet on the other route.

    I even considered going another 10 miles to get to the next town on that route, but it was getting late and I didn't have my light with me. I'll have to start earlier OR put my light on my bike. OR both. (I think both, because I want to get used to having the light mounted. I might also buy a small $20.00 "OMG it got dark" light to throw into the saddle pack. )

    SIDE NOTE ON EQUIPMENT UPDATE: I bought a new dual bolt seat post; the single bolt post the bike came with made adjusting the saddle angle too difficult. The new one is MUCH easier to adjust. My naughty bits are rejoicing. Actually that's not totally true, the original was angled forward too much so I had no pain in the seat area; my arms and wrist hurt something awful. Today my wrists/hands still started getting numb. But not until after I had done 25 miles instead of being number after 5 miles.

  16. #16
    Trying not to fall off. Coopers_Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithlm View Post

    QUESTION: Any opinions on whether I should drop "the fun stuff" out of my diet, or can I go ahead and maintain them as long as I am seeing what seems to be a constant drop of body fat percentage?
    I would take the time to find out just how bad "the fun stuff" is. Take that information and use it to calculate how long you would have to ride or exersise to burn it off. This worked very well for me when I was starting out. Having a single drink that would result in 45 minutes of hill climbs or two hours in the saddle made the drink far less desirable. That said balance is required in any program an you have to treat yourself from time to time.

    Just take the time to figure things out.

    Good luck!
    2010 Trek Madone 4.5
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  17. #17
    Trying not to fall off. Coopers_Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithlm View Post
    I even considered going another 10 miles to get to the next town on that route, but it was getting late and I didn't have my light with me. I'll have to start earlier OR put my light on my bike. OR both. (I think both, because I want to get used to having the light mounted. I might also buy a small $20.00 "OMG it got dark" light to throw into the saddle pack. )

    SIDE NOTE ON EQUIPMENT UPDATE: I bought a new dual bolt seat post; the single bolt post the bike came with made adjusting the saddle angle too difficult. The new one is MUCH easier to adjust. My naughty bits are rejoicing. Actually that's not totally true, the original was angled forward too much so I had no pain in the seat area; my arms and wrist hurt something awful. Today my wrists/hands still started getting numb. But not until after I had done 25 miles instead of being number after 5 miles.
    I'd suggest getting your your LBS for a fitting. They are pretty inexpensive and will really help as you start to ride further. If you don't have them yet get some bike shorts they are a must!
    2010 Trek Madone 4.5
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  18. #18
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    @Coopers_Dad:I had them fit me at the LBS when I bought the bike 5 weeks ago. But changing my saddle caused me some self imposed issues in re-adjusting some of the things that we personally need to learn how to self adjust. (ie., height, angle, horizontal position.) Now that I'm getting these things all sorted out things are getting better.

    BTW: The LBS recommended either a medium frame OR a large frame. (At 5'9"-5'10" I am right at the crossroads between a medium and a large for this brand.) The large seemed more "natural" to me. This is probably because it is exactly the same size as the '91 GT Timberline I've had for 20 years. It might be slightly too large by today's standards, but since that is what I had and was used to for all those years the medium frame felt cramped and uncomfortable.

    Also: I have two pairs of shorts and I agree they are very important. I might even consider some bibs for this coming winter with some arm/leg warmers. But we'll see in October. What I can't enjoy is bike jerseys even though I have a couple of them. I wear a looser "wicking" type shirt but I can't go for those tight fitting bike stuff. At least not yet; perhaps maybe after a drop a few tons and don't feel like a behemoth in a leotard.

    TODAY: I might go and do the same 30 mile route again. With my new off-road light attached "just in case". If I feel good at the turnaround I might go the extra 5 miles to the next town. (Adding to 40 miles total.)

    EDIT: Just found that the site below can map my old Garmin GPS III+ files. BONUS.

    So I'm talking about adding fountain to the south loop. (For the north loop I currently go to the North Entrance to the Academy... I will probably add Monument to that loop eventually.)

    http://www.mapmyride.com/route/detail/21890802/
    Last edited by keithlm; 08-23-10 at 02:47 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithlm View Post
    ADDENDUM: Doing 30 miles on a more flat route is much easier than doing 30 those miles with a constant 1000 foot elevation delta.

    .
    Total off topic here but because of my math and engineering background, I used to use the term "delta" to refer to "change in" but nobody understood me so I quit. dvdt

  20. #20
    2007 Vett Scooterpilot's Avatar
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    If the fun stuff works for you and your weight is where you like it, go for it.

    I became a modified Vegan and found that works best for me. I don't eat meat any more but I do allow myself to break my modified lifestyle. My piece of heaven is Pizza and beer. So every month or two I'll break down and go for it with no guilt at all.

    Your on the right track, congrats.

    Regards
    Chuck

  21. #21
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    UPDATE: Just did 37.01 miles. Actually the GPS said 36.04 so I'll go with the CatEye mileage for ego reasons. (But I'll keep in my mind that it really is only 36.04.) It took me 3.5 hours. I'm getting better. (Or worse depending on how you look at things.)

    http://www.mapmyride.com/route/detail/21964088/


    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    Total off topic here but because of my math and engineering background, I used to use the term "delta" to refer to "change in" but nobody understood me so I quit. dvdt
    I hadn't really thought about that. I guess somebody that didn't understand that definition of delta was might think I was talking about a river bed or something. :-)

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