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  1. #1
    Senior Member retnav94's Avatar
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    Maybe a change is needed, or not.

    I have been biking for about six weeks or so and have had some rather slow weight loss, about 6lbs over that period. Prior to that I had lost an average of about 8 to 10 lbs a month, walking until an injury curtailed it. (started in May at 300+). As I have posted before I started with a hybrid and about a month ago I bought a Motobecane 29er MTB. I love the bike. I am , as many of us are, a bit obsessed with riding now. I ride mainly at a local recreation park that has a combo paved/hard packed path that is rather hilly in spots. Each lap is a 5k and I try and ride hard, for me at least. I average 14mph and complete 13 miles in about 55 mins or so. I do this six days a week mixing in a 16 mile day once in a while. Last week end a bud and I did a ride just short of 60 miles in about 4:15 riding time. I loved it. It was mainly flat with a few small hills. I felt great during and after.

    OK now that I have put you to sleep, I am contemplating a road bike or a cross. I want to do the longer rides more frequently. My question is mainly weight loss. I suspect I am just on a plateau, but I would like it to pick up. Those of you that have done long rides and short higher intensity rides , have you seen a difference in weight loss?

    I can make due with what I have and do some longer rides, however, there is a certain appeal to the road bikes for me as of late.
    2010 Motobecane Fantom 29
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  2. #2
    Senior Member redvespablur's Avatar
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    Intensity is key. You have probably not maxed out the potential of the hybrid - but if you have the means....

  3. #3
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Biking makes me feel hungry whether it is long gentle rides or intense shorter rides.
    I'm not loosing weight because I eat too much, regardless of the biking.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  4. #4
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
    Biking makes me feel hungry whether it is long gentle rides or intense shorter rides.
    I'm not loosing weight because I eat too much, regardless of the biking.
    +1.

  5. #5
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retnav94 View Post
    OK now that I have put you to sleep, I am contemplating a road bike or a cross. I want to do the longer rides more frequently. My question is mainly weight loss. I suspect I am just on a plateau, but I would like it to pick up. Those of you that have done long rides and short higher intensity rides , have you seen a difference in weight loss?
    The more intense the effort, the greater the calories burned. BUT at maximum effort virtually all those calories are coming from glycogen stores, whereas going more steadily burns fat. In theory this should make no difference - calories are calories. In practice, however, your body will require you to replenish the glycogen stores. In my experience this means that I am more likely to be prey to uncontrolled eating after a maximum intensity ride than after a LSD (long, steady, distance) ride, despite the fact that I might have burned more calories during the latter.

    If I were you I'd do both. That is, try to throw in at least one ride each week when you're out for a decent time - certainly more than 2 hours - but going at a pace you can comfortably maintain. Your 60 miles in 4:15 sounds ideal. Then do the shorter, faster stuff on the other days. Whatever strategy you're adopting, eating something - mainly protein but with a few carbs thrown in - immediately after your ride will both help you manage your appetite later on, and increase the speed with which you recover - so you'll be ready for the next day.

    If you're going to do the longer stuff, get the road bike. More fun means you'll spend more time on the bike.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  6. #6
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    I've beat my voracious appetite by changing one meal to a slightly more nutrient dense version. I now eat brown rice, cooked with chicken broth, at least once a day. Just this slight adjustment has curbed the hunger and started the weight loss again.

    Good Luck!

    btw I love my road bike! After ~400 miles I still get a kick out of how fast/efficient it is.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    Another vote for fun, and changing things up. Shock your system, but don't go into starvation mode. Your body gets used to doing and eating the same thing pretty quickly, and it is easy to hit a plateau. The best thing for it, is usually to really change your food and/or your workout routine.

    For food, I'd try eating about the same number of calories at first, but eat different things. If you are an ultra-low carb diet, I'd consider eating about 150-200 extra calories of carbs immediately after a long or intense ride (I prefer fruit or whole-grains like oatmeal or bulgar wheat). You want to eat no more than 10 minutes after you get off the bike. If I do this right when I get home, and then take a shower and change clothes, I tend to not eat as much over the rest of the day. If you are already eating carbs, I'd just change things up a bit. Switch out your carbs for something completely different, maybe a bit more protein and fewer carbs, more dark-colored vegetables and fruits, etc. Make most of your fats come from nuts for a couple of days. When my body gets enough of the trace nutrients found in such foods, my cravings usually go way down after a day or two.

    For exercise, just do something that burns about the same number calories, but stresses your body in a different way. On the bike, add in more hills, or do fast-feet intervals. Maybe add-in semi-aerobic weight exercises like lunges with dumbbells, leg press exercises using a weight that you can do sets of 35+ reps, etc. It never hurts to throw in a few weights, abdominal, and flexibility exercises either (yoga, pilates, etc.). Some people like to switch some of their aerobic activity to something else like running, elliptical trainers, or rowing.

    That is what has worked for me, and others that I know, in the past. Now, I need to follow that advice myself!


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  8. #8
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    Losing a pound a week is good. You need to be careful when drastically trying to lose weight. Your body is used to carrying a certain amount of weight. By gradually cutting calories or increasing workload your body does not enter "starvation mode". Starvation mode is basically a point where your body fails to respond to changes and begins cannibalizing itself. Instead of your body using fat for energy, it begins using muscle.

    Looking at your post you want to go faster, or do a certain distance in a lesser time equating to more weight loss. By getting a new bike designed for such a task you will accomplish that goal. It won't necessarily equate to more weight loss however.

    For example you want to get to your parents house. You can bike and either average 12MPH on your MTB or 17MPH on your road bike. The distance to your parents house does not change. Yet depending on which bike you choose the time it takes to get their does. Just because you get their faster on your road bike doesn't necessarily mean you exerted more effort. In fact the opposite may be true.

    If you are continually losing weight with what you are doing you have not hit a plateau. To accelerate your weight loss you can try manipulating your diet. You can also try and change your riding habit. Your body becomes more efficient at a task if it does the same thing routinely. Say one day ride for distance. Another day for time. Another day do hills. Another day just ride for fun.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    The more intense the effort, the greater the calories burned. BUT at maximum effort virtually all those calories are coming from glycogen stores, whereas going more steadily burns fat.
    Assuming by 'maximum effort' you're implying what you can sustain for a few minutes at a time.

    You can go out on a recovery ride where 2/3 of your calories are coming from fat, or ride at your maximum one hour power with 1/3 of the calories coming from fat but will still burn more fat in the second case and continue to burn more after you stop due to your increased metabolic rate.

    The recovery ride will let you get some mileage in after you've beat yourself up.

    The hard ride will grow capillaries and bigger mitochondria so that you can ride harder in the future with increased fat burning capacity.

    Harder intervals mixed with recovery periods will work even better for stressing your system and producing adaptive changes.

    This ignores that there's some level which will slow you down too much on the second half of the ride or next day so the total is worse.

    It also ignores that it can feel easy when you're fresh and riding harder than that, or really hard at much lower intensities.

    I can go out and ride 25 miles today keeping a heart rate of 140-150, tomorrow, and the next day without significant differences in speed or heart rate. The first ride is easy and if I don't pay attention I'll end up around 160. The last feels about like my maximum 8-minute power at 165-175 without the heavy breathing.

    If I pushing it to 150-160 tomorrow I'll only be doing 130-140.
    Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 10-25-10 at 03:44 PM.

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