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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 04-18-12, 05:51 PM   #1
krobinson103
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Weight loss conondrum...

Ok, almost 3 months into the mission to get to a 'healthy' weight. 8kg and 1500km down. Running -800 calories every day and not eating any chocolate, junk food, fried food or anything that might hinder my program. and yet...

I'm stalled at 94kg. 2 weeks of gradually ramping up the speed and intensity with interval training. I'm definately stronger and faster over progressivly longer distances. It makes sense that cycling faster=more energy used. But... loss has slowed to a crawl.

Anyone been in the same situation? I really can't figure this out. There can be no way that I'm not using more energy than I'm taking in. Feel 1000% fitter, Can go twice as fast, twice as far, with 1/2 the perceived tiredness. I look trimmer, clothes are getting bigger, but the weight stays the same.
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Old 04-18-12, 06:06 PM   #2
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Anyone been in the same situation?
I have also slowed the weight loss down as I, kicked up the food level for the fuel needed for more speed/intensity doing 3 group rides per week. It doesn't seem to take much extra food to bring the weight loss to a crawl, YMMV. I think it is easier to lose while not trying to build, trying to do both maybe tough.
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Old 04-18-12, 06:52 PM   #3
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Guys don't let it get you down. I too have had a wild ride since November. I was doing the paleo thing, and I mean hard core and running 4 days a week, and cross training 1

I was losing weight but would lose a few pounds then simply not lose anything for two to three weeks.

Oddly enough since I am doing a half marathon training program, and thus my training has been ramping up quite a bit over the last mont, the weight has really started to fall off. Mi have even gone back to eating non paleo foods and feel much better.

My point is don't give up and I am not at all sold on the proposed diet is 80% of the required effort. I was dieting hard core and not losing weight, but now that I am running 25 mile weeks, and basically dieting (rather than hard core) its falling off.

Don't give up and try changing up some things like diet or amount of exercise and see if that jumps starts it again
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Old 04-18-12, 06:52 PM   #4
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There can be no way that I'm not using more energy than I'm taking in.
Are you absolutely sure about this?

Also, as you gain fitness you'll be adding lean weight: a little but of muscle and more blood.
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Old 04-18-12, 07:10 PM   #5
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Your body is very smart and will change so that you'll do your activity as efficiently (i.e. with the least amount of weight loss) as possible. What I did was either have a rest period of a week or so to get my body back to normal, or cross train with another sport. I usually rotate between swimming, (more) weight lifting, running, then a rest cycle. Someday I want to try Yoga and Pilates...
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Old 04-18-12, 07:23 PM   #6
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I hit those plateaus every so often. I think (my opinion) that your body goes into a conservation/Starvation mode. I schedule a "Cheat day" and pig out. That seems to jolt it back to loosing mode. Sometimes not. Just hang on it will start the drop.
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Old 04-18-12, 07:37 PM   #7
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Have you thought about adding one cheat day to the week to prevent/help the plateau?
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Old 04-18-12, 07:50 PM   #8
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Hmm.. perhaps I should try jogging instead of biking one day a week. As much as I hate jogging it might get things moving again. Actually not exercising makes me feel miserable all day.

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Originally Posted by krobinson103
There can be no way that I'm not using more energy than I'm taking in.
Are you absolutely sure about this?

Also, as you gain fitness you'll be adding lean weight: a little but of muscle and more blood.
Sure. I'm eating a stupidly small amount. Just enough to allow me to function. In the weekend I have to eat a bit more to get out to 60km on Saturday and Sunday. I think I may try putting that 8kg I lost in a backpack in the form of my diving weights. Make my body carry it tomorrow. That may make things harder.

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Old 04-18-12, 08:02 PM   #9
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Adaptation syndrome. Up your activity HARD for a week, and do Max HR wind sprint intervals, then back off to 70% Max HR again for 2 weeks and repeat the cycle. That'll generally break a plateau.
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Old 04-18-12, 08:06 PM   #10
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Hmm.. perhaps I should try jogging instead of biking one day a week. As much as I hate jogging it might get things moving again. Actually not exercising makes me feel miserable all day.



Sure. I'm eating a stupidly small amount. Just enough to allow me to function. In the weekend I have to eat a bit more to get out to 60km on Saturday and Sunday. I think I may try putting that 8kg I lost in a backpack in the form of my diving weights. Make my body carry it tomorrow. That may make things harder.

Seeing this, your body may be dropping it's basal metabolic rate because it thinks you're in a famine. It's a survival thing. Drop the nutrition too low, and your body slows down to preserve fat. Find your active lifestyle basal metabolic rate (the number of calories to maintain your current body weight), and then reduce by 500 calories a day, and no more. That will give you a weekly deficit of 3500 calories, and a pound of human fat contains 3500 calories. You'll burn the fat and preserve lean muscle tissue that way. You'll only lose 4-5 pounds a month, but it'll be less likely you'll get on the weight loss yoyo cycle, that way, too.
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Old 04-18-12, 10:48 PM   #11
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If you're still losing inches, I would try not to worry too much about it. Muscle weighs more than fat, so if rides are becoming easier and weightloss is slow, it's because you're building muscle.
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Old 04-18-12, 11:19 PM   #12
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Some good advice above but I was going to add - just work through it. Plateaus happen, I've been stuck for the last month and just started creeping down again.

I'm going to have to try Tom's advice next time I get stuck, assuming I'm not stuck right now.

My only other tip for you would be to exclude the calorie benefit of your exercise from your calorie intake. Most calorie calculators are wrong, and usually on the high side. IMO. I try to hit 1800 calories of food a day (which is about where my end state should be) and exercise nearly every day. I'm no paragon of weight loss, but that's my strategy.
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Old 04-19-12, 12:12 AM   #13
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If you're still losing inches, I would try not to worry too much about it. Muscle weighs more than fat, so if rides are becoming easier and weightloss is slow, it's because you're building muscle.
+1 Don't just look at weight, look at your body. As long as you are losing bodyfat ...
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Old 04-19-12, 12:27 AM   #14
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Anyone been in the same situation? I really can't figure this out. There can be no way that I'm not using more energy than I'm taking in.
Are you sure? My PowerTap power meter seems to suggest that most people, HR monitors, cardio machines, and online calculators greatly overestimate how many calories are burned while cycling. Even the best estimates are often 50-100% higher than what the power meter reads...

In any event, when I hit a plateau I generally take a week or two off, don't worry about food too much, then come back and try to ride much harder than before. Switching to a different form of exercise for a few weeks may also help.
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Old 04-19-12, 12:53 AM   #15
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+1 Don't just look at weight, look at your body. As long as you are losing bodyfat ...
If the fact that I can see all my ribs, most of my pelvis bone, people look at my face and say I've lost a lot, and none of my old pants fit without a really tight belt I suspect you may be right. Still, I like the idea of high intensity/low intensity cycling. It would also give the muscles some 'time off' to recover a little. I think I'll try that as well.
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Old 04-19-12, 01:35 AM   #16
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^ Some guys who use bodybuilding to lose weight find that they lose weight at first, but then start gaining weight. For example, they might go from 200 lbs to 165 lbs, but then end up at 180 lbs. I'm talking about a 2-year period of time here. But they are ripped and their bodyfat has dropped significantly. They track their weight, but they eventually become more interested in the "mirror" test than the "weight" test. But hell, you are losing weight and gaining performance, you must be doing it mostly right.
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Old 04-19-12, 05:42 PM   #17
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Every thing I have read says 800 kcals is too low; 1000-1200 if Female and 1400 -1600 for a male.
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Old 04-19-12, 05:57 PM   #18
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More than 800 and I can't do my very active edutain kids job. It takes energy to do so and if I don't get it... bad things happen.
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Old 04-19-12, 06:18 PM   #19
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Tom's pretty much on the spot. I might add, try to not maintain the same exact calorie intake each day. Consuming the same number of calories each day trains the body to adapt to that amount and utilize them as efficiently as possible. From what Mrs. Fred and I read and our experience seems to back this up, it's favorable to see a 10-20% variation in caloric intake from day to day, as long as your daily average for the week comes out correctly. We've found that this also allows us a great variety in our diet. Salad and soup days off set chocolate ice cream deserts a couple times a week. This keeps the metabolism confused (?) it seems.

Even then, we've both had plateus. Sometimes several weeks in length. Changed nothing big, but, then weight started coming off again. We've also had to return to logging calories a couple of times to correct for "slippage" in our eating habits. But, nothing major.

Whatever you do, don't starve yourself. Determine your required calorie intake and consume to within -500 calories +/- 10-20% of that, each day.
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Old 04-20-12, 01:14 AM   #20
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Starving yourself has odd side effects. I find myself very irritable because I'm always feeling hungry if I don't eat enough. Also its actually almost impossible to keep starving yourself for any length of time. Eventually the will fails and the body uses every possible bit of energy in the food it gets leading to double weight gain. I also noticed that if you deplete all your muscles energy supplies and there isn't any energy from food then you are using either muscle or fat to continue functioning. This actually severly limits how much energy you have during the day to the point that living normally or even walking up stairs at any pace is difficult.
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Old 04-20-12, 11:44 AM   #21
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I think it is easier to lose while not trying to build, trying to do both maybe tough.
I was just going to post the same thing in another thread. There's plenty of time to do "body sculpting" after you get to a good, healthy weight.

It's too easy to lose track of what you're eating if you're working out really hard while trying to lose. Better to do 45 minutes to an hour per day of a mix of walking/riding/light-resistance training 5 days per week, and NOT even consider the exercise when you're figuring out how much you should be eating.
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Old 04-20-12, 11:47 AM   #22
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More than 800 and I can't do my very active edutain kids job. It takes energy to do so and if I don't get it... bad things happen.
I think the misunderstanding it that you said -800, and people are interpreting it as "eating 800 calories/day". I think you meant that your estimated calorie deficit is 800 calories, is that right? That should be fine, and you should be losing about 1.5 lbs per week, more or less. If you're calculating the calories you take in honestly, you will lose the weight. Don't count the exercise towards your deficit - that's where people usually go wrong. Count only what you're eating.
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Old 04-20-12, 08:10 PM   #23
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That would be right. Going for -800. Though its getting harder to count when I push up the distance each week and I have to eat in order to actually have the energy to get there and back. Seemed to have broken down this one though. 92.7kg this morning and I went 58km in the rain, with a headwind in 3 hours. I was going for 80km but the rain got a bit heavy to push through out on a seawall with the breeze trying to push me back the way I came.

Interestingly cycling slower and longer seems to be better than faster and harder for weight loss. If I limit myself to 26kph and just go for longer distance I tend to lose more weight that hammering along at 35kph for a slightly shorter distance. Still, traveling that slowly seems sooo lazy now. I'm trying to mix it up with long slow days in the weekends and shorter, much faster anaerobic rides during the weekdays.
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Old 04-20-12, 08:50 PM   #24
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Have you thought about adding one cheat day to the week to prevent/help the plateau?
+1 - Ive lost 15lbs in the last 2 months with this "trick". I eat lesst than 1500 thru the week and then on ONE weekend day I eat like I used to - bacon,eggs, pizza etc. The following day Ive usually "gained" 2-3 lbs but then I jump back to where I was pre-spike day in a day or so. The next 4 days I seem to lose 1-2lbs an then start the cycle over again.

Another "benefit" is that Im never more than a week away from satisfying a craving
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