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  1. #1
    Senior Member mr,grumpy's Avatar
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    Fat guys on bikes. I don't stand a chance.

    I have heard time after time, "Ride more and the weight will come right off". Well, I have been. I have also been using a computer program to track my calories every day and even though I shoot past the target some days I never make it up to the "normal" for a guy my size and age. I have been working pretty hard. This time.

    You see, I have a history. I have weighed about 225 (+/-) for about 10-15 years now. No matter what. I have tried Atkins and vegetarian diets. I have "tried" simply eating as much of whatever it was that I wanted. I have hiked, biked and paddled. I have sat on the couch recovering from injuries for months on end. 225.

    Now, I am all scientific. Keeping track of mileage and calories and do you know what I weigh after 6 weeks of doing this, you'll never guess?

    The bad part is that I have been looking through a bunch of "picture of" threads in NOT the Clyde forum and you know what I have seen? If you said "fat guys on bikes" you win a prize. Not just any fat guys on bikes but fit fat guys who can ride much further and faster than I can. These fellows did NOT get skinny by riding a lot.

    All of this is very disheartening to me. I want to be 190 some day. I am starving, exhauseted and miserable and now I am realizing that some day, even if I can ride 110 miles at a time, I might still be fat! Frack me.
    "I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
    "MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
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    My little bike blog.

  2. #2
    Senior Member moochems's Avatar
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    What method do you use to track calories?

    Ice been using Lose It! For a week now and really like it.

    Have you ever done sprint training? I mean on foot sprints. Beware that the risk of injury is considerable, but the sprint training can provide a serious nudge to your physiche. Sprints like 100 yards at full throttle.


    I believe in you, you can do it!

  3. #3
    Senior Member mr,grumpy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moochems View Post
    What method do you use to track calories?

    Ice been using Lose It! For a week now and really like it.

    Have you ever done sprint training? I mean on foot sprints. Beware that the risk of injury is considerable, but the sprint training can provide a serious nudge to your physiche. Sprints like 100 yards at full throttle.


    I believe in you, you can do it!
    I use My Fitness Pal. It was recomened to me by my Nutritionist. Some times I back that up with Calorie King if I think that the numbers look wonky. I like Fitness Pal because it communicates with Map My Ride to factor in exercise on a daily basis to adjust calorie needs. My base that I am shooting for is 1600. I NEVER make 1600. I ALWAYS make my adjusted 1600 on the days that I ride. On "off days" I usually get about 1800. My baseline should be between 2200 and 2400.

    Running is clearly the best and fastest way to loose weight from exercise. Sadly, my Doctor is opposed to me, at my age and weight, starting a running program.I can walk. I can cycle. I can Eliptical (which is HARD and the most "fun" of the in-door activities but I only have so much time to dedicate to exercise and I'd rather be outside quite frankly).

    I'm glad that YOU believe in me. I believe that I'm gonna be 225 no matter how good of shape I get into (I am NOT saying that the exercise is "bad" for me, nor do I plan on quitting).
    "I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
    "MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
    Rides:
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    1980ish Raleigh Marathon (Vintage Steel)
    2007 Gary Fisher Advance (giving the Sorrento a break)
    2006 Trek 820 (Captain Amazing)
    2010 Specialized Tricross (Back in Black)


    My little bike blog.

  4. #4
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    My wife and I have been enjoying a lower carb diet, with no caloric restriction, for some time. I have lost some weight I did not need and she just gets curvier every minute.

    My wife's energy level has been better than she has ever known it to be, she has no thyroid and this does cause metabolic issues as synthroid does not replace natural hormones.

    Lower carb is not zero carb, we don't eat much in the way of processed foods, avoid sugar, and do not eat wheat or other glutenous grains (celiac disease).

    It is not just calories in / calories out as different types of foods trigger different metabolic responses and are digested and processed differently.

    Today we had bacon and eggs for breakfast and ate later since neither of us wakes up famished, dinner was tuna steaks with fresh vegetables, we snacked on fresh fruit and dark chocolate this afternoon and I had some plain corn chips and fresh salsa as well as some raw almonds.

    We were busy all day packing and also went on a short ride this morning before breakfast and got out for a walk this afternoon.

  5. #5
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    OP, just enjoy the ride. Don't compare yourself to others because if you do you will either become depressed or overconfident. There will always be faster riders and slower riders.

    Have fun and keep riding...fitness will follow.
    My current stable:

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  6. #6
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    As a side note, if you're not using a power meter your estimation of calories burned is probably quite high and could be contributing to your issues.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Loose Chain's Avatar
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    Yeah, my dad would do that, go on a diet and gain weight. You may be scientific but your numbers are obviously wrong. If you are gaining weight, you are taking in to may calories. Hope you work it out.

    You must reduce your food intake but what you do eat needs to be quality nutrition to make up for there being less of it.

    I think that consistent exercise at a lower intensity level but perhaps for longer time would help you avoid sitting on the couch for "months on end" healing from injuries whatever they might have been.

    LC
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  8. #8
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    worry about getting faster on the bike rather then your own weight. If you want to BE fast you have to learn to RIDE fast. Intervals, tempo, pain, club rides/ races. Find some faster guys and just try to keep up or minimize the gaps. At the same time, weight might dip a bit, but what does it matter if you gained speed/power at the same heavy weight. Just don't attack them on the hills, but DO lay down the pain on them during the flats. Know you advantages and how to use them w/o blowing up.

  9. #9
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    I like to think of it as I'm a fat guy on a bike and you don't stand a chance, myself.
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
    They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.
    Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!

  10. #10
    Senior Member mr,grumpy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    As a side note, if you're not using a power meter your estimation of calories burned is probably quite high and could be contributing to your issues.
    That might be just a tad TOO scientific foR me! Even if the program is off a little we are talking about a six HUNDRED calorie margin of error. I think that I should be able to operate in that big of a ballpark.
    "I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
    "MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
    Rides:
    1999-ish Diamondback Sorrento (I'm not Dead Yet! I feal happy. I think I'll go for a walk!)
    1980ish Raleigh Marathon (Vintage Steel)
    2007 Gary Fisher Advance (giving the Sorrento a break)
    2006 Trek 820 (Captain Amazing)
    2010 Specialized Tricross (Back in Black)


    My little bike blog.

  11. #11
    Senior Member mr,grumpy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
    worry about getting faster on the bike rather then your own weight. If you want to BE fast you have to learn to RIDE fast. Intervals, tempo, pain, club rides/ races. Find some faster guys and just try to keep up or minimize the gaps. At the same time, weight might dip a bit, but what does it matter if you gained speed/power at the same heavy weight. Just don't attack them on the hills, but DO lay down the pain on them during the flats. Know you advantages and how to use them w/o blowing up.
    I'm doing a descent job of getting faster. I'm still not fast by any means. I need to double my distance and increase my speed by about 30% to ride "social pace" group rides. I just wanna loose some weight
    "I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
    "MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
    Rides:
    1999-ish Diamondback Sorrento (I'm not Dead Yet! I feal happy. I think I'll go for a walk!)
    1980ish Raleigh Marathon (Vintage Steel)
    2007 Gary Fisher Advance (giving the Sorrento a break)
    2006 Trek 820 (Captain Amazing)
    2010 Specialized Tricross (Back in Black)


    My little bike blog.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
    I just wanna loose some weight
    This is just my personal opinion, but I think this is entirely the wrong approach and is likely to end up with you quitting in frustration. For myself, probably the key factor in previous fitness programs I've done failing is precisely this focus on numbers on a scale instead of overall fitness.

    For me, the key to making fitness something I enjoy and make part of my lifestyle long term is to focus on how much fun I have riding my bike, and on training methods to be able to go further and faster.

    I ride because its fun, not because I want to lose "x" amount of weight. This is important because physical activity and fitness are really good for you regardless of how much weight you lose or don't lose as a result.

    To be honest, I don't even own a scale, as far as I'm concerned "progress" is measured in how far I can ride and how fast, the fact that I happen to have also gone down 3 notches on my belts is more of a pleasant side benefit than a main focus for me.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Don't worry about losing pounds.
    Lose inches.
    When recovering from my broken leg last Winter, I lost 20 pounds.
    40 pounds of muscle and gained 20 pounds of fat.
    Do you think I was better off?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Crash_N_Carry's Avatar
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    If it makes you feel any better, I'd kill to be 225lbs right now. :/

    I'm 5'7", about 245lbs, and I'm turning 40 later this year. I've lost weight (earlier this year I was 280), but I can't get my weight below 245lbs right now. I've gotten faster and I've gained endurance this year but it's been a battle all year to get to where I am. I've had various medical issues over the past three years including a bout with viral meningitis earlier this year that not only caused some damage to the short-term memory and speech center of my brain, but also left me with some naggingly persistent muscle weakness and sapped my stamina.

    I feel your pain but you're actually in better shape than some of us are in.

    One thing I do suggest you do is to stop using the scale as a sole measure of your fitness though. Even though I technically haven't lost weight my clothes fit better now than before. Part of what's happening is that my legs have gained muscle mass and inch for inch muscle weights more than fat since it's more dense. I'm willing to wager that some of this is going on with you too. Also, if you're on any medications you should take that into consideration too. Three years ago I was on some meds that not only made it next to impossible for me to lose weight; I gained 40lbs because of the stuff!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Crash_N_Carry's Avatar
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    Bill's got it exactly right here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    Don't worry about losing pounds.
    Lose inches.
    When recovering from my broken leg last Winter, I lost 20 pounds.
    40 pounds of muscle and gained 20 pounds of fat.
    Do you think I was better off?

  16. #16
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
    I'm doing a descent job of getting faster. I'm still not fast by any means. I need to double my distance and increase my speed by about 30% to ride "social pace" group rides. I just wanna loose some weight
    I have had the exact same experience. Down from almost 290 to 247 by February, then not much weight loss since then. Stepped up my cycling in a big way this spring and summer and have largely accomplished my cycling goals for the season, but I haven't lost more weight. It is late August and my weight is 5 lbs higher than it was in May. This has happened before. About 7 years ago when I was 20 lbs lighter, the same thing happened. Rode 3 times a week, including a long weekend ride, and gained weight.

    I suspect that long rides at moderate intensity are not the way to lose weight, that I must be eating back everything I burn off and than some in the hours after the ride. My plan this time is to spend less time on the bike when the weather turns cold and to spend more time with weights, and mat classes like pilates, and cardio at higher intensity for 30 minutes to an hour instead of the 3 to 4 hour rides I have been doing this summer. And, to redouble my efforts at the dinner table, and to log my food more consistently.

  17. #17
    Senior Member rideorglide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
    I have heard time after time, "Ride more and the weight will come right off". Well, I have been. I have also been using a computer program to track my calories every day and even though I shoot past the target some days I never make it up to the "normal" for a guy my size and age. I have been working pretty hard. This time.

    You see, I have a history. I have weighed about 225 (+/-) for about 10-15 years now. No matter what. I have tried Atkins and vegetarian diets. I have "tried" simply eating as much of whatever it was that I wanted. I have hiked, biked and paddled. I have sat on the couch recovering from injuries for months on end. 225.

    Now, I am all scientific. Keeping track of mileage and calories and do you know what I weigh after 6 weeks of doing this, you'll never guess?

    The bad part is that I have been looking through a bunch of "picture of" threads in NOT the Clyde forum and you know what I have seen? If you said "fat guys on bikes" you win a prize. Not just any fat guys on bikes but fit fat guys who can ride much further and faster than I can. These fellows did NOT get skinny by riding a lot.

    All of this is very disheartening to me. I want to be 190 some day. I am starving, exhauseted and miserable and now I am realizing that some day, even if I can ride 110 miles at a time, I might still be fat! Frack me.
    Rest assured you are not alone in that sense of futility sometimes - especially when injury recovery periods long, short, or in between keep you off the bike, board, kayak etc.

    My best period of weight loss was when I was working with a nutritionist. Got me down from 213 to about 197 ... It was a good discipline/awareness. I tracked calories like a hawk and really kept a tight leash on overindulgence and excursions into the not-so-healhty stuff ... but you have to eat a good burger or something wild every now and again or it becomes self defeating.

    Maintaining the healthy eating / healthy portion lifestyle can be a challenge to say the least ... especially in summer when you just want to enjoy an all-evening BBQ after a ride, friends visit with 6-packs of IPA etc. (Ironically two of my 6-pack toting visiting friends maintain a high level of fitness and low body fat ... and they usually come round with the beer ... after they've worked out and I'm at my Friday low, really in need of a workout state ) still better to have friends to share a beer with than not.

    Amnesia of motivating reasons is something I need to keep better in mind. ... health, fitness, and maintaining a lighter weight equals a much better surfing experience for me, not to mention better hill climbing.

    When I have the time I use "Lose it" ... but I find it very time consuming, as wife makes a lot of "from scratch foods," and working 60+ hours a week and fiddling with custom foods just takes so much time.

    I'm currently working on getting in pre-breakfast rides ... a challenge for a non-morning person, but I understand it can reap dividends.
    http://theoutsideinsideout.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
    I use My Fitness Pal. It was recomened to me by my Nutritionist. Some times I back that up with Calorie King if I think that the numbers look wonky. I like Fitness Pal because it communicates with Map My Ride to factor in exercise on a daily basis to adjust calorie needs. My base that I am shooting for is 1600. I NEVER make 1600. I ALWAYS make my adjusted 1600 on the days that I ride. On "off days" I usually get about 1800. My baseline should be between 2200 and 2400.
    If you're having a hard time losing weight, you're probably over-valuing the exercise you're doing. Bicycling is a very efficient sport, which means that it doesn't burn very many calories. As TrojanHorse suggested: if you're listening to a bike computer, heart rate monitor, or website to figure out how many calories your bike rides are burning you must realize that they're too high by a factor of 50-100%. At least that's what I found when I compared those numbers to the ones coming out of my PowerTap power meter. You may also not be riding for long enough. For me, longer (2+ hour) rides really seem to do more from a fat burning/weight loss perspective than shorter rides.

    If you're having a difficult time eating the right number of calories each day, it probably means your diet needs improvement. I'll admit: I have very little willpower when it comes to food... but I'm currently at the point where I can eat way too few calories each day if I'm not careful. The basics of a weight-loss diet have been posted again and again in this forum: more fruits, more vegetables, no soda or candy or alcohol, complex carbohydrates rather than simple carbohydrates (bread, white ride, potatoes), modest amount of lean meats, etc.

    If you're at the beginning of a weight loss/fitness plan, realize that you may need to build fitness before you can start dropping weight. I tend to put on a little fat and lose a bit of muscle each winter. In the spring, I find that it takes a good 3-4 weeks before I can really start to burn fat again. During that time, my heart rate monitor and body fat scale show that I'm making fitness gains, even though my weight remains relatively constant. For me weight loss really doesn't start until I can ride, and push hard, for at least an hour.

    Finally, if what you're currently doing isn't working for you change it! If what you're doing didn't work yesterday and didn't work today, it surely won't work tomorrow...

  19. #19
    Senior Member mr,grumpy's Avatar
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    Wow. A lot of god advice and I'm lax to quote every one and reply point by point but I feel a need to respond!

    I LIKE bike riding. It's fun and it's something that I can share with my whole family. As I said, I know that there are ways of exercising that would burn more calories but they are less fun and I might not stick with them as much, and doing them won't make me a better cyclist. The fitness IS foremost, then the enjoyment, and then the weight loss. I'm not that big, fortunately and, just as I have a hard time loosing weight, no matter what I try, I am no likely to get much bigger than I am right now, no matter how lax I become.

    My wife recently asked me to teach her to cook better foods. I told her stop buying any thing with a picture on the package, in fact, stop buying any thing with a package! Clearly, that is a little simplistic, but it makes the point. Whole foods from scratch are the way to go. Of course, that's how I have "mostly" eaten for a long time. Work kills me. ZERO free time for 24 hours. Have to eat what I can when I can. Often times I get to tuck into a nice Salad but other times....... it's so gross.

    Also, keep in mind that I typed in what I would NORMALLY eat in a day and that, boys and girls, was hovering at three grand a day. Every day. For years. No weight gain.

    As far as calories burned goes: no, I don't have a power-meter. Nor am I likely tog et one. I can be riding any one of three diferent bikes on a regular basis, so I'd need three, right. What I HAVE done is cross-compared milages from my GPS and Map My Ride and they are pretty close. MMR is usually a little shorter than real GPS. I have also take the easily provided values rom MMR and compared them to other calorie calculators and they all come out pretty similar. Is the margin for error? Sure (especially if they are all using the same algorithm)! It seems to be a pretty good indicator though and whatever I am taking in it's less than 2400 and sure as **** less than 3 THOUSAND!

    Thank you all for your helpful suggestions and support! I don't plan on giving up onnincreasing my fitness, I just wish that there were a corrosponding weight loss as well!
    "I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
    "MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
    Rides:
    1999-ish Diamondback Sorrento (I'm not Dead Yet! I feal happy. I think I'll go for a walk!)
    1980ish Raleigh Marathon (Vintage Steel)
    2007 Gary Fisher Advance (giving the Sorrento a break)
    2006 Trek 820 (Captain Amazing)
    2010 Specialized Tricross (Back in Black)


    My little bike blog.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
    As far as calories burned goes: no, I don't have a power-meter. Nor am I likely tog et one. I can be riding any one of three diferent bikes on a regular basis, so I'd need three, right. What I HAVE done is cross-compared milages from my GPS and Map My Ride and they are pretty close. MMR is usually a little shorter than real GPS. I have also take the easily provided values rom MMR and compared them to other calorie calculators and they all come out pretty similar.
    Mileage doesn't mean anything. You need to focus on effort and calories burned. A good rule of thumb is that you burn 30 calories/mile. So if you ride 1 hour @ 10mph average, you've burned 300 calories. 1 hour @ 20mph = 600 calories. That's pretty much inline with the numbers I see from my power meter for rides that average 15-20mph without too much elevation gain. This estimate will likely be far more accurate than whatever estimate you're currently using...

    Thank you all for your helpful suggestions and support!
    No offense intended, but you don't seem to be taking any of it to heart. Based on the suggestions you've received, what changes are you planning to make to your diet or exercise so that you start losing weight?

  21. #21
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    Have you talked to a trainer or a nutritionist? It may be worth your time to get some personal advice from a pro who can develop a plan that can help you achieve your goals. There is nothing wrong with the advice you have gotten here but sometimes its beneficial to have someone design a plan just for you and hold you accountable also.

  22. #22
    Commuter & cyclotourist brianogilvie's Avatar
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    I suspect that you're overestimating calories burned. Bike Calculator can give you a sanity check (when the site is accessible, that is!). My Edge 800 tells me that I burn about 20 Cal/mi when toodling along at 11 mph with my wife, about 30 Cal/mi at 14-15 mph, and around 40 Cal/mi at 17 mph or when climbing serious hills. Its estimate for my D2R2 100K yesterday, 65 miles and over 7000 feet of climbing, was 3200 Cal, or under 50 Cal/mi.

    To put that in context, most online calorie meters read 50-100% more. The fact that they all agree is not very useful, because most of them rely on one version or another of the Compendium of Physical Activities. They're generally not independent of one another, so their agreement simply reflects their use of a common source.

    You may be underestimating calories consumed, too. I'm not casting aspersions; it's normal to do so, as countless studies with doubly-labeled water have demonstrated. Unless you weigh everything you eat with a food scale, you may be missing some.

    However, I wouldn't suggest obsessing about the accuracy of your figures. Rather, I suggest you use feedback, as John Walker suggests in his excellent (and free) ebook, The Hacker's Diet. You have a number for calories consumed, and you know that your weight is stable at that number, meaning that it effectively represents your current TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). A quick and dirty engineering solution to that would be to cut 500 or 750 from that number, while keeping everything else constant, and see what happens. Point is, it doesn't matter so much if your numbers are accurate as long as they are reasonably precise (i.e., consistent with one another), and you use feedback to adjust them.
    Public accountability: my Beeminder weight loss graph.

  23. #23
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    I would agree with most of these above posters. It seemed for me as though there was a delay in the weight loss when I started riding, maybe 4-6 weeks.

    I agree that as you're building fitness you are building muscle in the area's that cycling is using, which is ''weight''. However you're probably losing fat as well, but the building of muscle is counter-acting the fat loss....for now.
    FACT: You can shave all the hair on your body to save 100 grams

  24. #24
    Senior Member antimonysarah's Avatar
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    I'm going to hop in here with a somewhat different viewpoint -- I let my weight do what I want and focus on fitness and (mostly) eating healthy foods, but not on cutting back on food when I'm hungry. The studies show that most or all of the benefits to health come from the exercise, and if your weight isn't limiting your ability to do stuff, stay fit and you're fine. If your body really, really wants to be 225, it's not likely to change that.

    My body has always wanted to be something thought of as overweight -- I could diet and exercise it down, but as soon as I either couldn't deal with constant aching hunger or injured myself or had time constraints that didn't include a lot of exercise time, it would go back up to the number it wanted. At that weight, I could eat horribly or well, and not exercise -- no change. Just like you're describing. That "set point" weight has gone up a little as I've aged, but not much.

    So, honestly? I'm done dieting. I pick my workouts based on what I want to do, or what I want to improve my ability to do, and I do some basic strength/flexibility/minimum exercise even if I'm having a week where all I want to do is play video games. And I eat good food, mostly. (I keep saying mostly because I did an all-day ride yesterday, and while doing an endurance ride I eat whatever starchy crap and sports drinks I find along the way, which often means a whole lot of Dunkin Donuts.)

    I'm going to be fit and fat, and instead of dieting, I'm putting my energy to being okay with that, and celebrating the fitness. I rode 145 miles yesterday, with over 9000ft of elevation gain. At 210ish pounds. And the only reason I know how much I weighed is that I do before/after weigh-ins on long rides to make sure I haven't gotten more dehydrated than I think -- if I've dropped more than a couple of pounds I need to drink more before bed or I'll wake up the next day feeling hungover.

    And if you want different food, cook it yourself, don't ask someone else to do it. WTF. Or buy it, if that's financially an option -- not pre-made food but partially prepared stuff -- already-chopped stir-fry vegetables, etc.

  25. #25
    Endangered Serotta Rider Lacumo's Avatar
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    A good number of years ago, I spent 3 years knocking out (what for me were) serious annual mileage totals -- averaging >150 miles/week the whole time. In those days I could knock off consecutive centuries for 4 or 5 days before it started to get problematic. The effect all that riding had on me was that I developed below-the-waistline musculature that looked like a pro athlete's bod, I was still an oversized-waist middle-aged schlump from the waist up and I didn't lose any significant weight overall. It was comical. I looked like a hybrid guy who'd been assembled with the undercarriage of a marvelous physical specimen and the upper half of one more typically (slightly) overweight, middle-aged office worker.

    Maybe if you combine cycling with churning out the miles doing lap-swimming and hitting the machines in the health club...

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