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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 01-29-14, 09:30 PM   #1
rdtompki
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What weekly mileage (IYO) almost guarantees weight loss?

I'm a marginal Clyde. In my distant youth, running 50-70 miles/week I could eat a house without gaining weight; I was an extremely fit 185-190 lbs. Now I'm a senior citizen cyclist and I believe that the equivalent cycling weekly mileage is north of 100 miles, but not far north. I do ride hard and I know that my base metabolism is definitely up, but I think once I get up to 125 miles/week I should be able to inch my way down to 185 lbs without paying much attention to what I consume. Anyone else have a similar experience.
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Old 01-29-14, 09:43 PM   #2
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I was/am 290lbs and last summer was riding 75-80 miles per week for 6 months.I was eating normally and not counting calories. I lost 5lb. Its all about diet, diet and diet. Unfortunately.
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Old 01-29-14, 09:53 PM   #3
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It's hard to slack off while running but it's incredibly easy while cycling, so your question is a little misleading. Are you hammering for 100 miles a week? Cruising? You get the point. I can ride 100 miles a week and not lose a drop of weight (dammit)

Btw, I would call 50 miles a week a ton! If you want to pick an equivalent for cycling, maybe 200 a week. I figure a marathon is vaguely equivalent to a century so that's where my math comes from. Marathons are harder and centuries probably take longer but I figure they're roughly equivalent.
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Old 01-29-14, 10:07 PM   #4
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^ I would have to say about 200 a week which is doable but it is a lot. I average 160-180 and with some diet I am able to stay very lean for now. Be sure to put down the hammer too because intensity does help ALOT!
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Old 01-29-14, 10:12 PM   #5
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.... Are you hammering for 100 miles a week? Cruising? You get the point....
I probably ride hard twice a week; at least 1/2 my mileage would be hard, some of it as a result of climbing. For me anything greater than 50-60'/mile I can't escape working hard. Cruising would be limited to those occasions when I do an easy 14 mile round trip for a cup of coffee. Of course, it's all about perspective. My running pace on steep climbs in my late 30's was faster than my riding ace in my late 60's! Getting old is a real bummer, but the alternative ain't so hot.
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Old 01-29-14, 10:49 PM   #6
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9-10hrs/ week using any bike in my harem, once a month get a 12+hr week in there, once every 6wks, have recovery week w/ less then 5. I worry about getting faster, no matter what I weigh..... What works for me most likely won't work for you.
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Old 01-29-14, 11:53 PM   #7
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You can gain weight while riding a 1,000 miles a month. I know, I've done it.
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Old 01-30-14, 12:57 AM   #8
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You can't outride a bad diet.
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Old 01-30-14, 02:27 AM   #9
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You can't outride a bad diet.
Beat me to it...
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Old 01-30-14, 07:14 AM   #10
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There are no guarantees in life. Like others posted, I can gain weight while riding as well. One must watch what one eats.
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Old 01-30-14, 08:42 AM   #11
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I see some gains at ~100 miles a week, but it depends on the miles. HRM has helped with the training. When I commute in, my heart rate averages 130 bpm, when I'm riding with some intensity, it's 160+. Do the commute miles burn some calories, sure, but not the same level as a harder ride. 30 mile commute = 800 calories, 20 mile road ride, 900+ calories.
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Old 01-30-14, 08:45 AM   #12
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You can gain weight while riding a 1,000 miles a month. I know, I've done it.
+1. I did it while crossing the country fully loaded. We were averaging probably 60 miles/day with a rest day every 7th day or so. Once we got out of the mountains I kept eating like I was eating while riding in the mountains. 60 miles in flat eastern Montana is not 60 miles in the mountains of Washington State. I put on some poundage through the plains/midwest.
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Old 01-30-14, 09:44 AM   #13
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...once I get up to 125 miles/week I should be able to inch my way down to 185 lbs without paying much attention to what I consume...
Sorry, you're going to have to pay SOME attention to what you consume. Imagine for a second you got a raise at your job and simultaneously quit balancing your checkbook. Same principle.

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Old 01-30-14, 09:47 AM   #14
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...once I get up to 125 miles/week I should be able to inch my way down to 185 lbs without paying much attention to what I consume...
Sorry, you're going to have to pay SOME attention to what you consume. Imagine for a second you got a raise at your job and simultaneously quit balancing your checkbook. Same principle.

FWIW, I generally figure 1 mile walking = 3-4 miles biking, given the same level of effort. Apparently most of the exercise/tracker apps I use do as well, as they generally credit me with 20-40 calories per mile biking and 70-100 calories per mile walking.

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Old 01-30-14, 09:50 AM   #15
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Everybody is different. As you age your metabolism slows, as you gain weight your metabolism slows, then there's your diet and weather conditions that can affect metabolism. The best thing to do is make sure you are on a good diet (keeping a food diary can open up your eyes as to how many calories you are actually consuming) and trying different distances to see where you are at. If I don't do at least 40 miles three times a week I don't seem to lose any weight, and at 35 miles I basically just maintain. If I push it to the 50 mile range, then I seem to lose much more, but if it's windy or I do hills, then obviously I burn more calories, so try and find a good distance for you. Once you feel comfortable, then add no more than 10% increase in distance and do that for at least a couple of weeks to allow your body to adapt. You should find a point where you start losing nicely. They say 2 LBS per week is good, but sometimes I'm lucky to get 1/2 to 1 LBS no matter what. As long as the weight is going in the right direction, then it's working.
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Old 01-30-14, 10:02 AM   #16
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Beat me to it...
And you sir, beat me to it as well.

I keep track of what I burn both running and biking and plug that and my meals into Training Peaks. These are what Garmin and Powertap tells me, of course your data would be different
On average I burn 100 calories a mile running so a 10K in an hour I burn ~600 calories.
I also burn ~600 calories/hr on the bike on a flat 47'/mi ride at 18 mph.

I can, and have easily out eat those figures

Using our esteemed colleague TrojanHorse math...

My flat century would take 6 hrs = 6 *600 = 3600

The Mountains of Misery century (10,000' gain) took me 6 1/2 hrs and 4,300 calories.
The marathon (MCM in DC) I ran last year took me 4:49; round to 5 and I get 5 * 600 = 3000 however my Garmin reported 2,060

End of the day it's calories in vs calories out. Its not Rocket Surgery...
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Old 01-30-14, 10:41 AM   #17
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I didn't lose any weight until I started riding over 100 miles a week. At 150-175 miles a week I don't really have to watch what I eat. Which means I can have soda, beer and some cookies but I don't generally eat a lot of junk.
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Old 01-30-14, 11:13 AM   #18
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You can't outride a bad diet.
I'm a case study in this.
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Old 01-30-14, 11:15 AM   #19
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From my experience, assuming you show some semblance of control and moderately good choices in your diet, the key to get out and do long rides. I have found I can do 5 1 hour rides a week and lose/maintain weight OK. BUT, in a week where I do a 3 hour and 2 1 hour rides, I'll drop more that week.

Just my personal experience.
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Old 01-30-14, 11:24 AM   #20
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I'm a marginal Clyde. In my distant youth, running 50-70 miles/week I could eat a house without gaining weight; I was an extremely fit 185-190 lbs. Now I'm a senior citizen cyclist and I believe that the equivalent cycling weekly mileage is north of 100 miles, but not far north. I do ride hard and I know that my base metabolism is definitely up, but I think once I get up to 125 miles/week I should be able to inch my way down to 185 lbs without paying much attention to what I consume. Anyone else have a similar experience.
I typically ride 100-125 miles/week during the riding season. Even with that level of exertion, I find that I have to watch what I eat if I want to get below 190lbs. Part of the problem is that I tend to do the same rides week after week, so it's easy to hit a plateau. Cycling through different routes/workouts (hills for a couple of weeks, speed for a couple of weeks, distance for a couple of weeks, etc) helps to prevent the plateau but I still need to watch what I eat. That's not to say that I'm counting every calorie every day, but on the other hand I can't eat pizza for every meal either...
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Old 01-30-14, 03:52 PM   #21
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Here is the only thing that guarantees weight loss:

Expending more calories than you ingest every day.

Remember that the more you ride, the more fuel that the engine needs. The longer the individual ride, the more important it is to re-fuel mid-ride. We often don't eat the right things on long rides. Most energy bars have a crap load of calories and carbs.

Also, having been both a serious runner and a serious cyclist in my life (at different times), running 70 miles a week expends way more calories than cycling 100 miles a week. You may only burn 200-300 extra calories during a 15 mile ride, depending on body weight and effort. You'll burn a lot more than that running 10 miles.

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Old 01-30-14, 08:59 PM   #22
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I'm 44, 6'1". february 2013 I was down to 225. Averaged 125 mi/wk for the whole year, and weighed 245 at the end of the year. I ate most anything I wanted. Didn't work at all.
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Old 01-30-14, 09:10 PM   #23
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Calories in < calories out = weight loss.

Doesn't work any other way.
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Old 01-30-14, 11:11 PM   #24
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Lots of miles at a moderate pace works best. To many hard miles and you will likely hunger more than you need causing you to out eat your riding. 1 mile running ~= 4-5 miles on the bike. I had the best weight loss when I was riding every day, several times a day. Some days a morning commute 3.25 miles at the time, short lunch time ride and then a longer after work commute, often 12+ miles. Then on weekends longer rides 30-70 miles. All the while paying attention to what I was eating. Salads for lunches during the work week. Weekend rides were done through lunch time so if I ate it was about 200 calories per hour on the bike nutrition. Eggs nearly every morning for breakfast. Meat for dinners with veggies but not lots of carbs. Once or twice a week we did eat spaghetti. Other exception to that was tortillas when we had tacos or fajitas. Stayed away from bread at lunch and dinner and limited potatoes.

What will work for you might be a far cry from what worked for me. How much time are you willing to commit to riding in an effort to lose weight? 125 miles a week along with eating to lose weight should get you there.
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Old 01-31-14, 08:36 AM   #25
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I'm 44, 6'1". february 2013 I was down to 225. Averaged 125 mi/wk for the whole year, and weighed 245 at the end of the year. I ate most anything I wanted. Didn't work at all.
You can say that you ate most anything you wanted and didn't work at it at all, but it still came down to calories in vs. calories out. That is the formula, the biking and the eating whatever you wanted are the variables.

If all you wanted to eat was vegetables, then all you wanted was low calories. If you state that you ate dinner and then ate cake and all you wanted was a piece of cake every night and your total calorie intake was less than you used, then that still plugs right into the formula in<out=loss.

If what you wanted was to eat nothing but 3 large high calorie pieces of cake every day for every meal and for snacks between meals and for snacks in the evening and rode your bike 2 miles after work every day, when you plugged those numbers into the formula, it wouldn't work. It would end up reversing and being in>out=gain.

Thus, just saying you ate whatever you want is still a variable and is not a factual statement because what you want can and would be different to what someone else wants.
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