Always wondered why my butt was so big. :)
There's a balance you have to find ... You can eat few calories and still gain weight (and no, it's not likely muscle mass -- it's a nice thought as someone pointed out -- but true weight gain by muscle mass involves resistance training, not just riding a bike).
I calculate my cycling calories per mile to equal my body weight * .15. So in my case at 255 pounds I burn roughly 38 calories for every mile ridden. This would put a 20 mile ride for me at 765 calories.
Can't remember where I originally came across this number, but I've used it for years. Obviously this formula doesn't take into account hills, wind, speed, etc, but I've found this to be a good average number. Over time I've concluded that for me it's pretty close to accurate. For a person of my size, I'd rather error on the low side than the high side. I've never been in danger of running too much of a calorie deficit. :)
I know the "calories burned" readouts on the machines at the gym aren't anywhere close to reality. Of course these are on the same machines that tell me I've just biked 5 miles in 10 minutes.
Even augmented people don't add muscle with a calorie deficit. During a profoundly disciplined cut, body builders seek to minimize muscle loss.
Riding a lot, you can gain muscle mass in your quads, but you're likely to loose more mass in your upper body unless you specifically strive not to.
SO yes you can gain muscle, but you pretty much have to be in calorie surplus...
re-arrange your eating to help your riding instead of adding calories. Drink lots of water even if your not riding this will probably solve your issue by itself. Ride more hills for muscle workout not just the flats.
Gearing and riding a SS won't really amount to any noteable difference in caloric burn.
As for refueling on a bike ride, for me personally I eat a little something during a ride when I'm riding 50+ miles. Otherwise, my current strategy is to ride my bike, and when I get home I either have an 8 ounce glass of chocolate, 2% milk, or if I have it in the house (I'm currently out -- so I'm doing a bit of an experiment) I'll make a "shake" with 10 ounces of unsweetened almond milk + one scoop of whey powder.
The "shake" was something I started over the winter, when I would lift at the gym and then follow that with time on the stationary bike. I found that doing so would reduce fatigue in my legs and muscle soreness from lifting.
I was still doing that until last week, when I ran out of whey powder and I just haven't been to the store to buy more. So instead I started with the chocolate milk. Both are a nice dose of protein after a ride, which seems to help me greatly. The whey powder/almond milk is around 145 calories per serving. The chocolate milk is about double that.
FWIW, I've lost 20 pounds since I started this back in late January.
Would a solid food refuel be okay instead? My post gym work outs were always 1 1/2 cups of string beans and 1 can of low sodium tuna. I just don't like drinking calories, I know it doesn't really matter how calories are taken in, but I started dieting 5 years ago and this was the first thing that went, it's kind of never been able to go away.
of course ... I think any form of protein after an effort is a good thing. For me personally I know it helps with fatigue and soreness. YMMV of course.
Like I said ... it's about finding a balance that works for you. What works for you may be different from what works for me.
What would you recommend on rides in excess of 50, like 100 mile rides? My goal is to be century ready for July 12th, as there is one then I'd like to do. Another one two weeks later, and between those two dates I'd like to be riding at least one 100 mile ride a week purely for my own enjoyment. And the long term goal is to be doing two to four of these per week, as I have an entire semester to do nothing basically since all my classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays this fall.
That's another case of YMMV, because there may be foods that don't agree with you while you're on the bike. You can always experiment on shorter rides, just decrease the portion. You're not trying to fuel yourself in this instance, you're just seeing what your body tolerates while riding.
I've had success with Clif bars (either the small sized ones or half of a regular sized one) and with Clif's Shot Blox. The Blox are gummies though, and not everyone likes those. Bananas are great if you fear cramping (but staying properly hydrated will help that more). When I've done organized centuries I'll grab half a PB&J at a rest stop if I feel like I need it (usually in the last two thirds of the century). There are gels if you're so inclined, though I never really like those. I've heard good things about Honey Stinger's waffles but I've never tried them.
I quit eating my ride's back, and dropped 30 more pounds.
Eat 500 calories less than your need. And ride!
MFP is a great tool
I think the most interesting thing my power meter tells me is that I "burn" more calories than those articles and calculators tell me I do. I can't explain it. Here's some examples from last week (PM calibrated before every ride!):
Bike Ride Profile | NFBC - Saturday Morning Breakfast Cycle near Buffalo | Times and Records | Strava - 25.1 miles, 1,286 calories, 51 calories per mile.
Bike Ride Profile | NFBC - Eastwood & CC near Erie County, NY, USA | Times and Records | Strava - 21.6 miles, 1,223 calories, 56 calories per mile.
http://www.strava.com/activities/149970723 - 22.6 miles, 1,220 calories, 54 calories per mile.
Strava's calorie numbers are based off of the power meter when it's there, because each calorie number is directly proportional to the kilojules expended, in a 1.115x ratio.
Maybe I'm just extraordinarily powerful? I don't know.
If your body isn't getting enough calories it will store fat for later. If your getting too much same thing. Dropping significantly lower than your BMR plus activity by more than a couple hundred isn't good. I have to eat more and more often to lose weight because I have got so used to eating too little and only 3 times a day. Readjust what your eating as well. Don't over load on simple carbs moderate complex carbs they are still sugar. Increase your raw colorful fresh veggies avoid bleached flour, high fructose corn syrup, and regular sugar, eat smaller portions of lean meat. Using sugar substitutes isn't great either. I am telling you what I also have to do. I was trying to cut some fat for measurements and dropped calories and increased riding and I dropped 2.5 inches off the waist but only lost 4 lbs over 3 months. When I made my measurements I begin to eat normal again and took a week off of riding to do my physical fitness test. In ust 4 days of not riding and eating normal I dropped 3 lbs. I know my legs and arms took a little muscle which accounted for loss of inches with little weight loss. Tweaking your diet is more important than your riding. Keep riding by all means but watch and log everything you eat for a few days and check your calorie intake and amount burned.
I am 5'4" and weigh 192 lbs currently. I have tried many diets and workout plans to get leaner. I can get to 175 before I bottom out. I have a large bone frame and very stocky I carry a lot more muscle than most people my height. I used to lift for years. I am carrying around some fat too. Once I get to 175 lbs my ab muscles start to to show slightly. I wish I could drop to 160 lbs but once I got to 168 lbs with no love handles and ab muscles showing well, but I could only stay there a few weeks before those ab muscles went back in hiding. If I could stay around 170 to 175 I would be happy. That puts me in 32" waist pants. Currently in 36" waist pants.
I also noticed average heart rate 45 bpm for one of the rides, is that really accurate?? That's kind of extraordinary, practically unbelievable for me, when not a resting heart rate. The other ride looked more normal, maybe your strap was acting up.
It seems to be within 50-100 calories of the Garmin output each time. I only started using the PM back in November of last year, and only one of my bikes has it. Many of my segments best speeds were set before I got the PM so that would be why there's no icon. Also, my last 2 rides I didn't have the PM because I broke 2 spokes and the wheel was in the shop.
1 liter of water is equivalent to 1 kg of mass hence, 2.204622622 pounds. This is why it requires precisely 3.785228328 liters of water to yield 1 gallon of water (8.345 pounds at sea level):
3.785228328 liters * 2.204622622 pounds per liter = 8.345 pounds (the weight of a gallon of water at sea level)
Since you sweated out slightly less than 2 pounds of water, you actually sweated less than 1 liter per hour (2 pounds of water is only 0.90718474 liters), so you’re not sweating nearly as profusely as you had calculated though you’d be plenty sweaty even at this far lesser quantity of sweat.
Powertap Garmin calibration check
I suppose you could look into that, if everything matches up then I guess you are just expending more than other people typically reporting?
OP, what are you using to track calories? What oatmeal are you eating and how are you preparing it? Buy a scale and weigh your food, really they can be had for less than $10 at a discount merchant or dept store.linky. Why are you using egg beaters? Where is your fat? Your diet seems to be first if you are eating the calories you say not enough considering your age and activity and too carb dependent. How much water are you drinking?
I think you cycling goals are aggressive too much too soon. The jumps are too big. If you want to do as much, basically double what you are doing now and stay injury free you will need to eat more. To lose weight you need a calorie deficit daily. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of water will help. Exercise will help, all of the above is very individual dependent. Not all diets work for everyone. You are 22 and you say you have been on a diet for 5 years does this mean you have not grown any since you were 17? Not trying to offend here but I find that very doubtful. Are you talking to a MD, or equivalent? Do you have some underlying medical problems you're not sharing with us? It is possible to be both over weight and healthy. Studies have shown a little extra weight increases lifespan. Cycling increases health whether it helps with weight loss or not. Do it because it is fun, enjoy the health benefits.
Your calorie burn estimate as others have said is highly inflated. 20 miles at 14 mph is not much, considering your age and weight. Add a single speed and 4000' elevation gain things may change a bit. 200' per mile average is pretty hilly. Are you doing this on a ss? How are your knees?
All I know is what worked for me. I cut back on what I ate every day for weeks until I started loosing weight consistently. Then I added food back until I stopped loosing weight. The result is a normal calorie intake for my lifestyle and metabolism is 1800 calories per day. I'm 6'3 and 225 lbs now and that number is well below anything you'll find online for the recommended/approximate calorie intake for a person my size.
I cut my calorie intake to around 1600 calories per day and starting running. I got up to 6-7 miles per day on a treadmill, averaging around 6.8 mph. I took a multi-vitamin and ate the same meals everyday for months to insure I wasn't cheating. At first it was suck, piled on suck. Your body will think it's starving, but after about 3 days it will start releasing food stored as fat. That is fat's job. Food substitute while intake is limited. Your skin will feel greasy and you'll probably smell funny. After a week I didn't feel hungry at all because my body was using fat to make up the calorie difference.
I lost 2-3 lbs per week dropping from 265/270 down to 225 in roughly 16 weeks. Then I started adding food back in until I stopped loosing and balancing food/exercise to cut down on 1-1/2 hours of exercise per day 7 days/week. The whole ordeal start to finish was around 20 weeks. Now I exercise for health and fitness and realize I can't eat as much as other people even though I'm bigger. If I can't exercise, I can't eat as much.
You don't need on-line calculators. 1 lb of fat is approximately 3,600 calories. If your 7 day running average weight goes down 1 lb, you've either eaten 3,600 calories less than your metabolism burns, exercised 3,600 calories off, or a combination of the two. The key is to find your personal metabolic rate, carefully measure caloric intake, and increase exercise/decrease calories to hit your goals without being unhealthy about it.
2-3 lbs/week isn't a stretch, but isn't fun either.
My rule of thumb - 1 hour of hard riding (heartrate high, sweating hard, legs screaming) is about 600 cal.
IMO....20 miles = 1100 cals at race pace....say 24-26mph average for them 40mins or so...meaning mostly cruising at 28-32mph and braking bit for the corners and Oh crap moments ....(drafting allowed LOL)
Hills/mts are not in my equation cuz they often take more mental power then physical power to hold speed with them speeds with stick figure roadies.
Here is an explanation of calorie burn (kilocalorie or "Calorie"), energy expended (kiloJoule or "kJ"), and how these are estimated for cycling.
How Accurate is that Calorie Reading? | TrainingPeaks
Read down to the end for an example. The author did a ride, and
- from his power meter his estimated calorie burn was 2678 Calories (using approximation that applying 1 kJ to the pedals burns 1 Calorie of stored body energy)
- from his heart rate his estimated burn was 1938 Calories
- from time and distance his estimated burn was 3648 Calories
The power meter-derived estimate is most accurate, the heart rate-derived estimate is less so, and the time and distance-derived estimate is not accurate at all.
I consulted a standard bike power calculator. To ride 20 mph in the drops (road bike, flat ground, no wind, no drafting, my size and weight) requires about 175 watts. Riding 20 mph like that for a solid hour is, for me, very hard work. Doing the math, 175 watts for 1 hour is 630 kJ generated or 630 Calories burned. That is consistent with my rule of thumb stated above, which is
"My rule of thumb - 1 hour of hard riding (heartrate high, sweating hard, legs screaming) is about 600 cal."
(By the way, this is one reason I don't have a power meter - I don't want to be depressed at how little power output I can actually sustain.)
So, for the OP, I think you should be skeptical about if you are actually burning 1100 Calories on the ride you described. It might be right, but it might also be way overstated.