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  1. #51
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephtu View Post
    I see. From doing a bit of internet searching I see that people are doing things like testing their power meter readings by hanging known weights off of a pedal and seeing if the displayed torque values match up with expected. (although you may zero the PM before every ride, the response to torque might be off).
    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?

    Heh. So this is funny. I just tried out the test and it says I'm -3% off, meaning that it's actually UNDER-reporting my power.

    I expected a different result altogether.

  2. #52
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISPringle View Post
    I'm not a Clydesdale, close, and at this rate I will be shortly.

    Why am I gaining weight? I just started riding a bike. I ride 20 miles a day. My caloric intake is between 1400 and 1800 a day. Before bike riding I was eating 1400 a day and losing a little over 2 pounds a week, and 10 a month. My goal was to be down to 160 for September, which is where I want to be permanently. Before I got a bike I weighed in at 186, that was Sunday before my first bike ride. I have now rode my bike every day since then for 20 miles a day. I weighed myself this morning, before my bike ride, and I am 191.

    Is my body just storing more water do you think? My diet has not changed, except for a few hundred more calories to make up for all the biking. I never see my weigh go up that much, and I've been losing for a number of months (started in January at 220).

    I'm so concerned because I don't have clothes that fit me. I can make it through the summer like this, but I can't get through a school year without enough clothes, so my goal was to make due until I hit 160s and then buy clothes, because I just can't afford buying clothes that won't fit me down the road a few months.

    I'm worried and seriously considering dropping the biking if this isn't rectified in the next week. I would have expected to be losing more weight, not gaining more weight with all this riding. 20 miles = 1100 calories.
    It's going to be the "few hundred calories to make up for the biking", and the "20 miles = 1100 calories".

    I weigh about 250 and figure on 30-40 calories per mile when I'm pushing myself, which for me means maintaining a speed of 20mph or better for as much as I can. Some people say that estimate is too high. When I used a stationary bike with a power meter and the same perceived effort I was burning about 35-40 calories per mile, but given on the road it's easy to get some free movement by freewheeling I usually estimate closer to 30 cal/mile unless it's very hilly.

    So on that basis if I did 20 miles pushing hard all the way I'd figure I'd burned 600-800 calories (depending on hills, wind, and whether I was keeping my speed as high as I'd hoped). If you think you've burned 1100 calories so eat an extra 800 calories to compensate you think you're down 300 calories overall. If you really only burned 500 then you're actually gaining 300 calories. That alone means 2100 calories per week from that alone you'll gain a pound every 10 day or so.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  3. #53
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    If you're trying to lose weight, don't replace the calories...

    Only additional food I eat is what is what I need to keep from bonking. I'm not trying to lose weight, yet.

    We "compensatory" eat. In other words, we automatically eat more with the increase in activity.

    One other "compensatory" effect, people reduce other activity when we work out. A study showed a nearly 1 for 1 decrease in activity, but the decrease came in small ways, such as sitting instead of standing and etc...

  4. #54
    Senior Member ISPringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
    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?
    That's okay, I don't know if I will fulfill them, if I don't then I'll just adjust. I started Sunday with 20 miles and I know at the end of my ride I've got another 20 in me. I'm fit. It's not like I am jumping from no fitness level to biking. I am going from mountain biking on the weeks and BMX riding during the week plus weight lifting and swimming 2 months back to this. I'm losing weight because I want to be skinny, not because I need to for health reasons. I have not grown in height since I was in 7th grade. I've been 5'10" since then. It's just shy of 5 years that I started dieting. I stopped for about two years and only picked up again a few months ago when I got tired of being 220, I used to be 330. And the only reason I bike is for enjoyment, I never said, "I need to lose weight so I'll bike." I love riding, but I don't want to cease losing weight because of it.

    Overall there are not much hill, although I'm used to hills since I live on the side of a valley, but the route I ride climbs two very steep roads which are why it's so high. My knees are just fine, I have very strong joints lower, on account of olympic squats I think. My left hip is hinky, but that's from work and how odd I have to walk.

  5. #55
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISPringle View Post
    Shouldn't be adding weight though. When I eat 1800 calories a day I am still losing, only at a slightly slower weight. I know, I did this a month ago. It's still well below my BMR. The addition of 400 calories on my 1400 calorie/day diet does nothing to me gaining anything.

    And yes, every article and calculator I have found says that 20 miles at a 14mph pace burns roughly 1000 to 1200 calories. I do bike for fun, I never intended for this to be about losing weight, but if it hinders me, it's gone.
    For 20 miles to burn 1000-1200 calories means you're burning 50-60 calories per mile.

    I've seen some calorie tracking app figures that suggest people are burning anything up to 90 calories per mile. Personally I think that sort of thing does far more harm than good because people come to expect that three 20 mile rides will burn off a pound of fat, and then wonder why the fat isn't coming off. Or they think they've burned off 1000 calories and eat an extra 500 calories to compensate when really they only burned 500 calories (or maybe even less). But there are some folks out there who will respond to any comments suggesting a more realistic calorie figure by saying they don't want the negativity or some such. The exercise is great but you need to be realistic about just how much work you've actually done.

    It's also worth considering whether you're spending any of those 20 miles freewheeling. I remember my last 200km brevet and really struggling around the 160km mark. It was a really hot day, I hadn't drunk enough water and was struggling with the winds. Had there been a way to get back to the start without incurring silly costs in a taxi I'd have abandoned the ride, but my options were either pay a small fortune for a taxi or tough it out. So I stayed in a low gear and freewheeled as much as possible. Out of the last 40km I covered several of them with minimal energy expenditure - it takes very little effort to freewheel down a hill doing nothing more than keeping the bike upright. Based on my normal estimates, did I burn 125 miles x 40 cal/mile = 5000 calories? Highly doubtful, I tend to pace myself on a brevet and the last 25 miles were in full-blown energy conservation mode so I'd figure more like 100 miles x 20 cal/mile = 2000 calories. And that's based on weighing 25% more than you do.

    There's such a wide range of calorie figures out there and it's hard to take them seriously when they vary so widely. The way to find out for sure is to use a power meter but short of that I'd rather estimate low than estimate high. The only time I'd look to estimate high is if I was working hard enough that taking on sufficient food was a matter of avoiding bonking and being stranded in the middle of nowhere, rather than being hungry when I got to the end.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  6. #56
    WEK
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephtu View Post
    Those articles and calculators are simply wrong. There are people on this forum who have power meters which directly measure the amount of energy being put into the hub or crank, and most seem to say 30 to 40 calories per mile is a better estimate depending on how hard you are working.

    How are you measuring your calorie intake, are you weighing your food to the gram? If not you are likely underestimating. How often do you weigh yourself? Body weight can fluctuate enormously due to water retention, I use the "Libra" app on Android which has some algorithm calculating a moving average, weighing daily, this can help you better see if your weight is really changing. Measuring waist size is also a good idea.

    Cycling should aid weight loss, but only if you don't overcompensate by eating too much more. 20 miles isn't enough for me to want to eat anything extra at all. At most 200 calories extra IMO.
    First, I agree with you re calories burned and the calculators. I would add just for the sake of this discussion that a person could burn 1,000 calories in 20 miles at a strong pace, but the type of person that can do that is very unique--in short, they'd have to be very, very large. And in that case, the uptick in calorie burn comes from how much weight the person is dragging around. How do I know? I am that person. My meter indicates 50-55 calories per mile at a strong pace (going down with every few pounds I lose, by the way). But I'm 6'10" tall and 350 lbs.

    To the OP, to truly burn 50-60 calories per mile like the calculators suggest, you'd probably need to add a backpack with at least 50 lbs of weight in it on each ride. I have a friend who started doing that after he lost about 75 lbs riding and wanted to get his burn back to where it was when he started. He says it's miserable at first, but works wonders if you stick with it. So it can be done.

    In the end, just keep riding hard and monitoring your diet carefully. You'll get there.

    And if you're the type of person where the data and numbers get to a point where they are stressing you out, detracting from the enjoyment of the ride, and decreasing the drive to push yourself, try this:

    data just ride.jpg
    Last edited by WEK; 06-13-14 at 02:44 PM.

  7. #57
    WEK
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    Quote Originally Posted by contango View Post
    For 20 miles to burn 1000-1200 calories means you're burning 50-60 calories per mile.

    I've seen some calorie tracking app figures that suggest people are burning anything up to 90 calories per mile. Personally I think that sort of thing does far more harm than good because people come to expect that three 20 mile rides will burn off a pound of fat, and then wonder why the fat isn't coming off. Or they think they've burned off 1000 calories and eat an extra 500 calories to compensate when really they only burned 500 calories (or maybe even less). But there are some folks out there who will respond to any comments suggesting a more realistic calorie figure by saying they don't want the negativity or some such. The exercise is great but you need to be realistic about just how much work you've actually done.

    It's also worth considering whether you're spending any of those 20 miles freewheeling. I remember my last 200km brevet and really struggling around the 160km mark. It was a really hot day, I hadn't drunk enough water and was struggling with the winds. Had there been a way to get back to the start without incurring silly costs in a taxi I'd have abandoned the ride, but my options were either pay a small fortune for a taxi or tough it out. So I stayed in a low gear and freewheeled as much as possible. Out of the last 40km I covered several of them with minimal energy expenditure - it takes very little effort to freewheel down a hill doing nothing more than keeping the bike upright. Based on my normal estimates, did I burn 125 miles x 40 cal/mile = 5000 calories? Highly doubtful, I tend to pace myself on a brevet and the last 25 miles were in full-blown energy conservation mode so I'd figure more like 100 miles x 20 cal/mile = 2000 calories. And that's based on weighing 25% more than you do.

    There's such a wide range of calorie figures out there and it's hard to take them seriously when they vary so widely. The way to find out for sure is to use a power meter but short of that I'd rather estimate low than estimate high. The only time I'd look to estimate high is if I was working hard enough that taking on sufficient food was a matter of avoiding bonking and being stranded in the middle of nowhere, rather than being hungry when I got to the end.
    This was extremely well-stated and nicely explained. Well done.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISPringle View Post
    Don't know about the calories from cycling. I only know that my two bike apps (Strava and MapMyRide) both say I am expending 1100 calories per ride, which is 20.4 miles, at a 14 mph pace with 4000 feet of gain. My calorie tracking app says that it's 1000 calories, and it tells me I can eat up to 400 calories a day more because of this (it's programmed not to let me eat less than the needed for 2 pounds a week). The few online calculators I consulted all also suggested the same rough calorie thing, but like you said it doesn't matter because either way the addition of 400 calories is negated by the riding regardless.
    The 1100 calorie estimate may be reasonably accurate. The trick here is the 4000ft of elevation. I routinely ride Mt. Diablo, and that's 22mi round-trip with 3600ft of elevation gain, and Garmin HRM estimates ~1200 calories. That estimate is also consistent with simple calculations for E=m*g*h and efficiency. The uphill portion is estimated as 1100 calories with <100 calories downhill.

    The big question is what is the terrain? If you're doing smaller rollers where you carrying momentum from one downhill to the next uphill you will burn many fewer calories that extending climbing and descending.

  9. #59
    Senior Member ISPringle's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.

    Today I weighted in at 187. I am suspecting that my weight is from water and not from eating, because 1400 calories/day is 400 LESS than what I need to be eating to lose 2 pounds per week, so it did not make any sense. I was extremely alarmed, however, because that nearly 5 pounds of weight increase represented over two weeks of work.

    Today I went on a 50 mile ride, meant to go on 40, but I hit 40 and said, "I could do another 10." I noticed that right around 40 I hit this wall, I began to feel very drained, as if I had no energy left, which makes sense because I doubt my body can do much in the way of storage on a 1400 calorie diet. Well, I popped two servings of fig newton and it got much better, although I was still feeling it. Good to know for longer rides, though, I'll make sure to begin eating sooner than the 40 mile mark.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
    The big question is what is the terrain? If you're doing smaller rollers where you carrying momentum from one downhill to the next uphill you will burn many fewer calories that extending climbing and descending.
    Two large, long uphills. I picked them just for this reason, as I have a ride in July which has 7000 feet of gain and I don't want it to kill me. One of the hills has a no truck sign, so it's fairly steep and the other is actually steeper, but it's a residential street and thus no signage. The remainder of my ride is a mix between rolls, mild inclines, and one decent descent, which I do not coast on, although my power output probably goes down because I hit a point where my legs simply cannot move fast enough to keep up with my wheel (remember, single speed).
    Last edited by ISPringle; 06-13-14 at 04:36 PM.

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