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  1. #1
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    Weight Loss Motivation - Help!

    Hi Everyone

    I have found this forum such a wealth of info and motivation to quit driving, and start pedalling. My new Trek 7000FX has 659 km on it since June, and I;m really enjoying it.

    I am trying to lose about 35 pounds by a combo of diet alteration and cycling. I seem to do OK for a week or so, then get on the scales and see little or no improvement.

    Any tips or motivational tidbits you can toss my way to keep me going?? I have read some amazing success stories on this forum, and I just need some help

  2. #2
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I just bought a new digital scale which measures in both pounds and kilos. I went from 259 pounds to 117 kilos in seconds! Try it!

    (Just thought a little humor might help...)
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
    2012 Masi Evoluzione
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  3. #3
    Sprint the hills! djgonzo007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s-creek-rider
    Hi Everyone

    I have found this forum such a wealth of info and motivation to quit driving, and start pedalling. My new Trek 7000FX has 659 km on it since June, and I;m really enjoying it.

    I am trying to lose about 35 pounds by a combo of diet alteration and cycling. I seem to do OK for a week or so, then get on the scales and see little or no improvement.

    Any tips or motivational tidbits you can toss my way to keep me going?? I have read some amazing success stories on this forum, and I just need some help
    I wouldn't worry so much about lbs. as I would inches. Try measuring yourself every other week or so, as the inches drop you'll feel that push to get on your bike.

    I too am picking up cycling to lose weight and commuted to work for the first time on Friday. Once I sell my car I plan on commuting everyday. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner because it's so much fun.

    I picked up cycling about 8 years ago and it helped me lose 75 lbs. over a years time. After 4 years of marriage, 2 children, and an office job I need to drop a good 20-25 lbs so I've returned to the bike but this time for good.

    I enjoy cycling much more than going to the gym. While at the gym I can't wait to leave but on the road with my bike an hour flys by like nothing.

    Keep it up, you'll get there.
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  4. #4
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    I recently lost ~40lbs. It takes a freakin' lot of patience. Seems the body just stair-stepped it's way down. Drop ten, hold for a while, get pissed, eat a lot, then drop some more. I mostly tried to concentrate on keeping my weekly average 'good' with the food intake. A few really good days to offset the feast at grandma's. Patience.
    Mike
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  5. #5
    Member rgilmore's Avatar
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    Don't measure your progress strictly by pounds. You are building larger muscles which are more dense (heavier for the same size) than fat. As an earlier poster suggested, measuring inches is a better indicator. BTW, those larger muscles will burn more fat.

  6. #6
    Climb on my trusty steed BeTheChange's Avatar
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    I read Mike Magnuson's book "Heft on Wheels" and it isn't a weight loss book but it helped me loose weight. It was a story of his weight loss that showed me that loosing weight isn't easy, it doesn't feel good, and you are going to have to feel hungry. I went from 238 and I'm now at 205 and still loosing (I'm 6'2"). I just think a large problem with loosing weight in our society is that everyone is selling a diet that shows you what you should eat, they don't tell you what you shouldn't eat. We are in a consumeristic society that tells us that you have to consume to fix a problem, but in this case you don't, you need to consume less. And even if you are eating healthy stuff you can't stuff yourself. Every time you feel hungry that is your body telling you that you are in a Calorie deficit and you are loosing weight. And CastIron is right, you need to be patient. My body stopped at 220 and 210 along the way. Just keep working at it and you will do great!
    "You must be the change you want to see in the world."
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by s-creek-rider
    Any tips or motivational tidbits you can toss my way to keep me going?? I have read some amazing success stories on this forum, and I just need some help
    Follow the Training & Nutrition forum. Lots of people posting their weight travails there

  8. #8
    Zinophile tibikefor2's Avatar
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    s-creek:

    As mentioned earlier, this takes patience. When I started cycling again last December, I actually gained weight due to increased appetite and adding muscle.

    Also, I started to chart what I ate, so I could see what and when I ate something. I noticed the snack after 7:00PM which was the first thing to go. I also noticed that I grazed during the day, when I cut this out the weight started to drop.

    I have lost 39 lbs since last December. Just hang in there.
    Tibikefor2

  9. #9
    Senior Member BraveSpear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s-creek-rider
    Hi Everyone

    I have found this forum such a wealth of info and motivation to quit driving, and start pedalling. My new Trek 7000FX has 659 km on it since June, and I;m really enjoying it.

    I am trying to lose about 35 pounds by a combo of diet alteration and cycling. I seem to do OK for a week or so, then get on the scales and see little or no improvement.

    Any tips or motivational tidbits you can toss my way to keep me going?? I have read some amazing success stories on this forum, and I just need some help

    Initially you will not lose weight because you will be building muscle mass. Muscle weighs more than fat, so the weight loss will not be apparent immediately. After your muscles have had time to build up, then you should start noticing the weight loss. As other people have said, it's the inches that count.
    If we weren't meant to eat animals, why are they made out of meat?

  10. #10
    Senior Member swwhite's Avatar
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    I don't need to lose weight--I'm a male who probably is slightly underweight for a woman of my height--but I do have the little roll of fat around the middle. One day I noticed that it was smaller than it used to be. I noticed this about THREE YEARS after I started regular bicycle commuting. The moral, to me, is that you will not lose weight dramatically, but it will come off as it went on, gradually over a long time. Of course everyone's metabolism is different. Maybe you should weigh yourself only every six months.

    If I were trying to lose weight, the next thing I would do after regular bicycle commuting would be to give up all refined food, especially white sugar and white flour. You probably have heard that. Even if it doesn't help, it certainly won't hurt, and it might help. One won't die from a cookie deficiency, but could become ill from a vegetable deficiency. As Jack LaLanne says, if man makes it, don't eat it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    For me it was a combination of seeing incremental progress on daily weighings (an accurate scale is a big help), and finding reasonably healthy foods to eat that I still liked enough to eat every day. Whole grain cereal with lowfat milk for breakfast, a small salad with some cut-up chicken and tons of black pepper for lunch, and a regular dinner with smaller portions was about all it took for me to lose 25 lbs. That, plus cycling about 100 miles/week.

  12. #12
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    I cut out sugar (now use splenda, can't use aspartame due to my arthritis), caffeine, rice, potatoes, pasta, white flour, and similar processed foods or foods with added sugar or corn syrup and have lost a lot of weight.

    I replaced this stuff with veggies and moderate amounts of fruit like berries, apples and high fiber fruits. I quit using ready made sports drinks becuase of the high sugar content and switched to a water enhanced with electrolytes, I add lime juice and splenda.

  13. #13
    Senior Member d2create's Avatar
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    You want motivation and help? Go here:
    http://www.johnstonefitness.com/

    What this guy accomplished is amazing. And the forums are outstanding.
    2008 Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen
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    2010 Specialized Rockhopper 29er

  14. #14
    1. e4 Nf6 Alekhine's Avatar
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    One thing to watch is "rewarding yourself" after a hard-day's ride in the saddle. While riding and exercise will allow you to up your caloric intake from a normal level, remember that many overweight people aren't eating from the standpoint of a normal level. I used to do (and still do) tours on a loaded bike, and would feel like this gave me carte-blanche to pig out at the end of a 60 or 70 mile day, and then to down a sixer of beer after dinner if I wasn't too tired for a little smashing.

    I remember hearing that professional cyclists consume something like 6000 calories a day in order to keep from bonking, which is great, except for the fact that they're on their bikes 5-6 hours nearly every day, pedaling hard and climbing mountains that make the rest of us turn around and go the other way. Beware of thinking that you burn more calories than you really do, and don't try to adopt the diet of the masters unless you're going to train like them.

    Like swwhite suggested, drop refined foods. Look at how much fiber is in every carb thing that you like to eat, and try to indeed get lots of fiber in your diet. Like rice? Eat brown rice. Like bread? Eat multigrain or whole wheat. Like tortillas? Eat whole wheat ones (*I've seen them with as many as 10 grams of fiber per shell, and I'm talking about little shells). Sugar can be dangerous. In this week's Time magazine, there was an article about the link between fructose and fat storage, and apparently there is some definite causality there. Obviously, it would pay dividends to limit sat fats and especially trans fats, and to eat the good fats (poly- and monounsaturated, omega-3s, etcetera), and still in moderate quantities. Use olive oil or safflower oil a lot more if you need a cooking fat, and heat it below the smoke point.

    Finally, buy some chopsticks and practice eating appropriate chopstick foods with them. Heavier people tend to wolf down their meals before the stomach can tell them it has had enough. Likewise, put down your sandwich after every bite. Put down your spoon and fork after every mouthful. Take your time to eat that meal. Look into the behavioral associations of eating too. Some people always eat immediately after they masturbate, for example (sorry for bringing the taboo to this forum), and they don't even notice the behavior because they consistently fail at self-analysis in real time. It's a hardwired link that they don't even notice. The release-consumption link is definitely one to watch though.

    The last 20-30 or so pounds are always hell to drop, especially if you've made it to "the point" by having previously dropped 60 pounds or whatever. If you have a target weight, you may have to up the regimen in order to reach it, both diet-wise and riding-wise. Most people slack off after losing a substantial amount, and just don't follow it to the end because the process takes so long and they've become complacent with the good work because they definitely look better than they did. But what you see in the mirror isn't what others see in you, because we constantly pose in the mirror to get the best angles of our image - the ones that make us look as thin as we can look.
    Last edited by Alekhine; 08-09-05 at 08:18 AM.
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  15. #15
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    s-creek-rider

    The previous posts have mentioned many of the key points. It will take time and you will probably see a change in your shape before you see a real weight loss. I would suggest you skip the scale most days, since daily fulctuations are meaningless. Weigh yourself once a week and expect to see only minimal changes most of the time.

    I have been bike commuting since the end of Feb. and have lost about 28 lbs. I lost little or nothing in the first 2-3 weeks and it has gone in fits and starts since then. How much you lose will depend upon your ride, how out of shape you were to start with, how active you are beyond bike commuting and how you eat. The harder and longer your ride the more calories you will burn. Similarly if you are more out of shape and heavier you will burn more calories (that curve will flatten out the closer you get to your correct weight as your body gets more efficient). Any additional activity you do beyond biking will help burn calories and may add muscle mass to areas that are not worked out very much on a bike.

    I have never had much luck giving up whole groups of food, although it works for some people. What I have done is to really watch out for snacks and skip dessert most days (but not entirely since that can be doomed to failue as well). I try to load up on fruits and veggies since the calories there are more nutritious so I feel better eating that way. I have also tried to eat a little less at each meal -- nothing dramatic just shaving a little off each meal. I also found that packing my lunch or eating a frozen dinner helped control my daytime grazing. So now I pack a reasonable lunch and if I feel like grazing I eat part of the lunch. In that way I can control total calorie intake a bit better, but not have to attempt any major life changes. Making small changes it will take longer to lose the weight, but in the long run may be more sustainable.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the hills and winds I cannot change;
    courage to challenge the cagers I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
    (with apologies to AA)
    24 mi. roundtrip -- Maryland suburbs to DC and back.

  16. #16
    Senior Member d2create's Avatar
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    Here's one more piece of advice. Don't eat what everyone and their mother is telling you to eat. Including everyone here. If you really want to know how and what to eat, go see a nutritionalist in your area. They will basically interview you, give you a program and diet to follow. And you will be VERY suprised and what you will be able to eat and the weight you will lose. I would pay for that before I paid for a personal trainer.
    2008 Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen
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  17. #17
    Georgia Traveler
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    I eat anything that I want--just in smaller quantities. I track my calories with a program on my computer and limit myself to 1700 per day and strive for an average of 20% protein, 30% fats and 50% carbs. I am 6-1 and started out at 340 and two years later I am down to 235. A month ago I took up cycling (now that I'm not so big I'll break a bike) and have dropped one size in pants due to the better muscle tone. The key thing is to find what works for YOU so that you can stick with it forever...otherwise those pounds will creep back on.

  18. #18
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Check out one of those calorie calculators like they have on bikejournal.com and you will be surprised how few calories you are burning on your daily ride. The amount of calories isn't enough to justify any extra food at all.

    I think I've finally started losing a little weight after a year of commuting now that I've bumped up the number of days from 3 to 4. I've also stopped drinking wine (empty calories) with dinner. They've started putting out free fruit for us at work, so sometimes I have that for lunch instead. And overall I've noticed that I'm starting to gravitate toward healthier foods like green veggies because I like the way I feel when I eat better. People sometimes say that happens, and it took a year for it to happen for me.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  19. #19
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    Stick to it. As I've posted in my thread on this (Link), it took weeks before I started to see a noticeable weight drop. now 3+ months into commuting, I'm starting to get the "have you lost weight?" comments. In fact, I've dropped almost 20 pounds now. Just stick with it.

    As long as you're not gaining weight, you're probably doing just great already by putting on muscle in your legs while you're dropping fat from areas like your face and neck (generally the first areas where weight loss is noticeable).

  20. #20
    Sprint the hills! djgonzo007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swwhite
    Maybe you should weigh yourself only every six months.
    I think that's a great idea. I don't know how often you're weighing yourself but at the most I'd only do it once a month. Make sure also, that you weigh yourself consistantly at the same time of day and under the same circumstances. Obviously you'll weigh more after a meal than you do after using the "John. "
    -----------------------------------------------------------------

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  21. #21
    Junior Member postmark's Avatar
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    Patience, Patience, Patience. Weigh ones self no more than once a week. You will hit plateaus (Im on one now... Stuck on 224)... But just keep cycling along. I just try to keep track of my Fat Grams,

  22. #22
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    Keeping a log of weight and exercise can be a great motivator. Looking at where you've been and what you've accomplished and you won't want to make so many bad choices, including skipping a ride or cross-training. I use activebody.org (free), as well as an excel spreadsheet.

  23. #23
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alekhine
    Some people always eat immediately after they masturbate, for example
    So many punchlines running through my head after reading this..

    'Gives new meaning to the word "appetizer course."'

    'I tried this, but got thrown out of too many restaurants.'

    'I prefer doing things the other way around, it helps me cut back on dessert intake.'

    etc. etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekU2
    it took weeks before I started to see a noticeable weight drop. now 3+ months into commuting, I'm starting to get the "have you lost weight?" comments.
    Interesting comment, I saw the same effect. In fact, the first comments I got began two months after I reached my target weight and was just maintaining. I think my face continued to get thinner even as the rest of my body stabilized.

  24. #24
    Giant-Riding Ogre Don Gwinn's Avatar
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    That's true, now that I think of it. I've lost about a 100 pounds now with another hundred to go to my goal, but when I'd lost 30-50 nobody could look at me without mentioning my face. I was more proud of my belt.

    As the wise man sayeth, you can never jog far enough to fix the fact that you're ugly in the face.

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  25. #25
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