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Old 10-04-10, 10:16 AM   #1
AzTallRider 
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Ideal Weight

How do you know when you're there?

By improving my eating habits, increasing my mileage, and doing some dumbbell work, I lost about 20# in a couple of months. At 6'6", and with a genetically slender build, I'm now hovering around 212#, and the same routine isn't taking off any more weight. I essentially lost the 20# in roughly a month, and have been hovering since then. While I don't have a 'gut', I do feel some fat on top of my ab's if I grab a pinch. I don't know whether working to rid myself of that is trying to go too far, or if I should continue to try and "burn the fat; feed the muscle" to eliminate all vestiges of my formerly corpulent self. I don't mean to piss off those who might struggle with more significant weight issues - just bear in mind I'm someone who was 165# in HS and 185# in college. Your basic beanpole, but I haven't seen a weight that started with a 1 in decades. Having experienced what cycling can do for my health, I decided there is no reason I shouldn't be at my optimum weight.

I want to get into competitive shape. I've already driven my wife to distraction by the relatively extreme nature of my efforts. It didn't go over too well when I actually fainted Saturday night, apparently from orthostatic hypotension (have an appt with my MD this afternoon). Whether it is a result of my training or something else, I've been having frequent light-headedness/dizziness when standing, and one second I was steadying myself on a doorframe, and the next I was waking up on the floor as she asked me "what are you doing?". This happened the evening of a day when I had done a fairly intense 44 mile morning club ride. Still got dropped despite my efforts - I backed off when I was kicking into zone 5.

So anyway, short of getting a precise BMI, what's a reasonable way of determining whether to:

A. keep working on fat reduction, or to
B. declare victory and try and find the right caloric input to stay where I am?
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Old 10-04-10, 11:55 AM   #2
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At your height you are not overweight- Unless you go to my Doctors and get the fat nurse that wants everyone to be at Fighting Weight. If you were 212 at 5'6" then I would say you are.

You don't say how long you have been riding to lose that 20lbs but if it all came off in a month- then that was lot of exercise to lose it. You are probably still losing fat but replacing it with Muscle. The next stage of getting Skinny is going to come in your diet. Cut back on the sugary foods- cut back on the fat and carbo-hydrates and eat less. Weight will come off but you may not notice where.

But keep enough of the right food to keep you cycling. Nothing worse than running out of energy on a ride by not getting enough nutrition in for the ride.
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Old 10-04-10, 12:26 PM   #3
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Losing 20lbs in one month is a bit extreme.

You can do yourself more harm than good if you're going crazy with the dieting. If your body needs calories & there's no glycogen or fat available it feeds off muscle - not a good thing if you're striving for "competitive" shape.

If you don't have a noticeable gut or jiggly arms etc my inclination would be to just focus on eating well (nutritious , well balanced diet - lots of fruits & vegs, fish, chicken etc easy on the red meats - have a 6oz filet mignon rather than 30oz porterhouse - and stay away from junk food) make sure you're getting enough calories to sustain your biking & any other exercise. Stay well hydrated & get enough sleep. Add some strength training if you haven't already & forget the wight loss - aim for fitness & your body will find its own equilibrium.
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Old 10-04-10, 12:36 PM   #4
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If someone tells you, you look sick, you can still lose another 5 pounds. When i reach the point of being a little dizzy or light headed i rest for a few days until all is well. Then i resume my riding. If i get up off the sofa to fast and get dizzy same thing. You can lose a lot of water weight and gain it right back. You may have reached a plateau and will take some time before more weight loss. Just keep recording you daily weight and a pattern will develop.
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Old 10-04-10, 12:48 PM   #5
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stapfam - I've been riding the road bike for maybe 7 months (biking overall for 19 months), initially just on my commute, but started doing weekend club rides as well a couple of months ago, which is when I also started eating better. I've definitely replaced fat with muscle, but still think I've hit a plateau: muscle isn't increasing noticeably right now, and the remaining fat (it isn't that much) is still there. Maybe it's mucles that aren't obvious - been working on core a lot.

Brian, you've pretty much described what I've been doing food wise. I wasn't intending to lose the 20# in one month - it just happened that way. In fact my goal was to get to where I am now by my birthday in December, and I used an iPhone app to determine the needed caloric deficit, and to track calories in and out. But the extra riding made that deficit much greater, and the weight came off fast. Probably too fast. I've scrapped any specific weight goal in favor of getting to 'the right weight'. I'm just trying to figure out what that looks like physically, and to find the right amount of eating to support the increased exercise to maintain that ideal weight. I've never really been in 'competitive shape', and I frankly don't know what is possible or practical to achieve at 55.

I'm even working with a nutritionist to make sure I'm doing it right. I THINK I'm doing what I need to on the rides. In fact I'm handling the rides themselves much better by taking electrolyte capsules and drinking 'gel water' for carbs during the ride, with protein before and after. In fact, if I tried to take in more, before or during the hard rides, I think I'd just throw it back up.
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Old 10-04-10, 01:17 PM   #6
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So extra activity started two months ago and weight loss came and then stopped. Yep---It's a plateau but not one that will last forever. The body is adjusting and I think you are getting worried about it---Don't. And don't try to push it too hard by over exerting yourself or cutting out too much food. Build up the exercise gradually and only cut out the wrong parts of your diet---The Junk food- The sugary things and the Beer or Sodas.

That plateau will end of its own accord and then something will happen- You may lose weight again- or you may just feel a lot fitter. Have to admit that I have only just started putting on weight in the last year but that is through lack of exercise. Cycling has been cut back this year but all I have to do to lose weight is eat better. Don't lose bulk though- that beer belly is just as big as it ever was. (And I have even cut the beer out too)
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Old 10-05-10, 12:53 AM   #7
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BMI can be misleading. A muscular athlete will be near the top of the target range for BMI just because muscle is more dense/heavier than fat. I'm 6'1" and 170-175 lbs, and when I raced on the track, my weight was closer to 180. But the top guys who were 6'1" were probably 190 lbs - even more muscle! But 6'1", 190 lbs could also be a tall fat guy. I have always just ridden lots (300 to 500 kilometers each week, riding every day) and let the weight take care of itself.

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Old 10-07-10, 01:07 PM   #8
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I set my goal weight at the weight I was in high school. When I reached that, I still had a little flab around the middle. I realized that because I've lost muscle over the years (57 now), my goal weight should be lower.

I'm now 155 (height 5' 11"), which is 4.5 pounds less than I was when I was 16. I still want to lose a few more -- my abs are in there somewhere! (Picture here). IOW, my goal is to see no flab/overhang when I riding in the drops.

But if you are 50 pounds more than you were in high school, I don't think you need to worry about being anorexic.
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Old 10-07-10, 01:23 PM   #9
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Don't think I'll ever fit in 30-40 Levi's (before they 'shrank to fit') again, that's for sure. I was way, way underweight back then.

So Al, I take it you are a trombone player? I have a King 3B, and a 2B silversonic, sitting in their cases - no longer willing to devote the time to keep the chops in shape, especially given limited playing opportunities.
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Old 10-07-10, 01:30 PM   #10
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DANG AZTALL, put a quilt trip on me. 6'3" and 220, and suffering from the same light headedness. Trying to stay hydrated and keeping my body minerals in balance. Fight the good fight. Now I have a reason to get to 205, must stay leaner than you. Good luck on getting your head back on straight.

Trombones eh, I'll have to dig out the coronet. We can be the BF Brass ensemble..............my older brother plays Sousa Phone and little bro French Horn. I bet the noise we could make would scare off herds of elephants.
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Old 10-07-10, 01:32 PM   #11
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Take two trips to Dairy Queen and call me in the morning.
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Old 10-07-10, 01:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Daspydyr View Post
Trying to stay hydrated and keeping my body minerals in balance. Fight the good fight.
I've tried drinking so much I have to do my work in the men's room, without much affect, so now I'm working the electrolytes to see if that helps.

If not, then I'll take Weak's advice and try a DQ vanilla softcone dipped in chocolate.
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Old 10-07-10, 01:41 PM   #13
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Trombones eh, I'll have to dig out the coronet. We can be the BF Brass ensemble..............my older brother plays Sousa Phone and little bro French Horn. I bet the noise we could make would scare off herds of elephants.
You guys should be able to figure out my screen name.
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Old 10-07-10, 02:42 PM   #14
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You guys should be able to figure out my screen name.
I never thought about it in those terms - always just figured there was a Benge bike I had never heard of.
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Old 10-07-10, 05:04 PM   #15
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My weight watchers leader told me after I had 3 weeks of little or no weight loss that I was probably not eating enough and I'm thinking what a load then she explained it to me. If you keep you intake too low the body will think its starving and not burn off much at all so I recalculated my intake and the next week I was down 3 lbs. However you make me want to puke with your 6'6" frame and genetically slim build. You should be one of us 5'8" short sh*ts that have trouble staying at 170 Lbs. anyway good luck and if you are getting dizzy when you stand up, sit down and have another beer.
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Old 10-07-10, 05:33 PM   #16
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I have always felt that my ideal weight was when I couldn't lose any more no matter what and I felt strong. I am convinced that my ideal weight at 6'2" is 179#. As long as I don't bounce more than 5# over that, I am doing okay.
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Old 10-07-10, 06:15 PM   #17
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So Al, I take it you are a trombone player? I have a King 3B, and a 2B silversonic, sitting in their cases - no longer willing to devote the time to keep the chops in shape, especially given limited playing opportunities.
Silversonic -- nice!

This guy has an interesting story. 245 pounds to 146 pounds. Does centuries with no carbs.

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Old 10-07-10, 08:42 PM   #18
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I'm 6'4. Seven or eight years ago I peaked at 219 lbs and was feeling a bit on the chubby side though not that unfit with a moderately active lifestyle. Anyway I took up running every morning and dropped 20 lbs in a month. My set weight was probably 200 and probably still is. I would say 20lbs month one is not a big deal particularity if the weight stabilizes which is what it sounds like in the OP's case.

Light headedness is probably diet not weight or weight loss.

For my personal and professional requirements I like sticking close to 190 now a days which is pretty much middle of the road for BMI but won't be winning me any poke-a-dot jerseys.
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