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  1. #1
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    LD training, nutrition and weight loss

    I won't draw out my question with a lot of details and explanation, I'll just get right to the point:

    While I'm building my mileage, I'm also working on losing weight because I've got about 25 - 30 spare pounds I'm carting around.
    Caloric intake is important on LD rides, and ride prep/recovery typically involves food, so is it counterproductive to long distance training to be at a 4000-5000 calorie weekly defecit?
    If I'm eating right on my long rides (~250 cal/hour), am I doing damage during my daily 25 and 30 miler rides by focusing my nutrition goals and caloric intake on weight loss, even if I'm keeping up on my protein?
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    I used to gain weight throughout the brevet series. I believe this was due to overcompensating on recovery. That being said I am now losing weight and doing some longer rides (had to duck out of the local series because my wife had an operation for a badly broken ankle which still limits her mobility 3 months later). I am not my fastest but I am able to complete them and I am losing weight. I find that recovery takes a little longer since I am not binging for several days after the ride. I give myself one day of increased calory intake and then I am back on the diet. Anyway, your mileage may vary.

    (and the diet is nothing special, just eating 500-600 calories less than I burn a day).
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  3. #3
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L. View Post
    (and the diet is nothing special, just eating 500-600 calories less than I burn a day).
    Same as what I'm doing, really. Eating healthier foods and nothing drastic on the calorie cutting, but I've noticed that I feel more fatigued at the end of the day, and my LD ride recovery takes a bit longer than if I'm stuffing burgers in my food hole.
    I just wanted to make sure that I'm not doing anything detremental by combining LD riding and a restricted calorie diet. Back when I was weightlifting, one of the basic rules you first learn is that you cannot simultaneously build quick muscle mass and lose fat. I'm glad knowing that building up big mileage isn't a mutually exclusive concept from weight loss.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    Same as what I'm doing, really. Eating healthier foods and nothing drastic on the calorie cutting, but I've noticed that I feel more fatigued at the end of the day, and my LD ride recovery takes a bit longer than if I'm stuffing burgers in my food hole.
    I just wanted to make sure that I'm not doing anything detremental by combining LD riding and a restricted calorie diet. Back when I was weightlifting, one of the basic rules you first learn is that you cannot simultaneously build quick muscle mass and lose fat. I'm glad knowing that building up big mileage isn't a mutually exclusive concept from weight loss.
    I found on the hilly 250k permanent I did a few weekends ago that I dropped 2 lbs when it all sorted out several days later after I lost the water weight from restoring all the carbs. I was pleasantly surprised and found I didn't need to pig out like I used to. When I hit my target weight I will likely give myself a little more leeway but for now I am going to enjoy my increased hill climbing ability and take a bit of a hit on overall speed.
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  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    Caloric intake is important on LD rides, and ride prep/recovery typically involves food, so is it counterproductive to long distance training to be at a 4000-5000 calorie weekly defecit?

    If you aim for a 4000-5000 calorie deficit, I think you're going to discover that you start to feel very, very hungry. Why not aim for a 3500 calorie/week deficit ... 500 calories per day. That's 1 lb/week, although it probably won't drop off nice and evenly like that. And if you've got a lighter week in cycling (i.e. no long brevets), then maybe up the calorie deficit that week.

    Now, just some observations from my experience with weight loss ...

    When had a shorter commute, I commuted 4-5 days a week, and often cycled in the evenings after work, for a total of about 20-50 kms 4-5 days a week, plus my long ride (a metric, a century, or a brevet) on the weekend. Under those conditions, my weight just dropped off. I had trouble keeping it high enough to be in the normal range.

    But the last few summers, my commute has been 70 kms which I've done about twice a week, and then I've concentrated mainly on long rides on the weekend. Under those conditions, I have been having trouble losing weight.

    It seems I need regular, almost daily, exercise in order to lose weight, despite the fact that I have been covering almost the same distance riding longer on fewer days. I'm not sure what the difference is when it comes to weight loss, but there is definitely a difference.

  6. #6
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    I have always done better with a basic commuting and weight loss versus long rides and weight loss. I have gained weight after long rides. I agree with Machka. I need the daily dose or it stays on. Hard brevets are so hard on the body that it is hard to slow down on food intake following the ride. However, saying that, I stay away from sweets and certain foods to lose weight rather than count calories. My meals are very healthy ....but that evening snack gets me every time.

  7. #7
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    It seems I need regular, almost daily, exercise in order to lose weight, despite the fact that I have been covering almost the same distance riding longer on fewer days. I'm not sure what the difference is when it comes to weight loss, but there is definitely a difference.


    I have always done better with a basic commuting and weight loss versus long rides and weight loss. I have gained weight after long rides. I agree with Machka. I need the daily dose or it stays on.

    I need my daily ride or gym session to keep up with my weight loss, but I seem to have plateaued (sp?) recently, and it has coincided with my increase in mileage and hill training. I'm tracking what I eat, so I know my intake isn't increasing. It's not that I'm trying to utilize LD rides as a weight loss method, because I know that would be pointless: It needs to be consistent scheduled effort, not occasional large outpourings of effort. My concern was mostly that I do not want to simultaneously over-exert and starve my muscles by cutting back on the calories too much.

    So if I'm reading everyone correctly, I'm not doing any harm by increasing my training and keeping myself at a mild caloric defecit.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    I didn't mention the everyday thing. Jumpstarting your metabolism every morning is huge if you want to lose weight.
    Sunrise saturday,
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    I won't draw out my question with a lot of details and explanation, I'll just get right to the point:

    While I'm building my mileage, I'm also working on losing weight because I've got about 25 - 30 spare pounds I'm carting around.
    Caloric intake is important on LD rides, and ride prep/recovery typically involves food, so is it counterproductive to long distance training to be at a 4000-5000 calorie weekly defecit?
    If I'm eating right on my long rides (~250 cal/hour), am I doing damage during my daily 25 and 30 miler rides by focusing my nutrition goals and caloric intake on weight loss, even if I'm keeping up on my protein?
    It's very hard to build fitness and lose significant amounts of weight at the same time. In general you can either do one or the other.

    To answer your specific question, if you are trying to starve yourself on your short rides, yes, you are compromising your training and your weight loss.

    The best approach is not to forego food on the short (two hour-ish), but to only take in enough to replace the most of the carbs that you are burning. If you have that and something decent for recovery (I'm a huge endurox fan), you will likely fine that you don't have to eat much real food after the ride. Conversely, if you don't eat on the ride and skip the recovery, your muscles will tear themselves down to replace their glycogen and you'll get really hungry and likely overeat.
    Eric

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  10. #10
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    It's very hard to build fitness and lose significant amounts of weight at the same time. In general you can either do one or the other.

    Yep. That's similar to what I learned early on when I started heavy weightlifting. You can either build effectively or cut effectively, but if you try to do both you'll get poor results on both.

    To answer your specific question, if you are trying to starve yourself on your short rides, yes, you are compromising your training and your weight loss.

    I wouldn't say that I'm starving myself with the very modest cut in caloric intake which I've made.

    The best approach is not to forego food on the short (two hour-ish), but to only take in enough to replace the most of the carbs that you are burning. If you have that and something decent for recovery (I'm a huge endurox fan), you will likely fine that you don't have to eat much real food after the ride. Conversely, if you don't eat on the ride and skip the recovery, your muscles will tear themselves down to replace their glycogen and you'll get really hungry and likely overeat.

    This is where I'm still working on tempering my routine: I've pretty much nailed down the caloric requirements per hour, and how to attain them in a reasonably time-spaced and tasty fashion. That was the toughest part, and when I started upping the mileage I needed to change those requirements as I found flaws with my original plans. My last LD ride had me just over 7 hours in the saddle, and I was never feeling stuffed or starved... so I've finally got it right.
    I just need to make sure that my recovery doesn't involve gorging myself (which is more a matter of willpower when my buddys say "Hey, let's stop for pizza on the way home!")
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    I just need to make sure that my recovery doesn't involve gorging myself (which is more a matter of willpower when my buddys say "Hey, let's stop for pizza on the way home!")
    If you haven't tried one of the real recovery drinks, give it a try. I used to do the 3-4 hour ride, come home, eat lunch, hit the couch, eat a snack, eat another snack, and so on throught dinner. When I get the Endurox right after (within 30 minutes but earlier is better), I'm not that hungry and tend not to overeat.

    You get hunger suppression when you exercise, so you aren't feeling the effects of the low blood sugar as far as hunger goes. As your body cools down, that goes away and that's why you feel so hungry. If you can get the recovery drink in before that happens, it's much easier.

    All the research says there's no difference between recovery drinks and food, but I find that the recovery drink is much more effective.

    Chocolate milk used to be a pretty good recovery drink, but some dairies have switched to HFCS to sweeten and that's not what you want for recovery - you need old-fashioned sucrose.
    Eric

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  12. #12
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    The human body becomes increasingly efficient if you perform the same activities repeatedly. This means that, over time, you'll burn less doing the same workout. Try cross-training if you're getting stuck losing weight. Running is a good weight burning activity.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    It's very hard to build fitness and lose significant amounts of weight at the same time. In general you can either do one or the other.

    Yep. That's similar to what I learned early on when I started heavy weightlifting. You can either build effectively or cut effectively, but if you try to do both you'll get poor results on both.

    To answer your specific question, if you are trying to starve yourself on your short rides, yes, you are compromising your training and your weight loss.

    I wouldn't say that I'm starving myself with the very modest cut in caloric intake which I've made.

    The best approach is not to forego food on the short (two hour-ish), but to only take in enough to replace the most of the carbs that you are burning. If you have that and something decent for recovery (I'm a huge endurox fan), you will likely fine that you don't have to eat much real food after the ride. Conversely, if you don't eat on the ride and skip the recovery, your muscles will tear themselves down to replace their glycogen and you'll get really hungry and likely overeat.

    This is where I'm still working on tempering my routine: I've pretty much nailed down the caloric requirements per hour, and how to attain them in a reasonably time-spaced and tasty fashion. That was the toughest part, and when I started upping the mileage I needed to change those requirements as I found flaws with my original plans. My last LD ride had me just over 7 hours in the saddle, and I was never feeling stuffed or starved... so I've finally got it right.
    I just need to make sure that my recovery doesn't involve gorging myself (which is more a matter of willpower when my buddys say "Hey, let's stop for pizza on the way home!")
    The search for inner peace continues...

  13. #13
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Eric: I'm going to check into recovery drinks, because that sounds like exactly what I need! My issue after a long ride is that I'll have something moderate to eat shortly afterwards, but then as the evening wears on, I find myself going after more and more food. I just can't seem to get full no matter how much I eat.

    Zorro: I can't run anymore because my knees and shins aren't up to the task, but I've started using the elliptical machine and rowing machine at my gym. What I really miss is swimming, and I think I'm going to start back up this summer. There's a swim beach I can bike to and get a nice dual-sport workout in on the weekends. I never thought about my body adapting to my current cycling routine, and that's why I'm stuck at my current weight. (Time to start throwing in more hills on the ride, I suppose)
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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