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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 07-16-14, 09:09 AM   #1
Blue_Bulldog
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Weight Loss Pre-Century Ride

So I'm training for the Hundred For Hope century ride coming up soon.

When I did it last year, I was at one certain weight. It was my first century and I was pretty new to cycling and car-free living... so the weight melted off. Predictably, after last year's ride plus the winter/holidays, my weight went back up. I was still in riding shape, just not the stripped-down-for-speed that I was leading up to the century. I went up maybe a little shy of 20lbs or so.

Now that I'm back training, I'm losing weight again, but I'm stalled with about 10lbs or so between now and where I was last year. I'm riding as much, maybe more -- and also running 5k's. Same diet, same habits, more workouts, but I still have this little belly.

The point you all wish I would finally get to is this. Should I really worry about that last 5-10lbs if I'm in riding shape? I'm doing my 50mi rides fine, my regular rides are fine, but I still have this little pooch belly. Is this just more fuel and fat to burn, or should I change my diet to drop that last bit of weight? Change up the diet some? Cross-train?
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Old 07-16-14, 09:40 AM   #2
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You should always track your diet and see if you are eating pointless calories, but otherwise I wouldn't do anything too drastic. There are all kinds of fad diets, I'm not a fan. I find that I need to stay on my diet even when I'm riding a lot or else I gain weight. The human body is a greedy thing when it comes to food.

I am a worrier, I just don't let that stop me
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Old 07-22-14, 10:54 PM   #3
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I'm a dietitian in my day job. Don'y worry about that 10 lbs prior to this ride. You'd probably have to do something drastic to lose it quickly, and that's not what you need before a big event.

Physically, you sound strong and fit. Visually, if you're worried about it, get a tape measure out and take an accurate measure of your belly. Feel where the highest point of your hip bones is, and use that as your measurement marker as you wrap the tape around, parallel to the floor. Weight and circumference are 2 different things. Good luck!
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Old 07-22-14, 11:45 PM   #4
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One of my riding buddies ran his first marathon when he was well over 300lbs. I think he said he was 330...

He's still a big dude, but in fantastic shape.

On the flipside, I've ridden with wafer thin guys who were pathetically out of shape.

Your weight may be an indicator of your health, but it's certainly not the only thing. Listen to that dietitian. Don't sweat it.
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Old 07-23-14, 06:33 AM   #5
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I'm a dietitian in my day job. Don'y worry about that 10 lbs prior to this ride. You'd probably have to do something drastic to lose it quickly, and that's not what you need before a big event.

Physically, you sound strong and fit. Visually, if you're worried about it, get a tape measure out and take an accurate measure of your belly. Feel where the highest point of your hip bones is, and use that as your measurement marker as you wrap the tape around, parallel to the floor. Weight and circumference are 2 different things. Good luck!
You make a good point. Which makes sense because you're a professional.

I guess I have to realize the last 10lbs are more cosmetic than health. There's a distinction between on the bike and by the pool. Maybe training while I'm not dating was a mistake?

Since I have a dietician's ear.... my roommate says these sticky 10lbs that weren't here last summer have something to do with my metabolism. That last summer it was the first time I did this and my body was freaking out because we'd never spent calories like that before, but this summer my body knows the drill and is burning calories differently. He's a web designer and not a dietician, so is there any logic to that? Am I carrying more riding weight because I'm taking in training calories but my body can handle it better? Or does science not work that way?
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Old 07-23-14, 07:04 AM   #6
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You make a good point. Which makes sense because you're a professional.

I guess I have to realize the last 10lbs are more cosmetic than health. There's a distinction between on the bike and by the pool. Maybe training while I'm not dating was a mistake?

Since I have a dietician's ear.... my roommate says these sticky 10lbs that weren't here last summer have something to do with my metabolism. That last summer it was the first time I did this and my body was freaking out because we'd never spent calories like that before, but this summer my body knows the drill and is burning calories differently. He's a web designer and not a dietician, so is there any logic to that? Am I carrying more riding weight because I'm taking in training calories but my body can handle it better? Or does science not work that way?
Of course; your body has acclimated to your workouts. Is you body drenched in sweat after a 50mi ride or a 5K? -- I doubt it. Heck, I run a 5K or 10K almost every morning and I'm pretty fresh sitting at my desk at 8:30am. If you want to change the way your body responds to workouts, change the workouts. If you add some difficult and varied intervals to your cardio & cross-train I think you'll experience the changes you were seeing last year. Would I get serious about it right before a planned event? -- Probably not, why risk an injury at this point in time...? Think long-term.
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Old 07-23-14, 07:08 AM   #7
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Is you body drenched in sweat after a 50mi ride or a 5K? .
Well, yes but it's because I train in the North Carolina summer humidity. We get drenched in sweat going to get the mail.
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Old 07-23-14, 07:14 AM   #8
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Yikes, I wouldn't last. I hate that kind of climate, I'd become a hermit slaved to the air conditioning unit.

If you want to shock your metabolism without risking an injury, try daytime fasting a few days a week. It's no fad, been around as long as humanity.
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Old 07-23-14, 07:38 AM   #9
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If you want to shock your metabolism without risking an injury, try daytime fasting a few days a week. It's no fad, been around as long as humanity.
Is there somewhere I can read a little more on that? I have the "always hungry because I'm training" thing going on, and I am pretty good about skipping the bad-for-you-but-oh-so-yummy stuff... but I wouldn't want to just randomly starve myself. Top of your head do you know of a good place to read up on that?
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Old 07-23-14, 11:30 AM   #10
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I wouldn't worry about it. Losing weight is fine, but unless you're really marginal to begin with, 10 lbs won't make the difference between finishing the ride.

As you get older, your body changes, your daily activities change, so even if you don't change anything you're doing, your weight can go up and down.
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Old 07-23-14, 01:22 PM   #11
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You make a good point. Which makes sense because you're a professional.

I guess I have to realize the last 10lbs are more cosmetic than health. There's a distinction between on the bike and by the pool. Maybe training while I'm not dating was a mistake?

Since I have a dietician's ear.... my roommate says these sticky 10lbs that weren't here last summer have something to do with my metabolism. That last summer it was the first time I did this and my body was freaking out because we'd never spent calories like that before, but this summer my body knows the drill and is burning calories differently. He's a web designer and not a dietician, so is there any logic to that? Am I carrying more riding weight because I'm taking in training calories but my body can handle it better? Or does science not work that way?
Yup, your body is more efficient doing that exercise now.

There's a tendency in all of us to overestimate how many calories we burn during exercise. And it's also very easy to stick with your same training/competing food plan, when you're not exercising as much, hence most people's weight gain over the winter.

Bottom line: start keeping track of what you eat using some kind of free online tool or app (myfitnesspal, USDA Supertracker, etc), see where patterns or binges or gaps in your eating or food choices occur. Measure your waist circumference, like I mentioned above, so that you have data to monitor (pounds on the scale won't track your stomach size). If you need detailed help, get in touch with a dietitian in your area. It's usually covered by health insurance if you have it, or if you go to a community health center-type place, they often have free dietitian visits. Universities with graduate nutrition programs often also require supervised practice time, so that's another place to access dietitians. It's beneficial to get an outsider's view, especially one that uses evidence and research to guide decisions.

Good luck! I'm sure you'll figure it out.
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Old 07-24-14, 07:32 AM   #12
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Is there somewhere I can read a little more on that? I have the "always hungry because I'm training" thing going on, and I am pretty good about skipping the bad-for-you-but-oh-so-yummy stuff... but I wouldn't want to just randomly starve myself. Top of your head do you know of a good place to read up on that?
You can enter the subject a couple of different ways, there are the medical journals - studies on intermittent fasting (IM). Do a google search, it will bring up about a million hits. More "faddish" there is the somewhat famous Warrior Diet book by Hofmekler, and his website, and gazillion forum comments about that book.
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