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Old 04-01-17, 04:27 PM   #1
johngwheeler
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Finding it hard to lose more weight - burn more calories or stricter diet?

I'm 178cm/71kg (5'10"/158lb), and have a fairly small frame, except for some excess fat in the belly/butt area, which I'd like to lose.

I'm really struggling to lose this fat, and my weight loss has plateau'd at about 70.5-71.5 kg (depending on time of day). I've been increasing my bike exercise and probably ride about 6-8 hours a week at medium-high intensity (average heart rate 140-150bpm).

I have lost a little bit of weight in the last 2-3 months (maybe 1kg), but considering the calories burned, I had hoped for a bit more. I estimate I am carrying 2-3kg of excess fat. I appreciate that if I build muscle, that I may even put on some weight even if lose the fat, so I'm not too worried about my actual weight. That said, a bit lighter for hill climbs would be welcome, and could be cheaper than a new carbon bike :-)

I haven't noticeably modified my diet since I started cycling, but I probably do eat a bit more than usual after at 2 hour ride.

Any suggestions?

Should I follow a training plan (HIIT etc.), just cycle more, or think more about my nutrition?

Thanks!

John
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Old 04-01-17, 06:51 PM   #2
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Unless you're going to start riding 6-10 hours a day, forget the "ride more" option. You want to lose weight, you need to look at your diet. It's probably not the little bit more after a two hour ride that causes the problem, it's the little bit more everyday that you need to identify and reduce.
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Old 04-01-17, 06:57 PM   #3
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Unless you're going to start riding 6-10 hours a day, forget the "ride more" option. You want to lose weight, you need to look at your diet. It's probably not the little bit more after a two hour ride that causes the problem, it's the little bit more everyday that you need to identify and reduce.
As someone who is a huge nutrition advocate and understands nutrition is the far more important factor when it comes to weight loss, he is 5'10 and 158 lbs. I can't imagine his body fat being too much so at that point wouldn't it be a combination of HIIT and nutrition? When I was around that weight as I'm same height, at 8% bf when my goal was 6% bf, I had to do interval training at a very high intensity to get lower but duration wasn't excessive (I think I actually increased caloric intake). I had very detailed exercise and food logs. Maintaining lower bf for me was almost impossible though.

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Old 04-01-17, 07:22 PM   #4
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First, as you get lighter it does get harder to lose weight because the amount of calories you need is less, but it's hard to eat even less than what you have been.

Second, join a site like My Fitness Pal (or others) where you can log what you eat and what you burn. Even doing that for 3 weeks is an eye-opening exercise.
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Old 04-01-17, 07:53 PM   #5
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Belly fat is called stubborn fat and for a good reason. It's because it's the hardest type of fat to loose for most people. Humans are genetically programed to store fat around their mid-section. There are a lot of people who are skinny overall and have a proper BMI but still end up having extra fat around their mid-section...You need to shock your body through regular HIIT training to elevate your metabolism. I would also limit sugar intake and only consume sugar on days when doing intense workouts. Increasing protein intake also helps.
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Old 04-01-17, 08:04 PM   #6
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Belly fat is called stubborn fat and for a good reason. It's because it's the hardest type of fat to loose for most people. Humans are genetically programed to store fat around their mid-section. There are a lot of people who are skinny overall and have a proper BMI but still end up having extra fat around their mid-section...You need to shock your body through regular HIIT training to elevate your metabolism. I would also limit sugar intake and only consume sugar on days when doing intense workouts. Increasing protein intake also helps.
Agree on everything above!
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Old 04-02-17, 05:00 PM   #7
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6to8 hours per week isn't a lot unless you are cycling everyday. If you're cramming it all in only one day a week it could be dangerous. Alan Thicke suddenly died although he seemed healthy. So my advice is to spread out the bike riding everyday. And don't make it a focus of your health. Make it a part of you life. Make cycling a part of your day every day. Bike to your friendís place. Bike to the gym. Bike to the coffee shop. Bike to buy groceries.

Recent studies have found that for some people do matter how much exercise​ or diet they do they can't shed the pounds. So as long as a you can go the distance and your heart can withstand it, that's more important. Your body will adapt to your changing lifestyle and will find its own equilibrium.

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Old 04-02-17, 05:32 PM   #8
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6to8 hours per week isn't a lot unless you are cycling everyday. If you're cramming it all in only one day a week it could be dangerous. Alan Thicke suddenly died although he seemed healthy. So my advice is to spread out the bike riding everyday. And don't make it a focus of your health. Make it a part of you life. Make cycling a part of your day every day. Bike to your friendís place. Bike to the gym. Bike to the coffee shop. Bike to buy groceries.

Recent studies have found that for some people do matter how much exercise​ or diet they do they can't shed the pounds. So as long as a you can go the distance and your heart can withstand it, that's more important. Your body will adapt to your changing lifestyle and will find its own equilibrium.
Thanks for the advice. My 6-8 hours is spread across a commute 1-3 days a week (weather depending - I'm not confident in the rain yet; lots of hills!) plus a couple of rides at the weekend of about 3-4 hours total. I've never ridden more than about 3 hours in one day, so I'm definitely "working up" and not pushing myself to extremes.

I like the idea of adding cycling (& therefore exercise) into my normal routines, which was one reason for buying a bike. I've now changed my mindset from "it's too far to walk, I should drive", to "I can get there in x minutes on my bike".

John
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Old 04-02-17, 05:38 PM   #9
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First, as you get lighter it does get harder to lose weight because the amount of calories you need is less, but it's hard to eat even less than what you have been.

Second, join a site like My Fitness Pal (or others) where you can log what you eat and what you burn. Even doing that for 3 weeks is an eye-opening exercise.
I've used My Fitness Pal in the past when I was doing an intermittent-fasting diet (600 calorie restricted diet, 2 days per week). As you say, it's interesting to see just how many calories/fat/carbs etc. you consume without thinking about it. During the working week, I probably eat less than 2000 calories a day, and maybe burn 600-1000 on bike commute days, so I should have a calorie deficit. I should start to measure this though; it's easy to be too optimistic.

I do relax a bit at weekends and eat more sugar and consume more alcohol - but hey, life without any luxuries would be pretty dull!

John.
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Old 04-02-17, 08:58 PM   #10
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Try adding in some weight-lifting. At 5'-10" and 158lb, if you've got excess fat around your midsection you can't have much muscle mass. Heck, at 5-11 when I got down to my lightest point (visible abs, probably right at 10% BF), I still weighed 178.
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Old 04-02-17, 09:38 PM   #11
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Try adding in some weight-lifting. At 5'-10" and 158lb, if you've got excess fat around your midsection you can't have much muscle mass. Heck, at 5-11 when I got down to my lightest point (visible abs, probably right at 10% BF), I still weighed 178.
True. I don't have a lot of upper body muscle at all! My legs are lot stronger after a couple months of cycling, but it doesn't do much for my arms. Perhaps I should carry my bike more than ride it :-)

John
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Old 04-03-17, 09:25 AM   #12
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As you're doing more and more, you're saying to yourself "Hey, I can do this." That gets you excited and you start accumulating gear and accessories to be able to do more. Lights, clothing, bags and racks will get you out in all sorts of weather. So you're not thinking, "Should I take the car or the bike?". Instead, you're thinking, how you should dress for today's weather. Before you know it your friends and acquaintances will think you're a real bad-ass riding through snow storms.

The gym certainly helps. Deadlifts and squats will change the way you climb uphills or the way you carry the bike on your shoulders as you carry it up and down stairs.
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Old 04-03-17, 09:46 AM   #13
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Of course, diet is 80-90% of controlling weight and body fat. But doing chronic cardio (8+ hours a week at medium to high intensity) will stall out weight loss, ime.

Riding easier and doing some HIIT will probably yield the results you want in terms of fat loss. Most people don't want to lose bone, organ density or muscle, but rather lose excess fat while retaining the healthy bits. Meaning, most want fat loss, not weight loss.

But is your goal to be lighter on the scale, be leaner or become a stronger cyclist? A lot of times those goals can be mutually exclusive.
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Old 04-03-17, 10:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johngwheeler View Post
I'm 178cm/71kg (5'10"/158lb), and have a fairly small frame, except for some excess fat in the belly/butt area, which I'd like to lose.

I'm really struggling to lose this fat, and my weight loss has plateau'd at about 70.5-71.5 kg (depending on time of day). I've been increasing my bike exercise and probably ride about 6-8 hours a week at medium-high intensity (average heart rate 140-150bpm).

I have lost a little bit of weight in the last 2-3 months (maybe 1kg), but considering the calories burned, I had hoped for a bit more. I estimate I am carrying 2-3kg of excess fat. I appreciate that if I build muscle, that I may even put on some weight even if lose the fat, so I'm not too worried about my actual weight. That said, a bit lighter for hill climbs would be welcome, and could be cheaper than a new carbon bike :-)

I haven't noticeably modified my diet since I started cycling, but I probably do eat a bit more than usual after at 2 hour ride.

Any suggestions?

Should I follow a training plan (HIIT etc.), just cycle more, or think more about my nutrition?

Thanks!

John
This year i vowed to stop eating process sugar after being stuck at 166 lbs for a like a year with av 10 hrs a week. Since Jan i'm now 158 lbs and that's where i want to stay since we don't have mountains where i live but lots of crits.
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Old 04-03-17, 10:59 AM   #15
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It's not that you want to lose weight. You want to lose fat. I mean, you could amputate your arm, you'd weigh less and have an instant boost to your VO2max, but that isn't what you want.

You lose fat with a calorie deficit. You don't do it by "shocking your body," or "jump starting your metabolism" or with a "detox" or "cleanse" or "eating clean" or being a vegetarian or paleo or keto eater or anything else except burning more calories than you eat. Just regular, old fashioned portion control. Eat the amount of food your grand parents ate.

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As someone who is a huge nutrition advocate and understands nutrition is the far more important factor when it comes to weight loss, he is 5'10 and 158 lbs. I can't imagine his body fat being too much so at that point wouldn't it be a combination of HIIT and nutrition? When I was around that weight as I'm same height, at 8% bf when my goal was 6% bf, I had to do interval training at a very high intensity to get lower but duration wasn't excessive (I think I actually increased caloric intake). I had very detailed exercise and food logs. Maintaining lower bf for me was almost impossible though.
HIIT is a terrible way to try to lose fat. Putting aside that when most people say "HIIT" they focus on the "IT" and not the "HI" part, just do the math. 20 minutes of exercise, but 10+ of them are rest or very low intensity. No, you're not burning very many calories that way. Really, do the math.
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Old 04-03-17, 11:19 AM   #16
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HIIT is a terrible way to try to lose fat.
The majority of the exercise science community would disagree with you.

I work out FAR harder when I do HIIT vs doing an hour run or 2 hours cycling. No one says work out for 10 minutes and slack. But 30 minutes HIIT is FAR better than 30 minutes run or cycling. I thought everyone knew it was widely accepted that HIIT was king. If your logic was HIIT is bad because people don't do it correctly, that doesn't negate the benefits of HIIT.. Just do HIIT like you are suppose to.

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Old 04-03-17, 11:29 AM   #17
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HIIT is a terrible way to try to lose fat.
OP, you might want to Google and verify if that statement is accurate or not
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Old 04-03-17, 11:45 AM   #18
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5'10", 158 and want to lose fat?

Why? What are your goals?
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Old 04-03-17, 11:52 AM   #19
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Here’s a 2012 BBC documentary called “The Truth about Exercise”

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x37mmsz

You can find it on PBS too.

Just Google "the truth about exercise" with the words BBC or Micheal Mosely in the results.

All you need is 1 minute of intense cardio a day for three days a week to get you fit.

The documentary doesn’t mention losing fat specifically but it does discuss even walking will reduce the cholesterol from your blood after eating a high fat breakfast.

"A few relatively short bursts of intense exercise, amounting to only a few minutes a week, can deliver many of the health and fitness benefits of hours of conventional exercise, according to new research, says Dr Michael Mosley. But how much benefit you get from either may well depend on your genes."

Last edited by Daniel4; 04-03-17 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 04-03-17, 11:53 AM   #20
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OP, you might want to Google and verify if that statement is accurate or not
Yes, absolutely. Knowledge is useful, hype and woo are not.

Be choosy about your sources, though. There's a lot of crap on the internet.
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Old 04-03-17, 11:57 AM   #21
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I work out FAR harder when I do HIIT vs doing an hour run or 2 hours cycling.
Of course you do. You can only maintain "FAR harder" for shorter periods of time.

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No one says work out for 10 minutes and slack.
A typical HIIT workout involves something like:
* 30 seconds at some power level above your threshold
* 30 to 45 seconds of rest, or "recovery pace"
* Rinse and repeat until 20 minutes have passed
Add up all the "on" intervals and 20 minutes of HIIT gets you less than you think. If you have a power meter, you can see exactly how many calories you've burned, and then compare it to a longer, moderate intensity ride.

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But 30 minutes HIIT is FAR better than 30 minutes run or cycling.
Do the math out to see if that's true. But you're still missing the point. HIIT is something you should do once a week. So is a 3+ hour ride. For weight loss, more time in the saddle at a longer pace is going to do more for fat loss, and that's going to be less effective than realistic portion sizes (diet).
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Old 04-03-17, 11:59 AM   #22
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Here’s a 2012 BBC documentary called “The Truth about Exercise”

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x37mmsz

You can find it on PBS too.

Just Google "the truth about exercise" with the words BBC or Micheal Mosely in the results.

All you need is 1 minute of intense cardio a day for three days a week to get you fit.

The documentary doesn’t mention losing fat specifically but it does discuss even walking will reduce the cholesterol from your blood after eating a high fat breakfast.

"A few relatively short bursts of intense exercise, amounting to only a few minutes a week, can deliver many of the health and fitness benefits of hours of conventional exercise, according to new research, says Dr Michael Mosley. But how much benefit you get from either may well depend on your genes."
Like I said, there's a lot of crap on the internet, and HIIT is wildly over-hyped. 60 seconds of intense cardio 3x per week is the same as hours of riding.
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Old 04-03-17, 12:08 PM   #23
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Fitness is ill-defined and can mean a lot of things: weight loss, muscular strengthening, increasing aerobic capacity, some combination of those. OP asked about a specific thing: reducing fat.
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Old 04-03-17, 01:35 PM   #24
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Since you are building a habit of bike commuting, a lot of this will take care of itself. People who bike commute all their lives enter old age in great shape.
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Old 04-03-17, 03:01 PM   #25
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All you need is 1 minute of intense cardio a day for three days a week to get you fit.

Do you really believe such nonsense ??
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