Gary Fisher Superfly, Bianchi Axis, Trek Madone 5.5
Worried that my yo-yo dieting has stalled weight loss
I'm not losing the weight as I had hoped and I suspect I'm dogging it.
I've been a yo-yo dieter for decades and, at 59, it's harder and harder to lose the weight. I'm watching what I'm eating and training about 100 miles a week but the pounds just are not coming off. I'm determined to keep at it but sure hope I haven't wrecked myself with all the yo-yoing.
In 2003, I lost about 50 pounds, through exercise and a weight loss supplement (Optifast) program through a hospital. Then I fell in loose gravel at the end of the '03 biking season (I did three long distance rides that year) and tore my rotator cuff. I took most of last year off. The weight all came back on. Now I'm riding again and eating sensibly. But, man, the pounds are clinging to me.
I've been using the Cat Eye double speed and cadence computer to try and keep pushing for 80-plus rpm and I'm close to buying an HRM to make sure I push myself hard enough but I'm staring to get depressed.
No real weight loss in six weeks. But I'm working out five and six days on my bike and eating, most days, under 2,000 calories!
Any one else go through something similar?
I am going through something similar. I am 33 years old. I have been yo-yoing my weight for years. I have been in and out of good shape at least 5 times. When I say good shape, I mean good shape for me. I have never had a 6 pack, but there are times when I did not feel fat. Having said that, I am determined to go all the way this time and stay there. I have hit a plateau and the fat does not want to come off as easily as it has been. I have lost 30lbs since april, but the weight has stoped coming off so fast. I am currently at 220lbs. I am sure that I have gained some weight in muscle, but I am not sure how much. I really want to get rid of this fat! I want to break through this plateau. I am currently riding about 130-150 miles per week and slowly increasing each week or 2. I also lift weights 2 or 3 day per week depending on time. All I can say is don't stop. It is better to do something than nothing. It is hard to do work without seeing results, but I am trying to have a different attitude. I am really trying to have fun with my riding and setting goals, like doing my first century in August. I am very curious to hear other peoples opinions. Is there any one out there who was fat and can now walk proud with their shirt off in public?!!!(males)
Your bodies have adjusted to your workout regiment and are sitting happily with what you put into it. You have to kick it up a notch and cut back on the goodies again to induce weight loss. Spend 1/2 your time running for distance and you'll see the pounds start coming off again. I use a 'sweat index' to judge workout intensity. A two hour ride on the bike and I sweat pretty heavy if I push it. A 45 minute run in the heat and I sweat buckets more. Then eat 1/2 what you're used to. The pounds will come off...
Unfortunately, as you get older, you lose muscle. And muscle is such a great fat burner that you really do have a harder time losing fat if you're also losing muscle. If you are doing the same amount of exercise and you haven't changed your routine as you get older, even though you are exercising, you still can get fatter over time. Loss of muscle decreases metabolic rate, which means your body is burning less calories, and since eating doesn't really change as we get older, that also works against us.
Consider this- the muscles burn 30- 50 calories per day per pound of muscle. Once you hit your early 20's, unless you continue to increase your weights, you begin to lose about half a pound of muscle per year. If you did the math, think of this: losing 25 calories per day times 365 days= 9125 extra calories the body isn't burning= 2.5 pounds gained per year. Now, that's just for the first year you've lost half a pound of muscle. If you continue to lose muscle over time, you end up gaining more weight over time... and all this why you continue to do the trusted exercise routine you're used to doing and wondering why you continue to exercise but gain weight. Potentially, in 5 years time, you could easily gain 12.5 pounds. In 10 years time, you've gained 25 pounds. If you don't do anything to increase muscle gain and metabolism, you could be well into your 40s and 30 pounds or more overweight.
Besides that, you have to really regulate what you're eating- if you exercise a lot, it can increase your caloric intake requirements. By eating too little, you work against your metabolism- your metabolism will slow as your body conserves energy to complete its activities. That's no good.
So, I would suggest:
1) Increasing your weights. If you already have a weight routine, it's just a matter of thinking progression. You should always work to increase your weights.
2) If you don't have a weight training/resistance training program, then you'll need to find a good personal trainer to work with. As you are 59, try to find a personal trainer that has a certification for aging exercisers (I have one, so I know it exists). Tell them what you told us, and tell them you want them to plan you a training program that incorporates strength training and works towards maintaining and/or increasing lean muscle mass.
3) Get rid of that OptiFast crap. Find a good dietitian and pay them to put you on an eating schedule. Be sure to bring in your training program so she can see what your caloric requirements are for the amount of exercise you do, as well as ensure that you still meet your fitness goals without slowing down your metabolism.
Good luck. Report back if you do these things and let us know how things work for you.
Gary Fisher Superfly, Bianchi Axis, Trek Madone 5.5
I think the only thing I haven't done is add the weights.
I've been through all these things so many times it's embarassing. Eating right. Exercising. Then falling off the wagon and going to hell again.
NOT THIS TIME!
AT 59, I think this is my last shot to get the weight off once and for all.
Biking is my passion and will be the lynchpin of my exercise.
But I think you're right about weight training.
I used to do it, ten different programs ago, but I never stayed with it long enough to make it a habit.
So... thank you! I'm going to add that to my regimen.
But for those who are younger, and are maybe just for the first time starting a weight reduction program, take it from me, keep it off once you lose it. It comes back on twice as fast as it goes off and every time you lose and regain, lose and regain, it's that much harder to lose again.
I am seriously worried that it may be too late for me.
I sure hope not.
But I'll tell you this, if it does come off... THIS TIME... it will stay off.
Very good- that's a positive step in the right direction. I made that same mistake myself a few years ago (death of a friend put me in a loooooong depression and the weight I worked so hard to get off came back plus more). I am finally seeming to get a hold on all that weight gain, but I am a long while off losing it all. I just know that weight training is the key to making sure that I don't ever put that weight back on as it comes off.
Also, try to lose slowly. Those sudden weight losses will not affect your body's "set point". If it knows fat, and you suddenly drop 30 pounds, it still knows fat and will work to get you back to that fat point. If you lose it slowly, it's like you're training the body to find a new, lower set point for bodyfat, and you'll be more likely to keep it off.