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Old 08-07-02, 09:14 AM   #1
lotek
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Weight loss Secret revealed!

I was reading Bicycling (yeah I know, same
5 articles blah blah blah) and came across a
small sidebar about "Bonk Training". Ok, whats that?
well essentially its going on a 20 - 60 minute ride
first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach
(you can drink coffee, they recommend it), riding
at 60% max HR. The idea is that you have no
fuel other than stored fat, and thats what you burn.
The key here is short time and low HR, otherwise you
begin to burn muscle for fuel.
It works (at least for me). I've got some stubborn
fat (read gut) that seems to be diminishing.
I've dropped about 5 pounds in a little more than
a week. No change in diet. I do my normal riding in
the afternoon/evening.
Hey, it can't be all bad, it was in Bicycling after all

Marty
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Old 08-07-02, 10:01 AM   #2
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I would not put a whole bunch of credence into it.

The human body stores about 2000-3000 calories of glycogen and that is enough to ride 50 miles without burning fat. I would think that most people when they get up in the morning, have not depleted their glycogen - most people eat decent sized meals at night afterall. I have done predawn training rides of 50 miles without eating before hand with no problem bonking. I do not ride really hard but I still have muscle glycogen.

Still you are losing weight and that is a good thing. Really weight loss is more a matter of calories burned vs calories consumed then anything else. The trick is to exercise in such a way that you don't eat up & replace all the calories you just burnt up.

Now I have found long slow rides better for weight loss than intense ride. After a really intense ride, I am ravenous and I think I eat enough to make up for the exercise. I am hungry after a moderately intense ride, but I don't eat as much and I probably lose weight better.

Now Bicycling Magazine is a bit right. When you get up after fasting, your body will be a bit on the low side with glycogen and will probably be more willing to burn fat especially if you don't ride intensely.

I think Bicycling Magazine's rationale is just flat wrong - or they overstated it. But it is working for you and that is the important thing.
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Old 08-07-02, 10:35 AM   #3
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While I have not read the Bicycling article I think the premise they are going on is blood sugar will be depleted not glycogen .My understanding is the body can still burn fat with glycogen levels full as after blood sugar is depleted it will burn a combination of these two with the percentages of each based on exercise intensity (low intensity=higher %fat).In fact if glycogen gets totally depeted I understand the body goes into a crisis mode and tries to conserve body fat by breaking down muscle for fuel.So the idea is to actually start with glycogen topped up from prior day(but blood sugar depleted) and only exercise as long as it takes to deplete gyycogen (ie longer the less intense).
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Old 08-07-02, 11:08 AM   #4
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Pat,

I think the term "bonking" is misleading here, they never
state ride till you bonk, the idea in the article is that this
type of training gets your fat metabolism fired up and
they imply it continues throughout the day.
As for the weight loss, funny thing that, at 153 I was
never what one would call fat, but for me 145 was my
optimum fighting weight. A year of little of no activity
packed the pounds on, problem was once I started
excersize again (mostly bike) the weight stayed on
and % body fat did not really drop all that much.
This is working for me, and I need to provide the
following caveat to my previous post: YMMV.

Marty
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Old 08-07-02, 12:15 PM   #5
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Pat does make a good point that weight loss is more about calories in vs. calories out over the long run and this "secret"should be viewed as a strategy w/i a weight loss plan not the answer itself because as he stated if you binge the rest of day your not going to loss any weight.IMO consistantly eating frequent small balanced meals while running a slight calorie deficit overall(approx. 500)and frequent exercise (both aerobic and anaerobic incl.weight training)is the real key to sustained weight loss.
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Old 08-07-02, 02:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by RWTD
this "secret"should be viewed as a strategy w/i a weight loss plan not the answer itself because as he stated if you binge the rest of day your not going to loss any weight.
Binge? I don't recall mentioning anything about that.
I think if you followed my eating habits you'd be quite surprized.
Very little red meat, or any meat for that matter.
lots of fruit and veg, lunch usually noodles, more fruit for
snacks, granola or gorp etc. for snacking, lots of H20.
I will splurge and probably once a week have a coke.
As stated, I'm really not on a weight loss program.
If I take in 1600 calories in a single day I'd be very
surprized.
All I'm saying is this is an interesting concept that of
kicking up the fat metabolism, without the use of something
like Chromium Picolinate or worse yet Ephedra,
and possibly a more effective use of cycling as part of
a total excersize program

Marty
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Old 08-07-02, 02:12 PM   #7
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I wasn't refering to you specifically as you stated you didn't change the rest of your diet.Problem is not everyone is so well dissaplined and a focus on their total diet is warrented.
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Old 08-07-02, 03:05 PM   #8
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I've read many times in reputable writings that sustained exercise below the aerobic threshold does indeed increase the amount of fat burned. My treadmill even has markings on the speed dial which switch from fat burning to aerobic at about 3 MPH or so.

The scientific explanations regarding metabolism and the supply of energy to the muscle are far too complex for a full treatment here. Yet I think it is clear that the body tends to take energy from the easiest or most efficient source of available calories during any activity. It is also evident that the body does what it can to conserve sugar energy whether in the blood, liver or the muscles themselves where possible in order to be able to call on it during any marked increase in activity.

Just consider the basal metabolic requirements to sustain life and supply energy to heat/cool and move the body. In my case it is over 1800 calories per day if I do nothing but lay around.

I deduce from my readings that glycogen is virtually always in use to some degree. My body will convert fat as it can to supply sustained energy over the longer haul, or indeed to replace the glycogen stores it has used in order to operate my muscles at the beginning of any activity.

It is also apparent to me that my body's use of fat to produce energy is not in any way relative to the muscle(s) I have called into sustained activity except for the amount required. The conversion of fat into energy for use by the muscles is processed through the circulatory system which goes everywhere. Thus when my system calls for energy, it is drawn from throughout my body, not specifically from the area which I am working out.

Since, using fat for energy is efficient and conserve glycogen stores, when an activity is sustained long enough at a level below where immediate stores are required, my body will use fat stores when on a long lieisurely ride more so than it does otherwise. Truth is though, the fat is being converted into glycogen and is being used and or stored in the blood, muscles or liver while all this activity is going on.

Carl
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Old 08-07-02, 03:49 PM   #9
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This is a common 'trick' used by bodybuilders. It is generally considered common knowledge in that community and works REALLY well. The other choice besides coffee is a diet supplement (some people hate them some love them I don't care to argue the points of the safety of ephedrine). This further excellerates FAT loss.
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Old 08-07-02, 04:15 PM   #10
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I would agree with all you have said except maybe quibble with the efficiency of using fat for fuel since it has to go through all the stages you mentioned rather than direct conversion as with blood sugar.I tend to view it all in terms of being geared to insure our survival evolving over times when threat of famine and attacks from wild animals were real.Therefore fat(and its abundent stores) being the preferred fuel for low intensity everyday activity with limited but efficient gylcogen stores being saved high intensity activities like running for your life.Similarly if fat stores get too low while calories taken in get too low the body senses a famine and tries to conserve remaining fat stores(which served as a defense against times of famine) by tearing down muscle for fuel.Thus why people who initially lose a lot of weight on very low calorie diets hit a plateau and need to change strategy.
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Old 08-07-02, 10:37 PM   #11
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I am no nutritionist, but it is my understanding that you need to shed 3500 calories to lose about a lb of fat. So to lose 2 lbs in one week, you need to save 7000 cal., or 1000 cal. a day. This means cutting from your diet and/or exercising to burn calories, and combining these two to drop 1000 calories per day. This is a lot of work. You may burn 500 cal/hr while biking give or take, I'm not really sure. But if you already had cycling in your daily regimen, you'd have to add an hour of cycling and cut 500 food calories, for example, to save 1000 per day. Sounds pretty tough huh!?

Did that make sense?

This is the ideal pattern for sustained fat loss. I lost about 40 lbs in 5 months under these principles last year!

Last edited by Guillermo; 08-07-02 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 08-07-02, 11:22 PM   #12
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Your post makes perfect sense and I congratulate you on the accomplishment.However at some point you may find the rapid fat loss slow down for reasons I stated in my post above .If that occurs you may want to consider reducing the deficit to 500 calories/day and trying methods such as mentioned in the original post .As another poster mentioned these are methods used by relatively lean bodybuilders to drop remaining fat.While I have never had enough fat to lose it at the rates you mention I will caution that I have heard of people complain of stretch marks from too rapid fat loss .
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Old 08-08-02, 08:13 AM   #13
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Guillermo,
Yeah the cycling was already in the regimen. All I've done
is add 45 minutes of low intensity roller riding before eating
(and this done at 04:30). I forgot to mention in all the
other posts that I do eat normal breakfast after the riding.

RWTD, Sorry bout coming on rather strong, I spent
alot of time wondering about that, still have no idea why
I reacted to the extent I did (gee maybe its the steroids? ).

Up until about 2 years ago I carried about 11% body fat,
a combo of age and lack of excersize jumped that to about
17% at my worst, It's something that really sticks in my craw.
I guess I have a better idea how an anorexic
or bulemic gets to that point.

Marty
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Old 08-08-02, 08:29 AM   #14
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"This is working for me, and I need to provide the
following caveat to my previous post: YMMV."

what's ymmv?
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Old 08-08-02, 08:37 AM   #15
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Marty,

I forgot to mention a congratulations on the weight loss But 17% is nothing to worry about! Carrying yourself around 11 % is pretty darn impressive!

Another thing I do remember about weight loss, and it sounds like you are practicing this, was it was best to exercise as much as 3 hrs after you have eaten last. Afterwards, try to wait up to 1 hr before eating again. This is cardio of course, weight training is almost the opposite!


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Old 08-08-02, 08:51 AM   #16
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I guess I was not clear enough in my post I was reacting to Pats post and not your situation as my internet linking/quoting skills still leave much to be desired.I think roughly around 15% is the level many report difficulty losing remaining fat on real low calorie diets so that may explain your sucess with the methods you used.By the way the best test is always does it work for you so don't change a thing as long as you continue to lose fat.
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Old 08-08-02, 09:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
This is the ideal pattern for sustained fat loss. I lost about 40 lbs in 5 months under these principles last year!
And di you keep it off? That is the real question.
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Old 08-08-02, 09:46 AM   #18
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yeah I did. I stopped losing weight about May of 2001, and still weigh about the same, maybe a little less. I went from 215 to 175. I lift weights daily, and that helps keep it off. Until recently, I didn't do much cardio though. With Cycling now, I am riding almost daily, and still lifting! I may have to eat a little more to keep up. That shouldn't be a problem though

Last time I checked body fat, I was down to 7.6 %!!
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Old 08-08-02, 10:05 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Guillermo
yeah I did. I stopped losing weight about May of 2001, and still weigh about the same, maybe a little less. I went from 215 to 175. I lift weights daily, and that helps keep it off. Until recently, I didn't do much cardio though. With Cycling now, I am riding almost daily, and still lifting! I may have to eat a little more to keep up. That shouldn't be a problem though

Last time I checked body fat, I was down to 7.6 %!!
Good for YOU!!
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Old 08-08-02, 10:07 AM   #20
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My situations sounds similar to yours in that I lift and cycle and find it challenging to eat enough to gain weight as muscle while maintaining or reducing bodyfat.On long bike rides I have to through my normal diet out the window and greatly increase my fat intake to get necessary calories. By he way congratulations on the weight loss you definately have been sucessful.
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Old 08-08-02, 10:10 AM   #21
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I lift weights and cycle also, but, alas, have not had the success of you two. I think that as you get more mature (I am almost 63) it really gets harder to lose and keep off that weight. However, I have lost 15 pounds in the last 3 months, and am keeping at it. It is especially hard in those long dark cold winters not to use food as a palliative!!
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Old 08-08-02, 10:15 AM   #22
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5 lbs a month is a very good pace. Good work!

Until recently, I had not worked my legs too often while weight lifting. As a consequence, they are pretty weak, and it shows in my cycling ability. My legs will wear long before my heart begins to tire. I am able to maintain a reasonable pace, but I think I'd perform much better with additional leg muscle.

So, I hit the gym, and developed a leg program. But, when I would work my legs, I would be sore enough that I was out of cycling for a couple days, bumming me out.

I would be interested if anyone has a method to balance weight lifting leg workouts and cycling.

Thanks,

Dax
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Old 08-08-02, 10:17 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by RWTD
My situations sounds similar to yours in that I lift and cycle and find it challenging to eat enough to gain weight as muscle while maintaining or reducing bodyfat.On long bike rides I have to through my normal diet out the window and greatly increase my fat intake to get necessary calories. By he way congratulations on the weight loss you definately have been sucessful.
Yes, my body is so demanding of food, that it craves on even shorter bike rides. If I am out more than an hour I have to take a Clif Bar with me, otherwise I feel lazy.
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Old 08-08-02, 10:18 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Guillermo
5 lbs a month is a very good pace. Good work!

Until recently, I had not worked my legs too often while weight lifting. As a consequence, they are pretty weak, and it shows in my cycling ability. My legs will wear long before my heart begins to tire. I am able to maintain a reasonable pace, but I think I'd perform much better with additional leg muscle.

So, I hit the gym, and developed a leg program. But, when I would work my legs, I would be sore enough that I was out of cycling for a couple days, bumming me out.

I would be interested if anyone has a method to balance weight lifting leg workouts and cycling.

Thanks,

Dax
Well, I hate to say it, but there is a pretty good program in the latest Bicycling Magazine specifically on weight lifting and building up your legs, with a reported?? increase of 10-15% increase in strength for cycling.

You might take a look.
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Old 08-08-02, 10:20 AM   #25
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Which month is that, or what is on the cover? Also, does it combine lifting with cycling, or just tell you how to lift? Juggling the two is what I need to figure out.

Thanks,

Dax
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