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  1. #1
    Royal Grand Exalted Pooba smoke's Avatar
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    How Do I Lose FAT, not just Weight?

    that's what i really want to do. i've been reading some posts by danno and a few others that allude to this, but it's all mixed around and confusing as hell. so somebody please give me some organized advice to help me set a fat-loss plan this winter. i'm not in bad shape, and the love handles are the real problem i've got. i'd like to lose them before i go outside riding next year (i just put the bike in the basement on the trainer last week). i'd like to lose maybe 10 pounds, but every time i do, my body fat percentage seems to stay the same. give me some help losing the weight but not the muscle. thanks

    smoke

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    strength training 3 days a week, cardio 5-6 days a week, stretching after exercise and counting fat grams and calories . . .

    These work no matter what. The trick is to be consistent through the winter months and not eat too much.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoke
    ... i'd like to lose maybe 10 pounds, but every time i do, my body fat percentage seems to stay the same. give me some help losing the weight but not the muscle.
    You've found the pyrrhic victory with weight-loss. Don't get confused, we're comparing different training plans here, kinda like comparing a DC-10 vs. 747, different designs with different results. A training plan that focuses on weight-loss, and perhaps fast weight-loss will have the effects of losing muscle, whereas a plan that focuses on maximum fitness-improvement will not. In fact, if you focus on fitness such as improving your VO2-max, resting-HR, LT, spinning efficiency, lean muscle-mass/strength, etc., the weight-loss will also occur as an automatic side-effect. If you focus just on weight-loss, you can lose weight, but not get those health benefits. You may end up lighter thinner, but will still have a double-chin and not have much more fitness than a couch-potatoe.

    Couple of questions:
    • How are you measuring body-fat percentage?
    • How quickly are you losing this 10 pounds?
    • How long does it stay off?


    The water-dunk test is really the most accurate way. Pincers and electrical-impedance test is very water-sensitive and will vary based upon water-retention. Let's assume the test IS accurate and you lost 10-pounds while body-fat percentage remained the same. Depending upon your original number, you may have lost 8-8.5 pounds of fat and 1-1.5 pounds muscle.

    Don't aim for more than 1 pound weight loss per week with roughly a 500-calorie deficit per day. The trick is to make sure it's all fat and not muscle. A low-carb diet is a fast weight-loss plan and it WILL result in muscle-loss, especially for the athletes. The trick is you must eat about 1.5g/kg body-weight of carbs immediately after a ride. That's the most important part in staving off muscle-destruction. This is partly a timing trick with your meals. All the other meals are free as long as you stay at the 500-calorie deficit a day. The more calories/day you burn in exercise per day, you just eat more carbs to supply the energy while keeping at the calorie deficit. Meaning you eat on the ride.

    The other thing is strength-training. Some mucle-loss will be inevitable if you do a lot of long rides and burn off all your glycogen. Weight-training in the gym restores the lost muscles. Lance burns off so many calories per daily in his training, 3000-7000 is not uncommon. On the longer days, the body simply cannot absorb enough carbs from eating that muscle-tissue will always be taken apart for fuel. At the end of a season, a racer will have loss enough muscle to be at only 1/2-2/3rd the strength as the start of the season. So they take the winter off to rebuild.

    So.. on your programme, you'll want to focus on:

    • if you do 2-3 hours rides, eat enough on the ride, on longer rides, get big meal before ride
    • eating enough carbs after a ride
    • do some minor strength-training in gym, 1-day a week is all you need during the year, 2-3 days in the winter
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 11-21-05 at 05:25 PM.

  4. #4
    Royal Grand Exalted Pooba smoke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    You've found the pyrrhic victory with weight-loss. Don't get confused, we're comparing different training plans here, kinda like comparing a DC-10 vs. 747, different designs with different results. A training plan that focuses on weight-loss, and perhaps fast weight-loss will have the effects of losing muscle, whereas a plan that focuses on maximum fitness-improvement will not. In fact, if you focus on fitness such as improving your VO2-max, resting-HR, LT, spinning efficiency, lean muscle-mass/strength, etc., the weight-loss will also occur as an automatic side-effect. If you focus just on weight-loss, you can lose weight, but not get those health benefits. You may end up lighter thinner, but will still have a double-chin and not have much more fitness than a couch-potatoe.

    Couple of questions:
    • How are you measuring body-fat percentage?
    • How quickly are you losing this 10 pounds?
    • How long does it stay off?


    The water-dunk test is really the most accurate way. Pincers and electrical-impedance test is very water-sensitive and will vary based upon water-retention. Let's assume the test IS accurate and you lost 10-pounds while body-fat percentage remained the same. Depending upon your original number, you may have 8-8.5 pounds of fat and 1-1.5 pounds muscle.

    Don't aim for more than 1 pound weight loss per week with roughly a 500-calorie deficit per day. The trick is to make sure it's all fat and not muscle. A low-carb diet is a fast weight-loss plan and it WILL result in muscle-loss, especially for the athletes. The trick is you must eat about 1.5g/kg body-weight of carbs immediately after a ride. That's the most important part in staving off muscle-destruction. This is partly a timing trick with your meals. All the other meals are free as long as you stay at the 500-calorie deficit a day. The more calories/day you burn in exercise per day, you just eat more carbs to supply the energy while keeping at the calorie deficit. Meaning you eat on the ride.

    The other thing is strength-training. Some mucle-loss will be inevitable if you do a lot of long rides and burn off all your glycogen. Weight-training in the gym restores the lost muscles. Lance burns off so many calories per daily in his training, 3000-7000 is not uncommon. On the longer days, the body simply cannot absorb enough carbs from eating that muscle-tissue will always be taken apart for fuel. At the end of a season, a racer will have loss enough muscle to be at only 1/2-2/3rd the strength as the start of the season. So they take the winter off to rebuild.

    So.. on your programme, you'll want to focus on:

    • if you do 2-3 hours rides, eat enough on the ride, on longer rides, get big meal before ride
    • eating enough carbs after a ride
    • do some minor strength-training in gym, 1-day a week is all you need during the year, 2-3 days in the winter

    okay, danno, a few points and more questions:

    i hit the gym 1-2 times a week in the summer and 3 in the winter. iíve read your discussions with others on whether this is good for cycling or not; i think itís a moot point. i think itís good from a general health standpoint, so iím gonna keep at it

    i use the caliper or pinch check for fat. not highly accurate, i know, but quick and easy. if i did that immersion thing, iíd probably drown. LOL i always start the season around 72-73 kilos and slowly lose weight. i usually end the season around 69 kilos. but the fat check is always the same. and believe me, iíve got the love handles to prove it!

    so what iím reading is that the high-protein diet is the wrong thing for cyclists to do (not a problem; i never got on that bandwagon). your main point is to eat carbs right after a ride. iím currently at 70 kilos, so you recommend 100-105 grams of carbs. thatís about 400 calories. and that will stave off the muscle destruction. does that also increase fat usage?

    and you talk about eating on the bike, but you donít say how much. or when. iíll usually eat a bowl of muesli Ĺ-1 hour prior to a ride, and i never get hungry, so i donít eat. my longer rides are usually 3-4 hours. my last long one was 5Ĺ hours, and i never got hungry and didnít eat until the last hour. should i be eating a few gels every hour whether i feel the need or not? when does the muscle breakdown begin?

  5. #5
    Killing Rabbits
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    Caloric deficit plus strength training plus nitrogen balance. You do need to balance your nitrogen in spite of being cal deficit. To maintain nitrogen balance you may need to increase your % protein levels but not the absolute protein level. So lets say you were eating 40-30-30 (carb-pro-fat) at 2200kcal/day. That works out to be 165grams of protein a day but at 1700kcal/day (-500kcal) that is 39% protein. So yeah it is a "high protein" but only relatively.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoke
    so what iím reading is that the high-protein diet is the wrong thing for cyclists to do (not a problem; i never got on that bandwagon). your main point is to eat carbs right after a ride. iím currently at 70 kilos, so you recommend 100-105 grams of carbs. thatís about 400 calories. and that will stave off the muscle destruction. does that also increase fat usage?

    and you talk about eating on the bike, but you donít say how much. or when. iíll usually eat a bowl of muesli Ĺ-1 hour prior to a ride, and i never get hungry, so i donít eat. my longer rides are usually 3-4 hours. my last long one was 5Ĺ hours, and i never got hungry and didnít eat until the last hour. should i be eating a few gels every hour whether i feel the need or not? when does the muscle breakdown begin?
    Sounds like you're pretty close. No need to change your gym-training, so stick with your current programme. You might want to add some intensity to it, one day in the 5-7 rep range. You should balance gym-workouts with cycling however, more time in the gym should match less time on the bike and vice-versa.

    However, not eating on rides and afterwards is where you're losing the muscle. Fat-burning occurs at a fairly constant rate, about 60-90 calories per hour. The muscle breakdown occurs around the 2-hour mark as glycogen and blood-sugar gets low. So while riding longer than 2-hours does burn more fat, you start burning muscle as well and fat-burning drops off after carbs are depleted. The high levels of adrenaline and epinephrine during exercise and high glucagon from low-blood-sugar has the opposite effects of insulin and triggers the break down of fats and muscle simultaneously. In order to keep glucagon low, you need to keep blood-sugar high. Eat 200-calories/hour in gels, energy-drinks, bananas, baked-potatoes, etc. This wards off the muscle-breakdown and allows you to continue to ride past 2-hours and keep on burning fat at a higher rate. Also adrenaline and epinephrine is part of the flight-or-fight response and suppresses feelings of thirst and hunger; your brain is on drugs! This is the dopamine effect that gives the "runner's high". Recall the heroin rat experiment...

    Total fat-usage is based upon total-calorie burned daily due to the limited rate at which fat-conversion and metabolism can occur; about 1000 calories per day. In order to burn this many fat calories, you have to burn off a total of about 3500-4000 calories per day (120-150km). That means you have to eat 2500-3000 calories. This requires a medium level of fitness. I wouldn't worry too much about burning more fat, that's pretty linear with exercise below LT (time and mileage). To burn more fat, just ride more, but make sure you supply carbs to match.

    Based upon your total calorie intake, in order to maintain a certain calorie-deficit, say -500/day, I'd recommend the following breakdown:

    2500 calories total = 15-20% fat, 45-55% carbs, 30-40% protein
    3500 calories total = 10-15% fat, 50-70% carbs, 20-25% protein
    5000 calories total = 7-10% fat, 70-80% carbs, 15-20% protein

    There's nothing wrong with protein-intake, just low-carb is the issue. Various studies show up to 2.0-2.5g/kg of protein body-weight daily is where the protein-intake plateaus with minimal benefits after that for serious body-builders. Cyclists don't need that much, so about 1.0-1.5g/kg body-weight is about all you need to rebuild muscle-tissue. Cyclists' goals isn't to build more muscle-mass anyway, just enough to balance what's lost. Again, more protein doesn't seem to cause any adverse effects as long as you've got sufficient carbs.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 11-21-05 at 05:20 PM.

  7. #7
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    It seems to me that if you exercise or diet so that you are in ketosis or no more glycogen then your body will eat some fat and muscle. Proabley close to what the ratio of fat to protien is in your body.

    When you eat protiens back your body fixes up the muscles that were used. (Thighs??) and leaves those that are not used (arms)

    So to lose the love handles you have to burn lots of carbs and put the protein into you muscles you use.

    So you have to keep working out, or go low carb low activity (not good)

  8. #8
    Royal Grand Exalted Pooba smoke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    However, not eating on rides and afterwards is where you're losing the muscle. Fat-burning occurs at a fairly constant rate, about 60-90 calories per hour. The muscle breakdown occurs around the 2-hour mark as glycogen and blood-sugar gets low. So while riding longer than 2-hours does burn more fat, you start burning muscle as well and fat-burning drops off after carbs are depleted.
    i'm gonna print all this out and put it to the test. but it's now wintertime where i live, and i've gone underground (into the basement). let's apply this to winter training. max i can stand is 1-1.5 hours on the trainer. so it sounds like i'm okay if i don't eat on the trainer, and have 200-300 calories worth of carbs after an hour's hard climbing or intervals downstairs

  9. #9
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    The above posts contain good information and are well written. The only thing I can suggest is that your post workout refueling for muscles works best with 4 parts carbs to 1 part protien. Coutesy of CTS.
    Born Again Bicyclist! I found my Faith.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoke
    i'm gonna print all this out and put it to the test. but it's now wintertime where i live, and i've gone underground (into the basement). let's apply this to winter training. max i can stand is 1-1.5 hours on the trainer. so it sounds like i'm okay if i don't eat on the trainer, and have 200-300 calories worth of carbs after an hour's hard climbing or intervals downstairs
    Sounds good, go for an even 400-calories and eat a smaller meal elsewhere, perhaps in the evening before bedtime. Good luck!

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    Here is the best discussion I have ever seen on the question. http://forums.menshealth.com/groupee...21/m/474106321

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