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  1. #1
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    Those who lost weight

    To those of you who have lost significant weight by cycling, say more than 50 pounds, what kind of daily caloric intake are you eating to maintain your weight losses?
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    Seńor Member SimiCyclist's Avatar
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    I lost 110 pounds, now at 190. I'm taking in about 2200 calories a day. Add to that depending on the level and amount of exercise I do.
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    Cat WTF
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    Totally depended on amount of miles cycled on any given day.

  4. #4
    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    I only lost about 25lbs, but all I did was eat sensibly and ride 100-150 miles a week.

    my caloric needs are like 3500 cals/day without exercise, which is about what I ate each day while I was losing weight. Now I eat about 4000-5000 calories a day to maintain weight.

    I used to be a junk food-o-holic, but I haven't eaten fast food in ages, try to limit my processed food intake, and just try to eat as many "whole" foods as I can. Tons of fruit and a lot of veggies.

  5. #5
    grilled cheesus aham23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by branman1986
    ...snip.....my caloric needs are like 3500 cals/day without exercise, which is about what I ate each day while I was losing weight. Now I eat about 4000-5000 calories a day to maintain weight.
    What? 3500 calories a day is ton of cals! I guess it could be right, but I am curious how you arrived at your numbers. 5000 is off the charts unless you are riding a ton.

    Anyway, there are a lot of factors that go in to calorie counting and weight loss. I am struggling in my mind with what is the right number of calories to consume during winter months to avoid weight gain. I am now at 175 lbs, which is down 60 since January. To lose weight I consumed 1800 to 2200 a day and worked out 4 to 5 five times a week. All cardio stuff. I dropped 30 lbs doing this over last winter.

    Summer came along and riding season took over. I watched what I ate and kept it around 2500 to 2800 calories per day and dropped another 30. I rode hard and ate healthy and the weight really just melted off. I had my 5000 calorie binge days, but I just rode them off.

    As the weather turns colder I am finding myself eating more and excersizing less. My food choices now a days are better though. The past month I would say I regularly consumed 3000 cals a day, but have not gained any weight. I am running more and maybe that is the key along with making better food choices.

    To the OP yours is a really good question. The basics would be the more active you are the more you can and likely need to eat. BUT, what that number is I can not answer. Hopefully others will stop by and share some wisdom. Later.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I went from 245 to 180lbs in 2-years. Tried out all sorts of diets along the way. Took in anywhere between 1800-5000 calories a day (average probably 2200-2500). Rode anywhere from 150-500 miles/wk. Like aham23, if I had a night of partying and excess, I just added an hour or two to my ride the next day.

    But it wasn't about losing weight for me, it was about gaining fitness as 1st priority. Meaning sprints, intervals, hillclimbs, etc. I got to the point where I can ride at a 700-800 calorie/hr burn-rate continuously for hours on end. The 2nd-7th hours of an endurance ride really burns off the calories (1st hour is just warm-up).

  7. #7
    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aham23
    What? 3500 calories a day is ton of cals! I guess it could be right, but I am curious how you arrived at your numbers. 5000 is off the charts unless you are riding a ton.
    I'm a pretty big guy, I'm 6'6" and about 205 lbs. I did the hydrostatic fat % test a few months ago to determine as precisely as it can be measured my basal metabolic caloric needs which came out about 2400 calories. A moderate lifestyle adds another 1000 calories. All the online calculators also give me a 3500 measure as well. When I played volleyball in college, I was on a 4500 calorie diet.

    On days when I ride hard for a couple hours, I tack on an extra 1000-1500 calories to make up the difference.

  8. #8
    New! With Self Loathing! scottmorrison99's Avatar
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    I'm taking in 1800 calories a day, I've lost 70 pounds in 12 months. I'm pedaling my butt off, literally.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I lost 50 lbs quite a number of years ago .... and I became very skinny!! Since then I have gained a little bit of it back, but not much, and I'm still definitely well within my ideal weight, at the low end of my BMI range.

    As for what I eat .... I eat whatever I want, whenever I want. Some days I might not eat much, other days I'm a pig. Some days I down handfuls of chocolate, other days it's potato chips, and other days it is apple slices. Whatever grabs my fancy!

    I keep the weight off by cycling LOTS!! In the winter when I can't cycle quite as much, I switch to as many other sports as I can ... and if it happens that I go through a period of time where I can't do much activity (usually because of massive quantities of homework and studying), I make up for it by either getting right back into my sport of choice the next week ... or by moderating the amount of junk food I injest ... instead of 3 chocolate bars a day, I might cut it back to 2!

    I will mention though that I have discovered three particular "foods" which are "no-no"s for me:

    1) Sugared beverages - I start drinking that stuff, and I'm just opening the door and begging for the pounds to come on in. In fact, once while working at a donut shop many, many, many years ago, I noticed I was gaining weight. I made one change ... I switched from sugared beverages to non-sugared. In other words, instead of drinking coffee and tea with sugar, I drank them black. Instead of drinking real coke, I started drinking diet coke. Instead of drinking "kool-ade" types of sugared beverages, I switched to water. In ONE WEEK I lost 5 lbs.

    2) Costco/Superstore muffins - you know those really big, heavy muffins? They are 700-800 calories a piece!! One winter I was eating a muffin a day for lunch ... and I started putting on weight. I switched to soup for lunch (at about 300 calories) and began losing weight.

    3) Microwave popcorn - that's another one that is up around the 700-800 calorie mark. I was eating it one winter for an evening snack just about every evening because I thought popcorn was fairly low cal. It is, but those microwave popcorns are not. I started treating myself to it once every couple weeks instead of every night, and lost weight.

    Those are the three "big bad" ones for me. You may have your own problem foods.

  10. #10
    Zin
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    I try to stay in the 2000-2500kcal range. It really depends on the activity level of a given day. Of course, I'm still working hitting that magic number which says I'm NOT over weight anymore.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Lost 30 lbs, currently at my target weight.
    When losing wieight i was between 2000 and 3500 cal/day depending on how much cycling I did.
    Currently at 2500 to 3500 cal to maintain.
    Jarery

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  12. #12
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I think there's two ways of looking at this. One is a qualitative view that a lot of people have. Comes out as viewing things in definite black & white, yes/no, all-or-nothing terms. The other way is a quantitative model of nutrition which is based upon numbers. How much or how little you eat, total calories consumed, ratios and balances between teh various micro & macro-nutrients, etc.

    A lot of people are the qualititative type and are gung-ho on the latest fad-diets to an extreme. When that doesn't work, they move onto the next fad and the next, etc. It's not about the "what", but rather the "how much" you eat of the various foods out there. Bottom line is the quantitative approach with tracking exact numbers of calories is what determine your results. Just that a lot of people don't have the discipline to record numbers... or they're in denial or like to cheat and make deals with themselves to weasel out...
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 10-22-06 at 10:35 AM.

  13. #13
    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    I don't really record numbers exactly, but I usually have a very good feel of what I've eaten. If I feel I've gone too high or too low for the day, I mentally add up the approximate calories of everything I've eaten for the day.

    I agree with Danno...too many fad diets. It's just, calories in has to be lower than calories out. Especially on a cycling forum where getting on the bike hikes up the calories out bigtime, there's no need to play around with funky diets. Just keep a moderate daily caloric deficit and the elbees will shed off in no time.

    Danno, do you follow the alkaline/acid stuff? I was reading it in Friel's book about what foods are alkaline(fruits/veggies) and what's acid(everything else). I guess it's good to eat fruits and veggies anyways, and I try to as much as possible....fruits anyway.

  14. #14
    Realist Greg180's Avatar
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    I lost 50 pounds since January 06 with a calorie intake that ranges from 1800 to 3500. The intake was all based on the calories that I consumed through exercise. What I found most important was the "quality" of the calories that I consumed. Foods that your body utilizes easily do not hang around and become fat. I also eat smaller meals for frequently. For me it was like stoking the boiler of a furnace. If I loaded the furnace full of coal it would sit there and smoke and take quiet a while to burn but if I added a little at a time I could keep that furnace burning hot all day with very little effort. This approach helped me to burn fat and keep my metabolism cooking all day.

    If you focus on what you eat, the portions you eat and balance it with exercise you can't help but lose weight.

  15. #15
    Realist Greg180's Avatar
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    For an example...Today my wife has an art opening so I know that these contain alot of snacks wine and other calorie intensive junk foods. My solution is not to stand in the corner and munch on a carrot stick but instead I just returned from a quick 26 mile ride up into the hills. I averaged 15.6 mph even with alll the climbing and toasted 1600 calories in an hour and forty minutes. Now I will feel comfortable having a couple glasses of wine and a little brie...

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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit
    To those of you who have lost significant weight by cycling, say more than 50 pounds, what kind of daily caloric intake are you eating to maintain your weight losses?
    I don't pay a lot of attention to calories. I pay more attention to fat and basically only eat what i would consider low fat. That pretty much eliminates fried food and red meat. Haven't had any of that for 4 years. (with a very few exceptions) Other than that, i eat a LOT.

    I've already had two breakfasts and it's 10:50 AM. I also rode 22 miles at sun up.

  17. #17
    Über Member Ryleeryno's Avatar
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    1400 - 1600 calories - 5'9" 170lbs (formerly 225)

  18. #18
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg200
    For an example...Today my wife has an art opening so I know that these contain alot of snacks wine and other calorie intensive junk foods. My solution is not to stand in the corner and munch on a carrot stick but instead I just returned from a quick 26 mile ride up into the hills. I averaged 15.6 mph even with alll the climbing and toasted 1600 calories in an hour and forty minutes. Now I will feel comfortable having a couple glasses of wine and a little brie...

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    Not sure what you're using to calculate calories burned, but there's really no way you're burning 1600 calories on that ride. That's 61.5 calories per mile, or 950 calories per hour, for a moderately hilly ride at a not very fast speed.

    1000-1100 calories would be a lot more believable...unless you're very large.
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  19. #19
    Junior Member uchinaguchi's Avatar
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    Run for cover. The cycling police are here.............

    Please....just stop, ok
    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    Not sure what you're using to calculate calories burned, but there's really no way you're burning 1600 calories on that ride. That's 61.5 calories per mile, or 950 calories per hour, for a moderately hilly ride at a not very fast speed.

    1000-1100 calories would be a lot more believable...unless you're very large.

  20. #20
    Realist Greg180's Avatar
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    Here is the calculation I used.

    Without VO2max
    Men: C/min = (-55.0969 + 0.6309 x HR + 0.1988 x weight + 0.2017 x age) / 4.184

    My Garmin Edge had my calorie consumption at 1700+so I split the difference between the two.

    Here is how the calculation came out in my spreadsheet.

    Calorie Calculation Men, No VO2

    Age 45
    Weight 190 86.1825503 kg
    AVG HR 147
    Time 101
    Multipliers
    -55.0969
    0.6309
    0.1988
    0.2017

    Calories per minute 15.26170913

    Total Calories Burned 1541.432622

    Regardless I felt less guilty about the red wine and brie and puff pastry wrapped asparagus.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Hammer02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit
    To those of you who have lost significant weight by cycling, say more than 50 pounds, what kind of daily caloric intake are you eating to maintain your weight losses?

    I have lost about 65 lbs so far but I am still in losing mode...my current caloric intake averages around 1600-1700 or so.

  22. #22
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Nobody can give you a number which will be right for you. There are to many variables. What they do at weight watchers is once you reach your goal weight, you gradually add more food into your diet on a weekly basis until after a few weeks you stop losing weight. That final number is the number you should go by. You then re-evaluate after every subsequent month and tweak as needed.
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  23. #23
    Cycling Skier songfta's Avatar
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    I've lost 27 lbs. since February, and am now 191 lbs. on a 6' 4" frame - at my target weight range, given that I'm an alpine skier in the winter, where having any less weight would be a liability.

    For me, the formula was:

    - Ride a lot, building speed and endurance as the miles increased.
    - Use a HRM to ride into target zones (this was the biggest tool, in my mind, from February to June).
    - Eat locally-grown food as much as possible - and try and make it organic, if possible. This is a good way to keep your weight naturally low without harping on caloric intake: lots of local fruit, veg and (if you eat it) meats that cater to natural biological cycles.
    - When I cook, use fewer fats.
    - Drink a lot of water and simple liquids.
    - Get adequate sleep.
    - Eat a good breakfast (this one was key, as it kept me from getting munchie cravings in the afternoon).

    Note that I didn't really monitor caloric intake, though it's usually between 1,600 and 2,200 calories per day, depending on what kind of ride I have in the next few days.

    Good luck!
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  24. #24
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    For me the biggest help has been the scales. I weigh myself often. If I'm starting to gain, even a pound or two, I eat less. I combine that with at least 60 to 90 minutes of good exercise (cycling of course!) almost every day.

    The food I eat is mostly wholesome--but that's for health, not weight loss. It's really the quantity of what you eat--not the quality--that affects your weight. It's been my experience that I can lose weight while eating junk food, and I can gain weight while eating healthy natural foods.


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