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  1. #1
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    How to burn fat thread?

    Well I clicked in here because there was a "How to burn fat" thread title in the outer menu showing but it must have been a victim of the latest database issue.

    So anyway I was coming in here was because I really need to learn to burn fat. I am currently 220 lbs and want to be something like 180 lbs. A little more than 3 years ago I was 255 lbs and diagnosed with hypertension...doc said to loose weight or die...well ok I guress if you put it that way. So I started walking and joging (I would job my HR up to 80% max and then walk it down to 60% then jog it back up and repeat for about 40-60 min. At the end I was just jogging for the most part and was able to keep my HR under 80% unless I was climbing a hill. But after a few months of this I was getting bored and found cycling again...plus my knees were hurting from the running. So I have been cycling for 3 years now and am doing like 3000 miles a year (did 3700 in 2005 and am at 2800 for 2006 and I am still riding). I typically commute which is worth ~30 min a day and then I do longer rides on the weekend and during nicer weather will do evening rides as well. But I am not loosing any more weight. I literally stopped loosing when I started riding (have fluctuated between 225 and 215 with the time of year). I know I am in much better shape but I want to loose the weight too.

    Aside from diet (I know I need work there but lets focus on the cycing for now if we can) what should I be doing on the bike? Could I be riding too hard?

    Any help would be great.
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    ride more, alot more

    may sound like its alot, but even 100 miles a week isnt much, bikes move down the road quite easily, and you were jogging more than youve been riding, that's why the weight loss stopped

    you need distance and enough intensity to get your HR up and enough time, takes about 10-30 minutes to get warmed up and after that you have to maintain enough pace to keep your HR up and this needs to be held for like 30 minutes or more, so thats an hour minimum~~~ needs to be done frequently, even everyday at that pace wouldnt be too much unless there's something wrong to begin with

  3. #3
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ efrobert's Avatar
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    I agree 30 minutes doesn't cut it, if your really looking for results. Someone who is new to working out and more over weight would see results, but for you, you need to up the time and intensity, and take a look at your diet also.

  4. #4
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    Weight loss is very simple - it's all about Calories In vs. Calories Out. You're doing reasonably well on the Calories Out side of the equation, though you may want to up your riding a bit (figure about 40 calories burned per mile cycled).

    So, you really, really, really need to focus on diet...if you drink sugared sodas, stop right now. Same for juices. Learn about proper portion sizes, and cut yours down (hint: if you dine out at a restaurant and you clean your plate, you've just "overeaten").

    If you have a "substance abuse issue" with specific foods (e.g., cookies, crackers, chips, etc.), you're going to have to get control...otherwise, it's way too easy to "reward" yourself with high-calorie treats whenever you get home from a long ride. I can't tell you how many times I've heard "I ride 100 miles per week but can't lose 1 lb". That just shows how easy it is to screw up a good exercise program with a few poor food choices.

    Best of luck....and, you won't believe how much stronger you'll feel when you lose that weight!
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  5. #5
    Where's the pack? race newbie's Avatar
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    Check this out: http://www.burnthefat.com/ I bought the book and have already started losing fat, and consequently without losing muscle. For me I have plenty of activity, just need the accountability of tracking what food goes in my body-I have a daily chart now. The book will help tell you what to eat: think non-processed foods, i.e. lean meats, fruits, vegetables. Good luck!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Yeah, you should ride more and be careful about the diet. I went from 245-lbs to 180 in the past 23-months and rode around 8200 miles last year. A 30-minute ride is just a warm-up. It's really the 2-3 hour rides that burn up the most fat and on those rides, it's really the 2nd-3rd hours that do all the work. So a 2-hour ride is worth like 3x the value of a 1-hr ride and 3-hours is around 5x in terms of calories burnt.

    Also don't do every single ride the same. Work on improving fitness first and losing weight second. If you focus on getting fit as measured in terms of RHR, recovery from max-HR, lean muscle-mass, continous power-output at LT, 5-minute power, etc., you'll end up losing weight faster. That means doing sprints, intervals, tempo , hillclimbs and LSD/endurance once a week; no two rides should be the same during the week or else you've missed out on a critical workout. This will increase your strength and muscle-efficiency and that'll allow you to ride 2-hrs @ 20-mph average which will burn off a tonne more calories than putzing along @ 16mph for 30-minutes. Focusing on getting fitter and stronger makes much more effective use of your time. You'll be able to ride at an 800-calorie/hr pace instead of 400-500 and will burn off that fat even faster.

    To track your calorie-intake, record your meals on http://www.fitday.com and keep a logbook of your rides. You'll find that having concrete numbers and actual data to examine, you can start tweaking the numbers here and there and you'll find the weight-loss-rate is directly proportional to the calories-in vs. calories-out. Just trimming 100-calories/day and increasing your mileage by 50-miles/week will result in an additional 30-lbs of weight loss per year.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 11-28-06 at 08:38 AM.

  7. #7
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    So eat better and ride my ass off huh? Well I did an extra 30 min over lunch so today I will get in an hour. Much more than that a day is going to be tough with a family at home, a full time job and the sun coming up on my way to work and going down on my way home...not to mention 30° temps. I will be hitting the trainer this winter and have been thinking about hitting the gym next to my work as the temps get colder.

    On the diet tip I do pretty well but I do have control issues in the evenings with sweets. I have cut out sugared sodas, now only do a single diet Dew a day during the week. At home I have replaced soda with a diet Green Tea (5 cal per serving but yea I am drinking a bunch of servings). I do down a good bit of water at work (2+ L a day). So seriously I am trying on the diet and I am sure I could do better but I am a hell of a lot better than I was in the past.
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  8. #8
    Where's the pack? race newbie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper
    At home I have replaced soda with a diet Green Tea (5 cal per serving but yea I am drinking a bunch of servings). I do down a good bit of water at work (2+ L a day). So seriously I am trying on the diet and I am sure I could do better but I am a hell of a lot better than I was in the past.
    Kudos on getting rid of the sugar drinks, but keep in mind caffeine is a diuretic and large amounts can reduce your performance and results. I like the diet green tea too but requires more bathroom visits than anything other liquid I've consumed except beer, so I know it's dehydrating! I'm in training for racing (first time) next spring so very focused on this stuff right now too. In my studies, sounds like you have reached a plateau in your training which will happen when you continue to do the same workout all the time. As mentioned above, if time is limited try different types of rides- best of luck!
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  9. #9
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by race newbie
    Kudos on getting rid of the sugar drinks, but keep in mind caffeine is a diuretic and large amounts can reduce your performance and results. I like the diet green tea too but requires more bathroom visits than anything other liquid I've consumed except beer, so I know it's dehydrating! I'm in training for racing (first time) next spring so very focused on this stuff right now too. In my studies, sounds like you have reached a plateau in your training which will happen when you continue to do the same workout all the time. As mentioned above, if time is limited try different types of rides- best of luck!
    Yea I know it is a diuretic and interestingly I take one as part of my hypertension medication as well. I am not a racer and not worried too much about power output and all of that...do I want to be strong when I go out..sure but I am not concerned about winning anything or beating anyone.

    Honestly I am thinking I may try running again but as we head into winter that is going to be tough. Hopefully I can find something I like at the gym.
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  10. #10
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    I know you might consider it a bore - but I would FIRST get your eating TOTALLY in control. You are already excercising, but where most people fail is what passes their lips. Except for certain nuts among us - you can eat more than you can excercise - I suspect that is a survival trait. Learning to eat correctly is key.

    I think the root of your issue is your diet -not your cycling. You can crank up the excercise, but I suspect that you will crank up the eating too.

  11. #11
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    Running is a good weightbearing cardiovascular exercise. It can be tough on the joints though. Weightlifting is good in that it will help increase muscle mass and thus increase your RMR and burn more calories throughout the day.
    Cycling is good cardio, as we all know.

    Do all three along with controlling your diet and you should drop the weight over time.

  12. #12
    Where's the pack? race newbie's Avatar
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    I have two focuses this winter; lose fat and get faster, hopefully one will lead to the other! Sounds like we're paizan's in the sugar dept, I didn't realize how much I was consuming until I started to count it. I could drown myself in doughnuts and candy and be happy, but as I read more I find they have the deadly combination of fat and sugar because it elevates your fat, sugar, and insulin levels simultaneousy which pushes it right to fat storage AND slows your metabolism- boo! I have chosen that less fat is better than the sugar high for now at least. Best thing in all of this is I was focused on losing weight before-sheerly a numbers game, now I don't care what the scale says as long as I burn the fat, one obsession licked! (Yes I'm a girl!)

    If running bothered your knees will likely happen again, maybe try swimming or spinning? I belong to the Y and take spinning twice a week with an awesome teacher. I also ride the bike on a trainer as I too live where it's cold now. The spin teacher had a sub one day that was just that "sub" to her, so experiment with classes and instructors to see what you enjoy. Most teachers will let you sit in on a class before you join to see if you like it.
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  13. #13
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    Yeah, less fat is better because fat goes directly onto your body as fat (98% efficiency), while sugar must undergo a conversion process that takes longer and uses up a lot of the calories in the process (60%). Watch the amount of the sugary stuff you eat, that has a bigger bearing on the insulin response than the actual GI. One donut @ 140-150 calories has a lower insulin response than a plate of pasta @ 450 calories. Of course an equivalent-calorie volume of 3 donuts would cause a higher insulin response. This would actually be beneficial on a ride or for recovery afterwards, but not when you're sitting around watching TV.

    With being stuck indoors over the winter, you can spend some time in the gym doing strength & toning exercises. This will strengthen your ligaments & tendons and help alleviate some of the knee problems you have when running. The extra muscle-strength and power will let you ride at a faster pace at the same HR, thus burning more calories.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 11-28-06 at 11:17 PM.

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    if you are not targeting specific training intensity then you if you do you may be able to ramp up your intensity and burn more calories as well as raise your metabolism

    get a copy of the book "Training with a Power Meter" or the "Heart rate monitor book for cyclists"

    they both have info on doing tests to determine your zones or levels and you can then target training in particular zones such as near your lactate threshold L4 for 2 x 20 mins

    I used to ride on the road 3 times a week, I now ride twice a week on the road and once on an indoor trainer doing 2x20 at L4, this caused me to drop an additional 15lbs in 3 months end result is improved fitness and weight loss without any diet adjustment.

  15. #15
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Yeah, you should ride more and be careful about the diet. I went from 245-lbs to 180 in the past 23-months and rode around 8200 miles last year. A 30-minute ride is just a warm-up. It's really the 2-3 hour rides that burn up the most fat and on those rides, it's really the 2nd-3rd hours that do all the work. So a 2-hour ride is worth like 3x the value of a 1-hr ride and 3-hours is around 5x in terms of calories burnt.
    I find this very difficult to believe...it's my understanding that calories are burned at a fairly constant rate (assuming the same level of effort). Do you have a source you could cite for this claim (specifically, "it's really the 2nd-3rd hours that do all the work")?

    I also note that many of us train with the "If you can't go long, go hard" approach, which means that my shorter 1 hour rides tend to be at higher intensity levels that my longer rides. Thus, I generally burn more calories per hour on my shorter rides.
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  16. #16
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    First of all, you ride plenty. I barely get to the 2k mi mark the past couple years and I've dropped weight. So yeah, you're riding enough.

    Your diet, mister. It's your diet. For me, it was all about portion control, multiple small meals, and replacing bleached flour with whole grains. The Weight Watchers' mantra is "high fiber, low fat" -- and while I didn't do their program formally, I did listen to the mantra and it worked just dandy. Less food, more often.

    It's a balancing act, though, and you have to be constantly adjusting -- I was at a plateau earlier in the spring: my mileage was going up, my weight wasn't going down. You know what broke me past it? I started eating more. More often, more whole grain, more protein. Strange stuff, no?


    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    I also note that many of us train with the "If you can't go long, go hard" approach, which means that my shorter 1 hour rides tend to be at higher intensity levels that my longer rides. Thus, I generally burn more calories per hour on my shorter rides.
    Yes, more calories, but glycogen stores, not fat stores. From what I've read (not nearly the body of work Danno could recite off the top of his head, mind you), the longer, slower rides tap the fat stores, and it's "typically" the 2hr mark that the body switches over to using fat instead of glycogen. YMMV, I'm not a doctor, etc etc.

    Chopper, you ride enough. Tackle the diet in earnest

  17. #17
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    Calorie deficit + multiple 3hr+ rides (3 or more if possible) at 50-70% max HR (aprox).

    30 min commuting is good for your general health, but it really doesn't let you get into a good long steady calorie burning rythme. It takes ~ an hour to burn off the stored glycogen in your muscles, then you really start to tap into your fat stores.

    Calorie deficit, basically just means, don't eat more then you have too, go to bed hungry, eat only the essentials, and keep the fatty foods to a minimum (but don't cut them out all together, studies show that eliminating fat completely from your diet cause's your body to burn dramatically less fat since it isn't being replaced, eventually you will tap into the fat stores, but this initial reaction is best avoided)
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    your body gets its energy thru lots of methods or substrates, once you get moving your HR gets elevated but stays well under its max your body will start ramping up its use of fat stores which is does 24/7 anyway, but it gets more serious with long sustained exercise, to the tune of about 300 cals/hr, but it doesnt like doing this, its a survival mechanism against famine, and until your body realizes "hey I guess we are gonna be exercising for awhile" it will attempt to not use much fat if it can get away with it, it takes longer sustained rides for this to happen

    the closer you get to LT, the more its starts decreasing the rate at which fat is metabolized and starts leaning heavily on easier to use fuels like glycogen just like it does when it thinks the exercise wont last very long

    sure you can lose weight on diet alone, or diet and some exercise, or screw the diet and exercise alot, they all work, its still calories in vs calories out, no free lunch, no magic bullets

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdex
    Yes, more calories, but glycogen stores, not fat stores. From what I've read (not nearly the body of work Danno could recite off the top of his head, mind you), the longer, slower rides tap the fat stores, and it's "typically" the 2hr mark that the body switches over to using fat instead of glycogen. YMMV, I'm not a doctor, etc etc.
    From everything I've read, it doesn't matter if you burn primarly glycogen or fat while exercising...it's the total calories burned that's important for weight loss.

    Thus, the "fat burning zone" (i.e., exercising at 60% of MHR) is mostly a myth...better to up the intensity and burn more total calories than worry about whether you're burning mostly glycogen or fat. FWIW, your best "fat burning zone" (in terms of % of fat burned) is when you're sitting on your *ss .

    And since most of us are limited in the amount of time we can exercise, if you only have one hour to ride, go hard and burn more calories (there's also many fitness benefits to training with intensity).
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    actually its not a myth at all

    when at rest your body attempts to digest whatver food is in your system and store whatever it percieves is needed as fat after topping off glycogen in your muscles and liver, and it bases its own internal calculation of what they may be based on whatever level of activity youve trained it to be accustomed to

    when you start exercising your HR increases, once that starts your body will start changing what its doing, but that takes time, it doesnt start shunting blood away from your digestive system or extremities until its convinced its gonna be working for awhile, this can take 30 mins or longer, sometimes alot longer, training helps with that too, better shape your in and more accustomed to long exercise the quicker it happens

    fat usage follows a curve, starts low and increases with HR up to around 60-70% MHR then starts DECREASING with increased HR after that, glycogen and simple sugar usage follows a curve too, its starts out fairly flat and spikes at high HR's or efforts----reason this happens is cause your body is setup to start slowing down the usage of fat at high efforts cause its inefficient at doing this, and at high efforts it needs the simplest quickest most abundant energy supply it can tap--oxygen and glycogen or simple sugars

    tell ya what though, you exercise enough, you will lose weight whether you like it or not, been there done that, and I fought it tooth and nail, the extra weight just wont stay on

  21. #21
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    The "fat burning zone" is, in fact, a myth.

    Although your body burns a higher percentage of fat at low intensities, for weight loss it's the total amount of calories burned that matters. And for that, higher levels of intensity will result in more calories burned. Thus it's more efficient time-wise to exercise with intensity instead of artificially restricting onself to the so-called "fat burning zone".

    Here are some articles that explain the issue in more detail:

    Busting the Fat Burning Zone Myth on prevention.com

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...20/ai_92840201

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...15/ai_19205605
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    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Diet green tea ? Do you mean your still buying a bottled drink thats diet green tea flavour ? Its still soda

    Green tea is easy, boil water, drop in green tea bag, remove a minute or 2 later. It comes diet already It also has piles of health benefits, just google green tea and health. Definatly go for the real stuff, not the flavored soda.

    As others have said, exercise as much as your lifestyle allows (as high intensity as you can in time alloted, although mix it up a bit) , and adjust your diet to suit your exercise regime. There are some tricks that you can do to help you with portion control. Go for whole grains, add some healthy fat, add some healthy protein. Eat slower, drink water with your meal, use smaller plates, etc.

    Spices. This is one you dont hear about often, but there are studies (google them if you want) that show that on average, people who spice up their food eat 450 calories a day less than those who eat non spicey food. Doesnt have to be hot spice either, sweet foods can have cinnemon or nutmeg added. Flavorful food makes you feel full faster than bland food.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    I find this very difficult to believe...it's my understanding that calories are burned at a fairly constant rate (assuming the same level of effort). Do you have a source you could cite for this claim (specifically, "it's really the 2nd-3rd hours that do all the work")?

    I also note that many of us train with the "If you can't go long, go hard" approach, which means that my shorter 1 hour rides tend to be at higher intensity levels that my longer rides. Thus, I generally burn more calories per hour on my shorter rides.
    I usually give myself 30-45 minutes of warm-up. Definitely 30-minutes even if I've only got an hour to ride. In which case, I've only burnt off about 400-500 calories in the 1st hour. By the 2nd hour on, I can ride at a 700-800 cal/hr pace. So a ride of 1-hr=450 calories, 2-hr=1200 calories, 3-hr=1950 calories burnt.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    From everything I've read, it doesn't matter if you burn primarly glycogen or fat while exercising...it's the total calories burned that's important for weight loss.
    Yeah, that's the effect that's observed in actual field-testing as well. It's the total calories burnt in a 24-hour period compared to the intake that matters. If you burn off 2000 calories in 2-hours of maddening TimeTrials burning 100% glycogen or if you do it over 4-hours and burning 40% fat, it still comes out to the same calorie-deficit and weight-loss. The only caveat is that without adequate recovery nutrition afterwards, you may be losing muscle as well as the fat. You'll need more calories of carbs/protein after the high-intensity ride than the lower-intensity ride of the same calorie-burn.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    Thus, the "fat burning zone" (i.e., exercising at 60% of MHR) is mostly a myth...better to up the intensity and burn more total calories than worry about whether you're burning mostly glycogen or fat. FWIW, your best "fat burning zone" (in terms of % of fat burned) is when you're sitting on your *ss .

    And since most of us are limited in the amount of time we can exercise, if you only have one hour to ride, go hard and burn more calories (there's also many fitness benefits to training with intensity).
    Exactly, if you have only 1-hour to ride, you might as well do it as fast as possible to burn off as many calories as possible. Just that you can't keep up that kind of a pace on a 2-3 hour ride. The breakdown looks roughly like this:

    1-hour @ 22-23mph = ~800-900 calories burned
    2-hour @ 20mph = ~1400 calories burn3d
    3-hour @ 18mph = ~1900 calories burn3d

    So if you have the time, do the longer rides if possible because you'll burn off more total calories. And the "high fat% zone" is a misnomer because you really want to focus on calories/hr of fat burning. Even though you're buring lower fat%, you'll actually burn more fat total:

    60% MHR = 50% fat = 0.5 x 400 cal/hr = 200 cal/hr of fat burning
    80% MHR = 35% fat = 0.35 x 700 cal/hr = 245 cal/hr of fat

    So even though you burn a lower percentage of fat at the higher pace, you still burn off more total fat overall anyway. Ride fast, hard and long!
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 11-28-06 at 08:30 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdex
    It's a balancing act, though, and you have to be constantly adjusting -- I was at a plateau earlier in the spring: my mileage was going up, my weight wasn't going down. You know what broke me past it? I started eating more. More often, more whole grain, more protein. Strange stuff, no?
    ...
    Yes, more calories, but glycogen stores, not fat stores. From what I've read (not nearly the body of work Danno could recite off the top of his head, mind you), the longer, slower rides tap the fat stores, and it's "typically" the 2hr mark that the body switches over to using fat instead of glycogen. YMMV, I'm not a doctor, etc etc.
    Both you guys are right. There's multiple factors involved and you have to consider all the cartesian products and the resulting 3D, 4D or 5D graphs that may result. Typically if you want to increase your fitness and get faster, you'll have to eat more to deal with the higher demands of more sprint/interval/LSD-endurance workouts. Once you've increased fitness to say.. +10,+20% over your previous plateau, then the weight will come off as you keep it up.

    And yes, on long rides as your glycogen-supply diminishes, the lowered levels of insulin/blood-glucose causes a rise in glucagon and cortisol which causes more fat to be burned. However, muscle is also disassembled at the same time, so you want to be careful on how much time you spend at the near-depleted state. You'll want to eat enough to keep glucagon/cortisol levels in check and to supply enough carbs to avoid the bonk. Afterwards, the fat can stay off if you maintain iso-caloric diet, then rebuild the muscle with gym workouts.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 11-28-06 at 08:35 PM.

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    i find that getting close to glycogen depletion(3 hours+) leads to a stronger hunger afterwards though

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