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  1. #1
    Member velostring's Avatar
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    When does body start "hoarding" calories/weight loss stops?

    I've dropped from 207 in Feb to about 189 right now (5'11") due to "employment issues" that have resulted in loads of free time being spent on the bike. Weight loss has plateau'd so I am throwing some treadmill running in 3x week also. I've been diligently counting calories using LoseIt on the Iphone (totally recommend this app) and limiting my intake to about 1500 a day, plus whatever my body feels it needs to refuel from riding. For instance, a typical 47 mile loop I do burns through about 2300 calories (according to my polar hear rate bike monitor) so I'll eat an extra 1000 to 1500 calories for a daily total of around 2500 to 3000.

    Question is, how far down can you shave that caloric intake before the body starts to really "hoard" calories and you stop losing weight?

  2. #2
    Senior Member kache_98's Avatar
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    The usual calorie deficit recommended is 500 per day. I've done upwards of 1,500 per day (calorie deficit), but first, I've paid close attention to the timing of those meals, I only do so much on training days and is 1,500 out of almost 4000 calories intake on the day.

    Basically you can do more than 500 but you have to be very careful or you start losing a lot of muscle mass. Just read a lot on the subject if you're into it, or make sure you talk to a professional before going on such a diet.

    Also, it looks like your diet is working fine and you're just in a 'plateau'. Just try to get out of that plateau by changing your exercise for a week or so (more volume, different workouts maybe). You'll need to "shock" your body out of being efficient. What usually works for me is having a week of eating a lot (staying with good nutrition, but eating insane amounts of calories) and training that week as hard as I can. By the end of the 2nd week, my body is burning calories like a furnace again.

    What worked for me might not work for everyone, every body is different. But all I've told you I've either read in respectable nutrition books or from sport nutritionists. Definitely try eating more, you'll be amazed how sometimes eating more means losing more weight. Make sure you eat correctly though.
    Last edited by kache_98; 07-31-09 at 05:29 AM.

  3. #3
    ..... Jynx's Avatar
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    be careful using the heart rate monitors calories burned. they usually overestimate by a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jynx View Post
    be careful using the heart rate monitors calories burned. they usually overestimate by a lot.
    That's absolutely true. Those 2300 calories your HR monitor records is probably more like 1500. So you're still eating too much. For 47 mile rides, and the time you are spending on the treadmill, you ought not be supplementing your diet. I would also suggest upping your intake to 1750 calories per day and leave it there. You'll lose the weight, it just takes time. Don't get impatient!

    Weight does plateau from time to time. It's a natural part of the process. Just keep your calorie count down and periodically really stress your body. Do a super hard ride once every week or two. It does make a difference.

    I'll stress it again (and I have some experience at weight loss, having dropped 65 pounds last year), don't add in any extra calories for your rides. When you get up to 100 miles or more in a day, then preload some calories (but not much), and eat during your rides. But you still don't need to eat extra food to recover. Your body will manage that just fine without the extra food.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  5. #5
    Senior Member kache_98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelS View Post

    I'll stress it again (and I have some experience at weight loss, having dropped 65 pounds last year), don't add in any extra calories for your rides. When you get up to 100 miles or more in a day, then preload some calories (but not much), and eat during your rides. But you still don't need to eat extra food to recover. Your body will manage that just fine without the extra food.
    Big +1

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelS View Post

    I'll stress it again (and I have some experience at weight loss, having dropped 65 pounds last year), don't add in any extra calories for your rides. When you get up to 100 miles or more in a day, then preload some calories (but not much), and eat during your rides. But you still don't need to eat extra food to recover. Your body will manage that just fine without the extra food.
    x2.

    If you have already ridden the distance, then your body was just fine with it, and if you didn't hit a wall during the ride, then you had plenty to get you thru.

    Learn to fuel your body during the ride, if it is going to be a long ride. By all means, have some pasta the night before, but not a huge portion. A few hundred calories of easy to process carbs, consumed at intervals during the ride, is how you keep the glycogen stores where they should be. A Massive meal the night before, is a bad idea, because it has to be processed into something that can be stored (fat). It will not stay suspended in the bloodstream for that length of time. A large meal after, is even more pointless, unless you are prepping for the next days ride, and the same rules about storing it still apply.
    There is nothing wrong with a few extra calories, but you are saying that you are almost doubling your intake. You may well be burning more calories than you are consuming, but not by a very wide margin.

  7. #7
    Member velostring's Avatar
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    OK - I've made some adjustments. What do you think of this new math/routine?

    1. I weigh 189. My BMR should be 1886. Harris-Benedict adjustment for "moderate" activity is 2923. Very active says 3300.

    2. I ride Four days a week, minimum. Weekly mileage is between 150-200. I run 2x week (90 minutes on treadmill), with a pilates/rest day on the 7th.

    3. Anything less than approx 2700 calories a day leaves me in serious hunger pain, needing to get up in the middle of the night and eat something just to kill the hunger pangs. I eat well and healthy.

    Primary goal is to lose fat. Want to get down to 175. At 5'11", I think that is a healthy and manageable goal. I am 39.

    Would you tweak anything? Lower exercise volume and caloric intake? Any and all tips appreciated...

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    Personally, I wouldn't bother with any of that nonsense.

    None of those numbers are an exact match, and in fact are a approximation based on the general population.

    If you are genuinely hungry every evening, chances are that you are not getting enough calories to sustain your activity. Have an apple or something similar.

    The last thing I am going to mess with is counting calories, so I am not the one to say how many you need. I adjust, relative to my norm. My weight stays fairly constant, but it is easy enough to drop a little if I want to, without doing a bunch of math. I drop my portion size, ride an extra 5 miles, or do some walking. It isn't scientific, and only works because my dietary habits are long established.

    If you know your habits, drop a few calories a day, from what you were doing, and see where that takes you, and then adjust again as needed. It seems like you are trying to start all over from scratch, and I just don't know how you can do that with any degree of success. Drop too much at once, and you will regret it.

  9. #9
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    +1 on the LoseIt app. I love that thing. What does IT say about your calories burned when you enter in your riding?

  10. #10
    Perpetual dmoney19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velostring View Post
    OK - I've made some adjustments. What do you think of this new math/routine?

    1. I weigh 189. My BMR should be 1886. Harris-Benedict adjustment for "moderate" activity is 2923. Very active says 3300.

    2. I ride Four days a week, minimum. Weekly mileage is between 150-200. I run 2x week (90 minutes on treadmill), with a pilates/rest day on the 7th.

    3. Anything less than approx 2700 calories a day leaves me in serious hunger pain, needing to get up in the middle of the night and eat something just to kill the hunger pangs. I eat well and healthy.

    Primary goal is to lose fat. Want to get down to 175. At 5'11", I think that is a healthy and manageable goal. I am 39.

    Would you tweak anything? Lower exercise volume and caloric intake? Any and all tips appreciated...
    I went from 190 -> 170ish in the last year. Body fat went from 18% to about 12. Ultimate goal is 165 and 9%. I did it by eliminating processed foods from my diet, cookies, chips, candy, juices, any fast food. I must say protein was my freind. Eating 2000 calories a day with 120+grams of protein and I didnt feel hungry. 2700+ calories with under 80 grams of protein and I would feel hungry. High protein has the added benefit in preventing muscle loss while dieting. I focus on getting at least 120+ grams of protein a day, and fill the rest with fruits/veggies or complex carbs. If I am riding my intake of protein stays the same, and I consume a higher amount of carbs. Experiment see what works for you. I noticed the weight generally comes off in spurts, then you flatline for awhile.

  11. #11
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    I use LoseIt also. My problem with it is it's too generic, but usually on the conservative side(which is good). I'm sure you already know or do this, but do you space out your meals? Try eating six small portion meals a day, try to include protein shakes as a meal also. Maybe quality of food too. Avoid processed foods, eat more fruits and veges. The fiber will help you feel fuller.

  12. #12
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
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    OK, I have to pitch in. I have a powermeter, so I know exactly how many kJ I burn, and in turn, almost exactly the right number of calories I burn on a ride.

    On my most recent 46mi ride that took me 2.5hrs to do, I burned 1600 Calories. You weigh 35lbs more than me, so you would burn roughly 1800 calories on the same ride. The reason you are not losing weight is because you are eating roughly the same amount of calories that you burn every day. Reduce your intake by 500 more calories than normal.

    Madison is more hilly than SanFran (rode there before), so I would actually burn a few more calories on my route. If you ride up a mountain in your 47mi loop, you can add a few hundred more calories than me.
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  13. #13
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    In 2 months I went from 158lb to 138lb and I seem to have hit a plateau there. However since I've hit the plateau I started measuring my body fat% and it went from 19.8% to 15.6% and dropping. I look much better now so frankly I don't even care about my total weight anymore.

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