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  1. #1
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
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    Ok - last 5lbs won't budge. Help.

    Over the last 2 + years I've lost 62.5lbs. Total lifestyle change, and a very sustainable loss. No yo-yoing, just drops in weight and plateaus of varying length.

    I've got 5lbs to go to my goal weight, and I might want to sneak 1 - 2lbs over that if I can. However, I'm seriously stuck where I am right now.

    I know how to track calories and am doing so, as well as continuing to ride (mostly on the trainer atm). I also do the standard push-up / core work type stuff. I don't really want to cut anymore calories out of my diet, and I eat pretty cleanly, so there isn't much work to be done in that vein either. Some, but not much.

    What can I do to get past this plateau?

    I'm thinking about running a lot more than I currently do, just to give the body something different to do.

    Other thoughts?
    Last edited by trigger; 11-20-09 at 06:41 PM.

  2. #2
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    well ya, "change it up" is the usual advice for breaking a plateau. if you've been doing long aerobic stuff, go to short intense stuff like tabata intervals and plyometrics and weights. if you've been high fiber / veggie / lean protein, go to high fat / high carb (just for a few days)

    I'm not a dietitian so don't sue me, but stuff like that has worked for me.
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  3. #3
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    I'd lose the scale at this point and focus on building lean muscle. Building up some nice lean mass (not necessarily bulky--which is often pretty tough to do anyway) should help you cut the last bit of body fat, make you stronger and less likely to get an injury, and allow you to eat more.

    I'm very much in agreement that you should add in some hiit (or even tabata)--I think these activities are amazing for cutting body fat fast. Also, if it's a little extra around the tummy, cut down/out any beer drinking (I know--way difficult if you are a beer lover like me), but it really works.

  4. #4
    Bulimic Arsonist. Lamp-Shade's Avatar
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    The Warrior Diet.
    Creating a daily cycle of undereating/overeating has helped me tremendously in creating a lean body.

  5. #5
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lamp-Shade View Post
    The Warrior Diet.
    Creating a daily cycle of undereating/overeating has helped me tremendously in creating a lean body.
    I'm glad that works for you, but I don't want to try any measures that I'm not willing to stick with for the long haul. My weight loss has been slow, but I've totally overhauled my lifestyle and as a result, I don't think I'm at much risk of regaining the weight. I want to lose these last 5 - 7 lbs, but I want to do it in a similar manner.

    I'm going to up the running for a week and see what that does.

  6. #6
    Bulimic Arsonist. Lamp-Shade's Avatar
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    It's always good to switch things up. Sounds like you got it.
    For me, anyways, the WD is more of a lifestyle. I dont really WANT to eat meals during the day. I'd rather spend my time doing other things than sitting down to meals, so it works out really good. Being able to eat how I like at night is pretty cool, too.
    Have you tried switching fuels around? With winter coming up, it would be a good time to experiment with fat fuel vs. carb fuel and the like.

  7. #7
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    Every time I push through one of these plateaus it is by reducing my caloric intake.
    Surly Pacer

  8. #8
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    Why the focus on a total mass number? what is special about that specific number? I'm curious about your mindset on this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesnaePhoto View Post
    Why the focus on a total mass number? what is special about that specific number? I'm curious about your mindset on this.
    Well when I decided to start losing weight and address my lifestyle it was good to have a goal. The number was kind of arbitrary, but it jived with BMI (I know, I know) etc ... it seemed like a good goal to set. Now, having lost 62lbs I'm mostly going on how I look, and I think that losing another 5lbs will address some of my lingering body image concerns. It'll also be great to have actually attained the goal, even if its just an arbitrary number, that I set two years ago. Once the scale reads the 'magic number' I won't worry about it so much anymore, and will go more on fat percentage, how things fit, and my level of fitness.

  10. #10
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    May I ask what BMI you want to achieve? I totally understand that goal, from an athletic perspective. Your heart and lungs are only so big, so the less you weigh, within limits, the faster you climb. TdF climbers are around 22, I think.

    I'd say, try weights. Weights can kick your metabolism up a hair. I like to do sets of 30 to failure after a ride (in your case, or a run). 3 times/week. That adds a bunch to your training load, so be careful if you try it. Doing it after is important as you don't want to spoil your ride or run. If you don't go to a gym, you can do 1-legged knee bends off a chair while touching a wall, pull ups on a doorway bar (with feet on a chair taking a little weight, as necessary), all sorts of things like that. You already do core work, but maybe you could work your large muscles, too.

    I like to have about 15g whey protein about 1/2 hr before each meal, and then make that meal smaller. That might help if you reduce the calories more than you increase them. There are naysayers about this next, but it's what I do to lose weight in the spring: go out on the bike with 1 bottle of sports drink, 100-150 calories in the bottle. But don't use it until you start to feel faint. You should be able to go 1 hr. or so without anything, and then be sparing. With practice, you should be able to get through a 2 - 2.5 hr ride on just that one bottle, no other food. This only works for zone 2 endurance rides because you won't be able to go hard when you're calorie deficient. But I do think it melts the weight off pretty good.

    Another thing sort of like that is to get up in the morning, have a cup of coffee and then hit the rollers or trainer for 1/2 hour, only in zone 1, before breakfast. I think it reduces my breakfast appetite, plus it burns a few calories. 5 days/week is 2.5 hours at maybe 300 calories/hour. I add that to my other training load, not replace, because it doesn't cost me anything.

  11. #11
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
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    Good ideas, thanks.

  12. #12
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
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    Oh, the BMI number is 21.5 -- Keep in mind though that I'm not shooting for the BMI number so much as the scale number. I doubt TDF climbers are at 22, as I certainly have enough fat to support a 5 - 7lbs loss!! Probably much more than that. Once I get there, I'm going to hang out at that weight for a while and see how easy it is to maintain. I suppose if / when I add muscle the weight will go up a bit, but my body size won't. That's fine.

  13. #13
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trigger View Post
    Oh, the BMI number is 21.5 -- Keep in mind though that I'm not shooting for the BMI number so much as the scale number. I doubt TDF climbers are at 22, as I certainly have enough fat to support a 5 - 7lbs loss!! Probably much more than that. Once I get there, I'm going to hang out at that weight for a while and see how easy it is to maintain. I suppose if / when I add muscle the weight will go up a bit, but my body size won't. That's fine.
    Here ya go:
    http://www.afpafitness.com/articles/...e-performance/

    So you're trying to get down to the BMI of Frankie Andreu. And I was a little high - the light climbers are 20-21. But still. If you think you are still a little too fat, you could also work on becoming more muscular. The fastest female climber I ever rode with was about 20.5. She did it by riding about 3 hours every day. More on weekends - 85 miles was pretty normal. Ate a lot of spinach/chicken salads for dinner. She rides hard, too, and isn't a kid. I remember being in a paceline with her one time and and a newbie asked who the heck was the little woman pulling us at 28. So be her.

  14. #14
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'd like to be her.

    I do think that I need to lose about 5lbs of weight, then work on adding muscle. It's partly a vanity thing ... seeing how my body has changed and responded to the weight loss, I'm pretty sure that 5 more pounds will having me looking rather sharp (in my opinion). But yeah, I do need to add muscle. Those leg and climbing drills you gave me earlier have been great, and I am seeing some gains. I've got more muscle now on the inside of my quads as well as on the outside. All I can do is do my best, which is what I'm doing. We'll see what happens.

    I think I'm going to ride in the mornings (at least until the weather turns bad), run in the evenings (every other, maybe), and do whatever strength training I can manage without going to a gym. See what that does, and reassess the training plan (plans?) after Christmas when a couple of early events are closer.

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    I don't know how you are calculating your BMI. Realize as you add muscle AND lose fat, your overall mass will probably increase. Muscle is much more dense. This is why I asked why the number was so special. I don't look at the scale, but at composition instead. I know I need to lose more fat, and will as training gets more specific later this winter. (Too many things in my life to get a specific meal program together right now).

    Numbers are fine, but be careful about too much obsession over only ONE number.

    BTW, you could always just shave your back to lose that 5 lbs.

  16. #16
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesnaePhoto View Post

    BTW, you could always just shave your back to lose that 5 lbs.
    I'm a girl, so I hope not!

    And I'm not really focusing on the numbers as much as it might seem. I'm going for a body composition goal, and in terms of expressing that with a number, it seems to me to be about 5lbs of fat away. When I get the fat I want gone, gone, I really won't care what the numbers say. I accept that the scale number is likely going to go up as I add much needed leg muscle.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by trigger View Post
    I'm a girl, so I hope not!

    And I'm not really focusing on the numbers as much as it might seem. I'm going for a body composition goal, and in terms of expressing that with a number, it seems to me to be about 5lbs of fat away. When I get the fat I want gone, gone, I really won't care what the numbers say. I accept that the scale number is likely going to go up as I add much needed leg muscle.
    I also lost lot of weight, from 260lbs to 164 lbs(5'10") and I think I would be much better 5 lbs lighter also. I put that goal secondary to getting fitter, since I notice bit of muscle loss with the weight. For the last 3 months I held steady at weight. while the weight does not go down anymore my fitness and strength is now improving. By hitting the bike for 36 miles 3X a week and the gym the 4 other days I get stronger and leaner.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by trigger View Post
    Over the last 2 + years I've lost 62.5lbs. Total lifestyle change, and a very sustainable loss. No yo-yoing, just drops in weight and plateaus of varying length.

    I've got 5lbs to go to my goal weight, and I might want to sneak 1 - 2lbs over that if I can. However, I'm seriously stuck where I am right now.

    I know how to track calories and am doing so, as well as continuing to ride (mostly on the trainer atm). I also do the standard push-up / core work type stuff. I don't really want to cut anymore calories out of my diet, and I eat pretty cleanly, so there isn't much work to be done in that vein either. Some, but not much.

    What can I do to get past this plateau?

    I'm thinking about running a lot more than I currently do, just to give the body something different to do.

    Other thoughts?
    Weight training. Muscle burns more fat, and you can boost your metabolism to get that last bit of weight off.

    I'm a bit curious, though... what's your body fat percentage? It's more realistic and certainly healthier to focus on body fat percentage goals, not weight, since you don't know what percent of your weight is muscle vs. fat.

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  19. #19
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    Adding muscle is super hard for women -- especially for me. I don't touch the scale when I'm trying to build muscle, and I also don't worry about body fat. When I'm building muscle, body fat naturally stays low and decreases as I gain but I don't typically gain much in terms of overall pounds. People will say that you weigh more because muscle is more dense, but if you are anything like me, it takes a darn long time to get that 1 lb of muscle and by then, you've lost 3 lbs of fat in its place. I have to eat a ton, lift a ton, add protein, eating super clean, and take supplements to gain just a few pounds of muscle. It's easier for men. My husband can go from 164 lbs to 205 lbs in less than a year staying under 12% body fat. I takes me months just to add 5 lbs of muscle. So, I avoid like the plague absolutely anything that eats muscle. That includes long drawn out sessions of cardio (anything longer than 1 hour), cardio on an empty stomach, weight lifting sessions longer than an hour, high reps with low weight when training, any form of calorie reduction dieting, etc. If I feel hungry at all, I eat, even if it's just a tiny bit of food. Once I get my muscle mass up, my body fat stays low because I typically fall into a routine pattern of eating about the same amount of overall calories, but have to support more muscle with those total calories. (All of my little aches and pains from past sports injuries go away with added muscle too--nice benefit.)

  20. #20
    Santana Couple
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    Change up your menu. I got stuck with the last five pounds also. My menu had become same stuff over and over. When I changed to different foods my body reacted favorably.

  21. #21
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
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    ^ ah. I will try this. I do actually eat much the same thing for breakfast and lunch each day. Dinner is a bit more varied. This will at least be a fun experiment!

  22. #22
    Mountain goat go4gr8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    May I ask what BMI you want to achieve? I totally understand that goal, from an athletic perspective. Your heart and lungs are only so big, so the less you weigh, within limits, the faster you climb. TdF climbers are around 22, I think.

    I'd say, try weights. Weights can kick your metabolism up a hair. I like to do sets of 30 to failure after a ride (in your case, or a run). 3 times/week. That adds a bunch to your training load, so be careful if you try it. Doing it after is important as you don't want to spoil your ride or run. If you don't go to a gym, you can do 1-legged knee bends off a chair while touching a wall, pull ups on a doorway bar (with feet on a chair taking a little weight, as necessary), all sorts of things like that. You already do core work, but maybe you could work your large muscles, too.

    I like to have about 15g whey protein about 1/2 hr before each meal, and then make that meal smaller. That might help if you reduce the calories more than you increase them. There are naysayers about this next, but it's what I do to lose weight in the spring: go out on the bike with 1 bottle of sports drink, 100-150 calories in the bottle. But don't use it until you start to feel faint. You should be able to go 1 hr. or so without anything, and then be sparing. With practice, you should be able to get through a 2 - 2.5 hr ride on just that one bottle, no other food. This only works for zone 2 endurance rides because you won't be able to go hard when you're calorie deficient. But I do think it melts the weight off pretty good.

    Another thing sort of like that is to get up in the morning, have a cup of coffee and then hit the rollers or trainer for 1/2 hour, only in zone 1, before breakfast. I think it reduces my breakfast appetite, plus it burns a few calories. 5 days/week is 2.5 hours at maybe 300 calories/hour. I add that to my other training load, not replace, because it doesn't cost me anything.
    This guy has it right!

    Weight training can definitely burn your fat quicker. Tip here is to increase your weight by a couple of pounds with each session. Track the weights you lift on a regular basis on a spreadsheet. Make sure you lift until failure +2 to 5 reps. It's after the failure you want to push it.

    Eating is also a key factor. I say "eating" and not diet because you want to keep replenished. Increase your metabolism by eating more frequently at smaller portions with a good protein/carb ratio. 5 or 6 meals a day should do it.

    Hope this helps.
    Riding since 1987
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  23. #23
    Its Freakin HammerTime!!! C_Heath's Avatar
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    2 day fast.
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I don't like any other exercise or sports, really.
    ....

    http://www.xxcycle.com/logo_w150h100/bmc.jpg

  24. #24
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
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    ^ Won't it just come back once I start to eat again? I'm not trying to 'cut' weight, but to actually lose it. As in gone for good, like the previous 60+ pounds. I'm all for fasting, but not sure it's going to accomplish these particular goals.

  25. #25
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trigger View Post
    ^ Won't it just come back once I start to eat again? I'm not trying to 'cut' weight, but to actually lose it. As in gone for good, like the previous 60+ pounds. I'm all for fasting, but not sure it's going to accomplish these particular goals.
    Actually, it'll just mess you up. Buddy of mine got into it over in India, came back with the habit. Totally messed with his glycogen. Had to quit it since he wanted to keep riding hard. Best to keep everything steady-state.

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