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  1. #1
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    Eating More to Lose Weight?

    Hi everyone, I'm a 5'2" 140 pound woman who's trying to lose about 20 pounds so that I can conquer the hills in my area a bit better. My weight's been hovering around 140 and I'm starting to get frustrated. I've decided to try the tried and true method for losing weight: meticulous calorie counting! I'm using the Livestrong.com calorie count and I'm a bit suspicious of their formula. I entered my height and weight and set my weight loss goal at 1.5 pounds a week and set my lifestyle as "very active" (as in I bike about four days a week for 1-1.5 hours climbing about 1100 feet on average, I play tennis for an hour once or twice a week, and bike between 3 and 6 miles a day to get around). According to this program, my calorie intake should be 1900 calories if I want to lose 1.5 pounds a week. I plugged in all of my activity and food today (underestimating on the exercise and overestimating on the food) and My Plate is claiming that I need to eat 688 more calories to reach my goal weight! And today was a light exercise day for me.

    The way that it reached this 688 number is because it took my goal, 1900 calories, and subtracted the 520 calories I burned from playing tennis for an hour and riding my bike to run errands for 52 minutes. I can't imagine that I'm entitled to 688 extra calories. I'll admit that I get insatiably hungry during the days following really intense bike rides and that I sometimes wake up in the morning super hungry and light headed, but I would imagine that I would have at least dropped a few pounds if my deficit was so big. According to the website, my calorie intake to maintain my weight would be 2652 calories which means that today, my calorie deficit is about 1400 calories (!). Does this thing not realize I'm a woman (i.e. less muscle mass)? Is there any way that my deficit could be this big? I'm wondering if maybe I'm burning fewer calories exercising and doing day to day activities because I'm in good shape already and my body is more efficient/used-to physical activity.

    Has anyone actually increased their total calories in order to lose weight? I know that it's theoretically possible, but I would like to hear from people who this has actually worked for. Or is this livestrong thing WAY off?
    Last edited by madprofessor100; 11-06-10 at 09:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member oban_kobi's Avatar
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    If you're already in good shape, why lose weight? Maybe there is a reason your weight is hovering, because it's right for you. If you do need to lose weight, don't listen to websites too much, listen to your body. If you want to lose weight, cut back on the food a little, maybe drop a snack, or ride more. Start off slow, and be sure you don't over do it.

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    Livestrong's calorie burned estimator is a little bit on the high side. IMHO
    Anyhow, it is all an estimation. You estimate how many calories you need, how many you ate, and how many you burned.
    If I don't loose weight I adjust one of the estimations while staying consistent with the others until I do loose weight.
    I have found that if I eat too little I plateau or gain weight. The same with over eating.

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    You are abolsolutely right that the best way to lose weight is to track calories, though I would doubt that you can lose weight by eating more, whether you gain or lose weight is just a simple equation, calories in - calories out. If you eat more calories than you burn then you will gain weight. One pound in weight equals 3,500 calories, so most calculators suggest eating 500 calories less a day than you burn, and then over the week you will lose 7 x 500 calories = 1 pound. How are you estimating the calories that you burn cycling and playing tennis? Does the Livestrong calculator do that also? You may be overestimating the calories that you are burning, unless you have a heart rate monitor, or a power meter on the bike, then I have found that most formulas overestimate the calories burned. If so, then you don't need those extra calories.

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    Quote Originally Posted by madprofessor100 View Post
    I entered my height and weight and set my weight loss goal at 1.5 pounds a week and set my lifestyle as "very active" (as in I bike about four days a week for 1-1.5 hours climbing about 1100 feet on average, I play tennis for an hour once or twice a week, and bike between 3 and 6 miles a day to get around). According to this program, my calorie intake should be 1900 calories if I want to lose 1.5 pounds a week.


    I plugged in all of my activity and food today (underestimating on the exercise and overestimating on the food) and My Plate is claiming that I need to eat 688 more calories to reach my goal weight! And today was a light exercise day for me.

    The way that it reached this 688 number is because it took my goal, 1900 calories, and subtracted the 520 calories I burned from playing tennis for an hour and riding my bike to run errands for 52 minutes.
    It sounds like you're double counting your exercise.

    From the Daily Plate website:
    "If you intend to use The Daily Plate's fitness and exercise tracker, use the dropdown above only to estimate your daily activity outside of your fitness routine.

    If you don't want to track all of your physical fitness and exercise, you should use the dropdown above to estimate all of your daily activity."

    So if you use the 'very active' Activity Level setting you shouldn't be adding in any additional activities. If you want to track your activities use a lower Activity Level that doesn't include your exercise like 'lightly active' or 'sedentary'.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
    It sounds like you're double counting your exercise.

    From the Daily Plate website:
    "If you intend to use The Daily Plate's fitness and exercise tracker, use the dropdown above only to estimate your daily activity outside of your fitness routine.

    If you don't want to track all of your physical fitness and exercise, you should use the dropdown above to estimate all of your daily activity."

    So if you use the 'very active' Activity Level setting you shouldn't be adding in any additional activities. If you want to track your activities use a lower Activity Level that doesn't include your exercise like 'lightly active' or 'sedentary'.
    ah ha. That makes sense. I assumed that the activity level setting would just change how they estimated my resting metabolic rate. "very active" is a very vague category so I think I'll set it at "lightly active" or "sedentary and add my own activities. Thanks!

    Milkrace yes, I think estimating calories burned from exercising is going to be extremely difficult since I don't have a heart rate monitor or power meter. I'm never sure how to estimate calories burned from cycling since I'm doing a lot of climbing. Does anyone have any ideas how I can estimate this? My typical ride involves climbing up steep hills and riding down them (usually a bit of a zigzag both ways). I usually coast with a little bit of breaking during my descents (so I don't get a speeding ticket or get in an accident) but in general, can my average speed tell me anything about how many calories I burned?

    Oban_kobi I agree that I shouldn't sweat the extra pounds too much, but I would like to lose a few pounds for the sake of my performance. Also, I'm a few pounds over the acceptable BMI for my height and because I'm young, I would like to make sure that I have my weight under control before it gets even harder to maintain it.

  7. #7
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    I have found that when I've plateaued that I need to focus on the long term. I ignore the scales for at least 10 days and try do something different exercise wise.Check out http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-loss-plateaus.

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    1.5 lbs/wk is a large deficit... 750 cal/day. That's enough to make me pretty uncomfortable. Try setting your goals a little lower so they are easier to reach. You are more likely to keep the weight off when you lose it gradually, and less likely to lose muscle in the process.

    Eating more to lose weight only works if the extra calories you take in allow you to do enough additional exercise to more than make up for the additional food.
    It may be that timing your eating is more important. For example, bringing something to eat on a ride lets you go at a decent pace for longer than 2 hours (most people's limit for stored glycogen). An 200 cal bar may enable you to do an additional hour at 450 cal/hr, which nets a loss of 250 cal.

    If you have not done so already, examine your diet for "empty" calories that you can cut out without cutting any nutrition. Soda, sugar in coffee, donuts, etc.

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    I agree with Eric on the empty calorie thing. I went from 237 to 210 pretty fast but then I got stuck. I started tracking where my calories were coming from and it was a lot of processed sugar. Also way too much sodium.

    I switched to a lot more complex carbs and healthy fats. Pounds 210 to 200 came off a little slow as I transitioned to healthier food but then 200 to 180 came off very quickly. Now I'm comfortable around 175.

    Also, your net calorie need seems high for a 140 lb woman. I try to net 1900 now to maintain my current 175.
    Last edited by bengreen79; 11-07-10 at 07:43 AM.

  10. #10
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    I use sedentary and count my cycling and running separately. I have my own formulas that seem to work so I rig the number of calories burned estimators to be at that number. If I follow livestrong's numbers I plateau or gain weight.

  11. #11
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madprofessor100 View Post
    ah ha. That makes sense. I assumed that the activity level setting would just change how they estimated my resting metabolic rate. "very active" is a very vague category so I think I'll set it at "lightly active" or "sedentary and add my own activities. Thanks!

    Milkrace yes, I think estimating calories burned from exercising is going to be extremely difficult since I don't have a heart rate monitor or power meter. I'm never sure how to estimate calories burned from cycling since I'm doing a lot of climbing. Does anyone have any ideas how I can estimate this? My typical ride involves climbing up steep hills and riding down them (usually a bit of a zigzag both ways). I usually coast with a little bit of breaking during my descents (so I don't get a speeding ticket or get in an accident) but in general, can my average speed tell me anything about how many calories I burned?

    Oban_kobi I agree that I shouldn't sweat the extra pounds too much, but I would like to lose a few pounds for the sake of my performance. Also, I'm a few pounds over the acceptable BMI for my height and because I'm young, I would like to make sure that I have my weight under control before it gets even harder to maintain it.
    50 calories/mile is a fair guess. And yes, you're doing the right thing. When you get it dialed in, you'll lose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    50 calories/mile is a fair guess. And yes, you're doing the right thing. When you get it dialed in, you'll lose.
    Not for a 140lb, 5'2' women. I'm a 165 lb male and based on my powermeter I burn between 29 and 45 Cals/mile with most rides around 35 Cals/mile. I would suggest using 30 Cals/mile as a more reasonable estimate.

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    Without actually every having used that particular web site, I am also guessing you are double counting. Your activity level is already figured into your target calorie number.

    I would say forget about trying to figure out how many calories each particular bit of excercise burns. Figure out your target number (sounds like 1900?) and stick to it, or close to it, every day. If you did a huge ride, you can cut yourself a little slack, but you want to try to use your calories to fuel the ride (before/during the ride) rather than as a reward for the ride. If you say "I burned 1000 calories so I get an extra 1000 calories to eat" your missing the point, which is to build a deficit.

    You'll know if your target number is right because if it is right, you will lose your targeted amount of weight per week if you stick to it. If you are sticking to it and not losing weight, the number is too high. If you aren't rigorously recording your intake, it's super easy to not stick to your number, it only takes a minute to consume 500 calories of chips or ice cream. (doh!)

    By the way, I am also 5'2" female, 45 years old, and vary from 110-118 pounds. I feel good at / below 112, and a bit pudgy over 115 -- yes, i know that's a tiny range - but on a tiny person, each pound is pretty noticeable. And with the very low power output I have, every pound counts a lot against that crucial hill-climbing power-to-weight ratio.

    When I'm trying to drop a few pounds, I target about 1800/day in summer (lots of riding, 200 - 300 miles/week, most of it very mountainous,) and 1500 in winter (little riding). Obviously your number won't be the same as mine.

    For those who say "it's ok as long as you are fit" um, sorry no. Madprofessor100, good on you for taking on your weight loss -- I have a pretty small build, so I'm not saying you should weigh what I weigh, but I bet at 120 you will be psyched at your hill climbing performance, and your knees, hips, pancreas, arteries and heart will thank you in the long run.
    ...

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    Thanks for the useful advice so far everyone.

    ericm979 Yes, 1.5 pounds/week is a lot and I'm actually not in that much of a hurry to lose weight, especially since the extra weight isn't that obvious on me. But I'm using 1.5 pounds/week, just because as bengreen79 pointed out, the number of calories the website is telling me that I need still seems a bit too high (I've switched it to sedentary and because I went running this morning, the number of calories I can eat is still enough to keep me full). Well, I just started...I think that going out with friends and socializing is going to be a problem. Yes, my performance is going to be sucky but this might be a good time for base building. And if more than 1.5 pounds comes off this week and I feel like death, I'll up the calories. If 1.5 pounds doesn't come off, then I know that I'm not burning as many calories I think I am from exercising.

    For those of you who aren't using this website, I highly recommend it. Even if you're not trying to lose weight, it's nice to know exactly how many calories are going into your body which is key in understanding what your body is doing with the calories in.

    Also, I totally agree that focusing on the quality of my food is extremely important. I do a pretty good job avoiding soda and processed foods but I'm also starting to realize that there are a few things in my diet that I can cut back on without feeling deprived. Really just small things like filling myself up with soup or sprinkling cheese on my sandwich instead of a slice then having some yogurt or cottage cheese at another point during the day...

    valygrl Thanks for sharing your experiences. I think part of the reason why it's taken me so long to understand how many calories I actually need is because people our size are so far away from the "2000 calories per day" standard that I used to always hear. I think my build is a bit bigger than yours so hopefully, at 120 I can enjoy the same health benefits you're enjoying at 112!

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    All right, here's a follow up to my attempts at weight loss: FAIL. Ok, maybe I've lost about two pounds since the original post (I can't tell because my weight has been fluctuating because my fluid intake has been inconsistent. All I can say right now is that I'm overtrained and feel like death. I don't have a heart rate monitor but my heart has been beating so fast this past week that I feel like I'm on the verge of a heart attack. I was netting about 1300 calories (maybe less) until yesterday, when I realized that my terrible moods and the difficulty I was having making the 2-3 mile commute to campus wasn't normal. I felt instantly better for a little bit yesterday, after I had an acai powder shake (it works!), two bowls of cereal, and a burger and fries for dinner. But I'm not sure what to do next. The thing that confuses me is that I haven't really changed my diet at all since I started counting calories, which means that I've been eating in the 1300 calorie range for a while now, which means that I should have been losing weight this whole time. The last time I was at this weight (if I am, in fact 2 pounds lighter), I wasn't exercising, so I don't understand why my weight isn't going down when I'm consuming a similar amount of calories but exercising more.

    Any ideas on how I can recover from this condition? Any nutrition tips on how to prevent this from happening again? I'm going to increase my caloric intake, but I'm really stuck on what to do. I've also heard that there's a way to trick your body into losing weight by randomly eating a lot on certain days, then decreasing again on other days, which was what I was trying to do yesterday. Has this worked for anyone?

  16. #16
    These Guys Eat Oreos Creatre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madprofessor100 View Post
    Any ideas on how I can recover from this condition? Any nutrition tips on how to prevent this from happening again? I'm going to increase my caloric intake, but I'm really stuck on what to do. I've also heard that there's a way to trick your body into losing weight by randomly eating a lot on certain days, then decreasing again on other days, which was what I was trying to do yesterday. Has this worked for anyone?
    That's a horrible thing to do. As far as I know, the only time that ever works is when a person has an extreme calorie deficiet and when the body sees more/normal amount of calories the metabolism increases causing some weight loss.

    I would recommend increasing the amount of times you are eating, and looking into the type of food you are eating. Try to eat 6 meals a day, and spread the calories evenly between the meals if you can. Also try getting one long bike ride (3+ hours) in on the weekend, at a zone 2 (slow pace), that will focus the burn on the fat and will burn a high amount of calories. Make sure as much sugar as possible is out of the diet. No soda, no coffee, no cookies, etc. Drink only water, and a lot of it each day, make sure to always have water with you. You need to find a happy medium with the carbs, enough to keep the body fueled for the workouts and preferably from fruits and vegetables, but fewer the better. No two bowls of cereal (I'm 5'11" 140lbs and I don't even eat 2 bowls of cereal) and no burgers and fries. When you are eating, they need to be worthwhile calories.

    And you need to make sure this isn't forced. If it feels like a task, then it's never going to happen. If you are getting burned out, you are trying too hard. Use a little self motivation to get you to the weight you want, and enjoy the time you are getting your body more healthy. When you are at your goal weight you can slack some (though I recommend keeping a healthy diet) and as long as you keep up the exercise it will be easy to maintain.

    Between these things you should be able to drop the weight slowly, no problem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creatre View Post
    You need to find a happy medium with the carbs, enough to keep the body fueled for the workouts and preferably from fruits and vegetables, but fewer the better. No two bowls of cereal (I'm 5'11" 140lbs and I don't even eat 2 bowls of cereal) and no burgers and fries. When you are eating, they need to be worthwhile calories.

    And you need to make sure this isn't forced. If it feels like a task, then it's never going to happen. If you are getting burned out, you are trying too hard. Use a little self motivation to get you to the weight you want, and enjoy the time you are getting your body more healthy. When you are at your goal weight you can slack some (though I recommend keeping a healthy diet) and as long as you keep up the exercise it will be easy to maintain.

    Between these things you should be able to drop the weight slowly, no problem.
    What is the correct carbohydrate/fat/protein ratio I should be taking in? Before I started cycling again, I was only exercising lightly and consuming less carbohydrates. Now that I've started cycling, I've been fighting serious carbohydrate cravings, something that wasn't a problem before...

    Just for the record, two bowls of cereal and a burger and fries definitely isn't something I make a habit of consuming. That was me almost giving up and trying to get my body back to normal. Given that I'm netting about 1300 calories a day and the average burger with french fries has 1000+ calories a day, that would be a poor choice!

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    I just heard a key word from you : "Netting" 1300 calories a day. Forget about "net" - stop counting your excercise calories against your intake. Concentrate on the intake calories. It's way too hard, without a power meter, to accurately assess your calorie expenditure. Figure out your target calorie intake and stick with it.
    ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I just heard a key word from you : "Netting" 1300 calories a day. Forget about "net" - stop counting your excercise calories against your intake. Concentrate on the intake calories. It's way too hard, without a power meter, to accurately assess your calorie expenditure. Figure out your target calorie intake and stick with it.
    How do I not count my exercise calories against my intake? I've been subtracting 100 calories off of the estimated calorie burn when I use the treadmill at the gym. For example, on Tuesday, I ran on the treadmill for 50 minutes. Based on my speed and weight, the machine said that I had burned almost 600 calories. I rounded down to 500. All of my bike rides are over 1.5 hours. I've been entering 400 calories per hour on My Daily Plate to be safe. Because the area where I'm riding is hilly, I have absolutely no idea how many calories I'm burning. I used to live in a flat area and would average about 17/18mph and based on calorie burning calculators, that type of effort would burn way more than 400 calories. Where I am now, I feel like I'm putting in a lot more effort into my riding. And I've also set my calorie intake to 1300, which means that as long as my exercise approximations are not inaccurate by more than 200 calories, I should be able to lose at least a pound a week. Are you suggesting that I shouldn't eat more on days that I exercise, even though most of my workouts burn (or possibly not) 500 calories or more?

    Right now, the impression that I'm getting is that I would be better off not exercising and completely focusing on my diet rather than exercising. Maybe what I'm experiencing isn't overtraining, given that I'm not losing weight, but I know for sure that my body doesn't like what I'm doing to it and my heart rate is really messed up right now. I'm also wondering how I could sustain this once I get to my ideal weight...

  20. #20
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madprofessor100 View Post
    <snip>
    Right now, the impression that I'm getting is that I would be better off not exercising and completely focusing on my diet rather than exercising. Maybe what I'm experiencing isn't overtraining, given that I'm not losing weight, but I know for sure that my body doesn't like what I'm doing to it and my heart rate is really messed up right now. I'm also wondering how I could sustain this once I get to my ideal weight...
    Not from me. Overtraining has nothing to do with losing weight. It's been only 12 days since your first post. What's been going on? Why are you concerned? Sustain what? What doesn't your body like? This doesn't sound good. 12 days isn't very long to get things messed up.

    During this same period, I've been exercising very regularly, have gained a lot of conditioning, along with 1.5 lbs. I'm not worried. It'll come back off. Part of it's blood volume, part of it's muscle, because I've lost waist measurement. The main thing is that I feel better and I'm faster. Faster = more watts = more calories burned = easier to get the weight off in the spring. This isn't sprinting, this is for the rest of your life. Take it slow and deliberate.

    But that's just me. What's with you?

    BTW, my Stoker weighs a little more than you, is your height, and she's awesome. She's also working on it, probably at about a 1/2 lb./ month pace. That's 6 pounds/year if she keeps at it, or 30 lbs. in 5 years, which obviously isn't going to happen. Take the long view, though.

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    I for one believe diet and exercise go hand in hand. However, the primary focus should be your diet. Exercise basically keeps me sane and allows me to eat food. It is more of a matter of not over estimating your calories burned.
    Anyhow, I've lost 9 lbs in the last couple months but have plateaued. Time to make some adjustments to drop down into the 140s.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madprofessor100 View Post
    What is the correct carbohydrate/fat/protein ratio I should be taking in? Before I started cycling again, I was only exercising lightly and consuming less carbohydrates. Now that I've started cycling, I've been fighting serious carbohydrate cravings, something that wasn't a problem before...

    Just for the record, two bowls of cereal and a burger and fries definitely isn't something I make a habit of consuming. That was me almost giving up and trying to get my body back to normal. Given that I'm netting about 1300 calories a day and the average burger with french fries has 1000+ calories a day, that would be a poor choice!
    Ratios . . . Your body needs a certain discreet amount of fat and protein. The fat is for your metabolism and fat-soluble vitamins. The protein is for repair, and a certain small amount to burn with the carbs. There's a lot of controversy about these quantities and their ratios. For you, maybe 40g protein/day, 50g fat, the rest carbos. So as your activity increases or decreases the protein and fat stay about the same and only the carbos vary. Thus an endurance athlete will eat a much higher percentage of carbo calories than a sedentary person, but doing it by percentages can lead one astray.

    Protein requirements vary from person to person. IME women need less protein than men. I don't know why. Latest research says men should include protein in recovery drinks, but not women. In general, if your legs hurt while you are on the bike, you need to get more protein. If not, not. That's just while you are riding. It's normal for your legs to hurt a bit as you recover during the day.

    There's even more controversy about fat intake. IME if your blood sugar is cycling a lot - you sweat, feel faint, have trouble making decisions between your frequent small meals - your diet is too low in fat. If not, not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Not from me. Overtraining has nothing to do with losing weight. It's been only 12 days since your first post. What's been going on? Why are you concerned? Sustain what? What doesn't your body like? This doesn't sound good. 12 days isn't very long to get things messed up.

    During this same period, I've been exercising very regularly, have gained a lot of conditioning, along with 1.5 lbs. I'm not worried. It'll come back off. Part of it's blood volume, part of it's muscle, because I've lost waist measurement. The main thing is that I feel better and I'm faster. Faster = more watts = more calories burned = easier to get the weight off in the spring. This isn't sprinting, this is for the rest of your life. Take it slow and deliberate.

    But that's just me. What's with you?

    BTW, my Stoker weighs a little more than you, is your height, and she's awesome. She's also working on it, probably at about a 1/2 lb./ month pace. That's 6 pounds/year if she keeps at it, or 30 lbs. in 5 years, which obviously isn't going to happen. Take the long view, though.
    Nice that things are going well on your end. On a more positive not for me, the scale read 137.8 this morning. Maybe my frustrations are a bit premature and I'm a bit impatient, but I just feel like I don't know what's going on with my body when I'm exercising. I haven't exercised for two days and my weight has stopped fluctuating. Most people say that you should adjust your calories depending on whether or not you're losing weight, but I can't really tell if I'm losing weight. My quads have become a *bit* more defined, but my clothes still feel pretty much the same (or sometimes worse after I've exercised).

  24. #24
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madprofessor100 View Post
    Nice that things are going well on your end. On a more positive not for me, the scale read 137.8 this morning. Maybe my frustrations are a bit premature and I'm a bit impatient, but I just feel like I don't know what's going on with my body when I'm exercising. I haven't exercised for two days and my weight has stopped fluctuating. Most people say that you should adjust your calories depending on whether or not you're losing weight, but I can't really tell if I'm losing weight. My quads have become a *bit* more defined, but my clothes still feel pretty much the same (or sometimes worse after I've exercised).
    My advice is keep on it. Do not worry about fluctuations! They happen and are irrelevant. I wouldn't take seriously any trend with less than a one week timeline. There are just too many temporary variables: Did you have dinner with friends? Did you get dehydrated during a workout? Did you get more or less sleep? Was your food more or less salty than usual? On and on.

    Sure, totally normal for your jeans to fit tighter after exercise. I'll often find my belly is even a little larger for a few hours due to food and electrolytes taken in. Take that bigger legs feeling as a positive thing.

    Interesting that you say that "I don't know what's going on with my body when I'm exercising." What do you mean by that? Do you mean only that you don't know your exact calorie burn? I wouldn't worry too much about that, because that'll shake out over the weeks. Or are you having more important problems with energy levels, speed, exhaustion, heart rate, etc?

    Some further thoughts on overtraining: I assume you are climbing familiar hills during your bike workouts. You should be getting faster on those hills. You may not be faster every day, but the trend over the week timeline should be for faster. Maybe not a larger gear, but at least a higher cadence. If you find you are going slower, discontinue hill climbing and ride only on the flat for a week.

    It would be extremely helpful for you to have a heart rate monitor. I don't know why you don't just buy one and have it come 2-day air. It's totally worth it. You can get a Polar FS-1 for under $40.
    http://www.heartratemonitorsusa.com/polar-view-all.html

    That simple model won't tell you calories, but it will tell you HR. Probably the most important additional thing you could do is to log your morning resting heart rate, weight, and waist and thigh measurements. Having a HRM will also take away the worry about whether or not you are working too hard or not hard enough.

    If you really want to invest in the whole fitness thing, spring for a RS800CX
    http://www.heartratemonitorsusa.com/...rs800cxpt.html
    Free overnight shipping!
    The best thing about this level of equipment is that you download your completed workouts to your computer and get calories, time-in-zone, TRIMPS, and a host of other information. Very helpful.

    In the another-way-to-look-at-it department, rather than focusing on losing weight, you could focus on getting faster on the hills. The big metric of cycling is watts/kg at lactate threshold. So you can increase watts or decrease kilograms, or more usually, do both. You do that, and you'll have more fun, be faster, and wind up lighter as a side benefit, as it were.
    Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 11-19-10 at 02:16 PM.

  25. #25
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    How many calories did you eat before that allowed you to maintain? You need a deficit of 3500 calories to lose a pound.

    To lose 0.5 lbs per week you need to either burn or eat 250 fewer calories per day. Don't worry about the online calculators, just figure out what YOU eat on a regular basis to maintain and go from there.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

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