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  1. #1
    Junior Member Nickie's Avatar
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    Bikes and weight loss.. Newbie here!

    I'm 20, female, and currently 200lbs.. And hating it! Since September of last year I've put so much weight on, due to depression, medication, and basically, comfort eating.. I really wanna get back down to my original 'size 10' self before April 2013. I've heard a healthy weight loss is 2lbs a week. I want to lose around 50lbs before April next year (My 21st) 2lbs a week is 8lbs a month, and 8lbs x 7 months = 56. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's possible!

    Now, I drink plenty of water and green tea, and eat things such as tuna, low fat soups and plenty of fruit, etc. I've also started taking multivitamin supplements.. Again, lemme know if I'm doing wrong there.

    So basically, can I lose around 50lbs in 7 months, riding my bike, and watching what I eat? Of course I'll be adding cardio and strength training moderately as my health improves, just need a boost, and I'm thinking bike riding would be great for that.
    Last edited by Nickie; 10-08-12 at 08:04 AM. Reason: Didn't explain enough.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    2 lbs a week is 7000 Calories deficit, or 1000 Calories/day. A fit male cyclist around your weight can ride at a pace that burns 700 cal/hr. A new female cyclist would be doing well to do half of that. At 350 cal/hr you'd need to ride about three hours a day to create that 1000 Cal deficit while eating the same. It's possible, but difficult. And you will be hungry.

    A deficit of 500 Cal/day is not too tough, hunger wise, and will give you a weight loss of 1 lb/week. I and a lot of other cyclists have found that to be sustainable.

    Weight loss is a lifestyle change. It's a long term project. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to reach a goal in a short period of time- the important thing is to be making progress over the long term.

    Cycling is a great sport and one can do a lot of it, which burns up a lot of calories. But you have to have the time and the motivation to do it. One of the good things about racing is that it motivates me to get up early and go on training rides when it is cold dark and wet.

  3. #3
    Member jdpt's Avatar
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    Hi Nickie,

    Weight loss in a nutshell is less calories in, more calories out. In order to figure out how many calories you need to burn when riding, you first need to know how many calories you need per day based on your activity level. If you do a search online for "Active metabolic rate calculator" you can then plug in your info (height, weight, age, gender, activity level) and get the number of calories you need per day to maintain your weight. To calculate how much activity you need to do to lose 2lbs per week, you need to create a 1000 calorie deficit per day ( 2lbs = 7000 calories) between diet and exercise. For example, if your AMR (active metabolic rate ) is 2000 calories per day, in order to lose those 2 lbs per week, you could eat 1500 calories and then burn off 500 with cycling or eat 1300 and burn 300 cycling & so on. You may want to invest in a heart rate monitor that has a calories burned function. If you don't want to do the math, go to www.loseit.com & it will figure it all out for you. I hope this helped & good luck.

  4. #4
    Senior Member NCbiker's Avatar
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    You didn't gain weight by not riding enough and your not going to lose it all by riding a lot. You've got to cut the calories. Weight lose is simple, intake fewer calories than you burn. 2 pounds a week is a very realistic goal and it can be done. I know, I've dropped 85 pounds in the last 18 months, but I didn't do it by riding my bike. Don't get me wrong, it helped, but if I ride for 2 hours at a moderate pace I've basically burnt the calories of one Krispy Kreme donut. You can see how riding your butt off and then eating a pizza chased with a couple of Cokes is not going to do the trick.
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    My thinking is that you ride your bike because you like to ride. The side benefit of riding is that it will slightly increase your metabolism. This increased metabolism along with limiting the calories eaten will help you lose weight. You could probably get by with riding 30 minutes 3 times a week and be fine with the exercise requirement if these 30 minutes were pretty hard riding which got the heart rate up to the 80 % mark.

    I need to qualify what I have said by saying that I really don't know what I am talking about.

    Good luck with your weight loss. As you make your journey remember that if you get off track all you have to do is just get right back on program and continue. Most will be side tracked from time to time so don't beat yourself up if this happens.

  6. #6
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Hi Nickie, welcome to the forum.

    You also might take a look at some of the threads in the Clydesdale/Athena forum; they have a lot of advice on how to lose weight.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    So Tom only hires people that are nutty? Is part of the requirement to be a moderator on this site is that you have to be nuts??
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  7. #7
    Senior Member FujiKid's Avatar
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    It's not going to come down to how much riding your doing. What types of foods you're eating. But HOW much your eating.

    Simply eat in a caloric deficit. and you will lose the weight. It's that simple.

  8. #8
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Nickie, the answer is it is possible to lose a couple of pounds per week. What you eat will be more important than how much you ride, as others have said. But riding can certainly make a contribution, and if you have the time to ride upwards of 10 hours a week that contribution could be fairly significant. And if you are anything like me, the riding will improve your mood; and if you are more optimistic you'll be more likely to eat right.

    If your diet consists largely of lean meat, fish, leafy vegetables and fruit you can't go far wrong. Dairy, starches (rice, potatoes) and beans are fine, too. Stay away from the simple sugars and avoid processed foods. Careful with the bread. Ride lots. You'll be fine.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post

    I've heard a healthy weight loss is 2lbs a week. I want to lose around 50 - 60lbs before April next year
    It might be the case that 2lbs a week is good; but it not easy to cut back on food over a seven day period. I have found that eating around 600 cals on Monday and 600 on Tuesday, and then eating normally for the rest of the week works out easier.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...v=pSh6Ot8d7bU#

  10. #10
    Senior Member rvk5150's Avatar
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    Lots of good advice here...I wish to chime in. I have lost 20 lbs in about 2 months; I use www.myfitnesspal.com to track and set goals; it is free and easy to use. I find by having some accountability (having to input what I eat and see it if I go over or stay under) it helps. Like others stated it is about not taking as much in; cycling helps by burning some and also kick starting your metabolism but using it as "Oh now I can eat such and such because I burned an extra 300 calories from my ride today" is not going to work.

    Also; starving yourself is the worst thing to do....your metabolism goes down the tube if you do this...try to eat three reasonable and healthy meals to keep it going all day. Veggies/fruit do an amazing job of filling you up while not piling on the calories......
    2012 Bianchi Brava
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  11. #11
    Don from Austin Texas
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    I don't see where your questions are silly at all. How many miles it will take you/week is probably hard to answer, however. As you become more fit and a little bit lighter you can go more miles with less effort. The miles you ride should increase over time.

    Don't eat so much fruit that it makes your diet sugar and carb-heavy diet. Not so bad when you are riding hard, but not so good when you are hanging out, inactive. I think the Acai berry stuff is hype. Not that it will hurt you, but the claims are very extravagant and dubious. They might be healthy, so are blueberries. There are not enough Acai berries grown in the entire world to supply all the supplements that claim to contain them according to what I have read and many supplements are bogus.

    Best of luck to you! I went from 215 lbs to about 170+ in 6-8 months. This was at age 60+ with the excess weight quite entrenched. Youth is on your side. I cycle about 100 miles/week, go to the gym 1-3 times/week and I am maintaining my weight (not perfect but one hell of an improvement!) with absolutely no calorie counting -- I eat as much as I want. But what I don't do is drink sodas, and I stay clear of high glycemic index carbs. No more sweet rolls very morning!

    If you don't quite make your April 2013 goal, please don't be discouraged and give it all up. Be proud of what you have accomplished and keep on keeping on.

    Bear in mind, also, that if you get significantly stronger, developing calf and quad muscles for example, muscles have weight. In fact, muscles are denser than fat. You might look more to your waist size than the bathroom scale.

    It is normal for your weight to fluctuate plus or minus 3-4 pounds so don't let that put you on a roller-coaster of elation and despair.

    I trust you are making progress with the depression and medication issues. Exercise is an excellent anti-depressant and an excellent replacement for a great many medications.

    We are pulling for you and this forum is full of success stories.

    Don in Austin

  12. #12
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    1. Keep a food journal - someone has already recommended My Fitness Pal - use it!! Great tool.
    2. Weigh ALL of your food, don't trust that your 1/4 cup measuring cup is the same as the food manufacturers 1/4 cup, go by grams or ounces instead
    3. Make your changes in small steps and slowly - this is a lifetime journey as someone else has mentioned.
    4. Realize that food does not equal comfort. When you find yourself reaching for a package of cookies because you had a rough day, sit down with a pen and notebook and journal about why you feel like gorging on comfort food.
    5. Be consistent with exercise and realize that this is something you also have to make a lifetime journey - both for physical and mental health. But play around - swim, bike, run, hike - just change your lifestyle from a sedentary one to an active one. Talk your friends into being active with you or seek out new, active friends.
    6. Eat "close to the earth" - I've heard this phrased so many different ways but it is so true. As little processed food as possible. An occasional treat is absolutely alright, but plan for those treats. My partner and I have a rule - we can have a donut if we run 20 miles. I've had to change that a bit lately as I've been biking instead of running, so my personal rule is now a soft pretzel if I bike 30. The funny thing is though, when I hit that mileage I often don't want the treat because I feel so good about what I've accomplished!

    See if you can re-frame your goal from an arbitrary number to a mindset. The number you have in mind may or may not be the right number for your body (I learned this the hard way!) Make your goal to be healthy and fit instead of a number. As someone else said, you have youth on your side so you are SO lucky to be starting this journey now and you are so smart to be seeking out advice to do it safely. I commend you on every one of those - you are way ahead of the 8-ball!

    Congratulations on taking your life into your hands!

  13. #13
    Junior Member Nickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCbiker View Post
    You can see how riding your butt off and then eating a pizza chased with a couple of Cokes is not going to do the trick.
    I really hope you don't class me as a typical 'teenager / young adult' who eats junk and lounges round, I'm far from that! I've not drank a single fizzy drink in months, simply because I prefer water or green tea. I've been doing very well diet - wise, and have learned to say no to junk food. I've chosen biking because I really enjoy it, and I have spare time on my hands to do it. Of course I'm going to add cardio and weights when I feel ready, I just need a boost, and I feel biking is great for that.

  14. #14
    Junior Member Nickie's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your advice! Veryl helpful I'll be noting down all the websites you've given me. I'm aware it's going to be hard work, but I'm incredibly determined to reach my goal by April. I'll be keeping a food diary (fantastic idea) so it keeps me motivated and on track. Thanks again, and I'll be back in a few months with my progress!

  15. #15
    Senior Member NCbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    I really hope you don't class me as a typical 'teenager / young adult' who eats junk and lounges round, I'm far from that! I've not drank a single fizzy drink in months, simply because I prefer water or green tea. I've been doing very well diet - wise, and have learned to say no to junk food. I've chosen biking because I really enjoy it, and I have spare time on my hands to do it. Of course I'm going to add cardio and weights when I feel ready, I just need a boost, and I feel biking is great for that.
    No, that's not at all what I'm saying. You don't have to be a typical 'teenager / young adult' to make bad eating decisions. I just see so many posts and talk to so many people that think they can lose weight strictly by exercising. While I suppose it can be done, the typical overweight person didn't get there by making healthy eating choices. it's eliminating these bad choices and learning a new healthy lifestyle that is the key to losing weight and keeping it off. Riding your bike is just a link in the chain, not a magic bullet. If your doing well "diet - wise" and have been staying away from junk food, great! Keep it up.

    You say that you really enjoy riding your bike, me too, very much and that's all the reason I need to get out and ride. If I happen to strengthen my heart and burn a few calories doing it, that's all the better.

    Good luck with your weight loss and ride safe!
    __o
    _'\<,_
    (*)/ (*)

  16. #16
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    I've had a lot of luck (as has my wife) with a Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diet. As counter intuitive as it may sound, it really works and is really very healthy. Google LCHF diet, or go to www.dietdoctor.com and read about it. It's pretty easy, and you get to eat a lot, just no carbs. Mix in some exercise and the pounds will come off. A good book is "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance" available on amazon.

    Good luck.
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    I had a wonderful time with my moderate everything diet (excluding simple sugars).
    No simple sugars unless they are in fruit.
    I aimed for 40% complex carbs. 30% protein and 30% fat. I'm also a vegetarian so this was an entertaining exercise.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Chaco's Avatar
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    I'm afraid you are due for some frustration if you expect your bike riding to be the primary source of weight loss. Unless you are in prime shape and can average around 19 to 20 mph., there's no way you will burn close to 600 calories and hour from cycling. Since you're probably not in the best shape, you should probably figure somewhere around 300 calories an hour at best. On top of that, as you exercise more, your metabolism slows down a bit. Your muscles also get used to working, and hence more efficient, so they burn fewer calories. And the much touted post-exercise calorie burn may be good for around 20 calories an hour, but not much more than that.

    In other words, if you really want to lose weight, look toward your diet, not your cycling. That isn't to say exercise isn't important. It is very important to a lot of people, since it provides psychological support and fitness.

    There are lots of people who swear by the High-Carb, Low-Fat approach, and lots who have found that a non-productive path. At least do yourself the favor of reading about the low-carb, high-fat approach. You may find it's not really the "fad" diet a lot of people claim it is. A couple of good books to start with are Taubes's Good Calories Bad Calories, and Jenny Ruhl's Diet 101, The Truth about Low Carb Diets.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Weight loss is a lifestyle change. It's a long term project. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to reach a goal in a short period of time- the important thing is to be making progress over the long term.
    +1 This attitude is key. Short-term results are great... but commitment to a consistent long-term plan will keep the weight off for years to come. Good luck!

  20. #20
    Senior Member clarkbre's Avatar
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    As others have stated above, it’s more about minimal intakeof calories that helps you lose weight. Eating healthy and exercising help amplify the weight loss.

    In March of 2011 I got a smart phone and by happenstancedownloaded the Myfitnesspal app. I was221 pounds at the time and started tracking my caloric intake hoping to lose1.5 pounds a week. By just monitoring mycaloric intake (about 1500 a day) and no exercise, I was able to drop down to180 in a matter of 5 months. It wasreally just a case of mind over matter. My motivation came from within because I wanted to continue getting goodresults.

    Over the course of the last year, I was lazy and got back upto 210 pounds. I got back onMyfitnesspal with the same 1.5/week goal. In the last month, I have dropped 10 pounds by staying within thecaloric allotment but also supplementing it with cycling. I ride about 35 miles a week (13mph avg) butdon’t count that into my calorie counting.

    Overall, with eating healthier (and less) and including somecycling, I have a lot more energy and feel way better physically andmentally. One thing that I’ve done isforced myself to park the car. If myerrands are within a few miles of the house, it doesn’t take me much longer toride there as opposed to drive.

    You can do it!

  21. #21
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    I defatted over 5 years or so. The longer I took the easier it has been to keep the weight off. I do not like diets but I know the best way for me to lose weight when I need to. Having changed my lifestyle over those years weight reduction is a rare thing for me now.
    Occasionally I trim a lb or two off every so often but that is about it. Recently I decided 140 was a bit low and let my weight increase to the high 140s while I strength train. Maintenance mode is a good thing.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    I had a wonderful time with my moderate everything diet (excluding simple sugars).
    No simple sugars unless they are in fruit.
    I aimed for 40% complex carbs. 30% protein and 30% fat. I'm also a vegetarian so this was an entertaining exercise.
    Vegan or something else? Just curious about your protein sources.

  23. #23
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    Lacto ovo vegetarian due to digestive issues with meat.
    Cottage cheese, protein supplements when needed, milk, eggs, soy protein (I keep this as low as I am able to), nuts, beans, and rice.
    I find being a vegetarian athlete to be a pain in the arse but since the alternative is being sick twice a day I guess that isn't so bad.

  24. #24
    Senior Member asiamj's Avatar
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    I lost over 50lbs from cycling and dieting in 6 months. In the begining I rode a hybrid bike for 10 miles in the morning and 10 miles afterwork about 5x per week. At that time my avg MPH was only 12-14. I went on a low carb diet and drank 16 8 oz glasses of water per day. I tried to keep the portions low and kept a journal of my calories in and out on myfitnesspal.com. For me if I cycled that day, I could eat a little more then days I didn't. The journal was a great tool to put me in check or at least no where I'm at in terms of calories.

    I maintained my weight for over 1 1/2 years now. However, since I converted to a road bike now and riding 130-150 miles per week, I find myself eatting and snacking a lot more. I actually gained 5-7 lbs. It was eat less and suffer performance or eat more and have better performance and recover faster. I rationalized for the later . Now, Iam going to sacrifice performance and cut the snacking again.

    You can easily lose weight by cycling and changing your lifestyle eatting habits. Good luck!

    BTW, when you start losing all that weight get ready for a change of wardrobe every few months!

  25. #25
    King of the Plukers Spreggy's Avatar
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    Hi Nickie,
    I prefer a less structured approach that involves good concepts.

    One is fork control. Knocking down portion sizes a little goes a long way. For instance reach for the juice glass instead of the tall glass for your drinks. If you're eating anything out of a bag, take your portion then put the bag away out of hand's reach. A little less of everything goes a long way, and your body will adjust to being very comfortable with the smaller portions. I now actually feel kinda lousy if I've really filled up like the old days. Using a calorie tracking program is very useful, mainly to make you aware of what your favorite foods weigh in at. Some will surprise you.

    The other is the metabolism end of things. The amount you lose on a bike ride can really vary. I found that when I added intervals to rides the weight really started to move. A training plan is a great idea. It's pretty easy to get a basic training plan, they're all over the net and in book stores. If you've never ridden a century before, that's a good goal to set as your first cycling milestone.

    Mid-day metabolism is another thing you can toy with to move the scales. Lunch hour walks, three-minute workouts at your desk every hour, etc. A little imagination goes a long way.

    Lastly, get ready to do some shopping for your new outfits! The old clothes are never gonna fit again.
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
    ― Muhammad Ali

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