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Old 08-10-17, 10:28 AM   #1
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Body Composition Thread

After my crazy hot/difficult road race saturday I saw my weight jump up 5 lbs. on Monday.

Led me into the rabbit hole of water retention and to my horror, the realization that I basically do everything wrong.

My favorite of all the articles I read: https://legionathletics.com/water-retention/

So, in summary, per this and the other linked articles I do the following things wrong.

1 - too much cardio
2 - too much sodium
3 - routinely ride myself into dehydration, then remain dehydrated for hours afterword until I can weigh myself and see the low number (because I like that one best)
4 - routinely ride myself into low blood sugar, then exist with low blood sugar for a long time because I fear eating carbs. Including usually not eating any breakfast, or any food until after I ride. Often 2pm.
5 - not enough sleep, too much life stress. (can't fix that, yet)
6 - am a chronic dieter

Anyway, this all gives me a lot of hope. I don't carry a lot of fat on most of my body, but true to the article I carry it in jiggly lower-abs, lower-back and thighs.

So I'm bumping my calorie goals on myfitnesspal up to be less restrictive, I ate breakfast today, am cutting back on my love of salt... we'll see.
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Old 08-10-17, 10:55 AM   #2
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Interesting break down. I find myself following a lot of the same trends except I go in waves of eating and not eating carbs. I've found my weight can fluctuate a lot. I recently bought one of those fancy scales that tracks online so that I can see long term trends.

Right now my scale is claiming about 15 % bf 60% body water. I try to weigh at the same time every morning. After I get up, after I pee. I like to jump on the scale after working out to see the low number, but never take it into account for the overall trend.

This will be one of my major focuses over the next winter is drop down much lower so when it comes time to race I can go up and not feel as bad.
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Old 08-10-17, 11:09 AM   #3
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Measuring servings along with MFP synced to TrainingPeaks has helped me settle down on the diet stuff. When you've got your calorie needs dialed in and know you're tracking things properly it takes a lot of the "oh ****" out of gaining a couple of pounds of water weight.

FWIW @ 160-163lbs I have my BMR set at ~2600/day and that seems to be working well. OK, if I never got out of bed it'd be more like 1700, but doing work takes calories, ride recovery takes calories, annoying my girlfriend takes calories...

I seem to gain a couple of pounds during the summer. My coach has told me it is blood plasma volume related due to heat. It goes away in the fall. I have also experimented with intentionally upping salt intake before longer races so that I retain more water and it seems to work pretty well.

Basically, worrying less but weighing like 1lb more than I otherwise would seems to result in better riding and day to day depth, which has lead to more consistency and a lot of extra power.

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Old 08-10-17, 11:23 AM   #4
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FWIW @ 160-163lbs I have my BMR set at ~2600/day and that seems to be working well. OK, if I never got out of bed it'd be more like 1700, but doing work takes calories, ride recovery takes calories, annoying my girlfriend takes calories...
Do you add in the kj or cals from your rides? I'm about 165 too (though objectively I have 10-15 lbs I could lose), and I have MFP set to 1900 but I add in daily ride kjs. I did a resting metabolic test a little while back and it was closer to 2100, where age and weight would have predicted ~1700, so I took a number in the middle.

Anyway, I'm interested to see how other folks handle this too.
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Old 08-10-17, 11:25 AM   #5
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Do you add in the kj or cals from your rides? I'm about 165 too (though objectively I have 10-15 lbs I could lose), and I have MFP set to 1900 but I add in daily ride kjs. I did a resting metabolic test a little while back and it was closer to 2100, where age and weight would have predicted ~1700, so I took a number in the middle.

Anyway, I'm interested to see how other folks handle this too.
You can sync trainingpeaks with MFP, so it automatically pulls in the workout kj and adds them onto whatever you set as your BMR
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Old 08-10-17, 11:28 AM   #6
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You can sync trainingpeaks with MFP, so it automatically pulls in the workout kj and adds them onto whatever you set as your BMR
Right right, I do that now. Was wondering if you handled it the same way.
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Old 08-10-17, 11:36 AM   #7
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Yup! Technology is awesome.
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Old 08-10-17, 11:54 AM   #8
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mostly I just wanted to post muscle pics.

http://i.imgur.com/wZY3BwE.jpg

but really, my vascularity is prominent on my upper body (that I previously never worked) and non existent on my legs which got me thinking about the water retention.

That and that after Patterson I was 176lbs after drinking a bunch, then Monday I was 184lbs. I joke about camel fat and not needing to drink, but then I guess yeah, your body adapts to dehydration by retaining water. I've been so dumb.
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Old 08-10-17, 12:19 PM   #9
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I did a resting metabolic test a little while back and it was closer to 2100, where age and weight would have predicted ~1700, so I took a number in the middle.
I just looked mine up from that study. I'm at 1670, but average for my predicted range would be 1815. I wonder why I'm always so hungry?

Also, I ate a honey bun yesterday from the snack machine that filled about 40% of my calorie needs.
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Old 08-10-17, 01:04 PM   #10
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@Ygduf Can you explain what you mean by too much cardio? It is number one on your list of issues.
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Old 08-10-17, 01:04 PM   #11
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mostly I just wanted to post muscle pics.
i was thinking this would be in your first post - surprised it took so long!
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Old 08-10-17, 01:09 PM   #12
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I did a "BodPod" test recently, came out to 21% body fat.. yikes. I mean I knew I was masters-fat, but damn.

The nurse and I agreed that cookies OR ice cream is ok; but having both in one night probably not the best idea.

I don't want to lose weight per se, just want to replace fat with muscle where possible. Already started cutting back on snacks, that's what gets me. We have hoards of free snacks here at work (granola, fig bars, yogurt pretzels, etc) and it's really hard to resist!!

When I was at my dad's this spring and not snacking as much, I lost like 10 lbs! It's all come back now.

I don't count calories, just weigh myself in the mornings and generally sigh. Counting calories is way too much work.
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Old 08-10-17, 01:38 PM   #13
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I used to Calorie count, sometimes I start up, other times I stop. I got my diet just about as spot on as I could for a while and finally skimmed myself down a bit. You know what? It was just muscle I lost. While I haven't done any real testing my current best guesstimate is %10, and honestly I don't think that has changed during the 5 lbs of loss I managed this year.

Worst part is it still takes a boatload of self control to keep it off. Compare that with my teammate who is a total beanpole and is "heavy" when he is 150 lbs at 6'0". Grumble Grumble.

Last edited by dz_nuzz; 08-10-17 at 01:41 PM. Reason: I contradict me.
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Old 08-10-17, 01:52 PM   #14
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Yeah, but when Kim Jong-un and the Donald destroy the world, people like him will starve faster while people like you and I will be able to survive with less food.

Maybe.
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Old 08-10-17, 02:43 PM   #15
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Wouldn't increased water retention be a desirable adaptation for racing, other than the weight gain? Like, in situations where you'd otherwise be dehydrated and bonking? What about the water weight that comes along with topped off glycogen and creatine stores?
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Old 08-10-17, 02:52 PM   #16
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If it's just temporary water retention does it really matter? Unless your goal is to do a short hill climb TT, where mild dehydration may be performance enhancing, just enjoy your camel gut; having a bunch of sodium and water on hand isn't so bad. Just try to carry around fewer triglycerides / fatty acids.
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Old 08-10-17, 06:06 PM   #17
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@Ygduf Can you explain what you mean by too much cardio? It is number one on your list of issues.
well, in my case it's understanding that constant unceasing cardio probably means elevated cortisol. More rest days (I actually have 2/week now!) are probably good.
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Old 08-10-17, 06:09 PM   #18
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Unless your goal is to do a short hill climb TT
1 - this is my goal all october/november/now.
2 - I'm obsessed with weight to a harmful degree and the fluctuations contribute to that.
3 - I'm vain af and want full abs. instead of the top 4.
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Old 08-10-17, 06:47 PM   #19
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You are much more concerned about this type of stuff. I just quit drinking and eating junk food. Never counted calories or paid even the slightest amount of attention to weight. Listened to my body and gave it what I thought it needed or would want soon. I have no clue what cortisol is, how it results from cardio, or why that makes life so hard for you?

In layman's terms does that mean as hard as you try to fight of the fat genes and lose weight. Your body tries twice as hard to insist it is bad for your survival and shuts you down?
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Old 08-10-17, 07:23 PM   #20
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1 - this is my goal all october/november/now.
2 - I'm obsessed with weight to a harmful degree and the fluctuations contribute to that.
3 - I'm vain af and want full abs. instead of the top 4.
Huh, this pretty much describes me right now. At the same time, I'm lifting like crazy for track racing, and that makes me incredibly hungry.

Anyone up for an Ab off - we can race to see who gets full abs first?
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Old 08-10-17, 07:42 PM   #21
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Wouldn't increased water retention be a desirable adaptation for racing, other than the weight gain? Like, in situations where you'd otherwise be dehydrated and bonking? What about the water weight that comes along with topped off glycogen and creatine stores?
it depends on the event. sometimes weight is at a premium. for short events where that is true then it may make sense to go in mildly dehydrated.

there is 'topped up' and then there is overloaded.
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Old 08-10-17, 07:49 PM   #22
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I used to Calorie count, sometimes I start up, other times I stop.
in my own experience here + a bunch of others that i've helped, i find that it takes about 2-3 weeks of paying attention to figure out general calorie intake for the foods we commonly eat.

then 'tracking' becomes pretty easy to do in one's head--assuming one isn't eating out constantly or eating different things all the time.

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I got my diet just about as spot on as I could for a while and finally skimmed myself down a bit. You know what? It was just muscle I lost.
did you track macros? you should be able to lose weight and retain muscle (just like you can lose weight and maintain or even increase FTP), but you have to pay more attention to macros & timing.

OTOH, if you lost upper body mass (for example) that could just be a product of doing cycling-specific training. it could be valuable for winning races but less valuable for, say, remaining attractive to others.
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Old 08-10-17, 07:53 PM   #23
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Do you add in the kj or cals from your rides? I'm about 165 too (though objectively I have 10-15 lbs I could lose), and I have MFP set to 1900 but I add in daily ride kjs. I did a resting metabolic test a little while back and it was closer to 2100, where age and weight would have predicted ~1700, so I took a number in the middle.

Anyway, I'm interested to see how other folks handle this too.
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You can sync trainingpeaks with MFP, so it automatically pulls in the workout kj and adds them onto whatever you set as your BMR
my advice here is that if you are going to add in calories burned during workouts (which i think one should, esp if they are using a power meter and not HR as an estimate), then set yourself as whatever activity level is 'normal' in the app. if you set yourself as the maximum -- even if that is what most of us here are -- you'll likely wind up double-counting/over-estimating energy use off the bike.
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Old 08-10-17, 07:55 PM   #24
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1 - too much cardio
2 - too much sodium
3 - routinely ride myself into dehydration, then remain dehydrated for hours afterword until I can weigh myself and see the low number (because I like that one best)
4 - routinely ride myself into low blood sugar, then exist with low blood sugar for a long time because I fear eating carbs. Including usually not eating any breakfast, or any food until after I ride. Often 2pm.
5 - not enough sleep, too much life stress. (can't fix that, yet)
6 - am a chronic dieter
damn.

sleep (or lack of) is actually pretty big. losing weight in a healthy way becomes really difficult when you're not sleeping.

definitely cut yourself some breaks with young twins in the house.
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Old 08-11-17, 02:59 AM   #25
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Whew, a lot of obsession about weight for a skinny guy.

If you are retaining water in the legs, then you can press the skin for a few seconds, then release, and it will leave a dimple. If that is the case, then you need to talk to a doctor rather than doing fad diets.

I don't know about salt. If you're sweating a lot, then it is probably best not to do extreme salt restrictions, although, perhaps a typical "western diet" would get enough.

My weight will naturally vary by as much as 5 pounds without doing much. Pizza makes me drink a lot of water If I'm actually dieting, then falling off the wagon for a meal, and the weight jumps up by 5 pounds, which then takes a few days to get back off.

I'd concentrate on training, rather than getting that last pound off. You can go out and buy a lighter set of wheels if you wish
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