Old 05-19-04, 11:25 AM
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one suggestion is to ride at your optimal fat burning heart rate for most of your mileage while you're trying to lose weight.

calculate the caloric output for your rides, and add that to your daily requirements for food. remember that your bmr is *not* what you need in a day, it's what you'd need in a day if you stayed in bed for the full 24 hours - so you'll need more than that to survive!

when i need to drop weight, i use a spreadsheet. i calculate my needs in one column and estimate my input in another. i just lost 12 pounds in march this way in order to get to a good hill climbing weight. my brother lost 60 pounds in 4-5 months and has kept it off for a year now (actually he lost even more weight with a normal diet). it sounds pretty anal, but it helps you in two ways: 1. gets you a semi-accurate idea of your calorie deficit for the day, and 2. helps motivate your diet, since every time you eat something you have to write it down

watch when you eat your calories. try to ride in the morning, for 30 minutes at least before you eat anything at all. eat small amounts of calories throughout the day with snacks - fruit, veggies, and protein ... being a vegetarian is gonna make this last one really hard for you, but it's very important. can you eat seafood? shrimp perhaps for a high-protein snack (i eat grilled chicken breast and turkey). yogurt and cottage cheese are good too. whatever you do, don't starve yourself the entire day, then eat 1800 calories all at once before bed, you'll lose muscle in the daytime and put on fat at night!

supplement fiber - it fills you up without calories. be careful here tho

drink water, and lots of it. small amounts of dehydration can lead to large drops in your body's metabolism rate. also, increased protein and fiber both call for increased hydration for separate health reasons.

finally ... find someone objective who is willing to assess whether or not you really need to lose weight. it is often very hard to look in the mirror and have any idea of how you're doing on the diet, since you know exactly where every fat cell on your body resides! and of course, you will look directly at them when trying to assess yourself. one fairly objective measure is a bodyfat percentage - have it measured using dexa or the water method, then get a bodyfat scale with which you can track relative changes (the absolute values on those scales are typically way off, though they track changes fairly well). in the same vein, have a target weight/bodyfat and end your diet when you get there.
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