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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

I'm back and I'm stuck.

Old 05-22-15, 11:25 AM
  #1  
callmeclemens
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I'm back and I'm stuck.

First off let me reintroduce myself. When I first came here I was a 21 year old Clyde simply hoping to keep a cap on my weight and have fun.

Well 5+ years and a lot of living later I must admit I've been unsuccessful. Now heavier then ever I've recommited myself to a healthier life style, and so far in the past 5 weeks, I'm not seeing the results I used to see. I'm grateful that in the past five years I've improved my financial situation so that isn't holding me back as it had.

The past year I hadn't been kind to myself. Binge eating, a lot of drinking and a low activity lifestyle really set me back. In April I bought a Trek 800 and since I've substantially cut back on drinking, removed most snacking, and have averaged roughly 35mi a week of cycling ( I'm aiming for 50). The strides I've made seem substantial to me, but in the past five weeks I've gained about a pound.

I could really use some advice. I've acknowledge the fact that I need to change my approach as this have changed. So what cha got?
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Old 05-22-15, 11:29 AM
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Begin by Writing Down Everything and Every time you eat.

The amounts don't need to be written just the items.
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Old 05-22-15, 11:31 AM
  #3  
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In my experience of riding a bike: First comes fitness, then comes weightloss. Stick at it, it's still early days.
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Old 05-22-15, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by callmeclemens View Post
The past year I hadn't been kind to myself. Binge eating, a lot of drinking and a low activity lifestyle really set me back. In April I bought a Trek 800 and since I've substantially cut back on drinking, removed most snacking, and have averaged roughly 35mi a week of cycling ( I'm aiming for 50).
50 is a good start which will reduce your actuarial risk of bad things like diabetes and heart disease, although you need to average at least an hour a day of cardio to be in decent shape. Cycling 100 miles a week is a good minimum. 200 is better. Work towards that at a sustainable rate, like a 10% mileage increase each week. Spread it out over 4-6 days of riding. Adapt your riding to fit your schedule - commuting by bike doesn't take much longer than driving in areas with traffic, and you can use lights and warmer clothes (use layers you can remove as you warm up - I like a tight wind shell and knee warmers) to ride mornings or evenings. Note distance is relative - 50 seems like a lot when you're doing nothing, but isn't a big stretch from 35. Similarly going from 4 25 mile days and 100 miles to 5 and 125 and increasing 160 during the work week to 200 total with a Saturday ride aren't big deals.

Low intensity is good until you're back to a "normal for regular people" weight because it doesn't deplete your glycogen stores, drop your blood sugar, and make you hungry. A heart rate monitor can make staying slow enough easier.

Later a polarized approach works well producing better performance and body composition where 20% of your sessions are past your anaerobic threshold and 80% at an endurance pace or slower. I also like a zone 4 day, although even cutting down to a day each of zone 4 and 5 with the rest easy is more productive than when I naively added hard days and turned the rest into tempo rides.

Gamification can be motivating so track what you do, perhaps using software like strava or Golden Cheetah. I like my Golden Cheetah calendar full of workout squares and was really into getting to twenty miles in one hour.

I could really use some advice. I've acknowledge the fact that I need to change my approach as this have changed. So what cha got?
Don't eat when you're not hungry. Only eat enough to be sated half an hour after your last bite, going back for seconds and even thirds when necessary (try smaller first courses and see how it goes - I was surprised to find I could eat 1/3 less with no hunger). Always eat when hungry so you don't get too ravenous to control yourself.

Protein and fat provide longer lasting satiety so you'll tend to eat less, protein and whole foods have higher Thermic Effect of Food so you net fewer of the Calories in them, and lower energy density foods make it easier to stop soon enough although there really is a lot of latitude in what you eat - you just can't have too much. I still drink beer and eat pizza, but generally limit myself to at most one very tasty beer a day (none the night before hard or long days riding), two slices of pizza for dinner one day of the week, and maybe a left over slice the next day.

Between scheduled feedings I have things like lox or other cured salmon; left over meat; mixed nuts; or half an avocado with olive oil, salt, pepper, and drizzle of sriracha sauce. I replaced nearly all my diet coke and beer with carbonated mineral water which is a 0-calorie drink not boring like tap water.

I lost 67 pounds and ten inches around my middle that way, going from uncomfortable sweaty crease between man boobs and belly to six pack abs. My wife doesn't elbow me to roll over and stop snoring, I'm rested after 6.5-7 hours of sleep not 8 or 9, and I'm usually as relaxed as when I had a few beers as a more sedentary person.

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Old 05-22-15, 12:07 PM
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you said it better than we can... to summarize what you said, you are not exercising enough and eating too much...cut back on the one and increase the other....simply put, burn more calories than you eat.
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Old 05-22-15, 12:43 PM
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The good news is that it gets harder every year! Wait till you're 40 or 50.

Log your food, log your exercise, don't obsess over the scale.
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Old 05-22-15, 12:51 PM
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It may be what you're eating, also.

When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I had to cut way back on carbs, and increase my intake of green vegetables. I also cut back, and eliminated all sodas. Most regular sodas have high fructose corn syrup which is evil. So eliminate these completely. And those that have nutrasweet or saccharin or other sugar replacements have also been shown to hurt weight loss. My main drink nowadays is water with a little lemon squeezed into it. Regarding the HFCS, try to eliminate any products that have this.

Go to your doctor for a wellness exam to make sure that there isn't another condition that is causing you not to lose weight.

Also, as people start exercising, they'll often gain a little weight at the beginning of their program, because they're adding muscle.

You say that you've gained a pound. Have you noticed any other differences? Is it easier to put your belt on? Are you using a smaller hole on the belt loop? Are you able to do more without being out of breath? If any of these things are a positive, then you are making progress. Often waist size is a better measurement of how you are doing losing fat, than just checking your weight. Since you're biking, now, you may be keeping yourself more hydrated. Before if you were a little dehydrated, you might not have noticed. Now you do, and you're probably drinking more fluids (make sure they are not the wrong kind of fluids).

Good Luck!

GH
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Old 05-22-15, 12:52 PM
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reg lifestyle change and body transformation, my 2 cents, be patient, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year you will improve
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Old 05-22-15, 01:10 PM
  #9  
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Eat less for weight loss; ride more for better health. Weight is just a number. How your clothes fit and how you feel is more important than the number. I lost my first 50 pounds by changing how I ate. Quantities and only somewhat content. The more I rode the more what I ate mattered. I started looking at food at how it would effect my riding. That extra slice of pizza or desert would mean I'd have to ride several more miles just to pay for it. I choose to ride the miles but not eat the extra.
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Old 05-22-15, 01:19 PM
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35 miles/week isn't much if you are trying to lose an appreciable amount of weight, especially if you have a crappy diet. At a slow pace of 12 mph it's not even 3 hrs. of total pedaling time. And am I correct that it's pretty much flat? (Even 50 miles won't be that much.) I get the sense that you know what you need to do. You need to make yourself do it.

Got to run. Leading a 65 miler in Cumberland County, NJ tomorrow. Maybe you can join us next year. It's a beautiful ride with two stops (East Point Lighthouse and Fortescue) on the bay.
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Old 05-22-15, 02:55 PM
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ride as much as you can, as often as you can. Either way, diet is still 80% of the equation.

Enjoy your bikes, take pictures, see new parts of the local area. Slowly your range will grow

Oh and I base everything on time, not miles...that varies to much pending what bike is used.
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Old 05-22-15, 03:19 PM
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Make that 35-50 miles a DAY :-).

Log your intake 100%.......set your intake to lose say 1lb a week and do not eat back any exercise credits.

Your age, height, general weight will clue in some of the folks who were where you are, and they can share what they did, and where they are now.

Bill
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Old 05-22-15, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
35 miles/week isn't much if you are trying to lose an appreciable amount of weight, especially if you have a crappy diet. At a slow pace of 12 mph it's not even 3 hrs. of total pedaling time. And am I correct that it's pretty much flat? (Even 50 miles won't be that much.) I get the sense that you know what you need to do. You need to make yourself do it.

Got to run. Leading a 65 miler in Cumberland County, NJ tomorrow. Maybe you can join us next year. It's a beautiful ride with two stops (East Point Lighthouse and Fortescue) on the bay.
Give him a break on the distance. He just started biking, again, 5 weeks ago.

If he's like me, he's gradually increasing distance, so that he doesn't get an overuse injury. I'm working on increasing my distance, but I just passed the 35mi/week threshold.

As long as he's working on increasing his distance, and speed, that is the important part there.

But, yes, I agree that 35mi isn't burning off that many calories / week. Probably only about 1200 Calories per week. But, remember that us clydes ofter burn more Calories, then those skinny guys that can go twice as fast as us, because we're hauling more weight up those climbs.

And you don't know that his diet is crappy, now. He admitted that it was crappy in the past, but is better now. Give helpful suggestions on what he should or shouldn't eat, than just saying that his diet is crappy.
And if you don't think that he's doing enough miles, ask him how many miles each ride is, and give him advice on how he can increase his mileage.

GH
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Old 05-22-15, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ColaJacket View Post
Give him a break on the distance. He just started biking, again, 5 weeks ago.

If he's like me, he's gradually increasing distance, so that he doesn't get an overuse injury. I'm working on increasing my distance, but I just passed the 35mi/week threshold.

As long as he's working on increasing his distance, and speed, that is the important part there.

But, yes, I agree that 35mi isn't burning off that many calories / week. Probably only about 1200 Calories per week. But, remember that us clydes ofter burn more Calories, then those skinny guys that can go twice as fast as us, because we're hauling more weight up those climbs.

And you don't know that his diet is crappy, now. He admitted that it was crappy in the past, but is better now. Give helpful suggestions on what he should or shouldn't eat, than just saying that his diet is crappy.
And if you don't think that he's doing enough miles, ask him how many miles each ride is, and give him advice on how he can increase his mileage.

GH
He is admitting that what he is doing is not working. Honestly 35 miles a week will not do much if anything as far as weight loss. Health wise it is barely enough to improve health but more likely enough to maintain health. It could lower his risk for some chronic diseases.

Specific advice I'd offer is 35 miles this week, then change the tracking method. Go to time based rather than distance. Keep the effort steady but moderate, enough that you are tired by the time you are done but not exhausted. Where ever you are now add 2-5 minutes a day plus a longer weekend ride at least double your daily ride. When you reach 10 hours a week add 10 minutes to each ride and a half to an hour to the weekend ride. Once to this point stay at this duration. After 3-5 weeks of this do an assessment of fitness in a measurable way. Then add intensity one day a week. This assumes a sedentary lifestyle.

As far as what to eat.... Cooking from scratch works for me as does eating salad for lunch 5 days a week. I don't worry about fat and prefer real butter, bacon, skinless chicken, olive oil and do not eat much beef due to cost. Fish several days a week. Tuna and fat free refried beans, corn and green beans are about all I eat that is out of a can. I eat pizza and drink beer, neither helps me to lose weight. In fact both make me ride more. (before someone thinks I'm playing both sides here my other post in this thread is how I lost my first 50. I now don't fret so much the extra I eat as weight loss is no longer as important to me. I'm more interested in not gaining.)

Learn cycling technique. Spin rather than mash to avoid overuse injury.
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Old 05-22-15, 04:15 PM
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cycling is a non impact sport, I didn't think their is over use injury was even possible on the scale of few hours a week. Sure lungs, heart much get worked some, Your legs, shoulder, lungs will hurt, but that pain is only temporary. Should be OK if otherwise stated from the doctor. Going distance/duration is more mental than it may appear.

Flat out the first 8-12weeks SUCKS, it will test you mentally more than physically. Do you want to get leaner YES, to want to suffer, YES, do you like pain, YES. Do you had hills/wind/gravity YES. These are all mind games we play as we watch some painted line on the side of the road or sandy fire road in the local park.

You will find it harder to get out the door and on the bike riding, than the riding itself. This is the mental challenge of starting to cycling from day one or coming back from a timed off or even worse an injury. It take the human brain 6-12weeks to form a habit of any sort. Will you want to quit in those first 12weeks? Without a freaking doubt YES! will you quit?....that is up to the individual and how much he/she wants it.

Is it worth it after those 12weeks. Hells freaking YES
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Old 05-22-15, 04:40 PM
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Well, I know I need to do more.

I've done two twenty plus milers so far in the past 30 days. It is flat, I'm out in the farm areas so what kills some days is the wind.


As for my diet, it's really not bad. Plenty of fresh foods, low on carbs and fats, plenty of fresh veggies. I'm working on decreasing meal size now.

As for more specific information. I'm currently 6'0 and about 245. I'm not a flabby guy by any means however. I've always been more muscular, and usually people are about 20-30 lbs low when guessing my weight, most recently my Doctor. I've made a point of eliminating rides under five miles from my routine. This week I've ridden 55 miles so far. Longest being 18 and shortest being just shy of seven. So far I'm around three hours on the bike. Unfortunately I work 12+ hour days Friday thru Tuesday so If I get one ride in over the next few days I'd be lucky.


I'm just getting over the fact that if I had a month like this five years ago I'd be down 15 pounds and feeling great, and now progress is more subtle.

As far as cycling knowledge I'm not a novice, I'm big on keeping my legs churning. I usually pick a number for avg speed before I ride and try to maintain in the whole ride. Right now its about 13.5 mph
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Old 05-22-15, 04:41 PM
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^^^^^^ best answer yet Kudos @jsigone!
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Old 05-22-15, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by callmeclemens View Post
Well, I know I need to do more.

I've done two twenty plus milers so far in the past 30 days. It is flat, I'm out in the farm areas so what kills some days is the wind.


As for my diet, it's really not bad. Plenty of fresh foods, low on carbs and fats, plenty of fresh veggies. I'm working on decreasing meal size now.

As for more specific information. I'm currently 6'0 and about 245. I'm not a flabby guy by any means however. I've always been more muscular, and usually people are about 20-30 lbs low when guessing my weight, most recently my Doctor. I've made a point of eliminating rides under five miles from my routine. This week I've ridden 55 miles so far. Longest being 18 and shortest being just shy of seven. So far I'm around three hours on the bike. Unfortunately I work 12+ hour days Friday thru Tuesday so If I get one ride in over the next few days I'd be lucky.


I'm just getting over the fact that if I had a month like this five years ago I'd be down 15 pounds and feeling great, and now progress is more subtle.

As far as cycling knowledge I'm not a novice, I'm big on keeping my legs churning. I usually pick a number for avg speed before I ride and try to maintain in the whole ride. Right now its about 13.5 mph
Tell me about it.
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Old 05-22-15, 06:59 PM
  #19  
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My first few months probably are not indicative of most folks. But I walked a lot the month before my first month cycling. I was also a bicyclist who had not ridden in 20 years, the mental part was still there. I knew I could ride 100 miles(did once, not again yet). It sounds like the op to some degree is a bicyclist mentally too, that is good in some ways. Honestly I'm not hung up on the exact composition of the daily calories , IMHO just count them accurately . Living where your ride can start out of your front door is a HUGE help. Again IMHO getting on the bike everyday is also huge....my Strava log for the first year is pretty damn boring, but if I got on the bike I went around those 20 miles. I also went around them at 16 Fahrenheit , and at 37 Fahrenheit in the pouring rain. I left 125 lbs of me smeared in a thin layer over those 20 miles.
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Old 05-22-15, 07:05 PM
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Got a road bike last October and the miles have ramped up this summer, but if I'm time crunched a canned route is still good, and I use that 20 mile loop for interval day too :-). I'm here to say if I can do it anybody can, if they decide to, log the intake, get on the bike almost every day. Some days you just can't , but if that breaks a 19 day riding streak it works out better than only riding 2 days a week. In some ways I hate weekly and monthly goals , but they got me where I am today .
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Old 05-22-15, 07:08 PM
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The other guys and gals in this thread are genuine baddass's...and I want to be like them :-).....ditto for the ones who have not weighed in yet but will.

Get on the bike, do the damn thing :-).
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Old 05-22-15, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Willbird View Post
The other guys and gals in this thread are genuine baddass's...and I want to be like them :-).....ditto for the ones who have not weighed in yet but will.

Get on the bike, do the damn thing :-).

So you're saying HTFU!

GH
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Old 05-22-15, 07:38 PM
  #23  
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Realize that weight loss happens in the kitchen and fitness happens on the bike. If you don't fix the food issue, you cannot possibly correct it on the bike, especially since you are strapped for time. Use MyFitnessPal, a free calorie counting app to track what you are eating. It will open your eyes, and help with portion control once you see how much food you are ingesting. I lost 90 lbs since Sept, and until recently (like the last 6 weeks or so) the bike had nothing to do with losing the weight. I plateaued at 80 lbs lost and that is when I ramped up the cycling to get the next 10 off. If you are muscular, weight loss is going to be tougher since you may not have the fat to lose in the first place, but unless you are really muscled up I think you have fat to lose That said, we are here for you, we know you can do it and if you COMMIT to it, it will happen.
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Old 05-22-15, 08:34 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
cycling is a non impact sport, I didn't think their is over use injury was even possible on the scale of few hours a week. Sure lungs, heart much get worked some, Your legs, shoulder, lungs will hurt, but that pain is only temporary. Should be OK if otherwise stated from the doctor. Going distance/duration is more mental than it may appear.

Flat out the first 8-12weeks SUCKS, it will test you mentally more than physically. Do you want to get leaner YES, to want to suffer, YES, do you like pain, YES. Do you had hills/wind/gravity YES. These are all mind games we play as we watch some painted line on the side of the road or sandy fire road in the local park.

You will find it harder to get out the door and on the bike riding, than the riding itself. This is the mental challenge of starting to cycling from day one or coming back from a timed off or even worse an injury. It take the human brain 6-12weeks to form a habit of any sort. Will you want to quit in those first 12weeks? Without a freaking doubt YES! will you quit?....that is up to the individual and how much he/she wants it.

Is it worth it after those 12weeks. Hells freaking YES
Wow that is exactly how I felt stating off. No matter how hard it was putting in time and miles I was always glad I did!
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Old 05-23-15, 05:27 AM
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callmeclemens
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Thanks for all the awesomeness thus far guys. Today I'll start logging again. It has sometimes been helpful, while at the same time, well, letting me know I have leftover calories has led to poor decision making. This time I tend to focus less on calories and more on nutrition.

I'm going to provide today's activity as a good example of how things work for me.
Today I work from 9a-10p, so I was up at 6am on the bike by 630 and in the shower by 7:15. Work provides on meal, and as we speak I'm prepping my lunch (a tuna pouch, with a fresh cucumber and tomato salad, and some mixed nuts). I'm really working on reducing work snacking.

Problematically this will be my routine now straight through Tuesday. My weekend (Weds&Thurs) I'm nearing 20+ miles each day.
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