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Keeping The Fifty-Something Weight Down . . .

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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Keeping The Fifty-Something Weight Down . . .

Old 10-29-13, 06:00 PM
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My weight wrestling is just like yours. I know I need to get down 20 to really hit the average times I want. BUT dang it, its Halloween and there are M&Ms to be eaten!
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Old 10-29-13, 06:31 PM
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As others have said, focus on lifestyle, not dieting. Keep track. They say that people that log lose more weight than people that don't log, all other things being equal. Weigh everyday. Look for ways to increase your metabolism through non-bike exercise activities. Now that it is getting colder (below 60 the last few days!!) I've started getting back into the gym for weight lifting and aerobic classes - my wife is thrilled I am going to the gym every morning. I haven't gotten around to telling her I am the only guy in one of the classes I take. I have no problem with it.
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Old 10-29-13, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz
Alcohol and carbohydrates are the elephants in the room here. My suggestion would be draconian...allow your tastes to be subjuct to your will, not the other way 'round. Stop at the pub? Drink tea or water. Don't purchase unhealthy snack foods or alcohol for [consumption] at home. Holidays come? Shrink portions of sugars and carbs. Make sure to maintain aerobic fitness during Winter. Sugars...no. Alcohol...no. Snack foods...no. Carb rich foods...no. Inactivity...no.
+1

I was just discussing this yesterday. In the end the only thing that works is to balance calories in and calories out. Past fifty the only way to do that for me was cut out alcohol, sugars and empty carbs. It is just a matter of priorities.

The key for me was finding suitable alternatives. I like crunchy snacks (and I work at home, big problem!). I know have lots of carrots and cucumbers with some wicked hummus from Trader Joe's. I can eat a lot of that with very few calories. I also sometimes snack on Cherrios (regular, not honey). They have the added benefit of actually helping -- a little -- with cholesterol.

Bottom line, alcohol just makes it so much harder to keep the weight off. At a certain point, it is just a math exercise.
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Old 10-29-13, 07:00 PM
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All of this can be made much simpler: If it tastes good, spit it out.

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Old 10-29-13, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Terex
If you don't have a good quality scale, with body fat measurement, buy one.
I have a scale with body-fat measurement (Tanita InnerScan 50), but I am not convinced the technology they use for body fat measurement works. It seems to be more a measure of my hydration. It varies by about 4% at various times during the day. I have lost 4 inches off my waist over the past year and it reads roughly the same. When I cross-checked with calipers ... not very close.

Does your work any better?
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Old 10-29-13, 07:36 PM
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I drastically curtail simple carbs - bread, rice, potatoes, pasta. Yeah it hurts for awhile, then you get used to it. Simple carbs turn directly to sugar, and sugar gets stored as fat.

I drink one beer a week on Sunday during football season. Believe it or not, after a while you get used to it. (Yes I know, blasphemy!)

I still struggle with chips and stuff, and sweets after dinner or lunch . . . real battles there.

Breakfast 6 days a week is just oatmeal and coffee. On Sunday I treat myself to bacon & eggs & ONE slice of toast.

90% of the time dinner is just a meat and vegetables.

One or two apples a day keeps the doctors away.

The simplest concept is this - you have to burn off more calories than you take in or you will gain weight, period.
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Old 10-29-13, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by dalameda
Keep track. They say that people that log lose more weight than people that don't log, all other things being equal. Weigh everyday. ..
I'm the exception then. I don't even own a scale. I was able to lose over 20 lbs in a four month period this year. I cut out a lot of sugar and rarely ate after dinner. And rode a lot. I did keep a log, but it was miles I was counting, not pounds.
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Old 10-29-13, 08:24 PM
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The key to all this is that it is a total life style, not just a quickie thing. I once took off over 20 pounds in about two weeks. Now, THAT, could have made me some money if I'd just slurped down a popular weight loss product. But, alas, that wasn't why I took off the weight. It was a by product of something that had nothing to do with weight. Plus, the weight came back over a few months.

My life style was severely compromised by the trauma I suffered a while back. All the fitness metrics suffered. Now, I am getting more fit and all the metrics, from weight, to vital signs, to size of weights in the gym, to how my clothes fit are coming back in line.

We all look to the fast fix. We also like to believe that someone in the food chain is looking out for us. Neither is true. Just like all other creatures we are what we eat. We are as fit as we live. Simple in concept and in fact. Difficult in execution.
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Old 10-29-13, 08:37 PM
  #34  
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I have a Omron body composition scale, the kind where you hold some grips in addition to standing on contacts. When I was losing from 216 lb to 185 lb I was using that scale religiously, at the same time every morning. I was also cross checking with some skinfold calipers. I concluded the body composition scale was pretty good at tracking relative changes in my body fat, but not too reliable in determining the absolute value. At 180 lb I think I am around 20-25% body fat.

Went to the gym today, turned up the resistance on the spin bike, and rode for an hour, heart rate between 155 and 175 bpm. Came home, did not stop at the pub, had some roasted chicken gizzards and pickled beets for dinner, did not indulge in noodles or bread or beer.

Of course, my wife and I are going to dinner for our anniversary tomorrow, so there will be rich food and wine involved. But today, anyway, was a calorie deficit day.

So here is a question. Out of 10 fifty+ cyclists, how many can't keep their weight down [Definition: should wear "club cut" jerseys] versus how many are at their appropriately lean weight [Definition: easily wear "race cut" jerseys]? This is cyclists [Definition: frequent or daily riders, like most of us here, not necessarily racers], not average Joes. What do you think the split is, based on what you see in your friends, riding buddies, etc? Is it 5 heavys and 5 lights? 7 and 3?

Last edited by jyl; 10-30-13 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 10-29-13, 09:32 PM
  #35  
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If I ride 300 miles a month (~20 hours) I lose weight at the rate of about 3 pounds a month, that's on about 2000 calories a day. Days I don't ride I watch what I eat, staying under 1700 calories. At 200 miles a month I'll maintain weight. At 21 I rode 4000 miles in 60 days and lost 2 pounds...so intake control is important. You can lose weight if you are always hungry but if you feed the beast...better put in the miles. Farming kept me lean because I walked 6-8 miles per day. Desk work..ugh. Evening snacks will end any diet plan quick.
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Old 10-30-13, 01:53 AM
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I am averaging 183lbs tried cutting down on calories to sub 1000 am now desperately trying to get to 1800 managing average 1300.
Don't drink alcohol no red meat no bad fats lots of vegetables usually raw or boiled. Hardly any pasta etc
At least 4 to 5 gym sessions of spin, Trx, Fst, weights my arms are sissy, ab work etc around 6hours a week.
I even rode to the gym on a ss.
I rode about 250 a week in the summer and as much as I can in the winter
In five year I have not lay a single lb am able to wear smaller clothes and still have a flabby tummy so much for doing Russian twists.
I also always feel like every session is my first ever my hrm in spin averages 170.
I am 5'6" 54 years old....
Can't shed the weight
I would love to be 170 which was the goal 5 years ago.
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Old 10-30-13, 05:37 AM
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The algorithms used in scales for body fat won't work with me since I lost 110 lbs and thus have extra skin. The information, in my case, would not be of any help. I not vein enough, nor desire, to have elective surgery to remove the extra skin--plus, when I've mentioned that I'd weigh ~2lbs less if I had the extra skin removed, several doctors have told me not to do it...it's not worth the complications and massive scars. If I had lost a lot more(say 200 lbs+), then it might be warranted.


Originally Posted by Winnershcyclist
I am averaging 183lbs tried cutting down on calories to sub 1000 am now desperately trying to get to 1800 managing average 1300.
Don't drink alcohol no red meat no bad fats lots of vegetables usually raw or boiled. Hardly any pasta etc
At least 4 to 5 gym sessions of spin, Trx, Fst, weights my arms are sissy, ab work etc around 6hours a week.
I even rode to the gym on a ss.
I rode about 250 a week in the summer and as much as I can in the winter
In five year I have not lay a single lb am able to wear smaller clothes and still have a flabby tummy so much for doing Russian twists.
I also always feel like every session is my first ever my hrm in spin averages 170.
I am 5'6" 54 years old....
Can't shed the weight
I would love to be 170 which was the goal 5 years ago.
I just eat less, eat more veggies and fruits, very rarely imbibe(because of diabetes), do eat rice and pasta, and exercise(cycling). The changes were the introduction, or rather the increase, of veggies and fruits. I even eat red meats. I went from 251# down to 139~142#(5'7") by doing this. Everyone is different--I don't put stock in fad diets--a balanced meal and portion sizes are what I use.

Last edited by Bikey Mikey; 10-30-13 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 10-30-13, 06:22 AM
  #38  
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I do the 5-2 fast diet. Mondays and Thursdays I limit myself to 600 calories total. Went from near 200 lbs to 180-183, but now I'm hovering there. Mostly due to chocolate and carbs. Luckily I don't drink.
On my non-fasting days I pretty much eat what I want but I've learned to stay away from the calories bombs. For me that was Chinese buffets and burgers and fries.
The fasting actually feels pretty good. It clears your mind. I can even do a 10-20 mile ride with no problem on those days.
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Old 10-30-13, 07:21 AM
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Consider yourself lucky to struggle with 10 lbs. A few years ago after an unfortunate series of personal events, I gained 55 lbs. I've manage to take 35 of that off during the past 18 months just by getting back to normal routines. The last 20 just wants to keep hanging on, and hanging on. This ah...maturing (that's it, maturing) metabolism is a real pain.

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Old 10-30-13, 07:51 AM
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"We are each an experiment of one" see https://www.georgesheehan.com/welcome/bio.html

once 185lb, now 135lb+/-, age 63, height 5' 8", very little body fat

biking, walking some jogging and now swimming because of triathlons

I just eat but don't over indulge-too often , O'Doul's NA beer because the carbs are good for me and don't care for alcohol that much, drank wine but not much at all now, just had ice cream last night-first time in months-just don't want it anymore and the same with deserts i.e.-pies

I eat and drink for fueling, not for the enjoyment. Does that mean I am non-social? Maybe, but it doesn't bother me.
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Old 10-30-13, 08:17 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155
If you notice there is one common thread. Eat less maybe more often and more balanced foods. Hard to believe but beer isn't good for us. I know it is also something many enjoy. But the truth is we eat too much for the amount of exercise we typically do. So what we have to do is as some already have done. They see how many calories it takes to maintain a weight and stay as close o that as they can. Once again not an easy task. But there is also a reason "diets" ( changing eating habits for a period of time to overcome a perceived problem) don't work. Because as soon as the perceived problem is over the people go back to what caused the problem in the first place. I wouldn't be a vegan at the point of a gun but if that were the life choice someone had to make to stay at a healthy weight and it worked for them maybe they should go for it. What is important to the individual will determine the changes they make in their life, ( speaking from experience) Until the word diet simply means the way you eat rather than a word that means changing how you eat till you get back to where you want to be you will Yo-yo every winter.
I couldn't agree more. Lifestyle changes work. Diets don't. If I like beer, I'd better figure out a more exercise oriented lifestyle --like riding to the pub and back (which avoids DWI's also). I don't want to suffer a diet. I'd rather earn what I eat. I also have noticed when I exercise, my food cravings get very much more healthy. Maybe that's just me, but I don't want cookies and sweets and carbs so much when I'm doing hard daily exercise.

If you really want extremes, I once cut out all carbs (only meats and veggies) while training for a marathon. Within 2 weeks I had dropped 12 lbs (that extra spare weight around the middle disappeared).
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Old 10-30-13, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by jyl
Out of 10 fifty+ cyclists, how many can't keep their weight down versus how many are at their appropriately lean weight?
What do you mean by "appropriately lean weight"? I have noticed that the more I cycle the lower my goal weight becomes.

Is Peyton Manning at an appropriately lean weight? He is 2 inches taller than I, and 20 lbs heavier. How about Kobe Bryant? He is 5 inches taller than I and 7 lbs lighter. Matty Reed (elite Triathlete)? He is Kobe's height and 25 pounds lighter than Kobe (32 pounds lighter than I).

From a cycling perspective Matty's physique would make the most sense, but personally, I would prefer to have Kobe's physique. He looks the best.

There is simply too much variation in what people consider "appropriately lean" to answer your question with any accuracy.
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Old 10-30-13, 08:35 AM
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For your height and age, your weight does not sound that bad to me. I am a little shorter than you, same build and am also stuck in a 182-192 range. I feel better on the lower end, would like to be 5-10 less than that, and am unhappy when the weight drifts up during the cold, snowy and dark NE Ohio winter.

In my mid-20's I was 165 and very lean. I am less lean today, but much happier. I watch what I eat, but like some stuff that is not ideal. I don't really think about that much. I had blood work done and my numbers are pretty good - total cholesterol is just a hair to high, but the ratio (thank you bicycle riding!) is very good.

I have decided to shift my winter activity to hiking and am currently shopping for the right water-proof boot. I figure move as much as possible (while having FUN), don't let the eating get way out of control over the holidays and watch the calendar for the waning of Winter and the arrival of Spring.
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Old 10-30-13, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by jyl
So here is a question. Out of 10 fifty+ cyclists, how many can't keep their weight down versus how many are at their appropriately lean weight? This is cyclists, not average Joes. What do you think the split is, based on what you see in your friends, riding buddies, etc? Is it 5 heavys and 5 lights? 7 and 3?

How are you defining "cyclists" v. average Joes? Competitive clubbers, long-time distance riders, masters racers? Makes me think of a competitive master racer I work with time to time, he is concerned about his weight but has always been very skinny, gaining a couple of lbs is a huge deal for him and he's well over 6 ft. The average person would look at him and think he's anorexic. Seems to me competitive/racing weight and diet regime that goes with it is in another universe entirely from what's talked about on these boards.
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Old 10-30-13, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikey Mikey
The algorithms used in scales for body fat won't work with me since I lost 110 lbs and thus have extra skin. The information, in my case, would not be of any help. I not vein enough, nor desire, to have elective surgery to remove the extra skin--plus, when I've mentioned that I'd weigh ~2lbs less if I had the extra skin removed, several doctors have told me not to do it...it's not worth the complications and massive scars. If I had lost a lot more(say 200 lbs+), then it might be warranted.




I just eat less, eat more veggies and fruits, very rarely imbibe(because of diabetes), do eat rice and pasta, and exercise(cycling). The changes were the introduction, or rather the increase, of veggies and fruits. I even eat red meats. I went from 251# down to 139~142#(5'7") by doing this. Everyone is different--I don't put stock in fad diets--a balanced meal and portion sizes are what I use.

I agree with you things like metabolism plays a part my issue is that I have very little loose skin skinny arms and a roll stomach that even with all sorts of ab work I cant tighten I have just come out of 1/2 hour TRX followed by an hour of FST then 10 minutes on a rowing machine HRM averaged at 134
I dont have any ailments of any type either.

I so want to have tight abs to show all the owrk I put in but maybe 54 is just too old for such dreams...
I am a fruit and veg man too
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Old 10-30-13, 10:01 AM
  #46  
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I went back to post 34 and tried to define my question a little better. Thanks.
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Old 10-30-13, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155
If you notice there is one common thread. Eat less maybe more often and more balanced foods. Hard to believe but beer isn't good for us. I know it is also something many enjoy. But the truth is we eat too much for the amount of exercise we typically do. So what we have to do is as some already have done. They see how many calories it takes to maintain a weight and stay as close o that as they can. Once again not an easy task. But there is also a reason "diets" ( changing eating habits for a period of time to overcome a perceived problem) don't work. Because as soon as the perceived problem is over the people go back to what caused the problem in the first place. I wouldn't be a vegan at the point of a gun but if that were the life choice someone had to make to stay at a healthy weight and it worked for them maybe they should go for it. What is important to the individual will determine the changes they make in their life, ( speaking from experience) Until the word diet simply means the way you eat rather than a word that means changing how you eat till you get back to where you want to be you will Yo-yo every winter.
+1000

I finally got tired of yo-yo dieting and decided to change my eating habits. I've kept my weight within 5 lbs for the last 17 years. I don't have any foods off-limits, but I do focus on portion control. I use a measuring cup or scale to get portions correct. I'd say it took well over a year to completely retrain myself to eat smaller healthy portions without thinking about it.

To answer the OP's latest question, I am not overweight. My revised eating habits and the fact that I exercise 5-6 days a week are the reason why.
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Old 10-30-13, 10:22 AM
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It all comes down to will power or self control, doesn't it? I quit struggling with weight when I realized that I am not good at moderation when it comes to choosing my foods and calories. I would always choose what tasted good, not what was good for me.

So, for what it's worth, here is my "2 cents worth." I decided years ago that I would not drink any calories (no beer/alcohol, no juice, no regular soft drinks, etc.), the sole exception being skim milk in my morning coffee. I also decided that I would eat no meat other than seafood (cholesterol dropped from 200's to a consistent 130 combined). I eat no candy, no baked goods, no pasta (except when I go back to Steubenville and eat at Naples/DaPepinos), no pizza, no bread (except flat bread in Greece or Turkey), and no snacks or processed foods. I have used the fact that I am a creature of habit to shape my eating habits. I now eat Greek non-fat yogurt with fresh fruit and rolled/steel cut oats for breakfast (every day), and fish, salad (fresh vegetables only) and 1/2 baked potato (2-3 x's a week) for dinner. If I want a snack it is only fresh fruit. With my personality, I am unable to stick with the old adage of "everything in moderation." If I didn't eliminate certain food groups I would not moderate my intake.

Other than walking and hiking I didn't do much in the way of exercise until this past May, but was able to maintain my weight at 200-205 pounds at my height of 6' 2 1/2". When I started biking again in May, my muscles have increased, but my weight has slowly dropped. I am now at 177-178 when I weigh in every morning. I am 63, and I haven't felt this good since my 30's. I average 175-200 miles per week cycling, and I am now running 3 miles every other day. (The bad news is: 1. that most of my clothes no longer fit, which is an expensive problem since I haven't yet retired, and I often need to wear a suit; 2. I keep looking at expensive new bikes and equipment.)

I do not change my eating habits during the holidays. After a few years my family and friends got used to it. I don't think that everyone should do what I do...what I do think is that everyone needs to understand themselves, and then have the will power (and moderation if they have that ability) to stick to an eating lifestyle that they choose and can maintain. What works for me doesn't necessarily work for someone else.
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Old 10-30-13, 11:49 AM
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Activity and type of activity plays a huge role in weight. In the course of my rehab as my activity level increased my weight decreased, just as one would expect. Now, my weight is increasing again. Why? Because I am doing a lot of weight lifting and body building exercises. Concurrent with that I have increased my protein consumption but not my calories. So, I am piling on muscle. Well, maybe not piling on, but increasing muscle. The weight gain will continue until I am back to normal for me performance, or at least as far as nerve damage will allow.

Body type and age play roles in weight as well. Some folks have bigger bones, some smaller. Some are short legged and long torso, so long and lean. As we age hormone balance changes with an effect on the body.

All of this reinforces the foundation concept that it is fitness and not weight that is the goal. Weight is a valuable metric to keep the mind straight. But, ultimately being able to perform is what counts.
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Old 10-30-13, 06:42 PM
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Beer is food.
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