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Observations on Weight Loss

Old 03-05-19, 08:01 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by srode1 View Post
Weight loss isn't necessarily a good thing for performance - % body fat is probably more important. You might have just dropped muscle mass in your time of reduced training load.
True, especially if people want to lose a lot of weight quickly the loss is often for a very large part muscle mass, which is counterproductive in maintaining the right or a better weight. Maybe it would help if people call it fatloss instead of weightloss, but I'm afraid people tend to lose their ability to reason about their fat issue first and become obsessed with the scale, which is only an indication about whether they are achieving their real goal.

As others have said, you can't out exercise a bad diet, eat quality foods and not in excess. Personally, I think diets are for Dummies, make life changes don't do diets.
One of the reasons diets don't work is because people start them before they've learned to maintain weight. So they get from a habit of gaining weight to a situation of temporary losing weight, so when they've finished the diet they start gaining weight again. If you change your habits to maintaining weight first then you've tackled the cause of the problem, then you can do a diet to remove the symptoms of the problem that once was and lose the fat.
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Old 03-05-19, 08:04 AM
  #27  
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Exactly right. One trick I used last year was to go on long rides and then consciously choose to either fast, or just eat what I would have eaten had I not ridden. Creates an instant caloric deficit. This seems much easier to do when the weather is hot.

Also, I believe that riding a lot in hot weather can drop pounds all by itself, through some unknown mechanism, which may have something to with the body sensing that it's no longer the dead of winter, food is likely to be plentiful during sunny weather, so it's safe to jettison some extra weight that might be needed during the cold months when food can often become very scarce. Calorie requirements needed to fuel and heat the body on long hunting trips into the wilderness that are required to find more food during freezing weather are significantly higher, so it makes evolutionary sense for the body to conserve fat during those months to ward off potential starvation.
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Old 03-05-19, 08:14 AM
  #28  
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Having lost 85lbs and kept it off for over six years, I can confirm that weight loss is mostly your nutrition, and not exercise. I work out 12-14 hours a week, and can still easily out eat my workouts. That being said, we all need exercise to stay strong and healthy. Any time I am injured, or my activity level drops, I am careful to adjust how much I'm eating to ensure I don't put weight back on, a lot of of people don't do that and quickly put weight back on when their activity level drops.

Fad diets are just that, fads. I tell people all the time, if you can't eat like that for the rest of your life, then it's not going to work long term.
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Old 03-05-19, 08:16 AM
  #29  
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The OP's issue is self control with regard to diet, not exercising more or less.

T-Tim-
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Old 03-05-19, 08:26 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
What you eat is more important than the amount. You need to cut carbs and increase proteins and fat. Some kind of keto or paleo diet is the only way to permanenet weight loss.

I've lost 140 pounds and kept it off for 3+ years. That's complete crap.
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Old 03-05-19, 08:27 AM
  #31  
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I think OP made valid points. I was closing in on my target, but I've gained 3 to 5 pounds this year after increasing my weekly running from 20 to 25-30 miles, along with bike commuting. I feel like I crave more high-calorie foods, and don't adjust properly.
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Old 03-05-19, 08:28 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
What about people who have never had to "lose significant weight"? Maybe they follow a better plan.

Yeah, they probably picked parents with "better" genes.
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Old 03-05-19, 08:28 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
What you eat is more important than the amount. You need to cut carbs and increase proteins and fat. Some kind of keto or paleo diet is the only way to permanenet weight loss.
No. Just... No.
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Old 03-05-19, 08:36 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Yes. Just... Yes.
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Old 03-05-19, 08:48 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Uncorrect. I am living proof of that.

OP: As others have noted, your diet (not a diet) is the key to weight loss.
I agree with Indy 100%. It's your diet....not a diet. 3 years ago I weighed 250#. I went to a dietician to get jump started on a weight loss program. One of the first things she told me was that weight loss is 80% proper diet and 20% exercise. In the following 2 years I lost 40# and have maintained that for the past year. I wasn't on any kind of "fad" diet. She helped me with the long proven balanced food program. It worked for me.

Tony
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Old 03-05-19, 08:49 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post


Exactly right. One trick I used last year was to go on long rides and then consciously choose to either fast, or just eat what I would have eaten had I not ridden. Creates an instant caloric deficit.
I do some self-contained touring, with camping and cooking. I try to do one two-week, one one-week and several long weekend trips every year. I came to the conclusion several years ago that I was often overeating. I think some of it is psychological. I also think that some of it is due to overestimating how many calories you actually burned on your ride. A moderate, 50 mile ride does not equal a large pizza with extra pepperoni. I ended up dropping the intake for days that were not very difficult and don't feel like I lose anything in the way of performance--as long as I get the types of intake my body runs best on.

When I spent three months riding across the county west to east back in the day I actually gained weight when we hit the plains/Midwest, and it wasn't muscle weight. How did that happen? Because I was still eating like I was riding in the mountains. Also, the types of stuff we were eating and portion sizes when we ate out instead of cooking (which we did more often during that part of the trip), were not exactly good for you. I remember staying two nights at the HI Hostel at Lake Itasca, MN. There was no real grocery store around. The first night we scrounged up some sausages and baked beans from a small store and cooked them on the grill. The next morning I had a huge pancake and sausage breakfast. That night we ate out. Went to some place on all-you-can-eat fish night. Sounded healthy, until we realized that the fish was greasy, deep fried perch. I remember salad bars with a few, basic green vegetables and tomatoes then things like macaroni salad and potato salad.

During my 2015 tour in the Black Hills, which I didn't cook on, I quickly came to the conclusion that ranch dressing must be the official state condiment of South Dakota. It was everywhere on nearly everything. The first day I stopped for a burger and some burger shack at a campground. Squeeze bottles of ketchup, mustard and ranch dressing. That night, most of the vegetables at the salad bar were mixed with the stuff.
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Old 03-05-19, 08:57 AM
  #37  
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A couple of points--all weight gain is not equal. Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you put on muscle, all else being equal, you will gain weight. This weight gain may actually benefit your health and/or your appearance.

Second, it is not just a matter of calories in vs. calories out, it's a matter of sustainably maintaining a proper balance of the two over time. Study after study shows that "diets" really don't work for this for large numbers of people--each one seems to work for some tiny proportion of people who try it. Those people tend to become true believers in the diet, constantly preaching to other people how this particular method is the one true way for all--Keto and Paleo being exhibits A and B in this category right now.

Third, I believe that all of the real research in the field is leading to the same conclusion: people vary enormously in how their bodies process and metabolize food and in their abilities to engage in physical activity, and therefore it is virtually impossible to generalize effective weight loss/maintenance strategies. It has to be done at the individual level.

As a practical matter, I found my methods of massive weight loss and maintenance by trial and error, actually got down to a weight I considered sub-optimal in that I appeared gaunt and felt weak, and put on a few pounds by increasing weight training and cycling to build muscle (I ride long distances at high gears, please don't try to tell me that hasn't enlarged my leg muscles).

I did drastically reduce my carb intake, but that's because it is the type of food I tend to binge on, and I wouldn't call me current regimen low carb--it was just formerly extremely high carb.

TL/DR: Weight is just a number, and it needs to be considered in context. Don't believe anyone who tells you they KNOW how you can lose weight.
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Old 03-05-19, 09:05 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by mattbur View Post
I agree with Indy 100%. It's your diet....not a diet. 3 years ago I weighed 250#. I went to a dietician to get jump started on a weight loss program. One of the first things she told me was that weight loss is 80% proper diet and 20% exercise. In the following 2 years I lost 40# and have maintained that for the past year. I wasn't on any kind of "fad" diet. She helped me with the long proven balanced food program. It worked for me.

Tony

I lost about 100 pounds just by diet alone, then got stuck at a weight that was still too high. Then I started working out, lost another 55 pounds, ended up too skinny, and exercised some muscle weight on.

I think the way the two factors interact vary a lot from person to person.

Glad what you're doing works for you.
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Old 03-05-19, 09:05 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by mattbur View Post
I agree with Indy 100%. It's your diet....not a diet. 3 years ago I weighed 250#. I went to a dietician to get jump started on a weight loss program. One of the first things she told me was that weight loss is 80% proper diet and 20% exercise. In the following 2 years I lost 40# and have maintained that for the past year. I wasn't on any kind of "fad" diet. She helped me with the long proven balanced food program. It worked for me.

Tony
I worked as a stock boy at a cafeteria in college. I was on my feet 5-6 hrs./shift, three days/week, often carrying heavy stuff. My feet started to hurt badly. Went to see my mom's doctor. After examining me he asked "You know why your feet hurt?" Me: "No. Why?" Him: "Because you're fat. You need to lose weight." True story. He literally said "Because you're fat." At 6' 2" I was 265 lbs. I worked around food all the time. To make matters worse, the union cooks all loved me and used to make me special things during my morning shifts. No one needs a cheesesteak for breakfast. Ended up losing 93 lbs. in 9 months solely through diet change and some aerobic exercise. I am heavier now. Usually about 205 lbs. during peak riding season, but I have a different muscular structure than I did when I was 173 lbs. I estimate that I could probably get down to 190 lbs. without losing anything in the way of strength.
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Old 03-05-19, 09:07 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post


Exactly right. One trick I used last year was to go on long rides and then consciously choose to either fast, or just eat what I would have eaten had I not ridden. Creates an instant caloric deficit. This seems much easier to do when the weather is hot.

Also, I believe that riding a lot in hot weather can drop pounds all by itself, through some unknown mechanism, which may have something to with the body sensing that it's no longer the dead of winter, food is likely to be plentiful during sunny weather, so it's safe to jettison some extra weight that might be needed during the cold months when food can often become very scarce. Calorie requirements needed to fuel and heat the body on long hunting trips into the wilderness that are required to find more food during freezing weather are significantly higher, so it makes evolutionary sense for the body to conserve fat during those months to ward off potential starvation.

Weather may also just affect fluid balance. Water fluctuations in the body can change your body weight by several pounds during the course of a normal day.
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Old 03-05-19, 09:25 AM
  #41  
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In regards to exercise stimulating one's appetite, It's been my experience that when I start burning glycogen as fuel, my appetite become more ravenous. If I stay in the lower training zones that tends to be much less of a problem. I can still get a little light headed, even after an easy to moderate 40 minute session on the bike, but when I push myself hard my appetite gets out of control.

As of yesterday I've lost 34 pounds since Thanksgiving when my weight was 245. My "goal" is to drop 5 to 6 pounds a month, which I consider a healthy loss. Of course, during the first few months I've dropped more, but I also had more to lose. As I zero in on my target of 185 pounds, that will become more and more difficult. When I hit 200# I'll probably set my target to 2.5 to 3.0 pounds per month. Slow and steady seems to work much better for me than "instant" success.

And I agree with the fad diet thing being a joke. Just eat more sensibly and cut out the crap. Make it a healthy lifestyle choice and not a Chinese buffet style choice or a McDonald's choice.

Let's face it, most of us who are fat are fat because we have chosen to be. So choose differently. Very few people have an actual medical condition that makes them obese. And no, being big boned is not a medical condition. It's an excuse. So, take responsibility and make better choices about what you put in your mouth.
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Old 03-05-19, 09:42 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by radroad View Post
I've lost about 5 lbs this year. I've done very little riding. Maybe once or twice a week, tops. The weather doesn't help, and I'm being smart recovering from tendonitis.


Oddly enough, I lost zero weight riding 100-150 miles a week last year while car-lite. This year in just a couple of months, I've lost 5 lbs effortlessly. Here's the thing. When I ride regularly, I allow myself to eat more. I eat foods that are higher in fat. Net result: zero change in weight. This year, I'm riding a lot less. However, I'm more careful with what I eat. I figure, since I'm not riding very much, I can't afford to eat snacks or larger meals. The downside of course, is that I'm not as strong of a rider, but that's also obviously due to my recovering from tendonitis, which can take months.


Conclusion: exercise makes me stronger, but it's not making me any skinnier. Ironically, less exercise makes me skinnier. Psychologically, exercise that makes me sweat leads me to believe I've worked harder/burned more calories than exercise where I don't sweat like hiking, walking or weight training.


Interestingly, the forms of exercise where I don't sweat much may be much more healthy since they are all weight bearing forms of exercise. I'm not sure what the future holds as far as how much riding I do. I still enjoy riding obviously, but disappointed it hasn't worked out as far as weight loss.


For reference I am currently 165 lbs, but my "ideal" weight is closer to 150 lbs, my weight in college.
Weight loss occurs when you create a calorie deficit over time. Your body can throw up some road blocks to resist; lower the metabolism for awhile, that sort of thing, but over time, the key is to create a calorie deficit reliably, every week, and most days of every week.

You can create a calorie deficit by moving more, or by eating less, or both. For me, cutting out boredom grazing in the weeknight evenings, and instead going for a 15-25 mile ride, along with a longer ride on Saturday, I lost about 35 pounds from April through January, and leveled off at 32 down from my peak of 212. Leveled off because over the cold months I've been doing more weight training and less cardio work (less riding, for sure). So I'm seeing that flab continue to recede, but my weight came up a little in February.

That you lost no weight riding 100-150 miles per week indicates that you were not creating a calorie deficit. As you pointed out, you were allowing yourself more food. The mindset that I took when losing my weight was when confronted with a doughnut, bag of chips, or other tempting snack, consuming it would not help me get up the steeper hills around my area with less pain and effort. Not consuming it would help. Easy decision ant that point, because the hills around here are pretty difficult and I recognize that I need all the help I can get.

Maybe cycling just wasn't motivation enough to forego a portion of the calorie intake. But believe that if you layer back in 100-150 miles per week of riding, but only increase your caloric intake by another 100 to 200 calories per day from where you're currently at, your weight loss will accelerate and your fitness will improve (so long as you avoid repetitive stress injuries). This is because at 18 miles a day you're burning at least an extra 500 calories per day. If you live in hilly terrain that number climbs fast. Lets say you currently have a 500 calorie per day deficit, which results in losing a pound per week. Now add 125 miles of riding, but eat 200 calories more. That creates an additional 1700 calories per week of deficit. So instead of losing a pound per week, you'll be losing about 1.5 pounds. Maybe that's not a sustainable goal. Maybe your consumption goes up a little more. Fine, so you lose 1.25 pounds per week instead of 1. Either way, you're healthier for your efforts.
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Old 03-05-19, 10:53 AM
  #43  
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I've been there at times, lots of short rides less than 30 miles each maybe four times a week and found that my appetite pretty much matches what I burned and I don't lose any weight. It has always seemed that when I start doing one or two long rides of 50 to 80 miles every week that I get over that plateau and can get down to the weight I want to be at.

So my current opinion is that if your only want from cycling is weight loss, then longer rides getting into the four hour range are more important than filling your week with a bunch of short rides.
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Old 03-05-19, 06:06 PM
  #44  
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I'm going to focus a bit more on weight bearing exercises this year. Cycling doesn't really allow me to build or sustain muscle mass either, which is frustrating. I've occasionally attended some of the local cycling club events. Lots of fit, skinny elderly folks with pot bellies.

Interestingly enough, I got back to my ideal weight a couple of years ago just with daily walking (an hour plus) and light weight bearing exercises required for physical therapy a couple times a week. It was literally "no sweat."

I'll still be riding this year for fun. But it will be a part of the mix rather than my primary focus.
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Old 03-05-19, 06:24 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
What about people who have never had to "lose significant weight"? Maybe they follow a better plan.
My weight has fluctuated between 155 and 180 in my post college years. In college, I ate as much as I wanted: pizza, hot dogs, 6 servings of a main dish for dinner, burgers for lunch, 4 egg omelettes for breakfast with bacon/sausage + tater tots + juice + coffee. Or, I'd get a huge muffin and XL cafe mocha for breakfast if I was in a little bit of a rush. My meal plan gave me access to any residential dining hall on campus and that plan was always AYCE! I never gained any weight in college, except a little bit in summers which I would always lose once the school term started up again.

The main commonality is that I can maintain the proper weight when I walk at least a half hour a day.
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Old 03-05-19, 07:07 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Different types of exercise have different benefits. Which one is most healthy likely depends on the particular individual. But, in general, for overall health a combination of cardio and strength training seems to be very good.
In college, I walked about a half hour a day and also played a few hours of basketball a week. I guess playing basketball could be considered "cardio" but it was never more than 3 hours a week. I also commuted by bicycle when I didn't walk to campus, but that only took 10-20 minutes a day. Most of the day I spent sitting either in lectures or in library.

In other words, about 3 to 5 hours of "cardio", 3-5 hours of walking and (almost) zero weight training. Yet, I was always at the ideal weight. And I ate as much of any type of food as I wanted. That sounds like a good lifestyle to me. :-)
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Old 03-05-19, 08:15 PM
  #47  
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Conclusion: exercise makes me stronger, but it's not making me any skinnier.
Almost 500 bike miles this year since January, kettle bells, walking on non ride days......pounds lost? ZERO

I'm doing more than I've done in years and nada. I feel the pain.
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Old 03-05-19, 08:27 PM
  #48  
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Calories in vs calories out is a myth and it doesn't work. I lost 50 lbs without exercise and did it by eating less than 20 carbs a day. I took up biking after I lost my weight. I've been eating low carb for four years and I've done up to 140 mile rides without problems.
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Old 03-05-19, 08:32 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by radroad View Post
In college, I walked about a half hour a day and also played a few hours of basketball a week. I guess playing basketball could be considered "cardio" but it was never more than 3 hours a week. I also commuted by bicycle when I didn't walk to campus, but that only took 10-20 minutes a day. Most of the day I spent sitting either in lectures or in library.

In other words, about 3 to 5 hours of "cardio", 3-5 hours of walking and (almost) zero weight training. Yet, I was always at the ideal weight. And I ate as much of any type of food as I wanted. That sounds like a good lifestyle to me. :-)
If only you could stay 20 forever.
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Old 03-05-19, 08:33 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Sojodave View Post
Calories in vs calories out is a myth and it doesn't work.
Wrong.
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