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Observations on Weight Loss

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Old 03-04-19, 06:39 PM
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radroad
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Observations on Weight Loss

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.
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Old 03-04-19, 06:47 PM
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I find that the more I exercise the more I tend to eat as well.

The true and tried way of losing weight is to burn more calorie than your consume. Very few ways around it. Not sure of your age but I have found that the older I get, the more difficult to keep the weight off.
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Old 03-04-19, 07:26 PM
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Exercise is important for weight loss (duh!) but diet is even more important. You can work yourself into a sweaty mess only to turn right around and erase your efforts with one trip to the kitchen. Smart choices and portion control are key.


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Old 03-04-19, 07:37 PM
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So, I should eat less to lose weight ?
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Old 03-04-19, 08:05 PM
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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.
​​​​​​​good post. I find the same thing. The more I ride the more I eat. Guess we are over estimating the amount of calories burned but when I'm riding lots of miles weekly it feels necessary, guess it's not
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Old 03-04-19, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
good post. I find the same thing. The more I ride the more I eat. Guess we are over estimating the amount of calories burned but when I'm riding lots of miles weekly it feels necessary, guess it's not
A few months ago in bicycling magazine, one writer estimated that he burned about 125 cal for every 5 miles of riding, which sounds about right for an adult male of average weight. It's a much more conservative estimate than most "calculators" I've found online.
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Old 03-04-19, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by radroad View Post
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.
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.
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Old 03-04-19, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by BonkonFleet View Post
So, I should eat less to lose weight ?
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.

Last edited by willibrord; 03-04-19 at 11:08 PM. Reason: sense
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Old 03-04-19, 11:22 PM
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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.
How do you explain healthy, thin and fit individuals who aren't on a fad diet?
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Old 03-04-19, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
How do you explain healthy, thin and fit individuals who aren't on a fad diet?
I don't know any. Any of the people I know who have lost significant weight have done some kind of low carb or keto type diet.
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Old 03-04-19, 11:40 PM
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As a lightweight who has never had to loose weight, I believe I can add some value here.

Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Now, I increased my riding during that time too, and went single-speed. Riding improves my mental state, and that causes me to eat less.
I've noticed this at times too. I don't eat more when I ride. If anything, riding less gives me more time to eat! And yes, SS/FG rocks!

Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
How do you explain healthy, thin and fit individuals who aren't on a fad diet?
Exactly. If carbs were the devil I wouldn't still be essentially the same weight for 30+ years. If anything, go veggie!
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Old 03-04-19, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
I don't know any. Any of the people I know who have lost significant weight have done some kind of low carb or keto type diet.
What about people who have never had to "lose significant weight"? Maybe they follow a better plan.
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Old 03-04-19, 11:57 PM
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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.
Maybe they are different.
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Old 03-05-19, 01:06 AM
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I've lost 10 lbs since this time last year, from 160 to 150 lbs. I'm 5'11" so I wasn't overweight before, just a little waistline pudge. My optimal weight as an amateur athlete in my teens and 20s was 145. I'm close to that.

I wasn't trying to lose weight. But my thyroid failed last year and I couldn't metabolize alcohol. A single drink gave me hangover like symptoms within an hour or so, which I'd never experienced before. I had to give up beer. That was hard. I love beer. I don't drink much, and didn't always keep any at home. When I did a six pack might last a week or two, sometimes a month. But I enjoyed casual group rides with friends and a beer or two afterward.

That's the main diet change. I just gave up beer.

I cut back a bit on the junk carbs like cookies, muffins, etc., and substituted protein/energy bars. If I do eat any junk snacks I do it just before or during bike rides to burn off the extra calories. But I'm not rigid about it. I'll have a chocolate malt with my burger even on rest days, or an occasional cookie or donut. But I'm careful to not make a habit of it.

Other than that I eat whatever I want. I don't worry about cholesterol. I don't do keto or any special diet.

I had surgery to remove thyroid cancer last November, half my thyroid. The other half isn't working so my energy is still low, despite the meds. In most folks I know who have low thyroid problems they tend to gain weight and blame the thyroid problems. When I've observed their diet habits the real problem was eating too much junk food -- lots of candy, sugary snacks, sodas, ice cream. Their main problem was depression and low energy, feeling worthless and unable to work or do much of anything. Perfect conditions for self-medicating through comfort food. I sympathize completely. But it's not the low thyroid alone that caused obesity -- I'm talking double their normal healthy weight, like women who should weigh 160 lbs or less but now weigh more than 300 lbs. That's not "low thyroid." That's due to compensating with junk food. Then they stop walking or doing anything because it's too difficult to lug around that much weight. Pretty soon they're using motorized wheelchair carts in Walmart. Then electric scooters at home. Everything aches so they're convinced they shouldn't do any exercise at all, ever. It becomes self defeating.

My heaviest was 205 lbs almost 20 years ago after car wreck injuries made it impossible to get much exercise for awhile. I ate way too much junk food. Never cared much for soda but did drink beer -- not too much but when you don't exercise at all any beer is junk calories.

I got down to 175 by 2015 when I resumed bicycling. The weight came off gradually after that, without any rigorous dieting.
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Old 03-05-19, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
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.
False.
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Old 03-05-19, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BonkonFleet View Post
So, I should eat less to lose weight ?
Not necessarily...There is a lot more to weight loss than just CICO....You need to eat enough calories to support your physical activity, cutting too many calories and starving yourself isn't going to allow your body to recover after a hard workout and you will become weaker and loose lean muscle tissue.
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Old 03-05-19, 04:37 AM
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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.

First ... sweat has nothing to do with weight loss. I'm into hot flash mode and if it did, I'd be well underweight right now.


Second, it's all down to calories in < calories out.


Third, regarding calories burned while cycling ... I estimate 100 calories per 5 km. Less if I'm lighter.


As for weight loss ...

I've lost weight by exercising, but eating the same.

I've lost weight without exercise, but eating less.

I've lost weight with a combination of exercising and eating less.

Again, it's all down to calories in < calories out.
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Old 03-05-19, 05:03 AM
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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.

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.

Last edited by srode1; 03-05-19 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 03-05-19, 05:30 AM
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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.

...

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...
Losing weight is a complex business and, sadly, it isn't as simple as calories in vs calories out, illogical as that may seem. My guess is that there are two factors at work here. One is that you're being more aware of what you're eating. Personally I find cutting down on carbs is more effective for me, but simply the fact that you're being careful means you're probably snacking less. The other is that you are probably riding slower. There is an ideal fat-burning level of exercise which, if I remember correctly, is below the aerobic threshold. That is, at the level where you could still comfortably carry on a conversation with fellow riders. At this level your body can supply your energy needs by consuming fat, which is relatively slow to metabolise. Above this level it has to start looking for other sources of energy which can include muscle if you really overdo it.
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Old 03-05-19, 05:58 AM
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I lost weight on a modified Paleo diet. From around 270# down to 175# at my lowest point. My doctor eventually told me to gain some weight back.

Calories are important but all calories are not equal. Some things like beans will pass through the digestive tract with minimal digestion occurring. Other foods will be completely digested very quickly such as pasta and white bread. When I eat grain foods now, I try to eat ones that are very coarse in nature. One key is to know what you are consuming. For a week or so, weight everything that you eat and see where calories are sneaking into your diet.

What did it for me was looking at the glycemic index of foods. When you consume any food, digestion starts and if carbs are involved, there is a correlating increase in blood sugar over time. A prime example is quick oatmeal. The oat grain is steamed, rolled and chopped into small pieces. As it is digested, the starches in each small fragment are converted to sugar very quickly. Compare this to steel cut oats. The same exact amount will digest at a slower rate as it takes time for the enzymes to penetrate the oat particles. By eating low glycemic index foods, insulin production is minimized and you get off of the insulin roller coaster. When I was dropping weight like a rock, I was never hungry. I did eat snacks between meals but they were always low GI foods.
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Old 03-05-19, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
Some kind of keto or paleo diet is the only way to permanenet weight loss.
Uncorrect. I am living proof of that.

OP: As others have noted, your diet (not a diet) is the key to weight loss.
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Old 03-05-19, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
I don't know any.
So that means they don't exist? How did you come to that conclusion? (Rhetorical questions.)

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Old 03-05-19, 07:17 AM
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For me personally, it's always been about basic calories in vs calories out. The basic "formula" always works. It's the actual doing/discipline to actually use the formula that counts first and foremost for me.
I've definitely been in the trap of exercising more, and eating more++ and thus decreasing or eliminating completely any weight loss.
I've also exercised less while losing more when properly sticking to the formula that works for me.

I have found specific groups and types of foods that help me along, but, in the end, I could lose weight with virtually any healthy "diet" if/when I actually do it.
Certain exercises and types of also affect the efficiency of any "diet", but again, overall, activity combined with the proper calorie intake to match always works for me.

I always remind myself: On any given day, virtually any diet plan will work or not work if I do or don't actually do it.
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Old 03-05-19, 07:23 AM
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Old 03-05-19, 07:49 AM
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I think most folks looking to lose weight could benefit by eating healthy and exercising regularly. Dieting works for most but once you stop dieting the weight comes back on.

Eating healthily and exercising regularly as a life style will bring most people to Thiet optimal weight.

There are certainly exception which are usually genetic or health related.
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