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Balancing Weight Loss and Long Distance Cycling

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Balancing Weight Loss and Long Distance Cycling

Old 01-26-16, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka

However, on Saturday, I had the eggs for breakfast just prior to riding
Were they whole eggs or just egg whites ??
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Old 01-26-16, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Were they whole eggs or just egg whites ??
Whole eggs ... of course.

Egg whites are blech <<shudder>> unless they are mixed in with yolks.
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Old 01-26-16, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Ok, so does that mean that fueling with sugar and doing long rides and aerobic types of exercise is not an effective strategy for fat loss ??, because the type of food that people eat to sustain their long rides promotes fat gain ?? and the aerobic exercise itself doesn't provide enough intensity to keep the metabolism fired up ??

Personally I think it's the type of fuel that a person puts in their body that will determine if they loose fat or gain fat...And yes I also believe that aerobic exercise alone in not the most effective way to loose fat and the reason for that is because human body very easily adepts to aerobic exercise and there isn't enough intensity and stimulus. After your body adepts it stops responding. In order to loose fat one needs to provide enough stimulus and shock the body regularly with high-intensity exercise. HIT is the only thing that will keep the metabolism fired up for a long time and promote fat loss.
Is this going to be on the final exam?
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Old 01-26-16, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
That's how WE gained weight in the first place!
fixed.
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Old 01-27-16, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes
fixed.
Yes, but now we've lost the weight.

Me, by keeping an eye on the number of calories I consume. Rowan, by working a physically active job + cutting back a bit on his calorie intake.

I would like to drop another 2 or 3 kg ... just because.
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Old 01-27-16, 02:13 AM
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I'm not altogether sure what the problem is. You're continuing to lose weight while increasing your cycling distances. Lets say you responded to your hunger on Mondays by eating an extra 1000 kcal. It would slow your weight loss, but not stop it - your current weekly calorie deficit must add up to more than that, and you're close to your target weight now anyway.

FWIW, when I have been doing high mileages - like 400 miles per week on tour - I have found myself naturally falling into a regimen in which I eat huge breakfasts, ordinary-sized lunches, and not much in the evening. You know the old wives tale "breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper"? Well, that seems to be what I want when putting in 25 hours a week on the bike. I'm rarely hungry doing that, and lose modest amounts of weight.
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Old 01-27-16, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
Yes, but now we've lost the weight.

Me, by keeping an eye on the number of calories I consume. Rowan, by working a physically active job + cutting back a bit on his calorie intake.

I would like to drop another 2 or 3 kg ... just because.
When I posted WE that included me. I also did calorie reduction successfully.
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Old 01-27-16, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes
When I posted WE that included me. I also did calorie reduction successfully.



Excellent!
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Old 01-28-16, 07:49 AM
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It's deep winter here in Minnesota, and I don't ride outside at all. I snowshoe and sometimes X-country ski, but the cycling is on a turbo trainer. Last year, I rode about 1,800 miles over the spring, summer and early fall. I actually gained some weight during cycling season and it crept up a bit more as winter approached.

I'm not a "weight weenie" but everyone knows that weight is important in cycling if you ride up hills, and all I have around here are hills, hills, and more hills. Also, I ride a fairly heavy steel-frame gravel bike. The upshot is that winter is a great time to lose weight. Restricting calories during the season can make those really long rides feel even longer. I'm 67 years old and coming back from cardiac bypass surgery and cycling has been my primary means of regaining fitness.

So recently I discovered the 5:2 diet, promoted by a doc in the UK. This is 5 days of "normal" eating and two days of restricted eating. They call it intermittent fasting, although it is not entirely a fast since women can eat 500 and men 600 calories on "fast" days. I started in late December and have dropped 8 pounds. The great thing is that this method causes primarily fat loss, not muscle loss. Fasting for short periods apparently does not trigger a starvation response. I find it fairly easy to restrict calories two days a week, and there are a ton of metabolic benefits to this method over continuous calorie restriction. You might want to check it out.
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Old 01-28-16, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
I'm eating less than I burn ... no worries there. I successfully lost 26 kg in 2015 and am now down near the bottom of my normal BMI range.

It's the ravenous hunger a day or two after a long ride that has me curious.
That's probably just a symptom of you burning more calories than you're bringing in, but what's your calorie deficiency is in question. I personally don't trust calorie-burn calculators, there are just too many factors. One primary factor is that your calorie burn will lessen as you become more fit.

Personally, I would ignore the feeling of "ravenous hunger". I know this feeling well, because I did a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail and on a hike you must ration your food, since you can only carry so much and that quantity needs to last until your next town visit; nothing like a cross-country bike trip where you're always have food available. There is a term for this hunger that hikers feel: Hiker's Appetite.

It generally takes about 2-4 weeks before this Hiker's Appetite develops, but once it does hit you, the urge to eat is incredible and it's amazing just how much you can eat once you hit town, especially at All-You-Can-Eat establishments.

My point is that just because you're hungry doesn't necessarily mean you should eat, sometimes it's good to starve the body a little. This teaches the body to burn fat as fuel. It's one of my most important lessons learned concerning health and I continue to this day going thru periods of calorie deficiency. Much of the time I only eat one meal a day and it's not breakfast -- on top of that my primary form of transportation is my bike, so I'm doing a bike ride on an empty stomach.


Check out this article, which I came across not too long ago (a very good article on using fat as a fuel source). This is how I train, but I found out by accident on a thru-hike of the AT.

How To Tap Into Fat For Fuel


A good friend of mine once finished a six-hour ride in the mountains on nothing but pure water. No gels, no energy drinks—just water. And he was not out on a Sunday ride—he was hammering, riding hard on the ascents and flying down the descents. Can you do that? Or are you already thinking of how many gels and bars you would need to drag along for the ride?

Read more at How To Tap Into Fat For Fuel
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Old 01-28-16, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike
Personally, I would ignore the feeling of "ravenous hunger".
So far, that's exactly what I've done. I've just ignored it and have eaten what I usually eat on a Monday. I'm OK again on Tuesday, so it is just the one day of ravenous hunger.


However, I did kind of wonder whether it was my body's way of telling me to eat an extra 300 cal because it needed the fuel to rebuild ... or whether it was just as 2manybikes says, "the metabolism, the subconscious, or conscious mind says, I rode all day yesterday, I better load up calories for tomorrow, I probably will do it again." ... and then when nothing significant happens on Monday, the urgency to eat disappears.
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Old 01-28-16, 06:14 PM
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If running a daily calorie deficit, are the glycogen stores as full as they would be otherwise?

I was already accustomed to a healthy (not huge) deficit when I increased my volume from ~8hr to 16hr two weeks ago. I started commuting on the bike (~2hr total 4x/week, keeping MHR to ~65%) and didn't increase what I was eating.

Tuesday night I did ~2.5h at tempo fixed gear in lieu of commuting that day and then had dinner. I felt fine through the rest of the evening and got plenty of sleep. Wednesday morning I felt absolutely terrible (super fatigued feeling, as if I was bonking or in the middle of a bad cold) and it stayed that away until after a slightly bigger than normal dinner. After 5h of sleep last night (less than normal) I felt good as new.

The 2.5h of fixed certainly didn't use all my glycogen stores if they were close to full when I started -- I can do 4h at the same pace with water normally. So if running a deficit through the day (perpetually have a slight desire to eat), how full/low do the glycogen stores go?
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Old 01-28-16, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by anotherbrian
Tuesday night I did ~2.5h at tempo fixed gear in lieu of commuting that day and then had dinner. I felt fine through the rest of the evening and got plenty of sleep. Wednesday morning I felt absolutely terrible (super fatigued feeling, as if I was bonking or in the middle of a bad cold) and it stayed that away until after a slightly bigger than normal dinner. After 5h of sleep last night (less than normal) I felt good as new.
That's often a sign of dehydration.
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Old 01-28-16, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
That's often a sign of dehydration.
I figured it would have happened before now (after many years of hot double centuries), but you may be right. I know I've been drinking less on the bike when it has been cold, and maybe that carried over to the evening/next morning at home.
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Old 01-28-16, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by anotherbrian
If running a daily calorie deficit, are the glycogen stores as full as they would be otherwise?

I was already accustomed to a healthy (not huge) deficit when I increased my volume from ~8hr to 16hr two weeks ago. I started commuting on the bike (~2hr total 4x/week, keeping MHR to ~65%) and didn't increase what I was eating.

Tuesday night I did ~2.5h at tempo fixed gear in lieu of commuting that day and then had dinner. I felt fine through the rest of the evening and got plenty of sleep. Wednesday morning I felt absolutely terrible (super fatigued feeling, as if I was bonking or in the middle of a bad cold) and it stayed that away until after a slightly bigger than normal dinner. After 5h of sleep last night (less than normal) I felt good as new.

The 2.5h of fixed certainly didn't use all my glycogen stores if they were close to full when I started -- I can do 4h at the same pace with water normally. So if running a deficit through the day (perpetually have a slight desire to eat), how full/low do the glycogen stores go?
Probably not a glycogen issue if you're eating a normal diet. Dinner would have fixed that. You simply got tired. Happens to us all. I was tired this evening and cut my roller time in half - I just wasn't feeling it. Maybe hormones: good discussion of this is here:
Overtraining, Exercise, and Adrenal Insufficiency

Too fast a ramp up in hours. The +10%/week rule is often touted. Or see Drew's somewhat complex comment in the next thread down. There are a series of articles on this topic here:
https://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/...tegoryfilter=0

I don't know the mechanics of it, but it takes time for your body to adapt to a higher training load. I spend 9 months ramping up from my fall easy/low hours to full-on summer riding. Of course intensity goes up as well as hours during that time. But it I push it up much faster than that, I get overcooked.
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Old 01-28-16, 11:55 PM
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Cycling is very effective in losing some weight.I have ridden one hour every day for several months,and I lost some pounds,it even helped me to build abs muscles.

Last edited by Allack; 02-14-16 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 01-29-16, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
So far, that's exactly what I've done. I've just ignored it and have eaten what I usually eat on a Monday. I'm OK again on Tuesday, so it is just the one day of ravenous hunger.


However, I did kind of wonder whether it was my body's way of telling me to eat an extra 300 cal because it needed the fuel to rebuild ... or whether it was just as 2manybikes says, "the metabolism, the subconscious, or conscious mind says, I rode all day yesterday, I better load up calories for tomorrow, I probably will do it again." ... and then when nothing significant happens on Monday, the urgency to eat disappears.
Yes, reading signals from the body can be very tricky; requires some practice, much of which will be trial and error.

In my experience I've found that the body (at least mine) is much like a spoiled little brat, always crying when it doesn't get exactly what it wants and when it wants it; much of that crying should be ignored. But sometimes, the boy who cries Wolf, sometimes does see the wolf
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Old 01-29-16, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
That's often a sign of dehydration.
On my long rides as low as 20F I find it is super easy to get dehydrated. Cold drinks when riding in 20f temps is inconvenient. I have to pull down a fleece face covering to take a drink. I need to finish one large bottle in less that every 1.5 hours to not get dehydrated. Once I did 50 miles at 22f with only half of one big bottle. Later after the ride I fell over. The doc at the hospital said my blood pressure was down to 60 over 30 !!! Told him I knew I needed a couple of huge bottles of orange juice. He agreed. Then I was fine.
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Old 01-30-16, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Allack
Cycling is very effective in losing some weight.I have ridden one hour every day for several months,and I lost some pounds,it even helped me to build abs muscles.
Yes, cycling can help with weightloss.

My question/comments, however, had to do with long distance cycling and balancing the nutritional needs for long rides with weightloss.

For example, today I did an 11 hour 200 km event ... and for today, I opted to just eat whatever I wanted to eat whenever I wanted to eat it.
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Old 01-30-16, 01:45 PM
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I've been stressing my system with combined stressors of small meals and hard workouts. Yesterday, a rest day, I just fell apart. I had the first hypoglycemic attack since I don't remember when. I ate carbs and more carbs all afternoon, finishing off with a jigger of olive oil and a handful of walnuts. Had a beer before bed. I feel fine today but 2 pounds heavier! Guess what that is, eh? Didn't drink any more than usual.

And good for Machka with an 11 hour finish in her terrain! That's moving the bike.
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Old 01-30-16, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I've been stressing my system with combined stressors of small meals and hard workouts. Yesterday, a rest day, I just fell apart. I had the first hypoglycemic attack since I don't remember when. I ate carbs and more carbs all afternoon, finishing off with a jigger of olive oil and a handful of walnuts. Had a beer before bed. I feel fine today but 2 pounds heavier! Guess what that is, eh? Didn't drink any more than usual.

And good for Machka with an 11 hour finish in her terrain! That's moving the bike.
Thanks!

We were up north, and the terrain was a little flatter than right around here, but still hilly. My ride report is in the weekend rides thread.


[HR][/HR]
And just for a bit of humour ... my post ride recovery meal. Rowan had to get his own.

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Old 01-31-16, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
  • So I am kind of wondering if maybe there might be something I could do differently.
  • And I am kind of wondering why this occurs.
Something to think about: if you are building on a bunch of two day endurance regimes, weekend warrior stuff, not sure this is what I would identify as a good fitness gameplan, and it's likely to play havoc with diet and metabolism. On the first or second day you might be better served by doing interval, HITT or weight work, or take days off in between. That might solve both the weight and hunger issues.

Runners normally do not put base mile runs close to each other, it'll screw you up. (Me anyway...)

There is an old saw (repeated often by crossfit junkies) about looking at the fitness profiles and appearance of endurance runners and cyclists ... not a pretty picture.

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Old 01-31-16, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit
Something to think about: if you are building on a bunch of two day endurance regimes, weekend warrior stuff ...
Well, I'm not a "weekend warrior", so no worries there.
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Old 01-31-16, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Allack
Cycling is very effective in losing some weight.I have ridden one hour every day for several months,and I lost some pounds,it even helped me to build abs muscles.
Not as effective as you think. Most of the weight loss experienced by long distance cyclists and other extreme endurance athletes is in a form of muscle tissue loss and not fat loss, long duration endurance is well known for burning up muscle tissue. So yes some of them end up looking skinny with a healthy BMI numbers but still have unhealthy levels of fat and triglycerides inside their bodies and suffer from all kinds of health issues such as hypoglycemia, unstable blood sugar levels, excessive belly fat, muscle tissue loss....And no cycling alone does not build or strengthen abs/core muscles, that's why many cyclists who experience sore painful back and excessive belly fat come on this forum and ask questions on how to build abs, strengthen their core and loose fat, it's obvious that cycling alone just doesn't cut it. If you want an all around balanced fitness and permanent fat loss then you need to cross train and mix cycling, resistance training and strength training together. Doing only one and the same form of exercise forever is not optimal because your body adepts and stops responding, it's necessary to mix things up.
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Old 02-01-16, 08:02 PM
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1 hour of cycling a day can help with weight loss. That much cycling might burn about 400 cal, and if you opt not to eat those calories back, or only eat a portion of them back, it will contribute to a weight loss.

However, 1 hour of cycling a day is not a long distance and won't do much to build endurance.

[HR][/HR]

Anyway ...

We did that 200 kilometre ride on Saturday, and so on Sunday I focused on consuming slightly more in general, and specifically, a slightly higher amount of protein than I usually eat. Early on Monday, I was still somewhat hungry, but by evening, I was OK again.
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