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Weight loss stalled - next step?

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Weight loss stalled - next step?

Old 09-27-20, 07:52 PM
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SeattleRider57
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Weight loss stalled - next step?

I've been pretty focused on weight loss for the last 7-8 weeks, making some obvious changes to my diet - eliminated alcohol, huge reduction in junk food(think chips), and no sweets. In that time, I'm down about 10lbs, but I feel like I'm stuck now for the last 2.5 weeks. The training since I started has been primarily slower rides with lots of Zwift because Seattle has had some smoke and more recently a bunch of rain, but I've been averaging about 10hrs a week on the bike. Anyone have some suggestions? Should I be taking some days off the bike and strength train, and then hit long rides again? If anyone has a recommendation on a coach who can help me achieve this - both on the training side, but also the diet side, I would love to hear it. Thanks!
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Old 09-28-20, 05:32 AM
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When I'm trying to lose weight and hit those plateaus, it has inevitably been that I'm eating more than I'm admitting. Two ways I do that:
  1. I had stopped tracking what I was eating or wasn't doing it after every meal. I use the free LoseIt app, there are many others out there.
  2. I was tracking but way underestimating portion size.
If you are riding 10 hours per week, and assuming your are averaging in the 12-15mph range, you are burning around 6,000 calories per week cycling. That is bit less than 2 lbs per week burned, where I lb is about 3,500 kcalories. So, eaiting 500 calories per day more per day than you think/admit you are will pretty much offset half more than half of what you are burning cycling!

It is way easier to underestimate calories in than hours cycled and calories in is usually for me way more varied than calories burned per hour cycling

Usually YMMV warnings - everyone's metabolism is different, but for me those plateaus are always about calories in being too high.
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Old 09-28-20, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post
If you are riding 10 hours per week, and assuming your are averaging in the 12-15mph range, you are burning around 6,000 calories per week cycling.
I'm not so sure on that estimate, I for one can say that at 12mph (the speed at which I ride with my 9 y/o around our neighborhood), I'm at about 300cals/hr, so that would be 3000cals/week if that's all I did. This is measured by kj of work with my power meter

A pretty demanding training week for me recently had me at 7,220 calories on 11hrs. So if someone were approximating their calories burned, I would personally advise them toward the lower end, I personally think people tend to believe the exercise they do burns more calories than it actually does
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Old 09-28-20, 06:43 AM
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I think you're both on the right track, and I just need to track calories a little more closely. I'm burning about 1100-1200 calories in most of my 1.5hr workouts as they're a bit lower on intensity. I'm using a power meter, so at least I know my efforts are accurate.
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Old 09-28-20, 03:06 PM
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I have to track calories religiously to lose weight, no matter how much I ride, because if I don't, I'll start over-compensating for the calories I burned.
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Old 09-28-20, 04:59 PM
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I don't track calories. If I want to lose weight, I just eat the same thing, but smaller amounts. Smaller portions works.
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Old 09-28-20, 06:16 PM
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Take 2 days off from the bike and do some resistance training twice per week on your days off....Also don't go too low on calories because it can affect your training and recovery, personally I eat by feel and don't count how many calories I consume and how many calories I burn.
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Old 09-28-20, 08:57 PM
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Try this.

Take your weight you would like to be (ie. 170 lbs)
Multiply by 12. You get 2070.

Thats how many calories a 170 pound person should eat as a not very active person to just maintain their 170 pound weight.


Now, if you go burn 500 calories cycling, you can eat more than 2070 but less than 2570, and still lose weight at a good rate.

But, I found that if I ate my goal weight times 12, Iíd generally be pretty satisfied at that calorie level even if I did a pretty hard hour to 1.25 hours of cycling every other day and did 30 minutes of strength training on the other days. . I really canít say how much more to eat if you go burn like 1000 calories or something, thatís above my pay grade, lol

But, it worked great for me to lose about 35 pounds over 2 years while still eating healthy and satisfying meals and strength training to build some muscle mass at the same time.

The key is to count calories. Thatís clear. Quitting alcohol does wonders as well. If you donít count calories it makes it much harder.
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Old 09-29-20, 08:47 AM
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Maybe a closer eye on calories, but maybe just patience. Sometimes you can't see the trend in data from a small interval. Are you recording your weight and graphing it? If not, you may be missing the trend. The attached graph dates from about 10 years ago, when I was trying to lose weight (since that time, I got and remained significantly lighter). If one focuses on some intervals (say, January), it's hard to see any trend and it looked like I was on a plateau, but I wasn't really...
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Old 09-29-20, 08:50 AM
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Keep the focus on what you eat, and add the limitation of when to eat - time-restricted eating.
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Old 09-29-20, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by SeattleRider57 View Post
I think you're both on the right track, and I just need to track calories a little more closely. I'm burning about 1100-1200 calories in most of my 1.5hr workouts as they're a bit lower on intensity. I'm using a power meter, so at least I know my efforts are accurate.
How accurate is the monitoring of your Calorie intake?

Even if you weigh ever gram that goes into your mouth and calculate the Calories from a website or table lookup, there is a lot of estimation going on it that too. More so I'd say than the difference people argue about the Calorie burns given by HR monitors.

7 to 8 weeks of dieting is nothing. You will have many plateaus, sudden gains and sudden drops of weight that you won't be able to explain.
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Old 09-29-20, 10:23 AM
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Get stronger on the bike. Then the same time expenditure at the same zone burns more. That takes time and consistency.

Similar for many sports. The better you get, the more you can burn.
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Old 09-29-20, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by iride01 View Post

7 to 8 weeks of dieting is nothing. You will have many plateaus, sudden gains and sudden drops of weight that you won't be able to explain.
+1
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Old 09-29-20, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Maybe a closer eye on calories, but maybe just patience. Sometimes you can't see the trend in data from a small interval. Are you recording your weight and graphing it? If not, you may be missing the trend. The attached graph dates from about 10 years ago, when I was trying to lose weight (since that time, I got and remained significantly lighter). If one focuses on some intervals (say, January), it's hard to see any trend and it looked like I was on a plateau, but I wasn't really...

Such a good point. In the short time frames it sometimes seems like you weight the same, weight the same, weight the same....

Then, you get in the scale one day and youíre like down 5 pounds and then drop from there.
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Old 09-29-20, 02:54 PM
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Real weight loss takes place over months and years. Plateaus are normal as your body is constantly trying to establish equilibrium between what you're bringing in and what you're putting out. Stick to your plan and you'll reach your goal if it's a good plan.

FWIW, I lost 165+ lbs over two years. That didn't happen at a steady rate, and there were plateaus of 6 or 8 weeks at a time when my weight just bounced around in a 3 or 4 lb range. I stuck to my plan, ate right, worked out, and eventually achieved my goal and stayed there. You'll do the same if you stick with it long enough.

With all that said, strength training and rest days should absolutely be part of your training even if weight loss isn't your primary goal.
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Old 10-02-20, 06:29 AM
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Thanks all for the feedback. I've basically been staying the course with no drastic changes and trying not to make big mistakes, and yesterday hit my lowest weight yet, so the weight loss continues, just a little slower than I'd like at times. Anyway, down about 12lbs now and still going strong. When I get to 20lbs lost, I will reduce cardio a bit and increase the strength training. Pretty crazy that I weigh less right now than when I was 12(I was a big kid).
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Old 10-02-20, 11:16 AM
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Taking quite a few of the notes already made so far and adding my experience with weight loss.

You will hit plateau's in weight loss. I had hit one for about 3 weeks and I broke past it after reducing calorie intake by an additional 250 calories from what I was already doing. Given time and family constraints, I can't add more workout days. Some people are fine cutting portions or eating till satisfied but it doesn't work for everyone. Be honest with yourself and track what you eat; this goes quite a ways since you'll take a harder look at what fuels your body.

Otherwise as far as training goes, mix up your routine and add strength training into your weekly routine. It keeps things interesting and your body stimulated with different stimulus.
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Old 10-02-20, 07:46 PM
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I have just hit a plateau in weight loss. I went down to 125 lbs and now I'm 126 lbs.

Despite reducing my food intake and intensifying my training. My body must have adapted to be more "fuel efficient" I guess. It happened after almost 4 months since I took cycling.
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Old 10-05-20, 06:55 AM
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Also, don't forget that you can see progress other places than just the scale dial. I've lost about 50 pounds since the start of the year (228# to 180#). I didn't start riding a lot until June, by which time I'd already lost most of that weight. But even since June, my clothes are still getting looser, I'm seeing more definition in places where I didn't have much before, and I'm continually feeling better and getting faster.
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Old 10-05-20, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by SeattleRider57 View Post
Pretty crazy that I weigh less right now than when I was 12(I was a big kid).
whoa. The standard "proud" weight statement for many of us is "Now I weigh what I weighed in college." I can't recall "I weigh what I weighed before I went to middle school" without it being an account of some kind of trauma.
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