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Why exercise produces less weight loss than you might expect

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Why exercise produces less weight loss than you might expect

Old 05-16-24, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
Well, that was a joke, and I can assure you that I don't blindly follow anything, and my Doctor is an absolutely fantastic doc, including being willing to admit the limits of her expertise.
I knew you were joking. I'm glad you have a good doctor. I live in a small rural town and have never had a doctor who gave a rip about anything except prescribing meds. I suffered conditions I never realized I could treat differently until I started researching on my own.I'm a firm believer in getting your information from more than one source. Of course it's necessary to confirm information from multiple sources. I am glad we live in a world where information is so free. Yes, there's always going to be some misinformation out there but I feel we have a better chance of learning what is and isn't misinformation if we get our information from multiple sources.

It's not that I think doctors don't care, or aren't qualified but they are restrained by certain regulations that make them the last to be able use a different treatment than what has become the standard of care. In our world the standard of care has been engineered to be prescription drugs. A doctor would be operating outside standards to treat with diet and lifestyle changes, though the better ones may very well discuss those issues. Just as a FYI, I never have had a doctor suggest diet or lifestyle changes even when I was pushing 400 lbs and on pain pills and injections.to keep going. That's why I am a bit vocal about looking at multiple sources for health information.
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Old 05-16-24, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
This is something that has been touched on many times in T&N, though I don't see a particular thread on it.

Lots of folks have pointed out that exercise (or rather, exercise alone) doesn't lead to weight loss. More specific would be that if your data tracking (power meter, etc.) tells you that you are burning x calories/week, over the long term, you aren't going to lose x/3500 pounds week (where 1 lb. = 3500 calories, usually).

A lot of this is commonly ascribed to greater food intake - exercise makes you hungrier, or you give yourself license to eat more b/c you had a long ride, or you consume calories as fuel before and during your ride.

The interesting and relatively new dimension (last 10 years or so) is metabolic compensation. The idea is that if you tire yourself out with a ride, you do less during the day. E.g., from calories you burn Saturday morning, you must subtract the calories you aren't burning Saturday afternoon because you're sitting on the couch, rather than doing household chores. Or because of your pre-work workout, you are tired and therefore are fidgeting less in your chair at work. From my understanding, some metabolic compensation isn't even voluntary - i.e., it's an evolutionary mechanism to conserve energy that kicks in, regardless of your level of non-workout activity.

There have been some good articles on this.

Here's one in the NYT (behind a paywall). https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/22/w...-calories.html
Another, from Vox. https://www.vox.com/2018/1/3/1684543...-burn-calories

For me, the take home message isn't that you can't lose weight from exercise. From my own experience, I know that I can. Rather, it is that exercise is a rather limited weight loss tool, with net results likely to be smaller than one might hope.
This may explain why riding more and tracking caloric intake actually worked for me - because I am lazy AF when not riding, and it would be REAL hard for me to do any less after riding than I would have if I hadn't ridden.
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Old 06-11-24, 01:17 PM
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I understand the theory, but it doesn't really apply to me in the sense that I don't count calories, eat what I feel like (plenty of carbs and desserts), and lose weight without any intentional actions other than cycling more.

It seems that the common pitfalls are overreacting to being slightly hungry or trying too hard to create a calorie deficit rather than approaching weight loss less intensely. I've never dieted. Obviously I'm eating less than I burn, but I'm not ravenous afterward nor am I somehow more active than expected the next day so I'm not dramatically underfueling nor have a magical metabolism that doesn't compensate by running slower. I can easily gain weight, especially on vacation - at the beginning of the year after returning from one, I weighed 148 lbs. After ramping up the saddle time since the end of January, I've steadily gone down to my lowest weight since a 2020 underfueled vEveresting at 136 lbs today.

I believe the reason that I'm naturally eating less than I burn is similar to why sleeping longer can also lead to weight loss, in that I simply eat less due to less time/opportunity to eat. I don't eat a full meal during a mid-ride lunch stop because it would just sit in my stomach, and I don't eat twice as much for dinner to make up for that + the deficit from the rest of the ride. Sometimes I eat a lot and feel quite full all night, other times I'm slightly peckish before bed, but I don't worry or fuss over any mild hunger pangs. My eating habits may not be optimal for gaining peak fitness, but it's not like I'm training for results, so I'm happy just to keep a decent level of power without much extra unnecessary weight.
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Old 06-13-24, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by RB1-luvr
At 60 years old, I have never lost weight from riding. Riding makes me inordinately hungry. A 20-mile ride has me eating everything that's not bolted down when I get back. Jogging for some reason does not do the same. I do not feel like eating after I jog.
Exactly, after a long ride I think I'd could eat at least 1/2 a horse, maybe 3/4 of a smaller horse.
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Old 06-21-24, 04:05 AM
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I think I'm giving up on losing weight. I've counted calories, I've offset calories burned on rides, I've changed the foods I eat.....nothing changes. Not even a little. I stay between 189-191 lbs.
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