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Body Fat Frustration

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Old 11-09-05, 04:54 AM
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Zeggelaar
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Body Fat Frustration

Despite regular training for XC racing (ranging from aerobic to sprints and intervals) of almost an hour a half a day for the past year and a half I cannot lower my body fat %. In March it was 24.5% and it has gone UP to 25.6% percent despite 200 hours of training since then. I have almost completely given up alcohol, fast food, sugary drinks and pork. I am 5'11" and about 171lbs. My test said that I should lose 18lbs. I cannot understand why my body fat% has increased and why I should lose so much more weight. I eat regular and not large meals but have a weakness for cookies some evenings. What might I be doing wrong?
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Old 11-09-05, 04:55 AM
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Has your total body weight changed? To lose weight, you have to eat fewer calories than your burn off in exercise. You need to keep a log of everything you eat every day and compare that to a log of workouts. Most likely you're not burning off more than you're eating.

You need to do longer aerobic training, at least 2-3 hours a day at least 2x per week. The kinds of workouts you're doing may be OK for strength building, but to burn off lots of calories per day, you need to do longer endurance workouts at a high calorie/hr pace. That means just below your LT for hours at a time. A half-hour is simpy warmup!

To lose fat, but not destroy good muscle-tissue at the same time, you have to eat enough carbs to burn for energy. Burning fat can ONLY occur at the same time as burning carbs. If you run out of carbs, your body will turn to burning muscle-protein instead and all fat-burning pretty much stops. You can actually lose weight AND increase your body-fat% at the same time !

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Old 11-09-05, 06:04 AM
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Take a look at your nutrition. A lot of times, people try way too hard, and they drop their nutrition down to the size of what a rabbit would eat while drastically increasing their cardiovascular and strength training routine. It may be a matter of nutrition if you're putting your body in starvation mode so that every time you do put some food in your body, its tendancy will be to convert it to fat and hold onto it.

Also, have you given yourself rest days and recovery? If you're going hard all the time, you'll never see the benefits of the workout. You do the exercise to shock the body and tear the muscle, but it's the healing time that burns the fat and spikes the metabolism so that you can trim your body fat.

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Old 11-09-05, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ

To lose fat, but not destroy good muscle-tissue at the same time, you have to eat enough carbs to burn for energy. Burning fat can ONLY occur at the same time as burning carbs. If you run out of carbs, your body will turn to burning muscle-protein instead and all fat-burning pretty much stops. You can actually lose weight AND increase your body-fat% at the same time !

I didnt know this! I bike almost to the point of bonking (over 2 hours, water only) several times a week and I wondered why I am getting fatter and fatter (although my legs are getting stronger).

Thanks for the info
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Old 11-09-05, 09:28 AM
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Somthing doesn't add up here.

How was your body fat measured, and what kind of test said that you should "lose 18 lbs"?

Your Body Mass Index is currently 23.8...right in the middle of the healthy range, and a good number for most cyclists. If you lost 18 lbs, your BMI would be at 21.3 - a good goal for a competitive rider, but not necessarily easy to achieve for most folks.

At your weight and height, and with your training regimen, I highly doubt that your body fat is 25%. Using the "Navy" formula for estimating body weight, you would have to have a thin neck, and a big abdomen to reach 25% body fat (for instance, a 13.5" neck, and a 37" abdomen).

You might want to re-check those numbers...
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Old 11-09-05, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Albany-12303
I didnt know this! I bike almost to the point of bonking (over 2 hours, water only) several times a week and I wondered why I am getting fatter and fatter (although my legs are getting stronger).

Thanks for the info
Biking to bonking can give you the opposite effect of what you want. Your body will switch to survival mode and start eating muscle and storing fat. Muscle burns calories all by themselves even sitting so your body wants to get rid of it if you don't have the proper fuel in your body. The food you have in you then get's converted to fats to prepare it for later days. You will burn fat properly with the right nutrition balance but that stuff is way above my head.
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Old 11-11-05, 08:24 AM
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Stop the misinformation of the long, steady-state cardio conspiracy. The undeniably best way to get fit is by doing intervals. Read this.
http://www.avantlabs.com/page.php?pageID=274&issueID=30
It explains the science behind sprinting for ideal body composition. Also, fast food and sugary drinks will kill your goal (I'm a bit partial to alcohol, so I won't rag on it). Eat better and add a couple interval (sprint) workouts to your week. You'll be surprised.
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Old 11-11-05, 10:16 AM
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Yes, that's a separate component of training: improving fitness. That will raise your LT and allow you to burn off more calories per hour. However, sprints and intervals burn glycogen & PC exclusively, so you have to be darn sure you're eating adequate amount of carbs for that kind of training. Or else you hit that body-fat plateau the OP's struggling with even faster. You need to do both short/high-intensity rides as well as long endurance rides; you just can't burn off large total numbers of calories with sprints & interval workouts.

A training-programme to improve fitness and riding faster is often at odds with a programme to lose weight quickly. The OP's just not riding enough to accomplish either one . However in the long-run, you're better off with the fitness goal, because weight-loss and lean muscle-mass will be an automatic side-effect.
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