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trying to lose weight

Old 09-02-09, 12:03 PM
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joeya28
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trying to lose weight

its not working

Ive been cycling for about 3-4 weeks. I decided to get started with cycling to lose weight and so far I've gained 3 pounds, this has me extremely frustrated. I'm completely clueless when it comes to healthy eating/ good workout routine.

Im 21 and in college now but all of my younger years i was an avid hockey player I was on ice 5-6 times a week. since I stopped I gained about 30 pounds.

for the passed few weeks I'll ride around 5 days a week for about an hour at a time, I'm slowly trying build that time up. I usually ride 20 flat miles sometimes I ride a shorter distance with a lot of hills. My diet may be the problem.

I never eat breakfast

Ill usually wake up and start my day around 10, I sometimes eat a small lunch (leftover, pizza, bagel, salad with bacon)

Then ill do whenever else I have planed for the day
Then I ride for how ever long
Then dinner sometimes and appetizer always salad and entree, never dessert
Then I wind down at night, I'm not a heavy drinker but i will have a few beers sometimes I'd say 5-6 beers a week
and as it comes closer to bed I almost always get hungry and snack, usually a very large salad (family sized) with bacon, or sunflower seeds.

I never thought my eating habits were that bad, I eat a lot of salad, I never eat fast food, I don't eat sweet, and i rarely eat chips or snacks.

so to those in the know, is my diet bad, or unbalanced, and is it the variable that is to blame? and could you guys point me in the right direction of how to get my diet on the right track.

thanks much BF and sorry for the long post!
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Old 09-02-09, 12:13 PM
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3-4 weeks is a very short time since your body needs to adapt a bit. Give it more time.
Some advice from me:
1) Eat breakfast.
2) Eat smaller meals more often
3) Eat more during breakfast and lunch. Not vice versa with a huge dinner
4) Ride more
5) Strength train
6) Try calorie counting at something like fitday.com or the daily plate at livestrong.com

There are plenty of options as you will find out shortly.
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Old 09-02-09, 12:17 PM
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This may help.
My days usually look like this:
Mon-Fri
-100 crunches
-40 pushups
-10 bicep curls at 30lbs
-15 tricep curls at 15 lbs
-walk a dog for 1 hr
-jump rope
-ride a bike for one hr. Workouts are either a pyramid interval, recovery, or a TT workout.

Sat-Sun
-no strength training
-as much riding as I can manage. Maybe a century or a couple 50 milers.

I maintain my weight but to be honest I am more focused on gaining muscle at the moment.
Calorie counting helped me loose 15 lbs last year. Simply riding helped me loose 45 lbs the previous couple years.
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Old 09-02-09, 12:48 PM
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Those salads can contain a lot of calories, mostly from fat, if you put bacon, cheese and fatty dressing (i.e. ranch) on them.

Eat breakfast. Eat less food more often. Eat less at night. If you drink soda, stop. Water is a lot healthier. And by water I mean real water, not sweetened "water". Learn to read labels. Food companies try to sneak fat and sugar into everything.

For riding, the more time you can spend on the bike, the more calories you will burn.

Every time you are about to put something in your mouth, think "do I really need this?"
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Old 09-02-09, 12:57 PM
  #5  
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I've been using www.caloriecount.about.com . Plug in everything you eat, all the exercise you do, and what you weigh. You're not restricted from anything, it just provides you a dashboard.
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Old 09-02-09, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
3-4 weeks is a very short time since your body needs to adapt a bit. Give it more time.
Some advice from me:
1) Eat breakfast.
2) Eat smaller meals more often
3) Eat more during breakfast and lunch. Not vice versa with a huge dinner
-4) Ride more
5) Strength train
6) Try calorie counting at something like fitday.com or the daily plate at livestrong.com

There are plenty of options as you will find out shortly.
To repeat what DJ said, 3-4 weeks is a short time. Realistically, you shouldn't expect major results in anything less than 4 months.

-All of this, plus I need to through my two cents in about number three. Eat more small meals, at least every three hours eat something. The only time you shouldn't be eating every few hours is when you are sleeping and ditch the breakfast, lunch dinner routine entirely. The concept behind this is that it takes energy to digest food, so your metabolism will stay at a higher rate if it has to digest food frequently. That type of diet is referred to as a volumetrics plan. Jenny Craig's diet plan is a bastardization of this concept.


-If you haven't been exercising regularly the initial muscle you are developing will add weight even if you are losing fat, since muscle mass is denser it weighs more. Muscle also burns more calories than fat. If I remember correctly, the resting burn rate for muscle is 6 calories per pound/hour, where as fat will only burn 2 calories per pound/hour. So building up some muscle is a good thing, despite the initial added weight.

You need to create a calorie deficiency in order to lose weight. It takes 3,500 calories on average to burn one pound of fat. And it could take several days take to comprise a deficiency of that many calories. Don't try to do it in huge clumps, that's why diets fail, and people have their weight yo-yo. The faster you lose it, the faster you gain it back.

See Winfrey, Oprah for a living, breathing example of this concept.

-Also your current breakfast list consists of carbs, carbs, salad, bacon, and carbs. If you're trying to lose weight, you need to get your protein intake way up. I've read that it should be as much as 60% higher than the recommended daily value.

Honestly, buy a box of cereal or some oatmeal. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day when you're trying to lose weight. There is a plethora of research that has been done that supports that. Whatever you eat, try and always eat within an hour of waking.

Also, if you're prone to a slow metabolism, do a quick set of jumping jacks or something high cardio when you first wake up. It'll kick start the metabolism better than a cup of coffee.

-For your night time snack, try to find something with a better carb to protein to fiber ratio than sunflower seeds. Seeds tend to be loaded in fat, because seeds need the stored energy in order to grow.

Almonds are very good as a snack, because they have an excellent ratio of all three. For your salt cravings that may occur if you drop the seeds, pickup a jar of dill pickles, they have just enough sodium to quench the craving and are low in calories.

-Drink milk or eat yogurt, research has shown that Vitamin D is a key to weight loss. I've forgotten the reason.

-Finally, drink at least 120 ounces of water a day while your trying to lose weight. That's in addition to other beverages. You're muscles need it to grow and it will curve hunger problems.

Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
Those salads can contain a lot of calories, mostly from fat, if you put bacon, cheese and fatty dressing (i.e. ranch) on them.
Yeah, other than greens/vegetables the only thing on the salad should be chicken, and maybe fat free dressing.

I saw a segment with a nutrionist on the Today show earlier this summer. She had two of the cast prepare salads, one was almost all greens, the other had all kinds of meat, eggs, and cruton type foods added to it. The difference in the two was almost 900 calories for the same size salad.

Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
If you drink soda, stop.
Avoid anything with corn syrup in it. Not all sugars are created equal. Your body metabolizes fructose into glucose, which is burned for energy, more readily than it does sucrose.

Table sugar is pretty bad for a diet too, since it's a dysacharide (sp?).

Last edited by DX Rider; 09-02-09 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 09-02-09, 03:14 PM
  #7  
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wow this is a lot of info to digest thanks for all the input! I love the snack ideas, almonds, pickles, i used to eat a lot of carrot sticks ill take that up again as well. also I love fruit, grape fruit, plums, strawberries.. but people have told me their not the best things to be eating on a diet.

and for salad I always use balsamicvinegar and oil but i should cut out the bacon. bacon is still bad despite the protein?

for breakfast I would definitely eat bacon( if its ok) and eggs, or egg whites(I'm not sure witch would be better) and a granola bar.
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Old 09-02-09, 03:18 PM
  #8  
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oh one side note, i do drink water but I mostly drink waters down ice tea made from mix that would be the heard-est thing for me to kick if i had to. how bad is that?
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Old 09-02-09, 03:30 PM
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The caffeine is what I object to in iced tea. My stomach hates it.
I don't believe there is much of anything negative in iced tea provided you do not add sugar.

I doubt bacon is very good for you. However, if you are addicted to said bacon perhaps trying canadian bacon or simply limiting your intake would be best.
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Old 09-02-09, 03:38 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by joeya28 View Post
oh one side note, i do drink water but I mostly drink waters down ice tea made from mix that would be the heard-est thing for me to kick if i had to. how bad is that?
Look carefully at the nutritional information on the mix. I wouldn't be surprised if it was full of sugar. If you make tea from good ol' fashioned tea bags (and don't add table sugar or honey), it's virtually calorie free.
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Old 09-02-09, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
3-4 weeks is a very short time since your body needs to adapt a bit. Give it more time.
Some advice from me:
1) Eat breakfast.
2) Eat smaller meals more often
3) Eat more during breakfast and lunch. Not vice versa with a huge dinner
4) Ride more
5) Strength train
6) Try calorie counting at something like fitday.com or the daily plate at livestrong.com

There are plenty of options as you will find out shortly.
This is good simple advice. I will also add that you should be eating lean protein, complex carbs, and good fats (olive oil, walnut oil etc.) Simple sugars should only be eaten or drank during or after your ride. Stay away from the pizza, bagels, and salads with bacon. You also need to consider portion size and the correct macronutrients (amount of protein, carbs, fat) per meal.

Don't diet to lose weight, learn how to eat right 90% of the time and then eat whatever you want the other 10%. Diets are a recipe for failure. People diet; lose 10 lbs then go back to eating and gain 15lbs.

I personally eat clean 6 days out of the week, and then every Saturday eat whatever I want.
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Old 09-02-09, 08:52 PM
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I eat what I want on the weekend. However, I am not really trying to loose weight but build muscle.
Trying a different approach this season. I dropped down to 150 lbs and still was not happy. There is a point where one should worry more about body composition instead of weight and I am at that point. Not that 155 lbs is far off.
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Old 09-03-09, 12:34 AM
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A balanced diet combined with exercise will help with weight loss/maintaining a healthy weight.
Avoiding as much "processed" food as possible helps too! Especially really bad processed foods such as chips(crisps), lots of sweets, cakes.
I'll give you an idea of what I eat when attempting to lose weight.

Breakfast: muesli with skimmed milk [I normally create the muesli myself: 60% oat/wheat flakes, 30% fruit [sultanas/raisins] + 10% nuts/seeds]
Lunch: fruit [orange/apple] or occasionally toast with honey
Dinner: [main meal] meat/fish/chicken with potatoes/pasta/rice + vegetables + glass of orange juice

Note that even when trying to lose weight I "reward" myself in the evening with a chocolate biscuit + a couple of sweets. Maybe a bigger treat such as a cake a few beers at the weekend.

Here in the UK we're encouraged to eat "5 a day". That is at least 5 portions of fruit/vegetables per day as part of our diet. A portion is an apple, orange (or glass of real orange juice), peas, lentils.... See here https://www.5aday.nhs.uk/topTips/default.html

Last edited by ukmtk; 09-03-09 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 09-03-09, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by joeya28 View Post
its not working

Ive been cycling for about 3-4 weeks. I decided to get started with cycling to lose weight and so far I've gained 3 pounds, this has me extremely frustrated. I'm completely clueless when it comes to healthy eating/ good workout routine.
That sounds normal. Give it more time ... and gradually increase the amount of time you're currently exercising. If you want to lose weight, aim for a minimum of 90 minutes of moderate exercise a day.
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Old 09-03-09, 05:55 AM
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Nothing looks horribly wrong, but "dinner sometimes and appetizer" could be anything and appetizer makes me think calories. I would go an online calculator and start entering everything you eat. When estimating calories burned online calculators estimate high.
I wouldn't make any radical changes and I wouldn't try to under eat or over excercise. Find a balance that you can live with for life. Eat a little better, excercise a little more.
You are young and you might just be gaining muscle from the excercise. Are you measuring your heartrate and are you getting vigorous while riding?
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Old 09-03-09, 08:03 AM
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I've been swimming lately too and that has really been helping me lose weight as it really works your whole body but being non-impact you can go for a while.
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Old 09-03-09, 08:24 AM
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I also bicycle primarily for fitness and weight loss/management. Your experience of actually gaining rather than losing weight is something I too have experienced. But then I realized why: All that exercise was making me hungrier because my body was trying to replace all the calories I was burning. So, it is very important to ensure that limiting your caloric intake is part of your weight loss program. I have found that I am almost completely incapable of losing or managing my weight unless I keep track of my caloric intake every single day. An excellent way to do that is through the livestrong web site. There's a feature called MyPlate where you can record everything you eat and also your exercise. You also enter your height, weight, normal activity level, and weight loss goal and it will tell you how many net calories per day (ie calories you consume minus the calories you burn). I have had tremendous success using this web site and cannot overemphasize how much it has helped me. You'll be shocked to find out how many calories are in things you might not suspect of being so bad for you.

So, in short, go to the livestrong web site, get registered (it's free), and get started. Just be sure you're honest with yourself when you enter your caloric intake and exercise. You're only cheating yourself if you fudge the numbers.
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Old 09-04-09, 12:20 AM
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thanks again guys I'm looking in to all the info, I'll keep everyone posted on my progress and what I'm doing.
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Old 09-22-09, 03:41 PM
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I was bounced to this thread from another one about eating enough/properly for biking. I have a very high metabolism myself, and was interested in the topic from the angle of properly and healthily fueling a long-term bike tour (i.e. long periods of intermediate-level exertion). From my reading on this topic, the one major takeaway message that was new to me was this:

You need more fats in the morning, more starches at night.

Upon consideration, it seems completely reasonable, but it's counter to most people's habits. Sugary breakfasts and fatty dinners/desserts are the norm, at least around here. When you train your muscles, they "learn" to make use of (metabolize) fats more effectively. As long as you keep your exertion to a certain level, you don't have to deplete your muscle's "emergency" sugar storage, and can maintain the pace for a long while. Because fats are longer-lasting, they're good to stock up on first thing in the morning to keep you going all day. At night, when your muscles are sedentary, it's principally your brain that needs nourishment--and it can basically only use sugars. Whatever fats you are digesting from that late evening meal will get stored away...as fat.

Obviously this is a gross simplification, but i think the paradigm is an important one to keep in mind. Train your muscles and fuel them with fats--it's much better for your body than using sugars--while keeping a healthy balance of complex sugars (starches) and fiber from whole grains and vegetables. Don't eat heavy meals late in your day, and consume most of the fats in your daily allowance in the first half of the day.

Starches and fats are the fuel macronutrients. Protein is a structural macronutrient--it doesn't make a particularly good fuel source. You don't need any more protein than is required to replace proteins lost (or to build new muscles when you are just starting out). Overindulgence in protein is a tired little fad diet (marketed under various names over the years) that makes you sick and can cause gout. A grown adult that regularly eats the recommended amount of whole grains and dairy and throws in some nuts is getting enough protein.

Originally Posted by DX Rider View Post
Avoid anything with corn syrup in it. Not all sugars are created equal. Your body metabolizes fructose into glucose, which is burned for energy, more readily than it does sucrose.

Table sugar is pretty bad for a diet too, since it's a dysacharide (sp?).
This is a bit confused.

"High fructose corn syrup" is commonly used instead of table sugar (sucrose) in foods due to its price. Sucrose is a disaccharide consisting of a fructose and a glucose connected together. The process required to break it into the component monosaccharides makes it slightly slower to hit your blood. I believe the term for the overall effect is "glycemic index". For diabetics and people prone to diabetes, consuming foods with lower glycemic index is important.

On the other hand, for someone biking through hundreds of calories an hour, fast-to-blood sugar intake isn't exactly a bad thing. Just remember that, unless you are sprinting, your body can cover the energy costs with fats in a more sustainable and healthy way. Plan your on-bike consumption accordingly.

I munched on chocolate chips on my last ride...

Last edited by Flandry; 09-22-09 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 09-23-09, 03:12 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Flandry View Post
At night, when your muscles are sedentary, it's principally your brain that needs nourishment--and it can basically only use sugars. Whatever fats you are digesting from that late evening meal will get stored away...as fat.

Don't eat heavy meals late in your day, and consume most of the fats in your daily allowance in the first half of the day.
Actually, that has been long since proven a myth. Total daily calorie intake is what matters, not what time of day you eat. If you intake 2000 calories, and burn 2000 to maintain, it doesn't matter if you do this by eating more of the calories at night or in the morning. However, what kind of foods fuel you best at different times of day is something that differs for each individual.
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Old 09-24-09, 12:39 AM
  #21  
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Wait, which part of it? I'm curious in what way it was proven to be a myth. I can see the overall energy balance argument on the basis of physics, but clearly the energy has to be stored between digestion and expenditure. AFAIK glycogen is limited, leaving fat as the only option if one eats a big meal before sleeping. There's got to be some advantage in skipping the fat depositing/breakdown steps...
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Old 09-24-09, 11:03 AM
  #22  
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I see what your saying, I should have read more carefully. Can't really comment on whether fats get stored as fat easier if you eat them later in the day, I was always under the impression that calories are calories, and it doesn't matter what source they come from, fat, carbs or protien. It would be my interpretation from that, that if you ate a high fat meal at night, and kept within your calorie range, it wouldn't make any difference to weight loss.

As certain foods require more energy to digest, the result can be more weight loss/leaner body for the same calorie intake (fats and protien harder to break down than carbs). Given the situation where an individual has low glycogen levels, I would say a meal of high fat would in theory make you leaner as the body would be forced to break down the fats into sugars to replace low glycogen stores - which requires more energy than a starchy meal which can be converted to glycogen easily.
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