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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

Weight loss and biking

Old 03-12-20, 06:20 AM
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cnnx
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Weight loss and biking

how much weight can I lose using my hybrid bike? i'm 6'1 236lbs right now and want to get to 200lbs, is this possible over the spring/summer of 2020?
how many KM or miles would I have to ride
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Old 03-12-20, 06:28 AM
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The war on weight is won in the kitchen, not on the bike. Riding will increase you fitness, and contribute to calorie burn, but you need to adjust your diet for weight loss.
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Old 03-12-20, 06:29 AM
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I'm dong pretty good with that already, but Im always inside since i work from home 40 hours a week and dont drive, so Im thinking biking will be good for me as soon as the weather permits
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Old 03-12-20, 06:35 AM
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If you lose 2 lbs. a week, which is a reasonable expectation, you can certainly lose 36 lbs. by end of summer. Riding will contribute, but it really depends on how much you ride.
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Old 03-12-20, 06:36 AM
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sounds good.. I can only really ride on my 2 days off that im not working, unless mornings before work when its not too chilly outside I live in Repentingy, Quebec so not the warmest place on earth
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Old 03-12-20, 06:54 AM
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When I first started riding, I lost 50lbs in 3 months. Sure, the biggest component was changes to diet-- but I was so woefully out of shape that my body didn't know how to cope with exercise, so I was incredibly inefficient that weight loss was fast and almost effortless.

Fast forward to now where I ride 10,000 miles a year, run 500 miles a year, and struggle to maintain my weight. Your body gets used to whatever you're doing. Thirty six pounds down by end of summer, easy enough. Still down 36 pounds by the end of next summer... tougher.
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Old 03-12-20, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
When I first started riding, I lost 50lbs in 3 months. Sure, the biggest component was changes to diet-- but I was so woefully out of shape that my body didn't know how to cope with exercise, so I was incredibly inefficient that weight loss was fast and almost effortless.

Fast forward to now where I ride 10,000 miles a year, run 500 miles a year, and struggle to maintain my weight. Your body gets used to whatever you're doing. Thirty six pounds down by end of summer, easy enough. Still down 36 pounds by the end of next summer... tougher.
thanks for the support!
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Old 03-12-20, 08:10 AM
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The type of bike is probably the least important factor, the frequency and intensity of rides on whatever you have will be more impactful. As others have said calories in will play a bigger factor,
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Old 03-12-20, 09:38 AM
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Here is a summary of the math. You may want to go to the link

"Cycling at a speed of 10 miles per hour (very close to the overall average biking speed for pedestrians) for 6 minutes, a 170-pound person burns about 51 calories, while a 198-pound person burns 59 calories. Of course, changes in pace also result in a change in the amount of time spent on the bike per mile, as well as changes in how many calories you burn". https://www.livestrong.com/article/1...king-one-mile/

When you reduce your calorie consumption by eating less and/or burning more by 3600 calories, you will lose one pound. You can investigate the calorie consumption you are consuming now to maintain your weight by using an online calculator. You are likely consuming somewhere around 2300 calories give or take 10%. Consume 'X' less calories and burn X more calories by exercising more, will provide the answer to your original question in terms of timing your weight loss. From my understanding, everytime you reach that 3600 calorie reduction, a pound goes away. As you do the math, the closer you get to your target, your calorie requirements go down as well, so it takes less food and/or more exercise or/or more time to reach the 3600 calorie reduction goal.
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Old 03-12-20, 09:49 AM
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It took me almost 2 years to go from 215 to 165, so about a half-pound a week. A pound a week is probably a reasonable target if you're really going for it. Two pounds a week is a deficit of over a thousand calories a day. That's going to take some pretty dramatic lifestyle changes.
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Old 03-12-20, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by cnnx View Post
how much weight can I lose using my hybrid bike? i'm 6'1 236lbs right now and want to get to 200lbs, is this possible over the spring/summer of 2020?
how many KM or miles would I have to ride
Well, in a week it's Spring of 2020 already. Still, 36 lbs @ roughly 3500cal/lb = 126,000 calories. If your weight has been roughly constant the past few months, then (give or take) your intake is roughly equal to your expenditure. Need to create a calorie deficit. Which you can do from both ends. Eat smarter, with more-efficient food choices. And, work harder and longer. In time, it should work. Unless there's some serious metabolic reason why it wouldn't in your case (thyroid issues, for example).

If you've only got two days out of seven for cycling, then for exercise perhaps consider a vigorous, cardio-intensive workout every day that's in the half-hour range. Which you ought to be able to fit in there somewhere. Such as, a variety of body-weight "floor" exercises, which ought to consume in a couple hundred calories (or more). Can be done at home, over a lunch hour (at work), or at the gym facility. Vigorous, very cardio, little to no breaks or delays. Add to that a couple hundred calories per day eliminated from the diet, via smarter food choices, and you'd be well on your way. At an average of ~500cal/day deficit, that works out to roughly one pound per week lost. Definitely achievable by summer, for most folks.

Some thoughts, assuming you don't have any particular dietary restrictions or reasons to be concerned over certain changes ...

For starters, try stripping out unnecessary sauces and squeeze-bottle stuff (dressings, sauces, oils). Replace with modest use of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, spices and herbs. Can be just as flavorful, but more healthful. Boost your fiber intake, which will help you feel "full" sooner but won't add to your calorie intake. Boost your intake of salads, which takes up lots of space, helps you feel full, but has much less calorie content that other items most folks eat. Have modest amounts of the more calorie-rich items you normally eat. Boost your water intake, eliminating most of the non-water fluids you normally consume. Consider eliminating many of the packaged+labeled foods you might normally eat, instead opting for more-natural food items in their natural forms (which you'd then need to prepare, of course). Right there, such changes can amount to several hundred calories' worth of intake, based on a typical diet.
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Old 03-12-20, 04:36 PM
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If you have trouble riding outside why not try inside with a trainer and Zwift?
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Old 03-12-20, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by cnnx View Post
how much weight can I lose using my hybrid bike? i'm 6'1 236lbs right now and want to get to 200lbs, is this possible over the spring/summer of 2020?
how many KM or miles would I have to ride
IMO and experience, you won't lose very much weight at all cycling twice a week for, say an hour or two a day. 95% of your weight loss depends on what you eat. I know, I tried. Rode 5 times a week some weeks, but hardly changed my eating. i would lose maybe 5 lbs in 3 months, which all came back as soon as i cut back on my cycling.

Eat fewer calories to lose weight. Cycle for health and well being.
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Old 03-12-20, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
IMO and experience, you won't lose very much weight at all cycling twice a week for, say an hour or two a day.
^ This. A day or two of exercise (per week) without changes in nutrition is unlikely to result in much change, if at all.

Got to be consistent, whichever steps are taken. Nutrition and exercise ... kept up consistently ... in time, it'll work.
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Old 03-12-20, 06:13 PM
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As others have stated its 85% food intake and 15% exercise,or something like that. I have been a cyclist my whole life and I have not really changed my riding style or dedication to riding but about 18 months ago myself and my entire family started better eating habits. I was pretty heavy then, still am but down about 56lbs to date.
If you make good choices and do reasonable workouts you will obtain your goals and good for you for starting the steps to do so! BRAVO!
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Old 03-12-20, 07:02 PM
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As everyone else says, if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to address diet/calorie intake.

When I am trying to add exercise (and cycling is the only exercise I can tolerate) to lose weight, I estimate the cycling contribution to be about 1 lb/100 miles. If you take the calorie burn estimates cited above (50 to 60 kcal/mile) and realize that there is probably some calorie intake associated with the increased exercise, a net calorie deficit of about 3600kcal/100 mi is not a bad rough estimate. If you can get your average speed above 10mph, all the better, as you are starting to get into the speed range where air resistance becomes important.(I think). Something else that you can do to make yourself less efficient and the exercise more aerobic is to try to maintain as high a cadence as you can. What I mean is that if you are going to ride a bicycle for one hour at 12 mph you will probably burn more calories during that hour if you pedal at a higher, but comfortably maintainable, cadence. You also may get your heart rate up.

edit: If you think about it, to have cycling be a significant contributor to your weekly weight loss, you probably need to be able to spend five to ten hours a week doing it. Less time than if you try to do it by mall walking, but a significant investment.

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Old 03-13-20, 07:34 AM
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I agree with everyone else. Weight loss depends on your food intake. If you want to do it right, IMO, don't even factor exercise into your weight loss. That doesn't mean don't exercise, because exercise is important whether you're trying to lose weight or not. But focus on your food for weight loss and focus on riding to maintain your health. Plus this, also IMO, prevents the tendency to want to eat back calories you burned. Focus on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, and any calories burned through exercise is just an added benefit.

But as far as how many calories you can burn by riding your bike, well, that all depends on you. It depends on how much time you have to ride, how hard you're willing to push yourself, etc.
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Old 03-13-20, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido View Post
As everyone else says, if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to address diet/calorie intake.

When I am trying to add exercise (and cycling is the only exercise I can tolerate) to lose weight, I estimate the cycling contribution to be about 1 lb/100 miles. If you take the calorie burn estimates cited above (50 to 60 kcal/mile) and realize that there is probably some calorie intake associated with the increased exercise, a net calorie deficit of about 3600kcal/100 mi is not a bad rough estimate. If you can get your average speed above 10mph, all the better, as you are starting to get into the speed range where air resistance becomes important.(I think). Something else that you can do to make yourself less efficient and the exercise more aerobic is to try to maintain as high a cadence as you can. What I mean is that if you are going to ride a bicycle for one hour at 12 mph you will probably burn more calories during that hour if you pedal at a higher, but comfortably maintainable, cadence. You also may get your heart rate up.

edit: If you think about it, to have cycling be a significant contributor to your weekly weight loss, you probably need to be able to spend five to ten hours a week doing it. Less time than if you try to do it by mall walking, but a significant investment.
While I generally agree with you, on this I disagree. A high cadence when cycling will make the exercise more aerobic, but not less efficient, but more. mashing away at a high gear is less efficient because you will tire your legs out after a short time.

The number I have seen is 3500 calories per pound of fat. And I agree that you probably burn close to 3500 calories cycling 100 miles. I would say 10 mph is quite a slow pace and even a moderately fit cyclist can go a little faster, like 11 to 13 mph, or maybe 12 mph as an average, so OP would have to ride 8 1/2 hours to burn 1 lb of fat, assuming he doesn't eat a single extra calorie before, during or after cycling, which is not realistic.
Hence my original point. you can't really lose weight just cycling. I have cycled for years, and found almost no correlation between cycling and weight loss.
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Old 03-13-20, 07:40 AM
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I mean, you can. Get a power meter, and ride for as long as it takes to do a minimum of 1,000kJ worth of work. Then do not replace those calories. This will put someone in a 1,000kcal deficit, and weight loss will occur.

But again, it's the diet-- the not replacing the calories, that is extraordinarily difficult. I average 1,300kj worth of work, every single day of the year. Since this time in 2018, I've gained 15lbs.
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Old 03-13-20, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I mean, you can. Get a power meter, and ride for as long as it takes to do a minimum of 1,000kJ worth of work. Then do not replace those calories. This will put someone in a 1,000kcal deficit, and weight loss will occur.

But again, it's the diet-- the not replacing the calories, that is extraordinarily difficult. I average 1,300kj worth of work, every single day of the year. Since this time in 2018, I've gained 15lbs.
This is a huge one. And the body is sneaky, too. After a big ride, shower, take a little rest, then get up and continue with your day doing your usual things. If you burn an extra 1500 calories with a big ride and spend the rest of the day lying on the couch, where as normally you would spend your day doing chores, your next calorie burn might be close to a wash.
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Old 03-13-20, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
While I generally agree with you, on this I disagree. A high cadence when cycling will make the exercise more aerobic, but not less efficient, but more. mashing away at a high gear is less efficient because you will tire your legs out after a short time.

The number I have seen is 3500 calories per pound of fat. And I agree that you probably burn close to 3500 calories cycling 100 miles. I would say 10 mph is quite a slow pace and even a moderately fit cyclist can go a little faster, like 11 to 13 mph, or maybe 12 mph as an average, so OP would have to ride 8 1/2 hours to burn 1 lb of fat, assuming he doesn't eat a single extra calorie before, during or after cycling, which is not realistic.
Hence my original point. you can't really lose weight just cycling. I have cycled for years, and found almost no correlation between cycling and weight loss.
For various reasons, I've always been stronger than aerobically fit. I could ride faster at a slower cadence and keep it up. That's the way we road when were kids on the massive Schwinn single speeds. After I quite smoking in 86 and tried to get serious about riding a lot, 100 to 200 miles a week, I deliberately tried to increase what I felt my natural cadence to be and found that I could keep between 75 and 85 without running out of air, so to speak, and so that's what I've tried to do. Not outrageously fast, but not mashing either. It seemed to me that it increased my aerobic ability but not my muscle strength. Didn't make me any faster, just seemed to make it possible to maintain for longer periods. Of course, I'm not an expert on any of this stuff and my thoughts are based pretty much on the health and exercise literature that I was reading at the time -- I was in graduate school for electrical engineering and not any sports type thing. Anyway, since then, I've always tried to keep it above 75 and very nonscientific comparison of my riding style to that of others who pass me on the streets and bike paths is that I pedal faster than most.

So, as for cadence, the other day I ran across this which appears to support the idea that increasing cadence for recreational riders probably results in lower efficiency. But, they may be referring to cadences in excess of what I am speaking of. As I said, I'm no experto on the sports medicine/exercise efficiency stuff.

As for losing weight, cycling helps me a lot, but not nearly as much as cutting way back on alcohol consumption. Two bottles of decent beer might be 350-400 kcal (Art Car IPA is 200 kcal/bottle). For me, alcohol also execerbates bad eating habits.
I'm almost 69 and can't maintain the speeds I used to, of course, but 10mph is easy to maintain, even after being off the bike for a month or two. After a couple weeks of 100 to 150 miles I can get up to 12-13 average on a 20- 25 mile ride. Not blazing, but not too bad considering what we're dealing with.
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Old 03-13-20, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
The number I have seen is 3500 calories per pound of fat. And I agree that you probably burn close to 3500 calories cycling 100 miles. I would say 10 mph is quite a slow pace and even a moderately fit cyclist can go a little faster, like 11 to 13 mph, or maybe 12 mph as an average, so OP would have to ride 8 1/2 hours to burn 1 lb of fat, assuming he doesn't eat a single extra calorie before, during or after cycling, which is not realistic.
Hence my original point. you can't really lose weight just cycling. I have cycled for years, and found almost no correlation between cycling and weight loss.
This is why they say you can't outride the fork. Sure, you can burn calories but you'll never burn that many calories. That's also why I find it amusing when people think the solution to weight loss is to exercise.
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Old 03-13-20, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido View Post
For various reasons, I've always been stronger than aerobically fit. I could ride faster at a slower cadence and keep it up. That's the way we road when were kids on the massive Schwinn single speeds. After I quite smoking in 86 and tried to get serious about riding a lot, 100 to 200 miles a week, I deliberately tried to increase what I felt my natural cadence to be and found that I could keep between 75 and 85 without running out of air, so to speak, and so that's what I've tried to do. Not outrageously fast, but not mashing either. It seemed to me that it increased my aerobic ability but not my muscle strength. Didn't make me any faster, just seemed to make it possible to maintain for longer periods. Of course, I'm not an expert on any of this stuff and my thoughts are based pretty much on the health and exercise literature that I was reading at the time -- I was in graduate school for electrical engineering and not any sports type thing. Anyway, since then, I've always tried to keep it above 75 and very nonscientific comparison of my riding style to that of others who pass me on the streets and bike paths is that I pedal faster than most.

So, as for cadence, the other day I ran across this which appears to support the idea that increasing cadence for recreational riders probably results in lower efficiency. But, they may be referring to cadences in excess of what I am speaking of. As I said, I'm no experto on the sports medicine/exercise efficiency stuff.

As for losing weight, cycling helps me a lot, but not nearly as much as cutting way back on alcohol consumption. Two bottles of decent beer might be 350-400 kcal (Art Car IPA is 200 kcal/bottle). For me, alcohol also execerbates bad eating habits.
I'm almost 69 and can't maintain the speeds I used to, of course, but 10mph is easy to maintain, even after being off the bike for a month or two. After a couple weeks of 100 to 150 miles I can get up to 12-13 average on a 20- 25 mile ride. Not blazing, but not too bad considering what we're dealing with.
They are talking about cadences abvoe 90 rpm which is indeed a very high cadence. in general, 80 to 90 rpm is fine. lower than 70 is, imo too low.
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Old 03-13-20, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
They are talking about cadences abvoe 90 rpm which is indeed a very high cadence. in general, 80 to 90 rpm is fine. lower than 70 is, imo too low.
I don't know if that's right or not. Follow the link to the abstract and it reveals that cadences in excess of 90 rpm were not included in the study. That's why I wrote earlier that I wasn't sure about the cadences referred to in the Bicycling article. The article says that higher cadences can be less efficient but the cadences tested were from 40 to 90. That implies to me that somewhere in that range of cadences, efficiency tends to decrease. But then, the author of the paper referred to in the magazine article says that cadences in excess of 90 may be less efficient for recreational cyclists. Hence, my uncertainty.

There was a renowned physicist named Philip Morrison who tried to figure out where the 7000 kcal (maybe more or less) that TDF riders burn in a day goes. Rolling resistance, air drag, normal metabolism, etc. He concluded that all these things didn't account for enough and that a significant amount of energy was used in evaporating sweat -- that is, in keeping the body temperature down. My interpretation of that is that anything which makes your body temperature increase will tend to result in more energy burn. Of course, you can't exercise too hard or you lose the ability to counteract the temperature rise by sweat evaporation with bad, maybe very bad, results. For a TDF rider, the goal is to keep that energy use down and use more energy in climbing hills and overcoming air drag. For a fat guy on a bike trying to increase calorie burn, the goal may be different. Of course, that leads to the question, why does somebody like me not ride the heaviest bike available with worn out bearings etc. That answer is easy for me -- it's much more fun to ride a nice roller. Morrison made a PBS video series (The Ring of Truth) about several different topics, the TDF, I believe, was one episode. I haven't seen them all since, I think, 1987, but all episodes seem to be available on Youtube. I remember they were fun to watch and not too much science for those of us who can hardly remember the first derivative of e^x. Suppose you could say they are sciency.
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Old 03-13-20, 10:04 PM
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Working from home? Can you squeeze hour long rides mid-day or even strenuous walks? Seems like you have an at home office job that is sedentary?
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