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Cycling and Fat loss

Old 08-05-20, 09:26 AM
  #226  
AlgarveCycling
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I've never subscribed to any particular diet as such. I was always in great shape due to a very athletic lifestyle right up until my mid-30's. It fell off a cliff when I relocated to the UK and found myself with long commutes, a young family and long office hours. I ate the same but minus the exercise, piled on the weight.

Then in December 2018, having relocated to Portugal, sunnier, warmer clime, semi-retired, weighing a rather portly 86kg (190lbs, 13.5st) for my 168cm (5ft 6) height I decided I'd finally do something about it and get back to cycling properly, as I used to be. My wife and step-kids laughed. They met me at the start of my fat years. My stories of how I was a competitive Cat 1/ Elite racing cyclist plus various school and Uni sporting achievements etc were something they never saw, just something I mentioned. I was simply making a New Year's resolution in advance that would never materialise they said.

January 2019...cut my calorie intake to 1200 per day, but could be anything...hit the Gym 3x a week, intensive cardio for 1.5 hours...bought an e-MTB (thinking my knees, damaged from racing before would not recover so best go easy on them) and cycled off-road 50km (31mi) a day 6x a week. By the end of March 2019 I weighed 66kg (145lbs, 10.4st) and comfortably within my BMI recommended weight. A quarter of my mass gone in 3 months. My knees thanks to targeted strengthening and bike fit proved to be serviceable again.

I now weigh between 64-65kg. Some 21kg (46lbs) less than I did and I recovered all the muscle I lost during the diet and added a whole lot more. I ditched the e-bike (gave it to my wife) in June 2019 and between then and now have gone from strength to strength, now in the top 5 in my region for my age group and getting faster, stronger each month still.

If you had asked me if I thought this was possible in 2018, I would have said no. It did happen and I can tell you that the diet aspect wasn't difficult at all. I ate what I normally eat, just less of it. I was very motivated by the results and kept going. I even enjoyed it! I followed the most simple regime of all: calories in, calories out. I just decided upon the balance I could cope with to achieve my goal.

I eat more now than I did in my fat years to cover the calories I burn in my cycling training - I do around 400-500km per week, race training, MTB and road. Pizza? Large, please and 2x a week on average.
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Old 08-05-20, 01:57 PM
  #227  
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Originally Posted by John Foster View Post
There has been a lot of good advice posted already, and maybe what I am going to say has already been said. If so pardon me.
Develop a love for an activity and let it become a lifestyle. Don't pick an activity because it is great for a specific fitness or weight loss goal and then force yourself to do it. Try things,whatever they may be cycling,hiking, jogging, swimming, team sports, etc. etc. until you find your love; then you will eagerly make time for that activity,. This will yield fitness, weight and psychological benefits. Nothing is worse than doing an exercise that you dislike because it burns more calories an hour than one that you do like.
Excellent point, big-picture view which makes so much sense yet is often lost / hard to see.

During Covid, I've adopted cycling as my hobby / lifestyle choice . . . the fitness it's yielded is just one of the benefits, replacing my previous hobby of drinking beer while watching NHL games 4-5 nights a week, and I lost 32 pounds in 90 days from late-March to late-June. Also I dieted for weight loss to improve my riding, and the combo of diet + riding has produced the best fitness I've had in about 30 years. I invested a little in upgrades to my bike and some good cycling kit, and I'm happy with the results in all ways.
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Old 08-05-20, 04:20 PM
  #228  
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Originally Posted by guachi View Post
What surprised me most about weight loss studies and the follow-up keeping weight off studies is how beneficial resistance training is to effective weight management.
No surprise there, it's been known for a long time that people who include resistance training achieve better results than those who only do cardio...Cutting calories and doing only cardio will burn muscle and that's a very bad thing...Retaining muscle is extremely important because muscle is metabolically active and burns calories even while at rest, plus there are many other health benefits and functional benefits associated with resistance training. And the only way to retain muscle while dieting and doing cardio is to include some weight lifting or bodyweight strength training.
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Old 08-06-20, 05:43 AM
  #229  
RH Clark
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Neither cycling nor any exercise should be considered the most important part of a healthy lifestyle. I've used it to help sculpt a 360lb body into a 170lb body, but it has only been one small part of the entire regiment I used to get there. The really detrimental thing to weight loss I often see from cyclists is an attitude to reward themselves after a bike ride with a junk food treat. You can't out exercise an unhealthy diet. You won't get as fat as you would just sitting on the couch but you certainly won't be as healthy or lean as you would with a healthy diet.
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Old 08-06-20, 05:52 AM
  #230  
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I only went from 135 lbs to 128 lbs with cycling. 8 weeks of hard training so far.

So I've only lost a little weight and some of my weight simply moved from my upper body to the legs. At least it's safer this way, lower center of gravity which promotes safer handling of the bike and improved braking performance.
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Old 08-06-20, 06:04 AM
  #231  
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Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
Neither cycling nor any exercise should be considered the most important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Exercise is the most important ingredient in a healthy lifestyle, it's more important than diet. Human body is designed to move. A healthy diet is worthless without exercise.
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Old 08-06-20, 07:04 AM
  #232  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I only went from 135 lbs to 128 lbs with cycling. 8 weeks of hard training so far.

So I've only lost a little weight and some of my weight simply moved from my upper body to the legs. At least it's safer this way, lower center of gravity which promotes safer handling of the bike and improved braking performance.

Don't take this the wrong way, but how much below 128 pounds could you possibly get while maintaining decent muscle mass? In other words, wouldn't further weight loss just make you weaker?
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Old 08-06-20, 10:02 AM
  #233  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Don't take this the wrong way, but how much below 128 pounds could you possibly get while maintaining decent muscle mass? In other words, wouldn't further weight loss just make you weaker?
I've only been loosing fat so far. I seem to have plenty of fat even though I'm thin!
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Old 08-06-20, 02:52 PM
  #234  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I've only been loosing fat so far. I seem to have plenty of fat even though I'm thin!
Yes, I've read that body fat percentages can vary wildly so that seemingly thin people can have high body fat percentage, but that just boggles my mind. Probably just me thinking everyone looks like a fat American..
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Old 08-06-20, 03:02 PM
  #235  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Exercise is the most important ingredient in a healthy lifestyle, it's more important than diet. Human body is designed to move. A healthy diet is worthless without exercise.
While I would not disagree with that statement, I don't see it as the problem. What I see more often is people trying to out exercise an unhealthy diet. I don't think there are many people who are health conscious enough to eat perfectly and then just lay around. What I do often see are people who exercise hard and then lose most of the benefits by rewarding themselves with junk food.
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Old 08-07-20, 07:31 AM
  #236  
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Rambling off topic here.

Oh so complicated! In Canada, our Medical Association has just advised its members to start looking at and treating root causes of obesity rather than the old "eat less and exercise more refrain" this has provoked a whole spectrum of responses from very positive to very negative.
I do however believe that a lot of obese people despair. My wife and I, who were never in really poor shape have lost 15 and 25 pounds in the last 6 months by improving our diet and exercise regimes. The sad part is that while going from 185 to 170 pounds may have an impact on my health , I was never in a health crisis, yet I still get lots of positive comments on my appearance, on the other hand I have some morbidly obese family members who can go from 400 pounds down to 350 pounds and no one notices, even though what they have achieved is much more significant to their health. I don't know how to support and encourage without risking insulting, being seem as judgmental, or somehow enabling; maybe just being nice.
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Old 08-07-20, 03:43 PM
  #237  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Yes. as long as you don't overeat.
Uh, yeah, but I did a 37 mile 2950 foot of hard climbing ride and two cookies equaled the amount of calories lost. So you CAN KEEP weight off with riding but if you want to lose weight you either have to ride a hell of a lot or diet.
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Old 08-07-20, 04:10 PM
  #238  
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Originally Posted by John Foster View Post
Rambling off topic here.


Oh so complicated! In Canada, our Medical Association has just advised its members to start looking at and treating root causes of obesity rather than the old "eat less and exercise more refrain" this has provoked a whole spectrum of responses from very positive to very negative.

The root causes of obesity is eating too many calories, especially junk calories and not enough physical exertion, not enough movement. Exercising once or twice per week is not enough, it needs to be everyday. The Medical Association can't really do anything, because loosing weight is an individual affair. The government can't force people to stop eating too much or force them to exercise, its up to the individual to make that decision. Most people are not serious enough about loosing weight, others are bombarded with all kinds of false information about how to eat and how to exercise. It's not easy.. The formula for maintaining healthy weight is very very simple: Eat mostly whole foods, make sure that your exercise program includes both resistance training and cardio...Also make sure to have high intensity days, medium intensity days and low intensity days. And make sure to be physically active every single day. Loosing weight has a lot to do with self-discipline. A diet or exercise program is useless if a person doesn't stick with it....Another problem is that many people want to choose an easy comfortable and fun way to loose weight. Sometimes people need to do hard things, be uncomfortable and do things that they don't like, it's the hard difficult exercises that produce the best results.
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Old 08-07-20, 05:08 PM
  #239  
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
Uh, yeah, but I did a 37 mile 2950 foot of hard climbing ride and two cookies equaled the amount of calories lost. So you CAN KEEP weight off with riding but if you want to lose weight you either have to ride a hell of a lot or diet.
You’re talking to someone who once lost 90 lbs. in 9 months through diet change (not dieting) and aerobic exercise. I also spent nearly 4 months on the road cycling across the US and then some self contained and put on some pounds in the Midwest before losing them again in the east. I know how it works.

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Old 08-08-20, 07:18 AM
  #240  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
The root causes of obesity is eating too many calories, especially junk calories and not enough physical exertion, not enough movement. Exercising once or twice per week is not enough, it needs to be everyday. The Medical Association can't really do anything, because loosing weight is an individual affair. The government can't force people to stop eating too much or force them to exercise, its up to the individual to make that decision. Most people are not serious enough about loosing weight, others are bombarded with all kinds of false information about how to eat and how to exercise. It's not easy.. The formula for maintaining healthy weight is very very simple: Eat mostly whole foods, make sure that your exercise program includes both resistance training and cardio...Also make sure to have high intensity days, medium intensity days and low intensity days. And make sure to be physically active every single day. Loosing weight has a lot to do with self-discipline. A diet or exercise program is useless if a person doesn't stick with it....Another problem is that many people want to choose an easy comfortable and fun way to loose weight. Sometimes people need to do hard things, be uncomfortable and do things that they don't like, it's the hard difficult exercises that produce the best results.
That's all true advice but I would think not necessarily the best advice for someone who is extremely over weight. WHAT and when you eat matters more than nearly anything else when you are more than 100 lbs over weight. I know because I have LOST 190lbs in the last 2 years. I went whole foods but extremely low carbs and worked toward a 16-8 intermittent fasting schedule until I reached it for an eating window. When you weigh 360 lbs exercise is nearly impossible. I lost nearly 60 lbs before I was able to even start walking. Then my knees hurt so bad I couldn't keep it up. That's when I discovered cycling.

I think the one thing that helped me most was weighing every day. You can't freak out over small fluctuations but it's extremely important to be accountable to your goals every day and be adaptable to change if what you are doing isn't working. I had days when I ate too much but because I was accountable to myself, I would eat way less or even fast the next day until I was back on track. If what you are doing isn't working ,then try something different. I spent hundreds of hours educating myself on what is a healthy diet.

Most of us think that we know what to eat but just don't. The truth is that all of us are only the sum of our education, good or bad. If you really want to change your actions then you must change your education. I tell everyone that wants to lose weight to spend every moment possible educating themselves on diet and exercise. Just like a computer, if we want to do something new and different, then we have to load new soft wear into the computer we call our brain. It is the constant introduction of new ideas that will cause us to act differently.
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Old 08-08-20, 08:12 AM
  #241  
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Originally Posted by euantait View Post
hi to all, i am a 16 year old and although i do have a good physical shape i would just like to ask if cycling can help with loosing belly/waist fat. I also do upper body/back/core training aswell but im just looking for an answer if cycling can effectively help with excess fat loss around those areas.
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Old 08-09-20, 10:03 AM
  #242  
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Im in the snow belt and do not ride in the winter. Therefore I gain weight over the winter months. Three or four years ago, cycling allowed me to lose 15 pounds. But the older I get the harder it is to lose, even riding. Im now 82. I have to now watch my weight more in the winter.
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Old 08-09-20, 02:35 PM
  #243  
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Ah - The Calorie Debacle.
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Old 08-09-20, 03:42 PM
  #244  
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Tom Vernon, Author, of books fat man on a bicycle also liked the cuisine where he went & cooking @ home

liked food & cycling so was not a weight loss specialist.
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Old 08-09-20, 04:34 PM
  #245  
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Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
That's all true advice but I would think not necessarily the best advice for someone who is extremely over weight. WHAT and when you eat matters more than nearly anything else when you are more than 100 lbs over weight. I know because I have LOST 190lbs in the last 2 years. I went whole foods but extremely low carbs and worked toward a 16-8 intermittent fasting schedule until I reached it for an eating window. When you weigh 360 lbs exercise is nearly impossible. I lost nearly 60 lbs before I was able to even start walking. Then my knees hurt so bad I couldn't keep it up. That's when I discovered cycling.

I think the one thing that helped me most was weighing every day. You can't freak out over small fluctuations but it's extremely important to be accountable to your goals every day and be adaptable to change if what you are doing isn't working. I had days when I ate too much but because I was accountable to myself, I would eat way less or even fast the next day until I was back on track. If what you are doing isn't working ,then try something different. I spent hundreds of hours educating myself on what is a healthy diet.

Most of us think that we know what to eat but just don't. The truth is that all of us are only the sum of our education, good or bad. If you really want to change your actions then you must change your education. I tell everyone that wants to lose weight to spend every moment possible educating themselves on diet and exercise. Just like a computer, if we want to do something new and different, then we have to load new soft wear into the computer we call our brain. It is the constant introduction of new ideas that will cause us to act differently.

I lost 150 pounds, and the way I did it was pretty similar to what you describe. It's really a matter of trial and error, keep doing what you're doing until you hit a plateau, then make another adjustment.

I would bet money, though, that if you and I compared our diets and level of activity, they'd probably be completely different. What works for one person usually doesn't for another.

Ever notice that people who actually have had massive weight loss never say it's simple?
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