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Serious Weight loss question(18 posts)

Serious Weight loss questionLauda
Apr 15, 2001 7:15 PM
I have a serious question on trying to loose weight. I am around 5'11" and weigh around 195. I have a healthcare background, so I know the whole thing, eat right, lift weights and get aerobic exercise. I thought with skate skiing in the off-season I would drop the ten punds that I need/want to be more competitive.

I do long rides, 3-5 hours once a week (schedule will not allow for any more). I lift to increase muscle tone and increase metabolism. I dont eat much any more and I try and have the same amount of food in five portions, instead of gouging on three. I ride about 120-150 miles per week average, with some race pace training twice a week.

I just cant drop any weight. I had my thyroid checked, and its the low end of normal, but not low enough to take anything for it.

Has anyone taken a supplement or anything that has helped them loose weight. I know there are a lot of gimmecks out there and there is no "magic pill", but I need something to get a jump start. My "A" priority races are coming up and I know the 30 pounds that I have in excess to most of my competitors hurts me. Its frustrating to pound the pavement and not see any results. I would be better off sitting at home having more quality time with the wife and maybe be the same weight, or even a few pounds heavier and have an extra 8 or so hours a week.
re: Serious Weight loss questionlook271
Apr 15, 2001 7:24 PM
I had the same problem. I too, am in health-care, eat what I thought was "right", and still couldn't loose those last 10-20 lbs. I picked up a copy of Barry Sear's "the Zone", and it has changed my outlook on food, as well as it has given me the ability to lose those lbs. I'm
sure that this response will be scoffed at, but believe me when I say that I have never felt as good or gotten any better results than when I eat in the "Zone". Try it. No, this is not a fad diet; it is a different way to eat. I've been doing this now for about 4 yrs, with only positive effects on my health.
my 2 cents...biknben
Apr 15, 2001 7:34 PM
I was 55 pounds heavier a year and a half ago. I had tried to lose weight for a while before that. I feel that no amount of exercise alone will make you lose weight. I rode the bike harder and harder and slowly kept putting weight.
My secret was to commit to short and long term goals. I mixed exercise, slim-fast, and a little starvation. Once the weight starts coming off it is very addictive and easier to loose more. You just have to get the ball rolling.
Is it possible that you are eating more than you think you are? If you reduce your intake you have to lose weight. 5 meals a day is a good idea but make sure they are smaller meals. I suspect that those meals may be larger than they need to be and causing you to maintain your weight rather than loose weight.

Good Luck.

My Motto: "If it were easy...We'd all be skinny as a rail!"
It not about the bike, its about calories...Bruno S
Apr 15, 2001 7:50 PM
You can spend hours riding but if you eat the same amount of calories you burned there is no weight loss. I loose weight when I go to sleep hungry. This is the best time to be hungry because your will be sleeping while your body is burning fat and you are depleted from energy. Besides when you wake up you usually don't eat more than usual. Starving during the day is not good because you don't want to feel weak when you have other things to do and train.
An alternativetommyb
Apr 15, 2001 8:21 PM
I find that the best time for me to lose weight is in the off-season. When I'm putting in big miles, I absolutely hate to be hungry. I find it much easier to tolerate a calorie deficit when I'm not needing it. Due to work constraints, I'm down to one or two short rides a week for 5 weeks, so now's a good time for me to shed some of those extra 10 - 15 pounds I put on over the years.

I know it's sacrilegious to endurance athletes, but you may want to consider a few weeks of a low-carb diet. After watching many of my over-weight co-workers lose lots of weight following the "Atkins" diet, I became intrigued. As an experiment, I'm giving it a try. I have not had any carbs (<20 grams per day) for two weeks. I'm eating plenty of protein and a fair amount of fat. I've lost 8 pounds in two weeks. I'm going to stick with it for two more weeks or so, and then ease back into a more carbo-rich diet. The fastest I've ever lost weight before, using just a 'stay hungry all the time' diet was 1 -2 pounds per week.

My cycling is suffering a bit now, but I'm not sure how much of that is the diet and how much is my fitness fading from lack of riding. I did, however, manage to win one of the county line sprints on this weekend's Saturday morning club ride.

My next 'big' event is the Assault on Mt. Mitchell on May 19. I'm hoping that the loss of 10 pounds will make the 11,000 feet of climbing over 100 miles that much easier, despite the fact that my mileage will be down prior to the event. I should be back to a fairly normal level of carb intake two weeks prior to the event. (Maybe not as many as I used to eat, but definetely more than I'm eating now.) Like yourself, though, I'm wondering if the performance improvement on Mt. Mitchell will be enough to justify five weeks of dieting. The ride won't be any easier, as I plan to go as hard as I can either way, but I'm hoping it will be 15 minutes less suffering on the way up if I lose the weight. So it's five weeks of no ice cream or beer (the worst part of this diet) for 15 minutes less climbing. Doesn't seem fair, does it?

Bottom line, my recommendation is to pick a time at least a few months before your 'A' priority races, and give a low-carb diet a try. I'm sure that most of the other cyclists will scoff at this idea, but I'm also sure that few of them have tried it for themselves.

Good luck with whatever method you choose.
re: Serious Weight loss questiondustin
Apr 15, 2001 8:46 PM
well, this year, somehow, i've lost 12lbs. last time i checked at least, and all i was doing was eating less, but healthier. and i stopped eating late. anothing thing i did, was if i got hungry between meals, i'd chew gum. i went through so much gum a week. i'd still like to lose around 10-15lbs 'cause i want to race someday, and i know that being 6', 168 isn't going to cut it. i'm gonna experiment with going to the gym and spinning on the stationaries, hoping that that will strentghen my small, twitchy muscles, and burn more fat.
I hope that's a typoLazy
Apr 15, 2001 9:00 PM
6 feet 168 lbs isn't going to cut it? It'll definitely cut it. That may not be your ideal, but I would imagine that if you lose much more weight you're gonna start losing muscle mass.

This is admittedly a brash generalization, but 6' 168 doesn't sound overweight to me. I have a hard time imagining that weight is your limiting factor.
I hope that's a typodustin
Apr 15, 2001 10:17 PM
oops, sorry, i guess i should've clarified a little. i am 6', 168, but 'd like to lose about 5-7more lbs. on some graphs i checked out, 168 is just in the "normal weight" category. and 168 doesn't mean that i'm like 8% body fat (though damn, that'd be nice). i'm not sure what i am, but since muscle does weigh less than fat (i think) losing weight by losing fat, would mean gaining muscle. ok, sorry if this didn't make much sence, i'm just very very tired. goodnight, y'all........
Apr 15, 2001 10:49 PM
I hope that was just a typo... Muscle weighs MORE than fat. Try to get your body fat percentage checked so you know whether you're losing fat or muscle. Maybe borrow a friend's monitor for a week or so? The different instruments for body fat measurement vary in accuracy, but the key is to get several measurements with the same instrument so you can compare them to each other. Good luck.
Apr 15, 2001 11:37 PM
crap, fat weighs less than, ok, now i'm confused. but that's ok. where would i do the measurements at? or does it differ for each instrument? 'cause i've heard arm, back, thighs, and other various places.....
Its nearly perfect for general health ...Humma Hah
Apr 16, 2001 5:22 PM
I'm 5' 11". The government tables suggest my ideal weight is about 166 lbs, but that's not a perfect guideline for everyone. I got a hydrostatic dunk test recently which did a detailed analysis of my fitness goals and says, indeed, if I lose only fat, not muscle, 166 lbs will be 15% bodyfat for me, and right on the government guidelines.

If I just dieted, I would probably lose both fat and muscle about equally. But I dropped calories AND upped exercise, and seem to be losing only fat.

15% bodyfat is OK for general health. Racing cyclists would probably err on the lean side of that, hopefully venturing as low as 5% only with some very close monitoring by a coach or nutritional conselor or physician.
kick startGary
Apr 16, 2001 6:59 AM
I agree with the previous poster on the Atkins diet. I has received a lot of flak. But facts are facts, you do lose weight. And whereas Dr. Atkins DOES maintain that it can be a lifelong plan, I, personally, wouldn't go that far. I view it as a kick it, lose it and transition out of it. I lost 70 lbs that way. I also happen to like Barry Sears "The Zone" comes off as a lifelong balance. So does Bill Phillip's Body For Life (EAS). Not too suprisingly, the old adage is true...everything in moderation is good for you. Good Luck!
kick startLazy
Apr 16, 2001 7:13 AM
I have a nutrition book that states pretty much exactly that. It says that to kick start a weight loss program to avoid carbs for 24-48 hours. This depletes your glycogen stores and starts the body burning fat. It recommends slowly reintroducing carbs (in sensible levels, depending on activity) over the next week.
You're right.look271
Apr 16, 2001 7:25 AM
Low carb diets will allow you to lose weight in a hurry. Problem is if you eat like this always, you will send your body into renal (kidney) failure due to the excessive amounts of nitrogen produced in protein metabolism. The Zone works great for me. If I need to lose some weight quickly, I add a little more protein and decrease the fat a bit. It is an excellent way to maintain a healthy diet. (Lots of fresh veggies and fruit for carbs, light on the baked goods and pasta). Besides, on the Zone, I can still have my icecream, which makes me a very happy man! :-)
me tooAlan B
Apr 16, 2001 12:54 PM
Lost 30 pounds on Atkins in 2 months over Winter '99-'00. Switched to low fat as I started cycling and lost 5 more. Gained that last 5 back again this winter (see-food diet [see food and eat it]), but expect to lose it now that I'll be back on the bike more.
re: Serious Weight loss questionSteven
Apr 16, 2001 10:56 AM
Anyone try Arginine/Ornithine combo to try and raise HGH levels to burn more fat?

This is not in place of exercise but along with it.

Any success?
Apr 16, 2001 1:11 PM
I run by differences ...Humma Hah
Apr 16, 2001 4:42 PM
... I peaked at about the same weight as you, a couple of years ago. I upped my riding some, and cut back food intake, getting rid of most of the recent gain in a couple of months, then hit a maintenance level. I stuck with that for a year, my weight varying maybe 3 pounds, but my riding gradually increasing as I concentrated on improving my muscle and cardio condition.

This January, I upped the riding pace slightly and cut back food just a little. I also changed strategy a bit. Before, I would eat a recovery meal immediately after a long ride. Now I'm waiting a couple of hours, eating a light meal, and forcing my body to do its recovery using fat. And generally I spend a little time each day just a little hungry.

I'm being rewarded by a nice, gradual 2-lb a month weight loss that should have me at ideal weight and bodyfat by Christmas.

I track this diet and exercise on a computer spreadsheet, plotting my weight and bodyfat (using a Tanita scale) and using a linear curve fit to determine the straigh line thru the data to see if I am on track. I don't count calories, instead I look at the weight trend for the last month or so, and figure 3500 calories per pound of fat, adjusting my diet and exercise to get the desired result.

A couple of weeks ago I found my weight loss was not quite as fast as desired, determined I was taking in about 60 calories per day too much. I dropped one snack and added a few miles, and bingo, was rewarded with a nice little dip and I'm back on track.