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ok, let me get this straight: weight loss & gain question(16 posts)

ok, let me get this straight: weight loss & gain questionJs Haiku Shop
Oct 15, 2001 12:31 PM
you probably have read, but i weighed 235-240 at the start of last fall, and from oct 2000 to feb 2001 i dropped to 190-195 through hard work in the gym over winter, and being careful about what and how much i ate. i've maintained that weight with a 5-8 pound window since, easing off the pizza and riding more when necessary. i'm 6'2", if that matters.

question is this: if i can lose that weight and maintain what i've got as such, is there a reason i can't lose another 30 and maintain 165-170 using the same methods? i guess that's two questions:

1) can i lose another 30 using the same process of carefully watching what i eat, counting daily caloric intake, and execising on a schedule (and like a fiend)?

2) when i get to 165, is it maintained the same--through eating sensibly (but not like a monk) and routine exercise/riding?

of course, it's logical and all, but the weight i lost 2000 fall/2001 winter was truly excess, and now i'm closer to (but still in excess of) an ideal weight for my frame. i figure the same ideas apply, but am wondering if my body will revolt, or something, once i hit some magic number.

thanks in advance...
Not sure but...Len J
Oct 15, 2001 1:15 PM
I'll share my experience.

I lost about 12 lbs the first year (from 175 to 162) when I started (restarted) riding again 3 years ago. then between last year & this year, as I took my intensity & miles up I lost another 7 to 8 lbs. I think the secondary loss for me was in body fat, but I can't prove this. For me & my body type I think that I will probably settle around 152 to 155 with a low body fat if I keep the exercise regime going.

I think that there is a frame component to where you can get to (and maintain good health) there probably is a genetic component also.

I am looking forward to additional responses to this one.

re: ok, let me get this straight: weight loss & gain questionharper
Oct 15, 2001 1:35 PM
Not going to try and give a scientific answer, but I too can share my experiences.

Eight years ago, in college, I was 225-230 at 6 feet tall and with what most would call a large build. I began a running/lifing/swimming routine. After a about a year, I was down to 175, and had much more muscle. However, maintaining that weight was exceedingly difficult, and working out/watching what I ate were my number one priority. Any slacking at all saw a pound or two creep back on. I found that there was a level that I could not go below, no matter how strict I got with workouts and/or diet. Personally, I believe that once you lose the true excess, it becomes much harder to lose more. Probably genetics. Right now, I'm the same height (of course) but at 185. I found that weight much easier to maintain. I think I could again reach 175, but do not think I could go lower.

From the info you gave, I would say you have some more you could lose, but 165 might be asking too much.
watch the carbs!jtolleson
Oct 15, 2001 1:52 PM
For me, I was able to get over the "hump" when I reduced carbs.

I had always watched fat, but as an active person ate all the pasta and power bars I wanted.

I couldn't believe how much better I felt when I cut back. I use carbs for "carbo loading" for rides and eat carbo-based fitness bars during events and such, but my meals and snacks have become much less carb oriented. No more Clif bars as meal substitutes, and less breads, grains, and pastas as dietary staples. I bought a bunch of string cheese and sugar free jello for snacking at work.

It really helped and didn't interfere with my riding.
Genetics and You!Jon
Oct 15, 2001 2:14 PM
Hey Js,

The above replies from experience are pretty well on the money. "Ideal" weight for each individual is
thought to be genetically determined. What that weight is for you, however, remains as yet undetermined.
My suggestion would be to surf over to and click on "The Little Green Book", a
feature Chris Brewer has installed on the website. In it, you can estimate your basal metabolic rate plus
your daily calorie burn including energy requirements for exercise. The next step is to really start
watching what you eat by keeping a diary and calculating your daily caloric intake. If you want to lose
more weight without wasting muscle, short yourself by 200 to 500 calories per day, no more. At
-500 cal/day you'll lose a lb per week. However, at this stage that might be too fast. Slow weight
loss gives the body a chance to adjust metabolically. There is a point beyond which your body simply
will not want to go. Don't fight it! Good health, not some fictional weight, should be your objective.
You should, as an active cyclist, settle out somewhere between 10 - 15% body fat.

P.S. Most people would kill for the weight loss you've already achieved! Good luck.
my experience, exactlytarwheel
Oct 16, 2001 4:31 AM
The only way I have successfully lost weight is to reduce excess carbs. There is a myth that runners, cyclists, etc., can eat as many carbs as they want, as long as they cut back on fats. Not true, at least for me. I cut my fat intake for years and steadily gained weight. I only started losing weight after I tried a low-carb diet. I stayed on that diet just long enough to get my weight to the right level, and then started eating carbs again while moderating my intake. This summer, I started ignoring my carb intake because I was riding so much I didn't think it would matter. I rode 1,400 miles in August and September -- and gained 5 pounds. Now I'm back to limiting my carbs.
more important is the kind of carbspeloton
Oct 16, 2001 9:51 AM
Most people have problems with carbohydrates because the carbs they take in are of low quality. Refined, bleached grains and sugars aren't going to help you lose weight. More important is to make sure that the carbs you are taking in are high quality whole grains. Whole grains are more nutrient rich, and are slower to digest. Slower to digest means you take longer to get hungry, and blood sugar isn't raised suddenly causing the body to create fatty tissue. Simple sugars (like refined grains- white bread, most pasta) are what you should be trying to cut out, not carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are what fuel your body most effieciently. Just try replacing simple sugars with complex carbs like wheat bread instead of white, whole wheat pasta (Prince has some on the shelves now) instead of regular bleached pasta, or oatmeal instead of frosted sugar flakes.

The best diet is still a healthy balance of 15% protein, 65% carbs, and 20% fat. It is the quality of the selections you make, and the timing of consumption that make a big difference in body composition. Ultra low fat, or high protein diets aren't all they are cracked up to be. Instead of trying any fad diets, I would just make sure the food choices that I was making currently were qualtiy choices.
Some more ideas ....cyclinseth
Oct 15, 2001 2:49 PM
Drink half your wieght in oz. of water every day. Increase fiber consumption. Studies have shown that the average American has about 8-10 lbs of undigested material (ie fecal matter, putrifying animal products and processed "food") in his/her intestines. There are many books on internal cleansing, one in particular called Internal Cleansing, I forget the author.
"Internal cleansing is NOT an idea"Kerry Irons
Oct 15, 2001 4:30 PM
Putrifying animal products? "Processed 'food'". Are you refering to normal digestive processes or some quackery associated with High Colonics and laxative purging? Watch out for fads and fetishes. They are just that.
re: ok, let me get this straight: weight loss & gain questionDINOSAUR
Oct 15, 2001 10:49 PM
My own experience comes from when I was younger and a runner. I did a lot of slow long distance and cut way back on my colorie intake. The weight came off and I was down to 168lbs (6-0) and a body fat of 7%. The bad side is that it hurts to burn fat and it takes a fair amount of time.

Just stick with long rides and cut back on fats and sugar. After awhile you will not crave these foods anymore. Learn to go hungry once and awhile.

This is all layman's terminology but keep in mind that I've read that you should not attempt to lose more than one pound a week or it can be unhealthy.

If you learn to eat like a rabbit, it helps....

Oh, one more thing, rabbits don't drink beer, sorry for the bad news!

Maybe you hit it on the head when you said living like a monk.
My takebreck
Oct 15, 2001 11:26 PM
Right off the bat one must realize that only muscle combined with oxygen breathed in will metabolize fat. Food of any sort will add stored fat to ones body when the calories taken in exceed ones daily "normal" metabolism added to the calories burned thru exercise of all kinds, especially aerobic exercises that by definition require large amounts of oxygen.

Diet restrictions do not "burn" the fat off, but only reduces the excess daily calories one takes in to below some base line one needs to reduce weight. There is some argument as to the best way to reduce body fat but most agree that low intensity exercise is best in the beginning if you have the time to spend, I.E., it takes longer.

Typically when one starts the "exercise regimen" from long lay offs one is neither fit enuff to put in the required miles and to cloud the issue more, some water loss is expected due to excess sweat and some muscle tissue (heavier than fat tissue) is gained. This is the time for restrictive diet and slow build up of the miles, etc.

No one really knows what best low weight one can attain and still feel strong on the ride, run, etc. This daily log business of weighing each morning, keeping tract of calories consumed, miles ridden, etc. is or has been used by all of us at one time or another. Also it is instructive to read all the literature, experiment with training regimens, etc., and cherry pick those that you naturally gravitate towards by your nature or "disposition" as Ron Clarke put it.

Testimonials are all too often "non-scientific" and further cloud the issues unless you are by physical and mental make up of that one "champion" catches your fancy. From initial start (like very serious) it will take about 10 years to reach your physical peak at your chosen sport my bud John Loeschhorn suggests. Expect some physical and mental burn-outs, time outs :), and injury. specific course time trials will help see where you are now and later.

At this late date having been running (more or less:) for 33 years (only trail run now) and mtb and road biking for 10 years ..the most important thing has become simply to hope to be doing this "stuff" this time next year, health and mental need willing.

"Each of us has to find [his own] activity. It may be mountain climbing, running, or sailing, or it may be something quite different. The important thing is that we should perform rather than watch others. By absorption in the pursuit we forget ourselves, and it fills the void between the child and the man"
-Sir Roger Bannister
"The Four Minute Mile"
Dodd, Mead, & Co.

My Take ...2 :)breck
Oct 15, 2001 11:52 PM
As Dino may tell you , us old guyz should do our 'ritin and thinkin' in the morning right after that big carbo breakfast mainly for the brain functions!

RE: first paragraph, what i meant to say was....
"Food of any sort will add stored fat to ones body when the calories taken in exceed ones daily "normal" metabolism added to the calories burned thru exercise of all kinds. Aerobic exercises that by definition require large amounts of oxygen, will metabolize the most fats."

...and as to len j.
with this guys genetics all bets are off :)

cheers all,
re: body fit, like bike fit , ain't the same for everybodydzrider
Oct 16, 2001 4:21 AM
At 23 years old I weighed 240 and started exercising. Over the next few years I got down to 170, a good weight for my 5'10", size 44 frame. If I am very disciplined about what I eat I can get down to 165. I exercise 6 days a week and if I'm casual, even quite casual, about eating I weigh between 175 and 180. For some reason my body stays at this weight unless I eat or diet compulsively.

My normal weight range doesn't make me athletically fit. When I want to do my best in major events I have to diet. The most effective diet for me is repeated cycles of glycogen depletion then carbo loading for my weekly long work out. My weight comes down and it gives my an energy boost for the long rides or runs on the weekend.
thanks, guys--looks like i'll be giving you an update in march..Js Haiku Shop
Oct 16, 2001 4:48 AM
i'm going to experiment with a little of each of these thoughts, and hopefully find where my body is comfortable (what weight, exercise schedule, eating habits...).

surprising that nobody mentioned weight training (weightlifting/circuit training) as a supplement (or did i miss it?). circuit leg workouts following 30-40 minute treadmill runs seemed to help through last winter. not sure if this did anything for my weight or riding, but it sure felt good the next day...!
Similar Situation?Stew
Oct 16, 2001 5:50 AM
From everything I've read or heard on the subject, the closer you are to "ideal" weight, the harder it is to lose. There are a number of reasons for this, but I won't bore you with them here. Just look at anybody you know who has been heavy and has lost weight. I think you'll see that most of them lose a lot of weight quickly and then taper off.

I'm 6'4" and weigh about 183 with very little fluctuation, regardless of what I eat. When I first started riding two years ago I weighed around 198. I didn't do anything special, just rode and was smart about what I ate. Within two months I was down to 185. I have a very lean build, even though I lift on a regular basis, that's just the way I am. Any fat I gain goes right to the mid-section. So, for me, 185 still leaves me with a little bit more of a belly than I would like. But even though I didn't really change any of my habits for the rest of the season, and was actually riding more, I only dropped about two more pounds. So that's 13 pounds in two months and another two pounds in four to five months.

Over the winter I gained a few pounds, reaching about 188. After about a month of riding I was down to 185, but couldn't really lose anymore. In September, I read the Body for Life book and changed my eating patterns and was able to lose another 4 or 5 pounds, but I was hungry all the time. I estimated that I was consuming about 1800 calories a day (At my height and weight I should be consuming around 2700+). I stayed at 180 for a week or two and then couldn't handle it anymore. I'm now back at 183-184 and I seem to maintain that weight no matter what I eat. If I pig out and regularly eat a bunch of high calorie junk, it doesn't seem to affect my weight. Likewise, if I eat healthier/lower calorie, my weight doesn't change much either. That's probably because there are internal metabolic mechanisms at work that stabilize your weight.

So, I guess what I'm really saying is that you could probably lose more weight, but that the thinner you are, the harder it is too lose. Obviously, you're doing something right, but if you're looking for ways to burn more fat here are the things that I know (you probably know most of them too):

Eat dinner at a normal hour and then do not eat anything after that point. This gives your body a longer time without food and encourages more fat metabolism.

Do your aerobic exercise first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This forces your body to burn fat for energy. Also, wait an hour after your aerobic exercise to eat because your body is still working at a high level of metabolism and so burns more fat.

Eat six small meals rather than three larger meals. If you're eating smaller meals, your body is burning up a higher percentage of the new calories that it has ingested and so has less calories that it has to store as fat. Also, if you are consuming calories more frequently, you're body is less likely to be triggered into a fasting mode in which it slows your metabolsim down to conserve energy. The system I was using when I dropped down to 180 was that you eat one portion of protion and one portion of carbohydrate per meal. A portion is either the size of your fist or, if it's a flat piece of meat, the size of your open palm. A piece of fruit counts as a carbohydrate. You're allowed to add vegetables to any meal.

Look for whole grains like whole wheat bread and brown rice. They enter your system more slowly than white bread, white rice, etc. and so are less likely to be converted to fat.

Now that I've said all this I'm going to see if I can get down to under 180 following my own recommendations.
re: ok, let me get this straight: weight loss & gain questionTrevor
Oct 16, 2001 7:17 AM
Let me get this straight, you are 6'2" and you weigh 190-195 and want to trim down to 165-170....are you sure? Unless you have a super petite frame, I don't think you would be very happy or look very good at that body weight, unless you are a woman...but @ 6'2" I am assuming that's not the case