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Can anyone help me out?(34 posts)

Can anyone help me out?fire737
Nov 14, 2001 2:10 PM
I know this in not a concern to most of you out there since cyclist are generally low body fat but I need some help. I am 6'4 240 and around 24%body fat. Is there anyone out there that has some good diet recomendations? This is a serious question and I am not looking for sarcasm. If there is anyone else out there that has some useful suggestions please post. I have seen alot of diets like Atkin's, No carb high protien diet. Body For Life 6 meals a day diet. Has anyone tried any of these? What were your results. I would like to get down to 200lbs. Thanks
re: Can anyone help me out?cioccman
Nov 14, 2001 2:13 PM
Lower your total fat intake. Keep a keen eye out for saturated fats especially. Increase your activity level. Increase especially your cardiovascular activities. It's really a piece of cake. Once you look at the ingredients of what you're eating, it's easy. No french fries. Forget all the special sauces, no mayo, reduced fat cheese, cut down on oils, no Whoppers, forget the fried chicken and most fried foods, etc., etc.
re: Can anyone help me out?fire737
Nov 14, 2001 2:28 PM
I have heard so many different things about this. One person tells me to eat all protiens and fats and no carbs since the body will only burn carbs if you eat lots of them. They say you burn sugars & carbs first then fats then protiens so if you have no carbs to burn your body will start to burn the fats and proteins. I have done some reading that says carbs take to long to burn. I can see how this could be true but not sure if it would be healthy to totally eliminate carbs? Maybe just alot of veggies.
re: Can anyone help me out?cioccman
Nov 14, 2001 2:57 PM
Good advice above, see a doc. Be referred to a nutritionist. I've got a good friend who is the head nutritionist for a large local hospital. A good reference. Basically forget all the fad crap and standarized diets. Best thing to do is alter your eating and excercise habits to reflect a more healthy lifestyle. Also good advice above, leave the junk food completely alone. If you must, stick with broiled chicken without the sauces. That alone coupled with increased cardiovascular activity in the mostly fat burning zones will do quite a bit. Keep your heartrate under 150 and do cardio work 4 days x 30 mins, min. Good luck.
Nov 14, 2001 4:37 PM
...generated to sell diet books.

You know what to eat. A varied diet. Lots of fruits and veggies. Lean meat. Fish like salmon. Nuts and seeds, berries. Less cheese and butter. Olive oil in moderation. watch the white sugar and flour. Avoid too much processed and fast food.

Etc, etc.

Eat a colorful menu and avoid fad diets and diet ruts. They are complicated and will not let you eat what you need. Different people need nutrients in different amounts depending on numerous factors. No one plan can address them all. Dieticians will warn against the idea of "forbidden foods" because they become taboos that generate guilt and can lead to emotional eating.

Bottom line, eat right and exercise more. If you want a cookie, eat a friggin' cookie, just don't eat twelve cookies, eh?


A. (Oh yeah, drink water. Lots of it.)
re: Can anyone help me out?Softrider
Nov 14, 2001 2:39 PM
I think that the best advice would be to talk to your doctor.

I would cut down as much as possible on the junk food and soda. You might be amazed at how much this alone will help.

Eat a balanced meal with lots of vegatables and only lean meats.
Don't believe in dietsKristin
Nov 14, 2001 2:40 PM
And I think that my 27% BMI will give good testimony to that fact! (just kidding).

But seriously, there are a number of reasons I dislike the word diet:
* It makes me think about food more rather than less.
* It allows me to blame my physical condition on food.
* Diets that "experts" have designed may be dangerous to me.
* Some "diets" require suppliments that have not been tested for long term effects.
* I don't know enough about nutrition to determine if a "diet" is one I should be on or not
* I love food and sometimes I want frito's for dinner

I'm a huge supporter of "healthy eating." There is no such thing as "bad food". Unless its poisonous, it won't kill you. Personally, I approximate my calorie intake and make choices based on the long term results. (i.e. how many Carmel Mocha Frappicino's should I have this week?) A frapachino isn't bad, but there is a consequence for it. Its a choice!

I know this probably wasn't much of a help. I have been down the diet route. I had a miserable time of it and didn't make any of my goals. Since I began riding and got rid of the TV (its back again now) I've eaten less and lost weight.

I just found this website and I really like it.
BMI? Do you know what you are talking about?ugh
Nov 15, 2001 6:27 AM
Nov 14, 2001 2:56 PM
Change your life style. Go for really long low intensity rides (keep the HR down to access stored fat) and eat very slowly so that your brain has time to realize that everything is going to be OK.

I think that most popular/mircale diets are a marketing ploy. Having a medical condition can either help or hurt weight managment - check with a doc. You didn't get to your current size overnight so it's reasonable to expect it's going to take time to get back down. Trick is to make regular excercise a fun activity -meeting people and seeing interesting things make long rides enjoyable. Remember, under your body fat is a really strong set of muscles that have developed to deal with your size - you want to maintain these and burn off the rest. You may never be a rapid climber, but you'll be able to smoke downhill and on the flats. Your buds will soon call you the locomotive. Scarey.
Pleeze esplain this to me?Kristin
Nov 14, 2001 3:29 PM
"Go for really long low intensity rides (keep the HR down to access stored fat)"

I would like to hear more about this. I have puzzled over the fact that I lost 25 pounds in 2000 while riding 75 slower miles a week on the hybrid. I only lost 20 this summer putting in 100 miles a week with my hair on fire. I wondered if it had to do with intensity.
The riding slow is best for losing weight myth...Zignzag
Nov 14, 2001 4:48 PM
according to Richard Rafoth MD, the Cycling Performance Tips author:
"Some authors have suggested that riding at slow speeds (<50% VO2 max) is preferred for a weight loss program as more of the Calories expended will be supplied from fat tissue storage at lower levels of exercise. Let's look at this argument in more detail. If you ride at 65% VO2max, your body's fat stores will provide about half of your Caloric needs and the other half will come from glycogen reserves. At 85% VO2max, the relative number of Calories supplied from fat fall to about one third of the total number expended with the balance again coming from glycogen reserves. However, if one looks at the absolute numbers, a fit cyclist riding 30 min at 65% VO2max will burn about 220 Calories (110 fat Calories, 110 Calories from carbohydrate or glycogen stores). The same cyclist, riding at 85% VO2max will burn an additional 100 Calories (total of 320 Calories over the 30 minutes), with 110 Calories still coming from fat and the balance of 220 coming from carbohydrates. So even though fat provides a smaller percentage of the total energy needs, the actual number of fat Calories burned during the 30 minutes of exercise remains unchanged.
Even if the duration of the faster ride were shortened so that total Calories expended were equal (but proportionally more fat Calories with the slower pace) during both rides, a recent study at Georgia State University demonstrated an equivalent weight change i.e. there was no support for the idea that metabolizing fat for energy resulted in a greater weight loss. Another study at West Virginia U. study assigned 15 women to a low intensity (132 beats per minute) or high intensity (163 bpm) exercise group, both exercising for 45 minutes, 4 times a week. There was a decrease in overall body fat the high intensity group, but not the low intensity one, further evidence that it is total Calories expended, not the source of those Calories (CHO vs. fat) that makes the difference in an exercise supported weight loss program.

It is the final balance between total Calories burned (from ANY source - carbohydrates, fats, or protein) and those eaten (i.e. the NET NEGATIVE CALORIC BALANCE) that determines whether weight is gained or lost. The advantage of riding more slowly is that it may make the ride a more enjoyable experience for the novice rider, and the pace can be maintained for hours. If you have only a limited amount of time to ride, the faster your average speed, the more Calories you will burn and the more weight you will shed.

In fact there has been speculation that when you exercise at a slow pace, and preferentially burn fat Calories while maintaining muscle glycogen stores, any post ride carbohydrate loading may find the "tank full" (ie muscle glycogen stores) so to speak, and any additional carbohydrate Calories will be converted into fat instead. The bottom line is to ride at a pace that is comfortable for you, push yourself occasionally for the cardiovascular benefits, and avoid eating more Calories than you expend if your goal is to lose weight."
Nov 14, 2001 10:16 PM
Common Sensegrzy
Nov 15, 2001 9:57 AM
Common sense says that an over weight person is going to blow after riding 30 min. at high intensity, but can go all day at a reduced pace and burn far more. The trick is total calories burned, not the most efficient way to burn a few. If you only have 30 min. to dedicate to losing weight, then you're not very dedicated.

Ultimately the experts have a bunch of different opinions and they all have the degrees and studies to back them up. If there were uniform agreement on the matter then we wouldn't be a nation of fatties, Jenny Craig wouldn't exist, and WEight Watches wouldn't be a brand of package food in the supermarket.
Nov 15, 2001 8:46 PM
"Common sense says that an over weight person is going to blow after riding 30 min. at high intensity,..."

How so? I don't "blow" after 30 minutes of riding and I'm overweight. I can't go all out as long as an experienced athlete, but I've ridden hard for 3-4 hours at a time. It also seems to me that an under-exercised person can acheive and maintain a "high intesity" workout much more quickly than a very fit person--though without as many benefits. Its just easier to increase the heartrate.
Pleeze esplain this to me?NYCyclist
Nov 14, 2001 4:51 PM

Basically, you are able to burn more fat at lower intensities then you are at higher. Triglyceride oxidation takes time.. time that you do not have at high intensities so your body will turn to liver and muscle glycogen to keep your blood glucose levels up and supply your cells with glucose to produce ATP. Loosely speaking, high intensity = less fat more glucose utilization.

In addition, as you spend more time at low intensity and utilize fat as a fuel source more often, your body adapts to this new "stress" by increasing the capillary network in adipose (fat) tissue. You are then "better able" to utilize fat as fuel and subsequently will burn more of it during your workout.

Another reason why you may have lost more weight/fat the first year is that you simply may have used the majority of it up. It's harder to drop weight the leaner you get. By my count you've lost 45 lbs.. congrats!!
45 lbs would have been niceKristin
Nov 15, 2001 8:50 PM
nope, I lost 25, then gained 25, then lost 20 again. My only goal this winter is too heal my bum knee and maintain this weight so I don't have to cover old territory again next summer.
Pleeze esplain this to me?UncleMoe
Nov 14, 2001 5:03 PM
You might not be eating enough calories to make your body feel "safe" in burning off the additional weight. Basically, since you rode longer miles at a higher intensity, your body "wanted" to burn more off. However, if your body felt like "OK, I can burn this stuff off, but if I do, that might jeopardize my health".

If what happened with your weight this past summer is true, and your diet was close to last summer, and you did excercise longer and harder, than you - believe it or not - probably weren't eating enough.
Its harder to loose weight as you get thinner...Bruno S
Nov 14, 2001 9:04 PM
especially those 5 lbs that I have been trying to get rid off for the last 6 months. When you are already around 10% body fat it gets very hard to lose weight. If you hammer, you are likely to built muscle and actually gain weight.
re: Can anyone help me out?I AM
Nov 14, 2001 2:58 PM
Lose the word diet and replace it with lifestyle.
I am 5'10 and once weighed 235 (disgusting) but I have changed the way that I live and now weigh 180. It is easy to go on some diet and lose weight but ^ months later most people gain it all back. All I did is get more exercise and think a little before I shoved something in my mouth.It really is quite easy as long as you don't expect to lose 40lbs in 3 months.I have cut nothing completely out but mostly just eat less, I don't really need 2 pieces of cake.
Persist and you will be very proud of yourself.
This is what I did ...cyclinseth
Nov 14, 2001 3:07 PM
eat the way the human body was designed for

Eliminate ALL processed food
Eliminate ALL animal products
Eliminate wheat
Increase fiber consumption (if the above two are followed, this will be unavoidable)
Don't heat flax seed oil
Don't bother counting calories
Drink half your wieght in oz of water every day
Get a juicer for green vegetables
Ride your bike like you stole it
200 sit-ups morning and night

I used to be a blubbery 189lbs (5'9") now I'm a lean 153 and still dropping.

A proper, organic "whole-food" lifestyle takes A LOT of research, but you are not just overwieght, you are also in a highly toxic state (and I don't mean Texas).

By the way, how old are you?
Forgot one item, No fried food! nmcyclinseth
Nov 14, 2001 3:11 PM
This is what I did ...firstrax
Nov 14, 2001 9:52 PM
I like this guy!
Nov 14, 2001 3:35 PM
I am 30 years old. Thanks for all the advice.
Nov 14, 2001 5:03 PM
I am amazed at all the low-fat stuff people eat- what's not fat is usually carbs. I'm a believer in eating fat- it's more like putting a log on a fire rather than a bunch of newpaper. Simple carbs throw people into sugar cycles and they often end up craving more sugars.

I also generally try to eat a lot of protein. I believe humans are more omnivorous than vegetarian... though I lean towards white meats (fish, chicken, etc... pork is NOT white meat). I've tried the vegetarian thing, and ended up feeling miserable- I haven't enough time to eat enough variety of plant-based proteins (it gets quite labor intensive to eat vegetarian proteins), plus the bioavailability of proteins from plant sources is significantly lower than from animals...

re: diets- almost all diets if you look carefully, promote a quick water loss (inspiring the dieter that it works)- any lower carb diet will shed water weight. Of course the issue with all diets is that the body adapts its metabolism accordingly. I agree that it ends up being a lifestyle change for anything that lasts.
re: Can anyone help me out?firstrax
Nov 14, 2001 9:48 PM
Atkins is dangerous!!!! (for more than 7 days) Your brain alone needs 40 grams of carbs a day. Instead of no carbs, eat the right carbs. Avoid rice, corn, wheat products, potato and pasta. Do eat: Apples, oats (i like whole organic with honey)and green veggies. I'm down from 230 to 165. We dont need diets, we need permanent lifestyle changes.
Good Luck!
P.S. Read "7 days in the zone"
Here's a simple breakdown for fat burning vs. carb burning.nigel
Nov 14, 2001 9:50 PM
In order for the body to TARGET fat loss, one's heart rate must be low in order for fat cells to empty their foul contents into the bloodstream for use as fuel. This has been proven. Riding hard may burn more--this is a tough one--but the breakdown goes like this according to the "Heart Rate Monitor Book for Outdoor and Indoor Cyclists" by Sally Edwards and Sally Reed (which I own):

Zone 1 (50-60% of max HR): burns 10% of calories as carbs, 85% of calories as fat, and 5% of calories as protein. Nice, easy, enjoying the scenery--feeling GREAT on the bike. Easy breathing, virtually no effort at all.

Zone 2 (60-70% of MHR): burns 15% c, 80% f, and 5% p, respectively. A bit more intense, but still considered easy to most.

Zone 3 (70-80% of MHR): burns 55% c, 40% f, and 5% p. Getting brisk and starting to sweat and feel like a workout.

Zone 4 (80-90% of MHR): burns 70% c, 25% f, and 5% p. Intense exercise with some shortness of breath.

Zone 5 (90-100% of MHR): burns 90% c, 5% f, and 5% p. Redlining, and unsustainable for more than short periods of time for anyone. Getting very difficult to breathe with any control. All-out efforts or very close.

The body burns fat--as this explains--at all levels of exercise. Sometimes, though, concentrating one's efforts on using fat as fuel can help people get to the next lower level of body fat. It worked for me.

The body is born with a given amount of fat cells--they don't increase in number when we get fatter: they simply hold more fat and grow in size. The body needs air (aerobic, as opposed to anaerobic, which means "without air") to "burn fat." (We actually burn about 100% fat when we're sleeping, though our heart's working so little that very few actual calories are burned.

When exercising in Zones 1 and 2, the body has plenty of oxygen getting to the fat cells. This opens them up and begins emptying their contents (fat) into the bloodstream for use as fuel to our muscles. To really "target" fat loss, easy (recovery) rides can be just the trick. I've seen success, but your mileage may vary: we're all different. Some people lose major fat on the fad diets like Atkins; some barely lose any weight. Depends on the person, but the low-intensity heart rate work seems to make a lot of sense to me.

I really hope this helps break things down for those who had questions.

Happy burning,
Dont forget cheat day !firstrax
Nov 14, 2001 10:02 PM
Set aside on day a week and screw calories, grams, fat, ect. Why go through this if you have nothing to look foreward to?
But I still wouldnt touch anything with the suffix "alfredo"
Lifestyle is definitely the way to look at it. Go for balance.Leisure
Nov 15, 2001 4:40 AM
I've watched a decent number of people lose a lot of weight on intense high-protein diets, but I advise you to read plenty of literature and seek advise from a few doctors that actually care enough to speak to you responsibly before jumping for it. While dieting is fine, I advise against shocking your system with assorted nutrient deprivation tactics. Just eat responsibly. No excessive fatty meats and pastries and keep well hydrated. It's pretty easy to do, especially with an active lifestyle.
I used to do a decent amount of weightlifting and have watched plenty of people improve their physiques and health with little more than a good work ethic. A good balance between aerobic and anaerobic exercises with even a mildly responsible diet will achieve healthier results with less agony and a lower likelihood of "relapse".
I think a good anaerobic weightlifting component will be highly beneficial when you're first starting out with a highish bodyfat percentage. My observation over and over again has been that the people with high bodyfats make significantly quicker strength and muscle mass gains. Makes sense, right? They have plenty of stored energy to build muscle tissue with. That increased muscle mass proceeds to consume more energy during all of your daily activities, be it aerobic or anaerobic workouts, or pushing pencils in the office. Even when you're sleeping you'll burn more calories by virtue of having an increased resting metabolic consumption rate. This benefit will be working for you 24-7, not just when you're working out. It's called building a good "base", and I think it's a wonderful description because you're laying the foundation that everything else will be built on.
Now take all this added muscle mass and do some cardio work. You will burn a lot more calories now than you would have on pure cardio workouts alone, and will have a bit of a head start in riding strength assuming you haven't overspecialized your muscles for anaerobic work. Your heart will be working harder as well, so ease yourself into it for a bit. Pacing is key when your transitioning your exercise emphasis from anaerobic to aerobic. As time goes on you can maintain that muscle mass and the associated decreases in bodyfat with cardio workouts alone. By then you may even choose to lose the weightlifting component if you prefer, as your "base" by then will be well established. Even if you slack off you won't gain weight and fat back the way you would on a crash-diet.
This whole spiel addresses bodyfat before weight which prioritizes a bit differently from your goals as stated, but I think most people will agree that attacking bodyfat first is better. 240 lbs with 10% bodyfat is a far more desireable state to be in than say, 200 lbs with 20% bodyfat. Especially at 6'4". I would kill to be that tall.
Who can explain pizza?McAndrus
Nov 15, 2001 6:01 AM
A potential threadjacking here.

I eat a lot of carbs, both as cycling fuel and because I prefer those foods in general. I am sated at a normal rate. That is, if I have a turkey sandwich and a baked potato, I'm full and I stop eating.

Now onto pizza.

If the meal is pizza the whole brain chemistry thing changes. My stomach is full after two pieces but my brain just screams for more. If the rest of my family doesn't finish them off, I'm back every half hour for a couple more slices until it's gone: and it can add up to entire pizzas.

Honestly, I'm a pretty well disciplined person but this is only controlled by not eating pizza in the first place.

Does anyone understand the brain chemistry in effect here and, if so, can you explain how this works?
that's over 57 lbs of fat!ugh
Nov 15, 2001 6:26 AM
re: Can anyone help me out?mackgoo
Nov 15, 2001 6:45 AM
First, your asking this on a cyclist B/B so I assume your a cyclist. First and formost you need carbs, some where about 50-60% then equal amounts of fat and protien.
I had been trying to loose weight for a few years now, never got any where. Then I started listening to my wife(don't tell her I said that) and reduced my intake. I've gone from pushing 190 to hovering around 160. I think I'm going to go for 155.
There is some truth to the low intensity burn fat argument, but then the high intensity burn just as much fat is scientifically true also, do the math. One good book that talks a little about this is Covert Bailey's book, sorry I forget the name.
I really believe the key is Calories in = maintained weight.
I eat what ever I want when ever I want, just not as much. I even eat my Ben and Jerry's most nights.
Forget Diet Cross Trainwink
Nov 15, 2001 9:44 AM
My suggestion is run/walk five miles every other day. If you can swim for 20 minutes after you run. You will be amazed!
re: Can anyone help me out?morey
Nov 15, 2001 10:02 AM
I have read all the comments on your question. It is easy to see how you can become confused. It takes 15 cal/lb for maintenance. Shoot for 11-12 cal/lb., which is 2640 cal/day. Carbs approx. 64%, Proteins approx 20%, Fat approx 16% mostly unsaturated. To burn fat try to stay aerobic rather than anarobic. This means keeping your heart rate down. Also caffeine 1 hour before exercise raises the amount of fatty acids in the blood stream. Also, get a good exercise physiology text. Remember diet is a 4 letter word. I have a book on this area, but it would seem like shameless publicity!
I think out of all of this, the best advice is...Kristin
Nov 16, 2001 7:19 AM speak to a doctor or dietician. I'd feel safe if I was developing a weight loss plan with someone who has been educated on human physiology for more than 4 years. Costly? Yeah. But you only get one body you know! And fad diets can cost more in the long run.