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Base and losing weight(11 posts)

Base and losing weightWoof the dog
Dec 18, 2003 5:43 AM
I was 145 lbs about a month ago. Throughout the summer though I raced, I was always between 140 and 145. I probably ate too many calories in a form of white rice and such.

I've been riding base, going to the gym (but only started a few weeks ago). I rode between 7 and 15 hours a week for the past 2 months but not hard, and hopefully will be riding 20 a week in Jan and Feb as my max hours.

What kind of worries me is that I stepped on the scales and now I am between 137 and 140. And even though I started to eat more meat and less rice (actually not at all anymore), I was wondering if it is normal to be losing weight now this way, and why would it slow down? and what if it doesn't (I am sure it could be a whole bunch of things)?

Is it always calories in versus calories spent? Some people may eat a lot and still not gain much. Isn't the whole point of having high metabolism = transfer food into energy, which could be stored then as fat?

Also, does going to the gym (in addition to base) result in more weight loss? I don't do heavy lifting yet.

I wish I had a physiology degree.

Woof the god

P.S. dogs LOVE steak! especially made from some unfortunate cyclist's thigh meat... the one we've ambushed out on the road. I do notice that eating meat helps with recovery.
not sure of questionDougSloan
Dec 18, 2003 8:00 AM
You are concerned that you are working out more, eating fewer carbs, and losing weight? I thought that was the idea? It sounds like the paradigm for losing weight.

I suspect that we get so efficient on the bike that extra riding won't cause as much weight loss as a total body workout at the gym, exercising muscles that don't get much use on the bike, as well as the energy it takes to rebuild and repair them after the workout.

Do(u)g [with no physiology degree, either]
mmmmWoof the dog
Dec 18, 2003 10:59 AM
mmmm, i guess i was feeling paranoid this morning and compulsively posted this.

although its hard for me to believe i can lose weight like this when I was racing pretty much every weekend since march till like september and still was at 145 pounds.

basically, i guess what I was asking, if like random people start losing weight, what does it mean?

sorry to bother

Worst case scenerio53T
Dec 18, 2003 11:30 AM
Unexpected sustained weight loss could be a sign of serious health problems, but that is not the most common explanation.

Perhaps your weight stayed up all summer because you responded to your increased hunger by eating more. Many people continue to eat high-calorie in the winter out of a) habit, or b) they like to eat. Perhaps you don't enjoy recreational eating, and don't have any bad eating habits. Your depressed apetite for carbs due to less hours on the bike may result in less eating and moderate weight loss. Keep in mind that you may be in a short term low-weight period, due to dehydration, or other metobolic factors.
Dec 18, 2003 11:43 AM
when you're throwing down every weekend, sometimes doubling up one day and racing the next, you have a tendancy to eat alot of food to compensate for the calories that you're burning. in the winter, the amount of food you consume is naturally going to be alot less than it was in say, july.

also, i've read that it's better to try to lose weight in the winter, since it's pretty hard to recover from racing if you're trying to lose weight... while some weight loss in the season is unavoidable, i'm going to try to stick to my racing weight during the competitive cycle, and take care of my weight loss/fat burning between now and february.

also, i know a few people who claim to experience a similar situation... a few months after the season is over, they lose weight. they attribute it to muscle-loss/atrophy. you're probably experiencing something similar, though as someone else already pointed out, dramattic weight loss can be a symptom of more serious health issues.

unless you keep dropping weight, and feel fatigued, i wouldn't worry about it. if you're holding a steady weight and feel healthy, don't sweat it.
re: Base and losing weightRockyMountainRacer
Dec 18, 2003 2:16 PM
You obviously have a tape worm.

Heh heh just kidding. Here's my theory:

You are riding a relatively large amount of base miles when you top out at 15 hours a week (depending on level and experience of course). And you are probably not eating nearly as much food as you were in the race period due to greatly decreased intensity levels. Also, since your intensity levels are way down your power output is down, so you are very likely experiencing some muscle atrophy and that is accouting for much of the weight loss. But with the increased base miles you are probably decreasing body fat too.

I race at 145 also, but I am about 5'7'' so relatively stocky. Stockier people tend to be able to put on muscle more quickly than taller people (broad generalization), so you should be able to gain weight relatively quickly when you start lifting heavy weights and your muscles super-compensate (Hypertrophy, when your muscles actually increase in size and strength). Assuming you are decreasing body fat, you should be better off in the spring assuming you gain that muscle back and at least equal your power output of last years race period.
Confusion about metabolismKerry Irons
Dec 18, 2003 5:20 PM
High metabolism simply means that you burn at a higher rate. It could be argued that it means you are less efficient in calorie use. People with a high metabolism are usually warmer than others - the extra energy is going to heat. High metabolism DOES NOT mean transferring food into fat. If anything, it is the reverse. People with a high metabolism need to consume more calories to maintain their weight.
Confusion about metabolismWoof the dog
Dec 18, 2003 6:45 PM
oh yeah, i actually just realized i was thinking about catabolism. D'oh!

Big thank you all,

It was interesting and helpful to read

Woof the dog.
muscle atrophy...Spunout
Dec 19, 2003 8:18 AM
When you ramp down the miles, expect to lose a bit from your quads because you aren't doing the power work. Base miles add to this, in that you will lose more muscle. Plus, looks like you are on a diet.

I find I lose weight when starting base, but gain it back all summer (while still losing fat).
Base and GAINING weightTimoVennonen
Jan 15, 2004 3:24 AM
I have opposite experience. During the season I was constantly hitting the scales at 81-82 kilos (sigh), and once the season was over, I lost about a kilo. My theory is that my body continued burning the fuel at the same, presumably at high level of efficiency even though the calory consumption was substantially lower. WhenI started doing the base, I gained two kilos back (Christmas helped, I guess). Wouldn't believe that all of it is muscle... Some fat, fluids, and lots of stuff stuck in my digestive track, just waiting to get out... Before the first races, I hope.

Has anyone of you had similar experiences?

I have the same situation ...witcomb
Jan 17, 2004 7:04 PM
This is actually a very simple answer, drink water, drink lots of water. I usually hover between 140-145 and when I start riding, if I don't increase my intake of water then I do lose weight. On a work day, I will consume around 5 litres of water a day, plus then anything while riding.

I have found my biggest problem in the winter is I switch from drinking water to drinking coffee. So, instead of drinking several bottles of water, I drink several cups of coffee, far too much coffee.

So, get a bottle of water, sip away while your not doing anything. I do increase my diet when I start riding, but I do have to compensate for the calories that I burn.

Hope this helps
- Neil