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  1. #1
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    9.5kg in 4 weeks loss. Going for another 4 to 8wks. Long term damage?

    I weighed 107kg's 4 weeks ago and have lost 9.5kg's in 4 weeks. Ride between 300 and 400km's a week. My basic diet is

    Breakfast: 1 x optifast. 150calories
    Mid morning 1 x apple or pear, 65 calories
    Lunch : small tin of veges and meat 400 to 500 calories
    mid afternoon: 1 x apple or pear 65 calories
    Dinner: 1 x carrot and 1 x optifast 210 calories
    Total: 890 to 1000 calories.

    Of course I'm not perfect every day, but most times I do well.
    I will do the same as above for another 4 wks and then put in about 1200 to 1500calories a day in the final 4 wks. I am hoping to maintain the weight for the rest of my life. I have unsuccessfully tried to lose weight slowly but am able to maintain. This is the only way I know how.

    I have too much weight on me to burn muscle but I have lost power and my training is slower. But it is early season and am still at base training stage. I am willing to sacrifice 2 to 3mths of my season for a better later half (higher strength to weight ratio).

    Am I doing any long term damage here? I am thinking that I can treat this as base training and rebuild the power from 3mths before my major races.

  2. #2
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    Personally I think you're dropping it too fast. Not enough calorie intake to support the riding you're doing, as evidenced by your loss of power and slower riding.

    Dinner = a carrot and an optifast? Borderline absurd.

    Probably not long-term health effects, but you're not doing yourself any favors in terms of learning how to eat properly. The reasons diets like this fail is that the dieter hasn't learned how to modify their behavior long-term.

    You say you want to lose the weight and maintain it the rest of your life. Given that, what's the rush to drop the weight so fast?
    Last edited by RJP Diver; 02-20-2012 at 03:46 AM.
    "It ain't a teacup that the Queen gave you - it's a bike. Ride it!"

  3. #3
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    That doesn't sound right... 1000cal a day with 1.5 - 2hrs on the bike average per day, and your loosing less than 2kg per week? How many hours are you spending on the bike for the 300-400km? Are you fueling during rides, or only what you have listed?
    Considering it is generally considered the average adult needs about 2000 - 2500cal/day to maintain weight, my (uneducated ) guess would be you should be loosing maybe double that per week.
    I'd like to hear what someone with a sound nutrition background had to say.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozdavo View Post
    That doesn't sound right... 1000cal a day with 1.5 - 2hrs on the bike average per day, and your loosing less than 2kg per week? How many hours are you spending on the bike for the 300-400km? Are you fueling during rides, or only what you have listed?
    Considering it is generally considered the average adult needs about 2000 - 2500cal/day to maintain weight, my (uneducated ) guess would be you should be loosing maybe double that per week.
    I'd like to hear what someone with a sound nutrition background had to say.
    I only have a sports drink if racing. And will eat a little more prior to the race, but nothing after other than a protein shake. Like I said, some days I haven't been perfect with the crash diet but overall good. I think I have a slow metabolism at the best of times, but 9.5 over 4wks is about 2.4kg's a week. Which converts to 18400 calories loss per week or 2640 a day. Which is about right.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJP Diver View Post
    Personally I think you're dropping it too fast. Not enough calorie intake to support the riding you're doing, as evidenced by your loss of power and slower riding.

    Dinner = a carrot and an optifast? Borderline absurd.

    Probably not long-term health effects, but you're not doing yourself any favors in terms of learning how to eat properly. The reasons diets like this fail is that the dieter hasn't learned how to modify their behavior long-term.

    You say you want to lose the weight and maintain it the rest of your life. Given that, what's the rush to drop the weight so fast?
    I had an injury which lasted 3mths. Very little riding during that time. I ate out of depression of not being able to ride I think. Gained 12kgs. If I do it slow I will be lucky to lose 10kg's by the time the big races come up. I'd still be 97kg's. NOt very competitive in the hills. So I guess I have nothing to lose and I'm in a race against time.
    My aim is to lose 20+kg in 3mths (be below 87kg weight by mid April) and then start to rebuild power while hopefully still losing a small amount each week ie. a pound.

    As I've got nothing to lose, my only concern is will there be any long term damage and will I be able to get my old power back within 2 to 3mths after dieting finishes.. .

  6. #6
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    I've dropped 50 pounds in just over 4 months before...riding lots, eating little. No long term damage.

    After that I've kept my weight in check a lot better and usually drop around 25-30 pounds over the course of 4 months now, which is more in the norm for weight loss.

    Nothing wrong with what you are doing, just make sure you stay hydrated, eat if you need to (it's OK to over do it every now and then) and enjoy the weight loss.
    Bikes:
    • 2012 CAAD10 (4)
    • 2013 Jamis Nova Race (winter training bike)
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  7. #7
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    @Wookiebiker - Do you drop 25-30 pounds over the course of 4 months routinely as part of your yearly fluctuation? Just trying to understand - it sounds crazy to me as I stay +/- 5 pounds of my regular weight year round...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by marquinhos View Post
    @Wookiebiker - Do you drop 25-30 pounds over the course of 4 months routinely as part of your yearly fluctuation? Just trying to understand - it sounds crazy to me as I stay +/- 5 pounds of my regular weight year round...
    Yes...

    Once my season is over, I still ride a ton, but have the ability to put weight on regardless. The only way to keep the weight down is if I monitor my calorie intake every day of the year.

    Last July I rode 1300 miles, 71.5 hours on the bike and put on 4 pounds...and it wasn't because of muscle mass build up.

    My family is predisposed to obesity...which means I put weight on easily...and in reality, life is too short not to enjoy it. So in the off season I eat, for the most part, what I want...then start watching calories on January 1st each year. I'm down around 12 pounds so far this year, but started lower than in years past and am on track to be back down to 190 by the beginning of April.
    Bikes:
    • 2012 CAAD10 (4)
    • 2013 Jamis Nova Race (winter training bike)
    • 1998 Marin East Peak - MTB
    • 2012 Argon 18 E-118


  9. #9
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    I've been losing weight as well- it's a tough balancing act between going too fast and not. I wrote about it in my blog as linked in my signature.

  10. #10
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    Bridgey,
    How tall are you and what do you want to weigh? Do you have a goal weight, maybe a weight from 10 yrs ago?
    Can you shed a bunch of weight in a short amount of time? Definitely, but keep in mind that your energy, power, and focus will suffer. If you feel really run down, I suggest consuming more calories earlier in the day or immediately after riding. Start small (200 or so) and work your way up until you are feeling ok.
    I ride with someone who lost over 80 lbs in less than a year, so it can be done.

  11. #11
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    I lost 11 pounds since late October and want to drop 10 more. I lost some power, as I cut calories drastically so couldn't ride super hard. That is OK since I was doing 90% of my riding in Z1-Z2 anyways. Now as the miles and intensity go up so will the calories and good carbs. My thoughts are, if you are doing hard intervals you need the carbs and calories. If you are riding easy, it's OK to cut back and burn the fat.

    The big plus is that I am climbing a bit better and will come into the early season quite a bit leaner. Last year I started off 10 pounds too heavy and by the time I lost the weight the season was half over. Then I had some family issues and the season was toast......

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by new2rd View Post
    Bridgey,
    How tall are you and what do you want to weigh? Do you have a goal weight, maybe a weight from 10 yrs ago?
    Can you shed a bunch of weight in a short amount of time? Definitely, but keep in mind that your energy, power, and focus will suffer. If you feel really run down, I suggest consuming more calories earlier in the day or immediately after riding. Start small (200 or so) and work your way up until you are feeling ok.
    I ride with someone who lost over 80 lbs in less than a year, so it can be done.
    I am 178cm (5 ft 10). I use to be 75kg's at peak fitness as a 20yr old. I'm now 41. I would like to get to at least 80kg's and see what happens then. But I am only doing this for another 7 weeks as I need time to recuperate and build power back up for the rest of my season. I have now lost 11.7kg's in 5 weeks (weigh in at 95.3kg's), so it is still coming off. Overall I handle it well. I seem to be able to ride on just my fat stores okay. But I usually struggle at least 1 or 2 days a week where I might have 1200 to 1500 calories in the day instead of only 1000.

  13. #13
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    My diet:

    -Only buy foods that take at least 10 minutes to prepare.

    -Also, be poor and in college. That always helps trim the pounds...

    But honestly, I do so much better with food when there are no snacks except for maybe some fruits like bananas and apples. I actually lost 7 pounds in the past couple of months without even trying (coming down from the holidays) by simply not buying things that I can just instantly snack on.

    Also avoid things that have potent flavors. That will get you addicted to junk, which will get that "I just love food" idea lodged into your head. I love food too: I can't say obesity is a major problem in my family. A lack of control with food and being moderately overweight definitely is. But if I generally avoid things with strong flavor triggers, I keep the pounds down.

    Oh, I know biking is great and is the main subject of this forum, but running is more efficient at burning calories if you're having troubles keeping them off or you need to lose weight faster without eating like a rabbit. Also be careful. The body treats periods of weight loss as periods of starvation. You'll have to not just lose weight, but work just as hard, if not harder to keep it off.

    But just don't gain (major) weight in the off season. It is likely going to bite you in the ass with long term health problems. You might lose weight, but losing cholesterol is not as easy. If you keep your weight at a competitive level (by exercising and eating normally) for your whole life you're going to live a lot longer. You'll be doing hill climbs at the age of 80, past the point at which some people "die of old age."

    And diet more slowly after your cycling season is over. The more slowly the diet, the less your body thinks that it is going through a starvation period.

  14. #14
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    FWIW, there's a decent book out on the subject, "Racing Weight" by Matt Fitzgerald. Tells how to lose weight with minimal impact to training and performance.

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