Newbie: weight loss is my goal
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  1. #1
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    Newbie: weight loss is my goal

    Hi all. Hopefully picking up my Roubaix very soon. I'm 5'8", 180 lbs, somewhat muscular, a bit too much around the belly (beer) and a prior soccer player, some weighlifting, martial arts etc. Prior mountain bike rider, now interested in road riding mainly to get in shape. Running bothers my knees anymore, I'm 44 years old.

    Any specific ideas how you'd begin with weight loss in mind? Target weight where I feel great is 165. I will still lift weights for upper body, but not huge amounts, more reps to tone down. I also hike, hunt, fish but have a somewhat sedentary job. I walk a lot. I just had a physical and cardiac stress test which was normal so good to go.

    I was thinking working up to 20 to 30 mile rides several times a week. My time will be somewhat limited due to work and kids, and I will purchase a fluid trainer for rainy days/winter. I will never race, will never spend $6,000 on a bike, but could see myself riding more and more as time allows (hopefully). I used to ride years ago everywhere, and I do miss it, now finally getting a nicer bike to do it with. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Best way to lose weight: ride a lot and don't eat too much. When you have limited time, ride fast. If you have more time, do a longer ride at an easier pace. Don't worry about the "fat burning zone", it's a myth. If you burn glycogen it'll have to be replaced, and if you eat less than you use, it'll get replaced from boy fat. What is true however is that you can burn more calories overall by doing a longer ride, and you can only do a longer ride by going at a reduced intensity, and that happens to burn a higher percentage of fat directly. But if you only have an hour or two for a ride, go ahead and hammer as much as you want. You'll burn more calories that way.

    Don't forget that you have to eat to power the longer rides. It's different for everyone but for me a ride that's more than two hours is going to require that I get some calories during the ride.... a good breakfast before the ride won't be enough. But for shorter rides you probably don't need anything. Let your body tell you what you need.

    The most important thing: keep it fun. If it's fun you'll do it more, and that's the best way to loose weight. If "fun" means a rigidly planned training schedule, do that. If it means getting on the bike with no computers and no idea of where you're going and just riding, do that.

  3. #3
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    Diet

    The only way to lose weight of course is to watch what you eat and put in more miles. Food is more about life style and eating habits.

  4. #4
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    I guess I was concerned that there might be some "fat burning zone" or rules, such as lower intensity, longer rides being overwhelmingly effective. The chance for me to have multiple three hour blocks is slim, but several one to two hour rides per week are more likely. Yup, gotta eat less, I know that.

  5. #5
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    as far as not wanting to race, you may change your mind later on. i was the same way when i first started but decided to do a race and was very happy i did. last race i did was a crit and i came second to last but competition is way fun and you'll meet a lot of cool people.

  6. #6
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laminarman
    I guess I was concerned that there might be some "fat burning zone" or rules, such as lower intensity, longer rides being overwhelmingly effective. The chance for me to have multiple three hour blocks is slim, but several one to two hour rides per week are more likely. Yup, gotta eat less, I know that.
    Heart rate monitor books refer to zones, one of which is a moderate activity zone (50 - 60% of your max HR). The theory being that is your fat burning zone. If you know your max HR, take 50 - 60% of it and that's what you try to maintain while riding - no matter the duration. An example would be an individual with a max HR of 180 would strive to maintain between 90 - 108 BPM. In the book I'm referencing, this zone is described for those who are primarily interested in exercising for weight loss. The next zone (weight management) is 60 - 70% of max HR.

  7. #7
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    I just have fun on my bike. A group ride is a lot more sociable than a ride on your own.
    check this link out I suspect there are many others
    http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/

  8. #8
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    Thanks for your help folks. Can't wait to get the bike.

  9. #9
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    Eat the same way you do now and ride minimum 10 miles X 5 times/week. Don't eat more. Eat the same.

  10. #10
    Ken
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    I use to ride a lot but could never get below 80kg. I'm 5'10" and 53years old. Eight months ago I weighed 84kg and decided that I needed to change my eating habit. The first thing I did was eat only 3 meals a day. Don't eat snacks and never eat after 6PM. There is usually a 14 hour interval between dinner and breakfast. I always eat breakfast after my morning ride and not before. With the stomach basically empty this forces the body to use calories stored in body fat. Another thing I did was cut my sugar intake in half. I now weigh 75kg. I lost 9kg in eight months. Nothing fancy. Just common sense.

  11. #11
    feelin' Freddie Mercury
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    Back in the '90s I lost 15 lbs from riding, 'accidentally' and not really expecting it. In fact, it scared the heck out of me... I thought I had mono or something, 'cuz the weight loss wasn't something I had been TRYING to do, and it happened quite rapidly.

    What caused it? Intensity.

    I had started riding twice a week with a group of guys who were pretty fast, and I was KILLING MYSELF to keep up with the lead group. That's all. Twice a week, just 25 miles a ride, hammering hard the whole time.

    My fitness went way up in a hurry, and my weight did the exact opposite. Also did a lot more for me on both fronts than the longer, slower rides I had been doing.

    Like I said, surprised the hell outta me. And I didn't eat any different either, but I was in my 20s back then.


    .

  12. #12

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    Had to do it...Glad it happened

    Laminarman,

    I am currently on a fitness program that is working GREAT . I have cut out most of my sugar intake, and have focused on eating efficient carbs. I found out that I am a borderline type II diabetic, and if I did not change my lifestyle, big problems ahead. Nutritionist said that if I excercise, I will decrease my insulin resistance. So, I now eat smarter, ride every other day, and I have managed to lose 22 pounds in 14 weeks.

    I try to ride consistently (usually on a trainer) for about an hour every other day. I usually burn 1,000 calories per session (so my HRM says). Anyway, blood sugar is consistently around 80-100 now, and my blood pressure is stabilized as well. Hopefully, I will be able to get off of my BP meds and get an S-works Tricross after I lose 20 more pounds.

    Hope this helps, and Good luck!

    Regards,

    BWJ

  13. #13

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    Fat burning zone strategy is wrong....

    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352
    Heart rate monitor books refer to zones, one of which is a moderate activity zone (50 - 60% of your max HR). The theory being that is your fat burning zone. If you know your max HR, take 50 - 60% of it and that's what you try to maintain while riding - no matter the duration. An example would be an individual with a max HR of 180 would strive to maintain between 90 - 108 BPM. In the book I'm referencing, this zone is described for those who are primarily interested in exercising for weight loss. The next zone (weight management) is 60 - 70% of max HR.
    There is a fat burning zone, no doubt. It is somewhere around 65-80% of your VO2 max. However, exercising in your fat burning zone to lose weight is a bad strategy. Your goal should be to burn as many calories as you can with the time you have...period. Fat loss is all about calories in and calories out, regardles of whether you are burning fat or carbohydrates. Look at it this way, if you are burning carbohydrates rather than fat, the carbs that you eat will go towards replacing those carbohydrates (glycogen), rather than being converted to fat storage. It does not matter what you burn for the most part. Just burn more calories. Riding around slow all the time will not get that done. Ride hard when you don't have much time, easier when you do a long ride....and eat less.

    Mike

  14. #14
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by mprevost
    There is a fat burning zone, no doubt. It is somewhere around 65-80% of your VO2 max. However, exercising in your fat burning zone to lose weight is a bad strategy. Your goal should be to burn as many calories as you can with the time you have...period. Fat loss is all about calories in and calories out, regardles of whether you are burning fat or carbohydrates. Look at it this way, if you are burning carbohydrates rather than fat, the carbs that you eat will go towards replacing those carbohydrates (glycogen), rather than being converted to fat storage. It does not matter what you burn for the most part. Just burn more calories. Riding around slow all the time will not get that done. Ride hard when you don't have much time, easier when you do a long ride....and eat less.

    Mike
    Apparently you know more on this subject than the people writing books about it, so I suggest you quit your day job (if you have one) and start writing. Don't, however, use the text that you posted here, because it's inaccurate.

  15. #15
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    Heh, better to be on S-works Tricross than BP meds!

  16. #16
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    1000 cal/hr is very high. HRMs can't measure calories burned, they can only estimate it. Most seem to be set up to estimate high. I wouldn't use the calories burned number from an HRM to decide on how much to eat for recovery.

    Congrats on the weight loss and better health. Cutting out sugar is a good thing for health and weight loss.

  17. #17
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352
    Apparently you know more on this subject than the people writing books about it, so I suggest you quit your day job (if you have one) and start writing. Don't, however, use the text that you posted here, because it's inaccurate.
    The book may be wrong, but it is more likely that you have misinterpreted what the book says as it applies to the OPís goals. Ė TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  18. #18
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    Interestingly, I've gained about 10 pounds since starting to ride again this spring. Weight gain (muscle) is in legs and back side. Fat loss also around stomach and such.

    I'm basically an ectomorph so the muscle gain and fat loss are welcome effects of riding.

  19. #19
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboTurtle
    The book may be wrong, but it is more likely that you have misinterpreted what the book says as it applies to the OPís goals. Ė TF
    Taking a step back, my post was in response to the OP's query relating to 'fat burning zones'. As you say, the book may be wrong, but I didn't misinterpret - I quoted. If the info isn't aligned with the OP's goals, he can choose to ignore it.

  20. #20
    disgruntled pigskin fan
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    Most of what's been said here is great advice.

    Just echoing what's been said already, I'd gradually start to ween yourself off the weights and start to implement more riding into your training. If you really want to lose weight, but don't have enough time for a decent ride, running is a great alternative because you can get a great, high intensity workout in a fraction of the time (the key word here is intensity)

    In the winter, swimming is a great alternative. If your like me and can only tolerate the trainer 2X/week, swimming is a great way to mix things up. Once a week in the winter I'll head to the Gym and do a "mini tri" where I'll hit the trainer/life cycle for 30-60 minutes, hop on the treadmill for 30 minutes or so, and then hit the pool for a 1/2 mile swim. I'm not a tri guy (yet, my passion has been and always will be cycling) but I do enjoy mixing up my routine in the winter when I can't get outside on my bike. This weekly 'mini tri" as I call it really helps break up the monotony of riding the trainer and gives your upper body some work. Once a week I'll just swim for about an hour or so. I don't kick much, rather, I drag my legs and pull entirely with my upper body to give my legs a bit of a rest. I can usually get about a mile and a half in which I finish with some light kickboard work to cool down. Again, I'm not a swimmer, but I do appreciate it as a great, low-impact exercise (my dad was an all-american swimmer at OSU, so I grew up going to the pool with him in the winter time when he'd train for his triathlons)

    Finally, I wouldn't recommend cutting out all sugars from your diet. Obviously, HFCS and other similar sugars should be avoided, but the natural sugars from whole fruits and some veggies should be a large part of your diet, especially if you're trying to lose weight.

  21. #21
    GeoCyclist
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    Count Calories & track Calorie output

    Iím 47 years old (5í 8Ē, 162 lb and fairly muscular @ 9-10% body fat) and find the only way I can loose weight is to track my calorie intake. I work off shore on ships 6 to 8 months a year, so I have minimal time for long rides. I can drop 10 lb in five weeks if I put my mind to it. I keep an Excel spread sheet to track everything I eat for calorie input. CalorieKing.com has a pretty good data base of calories per food. I use a Polar 725 HRM to calculate the calories I burn during my daily workouts. My daily workouts are HIGH intensity 60 to 90 minutes on a stationary bike, rowing machine, treadmill, or skipping rope (yes, I can skip rope for an hour). I find this very effective to loose 2 lb a weeks (-7000 Calories per week). One thing I will state, this weight loss program takes some serious self control. Once you see where all the calories are coming from your diet, it takes a lot of willpower to change the way you eat. To be honest with you, I ride 14 to 20 hours a week when Iím on shore so I can eat whatever I want when off the ship. I just spent 10 days cycling through the Pyrenees and didnít loose any weight; however, I did drop my body fat percentage to 8%.

    Good luck with reaching our weight loss goal, and enjoy the new bike!

  22. #22
    Fresh from the china shop
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    swim

    I have to second BBs comments on swimming. I've been a competitive runner for the past 8-9 years, and a biker for the past 6(my knees wouldn't let me run more than 30 miles a week). I started doing tris a couple of years ago, and last year got on a regular swimming program. I originally swam twice aweek, now usually 3, occasionally 4 times a week before work. When I was running my weight stayed between 205-220. It didn't change alot when I began biking. When I added the swims, my weight began to drop, and I seem to have stabilized at 180-185. I only run 20-25 miles a week now, but my race times have dropped significantly, and my back and knees don't bother me anymore. Incidentally, I am 6'3", and wasn't overweight to begin with.
    Funny story, when I first began to lose the weight, a group of women at work stopped me in the hall one day to ask how I had lost the weight. When I told them I had lost the weight due to working out 9-10 times a week, their response was "Oh."

  23. #23

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    Don't "eat less." That's the worst advice I've ever heard.

    The better advice would be "eat reasonable portions REGULARLY". The whole point of regulating your diet is to avoid spikes in your blood sugar, and to increase your overall metabolism. If your current daily meal plan consists of lunch and supper with a midnight snack thrown in (like most folks), you don't need to be eating less. You need to be eating more, but within proper nutritional guidelines. 5 small meals a day is a good starting point. Try to achieve a 40-40-20% mix of carbs-protein-fats. You'll probably find that once you start paying attention, you'll have trouble getting all of the fats you need.

    Ultimately it comes down to calories. Using a generic internet calorie calculator, your basic caloric need to maintain your current weight with "moderate" activity would be about 2600-2800 per day. To lose weight, cut it down somewhere between 2000-2300. Don't go less than 1600...you're dipping into starvation and your body will tax your muscle as well as your fat deposits.

    I think you need to be careful about whom you ask for advice. How many cyclists have you seen with substantial muscle structure? If you focus on losing weight without regard for muscles (by "eating less"), you'll be another wirey guy in spandex shorts.

    Eat smart, maintain a semi-regular weight-resistance routine (to at least avoid substantial strength loss), and make the most of your cardio with cycling (high intensity for short times or medium intensity for long times).

  24. #24

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    I need to hijack this thread a little. I'm following standard advice,kinda, calories in calories out ride more don't eat junk (most of the time) and the weight is coming off slooowly. My problem is muscle size. My calves and thighs are starting to get bigger which means heavier legs. I am moving next week to an area that has hills hills more hills and a short ride up a mountain. Did I mention there are hills. What is it going to take to keep legs from getter bigger. I am definitly built more like a line backer than a climber and I always get dropped on hills. With the new move there will be plenty of time to work on climbing though.

  25. #25
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    Wow, thanks for all the feedback. Seems I threw the poop in the fan and there's opinions everywhere. I guess I should also openly wonder how I'm going to work my way up to being a rider who can ride for a while. I can only go a bit now before the bumper hurts from the seat, my legs start to burn and I lose steam. Would I do more frequent short, high intensity rides to build my biking stamina, or ride for a while at a lower intensity and longer time? I have muscles being used that I forgot I had, it's going to take some time to get them used to this.

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