The Cycling Diet?

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al_yrpal
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The Cycling Diet?

Post by al_yrpal »

I have been dieting recently. My aim is to shed the same amount of weight as my panniers, bar bag and stuff sack weigh, about 30lbs. So, after I have shed that weight, when I am touring weightwise it will seem just like riding an unloaded bike. that's the theory.

In the past I have found the most effective way to loose weight was to keep a food diary. I used to use an illegal Weight Watchers app on a Palm Pilot, but that is now unavailable. Looking around and making enquiries I found an app called My Fitness Pal. This is a pretty well develped app with an amazing database of millions of foods. It also has a section for exercise, charting functions and sharing functions if you want to do your diet with others to motivate you in a similar fashion to Weightwatchers etc. I think its available on Apple devices and PC too.

To get started you put in your age, weight, height, your desired final weight and rate of weight loss and the app calculates the time period and a suggested maximum level of calories. For me, 5ft 11 15 stone gives a BMI of 29 on the borderline of obesity. I put in a desired weight of 12stone 12 which will give me a BMI of 25, the borderline of overweight. Since I have a broad frame I am not attracted to going much below this at this stage.

Starting a couple of weeks ago with some physical activity every day I have lost 4lbs which is pleasing. Watching my food intake I have rarely got up to the 1670 calories recommended, not taking any exercise into account. I have also walked rowed (on a machine) or cycled every day. The most striking thing is what a massivly beneficial effect cycling has on the calorie balance compared to other forms of exercise. An 11 mile mildly hilly circuit consumes about 700 calories according to My Fitness Pal and a 22 mile circuit about 1400. These figures are confirmed by my cycle computer which has a heart monitor. Cycling is preferable to rowing, which is boring, and is much quicker at shifting calories than walking. Taking the exercise into account my average calorie intake has been in the region of 1100 to 1200 calories meaning that I should reach my target weight faster. An hours brisk walk is about 350 calories, an hour on the rower putting in a bit of effort is about the same as a bike ride but its numbingly boring. For me, cycling is the clear winner, rowing on a machineis for wet days.

If you plug into public thinking at the moment there is an obsession with Dr Michael Moselys 5:2 diet in which you virtually fast consuming only 500 to 600 calories on two fasting days and eat normally for 5. This has been found to improve your insulin effectiveness and keep blood glucose lower. As a type 2 diabetic I know that losing weight and doing some real exercise does that anyway. I tried the 5:2 diet for a couple of weeks and couldn't get on with it getting headaches and feeling slightly sick on the 5 day part. I found it pretty unpleasant and I never lost any weight either.

So, to the point of this post - what about a CTC sponsored promotion of "The Cycling Diet?" In which you follow a calorie restricted diet of any form that you prefer, but supplemented with a few hours bike riding every week thus slashing your net calorie intake, losing weight noticeably faster and at the same time improving your fitness and general health. The effect of cycling energetically is so dramatic on a diet hugely speeding up the process of losing weight. Wouldn't this knowledge get more people out of their tin cans and promote cycling at the same time? A few CTC ads saying things like "loose 700 calories in an hour " or " loose Sunday Dinner Sunday Morning " would attract some new recruits and possibly swell those Sunday morning rides a treat.
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meic
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Re: The Cycling Diet?

Post by meic »

I have noticed the same effect but look at it the other way around.

Circumstances have led to a dramatic reduction in my cycling and as a result I am getting fat.

When I start getting out on my bike instead of sitting behind this computer, I will stop putting on weight as quickly and may be even manage to get back to where I was before Christmas.
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gaz
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Re: The Cycling Diet?

Post by gaz »

Once again I find myself trying to lose weight.

I've lost it before, cycling certainly helped.

My problem is that I am afflicted with homing fat.
Missing, presumed fed.
Psamathe
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Re: The Cycling Diet?

Post by Psamathe »

I am no expert (other end of the scale!) so I express only my thoughts and opinions NOT advice

But, be careful how fast you lose the weight. I agree that additional exercise can cause weight loss to happen faster but I'm sure that would also have undesirable effects and/or place additional considerations of the nature of what you do eat. Trouble with the internet is you can read whatever you want and from that, believe/follow whatever you want. It would be terrible if your extra fast weight loss caused other health issues so, maybe double check with somebody who should know (maybe a nurse at your local GP practice, whosever ... I don't know enough to advice on this).

Ian
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531colin
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Re: The Cycling Diet?

Post by 531colin »

In nature, the absence of food drives a burst of activity....to find food.
The body's fat stores exist as reservoir of energy to "tide us over" until the next meal.
To utilise this energy store you need to be able to metabolise fatty acids quickly enough to provide energy, and like every other aspect of "fitness" this needs to be worked on.
If you have been providing your body with ready source energy from carbohydrates every hour, it will take a while for your body to adapt to metabolising fat....and you will get "bonk" even if only mildly.
Fat metabolism (when trained) is capable of providing energy for moderate cycling eg. between café stops, but if you are pressing on you will probably need an extra carbohydrate boost between stops.
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al_yrpal
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Re: The Cycling Diet?

Post by al_yrpal »

Colin, wholeheartedly agree with that. The bonk is horrid. My 11 mile circuit and aftermath is fine, but the 22 mile one whilst on my diet does leave me a little shattered for the rest of the day. Thanks for pointing it out I will subsitute it with a 15 mile job and see the effects of that. The My Fitness Pal app is quite good, it shows you what carbs, fat and protien you are consuming. The target is 50% carbs and my carbs are spot on.
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531colin
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Re: The Cycling Diet?

Post by 531colin »

Al, I'm a bit surprised that "a couple of weeks" into your diet a 22 mile loop is a problem.....assuming you are not doing it either before breakfast, or like a bat out of hell (or both :wink: ), I would expect to be able to do that and then carry on and have a "normal" day, without bingeing on carbs. on my return.
Maybe it takes longer than I think to train your metabolism to utilise fat/fatty acids?
As you say, if 11 miles OK, but 22 is a problem, try somewhere in the middle ....if that's OK, you can work up the mileage over time.
I'm not being judgemental, and don't answer if you don't want to, but for example touring or doing a day ride, have you previously topped up on the carbs. every hour or so?
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al_yrpal
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Re: The Cycling Diet?

Post by al_yrpal »

Hi Colin, I don't top up at all. It wasnt serious. Just felt quite a bit more tired and hungry later in the day than I normally would over such a short distance. Just 40g of Muesli for breakfast and a very light salad for lunch after the ride. You reminded me that one must be careful to have enough carbs on board. The previous evening we had a turkey mince shepherds pie, but the topping was 75% swede.. very low carb. It all reminded me of when I tried an Atkins diet and tried long distance rides. It just didn't work, you have to have enough carbs around to cope with the effort. I have been wearing a heart monitor on the rower and the bike, just to get an idea what is going on. On the rower I have to go like stink to get my heatbeat over 110. On the bike its simple I can reach 145 even on the shortest steep hill. It shows how good bicycling is. Normally, when I am touring I do between 40 and 60 miles per day. No problem with a hearty breakfast, a small baguete and a hearty evening meal. But riding when you are dieting needs more thought and care. Thanks for your coments, very helpful, I haven't tried this for quite a long time. I also have a 14 mile loop, I'll try that tomorrow
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francovendee
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Re: The Cycling Diet?

Post by francovendee »

Let us know when you lose your weight and how many weeks it takes. I think weight loss it quicker at the start of a diet but slows later on. I'm around 6'-0" and weigh between 12.5 to 13.5 stone. The increase occurs in the winter months, a mixture of 'comfort' eating and less miles on the bike. I'm not sure I'd have the willpower to diet so good luck, I hope you lose your 'panniers' :) :) :)
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al_yrpal
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Re: The Cycling Diet?

Post by al_yrpal »

Wilco. Just totted up my figures for last week. Consumed about 1530 calories per day. Exercise averaged at 530 calories per day. So calorie defecit total was about 7000 calories for the week, which is 2 lbs of body fat - exactly what I lost. It was the same last week. But, I am off abroad soon for two weeks, not much chance of diet or real execise then. I am hoping my motivation is still there when I get back...

Al
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531colin
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Re: The Cycling Diet?

Post by 531colin »

I used to work with people with disabilities at a residential school.
I had one lad with cerebral palsy and hemiplegia who was a part-time wheelchair user, and who put on about a stone and a half in his first couple of years at the school. I weighed out about a stone and a half of sand in a plastic sack.....with that in his arms, my lad couldn't get out of his wheelchair.
I think I helped him understand the problem......
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al_yrpal
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Re: The Cycling Diet?

Post by al_yrpal »

Update…

Just off on hols for a couple of weeks. Its been 5 weeks since I started my diet and exercise regime. I have lost exactly 10lbs - 2lbs a week. The calculated calorie deficit including the exercise is about 7500 calories per week equivalent to the calorific value of 2lbs of body fat. I am eating simply less without any snacks and never feel very hungry.
Hope my determination is still there when I return

Al
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Grumbleweed
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Re: The Cycling Diet?

Post by Grumbleweed »

Good on you! I've just started a similar diet with high intensity sessions twice a week and two 40-50 milers squeezed in. I'm hoping to lose 2.5-3lbs a week. Will update at some point.
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bigjim
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Re: The Cycling Diet?

Post by bigjim »

I can't begin to imagine what it is like to diet. I have no conception or understanding why anybody would need to do it. The thought would horrify me. I love my food. Really love it.
My daughters go on diets and I can't see anything wrong with them before they do or after.
I therefore assume it must be a metabolism thing.
My champion weightlifting son is obsessed with his diet. He insists on eating every two hours. No matter what!
My younger son just pigs out on everything and is like a stick.
It's all very confusing. :?
eezypeazy
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Re: The Cycling Diet?

Post by eezypeazy »

Hmm....

My “diet” consists of a bowl of porridge and cup of tea at 0700 for breakfast; this usually fills me up for the morning. Lunch is a sandwich and a double decker bar from a corner shop at about 1300. We eat an evening meal at about 6.30pm – usually a vegetarian dish. Sometimes I’ll have a hot chocolate at 9pm. If we have a meal out, it’s usually a pizza. We have more family birthdays (and hence more celebratory meals) between October and February than in the rest of the year. My wife and I share a bottle of wine on most Fridays and Saturday evenings. I sit at a computer all day at work. Exercise is limited to walking to and from my bus stop (half a mile each way).

My cycling is limited to ‘leisure’ cycling and some two- or three-day tours. Last year I did 1158 miles, doing more in the summer than the winter (naturally). When the evenings are light, and my wife and daughter go to a zumba class, I have a twelve mile circuit that, depending on the weather, I can complete in 50 to 60 minutes. On Saturday mornings I can go for a half-day ride if the weather’s kind.

I’m 5’ 10” tall, aged 57. The BMI suggests I should be looking for a weight of 12st 7. I don’t count my calorie intake. I had a check-up at my GPs last week and my blood pressure and cholesterol level are fine.

I happened to keep a record of my weight and cycling since December 2012. My cycling in the two years to December 2012 was very limited. This table shows my weight on the first day of each month of the last 14 months, with the miles cycled in the previous month:

Jan: 13st 3; 20 miles
Feb: 13st 2; 0
Mar: 13st 0; 165
Apr: 13st 5; 44
May: 13st 1; 165
June: 13st 2; 107
July: 13st 0; 101
Aug: 12st 11; 295
Sept: 12st 12; 75
Oct: 12st 9; 53
Nov: 12st 11; 57
Dec: 13st 0; 40
Jan: 13st 5; 56
Feb: 12st 13; 37

Clearly, I must have binged in March last year for the blip in my weight on 1st April, not helped by cycling fewer miles; and ditto at Christmas this year. This data, though, is just a ‘snapshot’ – in the 14 months I peaked at 13st 5, and the best I achieved was 12st 8 in August.

My conclusion? Based on this limited data, it would appear that if I cycle less than 100 miles a month, then diet is more important in controlling my weight. At more than 100 miles a month, if the diet stays the same, I lose a little more weight.

(Note: my weight this morning was 12st 11; so far this month I’ve cycled 94 miles and I’m planning to do 42 more tomorrow).
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