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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did my first race. Didn't do too bad (24/36), but I could have been one of the top finishers if I was at my target weight because the field finished tightly on a short hill. I could easily lose 20 pounds.

I think one of the main things I need is a good estimate of calories burned. If any of you have power meters and have used calculators that more accurately reflect what your power meter says you've burned, that would be awesome.

Any other tips would be great as well.
 

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kJ is pretty accurate. No calculator is going to give you anything more so. Short of getting some type of metabolic testing done, I'd say just go with that coupled with whatever your calculated basal metabolic rate is.

Suffice to say, none of that will matter unless you're doing the heinously tedious job of counting your calories. I mean, make a salad or some pasta or some homemade dish and you might spend more time weighing the various ingredients to determine calories than you will cooking and consuming! Unless you eat just prepackaged stuff all the time, and that could be its own problem.

I'd suggest eating right before a ride, right after a ride (sensible eating!), then having a small dinner and trying to go to bed hungry. To really lose weight, you're going to have to get hungry and stay hungry. Embrace the hunger, tell yourself that you're training every time you're hungry, whatever.

It's not hard to lose weight, but it's hard to lose weight. The formula is simple, the process takes a whole lot of willpower.
 

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Pretty much +1 to what pedalbiker wrote.

Just a comment on the Kj...In the OP it reads like you are trying to get a good ballpark on what would be some sort of average Kj for a certain time of riding???? If so, that would be super bad as each riders Kj are different for the same ride. Just saying I don't know of anyone who has a good average for this.

I've read about some average calorie WAG's here and there but, I forget what they are. I'm sure someone will come on and write xxx/hour zone 2, xxx/hour zone 3 etc...be careful is all.

I got a bit obsessed losing the last 10 and did so but it sucked. I felt starved 100% of the time but, I sure climbed better. I did use a calorie counting app (myfitnesspal) and got a handle on two things: portion size and how many calories I was consuming between meals.
 

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Did my first race. Didn't do too bad (24/36), but I could have been one of the top finishers if I was at my target weight because the field finished tightly on a short hill. I could easily lose 20 pounds.

I think one of the main things I need is a good estimate of calories burned. If any of you have power meters and have used calculators that more accurately reflect what your power meter says you've burned, that would be awesome.

Any other tips would be great as well.
In order to lose weight, you simply need to be hungry. Pushing away from the table in the evening and going to bed somewhat hungry is the way to get your body to burn fat and therefore lose weight. If you want to lose 20 lb. then you are looking at a 70,000 calorie deficit over however long you want to take. Counting calories is more precise than estimating calories burned, but if you do all that and you still don't lose weight then obviously the counting and calculating are wrong. So it's back to being hungry and having the discipline to stay hungry. Easier said than done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I followed the hunger advice, and I started dropping. Another awesome thing happens: your appetite adjusts after some time. I just ate a bunch of pita chips and hummus, with a little mushroom soup - in a quantity of about half of what I would eat before, and now I feel so full I actually feel a little sick.

Which is awesome.
 

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I disagree with people saying you need to count calories, which is most everyone. I have gone from 202 to 178 in two months by not eating bread, sugar, or junk food (potato chips...). I also have ridden fasted six mornings a week (taking Monday's off) doing anywhere from 30-50 miles. Haven't counted a single calorie. And for the most part, I'm not hungry all the time after getting rid of the junk. BTW, I'm 53 years old, so I'm not young.
 

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I agree with cyclingsivells - you know how much you are or were eating. Eat less. Feel hungry. Unless you've got specific goals - X lbs by X date, I don't see the need to count the calories.

I recently dropped 13 pounds (186 to 173) and I was lean at 186. I just cut back on beer (volume and type) and ate less. I really haven't changed my diet - I was eating the right stuff, e.g. no crap, no sodas, no fried foods, tons of veggies, lean meats, good fats, etc. - I'm just eating less.

And remember - it's very hard for most people (statistically, everyone) to lose fat and not lose muscle at the same time. This is especially the case if you do so over a short period of time.
 

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I disagree with people saying you need to count calories, which is most everyone. I have gone from 202 to 178 in two months by not eating bread, sugar, or junk food (potato chips...). I also have ridden fasted six mornings a week (taking Monday's off) doing anywhere from 30-50 miles. Haven't counted a single calorie. And for the most part, I'm not hungry all the time after getting rid of the junk. BTW, I'm 53 years old, so I'm not young.
No one said anyone "NEEDS" to count calories. Most people understand they need to eat less but they need help understanding how to do it. Losing weight comes down to calories in v. calories out. Calorie counting is one way to understand overeating for any one persons situation. Especially those who are already fairly lean but want to get really lean. Competitive lean...Counting is an excellent and proven strategy.
 

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I think this approach is somewhat individual, but I tried a diet a buddy was doing just to see how bad it would be. It is basically the green-smoothie diet.

Breakfast:
Handful of fresh spinach
1 1/4 cup water
Tablespoon of honey
4 large frozen strawberries
Handful of frozen blueberries

Protein drink (didn't like protein powder in my smoothie)
1 scoop Muscle Milk (or protein powder of choice)
1/4 cup milk
1 3/4 cup water

Snack:
String cheese
3 cutties (oranges)

Lunch:
Reasonable, but to really drop weight, you can do a salad and protein drink.

Dinner:
Alternate each day between reasonable dinner and smoothie/protein drink listed under breakfast.

On weekends with longer rides, I would do oatmeal and protein drink for breakfast. Lunch and Dinner were whatever I wanted (didn't go crazy, but also enjoyed some good food).

I tried it for a month just to see how horrible it would be. Turns out, it wasn't that bad. Also, I never really felt like I was starving.

The key with this diet is the high fiber spinach smoothies kept me full and provided fewer calories than what I ate before. I started with smoothies for breakfast and dinner, but started dropping weight too fast, so I alternated smoothies with a reasonable dinner. Finally, I never counted a single calorie, I just used moderation. Dropped 12 lbs in the first month and continued on dropping but adjusted diet appropriately. Obviously, YMMV.
 

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You certainly don't have to count calories, especially if whatever you are doing is giving you the results you want.

If you are doing what you feel is the right thing; Eating what you think is the right amounts of food based on your BMR and activity levels, and still not losing weight, you either have some kind of serious medical problem, or you are eating too much (and probably at the wrong time).

Edit to add:
And trying to gauge your food intake based on hunger (or lack of it) can be problematic as well. Hunger is kind of a subjective thing. Some people interpret cravings as hunger. Sugar/Carb cravings can feel like hunger, even though you literally just at a meal.

You can oversimplify by saying 'just eat less', but it's really fairly complicated. The timing of your food intake, the timing of your exercise, the types of calories you eat at different times, etc... all contribute to some degree.

What is going to work for you is going to take some trial and error until some weight starts coming off. You can choose to do it blindly, by 'guessing' if you are eating too much, or you can try to count calories, and at least have some idea. At the very least, keep a food log for a while, and make notes about what you are eating throughout the day. Sometimes, this can be an eye opening experience for people who grab a little of this here and there, a swig of that here and there, a few nuts and berries on the yogurt, etc.... those little things add up over the course of the day.

I started using the myfitnesspal app on my phone as a food log. It's not perfect, but as long as I accurately included everything I ate and drank, it really helped. I had plateaued in my weight loss until I started using it, and ultimately lost another 10-15lbs after being 'stuck' at the same weight for several months, despite a *lot* of riding.
 

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I definitely agree about the variation in caloric expenditure from person to person, of course. For the OP, as I return to the bike after about a year away and carrying 30-40 pounds extra until I reach optimal race weight, my rides are about 400-450 kj/hr at a perceived intensity level between 5 and 7 out of 10. I think it is unlikely that you would have such a wild variation that you couldn't use this as a base estimate. Maybe others could chime in with their numbers so we can see some examples of the variation that can exist from person to person?

When I am hoping to drop a lot of weight, as I am now, I do a few things that work incredibly for me:

- I cut out all alcohol consumption outside of very special events, like a best friend's wedding. Unless I am partying hard, no drinking.
- For my meals, I eat all real food. No powders or supplements or "smoothies" as meal replacements. Much better satiety and nutrition with real food.
- I find coming up with a good recovery sequence is key to my success. You can't burn calories if you can't ride well. The difference in doing 2-3 rides a week and 4-6 rides is very different for me. This is where the powders come in. As soon as I get home I mix either gatorade or crank e-fuel with some whey isolate. I then follow this with either my lunch or dinner. Lunch is usually a turkey or tuna sandwich. Dinner is any type of protein in moderation (lean or fatty), a starch/carb, and some vegetables or salad. I make sure to have red meat at least once a week. Good quality strip steak, for eg.
- Finally, the real secret, psyllium husk. When I am eating less food, I need the fiber. It helps keep me feeling satiated and really improves my digestive process. When I start the weight loss process I begin with one serving. As my body acclimates to the big shot of fiber, I add another serving earlier in the day. Just make sure to drink plenty of water while using it - which you should be doing anyway.

If I can get 800-900 kj out of my rides at least 4 times a week and do the above things, among other things, I can drop 2-4 pounds a week. Good luck!!
 

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... If I can get 800-900 kj out of my rides at least 4 times a week and do the above things, among other things, I can drop 2-4 pounds a week. ...
4 rides x 900 kj each = 3600 kj = about 3600 kilocalories.
3500 Kcal is equivalent to 1 lb fat.
So the riding will lose about 1 lb/weight if nothing else changes.

Are you counting on the diet changes to lose the additional 2nd, 3rd, and 4th pounds?
 

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Just eat less including less soft drinks, foods with processed sugars, alcohol, and fast food for starts. Then eat smaller portions - the weight will come off without all the counting and calculating. Ice water is a good way to soften hunger pains.
 

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4 rides x 900 kj each = 3600 kj = about 3600 kilocalories.
3500 Kcal is equivalent to 1 lb fat.
So the riding will lose about 1 lb/weight if nothing else changes.

Are you counting on the diet changes to lose the additional 2nd, 3rd, and 4th pounds?
Yes! The consistent excercise and absence of alcohol seems to send my metabolism into overdrive. Pair that with my 1000-1500 (I would guess) intake and I seem to run a pretty good calorie deficit. I am not too scientific about it. There are some days where I might go for a walk or fish around a lake, too, which helps with those extra pounds I suppose.
 

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For millenniums, humans have never had to count calories and they never had issue with gaining too much weight.

But modern society has given us cheap easily accessible processed food in high quantity but low in nutrition. So, IMO, they key to losing weight is not so much to focus on counting calories, but focus on eating whole food in very moderate quantity.
 

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For millenniums, humans have never had to count calories and they never had issue with gaining too much weight.

But modern society has given us cheap easily accessible processed food in high quantity but low in nutrition. So, IMO, they key to losing weight is not so much to focus on counting calories, but focus on eating whole food in very moderate quantity.
Kind of.... In a gross over simplification, early humans were eating sticks and things and used tons of calories getting nutrients from food. As we began processing foods we had calories left to develop our brains and made massive leaps of developmental progress. We become industrious. Early fertility symbols were always of heavy set women. This was to show evolutionary and resource aquisition success as well as fertility promise. Being heavy has been around for a LOOOONG time. Genetics, climate, resources, and a ton of other things effect historic cultural BMIs but peeps weren't all skinny back in the day... Unless you go so far back that we were still eating indigestible things. Processing foods is a wonderful leap in human evolution. It isn't all perfect of course, we extract our nutrients so much more efficiently when we cook and pickle and the like. Absolutely, modern convenience food is awful, no question, and it is a huge contributor to a global obesity epidemic.

As as for calorie counting Woodys737 is spot on. Bottom line, of course you don't need to count calories. But you need to consume fewer than you use. How many fewer to lose how much is entirely answerable if you have the data. You can lose weight kind of by accident or completely intentionally. Either way works. You can pick a weight within a reasonable range and be it, but you can know when you will be that weight by using data. Or you can kind of go about things with hunches and watch the results and keep doing what lends results. It'll work, but I'm sure glad as hell my doctor doesn't help me make healthcare decisions like that. Timing and density of nutrition are huge factors for good health and maximum performance but mostly useless for weight loss.
 
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