- Weight loss and cycling
Since April of this this year I have been road cycling 20 to 30 miles each ride about 2 or 3 times a week, speeds of 13 to 15mph, so not all that fast.
My weight was 13.5 stone, I just seem to be losing weight a bit too much and too quickly as I now feel ‘thin’. Everybody seems to making comments about being thin. I was never bulky or big, maybe a slightly over large stomach.
Just weighed myself 11stone 8lb, is this to be expected? Other than eat more, I do eat quite well, all freshly cooked, no processed food.
Any advice?Posted 2 months agoslowoldmanSubscriber
When you say “eat more” do you mean you’ve been eating more since April? Any other changes – alcohol consumption for example? Funnily enough your timing coincides with mine. I retired in April and have been out riding (and hill walking) several times a week. I’ve lost about half a stone which doesn’t sound a lot but I was already under 10 stone and yes, even I feel thinner.
Mind you other things have changed. My diet has been healthier, more fruit, veg, no snacking, bacon butties and danish pastries at work. Quite a lot less alcohol. Though with the approach of winter I am reverting to stew and dumplings.Posted 2 months agoBadlyWiredDogSubscriber
You’re probably just slimmer rather than ‘thin’ unless you’re well over six foot tbh. Do you feel weak or compromised by your weight loss or it just aesthetics and the negative nuances of being called ‘thin’. If you reframe ‘thin’ as ‘slim’ does that feel better?Posted 2 months agoTiRedMember
If you ride a bike you will lose weight. It’s the rule of road cycing. It’s actually quite hard to replace all the calories you burn, so your body has reset to a new equilibrium. I burned 2500 calories last night on a ride. I need to eat 10 days of food a week. I’m 11 stone and 5’11.
Wait till you start feeling the cold!Posted 2 months agoGarry_LagerSubscriber
I do more miles than that, at way higher intensity, and am obese, so I guess we’re all different.
Surprised you’re seeing that sort of weight loss to be honest, have you just started cycling so are seeing a big training response? Long slow distance is indeed the classic recipe for weight loss, but 60 odd bimble miles a week is tiny really.Posted 2 months agomunrobikerMember
Yeah, I’d not say you’re thin – I’m 5’10” and 11st 11lb and could still stand to lose a bit more but I’d say I’m about right for someone my height and shape. I’m broad shouldered and am unlikely to get down to 11st with the amount I like to eat. I do 80-90 miles a week all on the mountain bike or on gravel type stuff, a lot of it at a decent pace, and have stayed the same weight for about 18 months when I stopped trying to lose weight.Posted 2 months agoLoughanMember
Most people only comment that others look thin when in fact they are fat themselves, they are just not really aware of it
You should point it out to them, they will really appreciate your honesty.
rhyswilliams3 is right though, the new ‘normal’ in society is quite far above what ‘normal’ should actually be. I believe this because I lost weight recently, still have some way to go but have been advised “not to lose too much” & “you’re looking really thin”. Nope i’m not, according to BMI <insert separate argument here> i’m still overweight. The manner in which you advise people they’re fat is a different matter though 🙂Posted 2 months agoKryton57Subscriber
I’m 12 stone 7 a smudge under 6ft and medium build – people at work tell me I look thin yet I have paunch and am on the route to losing 2.5kg more for bike racing.
Even my wife says “your not as fat as your were on our wedding day” 😀
I suspect your thinner than people are used to, but as a rough guide if your BMI and caloric input is reasonable unless you have some flesh eating disease you are fine. Your speed likely indicates you’re cycling in the “fat burning zone” which is why you’ve lost the weight.Posted 2 months agophiljuniorMember
I’m 6ft and 13 to 13.5 stone.
People say I look skinny, I was about 15-16 stone before I upped my mileage some years back.
It’s not just people themselves, the general population tends to be overweight, so people consider this normal – although I’ve noticed when women lose weight there is a factor of their fat mates telling them they look great but only until they get thinner than their mate, when they’re suddenly dangerously thin…
FWIW, my weight plateaued after about 3-4 months, I assume your experience is/will be similar.Posted 2 months agodeserterMember
I could do with losing a couple of stone, are people saying long slow rides are better than short fast ones? Also how do you measure slow? I went out with a friend the other day and went as hard as I could and he said it was the slowest he’d ever done it, so I went slow????Posted 2 months agoroverpigSubscriber
Nothing wrong with your weight OP, but that does sound like a lot of weight loss from what could be as little as two 20 mile rides a week. You may just be lucky and the weight falls off as soon as you exercise, but I think I’d try taking it easy for a bit and keeping an eye on your weight. Most people would need to do a lot more than a couple of hours of exercise a week in order to drop the best part of two-stone.Posted 2 months ago
Wait till you start feeling the cold!
Im a smidgen under 14 stone, but was quite a bit heavier. Im already feeling cold!
I dont think Id ever worn my softshell jacket on a serious ride untill this year, now its my default!
My target for next year is 75kg/11stone11lb (another 2 stone) which would give me a bmi bang on 22.5 (i.e. supposed average). I guarantee the current comments of “you look healthier” will turn to “you look ill”. I can already see ribs!Posted 2 months agoGarry_LagerSubscriber
I could do with losing a couple of stone, are people saying long slow rides are better than short fast ones? Also how do you measure slow? I went out with a friend the other day and went as hard as I could and he said it was the slowest he’d ever done it, so I went slow????
All intensity all the time isn’t sustainable – you’ll get ill, and if you really over do it you can put yourself in a hole that takes a long time to climb out of (overtraining).Posted 2 months ago
OTOH you can do massive amounts of zone 1 / zone 2 stuff which is great for losing weight (so I hear). Takes ages on the bike, but then it’s zero impact which is also great for avoiding injury.n0b0dy0ftheg0atMember
I went from ~95Kg in June 2016, when I simply became ruthless at cutting down snacks (but not altogether) for the rest of the year while doing “bimble” commutes to drop to ~83Kg, to then drop another ~10Kg in 2017 by August after I started cycling for fitness.
Think I lost ~6″ from my waist and felt so light on my feet compared to how I’d been since around 1998, bar a brief spell of being lighter and fitter around 2004 (albeit then I dropped to ~83Kg).
Most of my 2017 weight loss came from really quite intensive rides, extending my commutes home and going out on my days off to typically do approx 45-75mins of mostly local sub 180-foot hill climbs (ranging from approx 8-20% peak gradient) and then recovering on the descents. There’s multiple routes up to the Witts Hill plateau in Midanbury and on the Harefield estate, so I didn’t have to choose doing the same hill time and time again.
Looking at my season heart rate charts on https://cricklesorg.wordpress.com/ (free site that links to Strava for lots of interesting data on your rides), my dynamic heart rate zone hours during the first three quarters of 2017 were approx…
The relative numbers are very different these days, at times I had seriously heavy legs due to overtraining in 2017, these days a much higher proportion of time is spent in Z1/2.
My downfall seemed to happen when I got the road bike and started doing longer rides, not eating enough during these 2+ hour rides up in the South Downs hills and then “emptying” the cupboards and fridge when I got back. Then I started eating cold cross buns at work far too regularly, in more recent times chocolate raisins, which in combination with less long outdoor rides this year (injuries and illness) resulted in me going back up to 84Kg during October before dropping to 80Kg this last week.
Hoping to get back down to sub 75Kg over the winter and try and threaten to break 300W FTP from 95% of 20min efforts, something I came so close to back in March this year before things all started going wrong.Posted 2 months ago
Going for long slow distsnce rides is probably the best way to burn off the most calories if you are a pro needing to shed some winter lb’s. It works because you burn off the maximum number of fat per hour and do a lot of hours. And you’re fresh enough to repeat it day after day.
For us mortals with day jobs its not so easy, we cant head out and do a 5 hour z2 ride every day for 2 months. We’ve got maybe a weekend ride and a couple of evenings a week. In which case as long as you feel like youre resting enough between rides then going out and smashing it a couple of times a week also works.
There’s a difference between skipping z2 rides because youre having a day off (fine, just don’t binge on calories), and skipping z2 rides because you’re doing a z3 or HITT style ride (not fine if youre not recovering between rides or taking a week off them occasionally).
For me I tend to find the more I ride the fitter I get (fairly obviously) so if its been a few months off the bike then a ‘steady’ ride might be my hard ride for the week. 2 months later its my social recovery ride and the midweek evening ride becomes the faster one.
It does depend why you ride though, some people want the maximum training bang for their buck and will happily skip group rides if they dont fit a certain schedule. Whereas others (me) ride almost purely for fun and just manage the number of hard rides in a week or on back to back days.
E.g. tuesday is a fast mtb group, Wednesday is a variable cx group, thursday is a variable road group. So depending on how hard wednesday is i might skip thursday. Or if im flagging a big with a cold ill skip wednesday and hope for an easy thursday.Posted 2 months agoMounty_73Member
Thanks for all this, some good info, not sure who to reply to? LOL.
I am 5ft 11ins so its looking ok. Just done my BMI on the NHS site, 22.6
I have been cycling a long time, but its never been consistent and it varies massively in time and distance etc.
Its funny I have never really felt the cold, but I am now, I guess fat is insulation!! lol.
I have been looking at winter warmer jerseys too!
I have been trying to keep it all consistent and easy going, doing fast rides play havoc with my sleeping, which I am sure is down to lack of fitness as its causes stress on the body.
My goal at the moment is to get to rides (comfortably) to 50 miles and I know that’s not a big number, but it is for me.Posted 2 months ago
My goal at the moment is to get to rides (comfortably) to 50 miles and I know that’s not a big number, but it is for me.
My suggestion with these things is don’t overthink it and just do it. Take a bit of food and some jelly babies and head off for ~5 hours with the intention of keeping moving. 90% of it’s either a limit in your head, or fueling. If you’re riding 2-3 times a week then a single 5 hour ride should be fairly easy (unless you’re planning it in the Lakes or somewhere like that).Posted 2 months agotpbikerMember
I was an overweight 86 kg and drank to much, and rode the bike once a month tops.
Gave up boozing, changed my diet and started cycling 100 mile a week at a steady pace. Weight literally dropped off..21 kg in 18 months.
I got to the point where I thought something was wrong as I was getting a bit thin. So I gave up cycling for 2 weeks and ate shit. Surprise surprise I put weight back on again
I started thinking about calories. If you are cycling 6 hrs a week and not eating anymore than you did you’ll easy lose a lb a week…that can add up to fairly drastic weight loss.Posted 2 months agoTiRedMember
It’s the rule of road cycing. It’s actually quite hard to replace all the calories you burn,
Not for me 🙁🙁
I drink less than five units a week. I think alcohol is a huge hidden caloric intake, particularly after our Tuesday night club ride. Currently on 250-300km/week/ When it goes up to 400/week the carb cupboard gets raided at every opportunity and I still lose weight. Race weight is 67 kilos, below that I get ill.
Even when off the bike for extended periods, I only gain about 4-5 kilos, so I guess I’m lucky. But I live by my Rab micro gilet!Posted 2 months agocalv145Subscriber
I wish I had your problem. I was 89kg and now down to 86kg in 4 weeks but I really have to try hard, like really hard, to keep weight loss going despite training over 8 hours a week and cycling to work everyday. My body seems to default back to 89kg which is strange as I can literally eat whatever I want, whenever I want but I don’t seem to go above that weight despite my calorie in take suggesting that I should gain weight quite quickly. I could jump back from 86 to 89 easily within a few days but then it just stops at 89. I’m trying to keep weight loss slow and steady this time around as I’m fed up of going up and down now. My fitness is way up at this point and I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, ftp at 278 so I really want to get the weight down over the winter to capitalise on my fitness and keep improving.Posted 2 months agolucky7500Subscriber
I love a bottle of St Austell Brewery’s ale Proper Job. Then I found out that a 500ml bottle contains around 560 calories. So one of those every week night with my dinner was an extra day’s worth of calorie intake.
I always knew that beer was fairly calorific, but got a bit of a shock looking through a Wetherspoons drink menu that lists the calorie content of everything!!Posted 2 months agoemmoddMember
I’ve not read all the replies but anecdotally i#m 180cms tall and 18 months ago weighed 13 and a half stone. I wasn’t fat but I’d started to get a belly. I’ve been riding about 4-500 miles a month since then, done a few hill climbs and currently sit at 11st 2lbs. I’m feeling fitter and better than I have in 10-12 years. I personally wouldn’t sweat it.Posted 2 months ago
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