Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 50
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BaeckerX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,215

    My Mountain Biker Program for Sustainable Weight Loss

    ...or how to lose 30 pounds in 3 months without dieting, fancy miracle drugs, or expensive nutritionists.

    OK, first of all, I'm not going to be talking about anything revolutionary here. These are all different tips that I've picked up here and there or stuff that I have tried and has worked for me personally. Many of these are common knowledge or have been discussed elsewhere. I just want to give my experiences with losing weight through biking and maybe it will help some others. I am only speaking of weight loss. I realize there are faster ways to lose weight, but I believe if you do it in the right way, you'll have fun and you won't put the pounds back on once you meet your goals.

    1. Buy a new bike. Buy the bike you really want. I've heard a lot of people talk about rewarding themselves with a new bike purchase AFTER they lose a certain amount of weight, but if you're anything like me, nothing will motivate you more than spending a bunch of money on something. You'll feel guilty if you're not using it. If you get crappy equipment you give yourself an out or an excuse why you didn't make that obstacle or why you can't ride. Get a nice bike and eliminate all excuses. It helps if the bike is aesthetically pleasing. Many people think looks aren't important, but store your bike on a stand in your living room. You may just find yourself staring at your bike longingly and wishing you were riding it instead of watching TV. Take a photo of it and use it for your wallpaper at work. You'll be at work thinking of how excited you are to go riding when you get home.

    2. Be aware. The first step to successful weight loss is realizing how many calories you are putting into your body and how many calories you can take in while still meeting your goals. It's all simple really, calories in vs calories out. At the end of the day you want to be at a net loss. I recommend My Net Diary. It's an app that can be found in the Android and iPhone marketplaces. It also links up to mynetdiary.com. You can track just there if you don't have a smartphone. Use this program for 2 weeks, or longer if you're disciplined enough. You don't need to use it forever, only long enough to get a feel for the approximate calories in the average foods and what you can get away with per day. Enter your weight and loss goals. It will only let you set a max of 2 pounds per week because that's the most it considers healthy weight loss. Enter what you eat into the app. It will give you an approximate number of calories from its database. You'll be surprised how much some of the foods you eat cost you. Enter your exercise into the app. It will give you an approximate calorie loss. Hey, you went on a big ride today, so you can have a few post ride beers and not feel guilty.

    3. Reduce portion sizes. This is as simple as getting the 6 inch sub at Subway instead of the foot long. You might feel hungry at first, but soon your body will adjust to the reduced calorie intake and you'll wonder how the hell you ate so much in the first place.

    4. Make healthier choices. You don't have to eat salads everyday, but maybe get turkey, roast beef, or ham instead of salami, pepperoni, etc. Replace bacon with turkey bacon. Avoid condiments like Mayo and Ranch dressing (generally dairy based products are high in fat and calorie content). Mustard and Italian are tasty alternatives with very few calories. If you splurge and eat a burger or have a shake, it's OK. Just make sure to get a good workout in that day to offset the added calories. Don't do it for multiple meals either.

    5. If you can't cut it out, cut it back. Having 1 soda a day isn't going to hurt your weight loss goals, but having 3 or 4 will. It might not be the greatest thing to put in your body, but as long as you don't do it in excess you won't put on the pounds. Again, it goes back to managing your intake. A can of Coke is 150 calories. Just make sure not to push yourself over your 2000-2500 daily. A good, strenuous MTB ride can give you an extra 2000 calorie cushion or so.

    6. Get a riding partner or group to ride with. Commit to a ride. It is far too easy to back out when you only have yourself to answer to. You can always find a way to justify not exercising. By committing to another person you are going to have to explain to them why you backed out. It's also much more fun, especially when you're first starting out and might get easily frustrated with your lack of ability/endurance.

    7. Ride often if you want your fitness to improve. I can't stress this enough. You HAVE to get out during the week. Even if you ride Saturday and Sunday, just riding on the weekends is not going to do it for you if you want to be a better rider. Get it in before work, after work, or even commute to work on your bike. Do whatever it takes to get on your bike during the week.

    8. Weigh yourself everyday at the same time everyday. Many people don't believe in this. I do. I weigh myself each and every morning after I wake up. Doing this you can see exactly what the consequences were for that late night bender where you drank 10 microbrews. You'd be surprised at how much it can set you back.

    9. You will hit plateaus in your weight loss. This is normal. As you ride more, you're going to be putting on muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. The key is to not get discouraged. Eventually you'll pass it, and start making good progress again. I've had whole weeks where the scale didn't move at all.

    10. As you get fitter, you need to work harder. This is kind of one of those ugly truths of fitness. The more you ride, the easier it gets. The easier it gets, the less calories you will burn. This means you are going to have to do one of 2 things. The ideal is to do harder rides. Challenging yourself will make you feel better about riding and will be a good change of pace to keep things interesting. That sense of accomplishment in completing rides you've never been able to do before is euphoric. I also like to ride all over so I don't get bored. If you don't have many options where you live, you need to ride faster. Doing your same favorite trail at a much faster pace will help you burn more calories. Maybe your favorite loop has an easy uphill followed by a fast, steep downhill. Do it the other way. Force yourself to do the more difficult climb.

    11. Take every opportunity for free exercise. If you're only going a few floors, take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. Walk over to your co-worker's desk instead of calling them or messaging them. When you have to walk somewhere, walk at a brisk pace. Every little bit helps.

    12. Drink ice water throughout the day. Ice cold water helps to speed the metabolism. It will also help keep you refreshed and not craving high calorie beverages like soda, etc.

    13. Do strength training during your downtime. I've found it's really easy to get some free weights and do various exercises while watching TV.

    Anyway, I hope that helps somebody. I know that there are various ways to lose weight. I just wanted to share some things that worked well for me.
    Last edited by BaeckerX1; 08-04-2011 at 07:08 AM.
    Gotta get up to get down.
    LMB

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rossluzz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    356
    Some good tips thanks. I have lost some pounds doing some similar things. I definitely found counting calories to help. When I started using a calorie tracker I was surprised at just how many calories I could pack in. And yes to keeping the fitness through the week. You can't just be a weekend warrior but need to ride or do some other cardio at least 2-3 times during the week to keep the levels up.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    43
    Great tips. I do pretty much all of that. I just started counting calories a month ago....wow I ate a lot! The first week or two was rough with feeling like I was starving, but now I eat like a normal individual. Dropped 40 pounds since the beginning of May....still dropping, getting faster and more fit.

    One other tip to add: limit alcohol consumption.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TwoNin9r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,610
    love this... i've been transitioning into most of this but can benifit from other suggestions here...

    i'm 6'3" and about 225-230, i'd like to be 200 so it's a realistic goal

    good luck!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: infanterene's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    128
    Thank you for the post. Lots of common sense advice that is very help full. I downloaded the app and its great.

    I am at 285lbs now and want to go down to 220lbs.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BaeckerX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,215
    I'm glad to hear someone appreciated it. I know a lot of it is pretty simple stuff, but it's been very helpful to me. It's nice to get it all down in one place. I think the key is to be realistic about your goals and how you want to achieve them. So many people set these crazy short term goals or resort to fad diets and "miracle drugs" to rack up massive weight loss quickly. I've also seen a lot of these same people put back on all the weight that they lost. You need to develop healthy habits that you know you can maintain longterm. There's no point losing the weight only to gain it all back again. That's why I followed a simple routine that I know I'll have no problems keeping up with. Sure, there are faster ways to drop pounds, but by using a few common sense techniques you can get some good results without even feeling like you're dieting or giving anything up. It's also important to stay motivated. It's far too easy to slip up, but if you create a culture of health in your household, you'll feel guilty when you can't get out and ride, or when you have a super high calorie meal.
    Gotta get up to get down.
    LMB

  7. #7
    Probably drunk right now
    Reputation: Ken in KC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,767

    Good, solid advice....

    A concise, balanced approach.
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    84
    I use fitday.com to log food and exercise, but i agree with BaeckerX1, by logging, it makes me aware, and maybe guilty if i over indulge i have lost 64lbs since april 8, and my next weigh in is on august 8, hope for more great results, i started by following a plan I made similar to the one above...very simple, easy to follow and the weight keeps dropping off month after month. For example of guilty pleasures, we have a coworker moving away and leaving us, well last night another coworker (trained chef) baked a chocolate cake, out of 18 employees, i was the only on that didn't eat it.....i didn't want to face my food log. . haha...i just take it one day at a time.

  9. #9
    Toro
    Reputation: leoferus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    368
    I started at 280lbs a little over a year ago and I am down to 240lbs. I followed a similar program. One thing I would stress is that you have to think of weight loss as a lifestyle change. I am lucky that everyone in the household was supportive and made the change with me.

    We have all healthy foods. We try to eat natural foods and nothing processed. I eat often but in small portions throughout the day. Good carbs are great. Fruits can do wonders for your diet but in moderation. I have a coworker that thinks he can have as many mangoes and peaches as he pleases... goals not being met.

    We cook more than we can eat for lunch or dinner and freeze it. This keeps us from going to fast food restaurants or other not so healthy food choices when we are pressed for time. We just grab a cooler and our tupperware meals and go. We have absolutely no excuse for eating unhealthy foods.

  10. #10
    powered by peanut butter.
    Reputation: heartland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    604
    I agree with just about everything the OP has posted.

    One important tidbit that I'd would add, though, is getting the proper recovery time after efforts. Your body needs rest after large efforts, and if you push yourself to exercise everyday no matter what, you'll end up wearing yourself down and burning out.

    I read somewhere last month that Tour de France riders sleep an average of 70 hours a week. Granted, they're putting out WAY more effort than any of us, but the principle is still the same: proper rest and recuperation is essential for making the most of your exercise.

    There are different strategies out there for recovery, and I think most people will need to test to see what works best for them. Personally, I've benefited from days off the bike after long rides (over three or four hours), easy spin rides on the day after an intense ride, and (trying!) to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Having a protein drink 30 mins after exercise lasting more than an hour also seem to be helping, though I've only been doing that for a couple weeks so it's hard to say how big of an impact that's really having.
    "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits

  11. #11
    Pushing 60
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    41

    ... and if we just ... Great Advice!

    The OP made some very good, common sense recommendations that I certainly agree with. The iPhone app "LoseIt.com" was very helpful to me for seeing the damage that what seems like "normal" eating can do. Cut back a little and eat some better foods -- go ahead and have the pizza once in a while, but follow-up with a 90 minute trail ride. Thanks for the advice and comments!

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BaeckerX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,215
    Quote Originally Posted by heartland View Post
    I agree with just about everything the OP has posted.

    One important tidbit that I'd would add, though, is getting the proper recovery time after efforts. Your body needs rest after large efforts, and if you push yourself to exercise everyday no matter what, you'll end up wearing yourself down and burning out.

    I read somewhere last month that Tour de France riders sleep an average of 70 hours a week. Granted, they're putting out WAY more effort than any of us, but the principle is still the same: proper rest and recuperation is essential for making the most of your exercise.

    There are different strategies out there for recovery, and I think most people will need to test to see what works best for them. Personally, I've benefited from days off the bike after long rides (over three or four hours), easy spin rides on the day after an intense ride, and (trying!) to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Having a protein drink 30 mins after exercise lasting more than an hour also seem to be helping, though I've only been doing that for a couple weeks so it's hard to say how big of an impact that's really having.
    Good point. I didn't think to mention recovery, but it is important. Don't try and ride every single day with no rest days. That won't do you any good. You're right about the after workout protein. You should try to eat within an hour after exercise while your body is still in burn mode. Protein and carbs are good after a solid workout as long as you don't overdue it.
    Gotta get up to get down.
    LMB

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    378
    I think it is important to not over estimate how many calories you are burning. Whether it's biking, walking, running, etc. Maybe a MTB racer can come close or surpass 1000 calories per hour but the average joe is probably 500-600. Cycle computers, smartphone apps, online exercise logs, etc. In some cases they can be off by as much as 50%. People just need to be honest about their effort. I'd rather under estimate. Be sure to take into account gels, sports drinks, etc. In the grand scheme of things they still count towards your calorie totals.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: h_daddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    62
    Great Thread. It's nice hear from other riders who are interested in losing weight.
    I had heard and used all these ideas before except for #1. I've always been part of the "reward yourself with a new bike" crowd but I think you're really on to something here.
    -It is great to have a reliable machine that you are excited to ride instead of your old beater that doesn't shift right, needs the wheels trued, has a ragedy old saddle etc etc etc.
    -Spending money is a huge motivator and has always worked to get me on the right path to fitness.
    -Hanging your bike where it is constantly in sight (expecially from the chair you sit in to watch TV ) works great! I had always hung my bikes up in the garrage but a recent move forced me to put it in the living room. Usually the stifling southern Utah heat limits me to 1, maybe 2 rides per week from June through august. Since my bike became part of the living room decor, I have been braving to heat to get out about 3 times a week for the past 3 weeks.

    Great ideas. Keep it up!

  15. #15
    Dirt Deviant
    Reputation: savagemann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    3,694
    Great stuff.
    Just the motivation I needed to add to my crazy life.
    It's hard to get alot of ride time in working a busy schedule such as I do.
    I know there are people out there that are much more busy than I am, but when you only see your wife a couple hours a week, you know things are busy as hell.
    I rode 18 days in july, and after this evenings ride after work, it will be 5 rides so far in aug. Pretty good. 5 of 7 days
    The one thing I have really been lacking is some kind of food change. Not a diet, but another lifestyle change.
    I've done several of them over the last few years.........and it's time for a food change up.
    I've lost about 25 lbs since late may just with my frequency of riding, and no change in diet.
    I have a feeling now that I am going to do that, the change should be big!!!
    I'm looking to get to 260lbs as my short term goal.
    That means I need to lose 46lbs. I would like to do this before x-mas.
    Seems realistic.
    Thanks for the motivation.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  16. #16
    Toro
    Reputation: leoferus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    368
    A great point was brought up by h_daddy. I have made it a point to leave my bike somewhere in the house that would cause it to always be in view. Right now, it is in the living room in front of the TV. Guess how much use the TV sees... none. The bike? Plenty. I also take it to work. If I can get away for long enough I do a quick lap at the nearby trails. Yes, I am lucky enough to be 10 minutes away from the White Clay Park, DE. If not, I just ride around the building, practice on the curb, etc.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BaeckerX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,215
    Quote Originally Posted by h_daddy View Post
    Great Thread. It's nice hear from other riders who are interested in losing weight.
    I had heard and used all these ideas before except for #1. I've always been part of the "reward yourself with a new bike" crowd but I think you're really on to something here.
    -It is great to have a reliable machine that you are excited to ride instead of your old beater that doesn't shift right, needs the wheels trued, has a ragedy old saddle etc etc etc.
    -Spending money is a huge motivator and has always worked to get me on the right path to fitness.
    -Hanging your bike where it is constantly in sight (expecially from the chair you sit in to watch TV ) works great! I had always hung my bikes up in the garrage but a recent move forced me to put it in the living room. Usually the stifling southern Utah heat limits me to 1, maybe 2 rides per week from June through august. Since my bike became part of the living room decor, I have been braving to heat to get out about 3 times a week for the past 3 weeks.

    Great ideas. Keep it up!
    Yep. Though if you're not disciplined it could backfire, and you'll have an expensive bike that you never use. But then you'll just end up being one of those people who help us mountain bikers score awesome deals on Craigslist. Win for us riders anyway, and for the bike industry.

    I know for some people it actually helps with that "second approval" process. You just say, "Honey, I'm buying this bike. I'm going to use it, and I guarantee I'll lose X amount of weight. I really think it's time I invested in my health, and this will help me to meet my goals." Now you not only have a nice bike to eliminate excuses, but you also have someone who will be on your back if you don't use it. Once you've lost the weight, there's no incentive for her to say yes to your $4000 bike purchase. She could just as easily say "Well, you've done so well with your current bike, why do you need a new one?" If you buy the bike and then lose a bunch of weight riding it, I bet she'll see it as a more solid investment than buying one after the fact. Trust me, I once had an ex ask me why I couldn't just mountain bike in Colorado with a Walmart Special. I asked her if she really didn't like me and wanted me to die or something.

    BTW, the Feedback Sports Rakk racks are great for keeping a bike in a living space without having to lean them against the wall. Super easy to get in an out and actually makes for a clean look. I use them in my 1 bedroom apartment and it works great for my bikes.
    Gotta get up to get down.
    LMB

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    37
    I just got into mountain biking last year after a 10 year long absence from the bike world. I pushed myself into it for these exact reasons, I didn't have the fire in the gym anymore and I needed to do something that gave me the pain/excitement mixture we all know about and search for.

    The best way I have found to always remind myself to ride more is leaving it mounted up in the truck bed. I wake up in the morning take a shower, get the kids ready and walk out into the garage and there she is saying "c'mon buddy you know you want/need to". 9 times out of 10 I will turn around and grab my gear bag, completing my list of no excuses.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: donwatts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    88
    I have always had a hard time with diets. Being money conscious and not able to afford the Jenny Craig program I developed my own. I go to the grocery store and buy frozen dinners. They are portioned controlled and easy to calorie count. I keep my calories below 2000 and ride as much as possible.
    Trail Builder, Trail Rider,and Trail Protector

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DECIM8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    193
    Great thread.

    I started out at 260lbs several months ago and am at 230lbs and counting now. My goal is 210 lbs by next summer.

    Before biking I started doing P90X and got some decent results. It ended up just being too time consuming of a program and I wasn't considering diet and recover enough. Too little sleep and too LITTLE calorie intake (only ~1600 and most of that in the evening) had me burning out, sore and discouraged. I then started doing Body For Life with my wife and counting my calories. I got my calorie intake up to ~2200 a day and spread out throughout the day in 6 small nutritious meals. That worked wonders for my energy level and I can now do workouts and bike like I want. I picked my my bike again after a long hiatus and I ride a minimum of 6-12 miles every other day now and do P90X workouts on days in between and half a P90X workout after some rides. I always rest on Sunday though. I am only getting 5-6 hours of sleep per night which is my next hurtle. 2 jobs, working out and the family leaves too little time for sleep most of the time.

    The bike in the living room is a great motivator but my wife would kill me. She has "let" me (hasn't complained too much yet) keep my dumbbells in the living room. I have been leaving my helmet on my weights as well as dropping a riding glove or other gear on my keyboard or anything else I find distracting me from what I should be doing. It takes a little more time to collect all my gear for a ride but its worth it for the small reminders.

    The best thing I have done is compete with myself or my friends to keep the fun competitive edge going. Its like setting micro-goals. I use the android (and web) app endomondo which tracks my rides via gps. It lets me set up "routes" and keeps track of lap times on those routes. I am constantly trying to beat my lap times on my normal routes. I shared my routes with a friend of mine and we are going back and forth beating each other's times. We found some other shared routes in the area and though we didn't come close to beating the time we had a blast trying. Its a lot of fun and keeps the motivation high.

  21. #21
    Lord Thunderbottom
    Reputation: TitanofChaos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    674
    This thread is excellent, I also follow a lot of the items mentioned here, it's really helped, it took me a lot of time to get into all the habits but I'm on my way now, buying pants the same size as I wore in high school is an awesome feeling

    the biggest point on here I think is having a ride buddy, I've gone out a few times by myself and I'm more cautious I ride slower, I just don't push myself as much as I'd like and I probably cut out sooner as well, having someone else riding behind you and pushing you along or trying to keep up with someone is a deffinate motivator

    there's more bennefits than just motivation as well, some of the trails are pretty gnarly and you could be seriously hurt with no one around, with a ride buddy you can be a little less risk averse and push yourself to conquer new terrain

    another app plug here for calorie tracking Free Calorie Counter, Diet & Exercise Journal | MyFitnessPal.com

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: infanterene's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    128
    OP- Thanks for recommending the My Net Diet app. I have been using it for 2-3 weeks and am averaging 2600calories a day instead of my allowed 3038.

    I started at 308 and am at 301 today. I know thats not alot but I am NOT on a diet at all. I am riding 4-5 days a week because its fun, not because I need exercise. I am having a blast on the trails.

    I did buy the nice bike from the get go and I think it has helped me have more fun.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    330
    I think the best motivation to lose the extra pounds is buy sweet light parts you can't ride until you drop the pounds.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mestapho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,672
    Thanks for the tips. For me the biggest thing was cutting out the junk/fast food and soda's.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    19
    Excellent advice!

    Iíve got to loose 50 lbs more, gonna do it with a bike ! ( was 400lbs, 14 months ago, now 295.3 lbs )
    Got 7 months to do this, before next summer gets here,
    Would even be happy with 40 lbs more off, as a more realistic goal. ( 240 as final destination, btw i'm 6' 7" )

    My biggest trouble is late night eating/binging , that is when Iím gonna get on the bike & take a 30+ minute ride !
    Just like # 1 trick said, this New bike is for the final motivation Iím going to need to finish what I have started.

    Still have 2/3 weeks before Iím buying a bike, looking at different 29ers, but keeping all options open, seen some real nice city cruisers at bike shops.
    Just today, I put the horse before the carriage & bought a bike computer I found on discount !


Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Weight Lifting and Weight Loss: Possible?
    By jonw9 in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 55
    Last Post: 04-19-2011, 08:24 AM
  2. weight loss program
    By Cult Hero in forum Kona
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 09-14-2007, 05:31 PM
  3. Weight loss--How close do you stay to race weight?
    By EpicriderGMAC in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-19-2005, 01:07 PM
  4. Weight Reduction Program
    By mstaples in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 03-13-2005, 06:17 PM
  5. Extralite & Syntace Weight Loss Program
    By super_stein in forum Weight Weenies
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-17-2004, 01:27 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •