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  1. #1
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    Am I doing this right?

    I have been riding about 5 weeks now and my main goal is to lose weight....a lot of it. 40-50lbs by the end of the season. Over the past 5 weeks I have set up my ride program as well as my diet.

    Me

    Male, 43, 6'1" 230ish (started at 240)

    Bike

    2013 Specialized RockHopper expert.

    Ride

    I ride 30-45 minutes a day, everyday. I have a great trail that isabout 10km long with a 5 km road drive back. I drive this same circuit everytime and time myself. I hit it like a race every single time and go flat out to try to beat yesterday's time. My best is 14.8km in 39 minutes. My trail has a huge hill. 99% of people walk up but my last 2 times out I have conquered it.

    Diet

    I am doing a "Not raw vegan" diet. I have been counting calories and keep it under 2000/day but eating all fruit and veggies. I eat at least half of my veggies raw and steam the rest. I call this "Not raw vegan" because I also eat 1 boneless skinless chicken breast at dinner and 2 eggs at breakfast.

    Does this seem like a healthy weight loss program?
    Please advise me on anything I should do different.
    I am totally doing this on my own. This site is where I amnlearning to ride and my diet is just a guess based on internet information.

    Thanks in advance...I do realize I have lost weight but just getting my butt off the couch would do this regardless.

  2. #2
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    Here's my $.02 for what it's worth.

    Don't forget to rest. Rest is when you make gains. It won't hurt you to take a day off every few days or at least an easy day.

    Calories, don't cut them too much. You want to figure out your maintenance and shoot for around 500 calorie below that. Cut too much and you could negatively effect your energy levels making it hard to workout/ride. Too low calorie diet is also hard to maintain.

    Vegan...be careful that you are getting enough protein. I did vegan for awhile and even did full raw for about 6 months. Lost about 40 pounds. Most was muscle. It's very hard to get protein eating vegan and even more so eating raw. I think vegan is a pretty good way to eat but you will likely lose muscle to a point where your body levels out and stabilizes. For me, that was unacceptable. I'm pretty heavily muscled and I don't like the thought of losing much of that.

    Since you are eating a little meat and eggs anyways...I'd strongly suggest looking into Paleo/primal eating. It's pretty much what you are doing now but with more protein. The basis of Paleo is meat, vegetables, some fruit, little nuts and seeds, no grains, no sugar, no dairy. So basically you eat meat, veggies, fruits/nuts/seeds and you cut out the refined processed junk.

    I just look at it as a whole food diet. I pretty much just cut out pasta, breads, refined sugar, starchy foods like white potatoes and rice, milk, ect. as much as possible, I eat lots of eggs and meat though I have cut back on the meat, tons of vegetables and probably too much fruit but I don't care. I love the stuff and I'll keep eating it. I do also eat yogurt and some cheese but I've cut way back on the cheese.

    Last year I lost 80 pounds doing this and riding. I'm still trying to lose 40-50 more and I kinda let things go diet-wise. Not too bad but enough my weight loss stalled for awhile. I'm getting back on track though so I'm hoping the weight will start coming off again soon.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for your input. I will look at all of that. Congrats on your weight loss . That's huge!!

  4. #4
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    Your energy level and general health will dictate whether your diet is working for you but it sounds pretty healthy to me.

    Prior to last season I had a similar goal.
    Started the season at 6'6", 270, 52 years old. Ex football, rugby, body builder, military, etc.
    I vowed to ride every day, diet, and transform myself to cycling shape.
    I ate a less healthy (mostly protein) diet than you've listed but I did keep my calories less than 1500 per day and gave up most alcohol. That was the toughest part...
    Picked up a trainer to work out with over the winter and started my season this year at 185 lbs which was too light for my frame so bulked up to 205 with some upper body work and a small change in my diet.
    It's easy to put the weight back on so I give myself only a 5 lb gain limit then go back to the 1500 calorie diet to shed it off.
    I don't know what other advice I can give except keep working on it, you'll find what works specifically for you.

  5. #5
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    Being my loss of almost 100lbs in the last 2 yrs I can tell u biggest thing, processed sugary fatty greasy crap has to go.

    Fish a big plus for protien. Also don't eliminate red meat all together, if uve been eating it all along then stop ur body will get pissed. Keep it leaner cuts and not often. carbs limit and keep to whole grain stuff minimal ingredients.

    But as said only ull know what works best but natural is always best regardless
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  6. #6
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    Do you think I would be better off riding longer periods (2hrs+) with a rest day in between rides?

  7. #7
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    I'd mix it up. My riding last year was 95% road so I was doing 30-70 miles at a time but only a few times per week or as often as I was able. Long rides are great for a good calorie burn. Short intense rides are great for conditioning and cardio and of course you'll burn calories too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

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    I'm not a huge believer in temporary diets. They get the weight off, but they don't keep it off. Permanent lifestyle changes seem to be a better solution, IMO.

    So from my perspective, whether or not you're 'doing it right' depends on whether or not you want to make this new lifestyle permanent. For me, what you describe would be much too extreme and I would constantly look forward to being off of those dietary restrictions. But that's me, you have your own preferences so you have to decide for yourself.

  9. #9
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    That's why I like the Paleo style eating. For me at least, it's sustainable and not nearly as restrictive as people think. Even the Paleo experts say that eating 80% Paleo will get you 90% of the results that someone 100% Paleo gets.

    Yeah, I miss eating certain things and to be honest, if I get a super craving for something like pizza, I'll just eat some pizza. A couple slices isn't the end of the world. The key is to not give in to those cravings often and to make sure that you go back to eating properly immediately after. Unless a person is raised eating super clean, for most of us it's difficult to maintain a 100% clean way of living. A "cheat" now and then can often times be all it takes to keep us on track. But on the other hand, for some people a cheat is all it takes to derail them and send them back down the wrong path. I guess you just have to decide what kind of person you are and eat accordingly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  10. #10
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    This is very much a lifestyle change. I don't intend to count every calorie after I reach my goal but if my pants get tight I will get back on board. Once I hit my goal weight it will be time to add muscle and my diet will change again. Even just sticking to real food will make for a better me.
    I looked more at paleo. Looks pretty straight forward and I am having a hard time keeping my protien level up. Might tweek my shopping list a bit.
    Thanks for everyones input. Did my 40min again today. I am truly enjoying the riding.

  11. #11
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    Yeah, sounds like if you increase the protein some but more or less maintain the way you are eating, you'll be on the right path. Even add in a protein shake once a day would be a quick and easy way to get a good dose of protein. Personally, I shoot for 75-100g a day. I do this with a combo of meat/fish, eggs, and protein powder. Then whatever I get from the plant based food I eat is just bonus. Like stated, diets fail. New eating habits have to be formed in order to be successful long term. Diets are ok for trimming down for a beach vacation or because you are a competitive bodybuilder or need to squeeze into a tux/dress for a special occasion, but for those of us that are doing it for health reasons...diets are not the answer. Sounds like you're on your way to success, just keep it up and when that weight starts melting off and the riding gets easier/more fun, you'll be even more motivated.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  12. #12
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    Great advice so far! One thing I would add is working in some weight lifting. Building more muscle will burn more fat…also make you ride stronger.

    About a year ago I started lifting weights again and especially leg work. Single leg squats etc…. took my riding to a whole new level.

  13. #13
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    I was considering some upper body lifing. Not sure how recovery days would affect my riding?

  14. #14
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    Might effect it for a while/few weeks
    I would change up the riding some to avoid plateauing. You're still burning calories, but not improving condition as much after a while. Some harder, some longer
    Body weight exercises are best/most effective until it's no longer enough. And it's a good idea because you'll burn calories while doing it, while recovering from it, and muscle speeds your metab, even at rest.
    If you're loosing 2-3 lbs a week you're doing great. Don't make anymore improvements until your progress slows. Leave yourself plenty of wiggle room for improvements, and it also plays into that lifestyle thing wisely mentioned above.
    Another thing that is effective for speeding metab and keeping you adequately fueled for exercise is to split your days rations into more meals per day.
    Some weeks you lose more then other even when everything is the same, just the way it is. Don't live by the scale, better by how your clothes fit and your energy level. Muscle weights more than fat and the scale knows not.
    Good for you and good luck
    "Tortured by mental illness" ~monogod

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terranaut View Post
    I was considering some upper body lifing. Not sure how recovery days would affect my riding?
    BTW sounds like your plan is going great, nice job!

    Recovery days are actually where you get stronger.

    Think of the rides (or workouts) as you telling your muscles they need to get stronger (which is why most weight lifting has you use a muscle till it fails, to make that 'you must adapt' message to your muscle loud and clear). The recovery time (hours or days) is your muscles actually getting stronger (repairing the damage you did and then adding strength so they won't damage as easily next time). How long of recovery depends on how much muscle damage you did, and the muscles will tell you if they aren't ready for more (by being OMG sore).

    So its a cycle of beat up muscles, let them heal, beat them up, let them heal...rinse repeat..

    One thing that numerous vegan athletes have said is they recover much faster eating vegan than what they were eating before. My completely biased opinion is that is because meat and dairy are shown to cause inflammation in the body, but training hard causes inflammation too (natural healing of all those muscle tears), so my guess is inflammation overload.

    If you can ride that hard day after day then your doing just fine, keep it up.

  16. #16
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    awesome analogy ^
    "Tortured by mental illness" ~monogod

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    Might effect it for a while/few weeks
    I would change up the riding some to avoid plateauing. You're still burning calories, but not improving condition as much after a while. Some harder, some longer
    Body weight exercises are best/most effective until it's no longer enough. And it's a good idea because you'll burn calories while doing it, while recovering from it, and muscle speeds your metab, even at rest.
    If you're loosing 2-3 lbs a week you're doing great. Don't make anymore improvements until your progress slows. Leave yourself plenty of wiggle room for improvements, and it also plays into that lifestyle thing wisely mentioned above.
    Another thing that is effective for speeding metab and keeping you adequately fueled for exercise is to split your days rations into more meals per day.
    Some weeks you lose more then other even when everything is the same, just the way it is. Don't live by the scale, better by how your clothes fit and your energy level. Muscle weights more than fat and the scale knows not.
    Good for you and good luck
    "Body weight exercises are best/most effective until it's no longer enough. And it's a good idea because you'll burn calories while doing it, while recovering from it, and muscle speeds your metab, even at rest."

    Exactly....I dropped from 235 to 185 by eating right and lifting weights.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terranaut View Post
    I hit it like a race every single time and go flat out to try to beat yesterday's time.
    If you go balls out every time a few times a week, you will hurt yourself at some point. Then off the bike and weight will start creeping up again.

    Go hard on the uphill, that's where you burn most of the calories in the ride. Keep it safe on the downhill. Instead of taking time of your entire ride, use an app like strava that breaks your ride to segments. You can see your time progression on the uphill sections alone, which is what you really want. You don't loose a lot of weight by going a few seconds faster downhill. Timing your entire ride forces you to bomb downhill to keep your time, which is not correlated with your training goals.

  19. #19
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    You're riding too much. Take some days off and go for longer rides in different places with different people. I'm vegan and never count calories. It's one of the benefits of a plant diet if done right, I believe Oreos are vegan, as well as, most beer. Skip the processed foods and soft drinks. Raw vegan is hardcore in the long term. Regular vegan plus a cheat day once in a while is much more successful long term. Protein on no raw shouldn't be an issue.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terranaut
    I ride 30-45 minutes a day, everyday. I have a great trail that isabout 10km long with a 5 km road drive back. I drive this same circuit everytime and time myself. I hit it like a race every single time and go flat out to try to beat yesterday's time. My best is 14.8km in 39 minutes. My trail has a huge hill. 99% of people walk up but my last 2 times out I have conquered it.
    it's more about getting your heartrate into the correct zone than just going out and "hitting it". you will realize more weight loss if you increase the time slightly as well to 50-70 minutes of aerobic exercise in the correct zone.

    something else to remember is that the body becomes adept very quickly to repetitive motions/exercise. this is why most people adopting an exercise program will see an initial drop followed by an almost immediate plateau with little to no improvement. interval training will help to drop excess weight, improve cardiac conditioning, and increase endurance. so incorporating HR zone and interval training will exponentially increase both your efforts and results.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terranaut
    I am doing a "Not raw vegan" diet. I have been counting calories and keep it under 2000/day but eating all fruit and veggies. I eat at least half of my veggies raw and steam the rest. I call this "Not raw vegan" because I also eat 1 boneless skinless chicken breast at dinner and 2 eggs at breakfast.
    well, since you asked for input i'd point out that's not any kind of vegan diet because it includes eggs and meat. a vegan diet is one that is free of all animal flesh (meat/fish/poultry), animal secretions (dairy), embryos (eggs), and by products (isolated whey protein, etc.).

    that being said, it sounds like you've made a drastic change in diet which for most americans is a good thing. however, if your diet is primarily vegan there is no need to count calories. a varied vegan diet will result in all of the carbs, protein, amino acids, etc. that your body needs to run and rebuild/repair itself. and there are plenty of good supplements like spiru-tein and other things if you're concerned about it while educating yourself on a proper diet. there are also several good books i could recommend as well if you're interested.

    i'm not saying you are wrong to eat meat/dairy/eggs but i'd suggest drastically limiting them. instead of having two eggs every morning perhaps have them once a week. a tofu/veggie scramble looks very much like scrambled eggs in both color and texture, has WAY more usable protein, and lacks the detrimental consequences eggs and animal-based protein have on the body.

    instead of having meat every day at dinner limit this intake to 3x/weekly. this way not only can you afford to eat types of meat that are much, much leaner but again you're not constantly bombarding your body with meat and the accompanying detrimental impact.

    the most important thing is not to "go on a diet" but rather to make a "lifestyle change" by adopting a diet (i.e. way of eating) that you will stick with long term. simple changes in diet such as a drastic reduction in meat/dairy will greatly reduce the risk of developing a lifestyle disease like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.

    just keep with it, don't let the scale dictate your success/failure, and keep your eye on the prize. it's common to see huge weight loss at first, then a "stall", then much smaller changes over time. in years of working with people as both a nurse and a lifestyle coach i can tell you that the more meat/dairy is taken out of the equation to fast the results and benefits seem to come.

    make diet/activity changes you can and WILL live with and stick to. have realistic expectations that this is a life-long lifestyle modification rather than a short term "diet". have realistic expectations that just because you may not be seeing drastic number changes on the scale that there is, in fact, great benefit being reaped from your change. weight loss you can see on the inside, but the benefit to your cardiovascular system such as reduction of plaque and softening of the arteries you cannot.

    good on ya for making the change. not only are you adding years to your life, but life to your years.
    "The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigb2000 View Post
    I'm vegan and never count calories. It's one of the benefits of a plant diet if done right, I believe Oreos are vegan, as well as, most beer. Skip the processed foods and soft drinks. Raw vegan is hardcore in the long term. Regular vegan plus a cheat day once in a while is much more successful long term. Protein on no raw shouldn't be an issue.
    same here. i don't count calories/fat/protein/carbs either, and i eat a LOT. adequate carbs/protein for an athlete on a proper vegan diet isn't an issue at all. as you mentioned, oreos and most beers are vegan but that doesn't mean they're therefore intrinsically good for the body. a varied vegan diet will result in more than adequate and balanced nutrition without the need to count servings or calories. you can literally eat all you want and get the right kind of carbs your body runs on and protein it needs for recovery.

    as another poster mentioned both meat and dairy are irritants to the body. that doesn't mean that one can't see results with protein from animal-based sources, but it does mean that it further stresses the body and will make it more susceptible to illness. meat/dairy cause the body to become more acidic than alkaline which is not a good thing. diseases (especially cancer) thrive in an acidic environment. dairy intake also leads to reduced bone density and weak teeth and can result in insulin dependent diabetes, as well as coronary damage due to the cholesterol. so USE SPARINGLY if at all.

    other areas of huge empty calories in a vegan diet are white rice, processed sugars, and enriched flours. whether vegan or not these should be avoided as they do the body absolutely no good. brown rice and unprocessed whole grains are the way to go. basically, if it's processed/packaged/boxed it should pretty much be avoided.

    in the end, though, it's a diet/lifestyle change rather than a short-term diet that will result in the best overall health and fitness for a lifetime. benefits are loss of extra weight without even having to try, more vitality, more endurance, higher libido, and shorter recovery times.
    "The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod View Post
    a tofu/veggie scramble looks very much like scrambled eggs in both color and texture, has WAY more usable protein,
    Pretty sure eggs are considered to be one of if not the most complete and bioavailable source of protein.

    I also find it funny that vegans are often so anti-animal product but go to great lengths to produce products that mimic meat and animal foods.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    Yeah, sounds like if you increase the protein some but more or less maintain the way you are eating, you'll be on the right path. Even add in a protein shake once a day would be a quick and easy way to get a good dose of protein. Personally, I shoot for 75-100g a day. I do this with a combo of meat/fish, eggs, and protein powder. Then whatever I get from the plant based food I eat is just bonus. Like stated, diets fail. New eating habits have to be formed in order to be successful long term. Diets are ok for trimming down for a beach vacation or because you are a competitive bodybuilder or need to squeeze into a tux/dress for a special occasion, but for those of us that are doing it for health reasons...diets are not the answer. Sounds like you're on your way to success, just keep it up and when that weight starts melting off and the riding gets easier/more fun, you'll be even more motivated.
    Once again great, well intended and informed, practical advice from Nubster.
    "Tortured by mental illness" ~monogod

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    Pretty sure eggs are considered to be one of if not the most complete and bioavailable source of protein.

    I also find it funny that vegans are often so anti-animal product but go to great lengths to produce products that mimic meat and animal foods.
    yup, you're right
    eggs - AskMen

    yup, right again
    Healthy Protein Food Sources - WebMD: Eggs, Milk, Cheese, Pork, and More
    "Tortured by mental illness" ~monogod

  25. #25
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    I really appreciate the effort you guys are making to give me great information. So I took the weekend off of riding. Tonight when I go out I am going to go for longer. I am adding 2 protien shakes a day, cutting my eggs to 1 and going to eat fish every other day at supper. I weighed myself last night and am down to 220lbs. My stomach fat feels seperate fron the rest of me, almost loose if you know what I mean. I am going to get a heart rate monitor and ride every other day for longer periods. On days off from riding my oldest son and I are going to hit the gym for an upper body workout. Hopefully this change now will keep me from plateauing and keep the fat coming off. This is a genuine lifestyle change for me.
    Thanks for your support.

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