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  1. #1
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    Burning Stored Fat and Climbing Ability / Performance : Question

    So, I am a big guy. About 2 years ago I was about 250/255 lbs. I got down to 210 about 1 year ago and I have held steady at that weight for a while now.

    My first race is this weekend and about 3 weeks ago I had just got back from vactioning at Cedar Point Ohio and I weighed 213 lbs... I was disgusted by this so I figured I would try to get under 205 before the race. Good news is I am 204 this morning. But the bad news is, my climbing performance/times have been crap the past 2 weeks... My diet the past 3 weeks has been pretty much this.

    breakfast -- cup black beans, 2 strips turkey bacon, 2 eggs.
    lunch -- steamed brocolli or steamed brussel sprouts.
    dinner -- small portion elk/venison chilli, fruit

    I would have to say about 1200 cals per day.

    I plan on carbing up before the race.

    Can I assume my lack of energy is due to my diet the past 3 weeks ? Damn I hope my legs come back if load up on some carbs the day before...
    fat old man ... fueled by Mexican pastries....

  2. #2
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    Burning off of fat is a process the body does need to learn - nowhere did you say how much water is being consumed Daily; Water should always be taken along with any changes in Diet if not just being a normal routine.

    Having your Legs return to form will involve a lot of strengthening of them by exercise, after rides or anything just as demanding is a great time to load up on proteins. That is the reward to working your muscles to the bone.

    The Diet there does appear lite in overall power-food type stuff, it's all up to you really.
    I like Sand - I don't like Witches.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haint View Post
    Burning off of fat is a process the body does need to learn - nowhere did you say how much water is being consumed Daily; Water should always be taken along with any changes in Diet if not just being a normal routine.

    Having your Legs return to form will involve a lot of strengthening of them by exercise, after rides or anything just as demanding is a great time to load up on proteins. That is the reward to working your muscles to the bone.

    The Diet there does appear lite in overall power-food type stuff, it's all up to you really.
    It sounds like you assume I am not exercising I ride about 60 miles a week with about 6000 feet of climbing... anyway, you did give me good advice about the proteins, thanks very much.
    fat old man ... fueled by Mexican pastries....

  4. #4
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Your body STOPPED burning fat....

    You are officially now in starve mode. Your body needs a 2500-calorie+ refeeding to restore your energy levels to normal and to re-ignite your slowed metabolism.

    Happens to me a lot....until I up the caloric intake again.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    It sounds like you assume I am not exercising I ride about 60 miles a week with about 6000 feet of climbing... anyway, you did give me good advice about the proteins, thanks very much.
    What I'd meant was to have you recognize your body is starting to feel a switch-over from burning food being repeatedly ingested, to any fat-reserves you already have. And those which get bolstered by slight over-eating.

    Leg strength -- it's difficult to buildup at first: starting with diet is a better way to strength train. Cycling is logically the better way to get stronger because of the fun factor and the ability to deviate from routine -- Gear selection along w/ of course terrain.

    If truly serious about slimming down/building core strength, and also maintaining a better diet - read about Creatine and how it is produced in a smaller scale by the Body. There are refined versions of it; using this to supplement what Fat Reserves being burned-off have as energy during very demanding exercise & sport - it's beneficial if a healthy diet is put into use.

    It's not a Hormone, nor is it a steroid. It's in a lot of natural-protein like Meat's and Poultry's, again though just what's being naturally produced by the Body.

    Give it a try, it seems like there's a great start to your effort here.
    I like Sand - I don't like Witches.

  6. #6
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    Agreed your body is kind of freaking out. I'm a female that doesn't get much exercise (long commute, sedentary job) and I need more than 1200 calories a day. For a bigger guy, that's simply really not enough. I don't know your height/weight/BMR (ok, you said 204), but I would think if you're riding regularly you should be at least getting 1800-2000 calories a day if not more.

    You can eat less and try to lose weight, but don't expect any performance benefits, gains, etc. It isn't going to happen.

    If you want to weigh around 200lbs, do the BMR math and figure out what someone your height would need to eat to maintain weight calorie-wise, and shoot for that...and then add at least a post-workout meal/snack to help replace your glycogen stores after you ride/train. Your body can't repair itself or get stronger if it's in starvation and you're working it hard. That's fine if you know and expect that, but racing in that mode is going to be difficult.

    I wouldn't "carb up" the day before a race. Focus on healthy carbs two days out from the race, and just eat healthy and maintain hydration the day before. Have a healthy breakfast with good carbs (whatever works for you) the morning of the race.

    IMO, I'd have the fruit in the morning with your eggs and bacon, and if you have to eat the beans, do that with lunch or dinner. You need protein at lunch. Aside from maybe the turkey bacon, you aren't really getting much healthy fat(s) in your diet at all.

    Is your diet based on where you live that that is what is available?

    Try to maybe mix up your protein sources?

    If you've got access to avocados, olives, small amounts of raw nuts (almonds, pistachios, etc.) have a handful a day.

    For healthy carbs, try baking or roasting (I like spicy food so I do cinnamon and red pepper flakes with sea salt) yams and/or sweet potatoes. Great PWO eats.

    Good luck with the race and on keeping up with the nutrition. Sounds like you've found good success so far!

  7. #7
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    well, this has been a very helpful thread. Thanks everyone.

    1) I certainly am finding out what it's like to be in starvation mode.
    2) I ate a potato egg and cheese burrito for breakfast and dinner yesterday. And boy do I feel different.
    3) We'll know if my legs return by tomorrow. It it was my diet causing my lack of energy.
    4) After the race I am going back to my old diet and I may increase protein more. But I was getting very good results and I don't mind my performance going down if I am burning fat. I just don't want my great climbing skills to be absent from race day.
    fat old man ... fueled by Mexican pastries....

  8. #8
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    by the way, I had my body fat percentage determined here.
    Bod Pod Scottsdale AZ - Body Fat Testing Phoenix, Arizona

    came up 24%, so I have 50 pounds of fat carrying around. I can afford to probably loose about 1/2 of that which would put me at about 180 lbs. I would really have to get used to starvation mode to get that low... I think...
    fat old man ... fueled by Mexican pastries....

  9. #9
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    You definitely need to up the calories, at that rate of ingestion you're not only burning fat but also muscle. Carbs are also needed, they're the main source of energy that fuels the body. You can lose weight eating a healthy balanced diet of carbs, protein and fat. I recommend reading "Race Weight" it's a great book with a lot of useful information geared towards endurance athletes.

    Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance (The Racing Weight Series): Matt Fitzgerald: 9781934030998: Amazon.com: Books
    "The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks."
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  10. #10
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    IMHO you feel weak due to having too few calories. I would bump up the calorie count a little bit.
    Less carbs (beans), more protein, more fat, add another serving of low calorie high nutrient vegetable like leafy greens.

    If you are going on a low calorie diet, you have to make sure you get enough micronutrients for the calories you do get. Don't waste your calories on beans.

  11. #11
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    Why not beans.
    I'm afraid of heights so a 26'r fits me to a T.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Settertude View Post
    Why not beans.
    Because if you eat MORE than 239 beans.....you get too farty(240).
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  13. #13
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    You need more calories. You need to find your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and then add the correct amount of calories for your daily activity, then subtract 500 or so. Being in a 500 calorie deficit will allow you to lose a pound or so a week, which is a very do-able scenario that you will not notice a huge difference in your energy levels. But to fuel racing you will need to eat carbs, there is no way around it, and carbs equal higher calories. Try and fuel up with plain old oatmeal at least two hours before you train or race. You have to fuel the fire if you want to perform. While your body will burn fat for fuel, it is not the optimal energy source.

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    I deserved that.
    Thanks for the chuckle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Because if you eat MORE than 239 beans.....you get too farty(240).
    I'm afraid of heights so a 26'r fits me to a T.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigstr View Post
    You need more calories. You need to find your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and then add the correct amount of calories for your daily activity, then subtract 500 or so. Being in a 500 calorie deficit will allow you to lose a pound or so a week, which is a very do-able scenario that you will not notice a huge difference in your energy levels. But to fuel racing you will need to eat carbs, there is no way around it, and carbs equal higher calories. Try and fuel up with plain old oatmeal at least two hours before you train or race. You have to fuel the fire if you want to perform. While your body will burn fat for fuel, it is not the optimal energy source.
    True - stored body fat is a very poor source of sustained, high-performance energy, at all. Being a rancid type oil - fat simply lacks fast-acting Glycogen, the highest-quality muscle fuel around. It's Primordial purpose(fat storage) is to keep the body alive, performing the most rudimentary, basic functions of life; foraging, eating, sleeping, breathing, etc.

    My avid cycling doctor told me body fat utilization only occurs, up to one hour of easy cardio. Any more intense or longer than that on an empty stomach(above 160 bpm heart rate).....and the body starts catabolizing muscle tissue, to fuel itself.
    Last edited by Zachariah; 08-24-2013 at 02:44 PM.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  16. #16
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    Its hard to improve performance and lose more than a pound or two a week. Play to your strengths and worry about the weight secondarily imo. Being weakened due to sub par nutition is going to affect your results far more than the extra pounds. The advise about basal metabolic rate and adjusting calories tailored to activity is right on the money.

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    I'm finding that since back on the bike after 12 years and at near 58, I can't get away with what I used to. I've always been a health food nut--ever since growing wheat grass on the window sills and grinding our own wheat and crazy stuff like that--but I'm finding that I need to have my diet more dialed into riding schedule that when I was younger.
    I reckon that is a good thing. I think I have more to learn in an area that I thought I had knocked.
    Just goes to show ya.
    I'm afraid of heights so a 26'r fits me to a T.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
    Less carbs

    If you are going on a low calorie diet, you have to make sure you get enough micronutrients for the calories you do get. Don't waste your calories on beans.
    There is nothing wrong with taking in carbs, it's the main source of fuel our bodies burn for energy. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with eating beans for losing weight. Eating a healthy well balanced diet will give you all the macronutrients you need and help you to lose weightwithout starving yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibadfish View Post
    There is nothing wrong with taking in carbs, it's the main source of fuel our bodies burn for energy. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with eating beans for losing weight. Eating a healthy well balanced diet will give you all the macronutrients you need and help you to lose weightwithout starving yourself.
    You can over-carb your diet. Doing so under the guise like your post follows (although applicable at another point in dieting/training) places the body in a sugar-lockout. Sugars and carbs have the same base-value for nutrition, only each effect digestion differently; it's the non-sugar'd Carbs which introduce healthy digestion, and sugar which masks this effect and puts a cavity in your appetite.

    Until any bad-fat reserves are purged through improved eating and healthy exercise, that 'free-lunch' of a power carb meal can come with setbacks. Attaining fat-burning mode is a state of constant maintenance, but the knowing of what is being eaten is always good, all the time.
    I like Sand - I don't like Witches.

  20. #20
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    I'd like to hear more about That fat burning mode/regimen.
    I'm afraid of heights so a 26'r fits me to a T.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Settertude View Post
    Why not beans.
    Because if you are going to under-calorie yourself on purpose, then you may as well get as many micro-nutrients as possible. To some degree, I think it must be the body realizing that as long as it gets enough of these vitamins, anti-oxidents, etc, then it doesn't mind too much on lacking the macro nutrients like carbs, fat, protein, etc. See, for example, how "not horribly" (note I did not say "well") people do when they go on their veggie juice fast. This is for short term weight loss, though.

    So in terms of nutrients per calorie (e.g. the Whole Foods endorsed Andi Index), leafy greens are waaaaaay better than beans.

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    Stuff to ponder. Thanks.
    I'm afraid of heights so a 26'r fits me to a T.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Settertude View Post
    I'd like to hear more about That fat burning mode/regimen.
    Fat-Burning Man by Abel James: Paleo Fat Loss, Paleo Success Stories, and Health

    which is a subset of the Paleo Diet school

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    "The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haint View Post
    You can over-carb your diet. Doing so under the guise like your post follows (although applicable at another point in dieting/training) places the body in a sugar-lockout. Sugars and carbs have the same base-value for nutrition, only each effect digestion differently; it's the non-sugar'd Carbs which introduce healthy digestion, and sugar which masks this effect and puts a cavity in your appetite.

    Until any bad-fat reserves are purged through improved eating and healthy exercise, that 'free-lunch' of a power carb meal can come with setbacks. Attaining fat-burning mode is a state of constant maintenance, but the knowing of what is being eaten is always good, all the time.
    I'm not talking about eating an abundance of carbs, I'm talking about a moderate intake of carbs. A well balanced diet of carbs,protein and fat is recommended for better endurance and weight loss in endurance athletes. Even a diet of consuming too much protein has its ill effects. The real harm comes from diets high in sugar, refined grains and processed foods. If you maintain a healthy well balanced diet of whole foods you can keep up your endurance and gain lean body mass.

    I also completely agree the only way to ensure a quality diet is to keep track of what you eat. It doesn't have to be intense as counting calories, just keeping track of what you ingest will help you see if your deity is healthy or not.

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