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  1. #1
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    weight loss through mountain biking

    Hey everyone,

    For the past 8 years I have been fighting a huge struggle with weight gain, making it virtually impossible to ride like I used to, or even complete every day tasks like I did when I was younger. It has hit the point where I am miserable with my weight and I need to put an end to it. I have never been one to hit the gym (although I have to now), but instead, I have always put my energy into biking these killer trails around the pacific northwest. Currently I am 275 pounds 6'1" and my goal is to get down to less than 225 through mostly biking with strength training and managing my food intake as well. In addition to tracking my ups and downs of this brutal process, I will also be writing reviews on the products I have found that cater to the heavier aggressive rider in hopes of finding products that can withstand this journey with me.

    I wanted to share the start of my blog (I will be posting on it weekly sharing my progress, my screw ups and all in all my love for mountain biking) Jumping Into Weightloss- How I plan to lose over 50 pounds by shredding on mountain bikes in the Pacific NW | "Shedding weight through real blood sweat and tears"

    I was also wanting your feedback along the way. Not sure if anyone here even does blogging but thought I would throw it out here.

    Thanks,

    Cody

  2. #2
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    The only way to really do it right and sustainably is to change your diet AND lifestyle. I was about 60 pounds over weight a little over 2 years ago. Then I watched the Ted Talks video from Dr. Terry Wahls because my mother has M.S. I decided to give a "paleo" lifestyle a try and I will never go back. The first time I got on a bike in the last 15 years was to commute to work and there is no way in hell I would have ever even attempted it had I not already lost over half of that weight because I cut out ALL processed foods and gluten. My body and my brain thank me every day. The paleo diet gets a bad wrap because many people believe it's just the next fad. I don't know how you could call eating lots of vegetables, fruit and quality meat and fats a "fad diet".

    And the best part is I eat as much as I want as long as it's quality food and not processed crap. Now that I commute on the bike I have to eat about 3000-4000 calories every day just to maintain my current weight. So yes, I will take a second steak and some more cauliflower and please pass the Kerrygold!

    Sorry for the rant but any time someone speaks about weight loss I feel the need to give my $.02. I've never been this healthy in my life. I played 3 sports at a big Texas school in high school but that 18 year old has nothing on this 30 year old.

  3. #3
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    Weight loss is all about intake, period. Everybody has a different opinion on how to change your eating style. Bottom line is everything else you do compared to managing your food intake, is a distant second.

  4. #4
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    I don't know about the whole Paleo vs This or that thing, everyone's bodies are different and react differently to various food types and diets, I do however know that it's a very easy goal you're setting yourself, not even slightly impossible - How do I know this, because I have a friend who started biking with me 2 years ago this month and he weighed in around 265-270lbs and is 6ft. By the end of the first year he'd dropped around 35-40lbs from riding alone, but couldn't easily drop more, then he changed his diet and concentrated on eating better and healthier and now I think his total weight loss has been about 55-60lbs. Good luck, don't be lazy and you will do it, first thing to do is cut out all sweet/soft drinks.
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  5. #5
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    weight loss through mountain biking

    I lost 30 lbs Mtn biking & cutting carbs. When I am not on the bike I use a Concept2 rower.

  6. #6
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    If you can find a way to change your habits, it will set you up for the rest of your life. Here's what worked for me:

    1) Commitment. I had weight loss in my "goals" for over a decade before I finally set down to take action. Committing to it with someone else (in my case it was my wife) was key to getting me started. I told her about what I wanted to do and she agreed to be there to support me.

    2) Feedback. I weighed myself every day, and logged the results. Whatever system works for you, do it.

    3) Notice, reflect, share. I paid attention to the feedback, noticed what was working for me and reflected on that with my wife. We captured what worked, tossed out what didn't, and in the end we had a healthier lifestyle.

    Over the course of a year I lost 40lbs and over the next year I lost 10 more, and I've been stable since. The changes I've made have stuck -- I don't think that would be possible with a hardcore on/off "diet" in the typical sense. I'm also a lot happier. I didn't have to stop eating the foods that I liked, and I've added things that I didn't eat before. Biking was a big part of it.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
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    Will power. It's so hard to say no to a cupcake or some ice cream or a Ho-Ho. Having the ability to say no to those things is huge. Portion control is also huge. Drink a LOT of water.
    Diet and exercise are the two biggest things to change and also two of the hardest things to change. If i rode as much as I wanted to, I'd be 20 pounds lighter. I don't have the time, so I try to exercise, but it doesn't always work. Good luck! Keep us posted.

  8. #8
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    Sounds like you have a great plan. I would suggest focusing heavily on your diet by initially cutting out all processed food, period. Don't play the silly "reward" game with yourself i.e. "If I follow the rules for three days, I get to eat what I want on the fourth". This isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle change and doing this will only sabotage your efforts. You will be shocked how far this alone will take you. This is the most difficult yet the most beneficial change you can make. Once you do that focus on eating nutritionally dense foods. When counseling patients on weight loss I see the most drastic improvement once they have this initial step.

    Good luck on reaching your goals, it's all up to you.
    I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I just hate vegetables.

  9. #9
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    Good for you! Increasing your activity alone will make a big difference. Then start cleaning up your diet....drop soda, junk food and focus on healthier alternatives...
    There are sites that help track your intake and output - FitDay - Free Weight Loss and Diet Journal is one I've used and it helps to keep track of what you're doing.

    Good luck!

  10. #10
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    I haven't read the responses from everyone else so I can't weigh in on them, I just want to let you know what I went through. So I used to be in great shape until at some point I got a desk job (hated it), I love food so naturally I started gaining weight. I'm 5'11" and I got to 295 lbs. When I realized I was 5 lbs away from 300 it brought a tear to my eye. My buddies invited me to go ride one day, I felt sick a mile into the flat ground ride. Eventually got into a little downhill action, fell in love with it and decided no way could I stay at this weight and be at the very back end all the time. Long story short in no time at all I got to 225 lbs. Been riding ever since and I'll never stop. I'm still bigger than a lot of my buddies but there's only one of them that can beat me now on the trail. Riding saved me and pushed me to get in better shape, I started eating better because I wanted to not because I felt I had to and I even started running on off days. Good luck on your adventure, you're starting out 20 lbs lighter than me so I know you got it.

  11. #11
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    Have you ever seen Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead? The guy was bigger than you and lost 100 lbs in 60 days with a diet change. Not only that but he cured himself of a disease he had been struggling with and came off all prescription meds... No more high blood pressure or cholesterol.

  12. #12
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    There are some great responses in here. It tickles me to see people agreeing with the lifestyle adjustment. It doesn't matter which lifestyle you choose as long as it is healthy and SUSTAINABLE. Best of luck to you and please keep us updated!

  13. #13
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    gjsfgj
    Last edited by tjchad; 03-25-2015 at 02:04 PM.

  14. #14
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    Good for you on this. There are a lot of good responses here so look around and keep trying until you find something that works. You can go more structured and completely overhaul your lifestyle but even if you do a less formal method go for it! This could be as simple as walking a few miles per day and cutting out some carbs and eating healthy. Ride your bike as much as you can and stay with it. Just remember, don't get discouraged. If you fall off the healthy lifestyle get back with it.
    Let's eat Ted
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  15. #15
    I didn't do it
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    You might want to check out the Clyde forum. I don't know if they necessarily talk fitness over there but you might find some good info on bike issues that bigger dudes might encounter.

    Clydesdales/Tall Riders
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  16. #16
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    I agree with most that's been said here. It's also very difficult to lose weight by mountain biking, it's just not intensive enough. Even when it seems intensive, it's not nearly the same bang for the buck as running. What really has to happen is you have to get your metabolism up and your intake down. Regular exercise is the key, and it doesn't have to be anything fancy. That means every day doing exercise, whether it's a 2hr ride or 1hr muscle workout+1hr walk. Even better is to combine this with riding to work, that really gets the metabolism up there. Don't take "off" days, just do something different. It's more about this than it is riding "real hard", I lost 60lbs, but it was through eating right and doing exercise, any kind of exercise, regularly.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  17. #17
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    I agree with everything that has been said. In addition I would say that nutrition is the most important, followed by good sleep. I've also found that optimizing the absorption of nutrients has made a tremendous difference in my energy, immune system, mental performance , and general athleticism. I've converted quite a few of my biking friends to a leafy green diet and all have noticed significant improvement in all of the above. There are many options out there but these two are my favorite:


    Amazon.com: Vibrant Health Maximum Vibrance Digestive Supplement, 24.81 Ounces: Health & Personal Care

    Amazon.com: Vibrant Health Green Vibrance Family Size Power - 60 Day Supply, 25.61-Ounce: Health & Personal Care

    Good luck with your goals and riding.

  18. #18
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    Almost four years ago I was 235 lb (6'-0") and the doc said I needed blood pressure meds, etc. even tho I was working out ~4 days/week. As a choice, he recommended I read the South Beach diet book. I chose the lifestyle route and am 184 lb now and don't need any kind of meds (44 years old).

    The thing the South Beach plan does is it treats sugar/carbs as a chemical addiction; you do a 2 week period of extremely low carbs to get unhooked from the addiction. Once your head is clear, you re-introduce carbs (healthy ones only) back into your diet. If you get strong cravings to eat sugar/starches, you can't just decide to "cut back": it's impossible. It's like telling an alcoholic to have 1 beer a day. You have to go cold turkey to get free of it, then you can make rational choices.

    There are lots of ways to do it, but this plan worked for me. It was science-based and treats sugar as an addiction (which it definitely was for me). Good luck.
    whatever...

  19. #19
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    Interested and subscribe..

  20. #20
    Vincit qui patitur
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    Good luck!!!
    I too was 265# December of 2011.
    I started riding paths on a beach cruiser then 4 months later I started riding a 29er MTB.
    Hadn't ridden MTB in over 20 years. Technology changed so much and I started to have a lot of fun. A few months later I bought a better bike and got serious about riding and race XC for fun and to see what I could do. The races are for me and only me. I never expect to finish top but just to finish as best as I can.
    I am now down to 230 and I can fit into jeans I haven't worn in over 2 years. I feel better than I have felt in a long time.
    As someone stated use a scale and put your progress in a log.
    That's a good idea but toward the end you will notice no weight is coming off and sometimes there is a gain. But then you realize that your size is smaller. (muscle does weigh more). You need to do this for you and only you. Make your vacations biking trips. i.e. Sea otter, Breckenridge, Tahoe or just camping.
    Just enjoy the rides and outdopors and know you are doing good.
    Meals:
    Portion control and what you eat. Do not give up ice crean, sweets, etc. You have to have something to indulge in once a week just watch your portions.
    When you are hungry ask what you are hungry for. (bored, depressed, etc)
    Go air it out on a bike if so.
    Again
    Good Luck and have FUN!!!
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  21. #21
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    Good luck with your weight loss. Keep you head up, work hard, make good choices and you will shed the weight in no time.

  22. #22
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    Calorie burn calculator

    Just to add in.... more focus on food intake..... more exercise is great, but that will not solve problem.
    example people do not realize how many calories are in different things.
    take Ritz crackers, a sleeve is what a snack was to me , I dont know, maybe 30 crackers.
    Well that was an entire meals worth, around 600calories. So, it adds up quick when your goal for the day to lose weight is 1500daily.
    One poster above mentioned something about a log. You log your calories, you learn what food you need to stay away from. I mean salads are awesome, until you add ranch. You will learn quickly just keeping a log of foods you actually eat for a week.
    As a bonus, you weight yourself daily same time of day, then end of week you know your scorecard- gaining or losing weight based on that intake, then you adjust intake to achieve. Starvation does not work for sure.
    It takes 1/2hour biking or playing racquetball to burn the calories in a Snickers bar. People forget that most items are not bad until you add toppings, cheese etc.
    Here is a calculator to get an idea.
    Calorie Burn Calculator, Most Accurate

  23. #23
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    Consistency is more important than intensity. I see far to many people advise drastic dietary and conditioning changes right out of the gate. The guy who dives all in, changes his diet completely, and exercises like a mad man for 6 months will have accomplished nothing when he falls off the wagon. Setting realistic smaller sustainable goals that you WILL maintain will help you the most long term.

    A drastic diet change is all well and good, but how many people fail at that? Most. Cutting soda (i have known people who have lost up to 30lbs from this alone) and candy as dietary step one with more to come is far more realistic. Step two cut fast food (same as soda, one small step with huge results for many people), step three limit carbs to breakfast and lunch (a great later step when the first few changes are locked in and your weight has plateaued), etc. Shoot for realistic baby steps that can be sustained and taken on in waves. Save extreme diet experiments for shedding the final few pounds giving you problems next year or the year after. Remind your self that one slip up is not the end of the world as long as you get back on track.

    Working out every day is all well and good, but how many people quit when they burn out from that heavy physical work load they assign them selves? Most. Commit to ride a few times a week as step one. Focus on the fun of the ride vs. the exercise you are doing. Find another physical endeavor you ENJOY doing and mix that in with MTB as step two. EVENTUALLY begin light gym trips as cross training to enhance your activities. Remind your self that one slip up is not the end of the world as long as you get back on track.

    A moderate and gradual change will yield fantastic long term results. Set your progress goals in years, not months and you will still be DOING this stuff for years and not months.

  24. #24
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    Awesome man! If you are on the eastside of the state hit me up and I'll go for a ride with you. I have about 15lbs that I need to lose myself.
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  25. #25
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    weight loss through mountain biking

    Check out what Jaymen and big ring grinder had to say, great advice.
    I rode mtb a ton when I was trying to lose weight and it didn't seem to help. I dropped 25lbs in 6 mos from riding to work. I just put it in my hardest gear and peddled as fast as I could for as long as I could and the weight started coming off. Of course we are all different but cutting out processed foods, fewer beers, more riding and you will feel so much better and drop a few lbs in the process. Good luck to you.
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  26. #26
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    I lose more pounds by my commute to work. The last few years its been about 5.60 miles each way. But l just got a new job and its a smidge over 7 miles each way. Its not the distance but the routes. Nogood safe way. Omaha, Nebraska isnt know for being bike friendly but this is crazy. Im getting concerned about it. Im going to do it as long as i can before a car kills me.You all know mtbing isnt all that much fun or safe if a rider doesnt have some form of fitness.
    Eating is right on just like you guys say. Eating the wrong thing can kill your energy. I no longer smoke weed and that should d totally help as well.
    Last summer i lost about 20 pounds. I gaind about 17 back, lol. The bastards just made a Duncun Doughnuts about 1/4th of mile from my apartments! Oh they're so good. Its a problem.

  27. #27
    Of the Nameless Rabble
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    You stand a good chance of succeeding

    Quote Originally Posted by strangedejavu506 View Post
    Hey everyone...

    I was also wanting your feedback along the way. Not sure if anyone here even does blogging but thought I would throw it out here.

    Thanks,

    Cody
    Hi Cody,

    I believe you stand a pretty good chance of success if you realize you are on a journey. It took you eight years to put on the weight and it will take some time to take it off.

    I had a similar experience. I experienced ups and downs, successes and failures. It all started working when I stopped trying so hard to lose weight and stopped obsessing about it.

    I rode a lot and practiced pretty strict portion control. I focused more on the fun of riding and less on the exercise value of it. I took days off and enjoyed the odd pint of Ben & Jerry's every now and then. I tried not to ride the same old route all the time. I made the masochistic choice not to avoid climbs.

    About 18 months later I was a lot lighter and the doctors were shocked at the improvement of my health without meds.

    You can do it, too. I will be pulling for your and checking into your blog every now and then. With respect to that, just remember that a couple of good photos add so much to a blog.

    Best wishes, good luck, and go have some fun!

    --Jim

    P.S. Some people may disagree, but man does not live by biking alone. In other words, switch it up and do some other activities in addition to biking and you won't get burned out.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by trevordchi View Post
    The only way to really do it right and sustainably is to change your diet AND lifestyle. I was about 60 pounds over weight a little over 2 years ago. Then I watched the Ted Talks video from Dr. Terry Wahls because my mother has M.S. I decided to give a "paleo" lifestyle a try and I will never go back. The first time I got on a bike in the last 15 years was to commute to work and there is no way in hell I would have ever even attempted it had I not already lost over half of that weight because I cut out ALL processed foods and gluten. My body and my brain thank me every day. The paleo diet gets a bad wrap because many people believe it's just the next fad. I don't know how you could call eating lots of vegetables, fruit and quality meat and fats a "fad diet".

    And the best part is I eat as much as I want as long as it's quality food and not processed crap. Now that I commute on the bike I have to eat about 3000-4000 calories every day just to maintain my current weight. So yes, I will take a second steak and some more cauliflower and please pass the Kerrygold!

    Sorry for the rant but any time someone speaks about weight loss I feel the need to give my $.02. I've never been this healthy in my life. I played 3 sports at a big Texas school in high school but that 18 year old has nothing on this 30 year old.
    Im on my 4th week of paleo now.. I have about 20 pounds of excess to lose and im hoping sticking to it will be the key for me!
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  29. #29
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    After going on various diets in the past 20 or so years, what worked for me is the Warrior Diet - or eating once a day or 22-24 hour fast.

    If you can't do that, skipping a meal also helps.

    I find the other diets too limiting. I'd rather not eat at all than have to eat raw or eat something that tastes terrible (which I've done lol)

  30. #30
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    Read your 2 blog posts as well as this thread and just wanted to see how things are progressing for you. How has it been getting back out on the trails?

    Sent from my Z10 using Tapatalk

  31. #31
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    As others have said, it's a complete lifestyle change. It's the fad diets and workouts that people participate in which lead to constant weight gain and loss. If you can change your lifestyle you will keep the weight off. Good luck and +rep
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by trevordchi View Post
    The only way to really do it right and sustainably is to change your diet AND lifestyle. I was about 60 pounds over weight a little over 2 years ago. Then I watched the Ted Talks video from Dr. Terry Wahls because my mother has M.S. I decided to give a "paleo" lifestyle a try and I will never go back. The first time I got on a bike in the last 15 years was to commute to work and there is no way in hell I would have ever even attempted it had I not already lost over half of that weight because I cut out ALL processed foods and gluten. My body and my brain thank me every day. The paleo diet gets a bad wrap because many people believe it's just the next fad. I don't know how you could call eating lots of vegetables, fruit and quality meat and fats a "fad diet".

    And the best part is I eat as much as I want as long as it's quality food and not processed crap. Now that I commute on the bike I have to eat about 3000-4000 calories every day just to maintain my current weight. So yes, I will take a second steak and some more cauliflower and please pass the Kerrygold!

    Sorry for the rant but any time someone speaks about weight loss I feel the need to give my $.02. I've never been this healthy in my life. I played 3 sports at a big Texas school in high school but that 18 year old has nothing on this 30 year old.
    That was inspirational. Here I am, 30 years old, fat, sick, and nearly dead. This is what I needed to see. Thank you.

  33. #33
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    I was 464 at 25 years old, hated every damn day waking up. I turn 30 tomorrow, and I'm 298-299 depending on the day and water intake etc. I'm looking forward to not every seeing the 300's again in my 30's and getting down to the mid to low 200's.

    To me, 100% of my battle is being won in the kitchen. You can bust your ass all day doing things, but if you eat like garbage, you'll still end up putting out garbage results. You may lose weight, but there's a difference between mobilizing fat, and losing muscle mass.

    I don't stick to any one plan, I get too dang bored with my ADD I crave change. I've narrowed things down to 4 different plans I rotate from depending on what I'm trying to do. I've done the whole keto diet to drop weight for powerlifting meets, and doing keto/low carb diets for 16-20 weeks take a toll on you. Learn what foods work for you and be consistent in everything you do. Realize that it's a journey and there isn't a quick fix. You didn't get this way overnight, so you won't lose the weight overnight.
    The best journeys answer questions that in the beginning, you didn't even think to ask

  34. #34
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    my devil food is carne asada fries! Can't go a couple of weeks with out getting some. SOO DELICIOUS but right after you feel like a fat whale. I am looking to lose 20 pounds or so. It should be easily done with food and running and mountain biking.

  35. #35
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    I never realized how quick you can lose weight through biking when you start eating right. I dropped from 215 to 185 last summer by just riding 4-5 days a week and sticking to a lean protein and veggie diet. Very few carbs, less beer, no processed food and no sweets. It was easy to get used and I would allow myself one "cheat" meal per week, which was usually a huge burger, fries and beer on a Friday night.

    I also recommend a weight loss/diet app. I used "Lose it" on my iPhone and it helps so much to see what calories you're taking in and how many calories various exercises burn. I never realized how much I was eating until I started tracking everything I ate.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by lorsban View Post
    After going on various diets in the past 20 or so years, what worked for me is the Warrior Diet - or eating once a day or 22-24 hour fast.

    If you can't do that, skipping a meal also helps.

    I find the other diets too limiting. I'd rather not eat at all than have to eat raw or eat something that tastes terrible (which I've done lol)

    This is terrible advice.

    There is no reward for being a tough guy and eating one meal a day. In fact, if you skip meals or regularly fast for 24 hours you are depriving your body of things it needs to function normally; much less to pursue a more active lifestyle.

    Not only that, but you are setting yourself up to fail in the long run. Temptation gets a lot more fierce when it has been 10-15 hours since your last meal. You are actively decreasing your metabolism and you can expect to feel like dick most of the time, with low energy.

  37. #37
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    You have a good attitude and sense of humor.Congratulations on giving up the yerba buena!

  38. #38
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    I used (And still use ) A site called caloriecount.com. It is a forum and lots of good advice. The first thing you will learn is that cardio excercises like biking are less effective than weight training for weight loss. You need to combine a 'clean' diet with resistance and weight lifting--in particular heavy lifting, and your cardio bicycling. This doesnt make sense until you spend some time reading about it. But, anyway, caloriecount is one I used and there are thousands of members and a lot of good support and ideas.
    Keep on biking tho. I lost a lot of weight, and got in way better shape with my 20 mile daily commute.

  39. #39
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    Its actually more important to eat a well balanced diet than any other part of it. There is no reason whatsoever to eat less, what is necessary is to alter your diet and 'clean-up' what you eat, and you will never be hungry during the process of losing weight. That has been proven many times. A site i use called caloriecount will give an endless forum with thousands of dedicated people. Its kinda a hoot, and works. When I first discovered it I was working my way through a pack of processed cookies--800 calories! I know better now.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimgrin View Post
    This is terrible advice.

    There is no reward for being a tough guy and eating one meal a day. In fact, if you skip meals or regularly fast for 24 hours you are depriving your body of things it needs to function normally; much less to pursue a more active lifestyle.

    Not only that, but you are setting yourself up to fail in the long run. Temptation gets a lot more fierce when it has been 10-15 hours since your last meal. You are actively decreasing your metabolism and you can expect to feel like dick most of the time, with low energy.
    I Agree. If you look at the caloriecount forum I suggested, you will not see anyone starving themselves. It is more a process of 'cleaning-up' your diet. This is actually pretty simple. It just means changing what you eat, and you will VERY quickly start to prefer a salad, some fruit, and a nice lean steak to whatever it was that made you fat in the first place. You need minimum 3000 cals. a day and that depends on many factors-size age work etc. caloriecount forum will explain all of it to you

  41. #41
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    weight loss through mountain biking

    I use the MyFitnessPal app. I went from 307 in January to 210 currently. Eating right is a huge part of losing weight; but equally important is exercise. Riding my bike 3-4 times a week has helped me get to where I am.

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