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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
    MTB B'dos
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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.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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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
    Captain Climber
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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
    ILIKEBIKES
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    Cody- the hardest part is getting started... I'm going to follow this because I am wanting to do the same thing. I'm 6 foot and about 250-ish myself.

    The most important thing is to expend more calories than you take in- that's the only way the weight will come off. The Paleo diet mentioned above should be no issue. Eating right and exercising is key to a healthy lifestyle. I've read a LOT about it but I'm quite lazy about it when you get right down to it.

    Chad

  14. #14
    I didn't do it
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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
    Let's eat, Ted
    Remember, commas save lives

  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
    Let's eat Ted
    Let's eat, Ted
    Remember, commas save lives

  16. #16
    Elitest thrill junkie
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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

    You're turning black metallic.

  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!!!
    Vincit qui patitur
    2012 GT Karakoram 3.0
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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.
    "Bigring, that's deep. ...Well, I suspect it is. I didn't read it."

  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.

  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.
    I'm sick of all the Irish stereotypes, as soon as I finish this beer I"m punching someone

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