Help me lose a few more pounds.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Help me lose a few more pounds.

    Hi folks. Recently, I've started to use Strava (please withhold judgment), and it has re-ignited my competitive spirit. I raced XC and DH for years, but that was many years ago. I never did outstanding, but won a few races in each discipline. I'm 40 years old now, and think that I might actually be faster than I've ever been.

    On a lot of the local trails, which are very competitive, I am edging close to the leaderboards and even have the top spot on one descent for this year. I'm in 11th for the year on a popular trail with a brutal climb and DH/flow descent -- missed 10th by 7 seconds the other day, on my hardtail. My other bike is an older enduro bike that weighs 36 pounds-- I'm only competitive on the real DH trails on that one.

    What I notice about practically every other rider I see though, is that most of them are a good 20-30 pounds lighter than me, if not more (younger too, haha.) I'm at the point where my weight is the only thing holding me back on both the climbs and the descents. My skills are above average, and my cardio is as well.

    I'm 5' 10" and currently 190 pounds naked. I ride my ass off every week (5 days, give or take). I had many weeks over this season where I averaged 8, 9, even 10,000 feet of climbing. I watch what I eat, have cut out most desserts, and drink only 1-2 beers a week.

    For the last decade 190 pounds has been my lower limit. My arms and shoulders are naturally a lot bigger than most peoples, and despite not lifting weights, I look like I do and that's all muscle that does not help me ride a bike faster. When I do lift and rock climb over the winter, my upper body bulks up even more and I usually go up to 200 pounds or more. I'm not as lean as I could be. I'd say if I could get to 180, that would be my ideal weight. And I'd start racking up KOMs.

    Thing is, I'm nearing the end of the season and I can't seem to lose any more weight. I know it's simple math: burn more calories than you take in. In the winter that's been very difficult because there's no time or conditions to get the heavy calorie burn workouts I get on my bike. When I've tried to maintain a calorie deficit in the off-season in the past, I end up feeling starved all the time. I still ride over the winter, but we get A LOT of snow and most trails are closed to bikes. Most of the ones that have the best compaction from hikers are closed, and I don't have a fat bike, nor the funds to buy one. I may take up XC skiing again, even though I don't enjoy it. I'm not sure it can replicate the calorie burn of a good steep climb on my bikes.

    I'm interested in any advice you can give me, be it nutritional or exercise. I should note that running is unfortunately not an option-- due to severe cartilage loss in both knees. I use a climbing gym in the winter and typically climb hard for 1/2hr+ with very little downtime. Maybe I need to lift also? I just don't need any more upper body bulk. It may be too late this year, but if I could somehow maintain my 190# until next riding season, maybe I could reach my goal of 180 by midsummer.

    Thanks for anything you've got!
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.:)

  2. #2
    Cycologist
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    Give up the soft drinks and drink water.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  3. #3
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    I don't drink soda or juice. Just water and beer.
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.:)

  4. #4
    always licking the glass
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    I don't drink soda or juice. Just water and beer.
    Cut out the beer. Weight loss requires work. And time.

    For me, itís sugar. Thatís the hard one.
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  5. #5
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    Are you really eating healthy?

    The foods we have available now is outrageous. It's so easy to eat so, so much sugar. I think I spiraled out of control with added sugars, so I'm toning that back. It's working so far.

  6. #6
    Pipe Dreamer
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    Stop eating bread and anything made with wheat flour.

    It should force you to eat healthier.
    This space intentionally left blank.

  7. #7
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    I'm in a similar position (but a little bit older, and a little bit fatter). I'm really stuck around 195, and it is clearly the main thing holding me back on climbs. My problem is if I drop much more weight, I start to lose strength and muscle mass (upper body and legs), but my fat (largely around my waist) persists. I've been told it is a stress response, but that doesn't help me out much.

    So I am very interested to hear some of the advice you get.

  8. #8
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    Intermittent fasting eating only one or two meals a day. Making them big healthy lowish carbohydrate meal(s), eating lots of veggies, good protein and cut out all processed foods.

  9. #9
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    https://cronometer.com/

    Track everything.... EVERYTHING

    Burn more, eat less, or don't lose weight.... no other options

  10. #10
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    Eat slightly smaller portions. Don't eat within about 3 hours before bed.
    I'm 66 and recently had a long bout of acid reflux. These were the changes I made, and lost 12 pounds in less than a month.

  11. #11
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    I've been focusing on that, and it's really helping. I was raised with "not so healthy" eating habits, so this has been hard for me. I mean, my family didn't teach me to eat garbage foods, but lots of family events with feasting on pretty high calorie (but largely natural and unprocessed foods). Reducing the quantity, for a length of time, has led to a smaller appetite.

    I know if I really had to I could lose the weight fast, like I did in high school wrestling (insane workouts and then eat just an apple for dinner), but I want to be somewhat intelligent about this.

  12. #12
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    Do you eat wheat? That's processed junk in my opinion.

    https://grainstorm.com/pages/modern-wheat
    This space intentionally left blank.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornfield View Post
    Do you eat wheat? That's processed junk in my opinion.

    https://grainstorm.com/pages/modern-wheat
    Interesting article, but I don't eat that much wheat or bread, for that matter. The bread I do eat occasionally is baked by my wife, and was made from flour made from wheat grown 30 miles away. We don't buy bread from stores.

    Overall, I try to keep carbs very limited and only indulge when I've been/am going to partake in a grueling, marathon type ride.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    Interesting article, but I don't eat that much wheat or bread, for that matter. The bread I do eat occasionally is baked by my wife, and was made from flour made from wheat grown 30 miles away. We don't buy bread from stores.

    Overall, I try to keep carbs very limited and only indulge when I've been/am going to partake in a grueling, marathon type ride.
    I haven't check the facts on anything, and I decided to try it before I read that, it just sealed the deal. In my case it pretty much eliminated burgers, pizza, pasta, etc and forced me to eat differently.
    This space intentionally left blank.

  15. #15
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    Use My Fitness Pal. Set you workout level and adjust intake to 50% protein, 35 carbs, 15 fat and eat decent foods. It will spit out how many calories for the day. You will lose a 1-2 a week. You are prob losing muscle if you are dropping any more than 1.5/wk. Raise the calories if you are. Canít have too much protein when dieting. You shouldnít be hungry on this. It is a little work to set up meals and your common food list but it gets much easier after the first few days.
    @ 5í6 173 I was approx 260g protein, 180 carbs, and 40 fat. I had to up it because I was losing more than I wanted per week.

  16. #16
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    I killed refined sugar over 2 years ago. Now I'm 10kg lighter, fitter faster. My endurance is way better.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quick62bug View Post
    Use My Fitness Pal. Set you workout level and adjust intake to 50% protein, 35 carbs, 15 fat and eat decent foods. It will spit out how many calories for the day. You will lose a 1-2 a week. You are prob losing muscle if you are dropping any more than 1.5/wk. Raise the calories if you are. Canít have too much protein when dieting. You shouldnít be hungry on this. It is a little work to set up meals and your common food list but it gets much easier after the first few days.
    @ 5í6 173 I was approx 260g protein, 180 carbs, and 40 fat. I had to up it because I was losing more than I wanted per week.
    That's WAY too much protein. 1 gram of protein for 1 pound of lean body weight is more than enough (and probably too much for most).

  18. #18
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    1.5 per lb of body weight is not uncommon to preserve muscle WHEN dieting. Some show that it helps lose weight as well. I grew up around this mentality and there are many studies that prove it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quick62bug View Post
    1.5 per lb of body weight is not uncommon to preserve muscle WHEN dieting. Some show that it helps lose weight as well. I grew up around this mentality and there are many studies that prove it.
    It is common, but its still unnecessary.

  20. #20
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    Wait..what? If it works and it is more beneficial, why wouldnít you try it? Thatís a rhetorical question.

    Good luck Cookiemonster!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quick62bug View Post
    Wait..what? If it works and it is more beneficial, why wouldnít you try it? Thatís a rhetorical question.

    Good luck Cookiemonster!
    It's not beneficial. It works if calories in are less than calories out.

    You can lose weight eating candy all day, if you burn more than you eat, doesn't make it the healthiest of diets....

    Other macro splits work *better*

    Like you said, good luck CookieMonster!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quick62bug View Post
    Wait..what? If it works and it is more beneficial, why wouldnít you try it? Thatís a rhetorical question.

    Good luck Cookiemonster!
    Thanks! I have tried to increase my protein intake, as that is the ONLY thing that keeps me from being hungry all the time when I'm eating smaller portions. I've been holding strong at 190-189 for the last two weeks despite not being able to ride much due to unseasonable snow conditions. If the weather holds I'll be riding again later this week.

    I am committed to getting to 180 over the winter!
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.:)

  23. #23
    always licking the glass
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    Thanks! I have tried to increase my protein intake, as that is the ONLY thing that keeps me from being hungry all the time when I'm eating smaller portions. I've been holding strong at 190-189 for the last two weeks despite not being able to ride much due to unseasonable snow conditions. If the weather holds I'll be riding again later this week.

    I am committed to getting to 180 over the winter!
    How are you with willpower over the holidays? Thatís the worst. Honestly, Iíd love weeks worth of snow to hibernate in and not each much of anything.

    Realistically, Iím working on eating a 75% plant based diet and see if that helps. Staying out of the sugar is hard, but that coupled with exercise is what I need. That and cutting the grease. Gawd thatís the worst.
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  24. #24
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    Holidays are very hard indeed. I am fortunate enough to live close to the majority of my extended families, but that's a double-edged sword. There are MANY family get-togethers that involve copious amounts of delicious food. It's not the processed, sugary type of food but homemade dishes, pies, cakes, etc.

    I am committed to make a change this year though, because I'm sick of this cycle of gaining back all my hard efforts of the riding season and then having to lose the weight all over again.

    As I've mentioned earlier, my cardio fitness is quite high, and I can ride all day without slowing down much. My technical skills at descending are in the top 1%. It is my damn body fat that is keeping me from my goals. I want to enter a couple ultra-endurance XC races next year. I don't want to embarrass myself.

  25. #25
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    First, maybe a username change?

    I substitute stevia for sugar. Still sweet, a bit bitter, but derrived from plants, so no chemicals in it.

  26. #26
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    If you are chasing KOMs, that involves lots of high intensity zone 5 heart rate sprinting and climbing so I wouldn't cut the carbs. It could hurt your performance. Just make sure they are not junk carbs (eat sweet potatoes, potatoes, brown rice, fruit instead of donuts, cakes, pies, etc).

    Then I would focus eating whole foods rather than processed foods. This means doing lots of cooking yourself rather than pulling a prepped meal out of a box. Basically, if it comes out of a bag or box and has more than one or two ingredients, be skeptical. Whole foods are filling without being calorie dense. So you won't have to diet and feel miserable all day.

  27. #27
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    OP, as others have said, cut out all the super sugar loaded stuff, that's a big key, another key is longer medium intensity rides over 3 hours.

    I don't have your problem, I weigh less than you at 6'2", but years ago not long after I started riding MTB seriously I signed up for an endurance event and when I started training for it and really started doing long rides of 3+ hours, burning 3,000+ calories to as much as 6,000 calories on the longest 7-8 hour rides, that is when I got below my "standard" weight and then had to fight to not drop too much more.

    So if you're not doing any rides longer than 3 hours, maybe you should consider starting to, at least once a week, if you are serious about breaking that plateau you're stuck on.
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