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Fasted rides?

redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
I've heard they are good for weight loss, are they though?

Does "fasted ride" mean you don't eat before you go out and/or don't eat on the ride?

Short or long rides?
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  • wheelermukwheelermuk Posts: 15
    as far as i know the theory is that riding without eating for a good few hours before hand will increase your ability to metabolise fats. fat metabolism occurs when you're carbohydrate reserves are seriously depleted, therefore longer rides will achieve this better than shorter ones. theoretically the longer you go without eating (including during the ride) the more fat you will burn. also keeping your heart rate around 60% max will utilise more fats than a higher heart rate. the problem with this type of riding is the discipline to get home and not devour the contents of your house. also, riding for long periods of time on pretty much no carbs will leave you feeling pretty sluggish.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Red they are also called "bonk rides" - no idea if they work as I'm fortunate that I've never needed to resort to this sort of thing for weightloss, but in my book, bonking is something to be avoided at all costs as the sensation of your legs turning into a 90-year-old's is not something I enjoy or want to experience again.
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    There's a reference to them in latest C+ in the 'bonk' article

    The idea is to get your body used to metabolising fat rather than relying on carbs for fuel, thus you don't get hit by 'the bonk' / 'hit the wall' / etc because when you run out of carrbs your body's used to running on fats.

    Joe Friel says he doesn't agree with them because they give poor-quality training and take ages to recover from, it's better to train fully fuelled and keep fully-fuelled on events.

    I've never particularly heard of them as a weight-loss strategy...
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    The idea comes from teh body building fraternity I think. Long walks to burn off body fat without losing muscle.
    If you did it on a bike you'd have to keep the intesity low or run the risk of 'bonking'. Thus no high intensity training adn no massive calorie burn either. If you've time or are new to cycling a good idea but if you want to go farther faster not in my opinion and never more than an hour or so whichever.
  • hobbescphobbescp Posts: 197
    Also, a friend of mine who is very knowledgeable on nutrition/physiology etc says that you can seriously impair/damage your adrenal glands performance by doing this type of fasted ride.
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,130
    You would just go "catabolic" meaning your muscles will be turned into glycogen for fuel.

    and you will be slower and wont be able to ride as long... meaning you burn less calories. 1 step forward 2 steps back tbh.
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    I don't think there's any harm in doing a short (1-2 hr) ride first thing in the morning, on only water. You need to keep the intensity sensible though. I think the idea is most certainly not to bonk or come anywhere near that state, but just to ride at moderate to low intensity. I tried it a few times (only a few as I am not keen at getting up early, but might start again) and didn't have any problems. The key is keeping it below 2 hours and keeping the intensity low.

    For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure I bonked going up the Cat & Fiddle on Saturday and it was a most unpleasant experience (and not a deliberate attempt at a bonk ride!). On the way up, I thought I was just on a really bad day. On the way back down, i could still barely turn the pedals and was almost cross-eyed. It was then I realised this was a bit mroe serious than just having a bad day!
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • that said your body does get used to it. I always ride very early in the morning and never eat before hand whether it be a 1.5hr commute or a 5hr sunday ride and I don't experience a bonk. But then I have been riding this way for more than 4 years so I guess you just adapt over time.

    Its a personal thing and obviously I'm not advocating it as everybody will handle riding fasted differently. the hardest part is not eating the doors off the cupboards followed by the contents directly afterwards though!

    Gats
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    Isn't this sort of like the bodybuilding idea of Ketosis where you don't eat carbs and the
    body goes into a fat burning state(Atkin's Diet)??? I used to lift in my younger days
    and met a few bodybuilders who were able to "handle" a diet of very few carbs and
    mostly meat. They got "ripped" as they say. I have read somewhere that by running
    or riding before you eat you can burn up all your carbs and start the fat burning(ketosis)
    process and it will actually keep going for some?? hours even after you have eaten.

    Dennis Noward
  • shockedsoshockedshockedsoshocked Posts: 4,021
    Isn't cycling when fuelled properly pretty good for weight loss aswell?

    I seriously can't understand how anyone cycles without decent food inside them. Saying that i eat a three course meal at cafe stops.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Infamous wrote:
    You would just go "catabolic" meaning your muscles will be turned into glycogen for fuel.

    and you will be slower and wont be able to ride as long... meaning you burn less calories. 1 step forward 2 steps back tbh.

    Bit of a broad statement.
    I do similar rides where I have light breakfast and take just one boitle of squash and do ride of between 40 and 60 miles.,
    Obviously I would not try to ride 100 miles fasted and I do not do it to loose weight, but more to do with body getting used to less food when racing such distances.

    As for going slower, I don tbekieve that is the case from the races I have been in.
    For sportives I see many people with lots of energy bars, energy drinks and eat at feed stations. Some over eat and wonder why the do not loose weight?
    In races of up to 50 miles I very rarely see riders with more than one bottle and maybe a gel in pocket.
    With the concentration of these energy bars and drinks it is very easy "not" to loose weight due to calories taken in on a ride.
  • Alex_Simmons/RSTAlex_Simmons/RST Posts: 4,161
    I've heard they are good for weight loss, are they though?

    Does "fasted ride" mean you don't eat before you go out and/or don't eat on the ride?

    Short or long rides?
    Is there an echo in here? :)

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... 0#14812160
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,130
    Bit of a broad statement.
    I do similar rides where I have light breakfast and take just one boitle of squash and do ride of between 40 and 60 miles.,
    Obviously I would not try to ride 100 miles fasted and I do not do it to loose weight, but more to do with body getting used to less food when racing such distances.
    My main point was that you will lose muscle. Which to me far outways any of the positives... whatever they are.
    As for going slower, I don tbekieve that is the case from the races I have been in.
    For sportives I see many people with lots of energy bars, energy drinks and eat at feed stations. Some over eat and wonder why the do not loose weight?
    In races of up to 50 miles I very rarely see riders with more than one bottle and maybe a gel in pocket.
    With the concentration of these energy bars and drinks it is very easy "not" to loose weight due to calories taken in on a ride.
    I was more thinking about riding on an empty stomach vs riding properly fed (wasn't talking about eating on the ride).
  • z000mz000m Posts: 544
    if i dont eat before a ride i get really bad headaches afterwards
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    According to the Atkins Diet if you drastically restrict your carbo intake(not calories but carbs) your body will go into ketosis and start burning body fat(not muscle) for fuel to
    keep itself going. If you up your intake of carbs the body starts burning them again for fuel until you stop and then it will go back to burning fat. This is not a theory but a fact
    proven many times over by many bodybuilders who use this type of diet to get rid of that pesky bodyfat without losing muscle mass. It works. Whether it's healthy or not
    is probably in question. My wife used it to lose some weight but said she didn't feel very
    energetic and it probably would be really tough on a cyclist who rides for extended periods of time. He would get "ripped" though.

    Dennis Noward
  • andrewgturnbullandrewgturnbull Posts: 3,861
    Hi Dennis.

    When you say your wife wasn't very 'energetic' what exactly do you mean?

    My wife gives me that line all the time...

    Cheers, Andy
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    Hi Dennis.

    When you say your wife wasn't very 'energetic' what exactly do you mean?

    My wife gives me that line all the time...

    Cheers, Andy

    She said she didn't feel like exercising, things like that, didn't seem to have any energy.
    I tried it along with her and just sort of felt very sluggish most of the time. And I was,
    how shall I say it, "irregular" as hell and I don't like that. I mean, there is no bulk, in a
    pretty much all meat diet, to keep things moving along internally. I didn't last long on it.
    Neither did my wife although she still claims to have no energy when I'm around. It's
    a conspiracy among women. I'm sure of it.

    Dennis Noward
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    I agree with oldwelshman here (only because he's welsh :wink: )

    I'll try and go as long as possible without food and minimum of fluids to prepare myself in case it happens during races and in preperation for long races. However I think the trick is not to over do it. I certainly don't allow myself to get to a bonk state as the workout then becomes a waste of time.
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    I never go into bonk state and I always carry a gel as reserve just incase and once or twice had to use it when I got to about 60 miles, but generally I am ok.
    As far as I know, as Dennis stated you do not convert msucle into energy but mobilise fat reserves.
    I only do it for prep for races.
    If your not racing or trying to burn off fat then there is no real need to do these rides I suppose.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    I didn't think of "bonking" - that's not what I want, I do pretty hilly routes and the last thing I want is to run out of energy 30miles from home with a big bump between me and my destination.

    I guess I'll keep my "fasted rides" to my 6 mile morning commutes.
    I like bikes...

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