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Calorie Loss Flat/Hilly

mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 800
edited October 2016 in Training, fitness and health
Hi

I am a fairly experienced rider however due to some work commitments and a back injury I have been off the bike for a few months and as such the weight has crept on. I am now about 12lbs (5KG) more than I wan't to be and I need to shift the weight.

I have recently changed up my commute routes so instead of doing 9 miles each way over some hills (6-8% maybe 1k of climbing total) I am now doing 10 miles on the way to work on flat but fast roads with a couple of small railway bridges and then a 25 mile return again mostly flat but fairly fast. My average speed on the new commute has gone up to around 17mph whereas on the hilly commute it was about 15mph cause of the hills and traffic.

I totally get that the big jump in miles covered (from 18 to 35) will burn more calories but my question is am I better off going for a mid distance commute say around 12-14 miles each way with some hills both ways ? Is going fast on the flat at around 90-100rpm (I usually hover around 20mph for 70% of the route) better for burning calories than puffing up some hills at 12 mph?

I know I could get a heart rate monitor / cadence sensor / HIT Training etc but I just need some basic advice at the moment as to which approach would be best. I should also point out that my commuter bike has panniers and has expensive work tools etc which I need to take so out the saddle Pantani style ain't gonna work :)

Thanks in advance.
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  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    Eat less ... its the most effective way to loose the weight.

    diet to control your size
    Exercise for fitness

    However, to answer your question .... the body is excellent at adapting to cardio to make it as efficient as it can and use the least amount of energy.

    your best option is to mix it up

    If the flat highspeed route tires you out the most at the moment compared to the hills, chances are its using more calories, but, in a few weeks time your body will adapt and the hills will probably be harder work .. so mix it up, alternate days or weeks. time yourself and keep trying to better it
  • In terms of calorie burn it's all about the level of effort you put into it. Hills just force you to put in a constant high effort whereas on the flat you have to mentally work harder to stay at a high work rate. But it all comes down to how much effort you want to put in.

    As above, do both, and for shifting weight, it's 99% about diet.

    PS. A HRM which works with your phone isn't that much http://www.wiggle.co.uk/wahoo-tickr-hea ... d-android/ you don't even need to see what it's telling you but it does help after each ride for comparisons.
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 800
    Hi - Thanks I think mixing it up maybe the best option then maybe hilly on the way and flat on the way home. Re diet I already have changed that up so that I am eating good stuff. If I eat less then i will bonk on the way home, My current diet usually consists of big porridge/dried fruit/whey protein in the morning at work (skimmed milk as water is gross). Lunch is something like beans on toast or tuna roll (wholemeal no butter) something like a flapjack 60 mins before my ride home and then a bowl of pasta etc when i get home. I will have something like stewed apple with custard as a mid evening snack. I find something like the above is ok most days and seems to give a reasonable level of protein and carbs.

    I have tried cutting back further but any less than the above and I feel faint , I reckon I am on about 2200 cals a day but then burn about 800-1000 cycling everyday.

    I cannot cut out the sweet treat as this is what keeps me from raiding the crisps draw!

    I know this is going to sound like an excuse but my body is a total f**cker when it comes to weight loss, I seem to have the metabalism of a elephant. To give you an idea I took a 10 day holiday to Mexico and ate well most days with a few beers at night (Lots of fruit / fish and meat but no dairy stuff) and due to the lack of cycling I was 12lbs heavier when I got home. I was still 10lbs heavier 2 weeks later after riding again and eating smaller portions.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    fat daddy wrote:
    Eat less ... its the most effective way to loose the weight.

    diet to control your size
    Exercise for fitness

    ^ wot he said. My weight in middle age crept up slowly and post the Christmas / New Year binge in Jan 2014 I was 11st 4lbs, the heaviest I've ever been. Might not sound much but I'm only 5'6", and was starting to look slightly spherical. Not a good look in lycra...

    No amount of cycling made any difference to my weight. I was a lot fitter, but I was still obviously eating too much. I just don't have the willpower to follow a calorie restricted diet 24-7; I usually crack and eat too much of the wrong thing just because it's there.

    I'd seen Michael Mosely's documentary Eat, Fast, Live Longer and as a scientist I was persuaded that fasting was worth a try.

    Tried the 5:2 diet and lost 18 pounds over 5 months. More importantly it improved my blood lipid profile so it was no longer concerning my GP. I eat like that all the time now; my weight remains stable at 10 st dead.

    I thought I'd find it really difficult, but it's pretty easy to stick to because I fast on work days (Mon and Thurs). Cup of tea when I get up, then nothing but water / tea till 18:30 when I have a small meal like egg or beans on toast, fish and veg, chunky soup and bread. The other 5 days I just eat what I like.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I did the same in April. Weeks all inclusive holiday in Cape Verde and I managed to put on 8 pounds. Back home on the 5:2 and the weight just fell off again and I was back down to 10 st again in 8 weeks.

    So I reckon I can put on weight at about a pound a day, and lose it again at about a pound a week.

    I'm hoping the week in the Algarve in Sept will be less disastrous; it's not all-inclusive, and I'm hiring a road bike for a couple of days...
  • keef66 wrote:

    ^ wot he said. My weight in middle age crept up slowly and post the Christmas / New Year binge in Jan 2014 I was 11st 4lbs, the heaviest I've ever been. Might not sound much but I'm only 5'6", and was starting to look slightly spherical. Not a good look in lycra...

    Dude. I'm 5'6" too and 11st 5lb is the lowest I've ever been after some serious weight loss earlier in the year. That's when the back pain hit and I'm back up 13st now.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    keef66 wrote:

    ^ wot he said. My weight in middle age crept up slowly and post the Christmas / New Year binge in Jan 2014 I was 11st 4lbs, the heaviest I've ever been. Might not sound much but I'm only 5'6", and was starting to look slightly spherical. Not a good look in lycra...

    Dude. I'm 5'6" too and 11st 5lb is the lowest I've ever been after some serious weight loss earlier in the year. That's when the back pain hit and I'm back up 13st now.

    Bummer! I tend to comfort eat if I'm in pain, so probably a double whammy...

    Any idea what the problem is or if it can be sorted? Is it just cycling or does it affect everything?

    I slipped a disc back in my 40s and endured weeks of agony, immobility and excruciating spasms in my back muscles at night. It kind of settled down on it's own eventually but it still occasionally reminds me it's not fully cured. Sitting slumped at a desk, or standing still for any length of time really aggravates it. Luckily for me cycling usually helps.
  • keef66 wrote:
    Bummer! I tend to comfort eat if I'm in pain, so probably a double whammy...

    Yes; this in spades. Being in pain means I hit the snacks big time.

    Any idea what the problem is or if it can be sorted? Is it just cycling or does it affect everything?

    I slipped a disc back in my 40s and endured weeks of agony, immobility and excruciating spasms in my back muscles at night. It kind of settled down on it's own eventually but it still occasionally reminds me it's not fully cured. Sitting slumped at a desk, or standing still for any length of time really aggravates it. Luckily for me cycling usually helps.

    No idea as to the actual cause, saw 3 different physios who all say it's nothing serious, do some exercises, thankfully it has been easing in the past few weeks, but I've done very little in the last 4 months, only just yesterday managed to get a 50 mile ride in for the first time in ages. I did think it was cycling at first but I took a month off and if anything it got worse.
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,431
    I would say you're eating too much during work time, and I don't think eating calories before you burn them (the flapjack) is going to help lose weight.

    I commute 6 miles each way on the Trans Pennine, 440ft of elevation there and over 500ft back. I don't eat breakfast (I leave the house at 6am), I just have a yoghurt and fruit at break time at work (8.40am). I then don't have anything else until I get home around 2pm when I'll have a light snack or a fruit/protein smoothie. I'm a postie too so walk 6-10 miles on delivery as well as 3 hours of indoor work first.

    In the evening I eat what I want!
  • It depends on the person how much food you need, a lot to do with how tall you are etc. But from the OPs description that sounds like too much to eat, even if cycling. I've managed to lose weight sucessfully (not putting it back on is the trick I've yet to crack) and you actually surprise yourself just how little food you really do need.

    I would probably be eating half what I'm doing at the moment and still feel good.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    The things that surprised me when I started with the 5:2 were

    a) working out how many calories I was actually eating / drinking without realising it
    b) realising that 3 meals a day plus snacks and drinks is just a habit. So many people say they have to eat every few hours or they feel dizzy; unless you're diabetic I don't buy that. The only thing I notice is I feel a bit colder when fasting.
    c) how much exercise I can actually do on a 600 cal fasting day.
    d) how much exercise I have to do to burn 600 calories

    The human body is a pretty efficient machine when it comes to storing and using energy; you just need to exploit it so you do less of the former and more of the latter...
  • smudgeriismudgerii Posts: 125
    Some of the weights and food intakes you guys describe scare the life out of me...

    Newbie to cycling in the last few months but not to excercise, and I'm amazed you guys survive on so little. I ain't fat at 5' 7" and 82 kgs (12 stone 9lbs in old money) and a 30" waist, currently consuming 3300 per day to maintain weight and doing less than 80 miles a week of 'pleasure' riding and weight training.

    To the OP, drop a lot of the carbs and up the protein. Depending on how extreme you want to be you could try keto diet for 6 weeks, but the first week to 10 days is hell.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Trying to eat less can be very counter productive if you go too low. Either you starve and start binge eating or you don't have enough power to exercise fully and recover.

    In general as long a you steer clear of processed / junk food and sugary food then your weight will drop to a healthy level. It will also help you cycling.
  • 3,300kcal is a lot. And 12st 9lb is pretty heavy for your height (I can't talk as I'm shorter and heavier - but still)
  • smudgeriismudgerii Posts: 125
    3,300kcal is a lot. And 12st 9lb is pretty heavy for your height (I can't talk as I'm shorter and heavier - but still)

    It may sound heavy, but in reality it's not. I certainly ain't fat and have a healthy mid teens body fat.

    Nutrition is the key to weight management, ditch the processed carbs and keep protein high. Remember fat ain't the enemy, sugar is!
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    " 5' 7" and 82 kgs (12 stone 9lbs in old money) and a 30" waist,"

    You're an inch taller than me but weigh nearly 20kg more?? The 30" waist suggests you must be the shape of the Hulk in angry mode :shock:

    Not your average roadie build...
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,219
    keef66 wrote:
    The things that surprised me when I started with the 5:2 were

    a) working out how many calories I was actually eating / drinking without realising it
    b) realising that 3 meals a day plus snacks and drinks is just a habit. So many people say they have to eat every few hours or they feel dizzy; unless you're diabetic I don't buy that. The only thing I notice is I feel a bit colder when fasting.
    c) how much exercise I can actually do on a 600 cal fasting day.
    d) how much exercise I have to do to burn 600 calories

    The human body is a pretty efficient machine when it comes to storing and using energy; you just need to exploit it so you do less of the former and more of the latter...

    I got all the same things from pursuing a 1,000cal a day deficit during the week, and trying not to go overboard at the weekend (i.e., balancing out). Keeping track of what you're actually eating is really effective because it is surprisingly easy to underestimate.

    That 1,000 cal deficit 5 days a week (usually Sunday-Thursday or Monday-Friday) coupled with not going overboard at the weekend (+ getting some decent rides in) works very well for me and is easily manageable.

    One thing I find I do have to sometimes be careful of is to make sure I eat something decent right after a hard evening ride, because I find if I don't I can wake up feeling really bad the next day. Easy rides are OK but if it's hard intervals/hills/chaingang then it's a bit different.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,219
    Also FWIW I like to combine the calorie deficit with lots of cycling because a) I like cycling and b) I find it much easier mentally to eat 2000 calories while burning 3000 than to eat 1000 while burning 2000 (for example).

    For me it's hills and anything with hard intervals that seems to make the biggest difference for weight loss. On flatter rides I find it's really easy to feel like you're putting a lot in then find you've spent most of the ride at tempo, whereas hills and intervals don't give you anywhere to hide.
  • smudgeriismudgerii Posts: 125
    keef66 wrote:
    " 5' 7" and 82 kgs (12 stone 9lbs in old money) and a 30" waist,"

    You're an inch taller than me but weigh nearly 20kg more?? The 30" waist suggests you must be the shape of the Hulk in angry mode :shock:

    Not your average roadie build...


    Hahaha... Not really the right build for racing but really loving the cycling.

    Dropping the carbs would see me lose at least 6kg in less than 3 weeks without changing any training regime.
  • tazmontazmon Posts: 107
    edited August 2016
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    Also FWIW I like to combine the calorie deficit with lots of cycling because a) I like cycling and b) I find it much easier mentally to eat 2000 calories while burning 3000 than to eat 1000 while burning 2000 (for example).

    For me it's hills and anything with hard intervals that seems to make the biggest difference for weight loss. On flatter rides I find it's really easy to feel like you're putting a lot in then find you've spent most of the ride at tempo, whereas hills and intervals don't give you anywhere to hide.

    Just wondering how much riding you do to burn 3000 cals per day? I generally burn between 450 and 650 per hour depending on the intensity of the session.

    Cheers
    Road - Scott Solace
    Mountain - Santa Cruz Tazmon (retro) and Scott Spark
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,828
    Maybe 5 hours on the hills or are they adding 2,000 Cals that is the normal for a man plus what they burn on the bike.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,219
    tazmon wrote:
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    Also FWIW I like to combine the calorie deficit with lots of cycling because a) I like cycling and b) I find it much easier mentally to eat 2000 calories while burning 3000 than to eat 1000 while burning 2000 (for example).

    For me it's hills and anything with hard intervals that seems to make the biggest difference for weight loss. On flatter rides I find it's really easy to feel like you're putting a lot in then find you've spent most of the ride at tempo, whereas hills and intervals don't give you anywhere to hide.

    Just wondering how much riding you do to burn 3000 cals per day? I generally burn between 450 and 650 per hour depending on the intensity of the session.

    Cheers

    Webboo has it - unlikely to burn 3000 just from cycling!!

    It's fairly inexact (although I reliably lose weight doing it so it does work) but according to Fitbit my BMR is around 1700-1800 so including walking around during the day etc. and then say ~90 minutes of cycling that usually puts me towards 3000.

    Cycling calories from Garmin, everything else on Fitbit. Numbers obviously have some error in them but I figure so long as I keep recording everything with the same method it is at least consistently inaccurate. It works for me anyway - I've lost weight in the past without doing anything special and just cycling, but this way is much quicker and I quite like doing it by a focused effort.
  • TashmanTashman Posts: 2,826
    People also need to remember that as you lose mass, especially if significantly, your intake requirement also falls. This is a reason to exercise as it maintains your lean muscle mass which helps to burn calories. Diet alone through calorie reduction will have an effect but the body will adapt easily if it's not required to keep on using energyand you'll find that you have to keep on reducing the intake to gain any results.
  • mr_eddy wrote:
    Hi

    I am a fairly experienced rider however due to some work commitments and a back injury I have been off the bike for a few months and as such the weight has crept on. I am now about 12lbs (5KG) more than I wan't to be and I need to shift the weight.

    I have recently changed up my commute routes so instead of doing 9 miles each way over some hills (6-8% maybe 1k of climbing total) I am now doing 10 miles on the way to work on flat but fast roads with a couple of small railway bridges and then a 25 mile return again mostly flat but fairly fast. My average speed on the new commute has gone up to around 17mph whereas on the hilly commute it was about 15mph cause of the hills and traffic.

    I totally get that the big jump in miles covered (from 18 to 35) will burn more calories but my question is am I better off going for a mid distance commute say around 12-14 miles each way with some hills both ways ? Is going fast on the flat at around 90-100rpm (I usually hover around 20mph for 70% of the route) better for burning calories than puffing up some hills at 12 mph?

    I know I could get a heart rate monitor / cadence sensor / HIT Training etc but I just need some basic advice at the moment as to which approach would be best. I should also point out that my commuter bike has panniers and has expensive work tools etc which I need to take so out the saddle Pantani style ain't gonna work :)

    Thanks in advance.

    The route that lets you burn the most calories is the one that lets you ride the most hours long term. No use doing a route everyday thats marginally tougher if it means you ride less in the aggregate long term. Permanent weight loss won't happen overnight or in 10 rides.

    You seem to have the right idea though, just mix it up and have fun on the bike.

    You didn't ask about diet but...more carbohydrates means you can do more kms at a higher intensity week in week out. More kms means more calories burned and you'll develop a more efficient system. I'm 5'8 and 9.5 stone (60kg), do far fewer kms than you a week it seems and eat 3500-4000 cals a day everyday.

    A cautionary note re whey protein shakes. They are the staple of bodybuilders, people looking to put on weight. TDF riders drink one a day because they have done 6 hours in the saddle at a crazy intensity and are already 5% body fat. You are not doing a high enough intensity or duration of exercise that you require supplementation of protein to aid in recovery of muscle breakdown. Drinking it daily seems counterintuitive to your weight loss goal.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    mr_eddy wrote:
    A cautionary note re whey protein shakes. They are the staple of bodybuilders, people looking to put on weight.


    In part that's true, however straight whey protein with no carb bulkers are used more in weight loss and when bodybuilders are cutting.

    Muscle requires protein to exist its what is used to repair and rebuild muscle. Now when you are bulking and trying to put on weight its easy to get enough protein in your diet and maintain that calorie excess, eat steaks, eat burgers .. om nom nom

    BUT

    When you are cutting, you are on a calorie deficit, you want your body to loose fat BUT retain as much muscle as it can ... you still need to eat ~1g of protein per lb of lean mass ... That can be difficult to do AND keep in a deficit. Which is where a protein shake can pay off ... for a mere 100kCal you can injest 20g of protein - do that through eating chicken breast and it will cost you 200kCal

    100kcal might not seem a lot, but if you are cutting 500kcal a day to loose 1lb a week then the little things quickly add up to either loosing weight or not !

    Remember though protein shakes ARE food, you cant use them in addition to your current diet, you need to include them as part of it

    Of course if you can manage to cut without the shakes, then alls the better, real food contains fibre, carbs, fat and nutrients which are all good for you .... the shakes are circumstantial
  • fat daddy wrote:
    mr_eddy wrote:
    A cautionary note re whey protein shakes. They are the staple of bodybuilders, people looking to put on weight.


    In part that's true, however straight whey protein with no carb bulkers are used more in weight loss and when bodybuilders are cutting.

    Muscle requires protein to exist its what is used to repair and rebuild muscle. Now when you are bulking and trying to put on weight its easy to get enough protein in your diet and maintain that calorie excess, eat steaks, eat burgers .. om nom nom

    BUT

    When you are cutting, you are on a calorie deficit, you want your body to loose fat BUT retain as much muscle as it can ... you still need to eat ~1g of protein per lb of lean mass ... That can be difficult to do AND keep in a deficit. Which is where a protein shake can pay off ... for a mere 100kCal you can injest 20g of protein - do that through eating chicken breast and it will cost you 200kCal

    100kcal might not seem a lot, but if you are cutting 500kcal a day to loose 1lb a week then the little things quickly add up to either loosing weight or not !

    Remember though protein shakes ARE food, you cant use them in addition to your current diet, you need to include them as part of it

    Of course if you can manage to cut without the shakes, then alls the better, real food contains fibre, carbs, fat and nutrients which are all good for you .... the shakes are circumstantial

    There is zero chance OP will lose significant muscle mass with his amount of training and a minor caloric deficit if he consumes sufficient carbohydrates throughout the day. People grossly overestimate the amount of protein they need per day. The body reacts much more severely to restriction of carbohydrates (no energy, bonking etc).

    If you want to get leaner then eat like people who are lean. Kenyan marathoners dont grow up on whey isolate haha, corn and maize is what fuels the engine.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    Kenyan marathoners dont grow up on whey isolate haha, corn and maize is what fuels the engine.


    they also have no muscle mass
  • fat daddy wrote:
    Kenyan marathoners dont grow up on whey isolate haha, corn and maize is what fuels the engine.


    they also have no muscle mass

    They've got enough muscle mass and strength to bang out 150km+ weeks running and then 2 hour 5 min maras.

    This is a cycling forum not a bodybuilding one right? If you lose 10kg of fat and god forbid lose 1kg of muscle in the process, you're still going to look a lot better (and more muscular) than before, plus be healthier. You'll also be flying on the bike like never before, which I'm sure everyone would like.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    This is a cycling forum not a bodybuilding one right? .

    I was beginning to think it was a Kenyan runners marathon forum ... oh by the way they eat 1.3-1.7g pre lb of protein, but then they are training and not eating in a calorie deficit, they are getting enough protein for maintanence whilst fueling the muscles without putting on any weight

    OP, you are putting your body in a position where its eating itself, under stress its easier for the body to catabolise muscle it has blood flow, its easily usable and its why you can smell of ammonia if you put the effort in straight from waking.

    you don't need a whey isolate, you do need to make sure you get enough protein so you don't just end up some skinny fat weakling that doesn't recover quick enough, so do keep an eye on your protein and try to get some with every meal ... IF you find you are always tired and need more energy, then up the carbs, but do so more at the expense of fat than protein to start with.

    weight loss 101
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,828
    fat daddy wrote:
    Kenyan marathoners dont grow up on whey isolate haha, corn and maize is what fuels the engine as well as EPO.




    FTFY
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