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Power meter for weight loss ?

bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
Funny question as been riding for years and have plenty of power in the tank, but carrying weight at 15 stone, but not a naturally thin guy, solid build blah blah blah. Literally, like a track rider.

I have however gone back to basics and I am currently riding 2 x 30~60 miles a week recreational geared rides + 80 miles a week commuting on the single speed and have started using zone 2 HR to try and burn some fat and really enjoying the economical / structured riding.

But, the question I have is can or will a power meter expedite matters reference weight loss plus offer more or is it overkill for a 45 year old recreational rider not looking to race what so ever, just simply self improve and evolve and enjoy the bike. I realise HR suffers from many variables etc and interested by power meter options.

Likely been asked a hundred times before but searched to no avail. Thanks.
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,196
    If it's weight loss you're after, I think you're barking up the wrong tree. A PM won't help you lose weight any more than a HR monitor will. Weight loss is best dealt with via diet, IMO.

    By the way, not all track riders are built like Hoy or Forstermann. It depends on the discipline.
  • bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
    Imposter wrote:
    If it's weight loss you're after, I think you're barking up the wrong tree. A PM won't help you lose weight any more than a HR monitor will. Weight loss is best dealt with via diet, IMO.

    By the way, not all track riders are built like Hoy or Forstermann. It depends on the discipline.

    Yes. I concur. I eat clean. Just a heavy rider. Even went to the doctor to discuss my weight and it flummoxed her too. But, thanks, you have answered my question and I think I will save the money and continue with the HR as best I can.
  • marykamaryka Posts: 746
    A powermeter may help you gauge your KJ/calorie burn better (not sure how you're doing it now) which may make a calorie deficit diet easier to manage. But it's not an exact science.

    But what you said about a 45 year old recreational rider, sure get a powermeter if you think adding a data/numbers dimension to your riding is interesting. Personally I do find the numbers interesting and motivating, but other people find it takes away from their enjoyment of riding and/or they can't be bothered. Buy one secondhand, give it a go for a few months, sell it on again if you don't think it's worth it.
  • Eat to get lean, train to get fit.

    Being fitter does mean being able to metabolise more calories though which will help but diet is the key factor as consuming calories is waaaay easier than metabolising them through exercise.

    A power meter may well help you manage and track training loads but it most certainly is not necessary for general fitness. Following a decent training plan suitable for you would probably be a better use of resources.
  • meursaultmeursault Posts: 1,433
    Check this out

    http://www.cptips.com/toc.htm#table

    A heart rate monitor will help you. High cadence, low intensity over longer rides (more than two hours) will target body fat in the zone 2 range.

    If you don't have time for longer rides then intervals will be a good substitute.
    Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.

    Voltaire
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    Sorry, but if you eat as clean as you say you do and with your riding, there is no way you would be as overweight as it sounds like. Just because you are a 'solid build' it doesnt mean you have the excuse that your body type carries extra fat.
    Give myfitnesspal a go for a few weeks and I bet it will open your eyes to how much you eat.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Kind of sounds like you're justifying your weight to yourself?

    A heavy track rider is full of muscle? Are you?

    A bit of cycling won't make a dent in fifteen stone.

    It's all about your diet. You may be eating clean but your portions are too big.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,196
    meursault wrote:
    Check this out

    http://www.cptips.com/toc.htm#table

    A heart rate monitor will help you. High cadence, low intensity over longer rides (more than two hours) will target body fat in the zone 2 range.

    If you don't have time for longer rides then intervals will be a good substitute.

    I don't see how that will help. Higher cadence just means you will probably fatigue quicker than if you just rode at your 'normal' cadence. And there is no magical zone for 'fat burning'. Although it is reasonable to suggest that higher intensity exercise will 'burn' more calories than lower intensity, diet is still where the answer is.
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,407
    maryka wrote:
    A powermeter may help you gauge your KJ/calorie burn better (not sure how you're doing it now) which may make a calorie deficit diet easier to manage. But it's not an exact science.

    But what you said about a 45 year old recreational rider, sure get a powermeter if you think adding a data/numbers dimension to your riding is interesting. Personally I do find the numbers interesting and motivating, but other people find it takes away from their enjoyment of riding and/or they can't be bothered. Buy one secondhand, give it a go for a few months, sell it on again if you don't think it's worth it.

    Power meter will definitely give you a better reading of calories burnt than e.g. a heart rate based estimation or the numbers on Strava. Even with a power meter, it will still be an estimate unless you get some lab tests to measure your efficiency. But, it will be fairly close. As above, weight loss = calorie deficit
  • bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
    Cheers all, some interesting points, but some assumptions made about me, me eating / diet and habits. But, I can, although via a forum advise I eat well and I do not drink - not had alcohol since new years eve I am a heavy rider simply because because. I do have large quads, thus femur and I think this is part of it as my legs weigh heavy. When I was working with Bristol rugby as a prop, the in house physio advised how a body bone structure can mirror mass. It is what it is. Worse things happen at sea !

    But, in reference to my original question, thanks everyone and I will continue to try the zone 2 stuff via HR for now. Overall in a good place. Road 86 fast miles in June, bristol to south Devon in 4.5 hours, so not doing to bad after a long lay off the bike over 18 months. I will consider a PM later in the future, perhaps 2017, dependant on where I am.

    Ta.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    If all the weight is in your bones - how can you lose weight then ?

    You must have excess fat or you'd not have asked the question ?

    You'll never lose weight thru exercise alone. You have to look at your diet = what and how much you are eating.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I've found that weight loss is 100 times easier through diet than exercise, but both is even better.

    I used to be skinny when I was younger, but in late middle age my weight just kept creeping up. At just 5'6" and 11st 4lbs I was starting to look slightly spherical round the middle. It clearly wasn't muscle, so it had to be body fat.

    Tried reduced calorie eating but just cannot do it 24/7. I'm a bit of a pig when food's available.

    What worked for me was the 5:2 diet. Only eat / drink 600 cals on Monday and Friday, and whatever I like the rest of the time. I thought it would be hard, but in practice I find I can easily get through a fast day knowing I can eat normally the next.

    Starting Jan 2015 I lost 18 pounds in just over 4 months, which was 11% of my body weight. More importantly I've adopted this way of eating permanently, and it means the weight is staying off*. I'm persuaded also by the potential additional health benefits to intermittent fasting. My blood lipid profile has improved significantly so the doc is no longer threatening me with statins / fibrates.

    *some of it goes back on if I have a week all-inclusive holiday, but it's easily lost again afterwards :D
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,196
    Cheers all, some interesting points, but some assumptions made about me, me eating / diet and habits. But, I can, although via a forum advise I eat well and I do not drink - not had alcohol since new years eve I am a heavy rider simply because because. I do have large quads, thus femur and I think this is part of it as my legs weigh heavy. When I was working with Bristol rugby as a prop, the in house physio advised how a body bone structure can mirror mass. It is what it is. Worse things happen at sea !

    But, in reference to my original question, thanks everyone and I will continue to try the zone 2 stuff via HR for now. Overall in a good place. Road 86 fast miles in June, bristol to south Devon in 4.5 hours, so not doing to bad after a long lay off the bike over 18 months. I will consider a PM later in the future, perhaps 2017, dependant on where I am.

    Ta.

    Ha - not the old 'big boned' argument - that's nonsense. Your skeleton only accounts for around 15% of your weight, so if you are over the typical weight for your height, it means you are simply carrying excess fat or muscle, or both.
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    Yeah if that was true and that you had no excess fat why would you be asking how to lose weight? Bone shaving?
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    "86 fast miles in June, bristol to south Devon in 4.5 hours"

    I make that an average of 19mph, which I find quite impressive (I struggle to average 15mph regardless of the length of the ride) So I'd say you're not lacking fitness.

    Do you have weight to lose? I knew I did because I'd gone from 10 stone to 11 stone 4 in a few years despite quite a lot of cycling. If you're all muscle then losing weight might be harder...
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    That is an excellent speed. Can't help but think that a tail wind might have been involved. I dont average that on similar distance loops.
  • bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
    edited July 2016
    Well as I said, been riding since I was 13, but the weight issue is an eternal mystery. But I did not post this for the BR naysayers to slaughter me or doubt me. Just wanted advice. But as per usual it descends into assassination which is why less and less people post here. Shame but again, thanks for the heads up. I have done 1600 miles since March including the SS training / base / commute miles etc.

    There are far better riders out there than me and good luck to all. Finally, it must be muscle yes. censored if I know 8) I am fit and in shape, just heavy, and wondered it slowing down would shift 'excess' if it needs to be shifted....cheers.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,196
    You're not a 'medical mystery' and you're not 'big boned' and phrases like that are not helpful in any case. If you want to lose weight, take a serious look at your diet. If you are already 'eating clean' (whatever that means), then maybe review your portion size - aka calorie intake.
  • bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
    Imposter wrote:
    You're not a 'medical mystery' and you're not 'big boned' and phrases like that are not helpful in any case. If you want to lose weight, take a serious look at your diet. If you are already 'eating clean' (whatever that means), then maybe review your portion size - aka calorie intake.

    Good quality food. Not censored - no chips, no burgers, no booze, no coke. I eat lean fish, lean meat, wholemeal pasta / rice. yoghurt, greens fruit and so on.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Hippos eat cleanly too - and they're ahem - big boned....


    Eating too much of a good thing will make you fat. Its simple. Do you have signs of a six pack ? If you don't then you must be carrying extra weight and you could reduce this if you cut down the amount you eat.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,196
    Imposter wrote:
    You're not a 'medical mystery' and you're not 'big boned' and phrases like that are not helpful in any case. If you want to lose weight, take a serious look at your diet. If you are already 'eating clean' (whatever that means), then maybe review your portion size - aka calorie intake.

    Good quality food. Not censored - no chips, no burgers, no booze, no coke. I eat lean fish, lean meat, wholemeal pasta / rice. yoghurt, greens fruit and so on.

    We've already established that you 'eat clean'. But it is still possible to over-eat on 'quality, good food'.
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Have you run what you eat through myfitnesspal for a few weeks? You'd be surprised what's in a 'clean' diet.
  • glynrs2glynrs2 Posts: 4,143
    If you are trying to lose weight decreasing your calorie intake whilst increasing activity level is what will work.
    First up you have to be completley honest with how much you are actually eating & drinking. Tracking your calories with an app like MyFitnessPal may help. Of course it will only work if you log everyting that passes your lips and you may need to get the scales out to measure portion size and don't forget things like milk in your tea or coffee as it can add up, plus any wine or beer etc. This will give you lots of data and will give you an intake goal to try and achieve on a daily basis which you can track.
    Try to get out on your bike three times a week and do long steady rides of around 2 hour duration. Exercising every other day will keep your metabolic rate up throughout the week so you will burn faster. Also if you use either the Garmin or Strava app you can get it to forward the calories burnt into the MyFitnessPal app to be taken into the overall daily calorie balance.
    Lastly get a decent set of scales and weigh yourself daily. There is good evidence that weighing yourself regularly helps with weight loss. You get to see the normal day to day variation, but if you start to trend in the wrong direction you can make a change quickly to get things back on track.

    I am 49 and my body weight had been between 90-95kg for the past 15 years or so. I thought that I was eating sensibly and fairly fit riding twice weekly doing 50 miles or so off road on my MTB, but weight was not really shifting. Last Autumn I decided I must do something a bit more determined to lose weigh and get back in shape so adopted the plan outlined above. My eating is largely the same as before, but I am probably a bit better disciplined at avoiding things like biscuits and cakes which I would tend to eat when I was bored rather than hungry. However, now cycling 75-100 miles a week off road, going 3-4 times a week. Weight has gone from 92kg in October to now at 73kg. I am now the same weight as I was when I was 18 and feel healthier and fitter than I have done for years.
    If weight is not shifting just try harder. Cycling is a great way to enjoy doing it.
  • marykamaryka Posts: 746
    AK_jnr wrote:
    Give myfitnesspal a go for a few weeks and I bet it will open your eyes to how much you eat.

    ^^
    This. It comes down mostly to calories in vs calories out, regardless of the actual food you're eating. So if your portion size is too big or simply you are taking in as many calories or more than you're burning, you won't lose weight. Once you know how many calories you're taking in, you can do some estimates on what you're burning (powermeter will help with that, but tbh I find MyfitnessPal isn't too far off either for its exercise estimates on low to moderate exercise).
  • wongataawongataa Posts: 915
    I have however gone back to basics and I am currently riding 2 x 30~60 miles a week recreational geared rides + 80 miles a week commuting on the single speed and have started using zone 2 HR to try and burn some fat and really enjoying the economical / structured riding.
    Zone 2 isn't the best "fat burning" zone. While in that zone a higher percentage of the energy consumed comes from fat. At higher exertion rates you use more energy and although the percentage of energy from fat is lower the total amount of energy used from fat is higher due to the overall higher energy use.

    A power meter will let you now how much energy you burn while riding pretty accurately. To lose weight you just have to consume less energy than you expend.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I didn't think anybody was being abusive; you asked a question about weight loss. But you haven't given any info about height / weight / body shape beyond referring to your rugby playing history.

    My personal experience is that weight loss is a lot easier to achieve by modifying diet than by increasing / modifying exercise. And I've pretty much discounted the notion that a lower level of effort is some how magically better at fat burning than higher intensity efforts. If you want to burn calories and you've only got an hour to do it, go as fast as you can for that hour. Same applies for 2, 3 or 4 hours.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    But as per usual it descends into assassination which is why less and less people post here. Shame but again, thanks for the heads up.

    Who assassinated you ?

    You came on asking for help on how to lose weight and people helped ? But then you got all defensive about your weight. The weight you said you wanted to lose...
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,407
    fenix wrote:
    But as per usual it descends into assassination which is why less and less people post here. Shame but again, thanks for the heads up.

    Who assassinated you ?

    You came on asking for help on how to lose weight and people helped ? But then you got all defensive about your weight. The weight you said you wanted to lose...

    Bristolpete, give a bit more information. That is what is missing here and might be leading people to probe whether you're fat or realsitic about how much you eat.

    Weight
    Height
    Body fat%

    Then people will be able to offer their opinions on whether you need to lost fat, muscle mass or whatever. Also, what do you want to acheive apart from just being lighter? You could chop an arm off, but that's probably not the way to go.
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Isn't it obvious?
    He just wants us to tell him that a powermeter is essential for the task at hand.
    Makes it easier to sell the idea to the other half and we're doing a very bad job, help him out!. :D
  • bristolpetebristolpete Posts: 2,255
    It's cool. I will forge my own path. Yes, I asked for advice and yes, I wondered if a PM would help expedite loosing something compared to simple HR readings, as I am a heavy rider, I admit that in my opening gambit. But, on here time and time again, and I am not alone in this, people disbelieve what they read and assume its utter tripe. Facts are that whilst I am not Tuesday chain-gang rider, I can, have done and am working towards being in the shape I was before a nasty neck injury took me off the road. But I appreciate any positive comments and wish you all the best with your riding, fact or fiction. Oddly, I am a high milage endurance rider who can ride on little fuel other than the odd banana type thing. Below is the sort of thing I can muster and enjoy as an average bike rider, recreational at that. Nice one !

    28173806890_348d39c1ac_b.jpg
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