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I'm not losing the weight I thought I would by riding. On a good week, I ride 5-6 times, on a not so good week, it might be only 3. I ride hard, for at least 40 minutes to an hour and a half. I'm also on the Slim Fast diet and replace breakfast and dinner with shakes. I'm not a grazer, and my one meal is generally well balanced. I do my best to stay away from the sweets. In about 3 months, I've lost 15 pounds. I'm interested as to why the weight loss isn't coming faster. I know this is a very general question, but I didn't know if I was doing something so obviously wrong that I could change right away before consulting a nutritionist or some other outside source. Oh, and I'm a 200+ lb. female.

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These are all great tips and I really appreciate you all taking the time to answer some of my "fears". I once thought that I wasn't eating enough... maybe I should try the 5-6 small meals thing. I know that I definitely feel better, clothes are a little looser, and my energy is up. But I can tell when I get on my bike that I haven't eaten enough when I'm already super fatigued and haven't really done anything except get my clothes on!
Good job on the 15 pounds !!!

Keep a daily log of intake and count the calories you ingest on average each day.

Figure out the calories in, minus the calories burned.

Whatever you have left, you should eliminate 3500 more calories from that total [per day].

Then either burn an extra 3500 calories or take in 3500 calories less [or a combination of both]

3500 calories = about 1 pound

It sounds tough but if you are working full time it really isn't ... you just have 5-10 minutes here and there during the day to update the log.

I always have to remember that it took me way more than 3 months to put my weight on, so it is going to take way more than 3 months to get it off.

Congratulations and good luck
Hi Dana - I agree with the other posters: you're doing great! 15 lbs is no small feat!! I too lost a good deal of weight with Weight Watchers and have kept it off for 6 years. Cycling is part of my maintenance. But I also wanted to ask if you're combining cardio activity with weight and muscle training? The way I've always understood it is that cardio burns calories for as long as you engage in the activity, but weight training builds muscle that continue to burn calories at a higher rate long term, thereby raising your metabolism. Is there any way to incorporate muscle training into your routine? For example, you can buy cheap hand weights at Play it Again Sports and do walking lunges to build muscle in your legs and glutes.
You're doing great for 3 months. I've done lots of dieting and still haven't found that magic formula...cycling definitely hasn't done too much for me in terms of weightloss though. It is still something I find enjoyable, and it does improve my fitness and general well being. I do have a thyroid condition and take medication.

In your situation...it doesn't sound like you're eating enough or the right foods. One real meal doesn't sound like a great way to get enough vegetables and whole grains. Also, if you are feeling exhausted before you even get going in the morning, that probably isn't.

If you like slimfast shakes and want to keep with something like that, maybe you should work in a bit more whole foods. Eat a piece of fruit with the shake for breakfast. Have a real lunch and eat a real, healthy dinner.

Let me know if you ever want to go out for a ride! I'm over in Lincoln Square!
Here's my take on this. One idea is that people feel the need to 'diet'. Eating habits are key. You can lose weight, granted it won't be much, with just changing the way you eat and exercising very little. Don't diet, eat healthier more often. Slim fast I'm sure provides all the vitamins and nutrients someone needs, but it's better to eat the actual foods with the nutrition than the shake. you can't stay on slim fast forever, it seems to be more of a short term plan. eating healthier, as much as it can suck, is a better long term plan and soon you'll find yourself craving healthier foods and losing some of the need for fats and sugars. the best way i have ever found to eat is literally to do the 5-6 meals a day. yes, it is extremely difficult and a nuisance, but energy levels stay higher plus a number of other great effects come from it. also, ive heard the best way to lose pant sizes is to run. ive read this from a number of fitness instructors, publications, and certain athletes over the years. try adding a little bit of a light full body workout to your biking. ive foudn it difficult to workout intensely and bike. id leave out the majority of any leg exercises. pushups, pullups, planks, and other body weight exercises would benefit as well. ESSENTIALLY, if you can, try ending Slim fast, and progress slowly toward eating healthier foods, and then portions, and then light upper body and core workouts. dont forget to stretch. its crucial.
Don't have too much to add to what's already been said, but I lost around 80 pounds a while back, so I do have some experience. Don't know much about slimfast.

15 pounds in 3 months is 60 pounds in one year (yay, math). That's pretty good if you ask me. There are so many things you could change, but maybe you should just keep doing what you are doing.... And you might have added a few pounds of muscle, too. The more muscle you add, the higher your resting metabolism, and thus the more calories you burn just sitting there.

I don't know how you define hard riding. But I agree that a high cadence will help burn calories. Ride like you are being chased! I'm not kidding, that is the level of intensity I define as hard. ;-) You will only be able to do that for a minute or two at first if you are doing it right. I could go on and on and bore you (oops, too late) but hey, this is what worked for me and it might help you.
Eliminate 3500 calories a day? I have heard that for the average woman the calorie requirement is about 2000 per day. Also, 30 minutes on the treadmill burns about 250-300 calories, so to aim for burning 3500 sounds tough to say the least. Maybe 3500 per week, you meant to say?

If you would like to try to introduce weight training or to spice up your workout, try starting by checking out this page. It was written by a serious bodybuilder, but the "Beginner Workout" doesn't require weights and is great starting point for anyone that wants to start working out, you don't need to want to be a bodybuilder to do it. Give it a shot, I know when I started to work out again and didn't want to join a gym right away, this simple routine got me off to a good start.

Frosinone said:
Good job on the 15 pounds !!!

Keep a daily log of intake and count the calories you ingest on average each day.

Figure out the calories in, minus the calories burned.

Whatever you have left, you should eliminate 3500 more calories from that total [per day].

Then either burn an extra 3500 calories or take in 3500 calories less [or a combination of both]

3500 calories = about 1 pound

It sounds tough but if you are working full time it really isn't ... you just have 5-10 minutes here and there during the day to update the log.

I always have to remember that it took me way more than 3 months to put my weight on, so it is going to take way more than 3 months to get it off.

Congratulations and good luck
to dana, you may need to ride every day. Ive been in shape my whole life and weighed 115. but I exercise alot, everyday, walk five miles to the beach or ride 10 or 20 miles a day, but when I didn't exercise that much I exercised a half hour everyday stayed the same.
however when I took a certain medication I weighed 140 about and couldn't lose weight despite exercising hald an hour and more every day.
now I went up more gradually and naturally to 140, little by little after I moved out of my trailer, and went from riding 10 and 20 miles a day every day and eating whole giant easter bunnies every day supplemented with modest healthy meals, I moved first to an apartment then to the city, and seemed to have gained weight little by little up to 140 however I lost it all and went back to 115 last summer, when I rode once again for 10 miles a day, every day and after awhile I couldn't figure out why I couldnt maintain my weight of 115 despite exercising half and hour every day , and eating below my normal amount to lose weight, dieting didnt help, but I take in 1800 calories a day and stay at 140, but I look the same so idont care that much.
plus of course you know the more you ride the more weight you lose when your not riding because muscles burn off and use more calories than fat does. plus the oxygen energizes you.
good luck.
hi dana, i had a similar story to yours.

is your body telling you anything? for instance, do you have stomach problems, achy bones, anything like that? consider being tested for food intolerance. i had both of the above problems and it turns out i am lactose intolerant. cutting down dairy and taking the enzyme when i do (i love me some cheese!) made a significant difference in my weight loss and solve my stomach issues. i also rarely eat traditional wheat (i eat mostly spelt and sprouted wheat) because i had arthritis type symptoms (and read it could be related to wheat) which have now subsided. if you do not want to pay be tested for allergies there are several good books on allergy exclusion diets that help you figure out what your body is intolerant of.

i admire you for being able to stick to the slim fast diet. i love food too much to even try it. if you want to shake it up a bit (pun intended) try spirutein. i don't know how it compares calorie wise but there is some super healthy stuff in it! counting calories was a negative experience for me. it only seemed to remind me how much i was eating, not how much i wasn't eating.

i like rewards so what i do is track how many miles i've ridden a week (and then i brag incessantly to anything with ears.) i hope you do something similar. i needed a lot of little victories to tie me over while i was working diligently on my grand prize. i also threw out my scale. i would get so frustrated by not seeing results for my hard work that i would spiral down and my exercise routine would suffer. you can always get in a weigh when you are at a friend or relatives house.

my final suggestion it to set a goal that is no less than a year. i have a healthy lifestyle now but it was more difficult than anyone could imagine. it is as much mental as it is physical. keep up the good work and next thing you know you'll be buying smaller pants!

i hope some of this is helpful. if you want to chat more feel free to email me.
Congrats on the progress, Dana!

I lost about 40 pounds since I stopped commuting by car and switched to biking. I weighed about 193 and now I weigh about 153.

It sounds like everyone is in consensus about several things; you are doing great, you need to adjust your riding style for more cardio benefit, and you need to mix your riding with other stuff...such as weight training, jogging, etc.

There is only one thing I would like to add: ditch the diet shakes!

As a full-fledged member of the biking community, you are officially a real athlete and you no longer need to be a slave to the fad diets and the miracle "lose weight fast" bullshit product of the week. As such, you should eat real food.

I'm not an expert by any means, but this is what worked for me:

--Eat a real breakfast (in my opinion, whole grain cereal with fresh fruit mixed in)
--drink lots of water
--if you must drink a Coke from time to time, drink regular (not diet) and limit it to one per day
--lay off the beer if you can (or at least limit it to every few days)

And the most important part, eat what you want for lunch and dinner. In other words, if you crave a steak, eat a damn steak. BUT, eat it slowly. And the moment you feel full, stop eating.

The final thing I wanted to add is that you should look into weekly group rides, runs, etc. that are organized by the local running shops and bike shops. Nothing motivates like having someone pass you. Plus if it's a set time every week, you can make it part of your weekly routine. And on weekends, instead of going shopping or eating out or whatever, sign up for charity rides, ride the North Branch Trail up to Highland Park, or anything else you can do that will get you outside and active.

I hope this helps!!!

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