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jplum4
08-20-2004, 11:10 PM
Does anyone have any encouraging stories of weight loss and biking? I'm 46 and through menopause. Never been overweight until this year. It seems like, no matter what I eat (or don't eat) and how much I exercise, weights or cardio, I can't lose more than a couple of pounds.

I'm trying to justify the purchase of a road bike, hoping that the longer rides will burn off some pounds.

Any thoughts?

Tek
08-21-2004, 05:46 AM
Of course it will help with weight loss. Anytime you move your body, you're going to get weight loss because you are using extra effort in your day.

Cycling is a great way and depending on where you live, a very fun way to see the world around you. It doesn't burn as much calories as say running does, but cycling is less high impact on your bones.

I'm an asthmatic and to ME cycling is far easier than swimming or running. I now do it all but I started out with cycling because that was what I could handle and I lost enough weight to add and even enjoy more activities.

Good luck!

bounceswoosh
08-21-2004, 07:12 AM
Just one side note -- it's true that cycling is low-impact on your bones, but that can actually be a problem. Studies have shown that both road and mountain racers have extremely low bone density, with guys in their thirties having the bones of a woman in her sixties. You apparently lose the calcium equivalent of a cup of milk for every hour you sweat heavily, so that doesn't help, either.

Anyway, especially as jplum4's going through menopause, I would strongly recommend cross-training. Yes, get that bike -- it's great fun and very empowering. But do other stuff, too -- keep lifting weights, especially free-weights if you can manage it rather than machines. Maybe do some hiking. Eat calcium supplements! I've also started with the calcium supplements, even though I'm only 26. There's a calcium supplement that tastes like a candy chew -- Viactiv, www.viactiv.com -- has a bit of a weird aftertaste, but good calcium content.

Cycling is great, awesome, a wonderful exercise -- I strongly encourage you to get a bike. But make sure you do more impactful stuff, too. (I wish I could get a bone density test, but at my age they're apparently not covered by insurance. Bah! I'd like to know *before* there's a problem.)

Trek420
08-21-2004, 08:06 AM
jplum4 asked "Does anyone have any encouraging stories of weight loss and biking? I'm 46 and through menopause."

I'm 48, done with menopause, don't own a scale. But do own 2 bikes.

Cycling has dropped inches, jeans went from relaxed-womens-20-with elastic waist now 16's are falling off me, down a shirt size or two, arthritic knees don't bug me. Lots of energy.

"I'm trying to justify the purchase of a road bike, hoping that the longer rides will burn off some pounds."

Just get one!

As for bone density my doctors said the action of the muscles pulling on bones is now thought to help reduce bone loss in other words any vigoruos excercise. They thought that riding to the extent I do would be enough without weights etc.

Cross train anyway! It rests overused muscles, develops your core, and as much as I loooooove bike riding I'd get bored if that was all I did.

fasteryet
08-21-2004, 11:02 AM
I wish I could be encouraging about cycling and weight loss, but since I'm going through menopause, and cycling a lot, and not losing weight, I can't be. Last year I rode lots, and got quite fit and relatively firm. This year I'm walking my dog two miles 5 or 6 days per week, riding my bike 4 or 5 days per week (between 45 minutes to two and a half hours) and have gained weight. I am eating more, but not that much. So I'm blaming it all on menopause. The only thing I can say is that I do feel healthy, and my blood pressure, cholesterol, etc., are all great.

maryellen
08-21-2004, 02:45 PM
another voice for cross training and strength training. I have low bone density bordering on osteroporosis (I am 46 and not menopausal).

Even though I would be happy only to bike I have to do weight bearing cardio and strength training.

Can't really speak to the weight loss issue. I tend to do few rides, but long ones. I don't lose weight, but I eat whatever I want during rides. I enjoy that!

Dogmama
08-22-2004, 03:55 AM
Have you dieted throughout your life? It is thought that women who are chronic dieters have difficulty with weight because the body holds onto the fat better.

Have you had your thyroid checked? A sluggish thyroid will make weight loss difficult.

KkAllez
08-22-2004, 02:41 PM
One thing to watch out for is the hunger. I find that after riding quite a bit I am as hungry as a horse. So make sure you have healthy snacks. My downfall, if they are available is tortilla chips and salsa. I try not to make them available.

I am 39 and right now everything with my body is screwed up. Right now I am waiting the results of a CA 125 test for ovarian cancer. Not stressing, not stressing....

In any case, like today, I just felt like crap but managed a 26 mile ride with my husband and 16 year old son. As bad as I felt that ride has done me a world of good. It just felt good to get out there and ride. No, let me rephrase that, it felt FUN to get out there and ride. And that is, for me, the main purpose of cycling. It gives me a way to have fun that is healthy. If it is fun for you you will probably stick with it and in the long run you should see a difference.

One thing to beware of: if you are doing it to lose weight throw the scale out because muscle weighs more than fat. Go by what you see in the mirror and how your clothes feel, etc. Not by scale weight.

Sparrow
08-23-2004, 04:44 AM
Originally posted by Kim
One thing to beware of: if you are doing it to lose weight throw the scale out because muscle weighs more than fat. Go by what you see in the mirror and how your clothes feel, etc. Not by scale weight. There's a whole lot o' truth in that. I started riding hard, really pushing myself, 11 weeks ago. My starting weight was ~265. My weight after 10 weeks is ~260-ish ... but I've lost 3 inches in my waist, 2.5 in the chest, that double chin is receding, my elbows are suddenly pointy, my wedding ring is getting loose, I can see my knees, and I can SEE the muscle in my calves. :D

I'm trying to stay off the scale for now ... might pull it out of the closet in another month or so just out of curiosity but right now it's obviously not a reflection of what my body's really doing. Oh, and when I really push hard on a ride it's an instant weight gain of 3-4 pounds ... not something I really want to be seeing! :p

Waverly
08-23-2004, 06:41 AM
Originally posted by Kim
One thing to watch out for is the hunger. I find that after riding quite a bit I am as hungry as a horse.

It is just the opposite with me. I find that after a ride I am not hungry at all. I have been eating one meal a day lately. I force myself to have little snacks because I am hypo glycemic and I have a habit of passing out if my sugar gets to low.

Good luck on your test!

Jessie

emily_in_nc
08-23-2004, 09:13 AM
Originally posted by Sparrow
Oh, and when I really push hard on a ride it's an instant weight gain of 3-4 pounds ... not something I really want to be seeing! :p

Yeah, what's up with that? Is it muscle weight? Retained water from salt in Gator Aid or all those carbs we eat during or after a ride? I have noticed the same. I rode 110 miles this weekend (over both days) and gained 2 lbs (I'm small, so that's the equivalent of 3-4 on a bigger gal.) If my usual pattern prevails, it will be gone by the end of the week.

Any exercise physiologists among us who care to shed some light? Yes, I definitely ate enough to sustain life this weekend, but I doubt I ate as many calories as I burned on those two rides!

Thanks!
Emily

Veronica
08-23-2004, 02:14 PM
I always either gain a pound or two when I ride long or stay the same. I lose a couple of pounds when I do my twenty mile training ride. I think it has to do with liquid intake. I'm much better on a long ride about staying hydrated and I don't push myself as hard. My heart rate average on the short ride is 10 - 15 beats per minute higher.

In any case neither the pounds gained nor the pounds lost stay that way for more than a day or two.

V.

Sparrow
08-23-2004, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by emily_in_nc
Yeah, what's up with that? Is it muscle weight? Retained water from salt in Gator Aid or all those carbs we eat during or after a ride?
Emily Here's an excellent little article (http://starbulletin.com/2002/01/09/features/health.html) I stumbled across on the subject of exercise and weight gain. In a nutshell, these guys put the gain down to a combination of muscle inflamation and glycogen storage in the muscles.

spazzdog
08-23-2004, 03:17 PM
Back in 2000 when I was training for the Boston-NewYork Aidsride, I was heavier. I started training in Mar 2000 at 145 lbs. The last month and a half leading up to the Sept ride I was averaging 150 mi per week. On the day I finished I weighed (drum roll please) 145 lbs. Did not lose an ounce through all those months BUT I was a pretty firm 145... definition, etc. My eating habits didn't change much. My bigger issue was staying hydrated enough.

So, don't be alarmed if the numbers don't change...

If you want to be really aware of the body changes, take a full body photo nekkid, both front and back. Put them away (or stick 'em on the fridge if thats your style).

In a couple of months, take another set. Take out the 1st photos and lay them side by side.... betcha you SEE a difference, that we sometimes don't see in the mirror.

P.S. Those of you who got here from "Longer Jerseys" may be corn-fused at the weight I note above. Yes, I now weigh in at 118, but it had nothing to do with diet OR exercise (see "Cycling and Depression").

emily_in_nc
08-23-2004, 06:14 PM
Thanks Sparrow!

That was an excellent article. I understand the post-exercise weight gain a bit better now. Now I know why I'm about 4-5 lbs heavier riding a lot than I was when I was doing the low-carb diet but not working out heavily. All my clothes still fit, so I guess all is well! :)

Emily

mandigreene
08-23-2004, 08:15 PM
Yup, I think taking before and after pictures is a good idea...it's easier to see for yourself...I have leaned down a lot butm in my opinion I could stand to lose more...however my mom in law says I have changed a lot...my face looks leaner etc. (without a picture u tend to overlook a lot of areas :) Good luck!!!

mandi