Monday, May 26, 2008

Preparing to lose ~15 lbs

So I want to lose about 15 lbs. In my perfect world, I'd like to be able to all of the Seattle to Portland ride (202 miles) in one day- it feels like such a more significant accomplishment to me than back-to-back centuries, not that that's anything to shake a stick at either.
Well in addition to some mileage goals I have, I want to shed some weight and since my credit at Piermont Bike isn't high enough yet to get new wheels, I'll have to keep riding my heavy bike and save the weight on the engine.
I have some decisions to make and some stuff to teach myself- if you can help, please post.
What I know:

-I want to evaluate, or re-evaluate, my food/exercise every 2 weeks.
-100 bike miles minimum per week
-Restrict no foods except I will continue to avoid sugar substitutes
-No liquid calories except coffee/tea and electrolyte drinks during rides. (This isn't hard, I go weeks at a time without liquid calories)
-No alcohol- also very easy
-No eating after 7 pm

What I need to know:
-What my heart rate is supposed to be- what kind of range am I shooting for in order to achieve maximum fat-burning results
-How many days of exercise on/off? (I don't currently belong to a gym where I can lift weights, though I may join one for the summer)
-Three larger meals with smaller snacks in between or several 300-ish calorie meals spaced throughout the day
-How many calories am I shooting for per day? I'm definitely not going to do a no-carb thing. I'm dead set on counting calories, I just don't know yet what my daily should be in order to lose 15 lbs in 6 weeks.

Overall goal:

Lose 15 lbs or more before July 12. My goal is not to specifically train for the 200 miles in a day. If it happens, it happens.

Lots to figure out. Aaah! I am planning on starting tomorrow- I'll be posting frequently...tomorrow morning I'll do my first weigh-in and I plan to only weigh myself once a week. I need an average of 2.5 lbs/week. Doable?


Hubby said...

I think your target heart rate zone is about 112 to 159.

Jenni said...

Great, I'm in my target HR zone walking over to my bike. No wonder I'm in such great shape already.

gerry said...

Calories in/calories out. 2.5 lbs per week = about 8500 calories a week. Burn an extra 1500 calories a day you are almost there.
Remember that a 30 mile ride that burns 1000 calories does not burn an extra 1000. You would have burned about 300 sitting on the couch.
It is doable but not easy to lose that much in that time.

Good luck.

David said...

>>-What my heart rate is supposed to be- what kind of range am I shooting for in order to achieve maximum fat-burning results<<

This is a misleading question, and subject to some debate. There's an optimal fat burning zone, the heart rate range at which you're technically burning a greater percentage of fat during cardiovascular exercise. However, when you exercise above this rate you're burning more calories in the same period of time.

Since, as Gerry mentioned it's a relatively simple formula for weight loss (though recent studies show that it's not in minus out for most people, due to variations in metabolism) if you only have a certain amount of time in a day to exercise, and a certain goal number of calories to burn, you'll want to spend as much time burning as many as you can.

That said, your body in the long run will maintain the weight loss more effectively if you're doing it slower (about 1.5-2lbs per week for most people) otherwise you risk tricking your body into thinking you're starving (in which case your metabolism slows and you don't burn as many calories, and you get sleepy).

Also, remember that muscle, at rest, burns more calories than non-muscle, so if you increase your overall muscle mass by even a small percentage you'll boost both the calories burned during exercise (as most exercises are weight x effort x duration) as well as the calories burned while exercising. In other words, if you want to lose more weigh faster, include weight lifting.

Shooting for a target weight is not as effective, btw, as shooting for a target body fat %.

Here's why: If you're 150 lbs but 20% body fat, then you have 30lbs of fat. If you're 160 lbs but 15% body fat, then you've got 24 lbs of fat. 10 pounds more weight, but 6 lbs less fat.

Finally, cycling performance, what you seem to be after here, is calculated as a function of a ratio of power to weight ratio. In other words, what you want to increase is how much power output your body weight can produce.

Obviously a lighter rider doesn't need to produce as much power as a heaver rider to move the same amount up a hill, there's less mass to push. But a rider with a higher ratio of power to mass will move faster.

So if you have two riders, the same weight, but one of them has a greater amount of power (generated by muscle) then they're going to go farther/faster.

In other words, slim down but do so without loss of muscle mass.