Started cycling, gained weight...

alasdairgf

New Member
Location
Liverpool
Started cycling to lose weight - am just on the wrong side of the "obese" category according to BMI. Irritated to notice that in the first couple of weeks I've actually put on 1.5kg. Wife & friends have said, "Oh, it's just that muscle weights more than fat," but it sounds like an urban myth. Is this true, and is it common when starting cycling, or is there something I need to be doing that I'm not, currently?

(I've not changed my diet, but I'm not going for rapid weight-loss, and changing diet right now would be awkward for the whole family...! Diet's not bad - not good, I guess, but little junk.)
 

Martok

Klingon on a bike
Location
Watford
Your wife and friends are right, this is likely to be muscle mass that you have put on.

It might be worth you picking up some scales that show you body fat, body mass etc as well as weight. I've got some Salter Stainless Steel Body Analyser Scales, £29.99 from Argos. They show body fat, body water, muscle mass, BMR and BMI.

I like you am classed as obese going by BMI (though that is just a guide, BMI is not the definitive definition as some athletes would be classed as overweight or obese by BMI when they are not, just muscled) and I have found that recently I've not lost much weight but instead have put on muscle mass.

Do look at how much cycling you are doing and what you eat though. A good bit of exercise and sensible eating will increase the muscle mass and then you'll see weight loss if you get this right. :sad:
 

Matthames

Über Member
Location
East Sussex
I am overweight and my weight hasn't changed that much, however the one thing I have noticed though is that I have started loosing fat around my belly and my thighs have increased in diameter.
 

Nick_B

New Member
Matthames said:
I am overweight and my weight hasn't changed that much, however the one thing I have noticed though is that I have started loosing fat around my belly and my thighs have increased in diameter.
Much the same experience for me after a couple of years back on the bike. My typical week's riding would be around 3 x 16 mile round trip commutes + 30-40 miles on a Sunday.
 

Guvnor

Active Member
Location
Essex
It is actually your fat turning to muscle and as muscle weighs more than fat, i'm pretty sure that this is whats happening. I would not read to much into your BMI as it cannot distinguish the difference between the two. i read an article that says the Chris Hoy is overweight according to his BMI but theres not an ounce of fat on him.
 

Banjo

Fuelled with Jelly Babies
Location
South Wales
alasdairgf said:
Started cycling to lose weight - am just on the wrong side of the "obese" category according to BMI. Irritated to notice that in the first couple of weeks I've actually put on 1.5kg. Wife & friends have said, "Oh, it's just that muscle weights more than fat," but it sounds like an urban myth. Is this true, and is it common when starting cycling, or is there something I need to be doing that I'm not, currently?

(I've not changed my diet, but I'm not going for rapid weight-loss, and changing diet right now would be awkward for the whole family...! Diet's not bad - not good, I guess, but little junk.)
Sorry to burst your bubble but if you are in the obese category you should lose weight by cycling and avoiding high calorie food I think that the muscle weight only becomes an issue as you get close to ideal weight.


One reason you may not lose as much as you would like is that exercise makes you hungry, if you get post exercise hunger try filling up on water instead of food.

Have an honest look at what your eating, try keeping a notebook with a daily list of everything you eat,its very easy to be conning yourself(been there got the T shirt)

Changing your diet maybe awkward for the family but not nearly as awkward as you getting diabetes or heart disease.

I think you are wise aiming for gradual weight loss .

Good Luck
 

efreeti

New Member
Location
Halifax
I agree with Banjo. People tend to lose weight easily in the first few weeks of a healthy eating andor exercise routine if they are doing it right. It tends to get difficult when you are much nearer your ideal weight. It seems unlikely that you are building muscle quick enough to offset fat loss at this stage.

I slowly gained weight from about the age of 25 to 30 (was already heavyish before that) but got to twenty stone at the start of last year. When I first started taking weight loss seriously I was disappointed that I wasn't getting the results that I wanted. For a few months I didn't lose any weight. But, I didn't gain any either. I had to cut my intake quite a bit just to stop gaining weight. By the time I started losing weight I had had to make significant changes to my diet.

Presumably you have been eating too much to become obese. The cycling you have been doing has probably stopped or slowed down your weight gain but you will either need to increase activity further or decrease calorie intake to achieve weight loss.

To get rid of 500 calories per day you can either spend an hour doing high intensity exercise or NOT eat a mars bar and a packet of crisps!

Weight watchers points system or an accurate honest food diary will really help.
 
OP
A

alasdairgf

New Member
Location
Liverpool
Thanks, y'all. Why the sudden urge to sound American? No idea. Anyway, thanks, puts it in perspective (esp. Banjo's penultimate comment re heard disease etc!).

Reading over a couple of other threads here gives me a target food to avoid - bread. Realise I eat a lot of bread. Not sure what I'm make sarnies out of now! Do wraps count as bread?

Oh, and portion size. I suspect a dietician would look over her glasses at the size of my portions, even when it's relatively healthy food - chicken/veg stir-fry & rice type dinners which are typical at GF Towers.

Grrr. I love eating! I'll miss it :-)
 

Banjo

Fuelled with Jelly Babies
Location
South Wales
Yeah ,sorry it was a bit of a grim comment but it was those kind of worries that prompted me to lose a bit of lard.

Like you i ate mostly good food at home but then tended to eat total garbage at work so that was an easy change to make.I didnt ban anything so still have beer chips curries etc just not nearly as often .

Breakfasts now I usually go with fruit and cereal but still the odd fry up on a weekend.I use One cal frying spray ionstead of oil or fat in the frying pan or use a GeorgeForeman grill and poach the eggs is an even better option.

Once you start doing regular mileage on the bike just look at making little changes to your diet to trim down the calorie intake until the weight starts coming off.Then weigh yourself once a week and keep a record so your not fooling yourself.

Some of us keep weight records on Health and Fitness Forum here on CC which is a bit of extra motivation.

Good Luck hope it goes well for you.
 

screenman

Legendary Member
I have lost over 20 kilo since January I did this by putting less calories in than I was using. I stick to the daily plate system and it works well for me and the other people I have manged to encourage onto it. I also feel the BMI is a bit of guess work however it does help some people know they are fat, which is where I was. This next piece was copied from the Livestrong pages.


WHR
The WHtR is calculated by dividing waist size by height, and takes gender into account. As an example, a male with a 32 inch waist who is 5'10" (70 inches) would divide 32 by 70, to get a WHtR of 45.7 percent. The WHtR is thought to give a more accurate assessment of health since the most dangerous place to carry weight is in the abdomen. Fat in the abdomen, which is associated with a larger waist, is metabolically active and produces various hormones that can cause harmful effects, such as diabetes, elevated blood pressure, and altered lipid (blood fat) levels.

Many athletes, both male and female, who often have a higher percentage of muscle and a lower percentage of body fat, have relatively high BMIs but their WHtRs are within a healthy range. This also holds true for women who have a "pear" rather than an "apple" shape.

The following chart helps you determine if your WHtR falls in a healthy range (these ratios are percentages):

WOMEN
• Ratio less than 35: Abnormally Slim to Underweight
• Ratio 35 to 42: Extremely Slim
• Ratio 42 to 46: Healthy
• Ratio 46 to 49: Healthy
• Ratio 49 to 54: Overweight
• Ratio 54 to 58: Seriously Overweight
• Ratio over 58: Highly Obese

MEN
• Ratio less than 35: Abnormally Slim to Underweight
• Ratio 35 to 43: Extremely slim
• Ratio 43 to 46: Healthy
• Ratio 46 to 53: Healthy, Normal Weight
• Ratio 53 to 58: Overweight
• Ratio 58 to 63: Extremely Overweight/Obese
• Ratio over 63: Highly Obese

Alyse's Advice
New research shows that the WHtR, not BMI, is the most accurate assessment tool for health risk. People with the most weight around their waists are at greatest risk of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Therefore, since you can't change your height, you should take special care to keep your weight and in particular, abdominal girth in a healthy range by eating nutritiously and exercising regularly.
 

tyred

Legendary Member
Location
Ireland
I assume this is the actual waist size measured about 1/2" below your belly button rather than your trouser size?

If so at about 5'10" and 37", I'm ~52% which is just about healthy normal weight. I'm surprised as I thought I was way too heavy at 14st 9lb. My doctor told me I should be 10 1/2 stone which I think is impossible for someone of my large build. The lightest I've ever been in my adult life is 13st 10lb last summer.
 
OP
A

alasdairgf

New Member
Location
Liverpool
Thanks for that about the WHtR, interesting... still gives me a lot of work to do, though!

I calculate that at 6'1"(ish) I need to come down from a 44" to a 38" waist, which puts things more in perspective for me. According to BMI calcs, I'd need to drop from 108kg to about 85kg, which seems huge and just not do-able (haven't been 85kg in 15 years!)
 

tyred

Legendary Member
Location
Ireland
alasdairgf said:
Thanks for that about the WHtR, interesting... still gives me a lot of work to do, though!

I calculate that at 6'1"(ish) I need to come down from a 44" to a 38" waist, which puts things more in perspective for me. According to BMI calcs, I'd need to drop from 108kg to about 85kg, which seems huge and just not do-able (haven't been 85kg in 15 years!)
Look carefully at what you eat and take regular exercise and you will be surprised at how quickly that 44" will drop. I was 43" when I started and was surprised at how quickly my waist-line got smaller up to point. It's getting the final touches to drop the final stone or so which is what I've struggled with.
 

screenman

Legendary Member
I have dropped from a 42 stretchy to a 34 and maybe a bit less since January, so it is certainly doable (is that a word?).
 
Top Bottom