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Home » Cycling » Fixing a Cyclist’s Body, One Season at a Time: What I Did After Losing TOO MUCH Weight Riding a Bike.

Fixing a Cyclist’s Body, One Season at a Time: What I Did After Losing TOO MUCH Weight Riding a Bike.

April 2017
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I am 6′ 0″ tall.  This is me at 150 pounds:

IMG_0041

I know, the socks are all wrong (so are the shoes if you want to get technical, and the pedals too).  That’s not the point.  I didn’t know how to eat for all of the miles in this photo.  My legs aren’t great in that photo but they were starting to come along.  Fast forward four years and I’ve added 25 pounds:

IMG_7538

Cycling will have you dropping weight like it’s going out of style – if one is not eating too much.  20 or 30 pounds a season, easy.  Easy.  Now, often you’ll read advice on how to cut weight so you can be a little faster up a hill and while there’s something to that, it’s gotta be within reason, Grasshopper!  I much prefer me at 175 over the 150 pound me, I don’t care how slow the extra weight makes me climb a freaking hill!  I’d rather look like the guy in the second photo any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

So, what happens when you go too far, as I clearly did?

I had to learn to eat to fuel the next ride but not so much that I ended up with unwanted poundage.  It’s a delicate balancing act to be sure, but it is manageable, and much more so than it is just trying to manage weight by diet.

The flip-side to this beast is eating too much, and believe me it’s very easy to justify a candy bar or some ice cream after riding 20 or 30 miles.  If I don’t resist the temptation to overeat and if I don’t forego the vast majority of my cravings, I will manage to gain weight rather than lose it, even at 200 miles a week.

So what’s the balance?  Comfortably hungry.  All the time.  If I’m not some form of hungry at all times, I’ve eaten too much and I have to cut portions back.  If I’m ever “full”” after a meal there’s no doubt I’ve gone too far.  Now, being in a state of perpetual hunger can be a serious pain in the butt.  I get used to it though, and then that becomes the new normal and it doesn’t bug me so much.  Getting the balance right is how I make it work.  Well, that and a veritable $#!+ ton of miles.  We can’t forget the miles!

Oh, just so we’re clear;  The easy part is putting the weight back on after I’ve lost a little too much.  Four Words:  McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s.  They never fail.

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21 Comments

  1. My wife gets what she calls; hangry. . .you never want to have a hangry woman! Oh and did you take into consideration that muscle weighs more than “non-muscle?”

    • bgddyjim says:

      hangry and perpetually hungry are two different things! Hangry is very bad, while comfortably hungry is not bad… And you’re right… A hangry woman is a very bad thing, to be avoided at all costs.

    • Gail says:

      Cycling Dayton: I’m not sure what you mean by “non-muscle”. Do you mean nothing at all? Like space? Air? If it’s nothing, then yes, you’re right. Something always weigh more than nothing, However, if you mean fat or an underdeveloped muscle, you’re incorrect. One pound of muscle weighs exactly the same as one pound of fat. The muscle just takes up less space. One pound of highly developed fast twitch muscle fiber weighs exactly the same as one pound of moderately developed fast twitch muscle fiber…or slow twitch for that matter. Again, it is just going to look different and take up a different amount of space. Sorry as a fitness professional, and logical person, I could not let that stand.

  2. So good to know! I will definitely keep this all in mind as I work through my season! Thank you!

  3. Gail says:

    I like your comment about comfortably hungry. Fair warning. I’m going to use that phrase. When working with some (not all) people they panic if they don’t feel completely sated at all times. Starving? Not good. Meehhh, I guess I could eat, okay. Hangry and a woman? Get out of the way!!!!

  4. ah, comfortably hungry perfect….what are your thoughts on ketosis? I ask because that is what comfortably hungry reminds me of. 🙂

  5. Sue Slaght says:

    Great post Jim. This is a balance that takes a while to figure out.

  6. unironedman says:

    150? That’s like 68 kilos in real money? For a six-footer? Or should I say about 183cm? (Nah… I like those old inches, but I’m somewhat getting used to kilometres after all these years). But feck… that sure was way too slim, Jim. As for the Great Muscle Debate… I’m loathe to dip my toe in, but I guess we’re really talking about volume v mass? I got the same end result in my head alright, but I can see how easy it is to fall into the trap of saying something like “pound for pound, muscle weighs more than fat” which is of course daft. As kids, we used ask what weighs more, a ton of coal or a ton of feathers. Feck, that used to get on my nerves after a while. Must be hangry. Going to eat now…

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