Those last few pounds are the toughest to lose.
I know. I fight this battle every winter. Late in the fall, and during the winter months, I cycle less, and inevitably add a few pounds. Then, come February while preparing for the Pacific Popular, the first century ride of the season, I try to shed them.
100 km around the lower mainland
The ride is relatively flat. There is a 3 km climb near the beginning and end but the rest of it is on the river delta. Each year I try to improve on my time, and have been getting progressively faster as I learn to better pace, hydrate, and fuel myself.
So, why do I want to lose this weight. Well, it has to do with climbing. I know that the better my weight/power ratio, the easier and faster I can climb. My workouts are focused on improving my power but if I don’t also reduce my weight I will not be prepared for the Whistler Gran Fondo.
I have 2 months to lose a few pounds. That sounds easy, doesn’t it. Well, it’s not. You see, I already have a clean, relatively low calorie diet. No meat. Little dairy. No sweats. And, a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables. But, and this is a big BUT, I have 3 bad habits. I eat too much at dinner, I am addicted to JJ Bean’s Ranchero vegetarian wrap for lunch (700 calories), and I snack on a fig newton (250 calories) after gym workouts.
So, this is my plan. For the months of February and March, I’m cutting out second helpings at dinner, eating a lower calorie lunch at home, and eliminating the fig newtons. I’ll push myself away from the table after the first helping, eat left overs for lunch, and snack on fresh fruit. This will reduce my caloric intake by 500-750 calories a day. Given there are ~ 3,500 calories in a pound that means in a week I should be able to lose ~ 1 pound (500 calories / day x 7 days), 4 pounds in a month, and 8 pounds by the time I suit up for the Pacific Popular at the beginning of April.
That would have me at my optimum weight.
It sounds simple, but it’s not. You see, the harder I train, the hungrier I get, and the more I feel entitled to eat more. If I burn more calories, then I should be able to eat more. Right?
Well, it doesn’t work like that. I’m not entitled to more food. I only need enough calories to recover and fuel the day. I don’t need anything more. In fact, when I knowingly over eat, I feel worse. Guilty. No, what I am I’m entitled to is to be at my optimum weight.
Just writing this makes me hungry 🙂
Sounds like a well-thought out plan Gary. I hope it goes well. There’s something very rewarding about self-discipline… optimum weight sound like a great reward!
Now I better go get some dinner 😉
I figure if I share the plan with others, I’m more likely to stick with it.
I agree, it definitely helps.
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Keeping one’s weight down is a constant battle, and I know the temptation to reward yourself after a hard ride, but it sounds like you’ve got a good plan!
To some degree it is age related. When I was in my twenties it was never an issue but as we get older our metabolism changes and you need to adjust your eating accordingly.
I admire your discipline! It’s not easy to be stringent even when a clear goal lies ahead–experience really goes a long way here because it’s NOT doing something that makes the difference.
Thanks Illian but you had better check back in a couple of months. It’s easy to say these things but another to keep to them. I shared the plan in the hope I would have added incentive.
My sympathies are with you! It truly is easier said than done and I hope sharing the plan makes it a little bit easier to accomplish. 🙂
You made me hungry now too…
I know. I’m sitting here planning my day wondering if I can survive without my lunch hour Ranchero.
That is quite a challenging route! Congratulations on having so much self-discipline!
You had better check back in 2 months Peter. I shared the plan hoping to make me even more committed. I know how difficult it is particularly at my age to keep the weight off despite how active I may be. It’s really all about what and how much you eat.
I’ve never heard of JJ Beans but a veggie wrap sounds quite healthy. Don’t overdo it and make sure you get enough to it.
That should say “enough to EAT”,
Thanks Rachel. I still eat. A lot! But I have cleaned it up, eat at the house mostly so I know the ingredients, and have cut out the sweets.
JJ Bean is a local coffee roaster with several cafes in the city, most of which are on my cycling routes. Having lunch there became a habit over the past 2 years. The veggie wrap (and coffee) is delicious.
JJ Bean has the best coffee 🙂
I love JJ Bean. Love the coffee and the Ranchero Wrap. One opened in my neighbourhood this year and it has become my goto place to refuel after a raid ride.