Struggling to lose weight

I could talk for many hours on nutrition and diet, it is my passion and plays a huge role in my profession. I’ll keep it incredibly brief, however…

Weight loss via exercise is largely inefficient, diet is by a country mile the best way. Don’t follow a fad diet. We all know what’s bad for us (sugars, processed crap, food with lots of calories but low nutrition content… Chocolate, cakes, biscuits etc… They’re all garbage). Eat less of that stuff and eat more fresh, natural products with HIGH NUTRIENT DENSITY such as fresh fruit and veg.

That may sound too simplistic but it is that simple. Eat less crap and more whole, natural foods.

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My daughter has lost over 50 pounds in the last year without doing any exercise other than walking her dog. All by diet only, counting calories and keeping track via the app she uses. For sure takes a lot of discipline to stick to this.

Dammit - why do you have to be so logical! lol I actually avoid sugar/sweets for the most part. I really don’t struggle with that. I really like to get out/party/drink with my friends - I understand that metabolism reverts to alcohol first when it’s introduced into the system. (I generally keep it low carb when drinking - I hate sugary drinks) I’m curious what additional insight you could give on what it’s doing in my body, how it effects everything discussed in the thread, what effects it would have in regard to exercising. Thank you Sir Ross!!!

Having lots of sugar leads to a process called glycation. It, for want of a better phrase, makes various body structures “sticky”, including our connective tissue. So regards to exercise, this makes our structures like tendons, collagen etc stiffer and so we become less flexible.

We end up with things called advanced glycation end products, we have receptors in our body for these, when detected we get a release of cytokines (which cause inflammation) and we can get a low grade sustained inflammatory response. This can cause fatigue, mood changes/depression etc (and how do people who eat lots of sugar feel… Tired, and incidence of depression amongst obese is how much higher than in those who eat healthy diets…). The irony here is that this process causes excess free radicals in our blood, this causes our mitochondria to become dysfunctional, that creates more oxidative damage and more free radicals… And thus a vicious cycle. Advanced glycation end products cause cross linking in our collagen, hence altered function. This is also why in particular diabetics heal so poorly.

That’s before you start with the extra stress on your adrenals and shed loads of other systems with repeated sugar spikes and crashes.

Sugars really aren’t good for us.

My caveat here is that if you’re exercising consuming sugars DURING exercise is fine, because the raised sugar levels in the blood are pretty transient and direct to the muscles very quickly. Very different to being a Couchlandrian eating a doughnut.

Is that the sort of info you wanted? :rofl:

As said, diet and nutrition is a real passion of mine, and I’ve done a huge amount of CPD on this for my profession, because it’s so vital for good health, optimal healing and recovery as well as your levels of energy and good mood!

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YES!!! I love geeky details! What about alcohol? In low levels or high levels …

Honestly you could write a book on it. If you want a geeky detail then to get rid of alcohol we use a lot of a chemical called glutathione. This is known as our “master” antioxidant and protector of the immune system. We use glutathione to get rid of toxins, pollution etc but it stimulates the immune system too. When people consume lots of alcohol it decreases their glutathione levels. One of the reasons those who drink more alcohol are more likely to get ill, die from cancers, heart disease, strokes etc because glutathione helps protect us against almost all forms of illness.

We all know the stuff about liver damage, obesity due to sugars/calories in it etc but I don’t think too many would know that :crazy_face:

You can supplement with glutathione (I do a modest dose) but it’s fairly expensive. We can make it in our diet, but the irony is that if we eat bad food we don’t make as much of it, and bad food has more crap/chemicals/toxins that we need to get rid of, so we use more of the glutathione we do have…

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Thank you! You’ve given me enough info to go down the rabbit hole of research. Bring on the late night reading!

I also have been down the weight loss road. I agree with what most have said with a few notes on what worked for me.

The first big thing was lower carb. When I was losing weight I cut almost all processed carbs from my diet. I would eat fruit in moderation, a small amount of unprocessed grain, and as I brew beer I would have one or two on the weekend as a bit of a reward. This was difficult at first as I felt a bit weak. However, my body adapted and once it did I ride better and feel better on a lower carb diet. My during workout fuel is often nuts with a bit of dark chocolate.

The second thing was smaller meals and not omitting snacking when I was hungry. I had nuts, cheese, and fruit as my healthy snacks and filled my office with them. When I was hungry I had a small snack. This kept me from the big binge meal. It also kept me from needing a quick snack and searching for food.

Finally have a support group. It is not easy. Having someone else with a shared struggle helps.

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Did you try the honey lemon water mixture morning?

I tried when I lived in Andorra for few months. They have small local honey brand ‘Le Souffle d’Adore’ in every hotel. So I used this mixture before every morning ride. Lost weight and actually never felt so good during the ride. Can’t explain why, but it was way better than raw honey I tried to use before. It also was delicious. Now back to home can’t find alternative that good. You can order it online, but the delivery costs a fortune (for US).

In order to lose weight, it is important to stay hydrated in the morning. This honey lemon water is one of the best ways to do that! It helps your body get rid of toxins and gives you energy for the day

Well said…great advice. :clap:t3:

I used an app and have kept 25 pounds off for almost 15 months now. The app helped with psychology behind weight loss, which helped me with better choices. The primary lesson was that I was just taking in too much and to slow down to enjoy meals. I’ve always eaten healthier foods but now getting older it’s so much more important to get the best foods possible for your health and well-being. Lots of great advice here. I hope that they help you find what works for you.

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@Ross — all these posts of yours over time are super interesting - SUF blog material even !!

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@Martin @Ross Agreed - maybe you should be on one of the future podcasts. I really like this sort of detail. It adds a lot of perspective when making choices.

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Firstly, great work on your progress so far and improving your fitness!

In regards to fat loss, here are a few tips I recommend following that should help you reach your optimum and healthy body composition:
Strength training - building more muscle mass not only uses calories in the sessions, but muscle has a higher metabolic cost than other tissue, so having more muscle uses more energy a day. Your weight may stay similar, but muscle will present instead of fat. So more power, and healthier.
Fibre - fibres helps us feel fuller and is also important for good gut health, which itself has been linked to better metabolic functions and capacity to lose fat. Whole grains, pulses, legumes, fruit and veg are good sources.
Fruit and veg - similar to the last point. Fruit and veg will help you feel fuller (high volume low energy density), give you many of the vitamins and minerals you need to keep you healthier, and also good carbohydrate sources to fuel training.
Water - again can help you feel fuller as the volume is large but the energy density is nil.
Fuelling properly - interestingly, eating enough can help with fat loss. If you skimp on meals in and around training, you are more likely to feel hungrier, snack more, and also risk your metabolism slowing so fat loss progress will plateau. Ensure that especially for higher intensity training sessions that you are fuelling them adequately with carbohydrates as well as refuelling with carbs and some protein after the sessions as well. This will improve training gains, muscle gains in strength work, improve energy levels, and help you feel fuller throughout the day.

Hope that helps

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Building on @Coach.Andy.T : I started the DASH diet to control rising blood pressure hoping to avoid medication. It worked—and I lost 12 pounds in the process. The center of the DASH diet is to eat 4 to 5 servings of veg (a serving is about 30g of leafy greens or 45g of other veg), 4-5 servings of fruit (eve medium sized apple), 8+ servings of whole grains (slice of bread is a serving) and limited amounts of saturated fat, but lean meats and low fat dairy is good. I also cut salt. The main driver of weight loss for me was that the huge increase (for me) in fruit and veg made me feel too full to eat more.

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All good recommendations here. For me time structured eating has really worked. Do some research on it.

Fasted rides are all about teaching your body to burn fat, not necessarily lose weight, IMO.