Wednesday, 02 May, 2001

Fighting Weight by Cycling

I put almost 600 miles on my bike in April, easily the most I've ever done in a single month.  My longest ride over that period was the 62 mile Ride for the Roses on April 8, which was my first ride of the month.  I'm slowly getting used to spending long periods of time in the saddle in preparation for an upcoming major distance effort.

In addition to time in the saddle, I'm determined this time to lose between 15 and 20 pounds, and keep it off.  At 180 pounds, my Body Mass Index of 26.7 puts me in the "overweight high risk" category.  My target of 165 would put me right at the high end of the "low risk" category.  With my family history of heart disease, I need all the help I can get.  Also, I wouldn't mind having 15 or 20 fewer pounds to haul up the hills.  I was well on my way to losing the weight last fall, but then stopped riding for a couple of months and put it back on.

To lose a pound of fat, you have to burn about 3,500 more calories than you take in.  Either you reduce your intake,  increase your exercise, or both.  If you shave 500 calories a day, you'll lose a pound a week.  Considering that I typically drink three or more cans of Coca Cola (at 140 calories each) a day, all I have to do is kick that habit and I'm almost there.  Combined with my increased cycling, that should put me at my target weight of 165 pounds by August 1.