Weight Loss

open topic, for anything cycling related.

Postby sogood » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:11 pm

mikesbytes wrote:BMI doesn't work for me, I'm too muscular. sogood, if you keep riding like you did last Sunday, eventually BMI will be wrong for you too.

What's your BMI? How doesn't it work?
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by BNA » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:18 pm

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Postby sogood » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:18 pm

My point is, BMI has a scientific statistical basis, while calling for a drop of x kg is an arbitary number without reference.

So how doesn't BMI work for everyone? You may be the very odd one outside it's range, but for the vast majority of people who would like to get healthy, BMI still provides a good reference. Bear in mind, it's not a measure of fitness but a measure of body proportions.

As for me, I don't think I would get outside of that 20-25 range. Presently 21, I'll need to add 12kg in muscle bulk for me to get over BMI of 25. So I think I can safely continue those Sun rides. 8)
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Postby mikesbytes » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:38 pm

23 last time I checked it, at 78kg. I'm a bit fat at the moment, 82kg 2 weeks ago and 81kg this week. 78kg end of Feb ???? we shall see.

BMI divides your weight by height and assumes that everything over a certain weight is excess fat. I lift weights and probably have double the muscle weight of the average person. My fat levels are lower than the average person, thats the only reason it records in the 20-25 range. If I didn't have the extra muscle, I'd probably be down somewhere around 18 at a guess.

Alternative to BMI: A tape measure around the mid-riff.
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Postby sogood » Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:14 pm

mikesbytes wrote:23 last time I checked it, at 78kg. I'm a bit fat at the moment, 82kg 2 weeks ago and 81kg this week. 78kg end of Feb ???? we shall see.

BMI divides your weight by height and assumes that everything over a certain weight is excess fat. I lift weights and probably have double the muscle weight of the average person. My fat levels are lower than the average person, thats the only reason it records in the 20-25 range. If I didn't have the extra muscle, I'd probably be down somewhere around 18 at a guess.

You see, BMI is a measure of medical obesitiness (if there's such a word). For your 23, you are clearly healthy enough and does not necessitate treatment. Whether you trim more or less, you are still in the healthy band in the low disease risk group.
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Postby LuckyPierre » Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:17 pm

I've been a bit coy about weight threads to date - after all, doing something about my weight was one of my 'decision factors' when I started this madness (riding that is).
I've just hit the machine downstairs for a quick measure-up. Other than the fact that it thinks I'm a lot taller than I really am (admittedly, I had my shoes on), at 181cm and 89.4 kg, my BMI would be 27. In fact, using 178 cm (which is my real height) and 85 kg (rounding down to allow for clothes - I decided not to get naked on the street), it's still 27.
Sadly, I've only lost about 5-6 kg since early last year - but I have changed a whole waist size in my pants! I can't see myself loosing a lot more weight without serious lifestyle changes (no red wine + a lot less fat = a lot less fun!), so I haven't set a target weight (maybe 80 kg would be OK?) but I am trying to get my waist size down further. Given that I was 175 cm and 72 kg at 15 years old, I don't think that I'm too bad now that the age numbers are reversed. Interestingly, at 80kg, my BMI will still be just outside the 'healthy' range!
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Postby europa » Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:46 pm

Admit it Peter, according to the 'statistical measure', we're both should be dead ... something bourne out by my cheap HRM which has trouble deciding whether I am or not sometimes :D

BMI is just another generalistion and white possibly useful for measuring your personal progress, is useless otherwise. As I said earlier, I've ALWAYS been rated as overweight, even when I was dead set skinny, skinny enough for my footy club mates to make a joke of it. Hell, even the doctor doing my Army medical offered the same observation and had a laugh about it.

On the other hand, at the same time (my early twenties), I had a mate trying for officer training in the Army. To reach the minium weight, he did intensive fitness and body building for twelve months (made Mike's efforts look like tame quite frankly, he really wanted 'in') ... and just scraped in. After 12 months at Portsea, he was underweight again but by then, it didn't matter.

You can have your generalistions. They work for some but not for others.

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Postby mikesbytes » Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:42 pm

sogood wrote:
mikesbytes wrote:23 last time I checked it, at 78kg. I'm a bit fat at the moment, 82kg 2 weeks ago and 81kg this week. 78kg end of Feb ???? we shall see.

BMI divides your weight by height and assumes that everything over a certain weight is excess fat. I lift weights and probably have double the muscle weight of the average person. My fat levels are lower than the average person, thats the only reason it records in the 20-25 range. If I didn't have the extra muscle, I'd probably be down somewhere around 18 at a guess.

You see, BMI is a measure of medical obesitiness (if there's such a word). For your 23, you are clearly healthy enough and does not necessitate treatment. Whether you trim more or less, you are still in the healthy band in the low disease risk group.


Whats the minimum fat % level I should avoid going under?
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Postby mikesbytes » Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:55 pm

The max I've weighed is 87kg in 2000 and I didn't consider myself overweight as I had put on muscle, but I did consider myself over weight at 84k in 1999 prior to going to 87kg.

Over the years since then I've trained for strength without bulk and have managed to gain a little strength while loosing weight, toughing in April 2006 at 74kg, when I took up club cycling, then I put on 4kg, mainly leg muscle.

So the challenge now is to get the fat levels to optium minimum, whereever that may be. For powerlifting I need to weigh under 75kg or under 82.5, somehow I think that 75kg is not realistic and I'd be better off with a bit more muscle in the under 82.5 category.
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Postby matagi » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:39 pm

sogood wrote:
mikesbytes wrote:23 last time I checked it, at 78kg. I'm a bit fat at the moment, 82kg 2 weeks ago and 81kg this week. 78kg end of Feb ???? we shall see.

BMI divides your weight by height and assumes that everything over a certain weight is excess fat. I lift weights and probably have double the muscle weight of the average person. My fat levels are lower than the average person, thats the only reason it records in the 20-25 range. If I didn't have the extra muscle, I'd probably be down somewhere around 18 at a guess.

You see, BMI is a measure of medical obesitiness (if there's such a word). For your 23, you are clearly healthy enough and does not necessitate treatment. Whether you trim more or less, you are still in the healthy band in the low disease risk group.

I'm sorry but BMI is not some sort of "gold standard" with iron-clad scientific validity. It is only relevant in individuals of average activity and it is a guide only. Now for the average office worker, whose idea of exercise is to walk around the shopping centre once a week, this is fine. However It does not work for people with a large muscle mass because muscle weighs more than fat. For example, Mike Tyson at the peak of his boxing career had a BMI in the 30's but his % body fat was down around 15. Once you start doing exercise which builds muscle mass, you start to skew your BMI.

You can have a BMI in the healthy range but still have a reasonable proportion of abdominal fat. In that situation, you clearly need to lose weight regardless and you are definitely not in a low disease risk group.
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Postby moosterbounce » Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:30 pm

Ooops- looked like my "feel good" story has sparked a bit of healthy debate on the unhealthy!! :)

I just don't get weight. I am currently 3kg heavier than my husband. He wears a medium t-shirt, 87 waist pants. Pretty average. But his BMI puts him overweight. I am the same height as him, still overweight, but am wearing a mens L t-shirt (just down from an XL) and couldn't pull his shorts on over my thighs if i tried!! We both ride the same distances at the same speed (usually). Weird huh?!

I like to think of Big Arnold S-un-spellable-surname. His BMI was in the 30's (obese) when he was Mr Universe. He would have had under 3% body fat. Of course, now it is a different story :shock: My brother in law lifts weights and he's 130kg. I'm not arguing with him about bmi :P

There are so many guides out there. BMI, waist size (good for men), shape (good for women), pinch tests etc. All are just that - guides. The only way to tell 100% is to do some funky test that is like an x-ray crossed with an MRI. There is one at our local hospital but I don't know the name. It takes readings of your body and then gives you an image of bone, muscle, and fat, with the %'s of each. I'll do it one day as apparently you don't need a doctor's referral (and it sounds funky!! 8) ).

But I do reckon go with what feels good. If you feel fat and "wrong" at 80kg, train harder and eat more salad!! I set a magic target that still had me officially overweight, but I knew I'd be happier. I'd have to lose a leg to be in the BMI normal weight range :shock: You see, if you lose one leg, you are still the same height :wink:

Gee, after typing all that, I need chocolate.

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Postby Mr888 » Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:51 pm

matagi wrote:I'm sorry but BMI is not some sort of "gold standard" with iron-clad scientific validity. It is only relevant in individuals of average activity and it is a guide only. Now for the average office worker, whose idea of exercise is to walk around the shopping centre once a week, this is fine. However It does not work for people with a large muscle mass because muscle weighs more than fat. For example, Mike Tyson at the peak of his boxing career had a BMI in the 30's but his % body fat was down around 15. Once you start doing exercise which builds muscle mass, you start to skew your BMI.

You can have a BMI in the healthy range but still have a reasonable proportion of abdominal fat. In that situation, you clearly need to lose weight regardless and you are definitely not in a low disease risk group.


I couldn't agree more. This is a problem I faced not too long ago. I was using the BMI as a guide to guage to weight loss, however after months of intense excercise and gym work, my BMI started increasing. I was so worried that I consulted a doctor, who told me exactly what Matagi expressed earlier. It was such a relief and even satifying knowing that I was not only healthy, but super fit. 8)
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Postby TriggerFish » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:01 pm

Many moons ago when I was at my fittest, similar to many with lots of cardio based excercise for sport and missed 3 weights sessions in 12 months, according to the BMI scale I was 3kg short of obese! Of course at the moment I am obese according to the BMI scale, but I am not sure that I am obese in appearance etc.

Basically I agree with many here in looking at the BMI scale, but only in the correct context. A person once said to me that BMI scale is fine for some people, but, as soon as you lift any sort of weigths (ie weight training) you may as well throw it away. Not sure if that is entirely correct, but, I am not one to hold strictly to the BMI school of thought.
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Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:12 pm

Call me old fashioned, if you're reasonably happy with your naked self in the mirror (no jibes please) and can still reach the barends/drops without discomfort, you're doing OK.

I got back on the bike in '95 at 91kg, within 12 months got down to 69kg, a fair bit of slog later I settled at 74-76 kg. I'm happyexcept for the slightly soft belly. More situps?
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Postby sogood » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:41 pm

europa wrote:BMI is just another generalistion and white possibly useful for measuring your personal progress, is useless otherwise.

I can't believe that I am hearing this. That above statement is kidding yourself. BMI has been very well studied and referenced. It correlates very well with body fat. If you don't think you are fat, that's an image issue you see in the mirror. BMI above 25 indicates you are overweight. above 30 and you are truly fat. I don't think anyone here are that muscular to make BMI irrelevant. At the end of the day, it's your health you are balancing with a life style and it's your choice.
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Postby sogood » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:45 pm

moosterbounce wrote:I like to think of Big Arnold S-un-spellable-surname. His BMI was in the 30's (obese) when he was Mr Universe. He would have had under 3% body fat. Of course, now it is a different story :shock: My brother in law lifts weights and he's 130kg. I'm not arguing with him about bmi :P

Arnie isn't normal, he was a dedicated body builder and have likely to have taken steroids to build up. Highly abnormal and totally inappropriate to use as an example to debunk the value of BMI.

I doubt anyone here comes close to him or is that muscular from their cycling.
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Postby sogood » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:48 pm

Mr888 wrote:I couldn't agree more. This is a problem I faced not too long ago. I was using the BMI as a guide to guage to weight loss, however after months of intense excercise and gym work, my BMI started increasing. I was so worried that I consulted a doctor, who told me exactly what Matagi expressed earlier. It was such a relief and even satifying knowing that I was not only healthy, but super fit. 8)

The fact that you are super fit would take you into a separate category. For those here who are known to be clearly obese, unfit and are trying to lose weight through cycling, BMI would be quite appropriate. It would help in getting a person into a target zone before any fine tuning.

I stand by my earlier suggestion that people really should both state their BMI as well as their weight loss in absolute numbers in kg, so that there's a context in their attempt to get out of obsity. This BMI in fact is just a simpler expression of people's attempt to state their weight and height.
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Postby sogood » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:57 pm

mikesbytes wrote:Whats the minimum fat % level I should avoid going under?

Cycle as much as you want, but unless you eat abnormally or deliberately starve yourself, you won't natually go below a healthy fat % level. The body have had millions of years to fine tune this issue. Don't worry about your lower level, just worry about your upper level.
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Postby mikesbytes » Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:32 pm

moosterbounce wrote:Ooops- looked like my "feel good" story has sparked a bit of healthy debate on the unhealthy!! :)


Don't worry sogood and I will be burning the fat on Sunday.

moosterbounce wrote:Gee, after typing all that, I need chocolate


The expensive ones are better, less sugar and more protein.
Last edited by mikesbytes on Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby matagi » Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:33 pm

I'm sorry sogood, but you are writing a load of rubbish. BMI is nothing more than a guide - it is not the be all and end all of ideal weight and it is certainly not considered an accurate way to determine %bodyfat.

The quads are very large muscles proportionally, once you start cycling and building them up, you will find their contribution to your overall weight will increase. That is why you hear so many people saying their weight has hardly changed but they have gone down a couple of clothing sizes. Muscle weighs more than fat, as soon as you start exercising and building muscle, you skew the BMI results. Of course if you are grossly overweight/obese to start with, then you will have a lot of fat to shift but when you are down around the crossover between ideal and overweight, the lines can become very blurred.

Aside from the total body scan, the only really accurate way to determine if your mass is due to lean body weight or fat is to do an immersion test - this will give a very accurate determination of %body fat. As far as I am aware, this is not generally available in Australia. The next most accurate way to determine your %bodyfat is the skinfold thickness test - this is very operator dependent and you have to take the measurement in the exact same place every time to get a truly accurate result.

As for those with scales that claim to measure %bodyfat - forget them, they are not at all accurate and can vary wildly on the basis of simple things like level of hydration.

Moosterbounce, don't feel guilty about the way the thread has developed, that is the nature of online forums. Well done on the weight loss, by the way.
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Postby mikesbytes » Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:01 pm

Sorry matagi, sogood is not talking a load of rubbish, theres just been confusion between sporties and couch potatos. For couch potatos, the BMI is a simple way to give yourself a kick up the back side. Once you progress from the couch to an active life, BMI will loose its relevance and thats what I've been saying, it doesn't apply to me.

Moosterbounce as per matagi, don't worry about the debate we are all friends here, even fauxpas....
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Postby mikesbytes » Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:15 pm

sogood wrote:
mikesbytes wrote:Whats the minimum fat % level I should avoid going under?

Cycle as much as you want, but unless you eat abnormally or deliberately starve yourself, you won't natually go below a healthy fat % level. The body have had millions of years to fine tune this issue. Don't worry about your lower level, just worry about your upper level.


Isn't there a point where your perfomance is impacted by insufficient BF.
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Postby europa » Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:16 pm

sogood wrote:
europa wrote:BMI is just another generalistion and white possibly useful for measuring your personal progress, is useless otherwise.

I can't believe that I am hearing this. That above statement is kidding yourself. BMI has been very well studied and referenced. It correlates very well with body fat. If you don't think you are fat, that's an image issue you see in the mirror. BMI above 25 indicates you are overweight. above 30 and you are truly fat. I don't think anyone here are that muscular to make BMI irrelevant. At the end of the day, it's your health you are balancing with a life style and it's your choice.


Sogood, go back and take the trouble to read the posts of those who disagree with you (not just me). I gave examples of times when the various scales of height vs weight (which is all BMI is) said I was overweight when clearly I wasn't. Secondly, I'd like you to find somewhere on here where I've claimed that I am not currently overweight - you'll find I always claim that I am, just that I'm not overly fussed about it at this time.

And as others have pointed out, BMI is just a generalisation and not particularly reliable. You don't have to agree but read the posts before jumping on the posters.

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Postby sogood » Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:36 pm

matagi wrote:I'm sorry sogood, but you are writing a load of rubbish. BMI is nothing more than a guide - it is not the be all and end all of ideal weight and it is certainly not considered an accurate way to determine %bodyfat.

Please read my posts. I never said that BMI is be all or end all, but it's a common and scientifically validated measure that all of us can do at home. It's a simple measure of fatness. It's also a better and more objective measure than just coming up to say that you'll need to lose weight to improve health. BMI gives a more objective target than just stating X kg weight loss. And if you have the time and means to measure % body fat, then good for you, please continue.

I think you are extrapolating two levels deeper from my simple suggestion of asking people to state a bit more data.

Alternatively, I would have no objection if people can come up and say I am presently X kg with a% total body fat, and have an aim of bringing all that down to b%. But I have not seen people describing their objectives this way on this forum.
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Postby mikesbytes » Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:37 pm

sogood wrote:Alternatively, I would have no objection if people can come up and say I am presently X kg with a% total body fat, and have an aim of bringing all that down to b%. But I have not seen people describing their objectives this way on this forum.


Would love to know % BF, but not that easy to obtain. Has anyone tried those scales that measure your BF.
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Postby sogood » Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:52 pm

mikesbytes wrote:...and thats what I've been saying, it doesn't apply to me.

Yes, at the same time, you are well within the range of norm. From a medical point of view, you are healthy.

You are absolutely correct, BMI is not a measure of sportiness nor physical fitness. Just a measure of fatness which has prognositic relevance to potential disease states in life. There are plenty of people who are well within BMI but aren't fit eg. Drug addicts. But when you are not particularly muscular like a sportman or steroid taker and falls above the normal range, then you should seriously consider bringing your weight down.
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