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E bikes for weight loss

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  • AZguy
    FWIW while exercise definitely has health benefits unless it's distracting you from eating it has almost nothing directly to do with weight loss

    As much as it seems intuitive it's just not how it works

    One thing and one thing only (at least as far as healthy things go) will - less consumption

    They did this crazy study with these guys in africa that live entirely as hunters/foragers and found they burn almost no more (<10%) calories than the average sedentary westerner even though they spend nearly every waking minute exercising

    For one thing the amount of calories you burn doing any kind of exercise is a lot less than might be obvious - say we are the normal healthy fit bicycle rider producing 100W for half an hour (this is more than many of us really do)... let's do the math

    If we say we are about 25% efficient at converting calories to mechanical energy (this is what I've recently seen, but correct me if it is off, it won't make a lot of difference to my point, and remember pedaling is going to be a fairly efficient physical method relatively speaking) then we would be burning about 200Wh (100W x 0.5hr / 0.25) worth of food calories (actually kilocalories) in that hour... sounds like a lot?

    1kcal = ~1.163Wh so 200Wh = ~172kcal... not even half a beer or 172/2500 = <7% of the "normal" adult requirements of ~2500kcal/day

    By far, most of the calories burned in a day go to metabolic processes, only a small fraction converted to mechanical energy

    But even more important, our bodies are amazing how they budget what we take in

    Generally speaking if we exercise more (or less) the calories consumed (or not) just get shuffled from (or to) other metabolic activities. So even these marathoners and hard core endurance athletes can't sustain their burning of far more calories than the normal human for days on end.

    That's not to say throw the exercise out the window at all. For one people that exercise a lot tend to eat less. It has a ton of health benefits even if not weight loss. If you don't exercise or consume too much then those excess calories get shuffled by our body into metabolic processes and the excess tends to do things like hyper-stimulate immune responses and inflammatory processes - like allergies and auto-immune disorders. I do blood work every six months and my HDL ("good" cholesterol) level tracks pretty much right on with how much exercise I get. OTOH my LDL ("bad" cholesterol) tends to track very closely with my weight (FWIW mine are both pretty good). Aerobic activity is what strengthens the entire cardiopulmonary system which is a very good thing for a western man.

    Prior to losing my leg I was pretty athletic - had been all my life. I'd put on a few kilos in my early 40's in spite of getting a lot of exercise but once I lost the leg I not only became very sedentary but also increased my consumption since I wasn't out doing stuff, especially the unhealthy stuff. Exercise is way harder when you are heavy too. I'd get winded walking down a long corridor, forget about many flights of stairs.

    When my blood work was showing I was knocking on type II diabetes' door I knew it as time for a change. Turn this ship around! Lifestyle. So still being sedentary I restricted my intake - some would say severely. In a year and a half dropped 30kg (~66lb)... it was only after the first 20kg that exercise became appealing and I discovered electric bikes.

    Since then I've "replaced" ~10kg (I'm 180cm and ~80kg) but in very good health and fit, even without considering I'm in my 60's with a significant disability.

    Now for me, trying to ride the MTB with one leg when I was heavy wasn't even remotely fun and didn't get much better after dropping the excess. I was getting worried that what remained of my leg was going to get bad and when I discovered electric bikes (which were super fun!) I would turn the pedals without pushing much - more just to turn them which really helped my leg. Surprisingly even though I could barely turn 50-60rpm's I found I was not getting winded as easily. Just being in motion is really good for you even if not "working out" all that much. Fast forward.... I ride hard, turning 70-80rpm and putting out ~100W continuous with sustained peaks around 175W. I don't get remotely winded and have a resting pulse rate ~50bpm...

    So exercise - yes! But not for weight loss. As they say you can't run from a bad diet...

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  • Dshue
    started a topic E bikes for weight loss

    E bikes for weight loss

    I've seen this topic come up before, people wonder if e bikes can aid in weight loss. It so happens that I'm currently trying to lose 40 pounds (18kg).
    My method is diet and exercise. I walk 3-5 miles (4.8-8km)a day keeping my heart rate elevated, 2-3 times a week I ride my 75 pound (34kg) e bike 25-30 miles (40-48 km) keeping motor watts at ZERO on flat ground while trying to ride at a pace that keeps my heart rate up and and my leg muscles working hard. I do let the motor assist me on hills, though I still put in a lot of effort. Along with this exercise I also do some upper body resistance exercises.
    My diet consists of eating as little sugars as possible, as little fat as possible, I also don't eat a lot of carbs. What I do eat is mostly fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts.
    I am usually under the recommended calorie count for the day BUT the things I eat are nutritious. I do take vitamins to make up for areas I lack in like calcium. If I'm below the recommended calorie intake for the day but I'm not hungry or feeling crappy in general then I don't worry about it. I've been as low as 960 calories for a day and felt fine because the calories I did eat were nutritious.

    I typically lose 1 pound (0.45kg) a day with just diet and walking. On days I ride the e bike and walk I typically lose 1.5-2 pounds (0.7-0.9kg). These weight loss figures are in addition to adding muscle mass. In my case just the fitness walking has really added muscle strength in my legs.
    This is a diet that I've had success with in the past so I know it works for me. My problem is I didn't keep to a maintenance diet and exercise plan after reaching my goal. This time I will.

    So in my opinion yes you can use an e bike to aid you in weight loss. Just because it has a motor doesn't mean you have to use it 100% of the time. It helps to get you moving and go up hills which is great if you are out of shape or heavy or both.
    But just an e bike alone probably won't do much, it also take a good diet plan.

    Has anyone else had success using an e bike in their weight loss plan?