Introduction: How to Lose 50lbs. the Fun Way!

Picture of How to Lose 50lbs. the Fun Way!

Notice that the title proclaims "the fun way", not "the easy way", as so many diet/exercise/fitness/dance/workout modalities do.  Losing weight is NOT easy!  But it can be fun, and the most fun way I know is riding the bicycle.  I have included before and after photos for your perusal as testimony to this method:  IT WORKS!  Why do I say it is fun?   Let me count the ways.  Number one, losing weight is good for your health, no doubt about that. Next, riding bikes triggers all sorts of good results, such as increased metabolism, so that you continue to burn calories long after you have gotten of the bike for the day.  It increases your stamina and endurance for all the other things you want to do during your day.  If you are like me at all, there are simply not enough hours in the day to do/accomplish all the things we want to or need to do.  Of course, your appearance will improve.  For me, one of the biggest thrills was being able to get into jeans that I had not worn for many years....if you've lost weight, you can relate to what I am saying here.  Is that enough?  Oh, the compliments you will get are great for your ego and eggs you on to bigger and bigger goals to reach. All of this adds up to alot of FUN!

Step 1: What I Looked Like Before

Picture of What I Looked Like Before

I had ridden a bike off and on in recent years, but got discouraged after a few minor injuries.  After a few years off the bike, my weight had gotten up to around 215 lbs.  I am short, but this was simply too much weight to be carrying around.  So in August of last year, 2011, I made up my mind to start riding again with the view of losing as much weight as I could. 

Step 2: What It Takes in Between

Picture of What It Takes in Between

I honestly believe that the bicycle is responsible for approximately 90% of my weight loss.  In order to lose weight I, and you, must consider and implement nutrition changes.  Simply put, I had to give up the cake, doughnuts, candy bars, hot cakes with butter and syrup every morning, and so on.  In fact, I read an expert that proclaimed that "weight loss is 80 per cent nutrition and 20 percent exercise."  Not sure I agree with that statement, but that is beside the issue.  After I had ridden for a month or so, and started noticing a difference, I joined a gym to become savvy in resistance or weight training.   This helped a good deal as well. At the gym, I would do spinning for 30 minutes to one hour, and believe me, that is a workout!  In addition to the above, I walk the dog twice a day and that adds up to 2 to 4 miles of walking per day.  I can miss a day of riding now and then (some "experts" recommend a day of rest/recovery), can forgo the gym, and the spinning, but I dare not even consider not walking the dog!  Keeps me in line that way.

Step 3: Some Advice From One Who Has Done It!

Picture of Some Advice From One Who Has Done It!

If you want to lose weight, no matter what your age, position, inclinations, etc., you must work at it!  And it is not easy, but it can be fun as I have described. Yes, it takes discipline and dedication, but it is worth it.  Just the development of discipline is worth it, let alone the weight loss that occurs.  I believe the simplest way to most things is the best way.  Just get on and ride.  To start with, if you haven't ridden for awhile, it will be difficult, and even a little painful.  When I first returned to the bike, I had a hard time even going around the block, or a quarter of a mile.  That became my first goal.  To become comfortable with that distance.  It took a couple of weeks, but soon I was taking longer and longer rides.  Today, I ride for an hour a day, most days, and my average distance is 12 to 15 miles.  Every now and then, I double my ride to 30 miles.  For me that is a good regimen to maintain my weight loss and get the enjoyment and fun I now crave!  I am 70 now, and hope to ride well into my 80's!  Absolutely do not want to fall prey to all those nasty, inflammatory, obesity, and vile diseases that take out so many of elderly people.  A WORD OF ADVICE ON MY PROGRAM: IF YOU WANT TO DO THIS AND HAVE EVEN THE SLIGHTEST CONCERN REGARDING HEALTH ISSUES, CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR!

Step 4: The Best Things in Life Are Free (Or, Can Cost Very Little)

Picture of The Best Things in Life Are Free (Or, Can Cost Very Little)

How much does it cost to get into bicycling?  As much as you want to spend!  Looking at top end bicylcles, I see prices of up to $15,000! And I'm sure you could spend more if you wanted too.  For my weight loss special, I had been riding a hybrid, comfort bike I had for years.  It was in good shape, and would certainly do the job.  But as fate would have it, at a garage sale one day, I ran across a 20 year old Trek 700.  I was intrigued, so took a test ride, and it just seemed to fit better...long story short, the guy wanted $30 for it!  So that became my bike of choice. I had to spend a hundred and a half to get new tires, tubes, get it cleaned and tuned up., but I am still riding it today, and it is an excellent exercise bicycle. 

Step 5: Some After Photos

Picture of Some After Photos

So enough of the talk!  To reiterate: there is no EASY way to lose weight.  But it can be done and it can be fun.  As the old adage goes, you simply have to take the first step.  I love riding today, and I love having lost all that life threatening weight.  If you decide to do it, you will be amazed as I am.  Good luck! And if you will excuse me, I need to go for a bike ride!

Comments

HappyToBeAlive (author)2014-09-18

I lost 420lbs of ugly fat.......i divorced her!

CaosX (author)2013-05-10

I've lost 220lb along 3 and a half years. In January 2010 I weighed 182kg (around 400lbs!!!), but JUST with exercise, good feeding and a lot of patience now I'm weighing 82kg (180lbs).

mamaangel (author)CaosX2014-07-01

Congratulations on your weight loss. It makes such a difference in our psyche when our bodies are preforming correctly. It is a bonus that we look good too for the hard work that was put into creating a healthy body. Congrats again

Creativeman (author)CaosX2013-05-12

Congratulations!

mamaangel (author)2014-07-01

What an awesome job, you look great Creativeman. Too many people are wanting a quick fix instead of a life style change. Even with the gastric bypass surgery you have to eat right and exercise. It is a wonderful feeling when your results are seen by others. Keep up the good work.

Shoyun (author)2013-04-24

Great job ! I began 1 weeks ago and as you said, it's difficult to begin but it worth it :)

Creativeman (author)Shoyun2013-04-24

Thanks for your comment and good luck with your program!

bogigang (author)2013-03-25

No you didn't miss anything and it's not lame.
Just try it you will see.
But remember you won't succeed if you don't want to. ;)

hardcoregs (author)2013-01-05

Way to go, Creativeman! I'm starting my own "everything must go" diet/exercise plan, and once our Upper Peninsula (Michigan) weather cooperates, the bike will be my tool of choice. I also agree; I can talk myself out of nearly any form of exercise, especially when the temps are in the single-digits, but the Dog must be obeyed! Great job!

Creativeman (author)hardcoregs2013-01-05

Thanks, and good luck!

Phil B (author)2012-10-25

Somehow I missed your Instructable when it was published. Well done! Once in an airport I bought a German magazine with an English title ("Fit for Fun"). The lead article was "Fettkiller Fahrrad" ("Fatkiller Bicycle"). The article was based on research at the Sporthochschule Koeln" ("Sports Institute of Cologne") and sponsored by Selle Royal, makers of bicycle saddles.

Naturally the article advocates avoiding high fat, high sugar, high carbohydrate foods in favor of more fruits and vegetables. It also argues home athletes defeat themselves by trying to do too much too intensely. Rest and recovery are important parts of training, too. The article advised 16 weeks of easy riding to get ready for the more intense workouts. Then ride two to three times a week at around 45 minutes to an hour per session. The ride intensity is about the place where breathing through one's nose is about to become breathing through one's mouth. (That is what I discovered by using a heart rate monitor watch to follow the recommendations.) On the weekends add a ride about 90 minutes in length at the same intensity.

The researchers found it takes about 30 minutes of riding at the suggested pace to begin converting stored fat to energy.

Cycling does not train all of the body, so some resistance exercises with stretch bands were encouraged by the Selle Royal study.

I lost quite a bit of weight with a bicycle, too. Weight loss was not as fast as when I was younger, and there were frustrating plateaus. The one big mistake I made was not using sun protection. An event with a skin cancer means I now need to cover up if I cycle during daylight hours.

Creativeman (author)Phil B2012-10-26

Thank you! Like you, I am very aware of the sun...my body tells me for sure if I don't put on the screen, especially the tips of my ears! And as far as biking goes, I listen to my body there, as well. I usually take one or maybe two days off in any given week, but I don't like to miss more than one day in a row. I love the feeling I get from the exercise, and don't over do it. Thanks again for the comments.

jbaroni (author)2012-07-30

Great instructable, I'm from Brazil and I have an unhealthy way of life (although pharmaceutical), while I was browsing this instructable my father was on my side.
The problem is that he is adept at age 60 the vegetarian way of life and a habit of many years of cycling, my region (interior of sao paulo) is very favorable for the practice of cycling because it is very flat roads and climate good the whole year (about 25 to 30o.Celsius).

Result: I took a tremendous earful from my way of life wrong.
From now on I will concientizar and seek ways to improve.

Congratulations ...

Sorry for the mistakes in grammar, because not mastered the English language and still use the feature translator online.

Creativeman (author)jbaroni2012-07-30

Thanks for your comment. Sounds like you have realized you need a change, although I don't want to draw too many conclusions from your message as it is difficult to understand, totally. It would be amazing for you to make a life change due to an instructable, but people do it all the time. If I helped, that is very humbling, thank you and good luck!

loopingz (author)2012-06-18

It is always cool story to see people getting back in shape. It is a lot of effort but people who manage always feel better and that's great to see.
I dont think it is bad taking the dog out twice a day. As long as you dont try to run faster than the dog it cannot be considered as a real exercise, more as some healthy movements.
Anyway congrats on your achievement and glad to see the positive effects!

Creativeman (author)loopingz2012-06-18

Thanks for your comments. I disagree with you re: walking the dog...before there were bikes there was walking...it's a wonderful EXERCISE for those who can't or won't do other forms of movement. It should be promoted, not denegrated in any way.

loopingz (author)Creativeman2012-07-09

I just meant that walking a couple of miles a day (it is only around 30min, which is 6 times 5min), is something that should be done everyday by everyone, and doing that will "never" put you into a overtraining mode. Of course all people (that can walk without issue) who walk almost nothing would benefit from daily walks/walking more.

Malhecho (author)2012-06-28

i lost 60lbs riding a beach cruiser i found

Ben Mighall (author)2012-06-26

How long did it take for you to lose the weight?

Creativeman (author)Ben Mighall2012-06-27

Six months for the bulk, am still losing, very slowly!

pheenix42 (author)2012-06-25

Arghh...I've got a lovely single-speed coaster brake bike that I I love, but there's a couple of slopes here I haven't got a prayer of climbing. I'd love to ride it back and forth to work, but those slopes guarantee I'll have a heart attack!
Used to have a terrific 12-speed Diamondback, but it got stolen...and I still have the bike computer head I used to use.

Guess I gotta spend some money, then....

lunaticadk (author)2012-06-21

Great story, congratulations. Hope you ride into your 90's as well! Let me add another good reason for riding: varicose veins disappear or get much better because your circulation improves, and the risk of having clogged arteries (heart & brain strokes) lowers as well. Oh, and you get from one place to another without polluting or using money!

Creativeman (author)lunaticadk2012-06-21

Thanks for your comments! Health reasons are the best of all!

MyMenagerie (author)2012-06-19

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

Your story is an inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing with us and I hope my story will be as successful as yours is.

Creativeman (author)MyMenagerie2012-06-19

Thank you! Good luck, just be consistent and it will work for you.

ihavetheredblues (author)2012-06-18

Thanks for posting this, I've been trying to get off of my ass this whole summer to exercise, your instructable has been very inspiring!

Just do it!

alzie (author)2012-06-17

Great Ibble Creativeman, sooo true!
Same here, Ive been biking seriously for the last 25 years.

- Do all of my local shopping by bike, anything within 5mi
- Ride ~2K mi / yr
- Cut calories down to ~1K a day
- Am 95% vegetarian, except for occasional party food
- 5' 9", 145 lbs, BMI 18
- Switched to a recumbent Bikee in 95, even more fun!
- No skeletal issues any more

Its The way to go!

Creativeman (author)alzie2012-06-18

Thanks, I agree. Good job!

ezagent (author)2012-06-17

Congratulations. I too found myself carrying quite a few extra pounds a few years back. My journey began with swapping water for Diet Coke. Drinking water takes no time to get used to, and once you do, you won't be able to drink soda.

Next came physical activity. For me, my predominant activity is Bikram Yoga. I also ride a bicycle, mostly to and from yoga.

As important as exercise is, it's only part of the equation. The most dominant factor is food. Checkout durienrider at 30bananasaday.com ...not sure if the comments screen out domains, but it's the number thirty - 30 - followed by bananas a day dotcom. I have no ties or interest in promoting the site other than I think the message of what you eat is even more important than physical activity.

Again, congratulations, and I hope you'll look at the info on what to eat

Creativeman (author)ezagent2012-06-18

Thanks for the information.

onemoroni1 (author)2012-06-17

Glad you posted your instructable. It has inspired me to get serious about riding. I built a trailer (instructable) and I collect CRV and found objects when I was going out. I recently bought an old 26" mongoose mountain bike with dual suspension from a thrift store (my other junk bike need some repair) and comverted it to more of a road bike with road tires and handlebars. All I need to do now is work up a different hitch for the trailer so I can make the rounds again. I need to loose about 20 lbs from forced early retirement and sitting around. Thanks for sharing. Peace

Creativeman (author)onemoroni12012-06-18

Thanks and good luck with your program.

kost (author)2012-06-17

Good job, man!

Creativeman (author)kost2012-06-18

Thanks!

abaneyone (author)2012-06-17

Excellent! I am encouraged and impressed. I'm 54 and I love my bike too. I've lost 60 lbs since June 2011 and still slowly losing. I was 260 lbs and now I'm 200 lbs. my goal is to get to my BMI index weight of 159 lbs (160+ will be fine), but I'll focus on getting 180 lbs first. You may even be in grater shape then some 20 year olds who don't workout! Keep up the good work!

Creativeman (author)abaneyone2012-06-18

Thanks for your comments abaneyone! You know the journey, been there done that. congratulations to you!

jtmcdole (author)2012-06-17

I just want to say you look great and awesome job on the weight loss! Now to find me a bike...

Creativeman (author)jtmcdole2012-06-18

Thank you!

alpinelife (author)2012-06-17

Thank You "Regular Guy"! Thank you for telling me your story! Thank you for inspiring me! Thanks for being a regular person rather than someone who is 20 years old or otherwise already perfect!

Creativeman (author)alpinelife2012-06-17

You are welcome, alpinelife, and thank you for your kind words. Still working at getting better, never perfect!

Shrakakoom (author)2012-06-17

Great job!! You certainly look much much healthier and happier.

I started my lifestyle change in the late part of September. I stopped eating junk (except small splurges on Friday afternoons) and became a vegetarian. I started going to the gym regularly and joined a yoga class several times a week. I even ran in my first 5k!

Exercise and diet changed my life. I have lost 35 pounds and feel so much better about myself. It has never once been easy, but it has been fun like you said. I'm glad that you wrote this Instructable and hope this is an inspiration to a lot of other people.

As a side note I bought a bike a few days ago and plan to replace my commute to and from work with a nice ride.

Creativeman (author)Shrakakoom2012-06-17

Thanks for commenting Shrakakoom! Lots of parallels in our stories, so it verifies that a simple diet/exercise program will work!

schlem (author)2012-06-17

Very inspiring! I have spent the last couple of years off the bike, while I have been in paramedic school. I was riding singlespeeds, but after an injury following an adventure race, I decided I need gears to regain the lost conditioning. I expect that I gained 20 lbs in the last year, and I am probably 50 lbs overweight. My new bike comes next week, and I can't wait to get some miles under my tires. I agree that the bike is the most fun you can have while exercising. Thanks for the great thoughts, and I will be thinking of you when my butt starts to hurt. ha ha ha

Creativeman (author)schlem2012-06-17

Thank you for commenting, schlem! Those 50 lbs will go away if you keep at it, so good luck!

Gryzio (author)2012-06-17

I had this nerve disorder so some muscles no longer respond, but, I can ride a Bike. I have a belly looks a lot like your's did. I went from a fit looking 169 to a can not see my feet 187 so depending on the time of day I weigh, a 20 pounds +/- gain in about 5-6 months! I probably never recover from the nerve damage but, losing the extra weight help in walking. I found a new 18 speed for $88 on sale and it not a bad bike! Sold for $179 regular and I guess it was something special priced for Bike Month. I still have to use the easy gears and can not ride long before I have to stop. I got a nice comfortable Gel Seat and want to get a basket or handle bar bag to carry a few things, so when I try to travel further from home I at least have some healthy snacks and something to drink when I stop to recover. There are some children I ride with just up and down the street as they can not go far from home and it works well for me as I can not go far myself, and it works well for parents as I can keep an eye on the children, LOL. In time I have a few adult neighbors wanting to ride with someone, so, maybe I can go with one or more of them in time. I guess what I mainly wanting to say, is it really more fun for me to have someone to ride with and talk to.
Thanks as this one instructable seems easy enough to do! Seeing your results I feel more inspired and eat a Nectarine and I go ride my bike now, Heeee!

Creativeman (author)Gryzio2012-06-17

Thanks for sharing your story, Gryzio. Yes, diet and exercise is the only way, and it seems you have made a start. Keep at it and you will feel so much better, I am sure and that makes it worth it, doesn't it?

Nemesis201077 (author)2012-06-15

Well done on your weight loss, it's nice to see someone inspiring others to improve.
I might even get the bike out of the shed this summer, it's great exercise, sometimes without even realising it as it's quite enjoyable.
I like cycling because it's much easier on the joints than running to get the heart rate up.
Unfortunately you're right when you say there is no easy solution to losing weight, you really have to consider burning more calories than you consume and ensure those that you do consume are in the form of a well balanced diet. The more excercise you do, the more lean muscle mass you have and the more calories your body will consume, even when resting.
Sadly that's the part that takes some effort, getting off the couch and doing something active and cooking sensible food. Hopefully your tale will help to inspire others to take that first step.

harveyo (author)Nemesis2010772012-06-17

Right on. To lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume. It's as simple or as complicated as that and no short cuts.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment! Lot of good information here, you are right.

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