Thursday, August 20

Results Not Typical

I'm sure you've all seen those infomercials where the actor talks about how he/she's lost many pounds of weight. In fine print, it always notes that the results aren't typical.

Well, today, I hit the cycle commuting milestone circled in the picture to the left. From it, using the conventional wisdom factor of 3500 calories per pound lost, you'd conclude that I resembled an emaciated concentration camp survivor. Well, you'd be wrong. If I project actual weight loss versus calories burned, I conclude that if I ride my bike around the planet four times, I'll be at my ideal weight. Alternately, I could merely ride half way to the moon.

So much for the validity of the Fat Tax.

ON THE OTHER HAND, cycling to work has been an uplifting experience and I'm sure it hasn't done me any lasting harm (other than that time I put on my earphones while standing amongst fire ants). I also imagine that it's a factor in why I have not regained a major amount of weight previously lost. But these guys who claim large weight losses (Rantwick & Doohickie, you KNOW who you are), are not really typical.

Do NOT imagine that if you just ride around the block that your body will change a whole lot. All that hype about bicycles being efficient is actually true. You want to look like the guvernator, go to the gym and lift big weights. You want to have fun, ride your bike to the gym...

11 comments:

ChipSeal said...

I don't ride a bicycle to lose weight, I do it for the unique tan!

Steve A said...

Maybe that explains the recent outbreak of people doing naked bike rides...

Lyle said...

I lost a lot of weight quickly, just by cycling 25 hard miles every day *and* limiting what I ate. Kept it off as long as I was cycle-commuting. Gained it all back and then some when I worked at home. Lost all that when I started commuting again. I'm not saying it has to work for everybody, but it did work for me.

Chandra said...

Cycling has helped me stay healthy, overall.
I think I get cranky if I don't ride my bike.
I am NOT sure I lost any significant amount of weight by cycling. I think I exercise so I can eat more stuff :)

My reason for cycling is to be environmentally friendly and get some free exercise while at it.

Steve, that's a lot of miles! Congrats!!

Doohickie said...

I've lost 5 pounds this week, although I'd been slowly increasing for a while. Finally starting to move the right direction.

I'm coming up on 200 trips saved myself, although it shows only 90,000 calories burned. I must have about half your commute. (Mine is 15 miles round trip.) Dividing by 3500 means that without cycling I'd be 25 pounds heavier which is about equal to my lifetime maximum weight.

Rantwick said...

Hey, I never claimed to have lost weight! I expressed a hope... thus far it hasn't happened.

Keri said...

I've been steadily gaining weight for years. It's not lack of exercise... I suspect it could be related to love of beer, but am looking for pseudo-scientific studies that will reinforce my denial.

Big Oak said...

Wow, 9,400 lbs of pollution saved. That is Awesome! You and Doohickie are commuting kings!

You too, Rantwick. Seriously, riding in the rain?

Steve A said...

Big Oak, it's a govt-funded site which SHOULD say something. In a near-future post, I'll point out some of the "agenda" in the claims. Look at the mileage numbers for a start...

Big Oak said...

Sorry Steve, I didn't mean to sound sarcastic about your commuting (or Doohickie's either). I have been following my carbon savings since May 18 and I believe your numbers are accurate. And it is a great thing to choose to ride a bike instead of driving a car.

I know Rantwick commutes a lot also. My quip about Rantwick was his ride in the rain in a recent post he did. I was being sarcastic about his desire to ride in the rain. Sorry for the confusion!

Steve A said...

I didn't take your comment as sarcastic. The commute tracking site IS a govt-funded site that has an agenda of looking good for the feds & for PR purposes. Seriously, the numbers are pumped up. For example, you'll note at the TOP it says I've logged 10340 miles, while further down it says I've saved 8179 miles. IN REALITY, if you total up the ACTUAL cycle commute miles recorded at the site, it comes to 6108 miles. I'm not sure about the total differences, but I know it gives me a "savings" credit when I take my own lunch to work and it USED to give me a credit whenever I didn't work due to vacation or holiday. Nowadays, it only gives me a credit if I skip work for no good reason or if I were to ride my bike to work after 10AM.

Similarly, when it computes your "savings," it doesn't consider that you don't save much, if anything on insurance as long as you still HAVE the motor vehicle.

Anyway, I'll do another post on "the NCTCOG versus reality."

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