One of the things that has helped me in the past (this isn't my first weight loss journey)... was that I did my cardio in intervals and tracked my heart rate. When I first started I didn't run, walk or bike or whatever it was - hard enough. I was given some advice about the proper heart rate you should have that leads to the most efficient calory burning. For me, my rate is around 140-160.
The problem is, to this day I do not have the endurance to keep my heart rate at that pace for a prolonged period. So I interval which I learned almost has the same effect as staying straight. SO I jog and keep my heart rate at this pace until I can't take it anymore (like 1 or 2 minutes) then I walk until my heart rate drops down. When the heart rate goes back down, I job again and get my heart rate back up.
This change in my work out helped me get out of a plateau and be more aware of how far I was actually pushing myself. You could try it on the bike too. I personally don't like the bike because I struggle to keep my heart rate up on it.
I think you've done a great job of incorporating activity into your life with the bike. While the best exercise is one that you'll stick with, I don't think you should underestimate the health benefit of a true cardiovascular workout. As you've lost weight and your body got used to the bike, it got easier. You might want to kick it up a notch. I don't know what you can do with the bike, since you said it is older and does have a lot of options for resistance. Have you tried any of the cardio videos on SP? It's surprising how much it can get your heart rate up in 10 minutes. Try combining a short video with a 20 minutes on the bike or a 15 minute walk. Another idea is to "make up" a workout while you're watching TV. For example, walk in place while the show is on (really lift your knees and get your arms moving), then do jumping jacks during the commercials.
5/14/12 3:29 P
I've been at the same weight range (167-170) for about two months. I will go up or down a pound or two, but that doesn't really worry me too much.
I do have strength training in my routine, for three times a week. I will occasionally not meet the three times a week goal, but for the most part I do. I do switch up the strength training exercises about every 6 weeks.
Did not know about it taking a bit longer to lose the closer we get to the goal weight. Thank you. I will keep that in mind. : )
KateM200: If I do about 60 minutes on the bike, I'll feel a bit sweaty and tired. 45 minutes on it is a give or take. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I like the idea of something else other than the bike. Perhaps walking would work. It would be nice to do something different.
Fitness Minutes: (230,275)
5/14/12 9:00 A
How long have you been on a plateau ? Because you've already lost a significant amount of weight (congratulations), you're going to find your weight loss will slow down. The closer a person is to a healthy weight for their height, the longer it's going to take to lose that last few. Ask any member down to the last 5-10 pounds and they'll tell you, it's slow going. So, don't assume something is wrong because the scale has either slowed down or stopped.
Plateaus really are a normal part of the weight loss process. You can't expect to lose weight week after week after week. At some point, you've got to expect a slow down. And that's perfectly normal. This is not the Biggest Loser. those types of weekly losses are just not typical.
Now, let me ask you this, are you doing any sort of strength training ? If not, I'm going to encourage you to start. Don't neglect your strength. Increase your lean muscle because muscle burns fat. the more lean muscle you carry, the more efficient your body will be at burning fat. Also, a good strength training program can help you lose 1-2 clothing sizes without the scale moving.
If you find yourself "stuck" add strength training. Will that get the scale moving ? Maybe, maybe not. BUT, it will help you decrease inches and that is a sign of progress.
Mostly, try to be patient. there will be times when you don't lose weight and that doesn't mean something is wrong. Put a positive spin on it. you aren't regaining the weight, but you will if you get discouraged and turn to food for comfort.
How long have you been stuck at the same weight? Unfortunately, plateaus happen. And sometimes you just need to be patient. Think of it as practice for when you reach your goal weight, when you'll need to sustain your healthy lifestyle just to maintain your weight.
I'm not sure how many calories you're burning on the bike. Is your heart really pumping when you use it? If you're not sweaty and a little winded afterwords, then you have burned some calories (like leisurely walking that time) but not as many as you would with a real cardio workout (like running). Have you tried other types of exercise just to use different muscles and keep your body from getting too used to one thing? Have you tried some strength training exercises? Maybe instead of adding 15 more minutes of the same thing on the bike, you could try 15 minutes of something else.
5/14/12 1:56 A
I've been here on Sparkpeople since August 2011 and have been able to lose a good chunk of the weight I wanted to lose. (about 34 of the initial 50)
The thing is, right now, I think I am hitting a plateau and not really sure what to do about it. I've upped my exercise from 30 minutes to 45 minutes, about 6 days a week. Though, one of the big things with working out is that I have no clue how many calories I am actually burning.
I'm using a fairly old exercise bike (I think it is either the same age as me  or older) that doesn't have any of the automatic calculations or such for calories burned. There are a couple of charts that talk about minutes and watts, but I have no clue what those mean. And while it used to be that the resistance could be adjusted, now that feature is pretty much kaput. Basically, when I'm on the bike for an hour and I've done 200 rpms, I highly doubt that I've burned about 688 calories. I guess this would be that it just doesn't feel like it. I've looked for the model type on-line to see if I could find a manual for it, but with no luck.
So when I adjusted my nutrition for 45 minutes of work out and it bumped my nutrition back up to 1400 (from 1250), I was a little worried, because I don't know if I'm burning that 300 + that it wants me to daily.
I'm just really confused about this and wondering if anyone had any advice on how to calculate a ballpark estimate for how many calories are burned on a pretty low resistance old stationary bike. Or just advice to get over this plateau.
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