My Recipe for Losing Weight

There are three types of problems.  A simple problem, such as following a recipe, might require some knowledge or mastery of certain techniques, but generally carries with it a high assurance of success.  Complicated problems, like sending a rocket into space, while not being as easy to master, can still be broken down into many simple problems.  Once one addresses issues of coordination and scale, they, too, are likely to succeed upon repetition.  In contrast, complex problems, such as raising a child, depend on multiple interconnected relationships, making each instance unique.  Losing weight, it would appear, is a complex problem.  While there are certain immutable principles, such as calories in < calories out, what works for some may not work for others.  Having said that, now that I’ve figured out what works for me, I’d like to share it with the world in case anyone happens to be in a similar predicament.

A quick reminder of how I looked on my first bike ride in years.

How I looked on my first bike ride in years.

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Maybe Cycling Isn’t Enough

The path to weight loss turned out looking a lot like this.

The path to weight loss turned out looking a lot like this.

I didn’t start bike commuting purely for fitness and weight loss purposes, but it was certainly a very big plus.  As I wrote in my previous post, the 100+ mile per week commute from Riverdale helped me lose weight pretty much no matter what I was eating, but just a few months after moving to the city (and after a very harsh winter that didn’t allow for much riding) my cycling mileage shrank dramatically and I regained all that weight.  I had resolved to get back on the path to good health and fitness.

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A Little Cycling Goes a Short Way

About a year ago I wrote about how cycling to work every day from Riverdale helped me lose about 12 lbs and achieve much better overall fitness.  Back then and over the ensuing summer, I averaged over 100 miles per week cycling.  With a minimum round-trip length of 22 miles (and occasionally taking longer routes of over 20 miles one-way) plus frequent weekend riding, I was burning calories and shedding pounds with ease.  No matter what I ate, it seemed, I was still burning far more than I was consuming.  But at the end of that summer, when we moved to the City, …

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