Here’s an update on my progress with using the Ride Your Way Lean program to lose weight. Selene Yeager’s program works, but it’s pretty intense. The good news: a combination of the eating program, the exercises and the cycling drills will certainly enable most people to get leaner, lighter and stronger, and cycle faster than ever.
A few weeks ago I blogged about starting Selene Yeager’s (aka Fit Chick) get fit/lose weight program, as described in her book Ride Your Way Lean: The Ultimate Plan for Burning Fat and Getting Fit on a Bike. I threatened to take the book out for a looooooong test drive – and I have, in spades. I even have the injuries to prove it.
My first mistake was forgetting I’m no longer 25. (I do that a lot.) I plunged right into a new workout and speed intervals on my bike, on top of my usual bike-commuting miles. Within nine days I blew out both my knees, and could hardly walk for a couple of days. I think it was the squats (possibly combined with the speed intervals on my bike). Maggie has been telling me not to do squats for years, and I’ve been resolutely ignoring her for years. But after this last humiliating experience of hardly being able to walk, I’ve decided to listen to her – and to my body.
But I do think the exercise program is an excellent program for cyclists, provided you leave out any exercises that you know don’t agree with you.
Thanks to my BionX-assisted bike I was able to get back on a bike a few days later, and eased right back into regular cycling pretty quickly. I have also eased back into the exercise program – but not the squats. Already I see a really big difference in my mid-section, thanks to all the boring core exercises that I am forcing myself to do. I’m definitely sitting and standing taller and straighter, and feel taller on my bike too. Always a good thing.
Do you lose weight on the Ride Your Way Lean Diet?
Yeager said the exercises would make me look slimmer instantly, but I can’t say that happened. However, after a few weeks there is definitely a visible difference, and my pants are way looser. I’m not sure if that’s because of core strength or because I’ve lost about 10 pounds.
Losing 10 pounds means that the Ride Your Way Lean program has so far taken me 20% of the way towards losing 50 pounds!
What is the Ride Your Way Lean eating program?
The Ride Your Way Lean eating program is not a diet. Rather, Yeager describes it as a quantum shift in the way you think about food. To me, this seems to boil down to eating as healthily as humanly possible. I was already eating very well, but following some of Yeager’s recommendations enabled me to take it up a notch.
The Top 10 Bike Your Way Lean Eating Rules
- Eat breakfast (preferably including an egg or two).
- Eat often (keep the furnace burning!).
- Eat real food (foods that you “recognize as part of an animal or plant” – what part of what animal is a doughnut?)
- Eat more protein and fat, and relatively less carbs (although it’s definitely not a low-carb Atkins kind of diet): carbs – 50%; fats – 30%; protein – 20%.
- Good fat does not make you fat!
- The carbs you eat should be fibre-rich, such as fruits and veggies.
- Nix carbs that end in “ini” – such as fettuccini, linguini, rotini, etc. (and pasta in general).
- Ditch the all or nothing thinking – one mistake should not lead to a “well I blew it so let’s go crazy” kind of day.
- Maximize your macro-nutrients (the foods your body really needs).
- Time your eating intelligently (there’s a whole lot of really good stuff about timing eating around workouts).
After a couple of weeks of following the program as much as my body would permit, plus cutting right down on the less-than-good foods that I love (basically frozen yoghurt, dark chocolate and wine), I had lost all my Christmas weight and was feeling really motivated. Then I decided to take it up yet another notch by following Matt Fitzgerald’s recommendations in Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance – but more about this in another post. Net result however has been a highly encouraging ten-pound weight loss.
Bottom line here: Yeager’s program works, but it’s pretty intense, so if you’re no longer in the first flush of youth, approach with caution – ease into it, don’t dive in (as I stupidly did). The good news: a combination of the eating program, the exercises and the cycling drills will certainly enable most people to get leaner, lighter and stronger, and cycle faster than ever! Plus the cycling drills bring in some variety, causing you to push yourself a bit harder on your bike. So my advice would be, go ahead and buy Yeager’s Ride Your Way Lean: The Ultimate Plan for Burning Fat and Getting Fit on a Bike – you’ve got nothing to lose but your belly.
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