Dropped a ton of weight

Since I took on unicycling last year, I have dropped from too close to 400 lb, to under 300 lb so far. I used to be a serious weightlifter with a big appetite. Hoping to continue to get lighter and leaner and be able to put in longer practice sessions more frequently.

I have a lot more stamina and better recovery ability than when I started. Changed diet too, now avoid sugar, fats, oils, salt, white flour, red meat, pork as much as possible while loading up on plenty of fruits, berries, and veggies and whole grains.

Anyone else start out unicycling big and heavy?

What was it like for you?

I wasn’t really heavy but I did lose a few kilograms quite quickly. Unfortunately due to work commitments, then an injury, then illness and then intense hot weather I have not ridden much for three months. Combine that with Christmas and I have put a few kilos back on.

BTW Don’t get too obsessed about avoiding oils. Your body does need them. Olive oil is actually quite good for you.

I just dropped all my muscle because I enjoyed riding more than the gym. It was very sad.

You have had a bit of a stretch of rough luck. I hope things get better for you soon.

A long time ago I was very lean semi-vegetarian, I got ripped avoiding fats and oils. Then I got a job in a health food store, land of endless contradictory information. There I got convinced to add nutritional oils to my diet, and the pounds packed on no matter how much exercise I did. My energy and stamina also dropped significantly.

The low carb fad being pushed was very harmful to me. Every time I tried any version of it, my weight went up, energy went down and I felt miserable. Maybe it works for some people, for me every time it was just a disaster. There are claims out there that coconut oil, MCT’s, CLA, and some other oils all make your body burn off fat. The scientific paperwork might say so, but my body did not cooperate with these claims.

So I went back to avoiding adding in oils and fats, and going for the leanest high fiber fresh foods, and I have been consistently dropping around 1/2 lb per day, more if I exercise hard. As far as I am concerned, there is far more fat, oil, sugar and salt than we need in the food we eat. Natural foods have more than we need and any food product with those things added puts excessive amounts into our bodies.

I would only add extra salt or fat into my diet if a medical test proves I need it. Our bodies need fats and oils, but I think I get more than I need from occaisionally eating fish, nuts, olives, avocados, etc. My body has plenty of fat on it to feed itself on.

When I made these changes, I noticed with a week I had a hell of a lot more stamina, which helped other exercising a lot. Weather is not conducive to unicycling lately, and annual Christmas Cult festivities takes up a lot of time. People told me my face had better color and I no longer look tired.

Up until this year I have always packed on unwanted poundage in December mainly due to Christmas, sometimes quite a bit. This year I refused to partake in the over eating and crap food and drink that goes with it, and I dropped over 10lb in December.

I intend to always be very strict with what I consume and put into my body. I want all the excess fat gone for good, and will not risk doing anything that might put it back on.

Avoiding buying and using fats, oils, salts, and sugar in my food as a significant money saver that makes me healthier and leaner. A nice boost to the unicycle fund.

Weight loss

I bought my first 20" Unicycle in Feb 2017. My weight was 13st 9lb 34" waist.
I then spent two weeks learning to ride it usually two ten or fifteen sessions a day. At the end of of those sessions i would be dripping in sweat and worn out.
Roll forward 10 months i ride approx 30/40 miles a week on a 36" my weight is is 11st 4lb waist 31". I am now learning to ride backwards and have noticed my fitness is no longer an issue for how long i practice i will typically practice for 45/60 mins. To be honest i have not felt as fit for 30 years. As far as diet goes i have stopped eating biscuits apart from an occasional one or two. i dont really eat junk food ie takeaways. But pretty much anything else goes. I am not really a drinker either but i was’nt before Unicycling so no difference there.
My joints feel a lot better for carrying less weight so yours from 400lb to less than than 300lb must be feeling fantastic. Good luck and keep it up.

Regards Phil.

That’s pretty impressive!
It surely wasn’t easy to stick with an unconventional diet during xmas, and I don’t know how it is in the area where you live, but congrats on sticking to it. It’s more work as you can’t just open a can or a box, sometimes it’s more expensive as fresh quality ingredients don’t come as cheap as a burger - one of the tragedies of this world, leading to pandemic morbid obesity…

Totally with you on that one.
Have you seen this film?

Paleo Cycling

5 years ago, I took up a Paleo Diet (not strictly).
The thing, which convinced me most was, that native people (e.g. Inuits or Aborigines) are commonly lean. But when they switch to our “western” diet they get fat.
I dont want to open up a discussion about different diets, because it is no religion, as it is often treated. For me the conclusion is to eat no ready-made food, no fast or junk food and no useless sugars as sweets or soft drinks. Short after starting my diet, I started with cycling/unicycling. You can see the result in the two pictures below. Now Im looking a lot older. But I think it is because I worried too much about freemounting a unicycle;-)

Thanks Phil,

I feel better, but far from fantastic. The first time I tried to put in a serious practice session, I was sore all over for a week, could not do my other exercises, but after that week I was down 5 pounds. I could practice more with lower bodyweight and the diet change, but still had to be careful not to overdo it. Since I damaged my good KH uni I took a break from unicycling due to winter, Christmas, etc. I did my other exercises, and will be getting back at it with significantly less bodyweight, so it should go a lot better.

They way you desribe your fitness from unicycling, a struggle at first, then being able to do it regularly without stamina being an issue. That is what motivates me to do this. It is a struggle now, but I see in the future the balance and stamina will eventually not be an issue, and my body will be much leaner, stronger and healthier for it. I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I haven’t seen that one, but sugar was the first thing I cut out. I do not consider fruits and berries to be sugar. I added them back into my diet after dumping the low carb fad. I also added in carefull selected whole grain breads. All the fibre contributes to weight loss and appetite control.

I find that this way of eating costs me less. Beans and tofu cost much less than beef and pork, combined with rice is supposed to be complete protein. I don’t eat the yolks in my eggs, just the whites. Occaisionally fish and chicken.

I used to spend a lot on coconut oil, omega 3 fish oil, olive oil, primrose oil, etc. Now I don’t spend anything on any of that.

Inuit were defintely not healthy on their traditional diet. They survived, but they did not thrive. Many first nations people in Canada and the USA depending on the dietary habits of the tribe, rarely lived to 40 on their traditional diets. Many of the ones I know, really struggle with their weight and health, and they are living much longer than their ancestors did.


I would say it is purely your diet change. I’ve been riding uni for 2 years and don’t eat that healthy. I love pizza and I know I should stay away from all the sugary things, but I’ve only gained wait. I stopped going to the gym when I started riding, since I figured I got enough motion, but then winters come and it is dark and cold and I don’t feel like going for a ride, so now I signed up at the gym again 2 weeks ago. Still have to work on my diet.
Being a bit lighter will prolly also be better for the unicycles.

A lot depends on the terrain. Riding along the flat doesn’t expend a lot of energy once the rider has learnt to be efficient but gradients above ten percent certainly do.

When I ride I can eat nearly anything without gaining weight.

But tonight I went for my first ride in a month, and only the fourth in four months. I stayed mostly on the flatter part of the course but I was quite surprised. It was one of the smoothest rides I can remember on the 36 and I did the whole fourteen kilometres in just over an hour without a dismount right until the end. I don’t think I have ever done that before.

I certainly didn’t have the strength I had four months ago when I was getting close to pushing it up the steepest hills but I did easily get up and over a section that regularly gives me trouble. It was a pleasant surprise.

This summer I ended up weighting 80 kg which is a bit too much for me (I am 1.76 tall now -lost about 1cm-). [sorry to be metric but I don’t know how to use stones;)]
So I decided it was time to loose weight … and I lost 6 kg in about 2 months.

How? Well I don’t know exactly … I love cooking, I love chocolate (dark one) … and still didn’t follow a specific diet (I really enjoy food!) … I just decided to lose weight and I think I scared my (electronic) scales machine :stuck_out_tongue:
I tend to think that specific diets just operate through your fancy … (well except if you overfeed yourself with burgers and soft drinks)

I no longer know what to make of the various dieting schemes that come and go. I once got into a long conversation with a nutritionist in the park who told me that expert opinion on the ideal balance of the three macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat) is changing all the time. That confirmed the impression I had from seeing the 1990s low fat craze get replaced by all sorts of “paleo” diets. They seemed like they might just be part of a thinly-disguised attempt by the beef industry to reconquer lost ground.

The US obesity epidemic, which is among the world’s most severe, is concentrated in parts of the country where people are poor. There is a lot of it on Indian reservations and in ghettos, in the Deep South and in Puerto Rico, though some places in Africa, where the people are even poorer, have obesity rates that are close to zero, so I guess there is a certain exceptionalism to American malnutrition.

Oh well, unicycling is light to moderate exercise for me, unless I climb hills or hop up a lot of stairs, so it hasn’t had a noticeable impact on my fitness level or -when needed- weight loss. An intense daily game of soccer or basketball would probably get you into better shape.

As a beginner I find unicycling a very tough workout. Perhaps after you master it so the basics are second nature you can do it relaxed. I went out yesterday to get the routine started for this year, on a uni I like much less than the KH trial, and I feel it all over. I find unicycling far more demanding and interesting than soccer or baketball, and many other forms of exercise.

So far as nutrition information, I say the industry is in constant flux and contradiction. They are more concerned about turning a profit from selling their wares than helping anyone get healthy. I think most of the non injury related stuff peddled by doctors, pharmaceutical companies and health food stores are attempted antidotes for our bad diets and the lousy artifical food like products we are poisoned with.

What kept me lean, high energy with low need for sleep long ago was a high whole grain and bean diet while avoiding fats and oils, and sugars, generous with fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, dairy and eggs. Then I worked in health food stores where they insisted that I buy oils and add them to my diet, and lower carbs. My bodyfat started to go up.

Good whole grains, are rich in fiber and other nutrients. Oils are concentrated calories. Low carb NEVER worked for me. What I see in the people that are culturally forced into low carb high fat diets, their people when young are muscular and lean. They age quickly, get maladies such as clogged arteries, fragile bones, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, morbid obesity, and die early in poor health. Same for those that choose to adopt it by choice.

After years of working in that industry, I would be at health conferences and listen to contradictory information and health experts with best selling books arguing with each other. It got to the point where I no longer wanted to hear or read anything anymore.

Congratulations! That takes a lot of discipline. Be proud! As you get more comfortable riding, you will be able to put more and more energy into doing it (and having more fun at that point).

My experience was different. In my early days of riding I weighed about 145 pounds and now I’m around 185. Could it be the intervening years, which are closing in on 40? I guess. :o

How can you ride unicycles without using your muscles? Granted, if you’re just doing “normal” riding your upper body will fade away a lot. If you want to bring it back, do as much Street and Trials riding as you can. Especially big jumps! The guys who are good at that are great physical specimens. :slight_smile:

That is my understanding of where a lot of the problems are, at least with food in the United States. Cheaper foods tend to be more processed, which means they are less “real”, and those real ingredients are replaced with refined flours, preservative chemicals and artificial colors, and usually lots of added sugars and salt. And that soft drinks, even the diet or light variety with low calories, are treated the same way by your pancreas as regular sugars.

When I do Muni rides, my heart rate always goes higher than it does on any type of Road ride, unless it’s got lots of really steep climbing. I get up into the 160s easily, where this only happens on pavement if I’m going up steep hills. The rest of the time, I’m pushing my personal “speed limit” (up to 15 mph or so) but usually not going much above 150 bpm.

I know, move into a glass house and Google the conversions! :sunglasses:

The difference in those African places may be that their foods are more “real” and less processed.

Yup. Beware of any dietary advice from someone who also has product to sell, even your nutritionist! The basics, as I understand them, are to keep your foods as simple as possible, eat more vegetables, but otherwise keep a mix of carbs and fiber, and natural/organic ingredients when possible.

I just want to chime in to state that this changes by region/country but generally nutritionists are not registered health profeshionals and are there primarily to sell you stuff. Dieticians on the other hand are medical professionals with science based training. If you want medical advice on food and diet talk to the dietician at your health clinic, not the nutritionist at the health food store.

Rant aside congratulations on loosing the pounds. I’ve been stable between 185 and 190 lbs for about 10 years but have been creeping up towards 200 lately. I’m going to try more exercise and less beer and see how that goes :).

Following government approved dieticians advice made me pack on the weight. Following the canada food guide they push is the sure fire way to guarantee diabetes and obesity and other avoidable degenerative health problems as you age.

I have been to health conferences and dieticians argue with each other and disagree every bit as much as those in the natural food and organic business. They also change their information in similar fashion.

I was very lean healthy and fit, until university educated dieticians “scientifically” convinced me that I was wrong and that I should add nutritional oils to my diet and lower my carb intake.

In countries that are not modern westernized they do not have an obesity epidemic and in most cases much less degenerative diseases. They also do not have dieticians misleading them, who are just a part of the problem, not the solution.

Scientists in anything health related cannot be trusted. They are far from honest, if they are, they are quickly out of work and blacklisted. They are controlled by big business with billions of dollars at stake. Having sick people degenerating from eating crap and going to hospitals and popping pills is good for their business, not for us.

You definitely use some muscles, but not in similar intensities or rep ranges to lifting weights. Trials and street is one of the best riding disciplines to maintain SOME muscle mass but even Eli Brill goes to to the gym to be a tank haha. It wouldn’t happen from unicycling.

Not sure what you dieticians do in Canada but dieticians in Australia don’t push low carbohydrate diets. Nutritionists and other businesses selling fad diets do that. In fact looking at the “Eating well with canada’s food guide” majority of food recommendations are vegetables/fruit/grains, which are all higher in carbohydrate. And they only recommend 2-3 tablespoons of healthy oils.

Scientists in health related areas are not controlled by big business, the scientists doing the research are most often at universities not funded by big business at all. Usually their funding is from government grants or university grants (at least in Australia anyway)

In theory specialists who are meant to improve your health would ensure long term business by not doing so, however they don’t need to do that because almost everyone struggles to consistently do what needs to be done (eat better and move more). Add to that the fact that there are millions of people per health specialist and you can see why there is no need to keep people unhealthy.

And if you take the everything is a conspiracy approach then I assume you never have and never will use a mechanic, builder, electrician, plumber, gardener, tutor, taxi driver or any other service as they clearly will make more money from not fixing/doing their service properly so you are forced to get them to do more work.

That is a crude but accurate description of the entire petty bourgeoisie in the epoch of imperialist decay! Professors who voice even timid opposition to the never-ending war, whistleblowers, investigative journalists and other outspoken critical thinkers- almost none can ever expect any sort of job security anymore.

Are you sure about that? Privatization of educational institutions is happening almost everywhere. I don’t know much about Australia, but I would be surprised -stunned, in fact- to hear that it has avoided this trend.