The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
So with that in mind... I'm going back to a few things that have worked for me in the past, and a few new ideas.
1) Weight Loss During the Off-Season
One I picked up from the Velonews podcasts is to do your weight loss during the off-season.
When you're doing full-blown training, creating calorie deficits may seem easier - burn a few thousand calories on a ride, pretty easy to create a big caloric deficit!
... but without the calories things will just go sour, fast. It's a recipe for not being able to recover properly, burning out, and just generally failing at weight loss.
2) Crash Dieting Works
This one is more controversial...
According to this study, participants who lost weight quickly were more likely to stick to the plan, and less likely to put weight on again after.
"Across the world, guidelines recommend gradual weight loss for the treatment of obesity, reflecting the widely held belief that fast weight loss is more quickly regained,” said Katrina Purcell, dietician and the first author on the paper from the University of Melbourne“However, our results show that achieving a weight loss target of 12.5 per cent is more likely, and drop-out is lower, if losing weight is done quickly."
The number of people who regained weight after three years was also the same in both groups, 71 per cent, suggesting that crash dieting is better than gradual weight loss in the short term and no worse in the long term
This flies in the face of a lot of conventional wisdom (as they note). I find this happens a lot in nutrition and obesity, it just seems like no matter how much research is done, it's a tough nut to crack - and too much is taken on faith rather than actual study.
I'm going to revert to the old adage "know thyself". I am not a gradual steady-as-she-goes kind of person - I like extreme solutions, and I like to see results.
I'm not going crazy with it - 1800kCal/day is low, but it's not that extreme...
3) Intermittent Fasting
I have used 16:8 with a lot of success.
This helps curb hunger, counter-intuitively. I found it much easier to stick to a low calorie diet if I compress the calories into an 8 hour period than if I try spread that out. Lunch, dinner, very little snacking, and cut-off early in the evening. Feel full a couple of times a day rather than be hungry all the time.
The Plan and The Math
Daily caloric requirement (based on 192lbs, average weight during weight loss): 2628kCal
Calculator here: http://www.marshmallowman2ironman.com/2011/02/daily-calorie-requirement-calculator.html
Exercise burn per hour (low intensity / base mileage) - 800kCal (estimated)
Exercise hours per week - 5
Add in some walking and other daily activities - 100kCal/day
Total daily requirement - 3300kCal
Target weight loss - 3lbs/week = 10,500kCal
Deficit per day - 1500kCal
3300kCal - 1500kCal = 1800kCal/day
Goal weight: 180lbs.
Current weight: 203lbs.
9 weeks = 27lbs ... a few cheat days in there, should be able to lose 23lbs, right? YAY!
Today, the work begins.