# Balancing calories

Discussion in 'Health Nutrition and Supplements' started by WillemJM, Sep 9, 2013.

1. ### WillemJM New Member

Joined:
Sep 28, 2012
Messages:
152
2
Is balancing calories simple math, or not?

If I do a 3 hour ride at an average of 18mph and burn say 2600 calories.

How much do I add for the rest of the day taking it easy, no work, just and easy day or an office job? 2000 calories, or much less?

If the above was right, that would give me 4600 calories for the day?

If I take in food of 2,700 calories for the day, I should have a 2,700 - 4,600 = -1,900 deficit for the day, but I am not losing weight, so what is going on here?

5'11" weighing 192 lbs, aiming at 175lbs,

Tags:

2. ### alienator Well-Known Member

Joined:
Jun 10, 2004
Messages:
12,596
160
How are you determining how many calories you've burned?

3. ### WillemJM New Member

Joined:
Sep 28, 2012
Messages:
152
2
Quote: Originally Posted by alienator .

How are you determining how many calories you've burned?

Cycle computer and if I do referencing it seems to be in the right range.

4. ### alienator Well-Known Member

Joined:
Jun 10, 2004
Messages:
12,596
160
Cycle computer are notorious for over estimating calories burned. I certainly wouldn't arrange a diet based on bike computer calculations. There are too many assumptions built into those calculations. The only bike computers capable of accurate calories burned measurement are those coupled with power meters. I'd wager that one reason you're not losing weight is that the bike computer's calorie count is in error.

5. ### bbbean New Member

Joined:
Apr 20, 2013
Messages:
7
0
+1 If I measure the same ride with Strava, Map My Ride, and my Garmin 510, I'll get dramatically different calorie totals. The same ride will show as 600 cal on one app and 1200 cal on another. Since I use a HR monitor with the Garmin, and it's numbers are closest to the 600/800 cal/hr you should burn biking, I use it's numbers, but I only think of them as a baseline to compare day to day, not an absolute measure. FWIW, same thing on calories consumed. The best apps are still just estimates, so you have to use your numbers as a baseline and find the input/output balance that works for you.

6. ### RonSwanson New Member

Joined:
Jan 6, 2014
Messages:
76
1
I agree that 2600 calories burned sounds a little excessive. You're also not going to burn 2000 sitting in an office. With a sedentary job, you'll burn a few hundred if that.

7. ### danfoz Well-Known Member

Joined:
Apr 12, 2011
Messages:
2,432
92
This is an older thread so not sure if you got it sorted out. Try using some basal metabolic rate calculator and working from there.

Here is one example: http://www.calculator.org/calculate-online/health-fitness/basal-metabolic-rate.aspx

This calculator puts my basal metabolic rate in calories at approx 1600. Plugging in the numbers you provided (with a wild guess of age 50) gets 1800 calories. Tour de France riders burn approx 4000-6000 (SWAG) during a typical stage of 5+ hours on the bike at professional race efforts. I am pretty certain no one is burning 2000 during a day at the office.

During a period I wasn't cycling I wanted to loose some weight. At 5'9" weighing 178lbs I got a number from some online tool saying it took approximately 1700 calories a day for me carry out basic function. I made sure to consume no more than that figuring any activity would be working away at the surplus. and did that for a little over 5 weeks ending up at 160lbs, loosing roughly 2-3 lbs a week. I had small snacks (100 calorie bags of crackers or chips) and fruit between meals to keep blood sugar normal but learned that feeling somewhat hungry had to become the norm if I wanted to meet my own imposed aggressive timeline. Had I been riding i would have compensated and added more calories. loosing more than 2lbs a week isn't highly recommended.

One example: I really enjoy cheeseburger deluxes with mayo on the fries. My plan to loose weight had no such provision. Instead I ate hamburgers (no cheese), with a side of corn instead of fries, and water instead of soda.

Another example: I love pizza. Instead of my usual two slices and soda, I would eat one slice with a diet soda.

Dessert? There is no such thing when trying to loose weight. Instead: I had an extra sugar in my coffee making it slightly sweeter than usual. An extra spoon of sugar is not that many calories when compared to a slice of pie a la mode.

Now that I'm back to roughly 10 hours a week on the bike I can eat whatever I damn well please.

In college I read a book called One L, about a first year law student. Apparently the secret to getting through law school is to learn to love the law. The secret to loosing weight is to become comfortable feeling somewhat hungry all the time, and after meals to not feel "full", that is not the normal feeling one is used to when living a normal life and eating at will. Unless a specialized chef is preparing specialized meals, or one is capable of doing so oneself via a book or some other means, one has to be really cognizant of what one is really putting in their bodies. Embrace feeling slightly "empty", making sure not to deprive yourself of adequate nutrition and it will happen.

Good luck if you are still trying to drop some weight.

PS: if you don't have a scale run out and buy one, checking weight every morning and actually seeing it happen is an incentive to keep going. I would see a half pound coming off every day or two. Don't fret if a couple days go by with no change. It's like building FTP, sometimes there's a sticking point but if consistency is maintained eventually the breakthroughs happen.

RonSwanson and steve like this.
8. ### WillemJM New Member

Joined:
Sep 28, 2012
Messages:
152
2
Thanks for your detailed post, appreciated.

Yep, I have lost just over 20lbs since posting the original thread and managed to get to my target weight. I did this by training with a power-meter which makes the calories burnt calculation accurate and logging everything that I eat doing a calorie balance using myfitnesspal.com. Did an excel worksheet to check actual weight loss compared to theoretical and it was pretty close. My initial problem was not counting all the calories I was taking in accurately. Although I am not a Paleo believer, it did help to get the weight down, cutting out carbs from grain and potatoes etc.

Way back on 10 hours I could eat anything, but that changes as we get older, that feeling hungry all the time is a b*tch and sometimes sore legs are the result of malnutrition and training. I do average 14 hours most weeks now and still have to watch my diet.

If I can get my watts up by about 40 and my weight down by another 10lbs I would be right in the middle of cat 2 statistics, not sure if that is going to happen though, think I may be close to ideal percent of body fat.

Joined:
Apr 12, 2011
Messages:
2,432