Calorie Counting..?

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by tinajoy, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. pam_in_sc

    pam_in_sc New Member

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    It isn't low by the standards of people with low carb diet theories, but it is by the standards of doctors and dieticians, who tend to oppose low carb for diabetics. The official minimum daily requirement for carbohydrates is 120 grams a day, and the medical community says that below that the brain may not get enough glucose. I know that there are plenty of people with experience otherwise, but it has made me very curious if I will have problems with not having enough carbohydrate fuel for sustained exercise. So far no problems.

    Pam
     


  2. trekchic

    trekchic New Member

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    My neighbor has gestational diabetes, for the 2nd time! She has to control carbo's too. She has found thru testing her blood sugar that white carbs spike her blood sugar more than other kinds. So, potatos, bread, and rice are out unless they're sweet pot's, wheat bread and brown rice. She limits pasta and fruit to early in the day and low serving sizes. Don't know if she actually counts carbs.

    WW Flexpoints is the Weight Watchers program. I am testing it for a few weeks. I am leary, extremely leary!, of eating anything with carbs in it! But, I am giving it a try. I have 24 points a day, 35 flex points (free points) per week, and can add points if I exercise during the week. Each food is given a point value and when I get to 24 for the day, I'm done. Yesterday was pretty easy. I didn't ride yesterday, though. If I am riding, I am not sure I have enough points to sustain me.

    We'll see! I am about to "chuck" every diet in the world. I am so sick of watching carbs, illimunating foods, worrying about everything I eat.......am I getting enough fiber? Too much fat in my diet? Too much sugar? Too much protein? Not enough water? This is tooooooooooooo much to worry about. When will I be able to just relax and live? :D :confused:
     
  3. HellonWheels

    HellonWheels New Member

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    >>>

    This is one reason why I have never been "on a diet" for weight loss.
     
  4. Margaret

    Margaret New Member

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    Kim -- I'm also working through the South Beach Diet (which has a terrible name, but is actually a serious book written by a legit cardiologist, with lots of (for me) helpful information), after always being anti-"diet" but really wanting to lose 10-15 pounds ahead of a cross-country bike trip for next spring (I need that weight for gear!). So far I'm very pleased with it. I also have a history of heart disease in my family, so the education on blood chemistry has been very helpful to me.

    On your exercise question, Dr. Agatson recommends that you eat some sort of complex, low-glycemic-load carbohydrate before (e.g. oatmeal with skim milk and apples), and that after a sustained period of exercise (he says 90 minutes or more) you can and should eat something that will quickly replenish your glycogen stores -- energy bars, even white bread or potatoes. If I had the book with me, I'd point you to the page number. Now, I don't think this means that if you exercise 90 minutes or more, you can then eat whatever simple carbs you want for the rest of the day -- just that you can re-fuel your body right then with foods that break down quickly and replenish depleted glycogen stores. I'm off next week for a four-day cycling tour in Canada, so I will test this out on that trip and see how I do. So far on my regular weekend rides of around 25 miles, I've found that my "normal" snacks of almonds or string cheese or celery with peanut butter serve me just fine.

    To clear up some of the confusion -- South Beach does not involve counting carbs or counting calories or anything "diet-y" like that (again, bad name, good book). Other than the first two weeks, the program is really about learning how to make different food choices that can improve your blood chemistry and cardiac health, with the pleasant side effect of also moving you closer to a healthier weight if you are currently above that. I know there's so much faddish "low-carb" craze out there now, which is what made me resist looking into the South Beach Diet, and which mostly seems to involve the same kinds of marketing gimmicks and processed "fake food" that is part of the obesity problem. I was pleasantly surprised when I actually got the book and took the time to read it all. Anyway, enough rant from me! I just don't want people who haven't looked into it lumping South Beach Diet in with Atkins or with generic "carb-counting" or "low-carb" fads.

    Margaret
     
  5. HellonWheels

    HellonWheels New Member

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    >>>

    I'gver always been very anti-diet because I've come to see how being on diets can lead to eating disorders, obsessive eating, etc (when you focus all the time on numbers on scales, calories, etc it can do that to you.) I lost more weight than anyone else I know without really trying to, just by changing my LIFESTYLE and exercising once again after a 20 year lapse. I find if I follow the food pyramid BUT sub whole grains for the white stuff, I do just fine. Went from 305 lbs a few years ago to 145 lbs now (combined with daily exercise and cycling.) And I didnt need a diet to do it either.
     
  6. pam_in_sc

    pam_in_sc New Member

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    I grew up with the notion "if you aren't hungry, you aren't losing weight." For a whole lot of reasons I chucked the whole thing and refused to deprive myself. I've been pretty healthy, but my weight gradually crept up. I think actually a lot of that was because my blood sugar was going high. I ended up getting diabetes. And you know what? I have no regrets. Not feeling deprived (and activating some serious childhood issues there) was more important.

    I refused to make losing weight a goal even when I got diabetes, but I did get very serious about keeping my blood sugar in the normal range. I test one hour after almost every meal, and sometimes two hours as well. And I eat to my meter--if I'm over 140 I don't eat that combination of food again, at least in the same circumstance. The first thing I discovered is that if my blood sugar went high I would be terribly hungry as it went back down, and if I kept it in the normal range I was much less hungry. The next thing I discovered is that I was losing 5 pounds a month, without restricting how much I ate (and eating nuts for snacks). I've lost 30 lbs., though since I got into more intense exercise my weight loss has slowed.

    I'm not sure my experience is useful to anyone else, but it's been an interesting journey.

    Pam
     
  7. Leesie

    Leesie New Member

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    I have to agree with Hellonwheels (sorry, I don't know your name!). The best advice that I can give anyone who is trying to lose weight, is to make healthy changes to your lifestyle, and don't go on a fad diet or try to lose weight too quickly. In other words, don't do anything that you won't be able to continue for the rest of your life. For example, if you want to do a low-carb thing, but don't want to do it for the rest of your life, it probably is not the best way for you to lose weight. Yes, you may get good results, but it is also very likely that when you add carbs in again, you will gain weight, because you did not "learn" how to eat that way in a healthy manner. I am not saying that this happens to everyone, it's just that I have seen this happen to so many people, including me.

    I am trying to lose about ten pounds now, and I am finding that since I exercise pretty regularly, I can eat "normal" meals that are healthy and also a snack or two if I wish, and still lose weight. I have the horrible habit though of counting the calories of every damn thing I eat- I have been doing that for over a year now, and it has just become a part of me. Obviously, this past year I have been counting the calories, but still eating more than I should! Anyway, it's all very exhausting- so I would also recommend that if you are someone that hasn't been a calorie-counter....do yourself a favor and just don't start! Because once you start, it's so hard to not think about it, and it makes you not enjoy your food as much, when you just automatically convert it to numbers!!! I swear, you can put almost any kind of food in front of me, and I can give you a pretty good estimate of how many calories it is. It's kind of sickening actually.

    By the way, I have heard really good things about Weight Watchers- because people seem to lose weight on it and KEEP IT OFF, which is a miracle. I think it's because instead of counting calories or carbs or whatever, you count points. It kind of teaches you how to eat healthy, because you will be more likely to "spend your points" on foods that you can have more of, or on foods that won't have as many points- hence, you will be eating healthier foods. For example, if you want a snack, and are choosing between a 5point cookie, and a 1point apple, then you will probably choose the apple, because then you will have more points saved for dinner.

    I am going to get serious now about losing these 10 pounds because I think I will feel much better about myself (of course look better too!) and it will definetly improve my athletic performance as well. Good luck to all of you women out there who are trying to lose weight too! We can do it!

    Elise
     
  8. caligurl

    caligurl New Member

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    another south beach fan here! i've never done a diet before.. don't like the structure.. faddishness of them... however when i heard about south beach and actually looked into it.. i realized it was a VERY healthy way of eating!

    i like that i eat whole foods vs some processed junk with a name slapped on it (i.e. atkins or weight watchers)

    i do count calories even though you aren't supposed to with south beach. i found i was eating too large of portions. i want to lose 2 more pounds and they just aren't budging!

    i use a program called balancelog to figure calories out/in and balance it out each day. if i don't ride/exercise i just eat less food.. if i ride.. i get hungry.. but i can eat cuz i just burned 500-700 calories (or more as i get better at cycling!)
     
  9. HellonWheels

    HellonWheels New Member

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    http://nmnm.essortment.com/dietitalian_rmmj.htm

    The above link I found rather interesting, its called The Italian Diet. I'm of Italian ancestry and this is largely how I grew up eating/living. It was not until after I married my non-Italian (Midwestern) husband, and began cooking (and eating with him) all the fatty, red meat foods of HIS culture that I put on weight. I was always very thin when I ate and lived the Italian way.

    Anyway, FWIW if anyone is interested!
     
  10. MelloMel

    MelloMel New Member

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    I would not recommend going on the Atkins diet or any severely restrictive eating plan AT ALL. A few years back, I used to be somewhat "exercise-phobic" (before I started cycling seriously), and decided that the Atkins low-carb diet sounded like a good deal. After losing about 6 pounds right away, I began to gain weight again, and soon gained about 15-20 pounds, while eating low-carb. It took me awhile to realize that I was eating WAY too many calories, since the diet promotes so many fatty foods, but by then I was used to huge portion sizes (I had developed the mentality that only carbs counted, and didn't take cals into account). When I tried to limit my cals, while still eating low-carb, I developed an eating disorder that I was struggling with until relatively recently. I just wish I'd never heard of the stupid diet; I suppose it works for some people, and if it does, power to you. I find I feel better about myself when I eat a "normal" diet, as in, one that allows me to ride for 50-100 miles on my road bike without being fatigued. For me, this involves eating a moderate amount of carbs along with everything else, and usually a fig bar or energy bar on my longer rides. It's much easier on your body in the long run to lose the weight through exercise and balanced eating, rather than losing lots of weight all at once.
     
  11. juf2m

    juf2m New Member

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    I'll give you some free advice I got from my nutritionist. You can manage low carb if you are riding at a low and steady level, but for speed/endurance, you simply must have the carb, or you will run into trouble. The main one being that when your body runs out of carb energy, it starts in on your muscles. Another thing is that when you eat a lot of protein/fat, and go into ketosis, your body tries to flush out the keytones (sp?) and in doing that, you lose a lot of water, which makes your blood thicker, and your heart work much harder. This is made even worse when you are sweating on a ride.


    I tried low carb once and did lose weight, but I couldn't possibly keep up the low carb lifestyle. Low carbers usually have a weight gain when they go back onto carbs again, as they are "carb sensitive". A lot of the gain is water. I find now that I am eating more normally that I can eat lots of carbs and not gain anything back...within reason of course, and keeping up the physical activity.

    FWIW, I am also on a diet, I need to lose 10lbs for a belly dancing gig in November! I hope to get that done by cycling so I can go on a maintenance diet and eat more.
     
  12. HellonWheels

    HellonWheels New Member

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  13. closesupport

    closesupport Banned

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    http://www.caloriesperhour.com/ its a pretty good way to work out how many calories you should be consuming.

    I eat around a kilo of choclate aday, 1 to 2 litres of fizzy pop, 3 pretty large meals aday Pizza's KFC's Chineese Burgers, Could you please give me some tips how you managed to get overweight in the first place? i however cycle 1 - 2hours aday at 95 / 100% my maximum effort and no matter how much i eat i just keep loosing weight...

    TUT! i've tryed not cycling and not doing any exercise but i loose my appettite and eat maybe a meal since my cycling seams to give me my appetitie to start with?

    Endurance..... Uses a mixture of carbs and fatty acids Carbs alone wouldn't fuel endurance distances alone.
     
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