How can i stop losing weight while cycling?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by danny shep, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. danny shep

    danny shep New Member

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    I have been riding to work each day for the last month instead of using public transport and have found it a great way to keep fit and improve my stamina but i have also found that it has led to me losing quite a lot of weight.
    The ride itself is around 15 miles each way so i am clocking up 30 miles a day five times a week at a speed of around 18 miles an hour. I would like to know if anyone can suggest how many extra calories this cycling will burn on top of the average 2000-2500 that are recommended daily for male adults to consume each day so that i can maintain my current weight.
    The reason i am so concerned with losing weight is that i am already fairly slim at around 133lbs, with my height being 5ft 10 inches, and am now in 30" waist trousers and extra small when it comes to t-shirts and tops so if i lose any more weight i will have to resort to buying clothes meant for young teens which i don't really want to do. One item im really having trouble getting to fit me is replica pro team cyling jerseys as even the small sizes are too loose around my 34" chest.
    After asking a few people at work they have suggested that i pig out on high fat foods such as donuts and chocolate but i find that as i eat fairly healthily, high fat foods tend to not be the greatest fuel for my body and they make me drowsy and lethargic, so i would like to avoid them if at all possible.
    Basically what i would like to know is if anyone can advise, after taking into account my riding effort, how many calories i need to be consuming to maintain my current weight, and also what types of foods i should be choosing to use those calories on.
    Hope there's an answer out there
     
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  2. NomadVW

    NomadVW New Member

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    1000-1500 calories depending on the extra numerous factors going into the whole thing and how hard you push from day to day. If you use the normal "40 calories per mile" estimate, it's 1200 - but you're a lightweight so it's probably a bit lower on average.
     
  3. danny shep

    danny shep New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. After checking out a bit more info on calorie intake in relation to weight i found that there is an established 40 cals for each kg formula that seems to be a commonly held one. This means i need at least 2546 cals before any exercise and then taking into account your approx 1200 for my daily riding that means i need to consume a mighty 3746 a day.
    Now to me that sounds like an awful lot as im sure im not eating anywhere near that at the moment so im wondering if you have any advice on how to spread those across meals for the day and what kind of meals would be the best kind of fuel to keep me going on the bike.
    As i mentioned previously i am afraid that if i don't stop my weight dropping then i won't be able to find clothes that fit but a bigger concern is that i dont want to lose muscle which im afraid may happen if i don't give my body enough nutrition to reverse it's penchant for weight loss.
    I have picked up some tips that have helped me recently such as eating high GI foods after exercise, etc, but one im still struggling with is how often i should put out max effort and how often i should take it easy and treat it as a recovery ride as if i go all out on each ride my muscles tend to feel pretty strained by weekend whcih makes the riding experience much less enjoyable.
    I read recently that 50% of rides should be effort rides and the rest should be recovery and working that into my regime has already benefitted me as riding is now virtually painless as my muscles seem to have time to recover and refresh themselves. Is this normal?
     
  4. Ade Merckx

    Ade Merckx New Member

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    Does "eat fairly healthily" mean you're particularly choosy and don't eat regularly?...Yes you are pretty slim but if its not affecting your general health don't worry about it. Its quite probable that your new cycling regime has you burning lots more calories but it will probably settle down. If you're still concerned see a nutritionist or your doctor. Good luck
    The Merckx Diaries
     
  5. NomadVW

    NomadVW New Member

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    Eat smaller meals throughout the day. I eat anywhere from 3500-5000 calories per day. But I rarely eat more than 700-100 in a single sitting. Breakfast is 400-600, first lunch around 10am is the same, second lunch, the same, meal mid-afternoon, another late afternoon, and something to tide me over through the night early evening. Etc...

    I track my diet pretty meticulously and had my RMR (resting metabolic rate) measured to help me pin point my dieting (for weight maintenance). I use a program for my Palm T|X / PC matched up with a spreadsheet I integrated into my cycling training. The spreadsheet I use for weight is.. um....

    Here: http://www.cycleiwakuni.com/download.php?file=weightworkbook.xls
     
  6. xxamr_corpxx

    xxamr_corpxx New Member

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    Have you considered adding weigh training to your workout as well? It could stop you losing upper body muscle.
     
  7. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    A "bike calculator" says if you average 18 mph on a flat course for 30 miles, sitting up on the hoods, you're putting out 180 watts and burning 1100 kcals each day. Unless you replace that energy, you'll lose almost two pounds a week.

    150 miles a week is a lot of riding which demands careful diet support and enough rest. Certainly pass on the junk food. In addition to three good meals, consider adding a high-carb snack after every ride; within 20-30 minutes is supposed to be the best as that's when the muscle cells are looking for replacement fuel. When you get to work, you could have a "recovery" bar or drink, with a balance of protein and carbs. At home, a sandwich or PB crackers and milk plus fruit is quick. PS: I'd love to have your problem....at least for a month or two :)
     
  8. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

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    Eat a lot of carbohydrates. Don't worry about protein, just get a good source of lean protein. Watch the fat intake. Because you are increasing your needs, it is easy to eat too much fat. Increase your totaly calories from carbohydrates to over 70% for your total diet.

    Do not listen to those telling you to eat donuts, junk food, or processed protein-rich bars. Speak to your doctor or a dietician, or your cycling coach.
     
  9. the engine

    the engine New Member

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    You don't mention your fueling up for your rides ... assuming you do not;

    You should be fueling up before, during and after each ride. The after-ride intake should be for "recovery", and include protein, and amino acids. This will help your body not to take its fuel from what little muscle and fat you carry on your body. Bars, gels and some sort of recovery powder, bar, ect. will work well to help increase your caloric intake with fuel your body needs to work efficiently during exercise. Then you may not have to increase each meal intake as much ...
     
  10. danny shep

    danny shep New Member

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    Very interesting stuff from all concerned there.
    I am trying to increase the amount of meals i eat per day although this is difficult as i am work for nearly 12 hours a day and will need to schedule my first and second lunch into my breaks and dinner time.
    As for pre-ride fuelling on work days there isn't any as i am up at 5.10 am and on the road 10 minutes later on my way to work but for my breakfast when i arrive i generally have 3 or 4 weetabix with semi skimmed milk and have experimented with a small bag of peanuts or a fruit jelly and a probiotic yoghurt drink. I would be interested in any of your opinions of these and any of your own breakfast options as the old adage says "it's the most imprtant meal of the day". Instead of eating proper meals at break and lunch i tend to eat one banana sandwich at each break with either peanuts, pistachios, apples or oranges as snacks at my desk.
    I recently bought a carrot cake clif bar from my local cycle shop, and ate it as suggested an hour before my ride, and have never felt better than on that ride home as my legs felt they had more zip in them than i have ever known before.
    On my longer weekened rides of between 40-50 miles i tend to take either Powerbar or SIS go gels with me but i think i will be stocking up on clif bars as they made me feel so good and i have also read in one of my many books about the Pro Cycling scene that the Discovery Channnel team use them as one of their nutritional staples.
    For after ride recovery i tend to drink a glass of chocolate mile and then cook some white pasta, as that has been reccomended over wholewheat for eating immediately after a ride, with a bertolli tomato pasta sauce. On other nights i eat grilled chicken or fish and potatoes and beans with some brown (as white makes me so gassy) bread. One of the reasons i have been able to keep a fairly low and healthy weight is that i tend to replace desserts with bowls of cereal and have been doing so ever since i returned from University and dropeed from 14st to my current weight of nearly 10st. I have heard that muesli is also good for someone leading an active lifestyle and eat bowls of that as well as shredded wheat and wheatflakes.
    I have been really interested in nutrition for ages and am willing to give any of your suggestions a try as anything that can make me feel better on the bike as well as keeping me healthy is something that i want to hear about.
    I have been looking at the bodybuilding bars in my local health food shop as i know that protein is good for muscles and recovery and i think the only thing stopping me is that i don't want a bigger body, as my current slender "climbers" build is perfect for cycling. If I was to consider these types of bars then would they be ok as an addition to my early breakfast or should i leave it until i return home after my main meal.
    Thanks for all the suggestions so far, I really appreciate them
     
  11. rymoto

    rymoto New Member

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    Im pretty sure bodybuilding products only have an affect if you weight train, so you dont have to worry about becoming huge just from consuming them.
     
  12. the engine

    the engine New Member

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    If you can find something, like a clif bar, or a gel pack, that you can eat as soon as you get up in the morning, your ride into work will be as good as that ride home. I never go out on a ride without fueling up ... it IS the most important feed for cycling, as well as a bottle of energy drink or gel 20-30 min. into a 1 hour ride. Eat a protein/carb combo right after you get off the bike on each ride. It will help your total caloric intake for the day.
     
  13. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    Why is it important to you to put on excess fat? If you're worried about your appearance get in a gym, lift some weights, gain some muscle instead.

    On the other hand, why don't you enter a hilly bike race. Because of your low Body Mass Index (19.2) you probably have a good power to weight ratio as well,. You might be pleasantly surprised on how well you fare among your category peers. FYI, I'm 5'6.5" and 122 lbs, BMI same as yours.
     
  14. Skoorb

    Skoorb New Member

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    wth, eat more.

    Calorie ranges for an adult are junk. I am 5,11" and weigh 170 and can lose weight with moderate excercise on 3000 calories/day. Other people may be my height and 250 and find they cannot lose weight at that; it's all personal. See what works for you and simply eat more.
     
  15. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    +1, well said Skoorb, there's no magic just eat more if exercise is driving your weight too low. It aint rocket science :)
     
  16. danny shep

    danny shep New Member

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    I agree that the basis of what i will need to do is to eat more but what i am really looking for is advice on how to get the maximum from these extra calories. Many of the replies on the thread have dealt with this and i am very grateful for that but i would like to clear up the idea that i am looking to increase fat as that is most definitely not what i am trying to do. Instead i have reached what i see as my ideal weight, (and have take on board the comments about upper body training as that doesn't happen automatically no matter how much i seem to ride) and would like to maintain at close to this weight (maybe adding more a little more muscle) over the long term. Having dropped 2 inches off my trouser size in a matter of weeks i really don't want to slim down anymore so i just wanted to ask for any advice on what kinds of foods other riders would recommend to enable me to add to my daily intake which will provide good fuel for my exercise. One of the suggestions i have heard is to eat pecans and dried fruit while on a ride which i did on the way home tonight and although i felt a bit tired after getting home i think that was mainly because i was able to push myself quite hard due to the positive feeling they gave to my mind and body. Im planning to chomp on some tommorow on the way to work to see how they affect my performance when my body is still warming up. I've also read on another thread about others swearing by clif bars which i would second as i plan to buy at least a box of the carrot cake variety this weekend.
    Anyway thanks again for the tips given so far, hope theres more to come, and sorry for the confusion i may have caused with some of my earlier statements.
    Cheers
     
  17. Skoorb

    Skoorb New Member

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    Haven't had those, but the chocolate peanut crunch or something like that are pretty good :)
     
  18. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough, there's a lot of basic sports nutrition advice on this site and elsewhere on the web and in print. Just remember nutrition is about fuels(fats, carbs proteins) as well as nutrients(vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, etc.). Pay attention to both if you want to look after your health as well as your energy needs. It also pays to remember that cycling is primarily fueled by carbs and fat. Even very lean folks have plenty of energy stored in fat reserves so the key thing to replenish is carbs which convert to glycogen get stored in your liver and in your muscles themselves and are the primary fuel for harder aerobic efforts like race pace, time trials and even anaerobic efforts in the one to two minute range. Fats play a bigger role at lower exercise intensities but most folks don't need to focus on their fat intake although we all need some.

    From that standpoint a pocket full of pecans might not be your best on bike choice as they're primarily fat and protein. They might help you keep your weight up(your original question) but they won't do much to fuel the effort as it develops. The Clif bars are good as are banannas, other fruits, other energy bars, gels, etc. All of those are heavy in carbs to fuel your activities and most have a bit of protein, very little fat to aid digestion and some other good stuff like vitamins and minerals. As someone else pointed out the first half hour after finishing your workout is really important. If you want to recharge your muscles for the next day or for a double workout you need to get simple carbs and some protein on board right away. Your body is much better at converting those simple carbs to glycogen and storing it in your muscles during that intial post exercise window than it is later on. You should also eat again a couple of hours later if you have another workout scheduled within 24 hours.

    Here's a link that talks about the critical half hour window and gives estimates for the amount of carbs and protein you want to consume: http://www.carbboom.com/education/recovery.php they're selling a recovery product so take it with a grain of salt, but their recommendations are backed up elsewhere, just search on "critical half hour glycogen" or "post exercise recovery nutrition" and you'll get a lot of good hits including this one that got a lot of attention because it advocates chocolate milk over fancy recovery products: http://www.webarticles.com/Health/Fitness/Chocolate-Milk-better-than-Gatorade-for-Post-Exercise-Recovery%3F

    Anyway, keep your intake up, try to make it healthy stuff beyond just your caloric needs and make sure you refuel during the critical half hour if you want to work out again within a day or so.

    Good luck,
    Dave
     
  19. danny shep

    danny shep New Member

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    Thanks for that. Your pointers cleared up a few things for me as I had always heard how important it was to eat after exercising but im glad that I’ve now got a specific time frame to work to so I can plan on eating as often as I possible within that important half hour post exercise window.

    The pasta should take under 10 mins to cook and I usually combine it with a stir-in tomato sauce so I should be able to whip that up no problem. Obviously I will need to add some protein to this so im considering adding some grilled chicken, which takes about 15 minutes on the George Foreman grill, and possibly even a few cubes of feta cheese as I read that the saltiness of this cheese is useful in replenishing the salts your body has lost though sweating (which is the same reason I eat a small bag of salted peanuts with my breakfast).

    It’s an odd thing to think I will be choosing to eat cheese again as I used to be a champion cheese chomper in my younger days eating blocks straight from the fridge but when I decided to lose weight I cut cheese out altogether.

    I have also read that reduced fat brie is a good choice due to it’s nutritional value but as I know little about it I’ll have to check the details out more thoroughly before trying it.

    As for the pecans, I’ll take your word on that as I know that sometimes if you tell yourself enough times that something is helping you then you start to believe it, a little bit like Dumbo believing that a feather can make him fly.

    One point I wouldn’t mind a bit of advice is on the usefulness of caffeine in either energy gels or drinks like Powerade as I have heard that the caffeine can benefit performance when exercising but I’ve always found that, especially powerade makes me feel a bit twitchy, verging on hyperactive, but not necessarily able to convert this to an improvement on the bike. I also seem to suffer from sensitivity to caffeine as I don’t think I would even be able to get though a ride of 45 minutes without needing to relieve myself as even though caffeine is known to be a diuretic (sp) it seems to have an immediate and long lasting effect on me which is not too useful on a long ride.

    I’ll have a read of the links you posted when I get home from work tonight, and thanks again for those. I drink quite a lot of chocolate milk at the moment but am not sure how effective it is in my recovery process, and this may be because of the type of chocolate milk I am drinking. I vary between a Nesquik powder that I add to semi skimmed milk and also a new bottled drink called “for goodness shakes” which is quite thick, high in protein and has lots of vitamins mixed in. I did read in one study that chocolate mik showed a marked improvement over Gatorade’s endurox when taken between workouts so the science seems to back up the claims that choc milk is a good think to add to your daily regime.

    I found your advice interesting about eating again if you will be riding again within 24 hours as the fact that after my main meal I generally only eat cereal about two hours later is possibly why I feel a bit strained during the first half of my ride in the morning. Im more than happy to try to eat another meal later in the evening (which for me will probably be about 8.30pm) but just want to know if the fact that I will generally be in bed at about 10.30pm will have any bearing on this as a lot of advice warns against eating in the late evening before bed although as for the science behind this adage im not too sure.

    To be honest the strain I feel in my muscles during the first few miles of all of my work rides, (apart from Mondays after my Sunday recovery ride), is something im puzzled about as it may be my body’s way of telling me that my muscles are not getting enough fuel from the previous days food intake, a lack of sleep as I generally only catch about six hours, I am pushing too hard too regularly and need to treat more of my rides as recovery rides or that my body is still half asleep and is not ready to climb testing gradients only 20 minutes after waking up. Doctors make the worst kind of patients so I know that im unlikely to be able to pinpoint the cause of the strain myself so any advice on this would be gratefully received.
     
  20. Cusp

    Cusp New Member

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    6 meals at 500 kcals = 3000.

    I drink a protein shake right before bed.

    1.5 cups of milk
    1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil
    1 banana
    1.5 scoops of protein powder
    1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter

    You can do the math - but the shake can add anywhere between 600-700 kcals and tastes great (I think so at least). Most times I drink 2 a day (post workout). That's 1400 extra (and semi easy) Kcals a day.
     
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