This can not be normal...

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by trichic, Apr 24, 2003.

  1. trichic

    trichic New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all..
    I am new to the boards and am more of a triathlon chic but have recently gotten really into cycling although i dont have my own bike just yet....
    anyway, my question is about diet. Being an athlete as all of you are i figure i am not alone here when i say i am pretty obsessive about what i eat. I am a vegetarian and try to stick to natural things... nothing processed. I am also in college so sometimes it gets tough but i usually do a pretty good job. I gained a few, ok a lot of pounds my freshman year and i am still trying to get back down to my best performance weight. Problem is, I think i might not be getting in enough calories. Recently I have been having these terrible binge eating episodes. I have never had any issues with food or my weight before and have always been pretty healthy but sometimes i am unstopable when it comes to food lately.
    I was just wondering if anyoen knew how many calories approx they take in or a good way to figure out how many i should be taking in....i am 5'6 and 140 pounds and want to get down to 125ish. Thanx in advance!
     
    Tags:


  2. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    0
    trichic:

    People worry way too much about the food they eat. Athletes can be very obsessive about it. Eat "normally." That means at least 3 meals a day or maybe more smaller meals. It's easier for the body and easier on the body to process smaller amounts of food rather than fewer large meals. Large meals also require lots of insulin secretion (spikes) which is not very good for the body either.

    Don't skip meals if you are training hard. As a female, society places a lot of pressure on you to weigh 125 lbs or less. Many women feel fat if they weight more than 125 pounds or so, regardless of height. If you are a supermodel living on heroin, coffee, and cigarettes, you can get away with it, but as an athlete you need to eat. This may mean going well over 125 lbs.

    Many succesful athletic women in many varieties of sports weigh much more than this. Although women don't experience the muscular hypertrophy (growth) that men do, they still pack on weight in the form of muscle and will hold more glycogen (stored carbs) and water, not only the tisses, but from increased blood plasma as well. All of this will add weight to your frame. Many top male and female riders over the years have commented on performance declines when bodyfat stores got too low.

    Extreme low bodyfat can also lower your overall health and immunity. The body needs fat to survive and you would die without it. Your body gets worried if its fat stores get too low, thinking if the trend continues, it will die. Even very lean people have more than enough fat for day-to-day life, but there seems to be genetic threshold that is highly variable among individuals which the body tries to maintain. Go below this level and the body may not work as well.

    Healthy bodyfat levels for most male riders is around 8-10%, and around 15% or so for females. You may climb faster at a lower bodyfat percentage, but it may effect your health. This is an individual thing and you will have to see over time what works for you.

    As for being a vegetarian and an athlete, you must have a decent nutritional backgound on how to combine the proper non-animal food sources for the proper compliment of essential amino acids. This can be a real problem if you are travelling late at night somewhere, and the only thing open is a burger joint.

    Protein synthesis (growth) ceases completely when the essential amino acids are not present. All animal souces (milk, meat,egg) have 100% of essential amino acids, where as all vegetables are always "incomplete." You cannot repair muscle tissue, make insulin, estrogen, make new blood cells, grow hair, skin, etc. without the full complement of essential amino acids.

    For example if you only ate beans or only ate rice, you would be lacking in the full compliment of amino acids at any given meal. Combine beans and rice with the same meal, and you will have the full compliment of esential amino acids, and growth will take place. Restrict the essential amino acids and growth and repair cease. So, be sure you know how to combine food properly. Since you are in school, why not take a nutrition course for some of your elective credits?.

    B vitamin deficiencies, and especially vitamin B12 deficiencies are common for vegans (no animal products), since dietary B12 can only be found in meat, milk, or eggs. So if you are a vegan, take some supplements with the full compliment of B vitamins to ward off any problems. Most vitamins in pill form are poorly absorbed. You will absorb more of your pill-based supplements if you turn them into a powder in a food processer and mix the powder into a fruit drink or "smoothie."

    If you would allow yourself to consume milk, cheese, or eggs with your meals, you don't have anything to worry about.

    If you are serious about weight, get your bodyfat tested. If you are at 25% you have some fat to loose but if you are at a healthy 15% just accept what the scale tells you. As a female you might be able to get down to 10% or so with strict dieting, but it would not be nearly as healthy for your body overall even if you went faster on the bike.

    Low bodyfat levels in women can also cause amenorrhea (cessation of menstruation). Dietary-induced amenorrhea is natures way of telling you your body is not healthy enough to support fetal growth.

    As for "healthy" nutrition (whatever that means) people worry too much about processed this or that, etc. True, processed, preserved, or cooked food may lack nutrients compared with unprocessed, natual, uncooked foods. Whole-grain flour versus processed flour is a good example. Just eat a wide variey of food. Don't stress over it. There are only 6 nutients the body needs or can use and they are proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water. Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be.

    I have an extensive weight-training background. I always laughed at guys in the gym who wasted time and money on amino-acid supplements and protein powders. You get the same thing (only cheaper) by drinking a glass of milk.

    I knew guys that would literally spend thousands of dollars a year on supplements and only put on 5 pounds of muscle per year in state-of-the-art gyms with the latest equipment and stacks of journals and studies telling them how to train.

    Here in the greater Los Angeles area, we have lots of thugs and violent criminals. It's not uncommon to see gang tattoos on people either as customers or employees at the local grocery or hardware store where I live. Many have done prison time. California prisons have restricted access to or made it difficult for inmates to lift weights in prison gyms.

    As a result, they just work out in their cells instead of hitting the gym. Wide-grip pullups off the bars and pushups with your cellmate on your back are the primary exercises. On a prison diet consisting of balogna sandwiches, corndogs, and no supplements, it is not uncommon for these prisoners to pack on 20-40 lbs of pure muscle a year!!! Most "experts" who are personal trainers would be lucky to put on half that amount!!!

    Yesterday I heard on the radio that the oldest person in America had just died. It was a woman who was 113 years old, and she lived most of her life on "unhealthy" fast food. She lived independently by herself until she was over 100 years old, and out lived her two adult sons. Her favorite foods were Kentucky Fried Chicken and Hostess Twinkies!!! Nearly all health "experts" would tell you that diet is about as unhealthy as it gets, yet here we have emperical evidence that shows this is not always true!!! Don't buy into the hype!!!

    When your body craves food it it trying to tell you something - EAT!!!

    Good Luck!!!
     
  3. trichic

    trichic New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanx for the extensive reply..

    I am an exercise physiology major so I have taken a few nutrition classes and I know all about essential amino acids and food combining...

    I believe I am at about 19% bodyfat right now so i would like to get down a bit....

    You are right though....too much social pressure and it is better to just eat drink and be merry. thanx a bunch!
     
  4. CatSpin

    CatSpin New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2003
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    trichic:

    J-MAT really summed it up well. I must also stress the devotion it will take to be a vegetarian athlete. I was one too. Though many of us competed at very high levels, it took A LOT of attention to detail to go veggie. To that point, I have never met a fellow competitor that was vegan...with no choice of whey or other animal protein I would suggest you get feedback from vegans who do this effectively.

    J-MAT spelled out most all of what needs to be said from a nutritional perspective. I would only add a couple of "tricks" that are often overlooked during weight loss:

    FIRST : DON"T EAT A BIG DINNER, best yet try several weeks of only a salad with a whole wheat carb and protein (30/30/40 veg / cab / protein split). About a 350 cal dinner.

    Pretty simple huh? But very hard to do especially if your socio-cultural eating pattern has you taking in about 60% of your daily calories at 7:00pm at night. The question then is, what do you do with all these calories? If you don't have an event the next morning most go directly to fat. Top this off with the insulin-starved environment your body creates after a big meal and you are chomping down another carbohydrate before go to bed...that is where that 'craving' comes from. Rule of thumb is to go to bed with your food in the digestive process and not in your stomach. Besides, when you need to chow down is the morning when your body is looking to fuel up for the day ahead of it. If you feel the need to have a meal “stick to your ribs”…make it breakfast, not dinner

    SECOND : REPLACE "PURE CARB" SNACKS with protein bars.

    Again, only if your diet allows you to consume whey, protein bars will not only help you repair muscle, they are just as sweet as, for instance, Fig Newtons, and more balanced. The need to snack on a sweets comes about for a variety of reasons..stress!!, most times. I can’t tell you the number of times one of my clients realized they were consuming about 1000 cal a day in “pure-carb” food sources. Vegetarians tend to go "pure carb" often as sometimes the choices your need are not there for you. If you reach for a protein bar instead of a stack of "non-fat" cookies you will see a big difference in your weight (Soy protein counts too) Did you ever compare the cal count for Fig Newtons vs a protein bar? FIG NEWTONS - 200 cals 0 protein. Protein Bar 220 cal 15 grms of protein. PURE CARB SNACKS are best ingested during effort...not at your desk or on your bed while studying for your next exam.

    LAST : DRINK A TON OF WATER. Can't stress this one enough. As a college student you are vulnerable to a couple hours more of "late snack-time" than the rest of us. Best to have your liquids balanced in your system at all times as this will also help you keep those late night cravings in check…your will also wake up “lighter” in the morning.


    Hope some of these “tricks” help. The best advice is to shop around for more input, and put something together that is the “best of breed” from others opinions. Oh, and of course, remember that cocktails are “empty” calories. Your body needs to turn alcohol to fat before it can burn it.

    Good luck. Be smart and live life well,

    CatSpin
     
  5. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great advice CatSpin!!!

    In the ABCC interview with Sean Yates I have talked about extensively on this board, he mentions that he was raised vegetarian.

    When he became a "continental pro," he started to eat meat due the demands of pro racing. He did this throughout his pro career.

    He is now retired, but still races for fun. He has gone back to being a vegetarian due to the reduced demands!!!

    As for the cocktails, I think I'll do some extra miles!!!
     
  6. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,866
    Likes Received:
    1
    Assuming that TriChic is an Ovo-lacto (eats eggs and dairy produce), or lacto (dairy) veggie, then it's quite possible, to consume sufficient amounts of protein. As an ovo-lacto veggie myself, i know from careful analysis (comp u eat) that it's quite easy to easily meet the upper demands of protein (~ 1.8 g/kg body mass per day for extensively demanding exercise, e.g., TdF riders).

    Current research (if memory serves me correctly) suggests that you don't need to combine proteins at each meal, but just within one day.

    Ric
     
  7. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    0
    Same here Ric, I have no problems eating the right amount of protein on a veggie diet.

    I have also found that my perfromances have improved as a veggie, but think that this may also be a result of switching from a 'students' diet, to a more health, varied and less refined veggie diet.
     
  8. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,866
    Likes Received:
    1
    i am/was a mature student, and my diet didn't change at all at uni, and it's pretty much stayed the same now!

    Ric
     
  9. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ric, I lived with Irish students keen on ulster frys!

    To be honest I ate alone and so not too badly, except for the weekly curry.

    As a student I just found that it was difficult to buy good food at times (finacial constraints) so lived on beans and the like. At other times it was difficult to prepare food or ate food prepared by roomies (room mate factors). I think that most students have diets that are below par.
     
Loading...
Loading...