Why isn't my boss hungry after riding?



Walrus

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Apr 4, 2004
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My boss is also into cycling and we have lots of great "corridor" chats about cycling. Recently I remarked that my appetite (when in full training mode) was huge. He told me that during his training season (flat rides of 100km or so, which he assures me are ridden hard) he is getting progressively less hungry.

He's convinced that his body is adapting, and that fat is being used to fuel his system. I explained that the body uses different fuel systems depending on the intensity...but he said that when he returns from long rides, he is finding that he is less and less hungry each time.

Any thoughts on what might be going on? I know that for me...I'm f*cking starving after a big ride.
 

Eden

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Feb 28, 2005
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I can't make any assumptions about why, but I've found the same thing as your boss. The more I've been training the less hungry I feel after a ride. I used to be the same as you. I'd get home from a long ride and I wanted to eat everything in the house, now I have to be sure I eat enough after a ride since I'm not usually feeling that hungry. Maybe it is the body adapting, maybe I eat/hydrate better during rides, maybe a little of both?
 

ding

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im another one who's the same. i used to eat like a horse after a long ride but now i can just about eat a banana. i do try to eat a good meal but after couple of mouth fulls im full. perhaps its because i eat a lot before i ride?
 

Tapeworm

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There could be a few different reasons for this. If performing low intensity exercise your body would mainly use fat as an energy source and only a little carbohydrates (fat burns in the fire of carbohydrates, I was taught).

As the intensity rises the body does not have the ability to metabolise fat fast enough so it starts to burn more carbohydrates. Depending on many factors your body has anywhere from 1 to 2 hours of carbohydrates stored for moderate intensity.

At very high levels of intensity your body goes anaerobic (without oxygen) the by-product of this being lactic acid. For very, very short periods of time at maximum effort your body uses the "ATP-PC" system (?) Can't remember :)

So back to the question! You boss may not be hungry because
a) he is working at the lower end of the intensity scale
b) he ate plenty the day, night, or morning before the ride or even during so is already "stocked up ".
c) his body is efficient at burning fat as a fuel source
d) some of the above
e) all of the above
f) none of the above - he's actually anorexic

From reading this forum I would say there are many who would be able to explain this better and in more technical detail.
 

Walrus

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Tapeworm said:
There could be a few different reasons for this. If performing low intensity exercise your body would mainly use fat as an energy source and only a little carbohydrates (fat burns in the fire of carbohydrates, I was taught).

As the intensity rises the body does not have the ability to metabolise fat fast enough so it starts to burn more carbohydrates. Depending on many factors your body has anywhere from 1 to 2 hours of carbohydrates stored for moderate intensity.

At very high levels of intensity your body goes anaerobic (without oxygen) the by-product of this being lactic acid. For very, very short periods of time at maximum effort your body uses the "ATP-PC" system (?) Can't remember :)

So back to the question! You boss may not be hungry because
a) he is working at the lower end of the intensity scale
b) he ate plenty the day, night, or morning before the ride or even during so is already "stocked up ".
c) his body is efficient at burning fat as a fuel source
d) some of the above
e) all of the above
f) none of the above - he's actually anorexic

From reading this forum I would say there are many who would be able to explain this better and in more technical detail.
From what he tells me, I believe I can rule out a & b...but could someone tell me more about c? btw. excellent summary of the fuel systems Tapeworm!
 

Eden

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Feb 28, 2005
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Walrus said:
From what he tells me, I believe I can rule out a & b...but could someone tell me more about c? btw. excellent summary of the fuel systems Tapeworm!

handn't really thought about it too much, but my coach just gave a little talk on this very subject. She does metabolic rate testing (both exercise and resting, but its the exercise one thats important here) and she showed us her own tests over the training season.

I believe its done with hr zones - though I might guess that people do it with power as well? So at the beginning of the year she didn't have to reach a very high heart rate before her body switched over from using fat as an energy source to using carbohydrate (you can store fairly unlimited amounts of fat in your body, but you can't store too much carbohydrate). After several months of training - this was early season so it was mostly LSD up to that point, the heart rate she could reach while still burning fat instead of carbs was much higher. I think this not only keeps your weight down, but you don't feel as hungry later on since you aren't burning as much of your ready energy sources.

I have a team mate who is trying to lose weight. She had the test done and found out that its a very very low hr when her body switches over to carbs, so its been hard for her to lose weight and its been hard on her to have to ride slow enough to burn fat now that she knows.
 

Walrus

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Eden said:
the heart rate she could reach while still burning fat instead of carbs was much higher
How could she tell when the body stopped burning one fuel source, and started on another?
 

Eden

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Walrus said:
How could she tell when the body stopped burning one fuel source, and started on another?

She does a fancy test in her office - its an active metabloic rate test. I believe it measures the amount of oxygen that you are burning by way of a mask that you wear while riding on a stationary bike. I haven't had it done yet, though I believe a little later in the season she'll schedule me for some testing.

heres her description of what information the test gives you-

Active Metabolic Training Provides:
The trainer and client with complete reports showing Peak VO2, Anaerobic Threshold, fitness level and caloric burn rate.
Custom Training Zones based on heart rate or power, amount of fat and calories burned in each zone.
The correct heart rate training frequency, intensity and duration to achieve targeted results.
Custom plans for both aerobic and resistance training.

heres another description of the test and a photo of someone doing it on a treadmill http://www.evolve1.com/html/AMR_WL.html
 

Walrus

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Apr 4, 2004
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Eden said:
She does a fancy test in her office - its an active metabloic rate test. I believe it measures the amount of oxygen that you are burning by way of a mask that you wear while riding on a stationary bike. I haven't had it done yet, though I believe a little later in the season she'll schedule me for some testing.

heres her description of what information the test gives you-

Active Metabolic Training Provides:
The trainer and client with complete reports showing Peak VO2, Anaerobic Threshold, fitness level and caloric burn rate.
Custom Training Zones based on heart rate or power, amount of fat and calories burned in each zone.
The correct heart rate training frequency, intensity and duration to achieve targeted results.
Custom plans for both aerobic and resistance training.

heres another description of the test and a photo of someone doing it on a treadmill http://www.evolve1.com/html/AMR_WL.html
Cool. I guess that explains it...my boss' body has learned to burn fat more efficiently, hence leaving more carbs in his system and therefore feeling less hungry. Thanks for the education guys.
 

Tapeworm

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Dec 1, 2006
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Simple ways to tell if you're burning more fat as opposed to other energy sources:-

1) You don't "bonk" on a ride.
2) you should be able to maintain a conversation without gasping for breath (aerobic - with oxygen!)
3) HR shouldn't creep past about 70% - 75% of maximum (this varies person to person. From doing triathlon I know I can stay in that zone for many, many hours without a problem)
4) If maintaining a steady diet, your fat percentage should drop.
5) At the end of the ride you're not starving! ;)
 

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