Training & Nutrition - Correct caloric intake
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I started biking again after a couple of year hiatus. I've been biking around 500 miles a month for the last 3 or 4 months. Before that, I lived a rather sedentary lifestyle and my weight was 175 lb and I'm 5'10". Now my weight is 138 lb. So I've lost over 35 lbs in the last 6 months. I don't want to be this skinny, but I eat like a cow. I'm eating a lot healthier food then I did in the past too, and I keep eating past the point of not being hungry. My question is, I guess, how many calories should I be eating given the amount of biking I do? Is my metabolism just off from the sudden increase in exercise and it will eventually balance out? I want to maintain a weight of 145 - 150 lbs, but am having a hard time doing it. Any advice is appreciated.
07-06-06, 10:32 AM
Well, there are a LOT of variables to this but I can give you some general principles.
First, are you losing weight right now? Or are you at a plateau?
Second, 500mi a month is too ambiguous, is this like 13 miles a day hammered out? ride a few times a week at a slow pace for long distance? etc... The faster you ride, the more calories you burn... and this exponentially increases with time on the saddle.
Third, what is your typical daily diet? If it is a lot of low fat, low carb stuff you wont put on weight. And WHEN do you eat? 3 meals a day, 6 meals a day???
Fourth, do you weight train?
My suggestions, if your weight is constant right now:
1. Eat 6 meals a day, 40% protein, 40% whole grain carbs, 20% fats. Eat at least 16-18x your goal weight in calories. So for you thats 2400-2700 calories at 150lbs. If your weight isnt going up within a week, add 300-500 calories and try again. You may have a very fast metabolism.
2. Hit the gym, and lift weights. You will not build muscle if your body doesnt need to. A full body weight training program will trigger more testosterone, and more muscle growth.
3. Eat something high in carbs and protein before bed, and immediately after all workouts, about 300 calories each time.
FYI - I happen to be 5'11" and weigh 160-162.
I'm currently losing weight. I plateaued at 147 about a month ago and then it started falling again. I typically bike about 3 rides in the 30 - 35 mile range and another longer ride on the weekends about 60 miles. This is mostly paved rail-to-trail riding averaging around 17 - 18 mph. My typical diet is pretty consistant as follows:
Breakfast: Bowl of Kashi w/ silk, low-fat yogurt
Morning snack: granola bar
Lunch: A good sized portion of frozen mixed veggies, pasta or soup or sandwich (depending on the day)
Afternoon snack: big cookie or frozen yogurt
Dinner: Grilled chicken, burgers, or steak (usually with sauteed onions/avocado/peppers/etc), sweet potatoes or squash, banana or prunes or plums.
Evening snack: Ice cream cone or a couple of handfulls of wasabi peas depending on the night.
I have a couple of beers a night too.
I don't weight train. I don't really have access to it. On rainy or wintery days I run on the treadmill but that's about it.
Thanks for the advise -- I'll try it out and let you know if it's working.
One more thought...
What are you eating/drinking during and after your ride? You may be tearing down muscle mass after your ride to replace your glycogen stores. Using a recovery drink and/or a hydration drink can change that.
07-08-06, 09:04 PM
There are a number of Basal Metabolic rate calculators online. Do this, and then do the Harris Benedict equation for activity to determine how many calories you need to maintain your weight. It will give you a good idea of what you need to eat. Of course, everyone is different, but it should give you a start.
By the way, beer is empty calories. If you are losing muscle mass you really need to replace those beers with some food at least until you can get this under control.
You should also be eating during a ride that lasts for more than an hour.
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