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  1. #1
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Dieting & commuting, is it possible to do both?

    I would like to lose 40 pounds in the next 6 months.

    I'm a 240#, 51 year old who has started cycling again. I'm spending about 90 minutes cycling (about 20 miles) almost every day. I'll start depending on the bike 3 days a week as transportation to work. Soon I’ll have a 10 mile one-way commute.

    I’m concerned that if I also reduce calories that I will feel it during the work day. I’m happy to cut out fat, sweets and junk food, but I don’t want to be low on energy or hungry. What should I eat? Should I avoid serious weight loss & dieting at this point?

    Michael
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 06-04-08 at 06:09 PM.

  2. #2
    aka Erica the Hon
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    Michael,

    Totally doable. I've managed to lose 30 pounds in 4 months (a couple of times ) without cycling using low-carb plans, Atkins specifically. This is without cycling and I'm female (which makes it harder)

    Try looking at low-carb for hunger management. I've found they work better for that purpose and remember that higher levels of carbs pre-cycling tend to get burned off fairly quickly. (of course that means non-processed carbs like colorful veggies, berries, melons, nuts etc)

    Erica

  3. #3
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    I'm 48 and started riding seriously the first of this year. I came into 2008 at a little over 250 lbs. (highest of my life) and am at 222 lbs. now (lowest in 25 years). Only change in diet is I eat a piece of toast with peanut butter in the morning before my commute (I used to drive in and skip breakfast). No other real diet changes (actually, I think I'm eating more now) so if you cut out the junk and ride as much as you are you should get it done pretty easily.

  4. #4
    zpl
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    Bike Fun Fanatic zpl's Avatar
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    I find that bike commuting ramps up my metabolism dramatically and I can eat more and still lose weight. My commute though is 23 miles each way so that's a lot or riding - I rarely bike commute two days in a row. If you're exercising and replacing empty calories (sweets, sodas) with quality foods you should be positioned well to drop pounds. Have fun and celebrate your successes, both with riding and eating well.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Caincando1's Avatar
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    First off low carb is for seditary people, not athletes. You need a balanced diet as an athlete so don't go the low carb route. Just watch the scale and cut back your intake until you lose 1 lbs a week. There's no majic to it, if you are eating a balanced diet you should have plenty of energy with a 1 lbs loss.
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  6. #6
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    As long as you control intake, sure. You will know within the first couple of weeks whether you are cutting down enough on the food. If you are not losing about two pounds per week, you are eating too much (at least to reach your target). Stay away from the vending machine. Recognize that you will be building muscle too which can slow the weight loss somewhat. I would shoot for about 100 to 125 miles per week.

  7. #7
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    I am no nutitional expert, but most of the literature I've seen regarding diet and cycling warn not to drop too much of the carbs. If you go with an Atkins style diet, you may run into serious carb deficiency and it will cause you great problems with energy.

    What appears to be most important is to eat a healthy balanced diet with most of your carbs coming from complex carbs - with low glycemic index. Whole grains for instance will give you nice snow release of energy over an extended period of time. This prevents spikes and keeps you feeling full longer. If you have access to a nutricianist it may be helpful to find out what you are eating now and how you can adjust to ensure you have energy for the ride, yet are still burning more calories that you are consuming. There also appears to be lots of evidence that low fat dairy helps with holding back hunger and helps the body loose weight more quickly, not to mention you will get plenty of calcium. Good sources of low fat protien will also be important to feed the muscles as you gain strength.

    Happy riding,
    André

  8. #8
    Senior Member Wavy's Avatar
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    Sure you can.

    Skip all sugar --- including everything wheat and potatoes. Learn to enjoy 100% rye bread.

    When hungry for sugar, stuff you face with organic carrots and apples. Don't expect to sleep immediately after that much sugar tho.

    If you absolutely must have candy, eat a couple of figs.

    For oil and protein, eat almond butter. Peanuts contain mold and are difficult to digest.

    If you're serious, get Eat right for your Type and Cook Right for Your Type from the library.
    “Next time you're in your car, at 80 Kilometers per hour, strip down to your underwear and jump out. That's what it's like to crash in a professional bike race.” - Jonathan Vaughters

  9. #9
    Emeritus...a second time? talleymonster's Avatar
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    I posted a few days ago on this topic in the weight loss thread in the Clydes/Athenas Forum.

    The main thing people need to realize is that you still have to eat. Starvation is not the way to do it, and you're usually in a worse condition in the end than when you started. Sure, you may look better, but at what cost? Rapid weight loss is never a good thing, in most cases (for people who are morbidly obese, for example, rapid weight loss could be considered a justifiable risk to get themselves out of that danger zone as fast as possible). You only weigh 240lbs. Depending on your height, that might not be that bad. Lose too much weight too quickly and your body starts feeding on your muscles. The key is eating the right foods. You'd be surprised how much food you actually have to eat when you're eating right.


    Determining your Basal Metabolic Rate

    Scroll about half way down the page to where it says:
    First Step: Calculating Your Basal Metabolic Rate
    This article is from a bodybuilding website, but pay no attention to that. Eating the right foods transcends all sports. It' a real good article about consuming the right amount of calories in a day. Yes it is a little biased towards weightlifting, but the information is there.
    The author says to lose weight, take your final BMR(Basal Metabolic Rate) and shave off 20% of it. It's not an exact science though. People with faster or slower metabolisms will have to adjust it a little bit.
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  10. #10
    Emeritus...a second time? talleymonster's Avatar
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    Whoops.....didn't realize that I was in the Clydes/Athenas forum when I posted this. For some reason I thought I was in the Commuting forum. Maybe because the thread was about commuting.....

    My mistake.....oh well
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    I would like to lose 40 pounds in the next 6 months.

    I'm a 240#, 51 year old who has started cycling again. I'm spending about 90 minutes cycling (about 20 miles) almost every day. I'll start depending on the bike 3 days a week as transportation to work. Soon I’ll have a 10 mile one-way commute.

    I’m concerned that if I also reduce calories that I will feel it during the work day. I’m happy to cut out fat, sweets and junk food, but I don’t want to be low on energy or hungry. What should I eat? Should I avoid serious weight loss & dieting at this point?

    Michael
    Forget diets, the first part of diet is die, which is what many people who go on one, think they are going to do. The problem is that diets are temporary in nature, so many people go on one, then 6 months later when they have lost the 40lbs, they go back to eating the way they did before, and put on 50lbs. The key is not a diet, the key is a lifestyle change to eating better.

    Food is not comfort, food is not social, food is not entertainment, food is fuel. The best fuels are ones that come packaged as nature intended, Initially most processing was developed as a preservation technique. This includes beer, wine and spirits, as ethanol is a preservative. 100 years ago, if you wanted strawberries in May, in a northern climate, the only way to get them, was via preserves, of course now they can harvest and freeze almost immediately, but cheap oil has meant they can pick them unripe, and ship them 10,000 miles by truck, even in the dead of winter. Of course, oil being more expensive has meant that a $2.00 basket of berries is now about $4.50, so people may go back to buying a few flats when they are in season for $20 for 12 baskets and freezing them at home.

    I have said before, and I will say it again, if you want to lose weight, sell your car, and throw away the TV. These items encourage people to sit on their widening back sides, and to eat at the same time, and that is not good. I've gone half way, when the car died almost a year ago, I didn't replace it.

  12. #12
    Keep on, keepin on B Piddy's Avatar
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    Michael - yeah it's very do-able.

    Trust me, not too sound like a freaking total hippy, but wait till gas is $10/gal. We'll see who's smarter, the fat douce in the Hummer or the super fly dude on the bike. Food for thought.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wavy View Post
    If you're serious, get Eat right for your Type and Cook Right for Your Type from the library.
    I hate to step on anyone's pet diet, but there really is absolutely zero empirical or scientific evidence to support the assertions of the "type" author.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Wavy's Avatar
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    lil brown bat wrote"
    I hate to step on anyone's pet diet, but there really is absolutely zero empirical or scientific evidence to support the assertions of the "type" author.
    So two generations of testing and clinical study are "zero empirical evidence"?
    The books are aren't about "diets"... they are about foods.
    Last edited by Wavy; 06-05-08 at 07:32 PM. Reason: remove insult
    “Next time you're in your car, at 80 Kilometers per hour, strip down to your underwear and jump out. That's what it's like to crash in a professional bike race.” - Jonathan Vaughters

  15. #15
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    Yes, the "Type Diet" is junk science. Utter hogwash.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Wavy's Avatar
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    So two generations of testing and clinical study are "junk science utter hogwash"?

    Instead we're supposed to believe you scientific types, who arrive at "conclusions" such as "flies cannot hear without their wings" and "bumblebees aren't capable of flight".

    I prefer evidence to scientific theory and pronouncements.

    Perhaps the OP would prefer you take this to another thread... or PM... or even into the ring...
    Last edited by Wavy; 06-05-08 at 08:22 AM.
    “Next time you're in your car, at 80 Kilometers per hour, strip down to your underwear and jump out. That's what it's like to crash in a professional bike race.” - Jonathan Vaughters

  17. #17
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    Well, crackpot diets aside, the OP will find that his appetite will actually diminish as a result of exercise. And the Low Carb diet is only for sedentary people. Low Carb works because it puts you in Ketosis, which we cyclists call by another name: Bonked.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wavy View Post

    Perhaps the OP would prefer you take this to another thread... or PM... or even into the ring...
    LOL

  19. #19
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wavy View Post
    lil brown bat wrote"
    So two generations of testing and clinical study are "zero empirical evidence"?
    Cite please? Here's some of mine:

    http://www.acu-cell.com/btd.html

    "Of course there are people who claim that since following the "eat-right-4-your-type'' recommendations
    they had lost some weight, or otherwise felt better, however when asked about any specific changes
    made, they invariably consisted of lifestyle changes that are universally considered to be beneficial -
    regardless of someone's blood type - such as cutting out junk food, and/or eliminating foods which
    either cause, or have an unfavorable impact on specific medical problems one is suffering from."

    http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/NegativeBR/d'adamo.html

    "It may well turn out that there are important interactions with between certain foods and one's blood type. D'Adamo, unfortunately, offers little in the way of scientific evidence, relying instead on a collection of anecdotal reports and case histories. His speculation that the one gene responsible the ABO blood type could exert such a dominant influence over everything else is unable to stand on its own merits. In the end, D'Adamo adds the caveat that individual variations still occur within blood types, so you shouldn't expect all of his recommendations to apply to you. It's nice to have it both ways, especially where book sales are involved."

    http://earthsave.org/news/bloodtyp.htm

    "One of the book's most disturbing characteristics is the frightening images that the author calls forth without providing scientific documentation. For example, D'Adamo hangs much of his theory on the action of lectins, proteins found on the surface of certain foods that can cause various molecules and some types of cells to stick together. He blames lectins for serious disruptions throughout the body, from agglutination of the blood cells to cirrhosis and kidney failure...If one is going to make a statement like that - and publish it in a book destined for the New York Times bestseller list and intended to change the eating habits of a nation - I believe the author is obligated to present solid scientific evidence of supporting their assertions, which D'Adamo repeatedly fails to do."

    http://skepdic.com/bloodtypediet.html

    "There is no reasonable scientific basis for the claim that blood type should determine one's diet, though [D'Adamo] claims to have collected "over 1,000 scientific articles on blood types and their correlations to disease, biochemistry, nutrition, and anthropology."* Even so, he's never done a controlled study on blood type diets. Yet, he claims that blood type determines body chemistry to such an extent that those with type A blood should go vegetarian and meditate, those with type O should eliminate grains and do aerobics. He suggest similar nonsense for types B and AB."

    Quote Originally Posted by Wavy View Post
    The books are aren't about "diets"... they are about foods.
    You can label it however you want. It's still not valid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wavy View Post
    Please... keep opinions to yourself when you don't know what the **** you're talking about.
    Going to be like that, is it? Then how about this: Please... don't recommend fad diets (or fad whatever-you-wanna-callits) when asked for advice on diet and nutrition.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Wavy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Richard Rides
    LOL
    Glad you enjoyed that. If we need to get all snarky we can visit the asshats in the Road forum.
    “Next time you're in your car, at 80 Kilometers per hour, strip down to your underwear and jump out. That's what it's like to crash in a professional bike race.” - Jonathan Vaughters

  21. #21
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard_Rides View Post
    Well, crackpot diets aside, the OP will find that his appetite will actually diminish as a result of exercise. And the Low Carb diet is only for sedentary people. Low Carb works because it puts you in Ketosis, which we cyclists call by another name: Bonked.
    In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they're not.

    I feel best, think most clearly, and have the most energy when eating a low-carbohydrate diet. Not necessarily strict, induction-level Atkins, but low. Say, under 40-50 grams/day.

    I commute 28 miles/day and don't bonk.
    RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
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  22. #22
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    Avoid fad diets like the plague. I recommend starting to use a calorie counter like daily plate or calorie king and track what you're eating. What you need to do is assess what you are eating and make healthy changes. Replace alot of the garbage you are likely eating with whole grains, fruits, vegetables. Avoid sauces, milk based dressings etc. Try not drinking your calories. It's hard but the results are your reward. Make sure not to completely deprive yourself, find snacks that you can have on occasion that feel like cheats but aren't that bad. My personal favorite is edy's slow churned ice cream. They end up being about 120cal/serving. Oh yeah, that reminds me...look at what a real serving size is. A serving of ice cream is 1/2 cup. That's a big adjustment to what you are probably used to (I started eating slower and taking smaller bites!).

    Set real goals...overall goals are good but have intermediate goals as well (10 lbs at a time, etc).

    Good luck.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by noteon View Post
    In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they're not.

    I feel best, think most clearly, and have the most energy when eating a low-carbohydrate diet. Not necessarily strict, induction-level Atkins, but low. Say, under 40-50 grams/day.

    I commute 28 miles/day and don't bonk.
    Lotta hills in NYC?
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  24. #24
    Drops small screws noteon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan112 View Post
    Lotta hills in NYC?
    A few. They're called bridges.

    They're also called "flats" if you're pulling 140 pounds of trailer at an average of 12 mph.

    Oh, and this one, which I do at the end of that daily 28 miles:



    Any other smart comments?
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  25. #25
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    This opinion is strictly my own. I am not a scientist or a nutritionist, nor do I play one on TV.

    Yes you certainly can diet and commute. I do it with no ill effects and notice quite a difference on days that I commute vs. days I drive to work. Mainly when I ride my bike to work I eat less, I'm just not as hungry. I wake up and eat an apple, check my tire pressure, pack up my cloths and lunch then push out the door. I ride to work with a big stupid grin on my face, about an hour after arriving at work I microwave a half cup of plain oatmeal with 1/2 a packet of salt in it. Sorry, I still can eat plain oatmeal plain, tasteless sludge barely made palatable by the salt. During the work day I am much more energetic, I also find that I go straight to water rather than having a mug of coffee first. My lunch is sparse and I walk about the capital complex to get away from my desk. The ride home I have the same stupid grin. When I get home I am less hungry, I clean up then cook my dinner.

    Days I don't ride to work I get up and eat a hard boiled egg and piece of toast with natural peanut butter. I get to work and am slugish, drink more coffee than I should, and can't wait until 12 to get into my lunch box. (kind of like today, I didn't ride to work because I have to pack up my stuff. I start a new job Monday with double the commute) By time I get home tonight I'll be starving and likely will eat a larger dinner than I should before going out for a quick ride.

    So as I've found out bike commute helps my dieting not in the sense that it's extra calories burned (ok that helps too) but in the sense that I have less desire to eat. Maybe it will be the same for you too.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

    Bau

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