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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-15-09, 06:18 PM   #1
John Bailey
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Calorie Intake/Burn Question

I've read a lot about not overdoing the difference between the calories you burn and the calories you take in. Suggestions seem to range between a difference of 400 and 1,000 calories. According to the websites that calculate my normal calorie burn, at 266 lbs., I'm burning 3,350 calories just existing. Today I rode 50K and hauled wood. The calculators have me down for burning 4,800 calories with those activities. Maybe because I'm a vegetarian, but I've had a hard time today eating more than 2,500 calories today. I's 8:00 P.M. and I still feel stuffed from my 6:30 dinner. I really don't care to eat any more today.

So, That's a difference of 2,300 calories. Am I figuring something wrong, or, on days I exercise a lot, like today, is it OK to have that big of a difference. Any day I ride, I'm at least 1,500 calories difference. I'm told that's not healthy, but I don't think I should be eating when I'm not hungry.

Any thoughts?

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Old 08-15-09, 07:34 PM   #2
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Ask 5 different people this question and you'll get 6 different answers. When I was working hard at losing weight, I was taking in 1500 calories, while riding 125 miles a week. Some people will say that isn't healthy, but it seemed to work for me.

I listened to my body and I great, so I kept at it. All that being said, I did have a doctor do blood work on me while I was doing this and she said I was deficient in vitamin D and good cholesterol. She put me o supplements, but didn't seem to worried about the calories I was taking in.
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Old 08-15-09, 08:12 PM   #3
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Part of my issues are obsessive/compulsive behaviors. So, I had to stop my obsession with counting calories, because doing so made me so freaked out that I wasn't enjoying life. Instead, I changed my diet (reduced salt, cut out most ice cream, cut out sodas of any kind, and eat a healthier food mix I cook myself), started using my bike as my primary transportation (including 6 days a week commuting the 10 miles to school starting Monday), and kept in touch with my doctor to make sure the changes I've made are healthy rather than obsessive.

I'm around 204 now, down from 231 in mid-May when I started riding again. I feel healthy, and my doctor agrees I'm losing weight at a good pace without going overboard. I'm watching what and how much I eat without obsessing about any particular day, and as I said above, I treat myself to ice cream sometimes, too. I'm enjoying life, and feel healthier than I've felt in more than 20 years.
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Old 08-15-09, 08:31 PM   #4
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Online calculators are useless.

Maybe you can find someplace that uses a Metabolic Rate cart--they're much more accurate. A friend of mine used to use one at the Fitness club she worked at.
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Old 08-15-09, 09:14 PM   #5
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I think the number of calories burned is over estimated. Otherwise you'd be losing nearly a pound a day.
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Old 08-15-09, 09:30 PM   #6
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damn that is a BIG/LARGE font you've got...
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Old 08-15-09, 11:10 PM   #7
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I am 256. Down from 294 in May. I am trying to lose about 2 pounds a week. To do that I need to net about 2150 calories a day. Most weeks I end up about 1500 - 2500 calories under the target calories and have thus lost a bit more than target. Days are very uneven on rest days I am 200 - 500 calories over my allotment. On run days I am about 500 -700 under - on weekends lots of food and exercise so about even generally (I have no trouble eating)

Today - with an hour of martial arts and a 32K ride I ended up net (using great free app Lose It) under about 1300 calories. The idea is to be net under over a period of time. One should probably not binge and starve but some days you will be more active than others.

Build a database and track weeks rather than hours. Its the long haul that matters.
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Old 08-15-09, 11:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
Online calculators are useless.
Indeed. I put in one of my bike rides to one of those calculators, even put in the lowest miles/hr and distance, and it told me that I was burning around 1250 calories in doing it. Upping the mph by 5 put it around 2000-2200. If that were the case I would be losing weight rather quickly. But I'm not.
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Old 08-16-09, 10:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by John Bailey View Post
...I'm told that's not healthy, but I don't think I should be eating when I'm not hungry...
So who's telling you that this isn't healthy? if you start feeling bad or have no energy, then maybe you should make an adjustment.

I've suggested this BMR calculator in a number of other threads. I used this thing and a heart rate monitor while training for my first MS150. I got good results by using the Harris-Benedict Equation (see the "Resources" section on the webpage) to determine my caloric intake for the day. I used a postal scale to weigh my portions, and keep up with my daily totals on Excel. I can't say how accurate this calculator or my heart rate monitor are as far as the actual number of calories burned is concerned; but they did give my a way to "keep score". Good luck.
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Old 08-16-09, 03:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RatedZeroHero View Post
damn that is a BIG/LARGE font you've got...
"Clyde Script Sans"
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Old 08-16-09, 05:01 PM   #11
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I have been looking at the BMR calculation and trying to work from that, I have made a simple spreadsheet that I put my cals in for the day the est from my BMR with a sedintary life (Im not really sedintary but I put it there as I feel it is better for the slow weeks like this week where I could only get one 10 mile ride in) I caluclate the difference, compare that to the 3500 cals = 1lb loss equation and mark down estimated loss or gain. then once a week (or 2-3 times unsure at moment) I will put in actual loss or gain and compare... then I may try modify the BMR value to try estimate my true maintenance caloric input.

On a side note I will say that you eally have to take into account your salt and water intake (esp if you eat out as most restaraunt food is loaded with sodium). I weighed myself unofficially Thur night and was 251 I then went out and mowed for about 90 mins with a push mower. after finishing I reweighed and had sweated off 3lbs - I had been pretty bad last weekend and I think my sodium levels were high up until Tue. I worked my diet right wed-thur, drank pleant of water and I feel that it was no big loss to sweat this water weight off. ( I read somewhere that your body can swing 10lbs up or down due to water retention and salt causeing extra retention).

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