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  1. #1
    Senior Member macwild's Avatar
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    Decreased energy level with new diet

    I'm sorry if this has been discussed but I could not find it.
    I've recently switched my eating habits. Now during the day, I have a Slim Fast shake for breakfast and lunch and some fruit in between for a snack. For dinner, I just have a regular meal (try to eat less!). But now I'm noticing that my energy level when I bike to work is less, the ride seems harder and I feel more tired during the ride. I've been riding the same route for about 3 months, but I just noticed the change in energy level. And the ride home is even worse!

    I'm guessing that it's just my body changing what in uses for energy since I've lowered my caloric intake. So how long will this last?
    I do drink Gatorade on the way to work and on the way home. Anything else I should be doing?

    Thanks
    Matt in Kansas

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  2. #2
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    Your diet isn't enough for someone exercising. You're also not likely getting enough carbs and protein. It's no wonder you're feeling weak.

    I would encourage you to drop those slimfast things and learn to make and eat healthy meals with small portions. Track calories for a while to get an idea of how much you are eating and adjust intake accordingly.

    There are no shortcuts to loosing weight.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  3. #3
    Blocking your fire exits coffeecake's Avatar
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    Yeah, drop the sugar. Slim Fast and Gatorade are empty calories and are not going to give you enough sustained energy for cycling. Try switching your large meal to the beginning of the day and make sure you're getting enough carbs and fibre. Cut out refined stuff like sugar and processed fats.
    Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
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    Try eating your regular meal for breakfast if you are biking to work. Ditch the slim fast, you can eat a lot of grilled chicken and veggies or fruit for the same calories and get a lot more out of it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member macwild's Avatar
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    I HATE breakfast! The thought of food first thing in the morning literally makes me nauseous. As for the Gatorade, I "usually" drink the G2 stuff (sugar free?). I know I sound like a cry baby but I hate plain water! Somedays I add the little sugar free flavor packets. But then do I really want all those sugar substitutes?
    So I'll give up the Slim fast and try to find some other type of low fat food to eat during the day.
    Thanks for the tips.
    Oh why did I have to get old and fat!
    Matt in Kansas

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    Try a powerbar for breakfast, then a light snack after you ride to work like fruit or a yogurt, light lunch, then a gel pack before your ride home. Can you switch your "regular" meal to lunch instead of dinner? Then go really light on your dinner meal.

    I too prefer gatorade over plain water. What I do is take one bottle of plain water, then one bottle of gatorade. I figure if the water doesn't taste good, I'm not working hard enough! Time to pedal harder, and that water will taste good.

  7. #7
    Bicycle n00B
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    I took a different approach to weight loss. I eat about the same, but exercise more. Worked well enough until I picked up a sinus infection that knocked me down for a couple of months.
    I reserve the right to be wrong at any time. :D

    Man does not live by bread alone, that's why God made ice cream.

  8. #8
    Senior Member macwild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshvanu View Post
    I took a different approach to weight loss. I eat about the same, but exercise more. Worked well enough until I picked up a sinus infection that knocked me down for a couple of months.
    I have tried this as well. In my late 20's a could up a run to an hour or more and lose weight Without changing my diet. Not anymore. So I'm thinking my diet has to change.

    As for changing my regular meal to lunch, that would be difficult since I primarily eat here at my desk. I do like the idea of eating a Powerbar for breakfast and the gel pack before I head home. I'll try that next week.
    Matt in Kansas

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Redskin8006's Avatar
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    Man, this brings back memories. My wife had me on the weight watchers point system for a while. I felt like crap. I don't think I was getting enough calories. My theory is that the system wasn't designed for people that work out hard. I ended up supplementing the diet with energy bars. Needless to say, I wasn't on that program for very long.

  10. #10
    Senior Member JeanM's Avatar
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    Try to concentrate on getting into shape and forget about the diet. Eat what you need, without exaggeration, and eat it when you need it. I was 235 lbs round at the start of 2009. I dropped to 205 within four months biking to work but since reaching that point I've stabilized. I am still slimming down progressively, I still have to lose some flab, but it is muscle in, fat out for the moment. I'll try to do some gym this winter although I always hated it. Besides, if one is in good shape, a little liner of protective blubber, within reason, fits just right. That's something even the ladies recognize: mine call it my 'comfort layer'.
    I have no appetite in the morning either. I do eat a little carbs, something like a bowl of cereals, some cookies... before going to bed. I've also observed that I lack energy if I neglect to eat enough veggies/fruits, which I am just getting used to include into my meals. I guess that, just like we burn energy exercising, we also burn vitamins which need to be replaced in greater quantities.
    Last edited by JeanM; 11-21-09 at 06:26 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by macwild View Post
    I have tried this as well. In my late 20's a could up a run to an hour or more and lose weight Without changing my diet. Not anymore. So I'm thinking my diet has to change.

    As for changing my regular meal to lunch, that would be difficult since I primarily eat here at my desk. I do like the idea of eating a Powerbar for breakfast and the gel pack before I head home. I'll try that next week.
    I understand. As I get older, the binging period that always hits toward the end of an episode of my disability always means a weight gain for me. Still, I'm back into planning rides again, and starting to walk at least a mile every other day, which means the binging period is almost over, and I'll be out-and-about regularly again in the next few weeks. I hope to be up to commuting to school on my bicycle again when Spring term starts in late January.

    I hope you find a routine that works well for you, including a healthy diet.
    I reserve the right to be wrong at any time. :D

    Man does not live by bread alone, that's why God made ice cream.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Bosock's Avatar
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    Wow. Diet is a key player to keep weight off and keep it off. Increasing exercise to loose weight without paying attention to your diet is a short term fix to the problem that will go down in flames as soon as you hit your goal or get injured. In addition, I do not know about you, but as you get older you have more demands on your time from your job, family, and various commitments. So maintaining a vigorous exercise program to maintain your weight without dieting for the long haul may not always be practical. To lose weight and be healthier over the long haul generally includes maintaining proper diet and developing a more active lifestyle.

    First, eating in the morning is a must, i hate it to and am very inconsistent at it, but it is a must for so many reasons. First it gets your sugar levels up and leveled for the day. It has something in your stomach eliminating cravings. You have the energy to be more active with something in your stomach rather than moving around lethargically as your body is trying to conserve its energy. You will find yourself more alert and energetic by getting something in your stomach to start of the day. If you cant stand eating breakfast to the point it is a deal breaker, then break down your breakfast to some toast or oatmeal, then couple hours later have a snack of fruits or veggies or nuts, then have a moderate lunch (tuna, salad, chicken, etc) then have a snack a couple hours later similar to the mid-morning snack, and then have a light to moderate dinner. Dinner should be one of your lightest meals as you normally do not have the opportunity to burn it off. Once you go to bed, your body stores the food as it does not currently need it and it knows your in hibernation mode. In addition, breaking down your diet to include reasonable snacks every couple hours...so you are actually eating 5-6 times per day, keeps your metabolism up which allows you to break down and use the food you eat more efficiently. In addition, by skipping meals you confuse your body, its reactive, its not a thinker. Your body, generally, like you as well, loves routines. So by skipping meals consistently, or not taking in the right nutrients, it reacts by trying to conserve the calories it has for survival and lowers your energy level as the means for doing this. It doesn't know when you will eat again or what you will have to do until then...so it conserves...as your blood sugar levels are telling it your starving. Also, to gain benefit from exercise you have to do it with some level of intensity, without a proper diet and nutrients, you will find you cannot maintain any level of intensity with your exercise routines and will see slow improvement with slow gains. You are training your body to conserve energy and ration out as little calories as possible to do your activities. But by eating smaller meals and snacks more times per day, the blood sugar levels are properly maintained, your body knows it has the energy and will react more effectively to assist in training longer and with higher intensity. Training longer and harder allows you to get in the proper zone in which you body burns a higher percentage of fat and more weight gain is seen. Even if you do not take on aggressive exercise routine, you will have more energy during the day and feel more active in taking the stairs, walking, etc... Your best bet is to see a nutritionist, or read some of the articles on the internet about dieting and exercise. What one person may have done that worked for them isnt a guarantee it will work for you. Your body is different then everyone else's and will not always react the same to the same input. The concept is simple...more calories burned then taken-in equals weight loss...more taken in then spent equals weight gain. The actual dynamics and implementing that theory isn't as simple. Good luck with your venture and hope you find a routine that works for you.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member macwild's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advance and encouragement. This trying to lose weight is a real struggle. I guess I just have to admit to myself that I'm not as young or as active as I was and it's taking a LOT more effort to keep the weight off.

    Today I started with a yogurt and a granola bar for breakfast. I brought an apple for a snack and I'm not sure what I'm going to do for lunch. There is a Subway across the street so maybe I'll pop in for a sandwich.
    I did not bike in this morning due to the fog, but I will tomorrow. I'll see if the energy level is better.
    Matt in Kansas

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  14. #14
    Mass Mover takingcontrol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macwild View Post
    There is a Subway across the street so maybe I'll pop in for a sandwich.
    Be careful with Jared's diet. Subway is a great alternitive once in a while, one of the best "fast food" choices I think you can make. But don't eat subway everyday. Sandwich's in general average a minimum of 2 to 1 of carbohydrate vs protein I have found that the most successful way to lose weight is to keep that ratio around 1 to 1 or alternatively make sure 10 grams of protein are in every 100 calories you eat. I have had consistent (pounds lost every week with no gains) weight loss with this program.

  15. #15
    Member Beerslinger's Avatar
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    Try going to Caloriecount.com I know it's a bit of a pain in the ass, but I found I was actually eating way too little vs too much, and that my body was in conservation mode, so that even though I was working out, by body had a stranglehold on my fat supply and my metabolism was down by my knees. I found that after you figure out how much food equals out to how many calories you need, you only need to go on once a week or so to keep your maintaince up. It worked for me, I dropped 15 pounds in 6 weeks, so couldn't hurt to give it a shot.
    I can bike to work faster then my neighbour/coworker can drive. So much for cars being Superior.

    Riding from Vancouver to Seattle, June 19-20, 2010, in the ride to conquer cancer. To help me raise funds to fight this deadly disease please click here.

  16. #16
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    My wife and i have been on the Idiot Proof diet since July with good results. It is a modified Atkins type diet. You have 4 meals a day. I have had the needed energy to keep cycling. I have started cheating by adding a scoop of Protein to a 5th meal on the days that I ride. I am about where I want to be.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

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