I've been finding this forum to be incredibly helpful, and have learned quite a bit over the month or so since I found it. A few weeks ago I started a thread about using the bike to burn as many calories as possible, and based on that, when I have time, I've been putting my energy into longer rides instead of more difficult ones - fewer hills, more hours. Today, I'm wondering about food going in.
(1) What do people think about protein shakes? I've been having one to two a day; the ones I get are 160 kcals, and 35 grams of protein. They don't fill me up, but get me a little closer toward feeling satiated. But I spend a lot of time cycling, and more time kayaking, so these seem like a good idea to rebuild the muscle tissue. Are they?
(2) What about fruit drinks? Not OJ, but something like Odwalla or Naked shakes? I try to eat a lot of fresh fruit, but there isn't so much this time of year. I hear you shouldn't drink your calories, but I wonder if anyone else makes an exception for these guys?
(3) I've had a lot of sugar cravings lately, and I lost my sweet tooth when I was 5 or 6 years old. I don't take sugar in my espresso in the morning, and a pint of iced cream can go a year in my freezer. But now that I've been cycling so much ( in part thanks to the 500 mi/mo challenge ) I've been wanting sweets lately. I've been eating raspberries when I can get them at a reasonable price, and oranges when I can't. But I wonder if anyone else who doesn't normally get sugar cravings, has been feeling them thanks to the exercise? Or could this be from the weight loss?
(4) The next question is more complex:
My previous job was 70 hours a week of corporate slavery, from which I've emancipated myself. I gained a lot of weight with little time to exercise, and using junk food to cope with stress. Over the past six months, I've lost a lot of weight, and a lot of my old clothes are starting to feel like a clown car.
I've been counting the calories I eat, and the ones I "burn," and making sure fewer go in than out every day, since late January. It's a pain in the neck, and I hate going to the computer in the evening. I'm thinking of giving this habit up. I think I've got a much better "intuitive" feel for what my diet should be like than when I began counting calories. I'm not sure how much of the weight I've lost is from this, and how much is from losing the shackles for more exercise ... so I'm leery to give up a good habit, even if I really don't like doing it.
Does anyone else do this? Has anyone else stopped the food & exercise log, and done well?