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  1. #1
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    A few diet questions

    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?

  2. #2
    Not safe for work cyclokitty's Avatar
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    1) Protein shakes: I find they taste disgusting unless I add peanut butter to kill the whey powder taste. On the package, it tells me the protein helps repair the muscle fibres damaged in my workout. Usually I'm famished and a protein shake made with the foul chocolate powder, a bit of peanut butter, and chocolate almond milk with a few frozen strawberries tossed in helps stave off starvation (or heading for a hamburger).

    2) I'm not a big fan of fruit drinks. They are pretty expensive and it's easy to make your own in a blender, adding frozen fruit to juice.

    3) Funny, I have the sweet tooth of a 5 or 6 year old... But eating fruit is a great way to satisfy the cravings. Odds are the extra energy you are burning is making you very hungry. Are you eating a snack during your rides? I swear by peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches on whole wheat. Raspberries and oranges are yummy but mostly water so you might want to consider bananas because they are heartier and easier to eat on a ride.

    4) Congrats on throwing off your shackles! I did that 2.5 years ago and I still appreciate every moment when I don't have a customer staring me in the face and blaming me because the size 12 red shirt isn't in stock. The food log is my bÍte noire -- I record my intake for several weeks, I make progress, I get sick of logging it, I stop. Gain 5 pounds. I record my intake again etc etc. If it's been working for you so far, you may want to stick with it. The act of recording in the food log reminds us not to go pignut and eat a entire birthday cake. I returned to my food log again this past week and already I notice my attention to meal planning is much better.

    Nicely done on the clown car clothes! Feels great, eh?


  3. #3
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    Hopefully after 6 months or so you are now aware of the correct amount and things to eat, but the log does help reinforce making good food choices.

    You are not on a diet, you have decided to eat better and do some riding as part your new and improved lifestyle...focus on the positive, like living your life rather than spending 70 hours on the corporate hampster wheel.

    I actually no longer miss triple meat deep dish pizza.....honest

  4. #4
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    As long as you are using diet to describe the food you eat and not a temporary thing to lose weight you are on the right track.

    At my known heaviest I weighed 425 pounds. Two years ago I dropped from 425 to 330 in 8 months. Someone my size has advantages when it comes to weight loss though. I can safely lose more than the standard 1 to 2 lbs per week with no negative effects. When I had my RMR tested I could burn 3500 calories a day just sitting around. I've been on many diets in my life from Atkins to south beach to any calorie counting system you can think of, weight watchers, etc. They all worked, for a while. Even my 95lb drop worked for 8 months...until I got tired of tracking everything.

    This time I'm doing it differently. This time it will be a lifestyle change and I honestly believe the only way you can lose weight and keep it off is to make that lifestyle change.

    I no longer count calories. I just eat less, and eat better. One of the best rules I've ever heard from anyone was a guy I worked with who lost 300lbs in 2 years simply by eating foods only as they come naturally. Nothing in a can, nothing in a box, NOTHING processed. I've been doing that for three weeks now, and even at 392lbs now I feel fantastic. Where I do have to eat processed food, such as breads, I go only whole grain (don't be fooled by the label) without the word ENRICHED in the ingredients. Other than that it is raw meats, and vegetables out of the field.

    In the last three weeks alone I've gone from 406 to 392 and I just added exercise via biking last night. If you really want to know what won't work, just ask a uber-uber clyde who has tried over and over. I finally found something I can do that I don't have to count or track or even worry about. The only thing different is shopping around the outside of the grocery store. Those "real" foods fill me up quick and keep me filled.

    The changes I've made recently really have encouraged me. For the first time I can see myself as the trim 235 pounder I was all those years ago. I'm doing it without even trying.

    I'm also seriously motivated by the stories of the likes of PeterC and TomStormcrowe and the many others I've read about here who have taken control of their lives again through cycling. It gives the rest of us who haven't found that healthy addiction that there may yet be hope for us.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=Seattle Forrest;10738003]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?They are great however, I question your 160 calorie protein shake with 35 grams of protein being very well balanced. there are 4 calories in a gram of carbs and protein and 9 calories in a gram of fat. If there is 35 grams of protein thats 140 calories, that means there are only 20 calories coming from carbs and fats. make sure your getting even balance. this can be helped by going with a tablespoon of peanut better in the shake.

    (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?not familiar with those items, i've seen them but never had them. If your trying to lose weight and are eating healthy and getting all your nutrients through food then there is no reason not to just drink water.

    (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?when I first got my bike I would do a 20 mile ride and then want to eat everything in sight! As I've gotten fitter and do those 20 miles easier, the cravings have subsided.

    (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? The only thing harder than climbing to the top, is staying on top. Little things make a big difference and when we get away from doing our little fundamental things we can easily find ourselves slipping back. While I do think that you can certainly use your intuition to continue doing the right things you are probably better off continuing this good habit that you've created. Also, it's not just about writing it down to review it, it subconsciously creates a game for most people where when tempted to eat something bad, they will think twice because they don't want to have to write it down and see it later![/QUOTE]

    fwiw, I'm a personal trainer by trade so I've got a bit more experience with this stuff then most. Keep up the good work!

  6. #6
    Senior Member clasher's Avatar
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    I'd try eat a lot more whole grain, high-fibre foods. Like Szerek, I've found that eating foods with high fibre content (whole grains and whole fruits) that I find myself less hungry.

    I'm cheap as sin so I don't buy protein shakes but have you ever tried a smear of PB on an apple slice? I find an apple eaten that way with the PB usually satiates my sweet-tooth and gives me some good fats and protein to boot. It is easy to go overboard on the PB, so I try and buy the pure peanut stuff. I think I'm gonna get some of that now.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Divtos's Avatar
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    Why go for protein shakes at all? I think the best solution I've heard is to pre-make several days of real meals ad put them in Tupperware. This way you can eat real food and feel full. I'm eating 5 meals a day like this maintaining a 2000 calorie diet and almost never get hungry. ( I say almost because I've gotten used to eating now every three hours and I do sometimes get hungry right before feeding time). A protein shake just won't do what a turkey breast steak and veggies will do either in satisfaction or for metabolic enhancement. Even if I'm out it's usually pretty easy to buy a Turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato, salt and pepper...

  8. #8
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    My only addition is the honey and banana on whole wheat......easy to digest after a tough ride.
    Fruit smoothies made in the blender with fruit and ice after rehydrating with water.

    I try to avoid the processed world and do it all with good food, even if I don't get the instant replacement but rather the natural replacement of everything.

  9. #9
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    I say if it's working go ahead but be very carefull of liquid calories they seem to add up real quick. Then again asking diet questions in the clyde form might be dangerous, we didn't become clydes by making good food choices...lol
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

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