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  1. #1
    Member Mark.from.Texas's Avatar
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    Prepping for a century, what to eat while aiming to lose weight, too??

    Hi all,

    I am in the process of prepping myself for the HHH century in August but am at a loss what to eat since my main goal for riding is (was??) to lose some weight. I am 6'8 ~275 and am aiming for 220-ish as my end weight. I am riding 60 miles on weekends (+ ~10% each week, started at 40) and 20 faster paced miles each day before work. 3 days riding, 1 day off. I started at 316 in Feb and walked most of it off but bought a bike (hybrid) June 1st with the goal of riding that century in August with a friend/coworker.

    Weekends rides begin with a massive breakfast, cliffbars during the rides, gallons of gatorade (plan your routes with 711 store locator open ) and then when I get back I can eat a horse, and sometimes do. My appetite during workdays has increased significantly, too. Needless to say I am not losing much weight at this rate. Am I going to have to make a choice between that century and losing weight or am I over thinking my nutrition?

    P.S. I haven't seen many people locally that swallow up a bicycle quite like I do, nice to see there's more out there not worried about looking like an average adult would tooling around town on a pocket bike

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark.from.Texas; 06-26-12 at 12:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark.from.Texas View Post
    Weekends rides begin with a massive breakfast, cliffbars during the rides, gallons of gatorade (plan your routes with 711 store locator open ) and then when I get back I can eat a horse, and sometimes do. My appetite during workdays has increased significantly, too. Needless to say I am not losing much weight at this rate. Am I going to have to make a choice between that century and losing weight or am I over thinking my nutrition?
    Well, to me it sounds like you're eating too much but you didn't really definitively quantify it. By the use of the words "massive" and "gallons of gatorade", and "eat like a horse", I'm just assuming your definition would match mine.

    For a 60 mile ride, I'll eat a normal breakfast (maybe a little extra), and have 2 or 3 snacks that consist of approximately 300 calories, less if I'm consuming gatorade in every bottle. I would alternate between gatorade and water, and drink at most 6 quarts, usually closer to 4. I don't eat any extra after the ride, just deal with my appetite knowing I'll lose weight.

    I didn't ride a century my first summer, but I did my second summer and my eating on the bike doesn't change significantly when I'm trying to lose weight or not.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  3. #3
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    I was your weight (now) and 6'5" when I started.

    I know for a fact your are eating too much and also the wrong things.

    I don't have time to type a lot right this second, but here are the basics. Tons of Gatorade is killing you. That stuff is full of sugar and salt. Sugar is by far your worst enemy in all your foods.

    Cut sugar out completely. Then try and cut out anything processed. In other words eat foods you cook, and foods you control what you put in them. It's not as hard as you think.

    You at this point also need to watch your calories. You have gotten in a food is my reward for working hard on exercise mode and that will never work long term.

    My best advice is check out joe freil's paleo for athletes book. I think it's the best lifestyle choice going for endurance athletes. It will give you what to eat before, during, and most importantly, directly after rides. It shows you where to use carbs, and where to avoid them.

    Others here like weight watchers a lot, and I will let them chime in on that topic...but you can't outrider your poor diet, and don't buy that gaining muscle loosing fat as the reason you are not losing weight.

  4. #4
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Appetite for the overweight and formerly overweight is not necessarily a good indicator of whether you need food. So, you need to plan out when and how much you will eat. As a prior poster said, you may be eating more than you need on the rides. Maybe you could also time your rides so you finish before meal time. If not, have a glass of milk after the ride to tide you over and help with recovery. Back off the sugary drinks.

    You obviously are not eating too little. You have good energy, yes? You have no symptoms of overtraining. So, you could back off on the calories a bit and see how you do. And live with hunger, it is not an accurate indicator.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 06-26-12 at 07:55 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MattFoley's Avatar
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    Concur that you're eating more than necessary. Like the others, if I'm doing say, 50 or 60 miles, I'll have a bagel and a banana for breakfast, then eat like two packs of Fig Newtons on the ride as a snack (each pack is 200 calories, and they're only $.75 at the corner market!). I've found that bagels are much more filling than just about anything else and are really easy on your stomach, just like Fig Newtons. Stuff like bacon and eggs or cereal, for me at least, just don't keep me full for long and are more iffy when it comes to digestion. It it's hot, I'll use gatorade, but I cut it with water, so it's like 1/3 gatorade and 2/3 water...really more for taste than anything. Weight loss isn't a huge concern for me, so I usually treat myself to a nice lunch or dinner after a big ride.

    For your 20 mile rides during the week, your body isn't going to need any "extra" food like clif bars, and water will be sufficient. My commute, for instance, is 14 miles. If it's hot I'll drink about half a bottle of water and just eat breakfast when I get to work, then eat normally throughout the day. Usually when I ride home, I take the long route and do anywhere between 20 and 30 miles, and even then I go through maybe one bottle of water and just eat a regular dinner.
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  6. #6
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Eat less, ride more. If your ride is to last less than two hours, don't eat at all. For rides of 3+ hours, start eating after an hour and don't consume more than 250 Calories per hour thereafter. You can't absorb carbs much faster than that, anyway. And start counting calories. From your description it doesn't sound as if you really know how much you're eating.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  7. #7
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Do you have a physician you trust that could recommend a good nutritionist ... hopefully someone who understands sports/physical activities?
    Deut 6:5

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by volosong View Post
    Do you have a physician you trust that could recommend a good nutritionist ... hopefully someone who understands sports/physical activities?
    Good advice. I think he's overestimating the caloric needs, especially considering he says he wants to lose weight.

    Also unclear is the weekend mileage. He says 60 miles on weekends. Is that a total of 60 miles or 60 miles each weekend day? If the former, a massive breakfast, gallons of Gatorade and eating like a horse afterwards all for a 30 mile ride is likely not going to result in regular weight loss. It might not even work if riding 60 miles each day depending on the amount of caloric intake and the intensity fo the ride.

    Finally, I don't understand the reasoning re: eating now and a century in August. Lose weight now by burning off more calories than you take in while preparing for the century. Quite honestly, it sounds like you are using the upcoming event to justify eating a lot of food. It's not an "either or" situation. Lose weight and train at the same time. In fact, losing weight will likely be benneficial come century day. Put another way, losing weight is part of training for the event.

  9. #9
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    From the sounds of it, and you weren't real specific, you are eating too much. I'd let others here that are better at diet/nutrition chime in but I'll give you what I've learned

    I don't eat anything on a ride that is less than an hour
    You can only digest 200-300 calories an hour. The rest goes to bad places like my waist
    Gatorade is the 'drink of the devil' for us fat folk. I use Heed mixed with CamelBak elixer and or straight water depending on the length of the ride

    As an example on my ride last weekend which was a metric with 8300' of climbing I ate/drank during the 5 hrs 40 min of saddle time:

    4 - 24oz bottles of CamelBak elixer (I was out of Heed)
    100 oz of plain water
    2 cliff bars
    3 Gels
    a couple of pieces of Venison Jerky

    After the ride I had a Hamburger and a salad at Hookers and felt none the worse for wear

    You are/were losing about 2lbs a week which is sustainable. Take a good look at what you are eating and drinking.

    When I'm at home I try not to eat anything that's processed. Chicken, Fish, lean meats and a truck load of greens and fruits is my basic food plan. I try to make it simple.

    The old saying ... 'If your Grandmother wouldn't recognize it then it's probably not good for you' rings in my head when I reach for a processed food.

  10. #10
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    I don't know for sure but i agree with the you're eating too much assessment. I used to eat more while riding though, now I've acclimated to longer rides a bit. I'll tend to eat a clif bar every 25 miles or so (so for a 75 mile ride that works out to 2 bars) and I do enjoy a good bottle of gatorade per hour (the low sugar kind, not that there's much of a difference). I've tried some alternates to gatorade and I just don't like them quite as much. Still working on the perfect combo.

    For short rides (< 30 miles) i'll bring one gatorade and one water and won't eat a thing.

    Its hard to avoid eating everything that's not nailed down after a long ride but again, that urge has diminished for me as I do longer rides more often.

    Keep at it!

  11. #11
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    It has taken a while to dial in what works for me and here it is. I call it "the boredom diet" because the key factor is consistency.

    I am currently 5'-9", 235#. I use "MyFatSecret" to track calorie consumption. The closer I am to tracking everything that I actually eat, the better I do. I use 1800-2000 Cal as a "resting" base line. If I don't do any cycling, that's what I try to stick to. When riding I eat about 50Cal/10mi. Nibbling on a Clif bar will sustain me for a 40 mile ride. I usually pack a 12 oz frozen Gatorade on warm days, otherwise just drink water.

    If I stick to that I loose about 2lb/week. You're over 6' tall, so you would probably need to set a higher calorie intake. If you let MyFatSecret Calculate you RDI, you will never loose. Their calories burned exercise caclulator is way high, and I don't use it.

    Breakfast-1 tbsp Peanut butter on one slice toast
    Mid-morning-Banana
    Lunch-Trader Joes Black Bean and Corn Enchilada, or similar-~250-350 Cal
    Mid-afternoon-Apple
    Dinner-The unhealthy carp my wife likes, but I have room for it, if I don't take too much.

    The night before a big ride I will "carboload" with about 6-8 oz Pinto Beans (not refried) and all the grilled zucchini, carrots and asparagus I want. I'll have the leftover beans in a flower tortilla, and an apple for breakfast before driving to the event.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark.from.Texas View Post
    Hi all,

    I am in the process of prepping myself for the HHH century in August but am at a loss what to eat since my main goal for riding is (was??) to lose some weight. .....

    Weekends rides begin with a massive breakfast, cliffbars during the rides, gallons of gatorade (plan your routes with 711 store locator open ) and then when I get back I can eat a horse, and sometimes do. My appetite during workdays has increased significantly, too.

    Needless to say I am not losing much weight at this rate. Am I going to have to make a choice between that century and losing weight or am I over thinking my nutrition?

    ....

    Mark
    Highlighted are the causes and underlined the consequence. From your own observations you already have the answer. Makes perfect sense to me but it has to make perfect sense to you.

    Based on your own answer i'd say yes, you are overthinking your nutrition. You are eating too much for a weight loss goal. Your body is telling you that.

    I've noticed from stories/ride reports posted that when people start ramping up the miles first thought goes to increase calories...it almost resembles a syndrome. I'll call it the "calorie overcompensation thinking syndrome".

    Yes more fuel for longer rides is required, and yes some people lose strength and we've read stories of cramping and the infamous "bonk" when sustaining too long efforts without proper nutrition/hydration. With that said, i think it is backwards thinking to first overcompensate with calories when increasing ride distance/intensity. Nothing terribly bad happens when overcompensating calorie intake (bloating comes to mind) however, if weight loss is your goal there's definitively a lot of downside there as you're preventing the body from using stored energy.

    Ultimately you have to ask your body to get the proper answer. I think the proper exercise for this purpose is experimenting with keeping caloric intake constant while increasing distance. At some point you'll feel weakness. Then increase calories a little (key word LITTLE). Keep increasing distance, you'll hit a roadblock again. Basically after a few weeks your body will tell you how much, when and what to eat during your rides.

    I started using what other people in the forums ate/drank for a given distance as a guideline. Then I fine-tuned it with my own observations. Findings were very revealing and borderline shocking. Human body is an exceptionally efficient machine, and can do a lot with a lot less energy that one may think.

    I did experiment with food to fine tune the calorie intake. I did not experiment with hydration (water mostly in my case). I guess since water has no caloric effect there's no issue in overcompensating (save an extra pit stop during the ride), however, the downside of dehydration does pose serious health risks so i strongly suggest not messing around with it.
    Sipping on your water bottle every 15-20 mins while on the bike, regardless of distance, should do the trick. If too hot/humid then sip twice ;-).

    Plenty of time to be ready for your Century, I'm sure it'll be a blast.

    AQ

  13. #13
    Member Mark.from.Texas's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies, I think the "calorie overcompensation thinking syndrome" certainly applies to me. To answer some of the questions asked. During the week I don't eat that much extra to ride, the added exercise just makes me eat larger portions for dinner. My weekend breakfast could compared to crackerbarrel or denny's all American, pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc. I eat half a cliff bar before I take off, bring 2 with me but usually eat only 1 on the road. I drink ~6 24oz of Gatorade, I take of with 2 and buy 4 more along the way, also bring a 74oz camelback with me. When I get back I usually eat another cliff bar, have a protein drink (herbalife) and will eat probably seconds (thirds) tonight. My total milleage (each ride is a seperate day) goes something like 20 20 20 off 20 60 20 off 20 20 60 off .... etc. it's roughly 130m/week. I work 3 on 3 off so I might get 160 one week and 100 the next depending how it falls.

    If it matters, I am doing this in the Texas heat. It's 102 right now and I just got back from my 60 mile ride.

    I'm not surprise I'm not losing weight and I'm pretty pleased with my progress in terms of fitness. Thanks for verifying my suspicions, some feedback from fellow clyde's is worth more to me then a 'how to survive a century' written for 150lbs riders in the shape of their life. I'll dial back the calories some and will see how I feel during/after my rides.

    Thanks again for all the info.

  14. #14
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acquaspin View Post
    I guess since water has no caloric effect there's no issue in overcompensating (save an extra pit stop during the ride)
    There's always water intoxication. I drastically over-compensated for a extraordinarily hot day last summer. I didn't need to pee, so I kept drinking more and more since my symptoms said dehydration to me.

    By the time I was done, I couldn't do the math to calculate when my next turn would be on my cycle computer. About 2 hours after I got back and ate dinner, I was going to the bathroom every 15-30 minutes and felt fine by bed time.

    I won't go over a quart or a 1 1/2 quarts per hour now, and then I have to be sweating buckets to go over the quart mark.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

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    Senior Member Spoonrobot's Avatar
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    Damn, that's a lot of Gatorade. You know they make it in a powdered form that is significantly cheaper when you're blasting through a gallon+ per ride?

    You've only been riding since June 1st?

    I had similar massive appetites my first few months as well. Experiment with just drinking water and not eating anything extra during your 20 mile rides.

  16. #16
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    good advice so far and good that you think there is some merit to the advice...I can tell you there is so much more than just calories...its quality of calories.

    just lay off salt and sugar for a month and you will be amazed at the difference.

  17. #17
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    I'd say that there's no way you're going to outride that kind of consumption. Those amounts of food and sports drink seem more in line with rides at least 50%-75% longer than your 60-mile outings, especially when you factor in dinners with 2nds and 3rds. Plus your routes must be pretty circuitously tortured (or severely limited) to be able to find places to buy 4 more bottles of Gatorade along the way.

    I did a metric at last year's Tour de Cure on a breakfast of 1.5 cups of cereal with a banana, strawberries and low-fat milk. At each of the one-third points of the ride I stopped for a small peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Beyond that it was water, a couple of bananas, Clif Shot Blocks and Honey Stinger energy chews. This year I did 75 miles, with about the same breakfast, but no sandwiches, and added one actual Clif Bar and a water bottle full of G2 because it was hot.
    Last edited by CraigB; 06-26-12 at 08:31 PM.
    Craig in Indy

  18. #18
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark.from.Texas View Post
    . . .My weekend breakfast could compared to crackerbarrel or denny's all American, pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc. . .
    Typical generic Denny's breakfast is over 1000 Cal. My typical weekday breakfast is about 200. Weekends it may hit 400.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
    Damn, that's a lot of Gatorade. You know they make it in a powdered form that is significantly cheaper when you're blasting through a gallon+ per ride?

    You've only been riding since June 1st?

    I had similar massive appetites my first few months as well. Experiment with just drinking water and not eating anything extra during your 20 mile rides.
    That's 150 calories per 24 oz bottle, so there's 900 calories in Gatorade alone on a ride.

    The powdered form is a much, much better version as well. The powdered version uses dextrose and sucrose which are much more efficient at replenishing muscle glycogen, opposed to the fructose(in the form of HFCS) which is used for liver glycogen replenishment.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    I drank a crapload of gatorade last year, but completely cut it out this year. Oddly enough my performance is better now. I don't drink any energy drinks anymore. In fact I eat nothing for rides under 3 hours.

    I've been testing different combinations and this seems to be what works best for me, up to 50 miles:

    45 min - 100 calorie granola bar
    60 min - 120 calorie honey stinger gel
    90 min - 120 cal gel
    135 min - 120 cal gel
    180 min - usually nothing,but if I feel close to bonk or want to set a personal record, 120 cal gel


    If I was going farther I think I would move everything from 60 minutes to later and eat more complex carbs near the beginning.

  21. #21
    Member Mark.from.Texas's Avatar
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    Not sure what you mean by cicuitously, it's a mainly rural route around a lake with a few small town gas stations to get my 85 (not 150) calorie bottles of gatorade (G2) 2 at a time to refill by bottles.

    As much as I drank, I still weighed ~2 lbs less when I came home them when I left. So G2 or not, I'm stuck stopping for something as I don't feel like loading up my backpack/camelpack knockoff with 2 gallons of water. I sweat a lot and its hotter'n hell in Texas this time of year.

    Anyway, thanks for all the input everyone.



    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    I'd say that there's no way you're going to outride that kind of consumption. Those amounts of food and sports drink seem more in line with rides at least 50%-75% longer than your 60-mile outings, especially when you factor in dinners with 2nds and 3rds. Plus your routes must be pretty circuitously tortured (or severely limited) to be able to find places to buy 4 more bottles of Gatorade along the way.

    I did a metric at last year's Tour de Cure on a breakfast of 1.5 cups of cereal with a banana, strawberries and low-fat milk. At each of the one-third points of the ride I stopped for a small peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Beyond that it was water, a couple of bananas, Clif Shot Blocks and Honey Stinger energy chews. This year I did 75 miles, with about the same breakfast, but no sandwiches, and added one actual Clif Bar and a water bottle full of G2 because it was hot.
    Last edited by Mark.from.Texas; 06-27-12 at 10:33 AM.

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