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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 02-07-13, 08:26 PM   #1
ChuckD6421 
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Eating for recovery and weight loss

July 2007 - Weighed in at 268 lbs (6'1")
July 2012 - Weighed in at 214 lbs (still 6'1")
(Right now paying for the holidays at 224)

So I've been able to drop some weight, but for the past 2 years I've been kinda stuck.

I'm good for a couple hundred miles a month most months on the road averaging ~15 mph, do organized spinning sessions a couple times a week during the dark months.

It's pretty clear your body adjusts to this and you need to keep adjusting your calories in/calories out but I'm about to get meself to a dietician to better manage my habits.

One thing specifically I'd like to know is how to optimize the calorie burning effect of exercise immediately following the exercise. Por ejemplo, I go out for an hour and a half, or two or even three hours eating a Clif Builder bar to ward off The Bonk. Then what? We know we continue to burn calories for up to an hour after exercise like this, and we also know (or at least my doctor tells me, and I read it on the interwebs) the body needs a protein/carb to facilitate this and to keep the body from feeding off itself to recover.

Or do we?

Trained athletes with less to spare may need that after exercise to keep from breaking down muscle tissue for recovery fuel, but do I with a BMI just south of obese need to worry about this? Would the body not feed off fat reserves for this?

I know most of us aren't professionals in athletic diets, but I wonder if anyone has addressed this themselves. How do we feed athletic recovery and still lose weight?
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Old 02-07-13, 09:10 PM   #2
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Hey Chuck,

I'm in a similar situation as you, deduct 10lbs of wieght and 4" of height and there I am including the stuck part. I do 3 to 4 hundred a month on the bike and run ~30. My only nod to recovery is one chocolate milk on my post 3hr weekend ride. I've found it's not the hours I spend exercising or the fuel for it that keeps me fat, it's the other 20 something hours per day.

To address the stuck part I've joined WW online and use this forum as my group. I'm 3 weeks in and the weight is starting to come off. Just as important for me, I'm also upping the intensity of my riding/running. In the past I've not been successful losing weight with anything other than light exercise so I'm very hopeful... we shall see.
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Old 02-07-13, 10:41 PM   #3
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I have a couple of comments. Firstly, you are not going to bonk in two hours. Bonk is the total depletion of all available carbohydrate resulting in massive fatigue and dizziness, muscle weakness so severe you cannot pedal. Thats bonk.

As far as recovery, I have read in several sources that you need to eat some carbohydrate and protein within an hour after exercise to maximize resupply of the energy and to increase uptake of amino acids to repair. Of course, nothing seems to say how much. So I would just make it fit into your overall calorie plans for the day, think of it as a mini-meal consisting primarily of carbohydrate with a dose of protein. for a long time, trainers recommended chocolate milk but that seems to have fallen out of favor, why I don't know. I'd keep it to 200-300 calories and see how that goes for you.
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Old 02-07-13, 10:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
I have a couple of comments. Firstly, you are not going to bonk in two hours. Bonk is the total depletion of all available carbohydrate resulting in massive fatigue and dizziness, muscle weakness so severe you cannot pedal. Thats bonk.

As far as recovery, I have read in several sources that you need to eat some carbohydrate and protein within an hour after exercise to maximize resupply of the energy and to increase uptake of amino acids to repair. Of course, nothing seems to say how much. So I would just make it fit into your overall calorie plans for the day, think of it as a mini-meal consisting primarily of carbohydrate with a dose of protein. for a long time, trainers recommended chocolate milk but that seems to have fallen out of favor, why I don't know. I'd keep it to 200-300 calories and see how that goes for you.
While I appreciate your thoughts on recovery, and that's sorta what I tend to do, I must strongly disagree with your first comment about bonking, or hitting the wall. As a blanket statement, it's not true. As a former Category 2 roadie I'm here to tell you that bonking is mostly as you describe. But losing motivation, focus, balance while on a 2 hour ride without eating properly is very real and really miserable.

Respectfully, there's a lot of people here working through their first long rides and I don't want them to get the wrong impression. If you're riding 2+ hours you really need to start refueling after one hour. At least that's my experience.
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Old 02-08-13, 12:35 AM   #5
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Hi....congrats on losses... I'm a WW and have lost 65lbs and have another 30 to go. I basically just follow the WW program but when I ride I always take a banana and a Luna bar with me in case I start to run out of energy. I also find I really need to drink a lot more water than I normally would. Sometimes we are dehydrated. I bought a book a couple of years ago that might help. It's called "Ride your way lean" by Selene Yeager who writes a column in Bicycling magazine. It is really good. All sorts of information for all types of people....people with only a little to lose and people with a lot of weight to lose. It has training plans and info on food.

Looking forward to hearing about your successes.

Karen
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Old 02-08-13, 01:03 AM   #6
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Dang, I did just about the same thing you did, but started at 243, got down to 213 last July, ballooned up to 226 after the holidays and now I'm back down to 217 mostly by eating better. Fruits & vegetables for the win! Although I've largely cut out the processed carbs and I'm not on any crazy fat meat only diet, I find that I'm still energetic while riding. We'll see Saturday, got a century to tackle.

You can go to a dietitian but they'll probably tell you what you already know. Just saying.
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Old 02-08-13, 05:30 PM   #7
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I would encourage going to the dietitian/nutritionist. I struggled over a couple of years to lose about 50 pounds, but still needed to lose about 110 more. I began training with a coach and training hard, both on and off the bike. I was struggling with the issue of calorie deficit versus having enough energy to improve performance, especially on the bike. I hired an online nutritionist (very affordable) who specializes in endurance athletes. She gave me a wealth of information about daily nutrition and training nutrition, and it made a huge difference in my weight loss and cycling. I've lost 75 more pounds in 9 months and am in the best shape of my life. I have about 40 more to go to reach 15% bodyfat (215 pounds). I don't suffer riding/training anymore because I'm in a huge calorie deficit, but between training sessions I'm eating my base calories for daily nutrition. PM me if you want more information about the specific nutritionist. I highly recommend her.
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Old 02-10-13, 11:04 AM   #8
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Hey all, thanks for the feedback. Just wanted to acknowledge.
I am pretty clear on what foods make for a healthy diet. I think the crux of my question has more to do with timing.
Like how we shouldn't indulge in nighttime snacks (damn you, roasted, salted peanuts in the shell!) and if we want to lose weight but not do damage to our bodies after long exercise sessions, when's the best time to refuel?

Right now I tend to a high-quality protein drink (Optimum Nutrition) mixed up with the remains of the morning's coffee and Silk Soy Milk taken within a half hour of finishing. Does that negate my 2 hours of effort? Not sure, but it seems to be a sensible thing to do.
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Old 02-10-13, 11:18 AM   #9
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I think you need to add some carbohydrate to that recovery drink after a 2 hour ride, unless you are stoping at the local bakery a part of the ride.
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Old 02-10-13, 11:34 AM   #10
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Couple of hundred miles a months is not much, especially if those are flat miles. Very optimistically, 100 miles ~ 1 lb of fat. If you overeat just a little bit, it's going to cancel out the effect of riding.

Quote:
Would the body not feed off fat reserves for this?
The body needs amino acids, it can't get amino acids out of fat reserves. You need to raise daily protein intake to match your increased requirements. 1.5 g/kg/day is the ballpark level for an active runner/cyclist. In your case that's 150 g/day. Get, say 30 g out of that amount, plus some carbs, in the postexercise recovery drink, and the rest throughout the day. Don't worry about fueling recovery in any other way. Don't overindulge in carbs and try to avoid most fats (fish and small quantities of nuts are OK.) Count calories.

I second the statement that you are very unlikely to bonk on a 2-hour ride.
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Old 02-10-13, 12:50 PM   #11
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'Stopping at a local bakery' - Heh, I wish. Nope, my rides are a non-stop as I can make them although I have indulged myself a couple times for a particularly scenic picture. I like to have a Clif Builder Bar an hour or so into a ride. They're kinda hard to chew but very satisfying. Eaten on the bike.

'Couple of hundred miles a months is not much, especially if those are flat miles' - I live at exactly one thousand feet elevation. My basic 19 mile loop has just over a thousand feet of climbing. Not much flatness around here. But you're right, that's still not that much. Good point about not getting amino acids from fat too.

And btw, there's no question in my mind that a bit more self-discipline would go a long way, I'm pretty clear on why I'm "stuck" (but hey, I'm gettin' out there at least!). My original post was more about this specific issue of recovery and timing.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-20-13, 03:58 PM   #12
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I'd be less concerned with weight than body shape. Throw the scale out and look at your body and change your routine to change your body shape. If your only exercise is cycling this is a great opportunity to crank things up a notch with some other stuff such as walking, running, swimming or weight training, etc. The lbs will follow.
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