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Thread: How much to eat

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    How much to eat

    I'm curious as to how much others are eating, how many calories, how many times a day, and how many days per week you are riding and at what intensities. I think I may be a little low at approx 2000 calories a day and riding three days a week and moderate to higher moderate intensities. I'd like to hear what others are consuming. Thanks.

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    Mistadobalina AGGRO's Avatar
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    When I ride every day my calorie content sky rockets. I'd say over 4000 some days on multi-hour rides. Wife hates me.

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    umd
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    I ride around 400ish miles a week, eat about 4000 cal/day. I should probably space it out a little better but I tend to not each much during the day and then eat a lot at night, wake up in the middle of the night for snacks, and in the morning... If you ride only 3 days per week at moderate intensity (you don't quantify that, or say for how long), 2000 cal/day average is probably enough. But what are your goals? Are you trying to lose weight? Are you feeling weak and tired?

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    Senior Member JohnKScott's Avatar
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    I don't count calories. All I know is that when I ride longer rides (2 hours or more) I get really hungry later in the day. So I'll eat a LOT over the remains of the day. I've been trying to take some little bits to eat with me and have some recovery nutrition (mostly chocolate milk YUMMY) right afterward. On my shorter rides (around an hour) it makes me pretty hungry for breakfast and then seems to level out for the rest of the day.

    My trouble is that even though I'm riding a fair amount I'm eating a LOT more than I was when I wasn't riding. I would guess I am packing in over 2500 calories a day and maybe even up to 3500 on some harder workout days and they aren't all good calories . I am losing weight and inches slowly. I am going to try to eat healthier after next week (I'm on vacation and all bets are off - but I'm taking my bikes with me ). I'm hoping I can drop weight and inches a little quicker if I get my diet under a little better control. I want to be able to climb hills a little better . Hauling 212 pounds up someof these hills is a good work out, but I'd like to get up them a little quicker

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    I ride 150-200 miles a week, and I eat everything in sight. It costs as much as gas, I swear. I'll make a box of hamburger helper, can of pork&beans, and bread, half a cantaloupe and some grapes. I can't eat it all at once, but I just leave it on the counter and come back an hour later and finish it off. Still can't seem to gain a pound.

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    Nice timing on the thread. I recently decided that I would like to move from the high end of my weight range to the middle and needed to loose 10 lbs to do it. Being that riding more is a tad difficult I have started counting calories, how much fat, protein, carbs, and what time I eat at. It turns out with 56 miles of commuting each day I have been eating roughly 5000 calories. Plus with a decent amount of fat. I am in the process of dropping it down to smaller amount. So far 3000 seems about right but I may need to increase that a bit. I am feeling a tad woozy. I want to loose the weight not kill myself.
    I still have to decide upon a non riding day calorie goal.

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    mateo for short mateo44's Avatar
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    If you're starving at the end of a ride, it means your blood sugar levels have dropped too low. I suggest eating more while on the bike (I like about 150 calories per hour, depending on the intensity). I find that I'm not starving when I'm done, and so it's much easier to eat a reasonable meal after (I like a recovery drink right after, then a normal meal a bit later).

    I recommend checking out posts by Danno and Aikigreg on this very topic. I'm basically just parroting their excellent advice.


    Quote Originally Posted by JohnKScott
    I don't count calories. All I know is that when I ride longer rides (2 hours or more) I get really hungry later in the day. So I'll eat a LOT over the remains of the day. I've been trying to take some little bits to eat with me and have some recovery nutrition (mostly chocolate milk YUMMY) right afterward. On my shorter rides (around an hour) it makes me pretty hungry for breakfast and then seems to level out for the rest of the day.

    My trouble is that even though I'm riding a fair amount I'm eating a LOT more than I was when I wasn't riding. I would guess I am packing in over 2500 calories a day and maybe even up to 3500 on some harder workout days and they aren't all good calories . I am losing weight and inches slowly. I am going to try to eat healthier after next week (I'm on vacation and all bets are off - but I'm taking my bikes with me ). I'm hoping I can drop weight and inches a little quicker if I get my diet under a little better control. I want to be able to climb hills a little better . Hauling 212 pounds up someof these hills is a good work out, but I'd like to get up them a little quicker
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    Senior Member JohnKScott's Avatar
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    Thanks. Yes I have indeed try to take some calories along on longer rides. My stomach has a hard time tolerating food while I'm riding at higher intensity. But I have started training myself to eat some and have been taking in some calories with sports drinks as well. I'm not quite there yet, but have made progress. This will become even more important as I'd like to work my way up to doing a century (pretty hilly from what I've heard) by next summer. Right now my longest is about 40 miles and I'm planning a nearly 80 miler (mostly a flat ride) in early August (I will need to make sure to eat on that one...)

    Thanks for the tips for this newbie. I will check out those threads and training myself to eat and ride!!


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    Quote Originally Posted by umd
    I ride around 400ish miles a week, eat about 4000 cal/day. I should probably space it out a little better but I tend to not each much during the day and then eat a lot at night, wake up in the middle of the night for snacks, and in the morning... If you ride only 3 days per week at moderate intensity (you don't quantify that, or say for how long), 2000 cal/day average is probably enough. But what are your goals? Are you trying to lose weight? Are you feeling weak and tired?
    I'm not trying to loose weight, infact I could use a few pounds. I'm 6' 1" @ 158 lbs. I ride about an hour each of the three times a week. I'm in a very hilly area so the intensity is never too easy. I wonder if I'm eating too little because I wonder if I'm recovering enough to keep improving.

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnKScott
    Thanks. Yes I have indeed try to take some calories along on longer rides. My stomach has a hard time tolerating food while I'm riding at higher intensity. But I have started training myself to eat some and have been taking in some calories with sports drinks as well. I'm not quite there yet, but have made progress. This will become even more important as I'd like to work my way up to doing a century (pretty hilly from what I've heard) by next summer. Right now my longest is about 40 miles and I'm planning a nearly 80 miler (mostly a flat ride) in early August (I will need to make sure to eat on that one...)
    I eat about 2500 cal/day and have been losing about 0.5-1.0-lb/wk. So my BMR is probably around 2800 cal/day.

    If you're having hunger-pangs later in the day, you may not have eaten enough during the recovery-phase after the ride. Try for an immediate 250-300 calorie drink with a high-GI carbs in a 4:1 carb-protein ratio. There's studies on both sides showing the protien does and doesn't help. But doesn't hurt either. The extra insulin-spike helps bring glucose into the muscle-cells to replenish your glycogen stores quicker. This will enable faster recovery and you can ride the very next day easily.

    The other thing is to take energy-drinks on the ride if you can't deal with solid foods. Try for a 300-500 calorie solid meal at least 1-2 hours before the ride. Then take in 200-250 cal/hr on the bike in high-GI energy drinks. Followed by a recovery drink. Then a normal meal within an hour or two. As long as your total daily calories eaten is less than what you burned off, you'll lose weight.

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfloyd
    I'm not trying to loose weight, infact I could use a few pounds. I'm 6' 1" @ 158 lbs. I ride about an hour each of the three times a week. I'm in a very hilly area so the intensity is never too easy. I wonder if I'm eating too little because I wonder if I'm recovering enough to keep improving.
    Are you doing some sort of standardized time-trial regularly to see if you are improving? You're probably not depleted enough at the end of the rides to where recovery-nutrition would make a significant difference. However, you might benefit from some intense interval training.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Are you doing some sort of standardized time-trial regularly to see if you are improving? You're probably not depleted enough at the end of the rides to where recovery-nutrition would make a significant difference. However, you might benefit from some intense interval training.
    I haven't done that. I judge my recovery from the soreness that I have the next day or so. It seems that there is just a little bit of soreness always there. Will recovery be inhanced with heavier work loads?

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    Brian L. Baker Hardheadmandca's Avatar
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    I have been riding about 150 miles a week since the end of January - it's nice here in the Central Valley. At that point I started working with the Team in Training group and I weighed about 275 pound - I'm 6'.

    Six months later, I am thinner, but I still weigh 268.

    I eat fruit and/or plain oatmeal for breakfast, a Clif Shot w/ caffeine before my lunch ride, a Clif Bar and an 8 oz Muscle Milk after my ride for lunch, and then a widely varied dinner meal - usually some lean meat and a salad with lots of avocado, and 2 glasses of wine. I drink a lot of water during the day as well - at least 3L.

    Sweets on a rare occasion.

    Why am I not losing weight?
    Brian

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    部門ニ/自転車オタク NomadVW's Avatar
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    6% BF
    75-76kg

    I ride 500-550 km per week.
    My RMR is 2470.
    My average intake for the last 30 days is 4188
    Average intake:
    60% carb ( 8 g/kg )
    15% prot ( 2.1 g/kg )
    25% fat ( 1.5 g/kg )

    I've been steady at 75-76kg since the beginning of May.
    Envision, Energize, Enable

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    mateo for short mateo44's Avatar
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    You're either overestimating how many calories you're burning, or underestimating how many calories you're eating, or both. Try keeping track of every calorie you eat each day -- do that for a week or so. You might be surprised at all the hidden calories you're eating, or how small one serving of something really is.

    If you're burning more calories than you're consuming, you'll lose weight.

    Also, how is the 150 miles distributed across the days? Two long rides? Five 30-mile rides? How intense?



    Quote Originally Posted by Hardheadmandca
    I have been riding about 150 miles a week since the end of January - it's nice here in the Central Valley. At that point I started working with the Team in Training group and I weighed about 275 pound - I'm 6'.

    Six months later, I am thinner, but I still weigh 268.

    I eat fruit and/or plain oatmeal for breakfast, a Clif Shot w/ caffeine before my lunch ride, a Clif Bar and an 8 oz Muscle Milk after my ride for lunch, and then a widely varied dinner meal - usually some lean meat and a salad with lots of avocado, and 2 glasses of wine. I drink a lot of water during the day as well - at least 3L.

    Sweets on a rare occasion.

    Why am I not losing weight?
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    Brian L. Baker Hardheadmandca's Avatar
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    Well, the place for underestimating what I eat is dinner. It varies so widely, but I don't eat junk food, always whole grains and organic meats and veggies.

    As for the rides, 17.34 miles a day M-F, and a long ride on each of the weekend days.

    Like I say, I've lost inches, but very few pounds. One of my teammates lost 40 pounds during training. I did have a test for hypothyroid one last week. I'll get the results on Monday.
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    mateo for short mateo44's Avatar
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    If you count up the calories, you'll know for sure. Good luck!


    Quote Originally Posted by Hardheadmandca
    Well, the place for underestimating what I eat is dinner. It varies so widely, but I don't eat junk food, always whole grains and organic meats and veggies.

    As for the rides, 17.34 miles a day M-F, and a long ride on each of the weekend days.

    Like I say, I've lost inches, but very few pounds. One of my teammates lost 40 pounds during training. I did have a test for hypothyroid one last week. I'll get the results on Monday.
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    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardheadmandca
    Well, the place for underestimating what I eat is dinner. It varies so widely, but I don't eat junk food, always whole grains and organic meats and veggies.
    Most people don't understand just how small "serving" sizes really are. 12oz of steak is like 700-900 calories depending on how much fat on the cut, so a big dinner can really add up fast. Try weighing your dinner for a few days.

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    mateo for short mateo44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd
    Most people don't understand just how small "serving" sizes really are. 12oz of steak is like 700-900 calories depending on how much fat on the cut, so a big dinner can really add up fast. Try weighing your dinner for a few days.
    +1.

    Most people underestimate even when they think they aren't, so if he's admitting he's underestimating at dinner, he probably is -- big time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfloyd
    I haven't done that. I judge my recovery from the soreness that I have the next day or so. It seems that there is just a little bit of soreness always there. Will recovery be inhanced with heavier work loads?
    At your height and weight, I'd say that you've got massive lung capacity, but very little muscle. This means you can easily overdrive your muscles before you're even winded. So some strength training would help you not tax your muscles so much and you'll be fully recovered by the next day and ready to go. You can try weight-training in the gym once a week and do one day of sprints and one day of anaerobic intervals on the bike. Within about a month, you won't have the residual soreness the next day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    At your height and weight, I'd say that you've got massive lung capacity, but very little muscle. This means you can easily overdrive your muscles before you're even winded. So some strength training would help you not tax your muscles so much and you'll be fully recovered by the next day and ready to go. You can try weight-training in the gym once a week and do one day of sprints and one day of anaerobic intervals on the bike. Within about a month, you won't have the residual soreness the next day.
    Thanks, I had a feeling this may be the case too. I know I have little muscle mass, as I am quite lanky. Is it possible to do weight training on the bike; perhaps sprints up hill with no other regular mileage for the workout (I've got a 1 min. 30 sec. standing only climb right out my front door)? Or is it just best to do weight work with regular gym weights?

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    grilled cheesus aham23's Avatar
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    when i was calorie counting (obsessively) last year i was taking in 2800 on a normal day and close to 4000on hard effort days. from the start of my riding season in April to the end in October i think i dropped 20 lbs or so. all together it was close to 70 lbs dropped for me in 2006. it really is all about the calories in and out. later.

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    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    I don't eat to lose weight. I eat to fuel my next ride. Riding 5-6 days a week (220-250mi) has me at a distinct advantage calorie-wise.
    I wear and swear by my HRM to tell me an est. calorie count during rides. Hard A group ride of 65 miles or so can add 3400 calories to my daily intake. Then 2 nights a week I play hockey, and that can add another 1500 calories to my count.

    I have never thought of restricting calories during the season. Instead I ride longer and/or harder to lose the weight naturally instead of curbing my source of strength.... FOOD.

    ADDITION of strength with SUBTRACTION of calories is a new math I am not familiar with
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardheadmandca
    I have been riding about 150 miles a week since the end of January - it's nice here in the Central Valley. At that point I started working with the Team in Training group and I weighed about 275 pound - I'm 6'.

    Six months later, I am thinner, but I still weigh 268.

    I eat fruit and/or plain oatmeal for breakfast, a Clif Shot w/ caffeine before my lunch ride, a Clif Bar and an 8 oz Muscle Milk after my ride for lunch, and then a widely varied dinner meal - usually some lean meat and a salad with lots of avocado, and 2 glasses of wine. I drink a lot of water during the day as well - at least 3L.

    Sweets on a rare occasion.

    Why am I not losing weight?
    There are only 2 sides to the weight loss equation - Calories In and Calories Out. Doing 150 miles per week on the bike, you're burning a whole bunch of calories (probably around 7000+).

    So, that leaves "Calories In". If you're not losing weight, it's because you're eating too much.

    Do you have any "problem foods"? For me, it's cookies - a bag rarely lasts more than 2 days. So, I only allow myself one bag per month. Identify your "substance abuse" foods and figure out a way to eliminate them, or cut way back on them...keeping them out of your house is the best way to start.

    Also, do you drink any of your calories? That's a problem for many people. If you drink sugared sodas, quit right now...they're evil. But even if you limit yourself to fruit juices, it's easy to pack on hundreds of extra calories with a couple of glasses of juice each day.

    Bottom line - look at what you currently eat, and try to find 300-500 calories each day that you can do without (preferably, calorie dense/nutrition poor things like breads, sweets, juice, etc.).

    You might also want to be careful with the avocados - they're loaded with calories (276 calories in a medium avocado).

    And, the "Muscle Milk" looks like a disaster to me too...360 calories if you use 2 scoops, with nearly half the calories from fat. Sounds more like a protein fortified milk shake to me. If you need extra protein, pick up some CostCo whey protein (about $28 for 6 lbs, with no added carbs/fat).

    Best of luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiPHRaPH
    I don't eat to lose weight. I eat to fuel my next ride. Riding 5-6 days a week (220-250mi) has me at a distinct advantage calorie-wise.
    I wear and swear by my HRM to tell me an est. calorie count during rides. Hard A group ride of 65 miles or so can add 3400 calories to my daily intake. Then 2 nights a week I play hockey, and that can add another 1500 calories to my count.

    I have never thought of restricting calories during the season. Instead I ride longer and/or harder to lose the weight naturally instead of curbing my source of strength.... FOOD.
    That might work for you...unfortunately, for many people it doesn't.

    No matter how much you ride, it's fairly easy to consume more calories than you burn on the bike.

    And, since exercise tends to stimulate appetite, it's not at all uncommon to hear "I ride 200+ miles per week but can't lose 1 lb".
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