I was an avid cyclist when I was in college, commuting 20 miles or so each way to school and then 20 miles back on my flat-bar road bike, and mountain biking on the weekends. After graduating, I decided to support my fiance through her master's program. So, I graduated I took a desk job that I couldn't bike to and so on to pay the bills (since her graduate program prevented her from really working until recently). Fast forward a year and the inevitable happened: I packed on the weight, gaining about 50lbs, losing any semblance of tone or definition that I once had, and generally feeling miserable.
About three months ago, I came to my senses, stopped eating out of vending machines at work and started cooking all my own meals at home. I've managed to lose a little more than 20 pounds so far eating in smaller portions 3-4 times a day. I've been hovering in the area of 1600-1800 calories (I'm 5'6"). I've also been riding my mountain bike on the road for excercise (I dare not ride it on a trail, don't quite have the confidence for it yet). At any rate, I have a pair of questions if anyone could provide me some guidance:
1) My diet mostly consists of home-made lebanese food (I'm lebanese, so it seemed natural to start dieting on the food I was raised on for some reason): home-made yogurt, spinach pies (made from bleached white flour), hummus, kibbi (lamb and bulgur wheat), yogurt cheese, and lots and lots of pita. My concern is that my diet has a lot of oil in it and not so much fiber. However, I've been seriously considering going back to my old diet I had when I was bike commuting which consisted of dried fruits, lots of whole-wheat bread with honey, and pasta. So essentially, I'd be switching to a vegetarian diet that is high in fiber and carbs, and a lot lower in oils. Does anyone have any comment for or better or worse?
2) I've been riding my mountain bike a few times a week for ten miles or so as kind of a baby-step back into cycling, but I can't say I get a huge amount of joy from treating my mountain bike like a road bike. My commuter has carbon fiber stays and a carbon fiber fork, but I currently weigh 185lbs. I was wondering if it would be terribly safe to get back on that and save the mountain bike for actual trail rides, or if I am in danger of damaging the carbon fiber parts on the bike by riding it now as opposed to in a month or 2 when I'm 175. I really am looking forward to riding on it, but I want to make sure that doing so is safe. Once again, any guidance would be appreciated.
So there you go. Thanks in advance for any replies and it feels good to be back.