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  1. #1
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    My diet: any advice?

    I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice about weight loss?

    I was 240 lbs at Christmas, but in the last two months I've lost 13 lbs (10 lbs the first month, 3 the second). I'm 6 feet tall, and ideally would like to get down to about 190 by the fall of this year.

    I've been using FitDay for the past two months, and have been averaging a 375 caloric deficit each day. Here are my daily averages for the past two months:

    Calories: 2,772
    Fat: 85 g (27%)
    Carbs: 375 g (52%)
    Fiber: 22 g
    Protein: 106 g (15%)
    Alcohol: 12 g (3%)

    Ideally I would like to increase my daily deficit to at least 500, but each week I have a day or two where I indulge too much. What happens is that the first three days of the week I'll be 900 calories in the hole each day, but then Thursday I'll go out and have three pints of beer, some wings, and maybe a slice of pizza afterwards...you get the picture.

    In any case, would anyone have any suggestions? What about lowering the carb intake and increasing protein? And would greatly increasing fiber be a good idea, maybe by having an extra apple each day as a snack? What about having one "eat anything" day per week? (I kinda do that already). Isn't that supposed to "fool" your body into not going into survival/starvation mode?

    I'd be grateful for any informed recommendations.
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  2. #2
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Umm quit binge eating? When you do go out make a choice beer or pizza. Three pints of beer is about 800ish calories. In 14inch pizza each slice is around 200-250 calories (chicken wings are even worse since they are about as bad per wing, but you tend to eat more of them). So assuming you eat 6 slices, thats around 2300 calories right there. Add to that the rest of the stuff you ate that day and it will probably be pushing 3k+. So unless you rode for at least two hours that day at reasonable pace you pretty much just wiped out all the "deficit" you had earlier in the day. You can mess with lower/higher carb, lower/higher protein all you want. In the end it's about calories in-calories out, and if you are going out for pizza and beer every week then you are facing a loosing battle.

    Couple things to keep in mind for FitDay. It way overestimates calories burned. So on my rides I average around 18-19mph, I use 14-16mph range to get similar calories burned per hour as what my computer reports. Don't forget to enter sleep, otherwise it will over estimate also.

    Also how much do you exercise? I spent about 12 hours a week on a bike, and probably will have hard time loosing weight if I consumed that much.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Yeah, the binging isn't good. When I say pizza, though, I mean one slice, which according to the online nutritional info for the chain in question is 500 calories. I've become aware enough now that scarfing down a whole pie would be beyond the pale.

    I calculate my calories burned from cycling using the Kreuzotter site. It's supposedly accurate enough as far is it goes. I intentionally enter my weight into FitDay as 5 lbs lower than it is in order to overcompensate (undercompensate?) for calories burned. Also, the "background activity" in the desktop version has sleep and other activities which you can tweak--I try to underestimate in every area.

    In 2007 I averaged 5 1/2 hours per week on the bike over a period of 37 weeks. During the warmer months I'm on the bike between 6 and 8 hours per week. This winter I've been on the trainer every day if I haven't been outside, and I'm hoping to increase my weekly averages this year.

    One issue: if I keep my beer night to once per week, I figure I can sustain an average caloric deficit of 500 per day. I won't give up beer entirely--that's out of the question.

    One question: this may be a hackneyed topic, but is there anything of substance to these diets that lower carbohydrate intake? Supposedly they allow you to lower your caloric intake without feeling hungry all the time. I wonder if that's true? Having said that, I'm surviving quite well on the daily average calories I get. The key was cutting out silly snacks like potato chips and cake and the like in favour of fruit. Doing that resulted in a drop of 10 lbs just in the first month.
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  4. #4
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    OMG I eat a whole pizza everytime we go out for pizza.

  5. #5
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    I personally found carb cycling to be useful because I didn't like having a deficit each day. I wouldn't do it when I am training though.

  6. #6
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    if you can increase your deficit to 500 calories, you should lose a pound every week

  7. #7
    Yeah, it's a freewheel... RideMore's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your weight loss to date!

    This is of course the tough part: when you have a goal, and the plan doesn't fit what you 'like'.

    When you say 2700 calories/day average, how far does that caloric intake swing each day? Do not take exercise into account when you answer; this is not a deficit question. Does it swing more than, say 500 calories?

    Think like this: Slow and steady wins the race. The more even keeled you can be the more you can tic off those goals. Since you are presumably not on a strict diet the concept of an 'eat anything day' is, frankly right out. (this next bit is not your mother) When you can look in the mirror and say 'What I eat fuels my body and moves me to my goal' you are on track.

    Losing the silly snacks: great start!

    The plain truth:
    *Are you eating quality foods?
    *Are you avoiding foods that your body has to work to remove?
    *Are you drinking enough water?
    *Are you getting enough sleep?
    *Are you exercising regularly and effectively?

    These are the questions I have people answer to themselves when they come to me in the gym and ask questions like 'What supplements should I be taking?' if the answer to any of the above questions is no, then just hand me that supplement money you are going to spend 'cause that's how much good it's going to do you.

    If you want to change what your diet does to you then put every item you eat on the table and look real hard at it. Which of those first two questions does that food fall under?

    "Yeah, the binging isn't good." You're right. If you're serious, stop it. It's hard, period. Don't fool yourself.
    "I won't give up beer entirely--that's out of the question." The day you can have A beer and no crap food at a meal; that's a day you can congratulate yourself. If you're serious. It's hard, period. Don't fool yourself.

    Like it or not, pizza and beer is everything your body wants to avoid eating it's own fat. Which is your goal. So you are at odds with your goal if you don't face facts. You are at that diet place where you've dropped the excess stuff in your colon, and the excess water your body was using as a cushion against that excess, and now you want it to actually work and use its precious stores. The exact opposite of millions (sic.) of years of genetic programming. This isn't magic, it's Biology. Make your body change programs and it will, for exactly as long as you make it. Then it will stop and go back to it's original program.

    Who do you want to win?

    I can go on a ride and stop for coffee and a muffin, (just one!) and lie to myself that I'm burning at least that many calories.
    Or, I can look in the mirror and make the decision. Cut out the flour and sugar, every day. Drink more water; it's virtually never enough. Exercise every day. I will see my body change.

    Nike is right. Just. Do. It.
    "Character is what you are in the dark" -Dr. Emilio Lazardo

  8. #8
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Thanks for the considered response.

    Quote Originally Posted by RideMore View Post
    When you say 2700 calories/day average, how far does that caloric intake swing each day? Do not take exercise into account when you answer; this is not a deficit question. Does it swing more than, say 500 calories?
    Yes, most definitely. On days I don't exercise my calories go down dramatically, by about 1,000. I could go from Monday at 2,700 with exercise, to Tuesday at 1,700 without exercise, to Wednesday at 3,500 with exercise and beer and pizza in the evening. It doesn't always happen like that, but some weeks it does.

    Is this fluctuation an issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by RideMore View Post
    Since you are presumably not on a strict diet the concept of an 'eat anything day' is, frankly right out.
    I'd thought, though, that having one day per week (or whatever interval is considered right) with higher calories would prevent your body from becoming too accustomed to the lower calories. Doesn't that make sense?

    Quote Originally Posted by RideMore View Post
    *Are you eating quality foods?
    *Are you avoiding foods that your body has to work to remove?
    *Are you drinking enough water?
    *Are you getting enough sleep?
    *Are you exercising regularly and effectively?
    Yes to all of the above.

    Quote Originally Posted by RideMore View Post
    "I won't give up beer entirely--that's out of the question." The day you can have A beer and no crap food at a meal; that's a day you can congratulate yourself. If you're serious. It's hard, period. Don't fool yourself.
    I agree. Still, I have a social outing once a week (sometimes twice) where I drink three pints. I won't give this up. It keeps me sane. The pizza I can give up (mostly, and I have), but not the beer.
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  9. #9
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    I think the basic problem is that on some days you are eating too much. Personally I burn 3500 calories (that includes activity, and just daily base) is when I do 2+ hour ride at a moderate speed (averaging 19-20mph). On the days that you have 3,500, 2,700 calorie intake how much do you exercise?
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
    I think the basic problem is that on some days you are eating too much. Personally I burn 3500 calories (that includes activity, and just daily base) is when I do 2+ hour ride at a moderate speed (averaging 19-20mph). On the days that you have 3,500, 2,700 calorie intake how much do you exercise?
    I don't have these days often, but looking back at my calendar I see that on one Saturday I burned 3,200 and ate 3,000, and on another Saturday I burned 3,300 and ate 4,000.

    I'm a freelance translator working from home, so I sit a lot. If it weren't for cycling I'd be a total potato.

    Yeah, I know that on some days I can't help myself, and I eat too much. It's a struggle at times. I definitely want to raise my average caloric deficit to -500. It's easier when I'm riding outside as opposed to the trainer, where I can only do an hour or so before dying of boredom. I can't wait for winter to be over!
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  11. #11
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    It just goes to show how easy it is to blow a good exercise program with a few poor food choices each week.

    Unfortunately, it's really easy to overeat, even when you're exercising a LOT.

    The only solution is to eat moderate amounts of high quality foods (emphasis on veggies, fruits and low-fat protein sources).

    Just say "no" to pizza and beer.

    Also, be aware that your basal metabolic rate will go down as you lose weight. So, the same diet that you're losing weight on now will likely stop working after you've lost some additional weight...making it necessary to cut back even more to keep the weight loss going.

    Best of luck, and congrats on your progress to date!
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  12. #12
    Yeah, it's a freewheel... RideMore's Avatar
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    You're welcome.
    And truly, congratulations on all your efforts. You really are sticking up for yourself!

    Is fluctuation an issue? Yes though not huge. The more consistent you keep your digestive system the better able it is to process nutrition and waste. With large fluctuations of calories comes large fluctuations in your endocrine system's output. You don't want excesses of, say insulin floating around because of a simple carbohydrate overload. You don't want your kidneys and liver having a backload of food waste to process. You're just giving your body more time to glean food value and store it.

    Unless you are in starvation mode, an eat anything day is a binge day. You want your body accustomed to fewer calories, just not thousands less.
    A friend of mine puts it this way, 'Most people eat past the point where they are full. That's where you gain weight. If you eat slow enough and pay attention, you can stop at full. That's where you stay the same. If you want to change your body, learn to stop when you are not hungry - that's way before you are full.' BTW he's way too fit!
    Are you in daily calorie deficit? That is, each day's energy use is noticeably less than that day's input? The 500 calorie deficit daily you mention sounds reasonable, as long as it's daily, not a weekly average. Your daily needs are too varied to average. If you truly had a larger calorie deficit, say 700 /deficit daily, consistently across weeks, a weekly day where you matched your input of calories to your output of energy, would be enough to keep you out of 'starvation mode'.
    On my longer riding days ( 3hours +) I come home and eat. Again and again. 200 calories at a time, 32 oz. water, first 1 hour then 2 hours apart. Shifting from mostly carbs and some protein to mostly protein and some carbs as I go. Shifting from simple to complex carbs, as I go. My excellent dinner 5 hours post ride could be Sizzler salad bar with spinach, egg, cheese, beets, garbanzo beans, sunflower seeds. Twice, spread over an hour, dessert is cottage cheese, one serving. Finishing a ride at noon, with this from 5-6pm means I'll eat again before 9pm - could be a soy burger, or yogurt. Did I mention 32 oz. water with each of these meals?

    Congratulations on saying yes to those five questions! No one asking at the gym says yes. (noobs)

    I get you on the social evening. It's important. Can you ride that day? Hard? Can you dial back your food earlier in the day? Don't skip meals. Can you drink a lower calorie beer? Can you eat quality protein just before you meet up with your posse ? Do they have similar weight/fitness goals? Can you motivate them? These are some of the possibilities. Make your social night work with you, not against you.

    Lastly, please know: it is worth it.
    "Character is what you are in the dark" -Dr. Emilio Lazardo

  13. #13
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    The tips on books help me a lot about losing my weight. Last month my friend recommended the book - The UltraSimple Diet: Kick-Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days to me.
    I searched a lot and found it pretty good. It includes precise instructions for what foods to eat, what foods to avoid, recipes, supplements, and stress reduction--exercise is optional. I have followed it for a few days, very suitable for me, and also effective.
    Last edited by timothy002; 08-23-09 at 10:25 PM.

  14. #14
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    Could you tell us what foods you eat on a typical day? The vast majority of people answer "yes" when you ask them if they're eating a healthy diet.

    I also think the beer is an issue. 3 pints twice a week is around 1000 calories if it's light beer, perhaps 1500 calories if you drink the decent stuff. There's roughly half a pound a week right there.

    I do think, however, that small changes are more likely to stick than drastic ones. It's also true that weight that comes off more slowly is more likely to stay off. Diet is about what you eat for the long term, not specifically about losing weight.

    Oh, and you're fooling yourself. We're living in a dictatorship.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Still, I have a social outing once a week (sometimes twice) where I drink three pints. I won't give this up.
    Quantity vs. Quality Drink one pint of something that costs as much as 3 pints of whatever you're drinking now. 3 pints is 48 ounces. A bottle of Samuel Smith is 12 ounces. Or a nice Belgian ale.
    "It could be anything. Scrap booking, high-stakes poker, or the Santa Fe lifestyle. Just pick a dead-end and chill out 'till you die."

  16. #16
    Robbie McEwen Wannabe tbrown524's Avatar
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    Eat more homemade salads and you might want drink a serving or two of whey protein.. Helps control the hunger and with the weight loss... Check out bodybuilding.com
    "Meyrueis, Lozere, June 26, 1977. Hot and overcast. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me."

  17. #17
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericgu View Post
    Could you tell us what foods you eat on a typical day? The vast majority of people answer "yes" when you ask them if they're eating a healthy diet.
    Okay, here's one day's worth of food. Total: 2,624 calories.

    Breakfast: 650 calories
    Muesli with milk

    Lunch: 333 calories
    Multigrain bagel with light cream cheese and tomato
    1/2 cup of grape juice

    After ride: 368 calories
    1% chocolate milk
    Banana
    Quaker cereal bar
    Raw apple

    Dinner: 683 calories
    Home-made chicken wings (cooked in sake and basil)
    Fettucine
    Assorted stir-fried vegetables

    Evening snack: 590 calories
    Raw orange
    Whole wheat pancakes (small, two) with maple syrup

    I don't always have an evening snack, mind you. And I don't go to sleep until 2:00 am, so that snack would come at about 8 or 9 pm. But I know, for one thing, that I'm not eating enough fresh vegetables. I rarely eat salad. It's not that I don't like it, I just don't get around to it. I know, I know...I should.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgu View Post
    I also think the beer is an issue. 3 pints twice a week is around 1000 calories if it's light beer, perhaps 1500 calories if you drink the decent stuff. There's roughly half a pound a week right there.
    Hmmm...where do you get those numbers? I'm drinking Harp, an Irish lager. I calculate 590 calories for 48 ounces of beer. Where do you get 1,500? That's quite a discrepancy.

    EDIT: I've just gone and found the specific caloric content for Harp's, and I get 566 calories for 48 ounces. So all this time I've been overcalculating by 24 calories. Whuhoo!

    EDIT AGAIN: Oh, you said "twice a week." Okay, gotcha. But I specifically gear my calories and exercise during the day to account for the beer I have on a Saturday, so that day I either have a much smaller deficit or maybe "break even."

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgu View Post
    I do think, however, that small changes are more likely to stick than drastic ones. It's also true that weight that comes off more slowly is more likely to stay off. Diet is about what you eat for the long term, not specifically about losing weight.
    I agree. I've cut out the silly snacks, and can live with that. There have been a couple of times over the past two months where I've indulged in potato chips or cake, and have felt regret almost instantly. I'm certainly not suffering.

    Actually, if anything, it's rather fun. I've just come in from my ride, entered all my numbers, and see that I have a 2,173 calorie deficit for the rest of the day. With a nice, light dinner I can easily finish today 1,000 in the hole, or I can indulge in a few extra oranges or an apple, and still be down 800. This is a very kewl thing.
    Last edited by rousseau; 03-06-08 at 02:56 PM.
    The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

  18. #18
    Yeah, it's a freewheel... RideMore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Breakfast: ...Muesli

    Lunch: ...Multigrain bagel

    After ride: ...Quaker cereal bar

    Dinner: ...Fettucine

    Evening snack: ...Whole wheat pancakes
    ... I know, ...I'm not eating enough fresh vegetables. ... I know, I know...I should.

    ... or I can indulge in a few extra oranges or an apple, and still be down 800. This is a very kewl thing.

    OK...
    I'm writing this because you seem sincere, so here goes:

    You are eating grain or flour products at every meal. This is not only putting high glycemic index food items through your system in a non-stop barrage, it's putting your carbohydrate percentage too high for weight loss. Don't forget to put your alcohol count in with your carb count. Shoot for less than 45% carb calories.

    Stop eating carbs as your evening snack. If you are going to snack late after dinner make it protein.

    1% chocolate milk: You will find less carbs in whole milk. You may wish to find a faster absorbing post ride food instead of dairy. Try to structure that meal so you have a 4:1 carb/ protein ratio. Now is when you need that protein influx as you body goes into repair mode.

    '...I know, I know...I should.': This is the passive/aggressive answer that people give to get someone off their back. You are only fooling yourself.

    '...I can indulge': Frankly, no you can't. Not in food. Excess food is not a luxury item it's your ENEMY

    Indulge in knowing you are moving your goal forward.
    Indulge in knowing that nailing your intake needs means more muscle to burn more calories.
    Indulge in knowing that you will have the luxury of buying smaller clothes or taking yours to the tailor for a reduction.

    Sincere best wishes for forward progress!
    "Character is what you are in the dark" -Dr. Emilio Lazardo

  19. #19
    Goat Holyspokes's Avatar
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    Although i am young and have a fast metabolism, i have my nutrition down to a science.. i obsess over everything. Here's a few tips that maybe you could benefit from:

    1) Instead of having choclate milk for a post workout recovery, i like to take NATURAL (no art sweeteners) 100% whey protein choclate flavor, a bunch of ice, and 1/2 a bannana, and throw it in the blender. That way you use no milk, get the bannana in their, and it's quite low fat.

    2) I don't drink any kind of real milk, skim or not. I usually drink vitasoy soy milk (unsweetened), i love it. I'm just bought a carton of "Almond Breeze" Unsweetened Vanilla. It's only 45 calories per serving, and they also make a choclate version, same thing.

    3) As ridemore has said, i also don't eat carbs at night, and if i do it's maybe one peice of bread to be paired with something, or beans with veges. For dinner and a small snack after, i try to have protein and veges. Usually for a snack ill have some roasted almonds.

    I've found that if you eat alot of the calories in the morning and afternoon, it really helps ward off hunger later at night.

    I also don't think carbs are your enemy, but refined sugar and added sweeteners, as well as ARTIFICIAL sweeteners ARE your enemy.

    It's always hard to have a strict diet, but i have a stricter diet than anyone i know. Home made food always beats food that you get out, so cook whenever you can and make sure your not underestimating your calorie intake. When in doubt, add.
    Don't Worry

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