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  1. #1
    Stop
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    Question about nutritional balance

    Hello all. I'm new here as evidenced by my "newbie" title. Just found this forum after not having read any biking forums for a few months and finding that some of the other ones I used to read had up and gone under.

    Anyway, none of that is important right now. What I'm wondering is this. For those of you who try to balance the calories you intake, what balance do you strive for? I know this is a subjective and nebulous question with no real "answers" as such. But I was wondering what people here try to strive for in calorie content. I know Balance bars shoot for 30/40/30. And I know that the active cyclist is going to say something like 1/98/1.

    So I really have 2 questions. What calorie balance to people shoot for when riding? And what calorie balance do people shoot for in the off-season when too much carb intake leads to weight gain.

    Thanks for any input anyone may have.

  2. #2
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm not the best person to comment as I don't really have an "off season". But to be honest, I just stuff my face with carbs constantly to ensure that I always have sufficient energy. I'm yet to experience any weight gain as a result of it. Personally I don't think there's any substance at all to the "carbs lead to weight gain" hype.
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  3. #3
    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    You'll find this interesting... I only eat about 120g of carb on an average day -- starchy complex carbs, not counting fruit. I take some fig newtons or an energy bar with me on every ride, though, lest I bonk. On the morning of a big ride like a century, I will load with about 60g of complex carbs at breakfast, and I take a whole whack of food on the ride, sometimes even watered-down gatorade.

    Of course, I have rather unique dietary requirements. YMMV.
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

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  4. #4
    RAGBRAI. Need I say more? Steele-Bike's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Chris on this one. One word...CARBS!!! I haven't gained a pound in the 10 years since high school. Of course, the only time I am sitting on my butt, my legs are a crankin'. (Except when I have to type a post, I sit down.)

  5. #5
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I have reconciled the "zone" 40/30/30 and "Pritikin" 80/10/10 diets. (I remain adamantly opposed to Adkins / low-carb. diets -- they are a great way to burn out one's liver and kidneys over the years.) The more active one is, the more one can tend toward Pritikin; less-active people should stay in the zone. Personally, I end up around 65% carbs, 20% protein, 15% fat, mostly vegetarian.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies. I appreciate it.

    Chris L,

    I'm not sure about the "carbs lead to weight gain" stuff. If you're able to stuff your face and not gain weight, we're different types of people. I could gain 12 pounds in a week if I tried.

    velocipedio,

    I take anything and everything on a long ride to eat. Sometimes I load up food tubes with chocolate pudding. When I'm riding heavily, I rarely gain weight. It's these damn cold weather holidays that make it hard to maintain what I worked for in the summer.

    Steele-Bike,

    I sit in front of a computer all day at work. So I sit down quite a bit.

    John E,

    I am very opposed to the Adkins diet as well. The Zone of 40/30/30 is something I've seen on the label of a Balance Bar, which is why I wodnered about this in the first place many moons ago. I just never acted on it until now...sort of.

    I'll have a look at the Pritkin 80/10/10 and see. I've been trying to hit just about the same general guidelines as you, 65/20/15 or so. Roughly, of course.

    Norm

  7. #7
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Norm
    Chris L,

    I'm not sure about the "carbs lead to weight gain" stuff. If you're able to stuff your face and not gain weight, we're different types of people. I could gain 12 pounds in a week if I tried.
    I was referring to the fact that I believe all the no-carb diets are basically a fad that will go the same way as the no-salt and no-fat diets of the 80s and 90s. The reason I don't gain weight is the volume of riding that I do, and while diet is also a factor, cutting out essential nutrients like carbs will only cause more problems than it solves.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  8. #8
    RAGBRAI. Need I say more? Steele-Bike's Avatar
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    Fad diets are just that, fads. Healthy living cannot be a fad, it must be a lifestyle. There are several ladies I work with that are on a new diet every couple of weeks. I have tried to explain to them my concept that one doesn't need to deprive themselves of food. They just need to understand moderation of food with a bit of exercise thrown in.

    I recently read that to lose weight one must have 500 less calories a day. 250 lost in exercise and 250 less in food. I don't know if that would be the total answer, but it does show that one needs to exercise along with a healthy diet.

  9. #9
    Stop
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    Originally posted by Chris L


    I was referring to the fact that I believe all the no-carb diets are basically a fad that will go the same way as the no-salt and no-fat diets of the 80s and 90s. The reason I don't gain weight is the volume of riding that I do, and while diet is also a factor, cutting out essential nutrients like carbs will only cause more problems than it solves.
    Gotcha. I dislike any fad diet. I dislike the fact that my wife thinks that fat content is the devil's work. Nobody seems to think that depriving your body of something it needs is non-sensical as long as it accomplishes your objective of looking good.

    5 years ago it was anti-fat. Now it's anti-carbs. Next it'll be anti-protein. Eventually, people will reailize that it's anti-stupidity that does the trick.

  10. #10
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Chris L
    Maybe I'm not the best person to comment as I don't really have an "off season". But to be honest, I just stuff my face with carbs constantly to ensure that I always have sufficient energy. I'm yet to experience any weight gain as a result of it. Personally I don't think there's any substance at all to the "carbs lead to weight gain" hype.
    Norm,

    When cycling regularly, I rarely gain weight. My main concerns are nutritional balance and having proper energy and muscle rebuilding nutrients available.

    Cycling requires more carbs, it's just a fact of life. Just remember that when you aren't riding, cut back on the carbs a bit (cut back on everything, really.)

    When not exercising, I tend to get hungrier, eat more than I need and gain a little weight. So I try to avoid non-exercising periods as much as possible.
    No worries

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