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Old 07-24-08, 08:27 PM   #1
MrCrassic 
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How can I improve my diet?

So I'm sure that this question has been posted lots of times before, but I'm in need of some serious help with this again.

Right now, I'm 20 years old, 5'9" and 160 lbs. I used to be 185lb, but I lost a lot of that from biking. I was at 155lb, but I gained some weight when I went on vacation (read DIET: Afternoon "I'm Still Hungry" Smoothie and you'll see why; drank lots of virgin pina coladas and did a lot less riding), and I don't bike daily like I used to (though I think I'm getting pretty much the same weekly mileage in).

This has been my diet as of late, and I was wondering if I could get some help on improving it. I should note that I commute to work 20 miles each way (with a 30 minute gap in between; I have to get on the train), two or three days out of the week. Sometimes, I would extend this commute to 20 miles one way, 40 miles back. Every 20 mile ride is pretty much a hammerfest, and half of the ride is mostly flat while the other half is either also flat or lots climbing. I sometimes do long rides on the weekends, though I'm finding that I have less time to do this than I used to.

Breakfast: I have started making DIET: The Healthy Breakfast Shake this, but I'm not sure if this is a good idea anymore.

Before that, when I have little time to eat breakfast, I usually pick up bread from a bakery with stuffed cheese. When I have more time, I would make a three-egg omelet with cheese and turkey, coupled either with toast or waffles/syrup (I usually do the waffles/syrup thing before a ride, and it works well in suppressing hunger)

For snack, I would normally eat a banana or strawberry-banana yogurt.

Lunch: Turkey, cheese and lettuce wrap. I sometimes add fries to this, though not always. On days that I'm biking (especially if I'm biking hard), I would eat pasta with a side of tuna.

Dinner: Cereal. I used to eat Honey Nut Cheerios (with either whole, 2% or skim milk; whatever I'm feeling that day), but if it's really as non-nutritional as people say it is, I might skip this altogether and eat Special K instead. I normally eat this around 9 or 10, but I go to sleep at 12 or so. I also would get hungry at night if I didn't eat this.

I'm asking for help here because I know that although I don't eat processed foods or any sort of food from outside (unless it's from a restaurant), I know that there are some loose ends in my diet. I'm actually beginning to get somewhat scared that I'll return to my old weight, despite my cycling habit. I essentially want to maintain my weight, or drop only a pound or two. I don't want to lose weight, but I don't want to gain any either.
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Old 07-24-08, 08:42 PM   #2
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Where are your fruit and veggies? What about your whole grains?

Try logging your food on FitDay:
http://www.fitday.com/
Run the reports and see where your nutrients are.

Have a browse in the Nutrition Data site:
http://www.nutritiondata.com/
Lots of good info.

Here's the Canadian Food Guide ... the new and improved version of what we were taught in school.
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-gu.../index-eng.php
More good info there!
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Old 07-24-08, 09:30 PM   #3
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Whole grains as in bread? I could switch to whole-wheat instead...

I only eat bananas and whatever I throw into the HEALTHIER smoothie for breakfast (not the crack colada that I made).
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Old 07-24-08, 09:35 PM   #4
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Whole grains as in bread? I could switch to whole-wheat instead...

I only eat bananas and whatever I throw into the HEALTHIER smoothie for breakfast (not the crack colada that I made).
Yeah, whole wheat breads, crackers, cereals, etc.

And you really should consider adding other fruits and veggies ... go with apples, oranges, kiwi, apricots, pineapple (fresh, not canned), tomatoes, carrots, etc. etc. etc.
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Old 07-24-08, 09:57 PM   #5
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Your big nutrition upgrade is to switch dinner of honey nut cheerios to Special K?

Is this a serious post ?

Try real food, non processed stuff. Heck a can of beans and toast would be a huge improvement. As Machka said, you need to eat a whole lot more veggies and fruit.
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Old 07-24-08, 10:02 PM   #6
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although I don't eat processed foods
Cereal is about as processed as it gets.

Learn to cook and start eating a variety of foods. Try not to eat the same lunch or supper more than a couple times per week, or on consecutive days. Variety helps prevent nutrient deficiencies.

Learn to cook.
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Old 07-24-08, 10:19 PM   #7
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Your big nutrition upgrade is to switch dinner of honey nut cheerios to Special K?

Is this a serious post ?

Try real food, non processed stuff. Heck a can of beans and toast would be a huge improvement. As Machka said, you need to eat a whole lot more veggies and fruit.
If I weren't serious, I wouldn't be posting this. I'm actually looking for help; why would I be kidding about that?

As mentioned up there, I do eat toast, and will probably switch to whole wheat. What do you mean by a "can of beans," and when?

Quote:
Cereal is about as processed as it gets.

Learn to cook and start eating a variety of foods. Try not to eat the same lunch or supper more than a couple times per week, or on consecutive days. Variety helps prevent nutrient deficiencies.

Learn to cook.
This is actually really confusing advice from what I've been told by others who were also very fit and active. They have actually eaten the same lunch weekly, exercise/work out just as much as I do, and attain very good fitness levels.

I thought cereal was actually healthy....

---

Will these suggestions actually keep me full longer? I'm much more concerned about this than anything else. When I eat lighter, I usually tend to have neverending hunger pangs.

I should also mention that I used the Naval Body Fat Calculator, and with a BFP of 10.5%, down from 12% last year. This is somewhat inaccurate, but I know I'm a size 30 at the waist, and my minimum neck size is 14.5.
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Old 07-24-08, 10:34 PM   #8
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Some cereal can be healthy ... look for something with whole grains, etc. Flake-type cereals are processed and then fortified.

It doesn't hurt to have a bowl of cereal now and then ... but every night for supper???

If you want to eat, and not feel the hunger pangs, cook something like chicken or turkey. Serve it with a whole grain pasta and veggies. On the days where you don't want to cook, go with something like flakes of tuna in water on whole grain bread, served with veggies. Boiled eggs are another good one, served with toast and finished off with an apple or two.

There are lots of possibilities.
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Old 07-24-08, 10:53 PM   #9
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Historically, cereals were promoted as healthy for moral reasons; like prevention of ************.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Harvey_Kellogg


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Old 07-24-08, 10:57 PM   #10
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I ate cereal every night not because I can't cook (I actually can), but because I thought that this was a very light meal to eat and was better than eating something heavier like rice and chicken.

On top of that, I normally get home after 8pm (normally, around 9 or 10p) from work, and I thought that eating said food above would suffice.

What about something like rice and salmon? This is something I normally eat for lunch, but isn't very taxing (or at least I thought it wasn't...)
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Old 07-24-08, 11:02 PM   #11
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Actually rice (esp. brown rice) and chicken, or rice and salmon would be much better choices. Now just throw some brocolli into the mix .....
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Old 07-24-08, 11:06 PM   #12
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Seriously, thanks for clarifying that. I will try eating that from now on instead.

I had been eating cereal at night for at least a month now or more. It hasn't seemed to adversely affect my weight or performance on the bike, but it's good to know better (and probably more filling) alternatives.
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Old 07-24-08, 11:19 PM   #13
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Great you found a protein (chicken) and carb (rice) you like, now mix them up.

Potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, and whole-wheat pastas are more nutritious carb sources than white rice or corn.

Rotate your proteins (lean beef, pork, finfish, shellfish, egg, etc) to take advantage of the diverse nutrient/amino-acid profiles.

Beans are great for everything (protein, carb, fibre, etc), peas and carrots are good too
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Old 07-25-08, 11:35 AM   #14
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Historically, cereals were promoted as healthy for moral reasons; like prevention of ************.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Harvey_Kellogg
FWIW, Graham crackers were developed with that in mind, too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_*******
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Diet
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Old 07-25-08, 01:43 PM   #15
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Okay; regardless of what it was originally "developed" for, Corn Flakes taste damn good!

So I started day 1 of "clean up your act, man" diet, and this is what I came up with:

Breakfast: three egg-white omelet with two slices of american cheese, four slices of white toast, no butter, and orange juice, distilled with 50% water.

Lunch: About a cup of rice and string beans, with a side of tuna mixed with french dressing

Snack: Coffee with whole milk (I have tried skim, and it tastes pretty bad...and no 2% or 1% options), and then a banana about an hour later.

Dinner: I'm going to try drinking a HAAGEN DAZS COOKIES AND CREAM ICE CREAM SUPER MILKSHAKE for dinner.

I'm just kidding! (Did I kill the purists yet?)

I might make my fruit protein-fortified smoothie for the earlier part of dinner, and then eat something very light for the later part, like corn or turkey. I always get hungry at night because of the times I've been coming home lately.

I am also using FitDay, as suggested by machka (Thank you!). It seems that (not including dinner), today's consumption is at 1476 calories, comprised of 23% fat (9% sat, 7% poly, 5% mono), 58% carbohydrates (0% fiber -- NOT GOOD), and 19% protein. I'm not sure if this is good, bad or very bad.

I should note that I hammer to and from work, which (according to FitDay, though this might be inaccurate) burned about 1120 calories one-way. I'm probably going to burn about the same (if not more) on my way back, but I think I might still be at a surplus of a few hundred calories (maybe 200 or so), if measured directly.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-25-08, 02:15 PM   #16
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If you want something light for dinner, why not a salad? The lettuce provides bulk to fill up your stomach, you can vary some veggies to get different flavors and all your veggies and if you through on a third (or so) of a can of chick peas (rinsed) you can get your proteins too. Just watch out for those dressings. Maybe a little EVOO and some nice balsamic vinegar, or some lemon juice or something. Sub in a small grilled chicken breast cut up for those chickpeas occasionally (or a hard boiled egg, or some tuna in water), and you've got a lot of things you can do there for those nights you come in all hot from your ride and don't feel like eating a hot dinner of salmon and brown rice.
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Old 07-26-08, 04:42 PM   #17
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Okay; regardless of what it was originally "developed" for, Corn Flakes taste damn good!

So I started day 1 of "clean up your act, man" diet, and this is what I came up with:

Breakfast: three egg-white omelet with two slices of american cheese, four slices of white toast, no butter, and orange juice, distilled with 50% water.

Lunch: About a cup of rice and string beans, with a side of tuna mixed with french dressing

Snack: Coffee with whole milk (I have tried skim, and it tastes pretty bad...and no 2% or 1% options), and then a banana about an hour later.

Dinner: I'm going to try drinking a HAAGEN DAZS COOKIES AND CREAM ICE CREAM SUPER MILKSHAKE for dinner.

I'm just kidding! (Did I kill the purists yet?)

I might make my fruit protein-fortified smoothie for the earlier part of dinner, and then eat something very light for the later part, like corn or turkey. I always get hungry at night because of the times I've been coming home lately.

I am also using FitDay, as suggested by machka (Thank you!). It seems that (not including dinner), today's consumption is at 1476 calories, comprised of 23% fat (9% sat, 7% poly, 5% mono), 58% carbohydrates (0% fiber -- NOT GOOD), and 19% protein. I'm not sure if this is good, bad or very bad.

I should note that I hammer to and from work, which (according to FitDay, though this might be inaccurate) burned about 1120 calories one-way. I'm probably going to burn about the same (if not more) on my way back, but I think I might still be at a surplus of a few hundred calories (maybe 200 or so), if measured directly.

Any thoughts?
58% carbs is pretty high, especially since the carbs you are eating are high-glycemic one (search for "glycemic index" for more info), though it's not unreasonable if you are exercising hard.

Don't worry about fat as long as you aren't eating a ton. I don't think there's anything wrong with whole-egg omelettes and having a bit of butter on your (*whole wheat*) toast. You are much more likely to stay with changes if they are gradual.

More veggies, more fruit.
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Old 07-27-08, 05:23 PM   #18
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UPDATE:

So I weighed myself on a more accurate scale, and it seems that I didn't know my weight as accurately as I thought I did. It turns out that I'm actually 155 lb instead of 160 lb. This means that either I gained no weight during vacation, or whatever weight I gained I lost pretty fast. My BFP is at a solid 10%.

Anyway:

Since it's the weekend, it was guaranteed that I would mess up a bit. Went to a party on Saturday, and I ate two slices of battered chicken breast, along with some sausage and onions. Everything else before that was pretty solid: egg white omelet with one slice of cheese and turkey for breakfast, and Strawberry Wild Jamba Juice for lunch (with one of those Omega-3 oatmeal cookie things along with it).

Today, I had three slices of Grimaldi's pizza (finest pizza in the city, guaranteed). Again, everything else before that was solid.

I'm tracking everything through FitDay, and it seems that so far I have been eating a little bit over my Basal Metabolic Rate (at 1800 cal). According to the software, it recommends that I eat about 2700 calories a day (I picked the "Seated work, some movement" lifestyle, since that pretty much describes my job).

I think I'm set to maintain my weight :-)
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Old 07-27-08, 08:38 PM   #19
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UPDATE:

So I weighed myself on a more accurate scale, and it seems that I didn't know my weight as accurately as I thought I did. It turns out that I'm actually 155 lb instead of 160 lb. This means that either I gained no weight during vacation, or whatever weight I gained I lost pretty fast. My BFP is at a solid 10%.

Anyway:

Since it's the weekend, it was guaranteed that I would mess up a bit. Went to a party on Saturday, and I ate two slices of battered chicken breast, along with some sausage and onions. Everything else before that was pretty solid: egg white omelet with one slice of cheese and turkey for breakfast, and Strawberry Wild Jamba Juice for lunch (with one of those Omega-3 oatmeal cookie things along with it).

Today, I had three slices of Grimaldi's pizza (finest pizza in the city, guaranteed). Again, everything else before that was solid.

I'm tracking everything through FitDay, and it seems that so far I have been eating a little bit over my Basal Metabolic Rate (at 1800 cal). According to the software, it recommends that I eat about 2700 calories a day (I picked the "Seated work, some movement" lifestyle, since that pretty much describes my job).

I think I'm set to maintain my weight :-)
Sounds like a good plan. Don't forget to log sleep as an activity, as it'll subtract some from your daily caloric requirements.
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Old 07-27-08, 08:52 PM   #20
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mediterranean diet... the best...
fish, fruits, veggies, nuts, olives...olive oil... some cheese and good bread....

and of course some wine once in a while to lower cholesterol!!!!
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Old 07-28-08, 08:28 AM   #21
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Here's another question:

What changes should I make to my diet given my age (20 years old)? From what I understand, our caloric intake requirements are much higher, and given my exercising pattern (on the bike, commuting hard, 2 to 4 days a week -- and now starting tor ace) I do not want to try something that might affect my performance or weight maintenance adversely.
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Old 07-28-08, 09:25 AM   #22
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Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/ma...pagewanted=all

I think I found this article through a previous BF post.
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Old 07-28-08, 09:50 AM   #23
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Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/ma...pagewanted=all

I think I found this article through a previous BF post.
Michael Pollan is awesome. More people should know where there food comes from and what it is made out of. "In Defense of Food" is great, but "Omnivore's Dilemma" is even better. "In Defense of Food" does give some great advice on how you can clean up your diet, though.
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Old 07-28-08, 12:20 PM   #24
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Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/ma...pagewanted=all

I think I found this article through a previous BF post.
Umm...I race, so I don't think that will work :-)

Today's "Clean up your act, man" Report:

BREAKFAST: I didn't have anything in the fridge, so I kept it simple and ate a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios (i.e. THE EVIL) with a side of unbuttered white toast. No whole wheat yet, though it's in the works next time I do grocery shopping. Downed with 1/2 cup of OJ mixed with 1/2 water.

SNACK: Ate some slices of cantelope with a banana. I was pretty hungry.

LUNCH: I think this was the most balanced lunch I ever ate. Rice with tuna, mixed in with (some) french dressing, sided with broccoli and water. This was MAGICAL; for the first time I can remember, I didn't get the afternoon slump! Not so sure if this has anything to do with my lunch.

SNACK: 1/2 dark chocolate bar.

DINNER: I plan on making my strawberry banana super smoothie, though I'm unsure of what I'll eat on the side of that.

BTW: Someone suggested eating a slice or two of turkey to sate those evening hunger pangs. I tried that a few days ago, and it worked amazingly! I was more than satisfied after having one slice.
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Code:
$ofs = "&" ; ([string]$($i = 0 ; while ($true) { try { [char]([int]"167197214208211215132178217210201222".substring($i,3) - 100) ; $i =
 $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

Last edited by MrCrassic; 07-28-08 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 07-28-08, 02:18 PM   #25
yanos
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Originally Posted by MrCrassic View Post
....and you'll see why; drank lots of virgin pina coladas and did a lot less riding), ....
There's your problem
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