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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 09-14-08, 06:43 PM   #1
Fazhu
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energy gel, sugar, insulin, and weight loss.

Hello all. I have a question and wanted to get your opinion. I have been cycling to lose weight for about 5 months now. I have lost about 26 lbs! But a very funny thing happened. I got addicted to cycling! So now I ride all the time and a question has come up. I try to ride on an empty stomach in order to burn fat and not what I have ingested. I think this is pretty sound on short rides but what about longer (2+ hrs) rides? I definitely don't want to bonk so I have been thinking about using energy gels on longer rides. What affect if any will this have on my weight loss goals? My guess is not much as energy gels are only 100 calories but I guess I am wondering about glycemic index and insulin preventing the burning of fat and such. Am I worrying too much? Thanks for your advice.
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Old 09-14-08, 06:55 PM   #2
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I try to ride on an empty stomach in order to burn fat and not what I have ingested.
That's not necessary. If you use more calories than you consume, you'll use fat to make up the difference. Anyway, when you're exercising you're using glycogen stores from the liver. If you do it your way, you'll use glycogen during exercise, replenish glycogen with fat, replenish fat with food energy consumed. It's a zero sum game - as long as calories out > calories in, you'll lose weight equal to the difference.
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Old 09-14-08, 10:00 PM   #3
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Thanks, I thought as much.
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Old 09-15-08, 01:42 PM   #4
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Congrats on the weight loss and new addiction!

I would agree that you don't need to cycle on an empty stomach...in fact, I would recommend having something healthy to eat before you head out on longer rides. Personally, I like a nice bowl of oatmeal and/or fruit.

I think cycling longer distances on an empty stomach will make you more likely to overeat afterward to compensate.

Best of luck, have fun.
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Old 09-15-08, 09:45 PM   #5
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Foods with a high glycemic index are problematic, because the carbohydrates aren't needed, so the body releases the insulin to store them, blood sugar drops, and you get hungry again.

But it's very different when you are exercising. The carbs don't spike your blood sugar because they are conveyed directly to the muscles.

So, you want a small amount of carbs while you exercise on longer rides (say, longer than 90 minutes) - start at around 250 cal/hour. That will keep your blood sugar level, you will get better performance, and you won't be as hungry afterwards.
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Old 09-17-08, 12:02 PM   #6
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Thanks so much for the replies.
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Old 09-18-08, 11:59 AM   #7
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I think you are on the right track! I like Clif builders bars - 20 G protein and low glycemic also I will sometimes put a little whey protein in with a little cytomax and have a few almonds...this lessens the glycemic impact while helping me maintain.
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Old 09-18-08, 03:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Fazhu View Post
Hello all. I have a question and wanted to get your opinion. I have been cycling to lose weight for about 5 months now. I have lost about 26 lbs! But a very funny thing happened. I got addicted to cycling! So now I ride all the time and a question has come up. I try to ride on an empty stomach in order to burn fat and not what I have ingested. I think this is pretty sound on short rides but what about longer (2+ hrs) rides? I definitely don't want to bonk so I have been thinking about using energy gels on longer rides. What affect if any will this have on my weight loss goals? My guess is not much as energy gels are only 100 calories but I guess I am wondering about glycemic index and insulin preventing the burning of fat and such. Am I worrying too much? Thanks for your advice.
Its not a bad idea to push yourself once and a while to a bonk just to see where it is. Try a little bit of everything and eventually you will have a good idea of how your body reacts in any situation...

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I think you are on the right track! I like Clif builders bars - 20 G protein and low glycemic also I will sometimes put a little whey protein in with a little cytomax and have a few almonds...this lessens the glycemic impact while helping me maintain.
I wouldn't recommend having that much protein while exercising. Digestion of protein takes blood flow away from your legs to power your stomach.
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Old 09-19-08, 10:55 AM   #9
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Its not a bad idea to push yourself once and a while to a bonk just to see where it is. Try a little bit of everything and eventually you will have a good idea of how your body reacts in any situation...



I wouldn't recommend having that much protein while exercising. Digestion of protein takes blood flow away from your legs to power your stomach.

if you are not diabetic it is safe to push to Bonkage.

You know if you bonk. it isn't tired. it isn't feeling wiped. It is a cold place on a hot day, everything looks gray, and you are going 5mph and don't want anyone to see you (and you've already been out at least 3 hours hammering) the could be a bonk.

the more you meet the bonk, the further away it gets.
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Old 09-19-08, 10:20 PM   #10
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It is a cold place on a hot day, everything looks gray, and you are going 5mph and don't want anyone to see you (and you've already been out at least 3 hours hammering) the could be a bonk.
Great description. The only part you missed out is the mental disorientation where it takes you 45 minutes to figure out that maybe you need to find someplace to eat something.
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Old 09-20-08, 11:17 AM   #11
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Great description. The only part you missed out is the mental disorientation where it takes you 45 minutes to figure out that maybe you need to find someplace to eat something.
Or you get lost and end up riding around in circles.
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