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  1. #1
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
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    Currently, I'm 5'8 and a very thin 130 lbs (the most I've ever weighed). I'd actually like to gain another 10 lbs and I'm hoping that getting back into cycling will help that along. When I was about 19 or so (I'm 25 now) I gained about 7-8 lbs riding about 200 miles a week. Anyone have any suggestions for diet/nutrition to help me along with gaining 10 lbs in the next few months? As it stands, I've gained 15 or so lbs just by walking 15-20 miles a week and eating more often. My diet just plain sucks, so I'm trying to eat a little better, gain weight, and just be in better shape overall. Any suggestions?

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    I think you might have to lift somw weights to gain weight. I found that I when I started riding, I gained a few pounds, and now have lost it, as the muscles I used before have sort of melted away. I'm about the same weight as I was when I started, only now, I look a lot different. (thicker legs, less shoulders, more biceps and back, less chest)

  3. #3
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    I gained about 5 pounds or so this summer from cycling. It was mostly muscle in the legs. So I guess my answer is yes!

  4. #4
    Eschew Obfuscation! enduro's Avatar
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    I'm 6'1" and 135 pounds, and have been trying to gain weight for a while. I've recently started riding more often (mostly every day for at least an hour, and long rides on weekends, and I really push myself the whole time) and I'm actually gaining weight. I think that the increased exercise has stimulated my appetite to the point where I'm eating a lot more than I'm burning. I've always been underweight, but I think I've finally found the trigger for my metabolism. I can't eat very much at one time, but I make a point to eat often and it works for me.

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    To gain weight from cycling (or any other aerobic activity), you're looking to gain muscle, and you'll only do that if you get more protein than your body uses to repair the muscles you have. Be extra sure you get enough protein (before and especially right after you ride).
    To know how much protein you need, multiply your weight by .4 - .6 for a healthy range if you're going to be biking. 52 - 78 grams is the minimum if you're 130lbs, so shoot for more than 78 to gain some muscle (an average chicken breast has 35-40grams of protein).
    If you make that your target, it should help your eating as well if you are trying to eat more. I've started having a protein shake for breakfast before I ride to work and it's helped me quite a bit, and I'm hungrier throughout the day also.

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    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
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    I've noticed that I am a LOT hungrier now that I've been riding again and that's only been a couple days' worth of riding. I had a huge meal at 4pm today and was hungry again at 7pm... I'm going to try to make a point to eat more often and thanks for the tip about the protein. I've also heard that legumes (beans, peanuts) are high in protein as well. Perhaps I should try snacking on fruit and nuts instead of chocolate and sweets.

  7. #7
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enduro
    I'm 6'1" and 135 pounds, and have been trying to gain weight for a while. I've recently started riding more often (mostly every day for at least an hour, and long rides on weekends, and I really push myself the whole time) and I'm actually gaining weight. I think that the increased exercise has stimulated my appetite to the point where I'm eating a lot more than I'm burning. I've always been underweight, but I think I've finally found the trigger for my metabolism. I can't eat very much at one time, but I make a point to eat often and it works for me.
    My experience is similar to that. I will also add that cycling has managed to add a rudimentary amount of muscle to my legs, which may also have increased my weight a little.
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    Drink Lots of BEEER!

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    i'm 5'8 and weigh 145lbs. I'm looking to lose some weight. I want to lose at least 15lbs.

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    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
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    Beer is disgusting... I'll pass on that one. I'm pretty cool with being 130 lbs, though 140 would be nice.

  11. #11
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cryogenic
    Currently, I'm 5'8 and a very thin 130 lbs (the most I've ever weighed). I'd actually like to gain another 10 lbs and I'm hoping that getting back into cycling will help that along. When I was about 19 or so (I'm 25 now) I gained about 7-8 lbs riding about 200 miles a week. Anyone have any suggestions for diet/nutrition to help me along with gaining 10 lbs in the next few months? As it stands, I've gained 15 or so lbs just by walking 15-20 miles a week and eating more often. My diet just plain sucks, so I'm trying to eat a little better, gain weight, and just be in better shape overall. Any suggestions?

    Kinda, I gained weight, but lost fat.

    For someone your size, go to the gym, and start eating lots of protein when you do. Protein are the building blocks for muscles. When I was in HS and weightlifting, I ate baked or grilled chicken as my protein source, since it's low fat, high protein, and can be seasoned or made up in so many ways that it's hard to tire of it as quickly as other foods.

    I'm the same age and height as you, just far heavier at 220. Working my way down to 170, but I have to take up other excersices now since it seems I got to a plateau cycling....trim fit legs, and a massive belly...but that's what going the gym is for

  12. #12
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cryogenic
    Currently, I'm 5'8 and a very thin 130 lbs (the most I've ever weighed). I'd actually like to gain another 10 lbs and I'm hoping that getting back into cycling will help that along. When I was about 19 or so (I'm 25 now) I gained about 7-8 lbs riding about 200 miles a week. Anyone have any suggestions for diet/nutrition to help me along with gaining 10 lbs in the next few months? As it stands, I've gained 15 or so lbs just by walking 15-20 miles a week and eating more often. My diet just plain sucks, so I'm trying to eat a little better, gain weight, and just be in better shape overall. Any suggestions?
    I think it would depend on what body type you inherited from your parents. Are you an Ectomorph, Mesomorph or Endomorph? Most people don't fall neatly into these categories, however. I'm an Endo-Mesomorph and gained 22 Lbs while lowering my % bodyfat in the past year while cycling 8 - 12 hours per week at around 75% MaxHR. So it is possible to gain weight and burn fat while cycling.

    From your description - 5'8" and 130 Lbs - I would classify you as an Ectomorph. Ectomorphs typically have a hard time gaining weight, especially with endurance activities. However, you seem to be able to do so. Don't be afraid to consume an extra 1,000 to 2,000 extra calories per day (something I can't do!) and go to the gym and lift. Concentrate on the larger muscle groups as building up one's biceps won't really pack on the weight.

  13. #13
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    You can't gain weight if you don't eat excess calories. Its not really related to cycling.

  14. #14
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius
    I think it would depend on what body type you inherited from your parents. Are you an Ectomorph, Mesomorph or Endomorph? Most people don't fall neatly into these categories, however. I'm an Endo-Mesomorph and gained 22 Lbs while lowering my % bodyfat in the past year while cycling 8 - 12 hours per week at around 75% MaxHR. So it is possible to gain weight and burn fat while cycling.

    From your description - 5'8" and 130 Lbs - I would classify you as an Ectomorph. Ectomorphs typically have a hard time gaining weight, especially with endurance activities. However, you seem to be able to do so. Don't be afraid to consume an extra 1,000 to 2,000 extra calories per day (something I can't do!) and go to the gym and lift. Concentrate on the larger muscle groups as building up one's biceps won't really pack on the weight.
    Yes, I would say I'm one of the few that fits squarely in the ectomorph category as I'm extremely slender and have a very small bone structure. I've always had a hard time gaining weight except when I exercise quite a bit. I think the reason for that is not just building muscle mass, but the simple fact that it stimulates my metabolism and I end up eating about twice as much as when I don't exercise or do anything physical. So far I've seen a few decent suggestions... eat more protein, more calories, and more carbs. Steak, chicken and fish are higher in protein from what I've been told, however they seem to have zip for carbs. Potatoes, bread and pasta are the only things that come to mind as being high carb foods. Any other suggestions? Unfortunately I'm an incredibly picky eater and there are a LOT of things I don't/won't eat and am not willing to try.

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    If your intake of calories is higher than calories expended, you will gain weight, regardless of any sporting activity.

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    Eat what you like and what you feel like - just listen to your body. Try to always have food with you in case you get the munchies (or even if you don't).
    I always have food bars with me in case I'm suddenly hungry. Trail mix is good too, you can hit the bulk foods section and only get the things you like, and you can munch on a bag all day (and not end up with a baggie of just peanuts that you don't want to eat).

    If you have trouble eating enough food (like me), there are small things you can do to improve the value of what you are eating, like switching to whole grain breads and pastas, or throwing some lentils in with rice when you cook it.

    Also, listen to your cravings for what your body needs. Right when I increased my commute from 2mi to 10mi each way I started craving butter. I didn't start eating a ton of butter or anything, I figured I was lacking fat and made sure I started to get more fat in my diet (by adding cheese and peanut butter to things and switching to different sauces/dressings).

  17. #17
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    If an ectomorph listens to his body, then ectomorph he will remain.

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    is chicago,
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    Point taken.
    Listen to your body for what you want to eat.

  19. #19
    Old dude on old bikes Seeker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cryogenic
    Beer is disgusting... I'll pass on that one. I'm pretty cool with being 130 lbs, though 140 would be nice.
    I used to feel that way, but then Uncle Sugar sent me to Germany where I discovered that AMERICAN beer is disgusting.

  20. #20
    Designated Drinker Wulfheir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed073
    If your intake of calories is higher than calories expended, you will gain weight, regardless of any sporting activity.
    The above line is the single most important fact in this thread.


    To calculate the calories you expend in a day at rest (ie. organ function), find a BMR (basal metabolic rate) calculator online. Then add the physical exercise you do in a day (again, find an online calculator).
    My BMR is roughly 1700 and i expend around 200-300 calories thru physical activity (1900-2000 total). By counting my food calories, I limit myself to 1400-1500 a day. Running a 500 calorie deficit daily results in a healthy 1lb loss a week.
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  22. #22
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cryogenic
    Yes, I would say I'm one of the few that fits squarely in the ectomorph category as I'm extremely slender and have a very small bone structure. I've always had a hard time gaining weight except when I exercise quite a bit. I think the reason for that is not just building muscle mass, but the simple fact that it stimulates my metabolism and I end up eating about twice as much as when I don't exercise or do anything physical. So far I've seen a few decent suggestions... eat more protein, more calories, and more carbs. Steak, chicken and fish are higher in protein from what I've been told, however they seem to have zip for carbs. Potatoes, bread and pasta are the only things that come to mind as being high carb foods. Any other suggestions? Unfortunately I'm an incredibly picky eater and there are a LOT of things I don't/won't eat and am not willing to try.
    I would suggest if you are going to load up on any type of food I would make it complex carbs. Over doing it on the protien will put a strain on your kidneys and too much fat can raise your cholesterol and triglyceride levels - yes, thin people do have these issues too. Carbo loading has it's downside also, however, as an ectomorph it is highly unlikely that you will become a type II diabetic from the increased insulin production resulting from the extra carbs.

    If you want to gain weight in the form of fat, then consume extra calories and sit on the couch all day. If you want to gain weight in the form of lean muscle tissue, then consume extra calories while performing a regular exercise program including resistance training.

    As you are gaining weight over time, be sure to check your blood pressure from time to time. Buking up and being buff aren't really as important as your vitals. Shoot for 115/75 as it is the new gold standard. Even at 120/80 (the old standard) people were still haveing issues related to hypertension. Not worth it IMHO.

  23. #23
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker
    I used to feel that way, but then Uncle Sugar sent me to Germany where I discovered that AMERICAN beer is disgusting.
    It's only macro-brew american beer. Go find some of the better small breweries like rogue, stone, sierra nevada, and some others, and you might find something you really like.

    It's just when you hit the point where they have to use superbowl commercials to convince you to drink their swill, that your going to find crappy beer.

  24. #24
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius
    I would suggest if you are going to load up on any type of food I would make it complex carbs. Over doing it on the protien will put a strain on your kidneys and too much fat can raise your cholesterol and triglyceride levels - yes, thin people do have these issues too. Carbo loading has it's downside also, however, as an ectomorph it is highly unlikely that you will become a type II diabetic from the increased insulin production resulting from the extra carbs.

    If you want to gain weight in the form of fat, then consume extra calories and sit on the couch all day. If you want to gain weight in the form of lean muscle tissue, then consume extra calories while performing a regular exercise program including resistance training.

    As you are gaining weight over time, be sure to check your blood pressure from time to time. Buking up and being buff aren't really as important as your vitals. Shoot for 115/75 as it is the new gold standard. Even at 120/80 (the old standard) people were still haveing issues related to hypertension. Not worth it IMHO.
    Perhaps I should do some more reading on the difference between complex carbs and simple carbs, but most of the info I find is pertaining to weight LOSS, not either gaining weight or maintaining a given weight and having a healthy diet. I understand that Americans are the most overweight population in the world and we're horribly obsessed with losing weight, but it makes it hard for those of us that aren't that interested in changing our weight, but just maintaining a healthy diet. So does anyone care to give me any good starting points for what Doctor Morbius said above?

  25. #25
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cryogenic
    . . . Americans are the most overweight population in the world and we're horribly obsessed with losing weight, but it makes it hard for those of us that aren't that interested in changing our weight, but just maintaining a healthy diet. So does anyone care to give me any good starting points for what Doctor Morbius said above?
    You started out this thread by stating that you wanted to gain an additional 10 Lbs. Now you aren't interested in changing your weight? What am I missing here?

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