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  1. #1
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    Help with balancing calories

    Right now I am about 7 lbs over what I'd like to be when racing season comes along, which is fine, but I am having a hard time figuring out how many calories I am supposed to be eating to maintain or maybe lose a little weight without losing performance.

    I've done the ride for 3 hours and eat nothing thing, and I just can't do it, I end up extremely tired and basically unable to perform at all while losing tons of muscle and not fat.


    Today I did a 75 mile hilly ride in 3h55min, which from the online estimates I've used comes out to around 4000 calories. I also do around 150 sit ups a day.

    Does this value get added to my daily of around 2400 meaning I can eat 6400c and be ok? If not how do the calories burnt cycling get added onto my daily cal intake?

    Fwiw here is my typical intake on a day like today with a pretty long fast ride(and I seem to be gaining a tiny bit of weight?)

    Breakfast: Grape Nuts w/ 2% milk : +-400cal
    Ride: +-200 cal/hour. = 800cal
    Immediately Post ride: Nonfat yogurt with berries and a banana: +-500 cal
    Lunch 1 hour after ride: Something around 800-1000cal
    Snack 2 hours after lucn: 200cal
    Dinner 2 hours after snack: 800
    Sleep

    Adding these liberal amounts up this brings my day total to 3700 which I can't imagine making me gain weight, but I seem to be, or maybe I am just going crazy? I also adjust the amounts for how much I ride.

    Im 21 and 6'0 and weigh 170 currently if that matters.

  2. #2
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    You definitely should see a nutritionist. They should be able to look at what you're doing and recommend a good, solid eating plan so that you can get your weight down.

    I definitely am going to see a nutritionist, and I've already made some food changes after I couldn't figure out what the heck I was doing wrong. It will definitely help to identify where you may be going wrong, and they can determine what you should be eating to get back on track.

    Koffee

  3. #3
    Senior Member trirmk's Avatar
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    try downloading a program like "Performance Diet" or looking into the ADA's Healthy Eating Index. You can find some estimates on the internet, but if you really want to know exactly what's going on, see a sports nutritionist/RD.

  4. #4
    Designated Drinker Wulfheir's Avatar
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    It looks like you ran a caloric deficit of 2700 calories. If you sustained that for a week you'd lose approx. 5.4 lbs. From everything I've read, that's an unhealthy amount to be losing in a week, especially for someone who doesn't want to lose muscle mass. Aim at running a caloric deficit of 500-1000 calories. This should allow you to lose the majority of your weight by shedding fat, not muscle.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member trirmk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wulfheir
    It looks like you ran a caloric deficit of 2700 calories. If you sustained that for a week you'd lose approx. 5.4 lbs. From everything I've read, that's an unhealthy amount to be losing in a week, especially for someone who doesn't want to lose muscle mass. Aim at running a caloric deficit of 500-1000 calories. This should allow you to lose the majority of your weight by shedding fat, not muscle.
    Also, it depends on when his racing season starts. For the loss of that weight, and if the racing season doesn't start for a few months, the weight loss can be an even less-aggressive approach. The current recommendation for weight loss is approximately 1/2 to 1 pound per week, but doing this with caloric restriction may be a bit much for trained athletes just because we need to eat more calories than sedentary individuals. I know that if i restrict calories I feel like crap. Just increasing the other side of the caloric equation then would help - expend more calories in your training. For example, if you're taking in 3,000 calories per day and you're expending a total of 3,250 calories per day, then you can expect to loose approximately 1/2lb per week. But how you do it is up to you. You can take the 250 calories from the intake side of the equation, or you can stay on the bike another 20-30 minutes or so (depending on intensity) each day to increase the expenditure side of the equation.

  6. #6
    Designated Drinker Wulfheir's Avatar
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    trirmk,
    thanks for elaborating. i agree expending more calories by training sounds like a better solution for weight loss than reducing intake, considering he's training for a race.
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  7. #7
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    I know that the plan I posted seems like I should lose weight quickly (and unhealthily) but when I eat the amount of calories that is suggested from various online counters, etc. I end up gaining weight. Like I said, Im not really that far away from where I want to be, but I want to have everything figured out as I am planning on racing alot next season.

    I posted 2 days ago, and yesterday I did a hard 50 mile ride, did some lower body lifts, and ran a few miles, also with what showed about a 1000caloire deficit, so between yesterday and the day before I should have been TOTALLY pooped out....... Today I did a very leasuirely 80 mile ride that averaged 18.1 mph on my computer with absolutely no problems. Also, my legs were sore from lifting (instead of just feeling worn out) so that's another thing that I can't figure out.

    I know I am pretty close on my calorie intake because I measure everything.

    Is it possible that my body is somehow super ultra efficient processing calories?
    Last edited by surfncycling; 11-03-04 at 03:56 PM.

  8. #8
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    Can I ask how you figured out how many calories you are burning? I think that's the key to figuring out what's going on with you.

    Koffee

  9. #9
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    I've been using the caloriesperhour.com site.

  10. #10
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    It's an interesting site.

    However, it is flawed, and that may be a reason why you can't quite get your exercise in synch with your eating.

    First, the calorie counter does not take into account what percentage of your weight is fat vs. muscle. As you know, muscle weighs more than fat. So, should you have an excess amount of muscle (more than the standard they use to determine what 1 calorie burned for your weight, height, and age "group", which is a group of individuals who do little to maintain their weight), it could throw you off quite a bit. In fact, muscle burns more calories than if you were the same weight with a higher fat content. So you could be the same weight, height, and age as some guy with a much higher fat content, you are sure to burn more calories than him. Do you actually think the guy who's at 25% bodyfat will burn the same amount of calories as the guy who lifts weights regularly, has a higher muscle content, and is 17% bodyfat? It's not possible. Muscle weighs more than fat. Muscle also requires more energy, so it will use your fat reserves for energy, but you will also be required to eat a certain amount of calories to keep your metabolism high enough to maintain the muscle. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you will be able to do yourself the biggest favor you could possibly do for yourself by STOPPING the complete insanity of the exercise and near starvation so you can see the real benefits of exercise and eating sensibly.

    When I was in my vegetarian years, I also was big time into weightlifting. I read Muscles and Fitness, weight lifted like a maniac, cycled a ton, and continued to eat like a freakin' rabbit. I was tired and listless, and I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get past the wall I'd reached with getting my weight (fat) down. Finally, I spoke to a nutritionist, who pointed out that I wasn't eating ENOUGH for the amount of physical activity I was doing. She said I would either need to cut back on the exercise because I wasn't eating enough to maintain my physical activities, or I would need to up my food intake. I immediately added a good dose of complex carbs, upped my veggies and fruits, and threw in a protein shake. Within the first month, I'd dropped pounds and bodyfat, and I couldn't believe how little it took to kick start my metabolism and to shave off the extra bodyfat I almost killed myself to lose.

    When I look at the amount of exercise you do, my first thought is that I don't think you're eating enough for the amount of exercise you do. When I suggested you see a nutritionist or dietian, I wasn't being flippant- I was being completely serious. ONE session with a nutritionist, and they can help get you on an optimal eating plan that will get you the results you need.

    The other thing you can do is go for a heart rate test- check for lactate threshold and V02 max. And when you go for these tests, they can strap an oxygen mask on you that is attached to a machine that measures the amount of oxygen you intake while exercising. It can determine at what heart rate you're burning calories from fat and what heart rate you're burning calories from carbs. From that, they can tell you EXACTLY what heart rate you would need to work out at if you wanted to lose weight. If you could spend 3 days a week training at that heart rate, then an additional 2 days per week training however you want, eat sensibly, and continue to do your weightlifting, there's very little doubt in my mind that you can sensibly and reasonably achieve your goals. It will take a little investment- one session with a nutritionist, at the very least, is MANDITORY, and if you want to go high tech and take out the guesswork with your cardio, then the heart rate test is necessary. The heart rate test is definitely not cheap, but you can shop around and see who's offering it cheaply. Check your local gyms, and check the local universities. Also, if you could call a university that has an exercise physiology or kinisiology department and see if they need volunteers for studies, they will do these heart rate tests for you for FREE, and in some cases, you get paid, and you get a free medical exam by a doctor in other cases while they're at it. It wouldn't hurt to check into that aveue also.

    I think you are very motivated, which is why I'm giving a more detailed response as to what you can do to truly determine what you would need to eat and do for exercise to achieve your goals. If you start now, you will be more than good to go by April. You could be ready to go by early January to early February cardio-wise.

    Koffee

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the post, I really appreciate the time. Im looking up nutritionists in the phonebook right after I post.

  12. #12
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    Cool. Check around the phone books, but also check around the fitness clubs in your area. And if there's a university in your area, check there too. Do some price comparison checks- there are a lot of good ones that are definitely affordable. You only need one appointment for now, then as your training changes, you can go back and tweak your eating plans.

    Keep us updated once you've gotten in to see a nutritionist or dietitian!

    Koffee

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