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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 12-01-04, 06:14 PM   #1
cheebahmunkey
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I've Lost 60 pounds and want to Start Riding Regularly

Well I'm new to the forum and have some questions for experienced riders. I've been riding a stationary bike regularly since July and have lost about 60 pounds since then. Right now I ride about 21-40 miles a day on different elevation settings. I hope to start riding a real bike once the weather here (St. Louis) warms up sometime in Spring. I was wondering what I should eat before or during the ride.

Right now I'm trying to limit what I eat (in terms of fat) so as not to gain weight but it sounds like a lot of you eat things I see as high in fat and/or carbs. For example I saw that someone ate oreo's before riding. I thought no matter what oreo's were bad because they have trans fatty acids and loads of other things that would give Dick Cheney a heart attack if he merely looked at them. I of course hate my diet which allows me to pretty much not have anything sweet. I would love to hear that eating muffins or even cookies could be alright if I ride for 30-40 miles a day. Any advice will be much appreciated guys and thanks in advance.
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Old 12-01-04, 06:48 PM   #2
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Good God! If you are riding 30- 40 miles per day, I think that muffin is WELL earned.

Seriously, if you're wondering about what you can and can't eat, it might be a good idea to see a dietitian or nutritionist. They can look at your fitness schedule and put together an eating plan that will help you with your weight goals based on how many calories you burn and how many calories you need to sustain your daily activities.

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Old 12-01-04, 06:54 PM   #3
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Long-term secret is portion size, exercise and healthy food. Eating an Oreo won't hurt you. Eating 10 Oreos is not so great.

I eat Grandma's cookies on rides at times.

You can ride OK in 45F - some folks ride lower temps, but just about anybody can ride at 45F, especially if the sun is out. It is just a matter of proper clothing and attitude - believing you can do it. Does it get to 45F in St Louis in the winter months? Perhaps you could really ride now. I ride in every month in Denver, CO, and I am not a fanatic cold-weather rider in any way.

By the way, great job on losing 60 pounds! That is very impressive.
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Old 12-01-04, 06:58 PM   #4
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Congrats cheebahmunkey! That's outstanding. I think you'll find that once you get out on the road or trail, it'll be tough to go back to the trainer and then you'll find yourself on the Commuting, Winter, or even Racing forums.

I think you're smart to watch fats and sweets. In spite of all the Atkins propaganda of the last few years, IMHO the best nutritional advice is just what we've always known: get a good balance.

Personally, if I have a morning ride, I usually have a big bowl of oatmeal with fruit and honey. I'll take a banana and a clif bar if it's going to be longer than an hour. Works for me.
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Old 12-01-04, 08:35 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone! I just really got sick of looking in the mirror and seeing an overweight oaf so I decided to shed off the pounds. It's pretty cold here during the day. I think it may have reached 45 today, maybe. I think I wanna start in the warmer months simply b/c I'm not sure how my body will handle going from riding 20-40 miles inside to riding outside. Right now I usually either have some kind pf sandwich (turkey, tuna) or a powerbar befoe I ride. I like the original chocolate powerbar b/c of the low fat and low calorie. Do you guys think it would be ok to switch to say something with 5 grams of fat and maybe as much as 3 grams of saturated fat? I'm stil confused on which is the best energy bar to use before I ride. Also do you guys eat the bars as the meal before you ride or as a snack to keep yourself energized for the ride? Maybe I've been doing it wrong Thanks again everyone.
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Old 12-01-04, 08:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cheebahmunkey
Thanks everyone! I just really got sick of looking in the mirror and seeing an overweight oaf so I decided to shed off the pounds. It's pretty cold here during the day. I think it may have reached 45 today, maybe. I think I wanna start in the warmer months simply b/c I'm not sure how my body will handle going from riding 20-40 miles inside to riding outside. Right now I usually either have some kind pf sandwich (turkey, tuna) or a powerbar befoe I ride. I like the original chocolate powerbar b/c of the low fat and low calorie. Do you guys think it would be ok to switch to say something with 5 grams of fat and maybe as much as 3 grams of saturated fat? I'm stil confused on which is the best energy bar to use before I ride. Also do you guys eat the bars as the meal before you ride or as a snack to keep yourself energized for the ride? Maybe I've been doing it wrong Thanks again everyone.
What you eat depends on what works for you. For long rides, you should eat some complex carbohydrates the night before, and maybe something high in sugar (well simple carbohydrates anyways) right before the ride. I am speaking from a performance perspective, not a weight loss perspective. I usually eat a sandwich or up to a whole meal before my rides

Props to losing 60 pounds and keeping to your diet. Being fit is a life long journey and try to enjoy every moment.

Diet wise, you can treat yourself once in a while, especailly after a hard work out. I usually go for a small Macflurry after a hard ride, and I am not gaining any weight
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Old 12-01-04, 09:52 PM   #7
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But eating something like a powerbar or even a bagel before and in between riding should sustain me long enough to go the distance and still be a healthy alternative to things high in sugar or fat? I think if I ate something somewhat healthy and then went on a 20 or 30 mile ride I would lose a little weight in there since I'm by no means thin (which means I still have fat to burn). Once I get to my target weight I can start eating things that will help me go longer on the bike but are in turn not as heathly to eat as the things I would start out with. I have to admit before I went on this diet I was addicted to chocolate chip cookies. I hope I can have them again once in a while without feeling guilty

On a side note. Does anyone here have a strong preference on energy bars? Like I said before I like the original chocolate powerbars but they don't quite fill me up. I saw that a lot of people like Clif bars and was wondering if anyone knows if there is much difference between them and the powerbars. Thanks again.
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Old 12-01-04, 09:53 PM   #8
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Congratulations on your hard work paying off - and riding outside in the Spring will be a lot more fun than a trainer.

In the Spring, I enjoy going for early morning rides around 6 a.m., and then coming home for a big bowl of oatmeal with raisins or fruit. Eating just before a ride does not work well for me. Avoiding fried food and "snack" food helped me lose weight. I am too lazy to wash, cut, trim veggies and make a salad. So I try to go to salad bars several times a week and load up on healthy green stuff.

I do love Burger King burgers. But, I buy just one small burger, and add just mustard and pickles. My theory is that riding a bike "earns" you the right to a few dietary sins.
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Old 12-01-04, 10:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Congratulations on your hard work paying off - and riding outside in the Spring will be a lot more fun than a trainer.

In the Spring, I enjoy going for early morning rides around 6 a.m., and then coming home for a big bowl of oatmeal with raisins or fruit. Eating just before a ride does not work well for me. Avoiding fried food and "snack" food helped me lose weight. I am too lazy to wash, cut, trim veggies and make a salad. So I try to go to salad bars several times a week and load up on healthy green stuff.

I do love Burger King burgers. But, I buy just one small burger, and add just mustard and pickles. My theory is that riding a bike "earns" you the right to a few dietary sins.
thank you. lol, I love burger king burgers. I may even have one when I finally get to my target weight But it's good to know that different formulas work for different people. I'll see how it goes with the carbs before the ride. If that doesn't work I may try something like a salad. I just wanted to come here and get everyone's opinion on what to do before and during long bike rides. How do you guys work around having jobs? I plan to get a job this summer (I'm in school right now) partly b/c being active all day is also a good weight loss technique and partly because I'll need the money. How often do you go on long bike rides?
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Old 12-01-04, 10:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheebahmunkey
But eating something like a powerbar or even a bagel before and in between riding should sustain me long enough to go the distance and still be a healthy alternative to things high in sugar or fat? I think if I ate something somewhat healthy and then went on a 20 or 30 mile ride I would lose a little weight in there since I'm by no means thin (which means I still have fat to burn). Once I get to my target weight I can start eating things that will help me go longer on the bike but are in turn not as heathly to eat as the things I would start out with. I have to admit before I went on this diet I was addicted to chocolate chip cookies. I hope I can have them again once in a while without feeling guilty
The main problem with most people that have lost a LOT Of weight is that they constrain themselves too much to what they can and can not eat. They usually end up gaining back most of the weight after their diet because they punished themselves too servely during the diet and did not make the transition into the healthy lifestyle.

It is very important to treat yourself once in a while (once every week or two weeks). You sound like you're very deteremined to loose weight, that why you have so much to show for. Keep it up

I'm was exactly like you before. I used to eat an etire bag of chips, or eat an entire bag of chocolate chip cookies. Lack of exercise and bad diet led to a very fatty me. I guess I could say I put on my first year 15.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cheebahmunkey
On a side note. Does anyone here have a strong preference on energy bars? Like I said before I like the original chocolate powerbars but they don't quite fill me up. I saw that a lot of people like Clif bars and was wondering if anyone knows if there is much difference between them and the powerbars. Thanks again.
I can't really tell you because I don't believe in energy bars. I believe food should be as natural as possible. Process food usually have some sort of side effects.

If you really want to eat some healthy before you go out. What about have some fruit like cantaloupe? Also I would usually bring a litlte bit of food with me on my long rides; small things like a few cookies, and a few pieces of fruit.

Eating natural fiber is much better than eating energy bars in my opinion. I guess I am just very skeptical of energy bars because you never really know what they are made of.


[QUOTE=cheebahmunkey]
thank you. lol, I love burger king burgers. I may even have one when I finally get to my target weight But it's good to know that different formulas work for different people. I'll see how it goes with the carbs before the ride. If that doesn't work I may try something like a salad. I just wanted to come here and get everyone's opinion on what to do before and during long bike rides.

Again, burgers aren't that bad by themselves. Espeically ones made from good grade beef. Just ask for no sauce when you order burgers. The same goes with salads. Salads can be just as bad as a burger with too much dressing (esp cream dressing!!). Try to use one tea spoon, or no dressing at all on your salads.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cheebahmunkey
How do you guys work around having jobs? I plan to get a job this summer (I'm in school right now) partly b/c being active all day is also a good weight loss technique and partly because I'll need the money. How often do you go on long bike rides?
I can't stay on a trainer for very long because I find doing cardio inside is just so boring. Once you start riding outside, you just dont want to stop most of the time. I can go on a 4 hour rides and still want to go for more. Usually, I dont have that kind of time because I am in 4th year Engineering.


A few more tips on weight loss:

It sounds like you have done quite a bit of research on this topic, and have already made some good progress. However, it sounds like you're constraining yourself from what you can eat and what you cannot eat.

Something bad once in a while will not hinder your weight loss progress. So if you have one or two cholocate chip cookies per day, it will not hurt you very much. In fact, it will satisfy your urge, and will help you to ease into a more healthy life style. I usually have cravings for ice cream after my work outs, and I do give into them because you should reward yourself.

I would recommand you giving up drinking pop juice. Eat fresh fruits instead. You will get natural fiber and fresh nutrition. Some fruit juices only contain 10% real juice! One large or extra large coke from a fast food joint usually contains 700 calories!!

Also, the final weight is important, however should also be taken into consideration with your body fat percentage. Before I started my weight loss program, I weighed about 200 pounds, and now I'm down to 190 pounds. The 10 pounds may not seem much, but my body fat percentage dropped from 22-24% down to 12-13%. YOu can visually see a great deal of difference.

I also recommand you start lifting sometime as well because a session of weight lifting may not burn many calories during, but it will speed up your metabolism for serveral days after. Thus, burn more fat overall.

Good Luck with your goals and feel free to ask any questions you may have. I have attached two pictures of myself. One before my weight loss and one that I took tonight. Keep in mind my gut is always the biggest at the end of the night after a full meal

Cheers

Ming

Before


After

Last edited by sparks_219; 12-01-04 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 12-01-04, 10:56 PM   #11
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The main problem with most people that have lost a LOT Of weight is that they constrain themselves too much to what they can and can not eat. It is very important to treat yourself once in a while (once every week or two weeks). You sound like you're very deteremined to loose weight, that why you have so much to show for. Keep it up

I'm was exactly like you before. I used to eat an etire bag of chips, or eat an entire bag of chocolate chip cookies. Lack of exercise and bad diet led to a very fatty me. I guess I could say I put on my first year 15 pounds.




I can't really tell you because I don't believe in energy bars. I believe food should be as natural as possible. Process food usually have some sort of side effects.

If you really want to eat some healthy before you go out. What about have some fruit like cantaloupe? Also I would usually bring a litlte bit of food with me on my long rides, like a few cookies, and a few pieces of fruit. Eating natural fiber is much better than eating energy bars in my opinion. I guess I am just very skeptical over energy bars because you never really know what they are made of.




I can't stay on a trainer for very long because I find doing cardio inside is just so boring. Once you start riding outside, you just dont want to stop most of the time. I can go on a 4 hour rides and still want to go for more. Usually, I dont have that kind of time because I am in 4th year Engineering.


A few more tips on weight loss:

It sounds like you have done quite a bit of research on this topic, and have already made some good progress. However, it sounds like you're constraining yourself from what you can eat and what you cannot eat.

Something bad once in a while will not hinder your weight loss progress. So if you have one or two cholocate chip cookies per day, it will not hurt you very much.

I would recommand you giving up drinking all pop and most juice. Eat fresh fruits instead. You will get natural fiber and more fresh nutriion. Some fruit juices only contain 10% real juice! One large or extra large coke from a fast food joint usually contains 700 calories!!

Also, the final weight is important, however should also be taken into consideration with your body fat percentage. Before I started my weight loss program, I weighed about 200 pounds, and now I'm down to 190 pounds. The 10 pounds may not seem much, but my body fat percentage dropped from 22-24% down to 12-13%. YOu can visually see a great deal of difference.

I also recommand you start lifting sometime because a session of weight lifting may not burn many calories during, but it will speed up your metabolism for serveral days after. Thus, burn more fat overall.

Good Luck with your goals and feel free to ask any questions you may have. I have attached two pictures of myself. One before my weight loss and one that I took tonight. Keep in mind my gut is always the biggest at the end of the night after a full meal

Cheers

Ming

Before
[img]http://ming.hostopia.com/temp/ming_before.jpg[/b]

After
[img]http://ming.hostopia.com/temp/ming_after.jpg[/b]
wow, thank you very much. So much good info I don't drink regular soda at all. I learned my lesson a few years ago I still drink mostly diet soda instead of water or juice though and I know there is no nutrition and more sodium but I'm not sure how big a difference it makes. I do lift weights every day. Usually light but sometimes I'll do heavy (maybe 100 push-ups, 120 bench presses, and so on) so my body is coming along nicely. I agree with you on the powerbar. I have always been skeptical of them but they have grown on me. I like the whole grain powerbars and the original chocolate. The other ones that have been dipped in chocolate I stay away from. Right now I'm using a scale that is about 25 years old and I'm not even sure if it works. I was looking at a scale mentioned in another thread that calculated body fat. Anyone know how it does that?
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Old 12-01-04, 11:17 PM   #12
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I was looking at a scale mentioned in another thread that calculated body fat. Anyone know how it does that?
Runs electricity through your body. Fat has different resistance than muscle. The bathroom scales can be +/- 5%. However, any progress you make will be reflected accurately by the bathroom scale.

For example,

say you started off at 20% body fat and the scale tells you you're at 17%. After losing 2% body fat, you really are at 18%, but the scale will tell you 15%. Nonetheless, you still know you lost 2% body fat...

Ming
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Old 12-01-04, 11:20 PM   #13
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I see. Thanks. So you think it would be a good idea to get one of these?

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Old 12-01-04, 11:30 PM   #14
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I do lift weights every day. Usually light but sometimes I'll do heavy (maybe 100 push-ups, 120 bench presses, and so on) so my body is coming along nicely.
Good you are working out.

You have a bit of a misconception about "heavy" lifting.

An example of heavy lifting for me would be 3 bench press sets of 6-8 repetitions at 175 pounds, and lifting to exhaustion. "Heavy" lifting is low reps and maximum weight.

It really does little good strength-wise to do 120 bench presses, except it will burn calories. This means that you are not lifting enough weight to gain qhatever strength you might desire. After your lifting session your muscles should feel pretty exhausted.

You should be strengthening (if strengthening is your goal)

Chest
Shoulders
Back
Biceps
Triceps
Abs
Quads
Calves
Hams
Hip adductors and abductors

and doing some "core" muscle exercises as well.

Generally, folks do upper body at one session and lower body at another. For example,

Monday = UB
Wednesday - LB
Fri - UB

etc.

Heavy weight lifting actually tears your muscle fibers, and they repair themselves and get stronger and larger while you are resting, so resting your muscles between sessions is extremely important, as that is when the muscles get stronger. You should not be doing bench presses every day.

Anyway, you probably know all of this already! Good luck, and keep losing that weight!
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Old 12-01-04, 11:40 PM   #15
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you're right. I meant my concept of heaving lifting. I do it to gradually tone my body. I take it somewhat easy b/c I usually do no less than 20 miles a day on my bike. I sort of took a break today and only did 7 but I walked about 5 and did weights for a solid hour. But you're definitely right about "feeling" the muscle growth. I know I've done well with the weights when my muscles hurt the next morning.
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Old 12-02-04, 10:46 AM   #16
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Cheebahmunkey: I have a Tanita BF scale and it's a useful tool but only if you account for its limitations. Electrical resistance is a fairly crude way of measuring body fat because it's easily affected by hydration. If you use it the same time every day, for example, the first thing in the morning, you'll get more consistent readings. Still, I don't use rely on it for the number it shows so much as for tracking trends over the weeks.

If you really want to know your body fat accurately, you should try the immersion testing. My gym has a deal where they'll do a whole fitness profile including BF testing for about $25. I try to do it every January to establish a base and help me set out some goals.

As for energy bars, I agree with you that you probably don't know exactly what you're eating and you're probably better off eating real food. I think I read somewhere that traditionally Euro riders eat sandwiches with meats and cheeses and jam. But the energy bars are definitely convenient and they don't squish and stain your jersey pockets. I've had good luck with Clif Bars, especially the chocolate almond and the chocolate with orange and mint frosting.

And to agree with what Sparks said: allow yourself an occasional treat. If you like chocolate (as I do), a piece of dark, dark chocolate is a lot more satisfying and lower in fat than a bunch of cookies. But YMMV, of course.
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Old 12-02-04, 04:30 PM   #17
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Good job on the weight loss, I hope to be there soon, riding quite a bit also...
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