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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 04-18-12, 02:06 PM   #1
bhayes505
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Help w/ eating habits

Ok, a little bit about myself. When I started riding 2 years ago I was weighing 222 lbs and had been smoking for 22 years. I'm now a 42 yo ex-smoker, weighing around 195 lbs and 6' 0" tall. During the summer I drop in high 180's and ride around 200 miles a week and during winter months I ride around 125 miles a week.

My next goal is to start eating healthier and loosing some more weight. The only problem w/ this is I don't have a clue on how to do this. I'll admit, I've never been a healthy eater and don't know where to start. Also I don't know how to manage what I'm eating and still have enough fuel for my rides. I've worked my way up and riding w/ the A group and don't want to take a step backwards because of not eating correctly. Any suggestions or if anyone could point me to some reading material on this subject I would apprectiate it.

Last edited by bhayes505; 04-18-12 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 04-18-12, 02:28 PM   #2
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You don't seem to have been doing too badly so far. But if you want some advice from across the pond, you could do worse than start here.

Counting calories is the most effective way. If you don't want to do that, you can go a long way by basing your diet on Michael Pollan's advice - "Eat. Not too much, mainly plants." if your diet consists mostly of fruit and vegetables, with moderate amounts of lean meat and fish, you'll be doing OK. Avoid heavily processed foods, sugary drinks, booze.

But like I said, counting calories is the way to be sure. You'll be appalled at how many there are in a pizza.
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Old 04-18-12, 02:35 PM   #3
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Thanks chasm...I just downloaded the My Fitness Pal app and it seems to be a pretty good calorie counter so I might give it a shot. I just wanted to make sure I was going about this in the right way. Thanks again for the info.
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Old 04-18-12, 05:35 PM   #4
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I've been cooking all of my life, so know a little about food and nutrition; I am also one of those people that everybody hates because I seem to metabolize just about everything I eat.

You seem to be headed in the right direction by counting calories, but just be aware that some calories are better than others, just as some fats and cholesterols are beneficial for an active person.

In general, cut way back on red meat, if you are eating a lot. Salmon (whole muscle, not that canned crap), lean skinless chicken breasts, almonds, spinach, broccoli, brown rice, and Greek yogurt are all wonderful sources of lean protein. Dark green lettuces such as Romaine and the aforementioned spinach with an olive-oil based vinagrette or other fat-free dressing are great roughage and filler.

The classic American portions are way out of whack; you should be eating more vegetables and fruits - the fresher, the better - than the protein/main dish.

Avoid processed anything; lunchmeats, canned vegetables, frozen dinners are all way too heavy on sodium and fat.

Your mileage indicates you are in pretty good shape, so you will still need to refuel, and your body is becoming more efficient at it as you progress.

Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress. Oh, and congratulations on having quit smoking!

Last edited by travelerman; 04-19-12 at 05:37 PM. Reason: Too preachy
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Old 04-19-12, 05:19 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the great information travelerman! One question, what kind of lunchmeat do you recommend? Right now I eat either a turkey or ham sandwich for lunch but it's the pre-packaged meat. Is the lunchmeat that is sliced in the deli better?
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Old 04-19-12, 05:36 PM   #6
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Deli sliced lunchmeat will likely be loaded with a lot of the same preservatives as the packaged stuff you buy in the grocery store, but not always in as high a quantity, since the loaves that are sliced in the deli do not require as many preservatives. There are a plethora of different products on the market, and it just depends on what the deli case stocks.

Here is an example of the dizzying array of choices: http://caloriecount.about.com/tag/food/lunchmeat

There doesn't seem to be much difference between the fat and sodium content of the turkey and ham; overall, if you make sandwiches with any of the sliced lunchmeats, I would go with the thin-sliced, and use lots of lettuce... If you are using mayo, go with low-fat options; yellow mustard is even better, most brands containing zero fat and cholesterol (Compared to mayo, which is basically oil and eggs).

If you're like me, you need a slice if cheese on your sandwich; good old American slices have 60 calories each, so you might want to look for a low- or no-fat cheddar or mozzarella. And whole-grain wheat bread, or Wonder if you must have white bread.
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Old 04-19-12, 05:58 PM   #7
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All great advice on here ill just add get plenty of heart healthy omega 3 in your diet. Also incorporate garlic, cayeen pepper, ginger and onions in your foods.. all good for circulation. I like to pound a clove of garlic during a ride.. feels like putting fresh oil in the tank

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Old 04-19-12, 06:55 PM   #8
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My easiest rule is this: If it doesn't come off of an animal, a tree or out of the ground, I avoid it. Yes, I do the occasional cliff bar on a long ride but try & stay away from processed foods. I also try to stay as fresh as possible on fruits & veges. I drink only water (and, unfortunately coffee). This along with trying to stay civil with portions (my biggest problem) and my riding/strength traing seems to help me maintain a good weigh. I'm no nutritionist, just using what seems to work.
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Old 04-20-12, 05:28 AM   #9
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Thanks to all for the great info! It sounds like I do some good stuff and then some really bad stuff. Let me ask y'all this...What do you eat for breakfast? I'm one of those people that always seems to be in a rushing in the mornings and eat like a pop tart when I get to the office. I know this is my fault because if I would get up earlier I could fix a much better breakfast, I'm just not a morning person...lol.

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Old 04-20-12, 07:18 AM   #10
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A multigrain cereal with 2% milk and 8 oz. of orange juice, or a banana and Greek Yogurt (oh, and at least two cups of strong coffee; I'm not a morning person either, until I've had coffee).

Occasionally, and on my days' off work, a considerably more unhealthy eggs, hashbrowns, and toast, or an omelet... then either lunch or dinner will end up being something light.
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Old 04-20-12, 12:35 PM   #11
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Careful what you consider processed. Any luncheon meat you buy in the store is loaded with sodium. Cooking chicken breast, etc and slicing it yourself for sandwiches can really cut down on sodium intake. Mi have seen meats in the store where one serving represented 33% of the daily sodium allowance.

Also when going fresh and nonprocessed be wary of removing too many carbs from your diet. Consider keeping sweet potatoes, wild and brown rice, and whole grain non sugar cereals etc.
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Old 04-20-12, 08:04 PM   #12
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Fruit smoothie out of coconut milk, banana, strawberry an whatever fruit I happen to have in my fridge. sometimes ill add a little protein powder... usually holds me off till lunch
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Old 04-21-12, 04:04 PM   #13
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+1 on the calorie count. I use "lose it" app for iPhone and after a few months, you'll learn what's ok to and and what to watch out for. Anything that grows from earth is normally good. Ditch all fried foods, only drink water and avoid all sugared drinks (sodas, witaminwaters, frappocinos etc) and you'll be off to a great start.
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