Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    514
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Help getting back on track with nutrition and weight loss

    Hi all ...

    I've read a lot of the threads here, and you all seem quite knowledgable and helpful, so I thought I'd post here too. I'm looking for whatever advise and help you can provide, but also want to use this as a way to hold myself accountable for a little while. Self-shaming, if you will.

    Long story short, I've had some health issues over the past few years that have kept me more or less off the bike, and I've put on about 15 pounds as a result. Not all of that is bad weight, I am stronger due to some sporadic lifting, but I am also definitley fatter. I've been trying to shed the weight for about 6 months with little success, and now I'm posting here for help.

    - female
    - celiac
    - vegetarian

    I'm back on the bike, am running, and keeping my calories to 1450 per day. I tried 1550 for a while with no luck, so I'm dropping 100 cal at a time until I find what works. I need to do more core work / body weight stuff, and plan on joining a gym to lift properly in the fall. But, I'd like to have lost the fat by then, so perhaps I have to lift now??

    On the bike I'm sticking to electrolyte drinks (low / zero cal) and I have a protein (non-dairy / vegan) shake after hard workouts that I don't count towards my calorie total.

    I'm aiming at the moment for 25% fat, 50% carbs, and 25% protein. I struggle with the protein intake, and without supplementation I would really have a hard time making my protein intake numbers.

    I'm aiming for 155lbs, but I'm more interested in leaning out than what the scale actually says. I'd happily take a more muscular, less fat 160lbs. I'm six feet tall, for the record.

    I'm planning on posting a few days worth of what I'm eating for your to critique starting tomorrow, but in the meantime, any advice would be very welcome.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mdphoto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    My Bikes
    Trek H2 APEX, Gary Fisher Tassajara, Bianchi Alfana
    Posts
    66
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Recommend getting fitness pal app or a similar one to track everything. This will allow you to see what you are eating. You can keep the calories down but if they are bad calories that you are eating it wont do much good. Make sure to count everything that you eat to include the protein shakes as they do have calories. Don't get discouraged and keep a positive attitude. Good Luck you can do it.
    Mike

  3. #3
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    514
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks.

    I do have a tracking app on my phone that I use, which is how I can track my macronutrient breakdowns. I think my diet is generally pretty good, but I'm not getting the results I want so something must be wrong. That's why I'm bringing this to the BF brain trust!

    Protein shake does have calories, but it's the only off-set eating I do for exercise. ie: I'll come home from a long ride or run and have the shake. I track in the app, but will also enter an exercise amount to off set the shake. I don't log / count any other exercise, or eat additional calories due to exercise. If I have the shake on a day when I don't work out, and I do often do this to keep my protein up, then it just gets counted like regular food and not offset. Make sense?

    Thanks for the support, too! It's been frustrating, so a little cheerleading is welcome.

    Todays food intake:

    breakfast: 1/2 cup gluten free oatmeal, 4oz almond milk, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/8 cup dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon flax
    lunch: 1/2 cup black beans, 4 egg whites, 1/4 avocado, 1/4 tomato, handful spinach, 1 teaspoon olive oil
    dinner: 1 cooked cup of qunoia & amaranth pasta, onion, zucchini, tomato sauce, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 2 cups mixed greens, 1 plain rice cake to scoop up the extra sauce from the bowl
    snacks: orange, apple, 2 rice cakes with 1 tablespoon of nutella between them (as half a tablespoon on each, not a sammich)
    protein shake: 8oz almond milk, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1 scoop vegan protein mix

    I also ran 4.5 miles.

    So erasing 175 cals from the protein shake because I ran, my app tells me I have 214 calories left for the day, which I will probably consume in air popped pop corn (no butter), and some more fruit.

    This is a pretty typical day - from what I can see I need to eat more protein, esp. for snacks. I can't deal with dairy very well, so yogurt, cheese, etc are not open to me. Thoughts?

  4. #4
    Senior Member robabeatle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    space
    My Bikes
    Cannondale Supersix, Ultegra, Psimet wheels. CAAD7, Ultegra, wheels
    Posts
    1,391
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You need more protein, esp. in the morning. Pea protein is cheap and about 20g protein for only 100 calories.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mr_pedro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some quick remarks that come to mind after reading your post:

    Lifting weights won't make you loose fat. You loose fat by maintaining a calorie deficit, about 500 Cal is a good starting point, and eating "enough" protein.

    Also it is better to concentrate on either loosing fat or gaining muscle. To gain muscle you need to lift weights and over-eat, that produces muscles and a bit of fat and is contrary of what you need to do to loose fat.

    Find a good tool to track the calories of what you eat. I used the one on livestrong.com, but there are many, so find one that works for you.

    I wouldn't concentrate on excercise when loosing weight. Adjust your diet and do some moderate exercise, like 30 minutes running a couple of times a week.

  6. #6
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    514
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I do have a tracking app, and I use it.

    More protein in the morning - yes, I will get on that.

    Hmmmm ... lifting won't make me lose fat, correct, but having a higher lean muscle mass should help me burn more calories / raise my metabolism, no? Also, I'm below average weak. I'm not looking at attempting to add pounds of muscle here - I'm a girl, that would take extraordinary amounts of work, but I always thought that lifting would help. If not, great! I hate it. I'll just keep up with the core work and body weight stuff I'm doing (push ups, lunges, that sort of thing).

    As as for exercise ... sorry, I need to get fit again. I'm going to run and ride no matter what, and can't really see that it's a bad thing. I'm already training (ahaha), so 30min running a couple of times a week would hurt my soul and my sanity. I'm not a couch potato, I'm carrying a few more than I used to and am having a hard time shaking it.
    Last edited by trigger; 06-02-13 at 06:17 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mr_pedro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hmm, the idea that growing muscle turns you into a calorie burning machine is a misconception. You will burn a bit more calories at rest with more muscle, yes, but the most efficient way to loose fat is to eat at a calorie deficit.

    If all days are like that, then running 4.5 miles will burn you like 550 Cal, plus about 1700 Cal you need for BMR, plus thermic effect of food, gets you up to 2500 Cal required per day. If you only eat 1500 Cal, you should be seeing results very soon.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm curious as to what your diet was during the period you gained the weight.

  9. #9
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    514
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My diet when I gained the weight was all over the place. I was having some health issues and not working out much or riding, and yet I continued to eat like things were normal. One of my health issues got me to briefly try paleo eating for a while, which was a shock from vegetarianism. It didn't last long! There were moments of depression as well, and as a result more junk food and booze than normal. The core of my diet stayed more or less the same - healthy - but the "extras" pushed in a lot.

    That and I sort of had to sit on my ass. Lots of walking, but little riding, no running, and very little high intensity anything. The great news is that everything is sorted out health-wise, and I'm back to "normal".

  10. #10
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    6,907
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If that is really a typical day, I can't see how you would fail to lose weight. You could try keeping the calories where they are but going 30/40/30 on the protein/carbs/fat. Certainly when you get into the lifting I'd suggest upping the protein intake.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  11. #11
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    514
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yesterday:

    Breakfast:1/2 cup gluten free oatmeal, 4oz almond milk, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/8 cup dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon flax
    Lunch:1/2 cup black beans, 4 egg whites, 1/4 avocado, 1/4 tomato, handful spinach, 1 teaspoon olive oil
    Dinner: large salad with mixed greens, spinach, tempeh, onion, radish, asparagus, red pepper, 1 tablespoon dressing
    Snacks: apple, orange, 2 rice cakes with nutella (1/2 tablespoon on each), 4 plain rice cakes, 1 cup millet cereal with almond milk
    Protein Shake: 8oz almond milk, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1 scoop protein mix (vegan)

    75 calories over budget for the day.

    My day got away from me a bit, so no chance to run or ride. Walked a lot though.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You've made a drastic change to your diet it sounds like. I agree with chasm, you should be seeing a drop in weight because of that alone. I could never be disciplined enough to measure my food, I just can't look at a meal as a math problem. I can however, look at the intake/output of a day and conclude that I need to ride farther, run longer or risk gaining a pound or two.

    I tried a vegan whole foods plant based diet for a few months, ate all I wanted of that type of food and lost 10 pounds. I have kept some principles of that diet but don't stick to it like that anymore. You could try that, all you have to do is cut out the oils, nuts, avacado and eggs. Or just focus on some sustained aerobic work each day.

  13. #13
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    514
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Haven't really made a drastic change, I'd been vegetarian for a long while before my brief paleo fling. I've always eaten mostly healthy as well, just over the last few years with inactivity and the mental issues that sometimes brought on I augmented the healthy with too much crap and not enough movement, because I couldn't. It was hard going from being very active to almost full stop, and now I'm slowly getting back in shape and trying to get rid of the fat I gained through stupidity.

  14. #14
    Senior Member robabeatle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    space
    My Bikes
    Cannondale Supersix, Ultegra, Psimet wheels. CAAD7, Ultegra, wheels
    Posts
    1,391
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Your diet above sounds a lot like mine (used to be...). I’d suggest trying change a few of those calories to proteins still. After all the reading and advice I’ve been getting, I can’t believe how much more protein I need to eat. YMMV.

  15. #15
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    514
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes - I agree. It's something I really struggle with as a vegetarian, and particularly now that I'm counting calories. I'd welcome whatever dairy and animal free suggestions people have. I'm going to follow up on the pea protein tip next time I'm at the store. For now I guess I could just double up the scoops in my protein shake.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Santa Cruz Mountains
    Posts
    6,170
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Your diet is fine. You just need more exercise. Don't make your diet too restrictive- allow some treats. If you eat stuff that's not on the diet, don't stress over it. It's what you do on average over a long period of time that counts.

    Don't beat yourself up about your current condition. Everyone has health setbacks. Depression is just messed up brain chemicals, it's not a moral failing. You just need to get going with more riding (or running or whatever).

  17. #17
    Senior Member late's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    8,259
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you're recovering, then some exercises are a terrific idea.
    Cyclists usually need work on the core, low back and butt anyway.

    You can also go to a medical supply house and get about 16 feet
    of medium sized latex tubing. The reason it's 16 is so you can double it (8 ft)
    and then double it again (4 ft) and have just enough to stand on and do deadlifts
    and squats. The One leg RDL with the tubing, and the sumo squat.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    523
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by trigger View Post
    Yesterday:

    Breakfast:1/2 cup gluten free oatmeal, 4oz almond milk, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/8 cup dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon flax
    Lunch:1/2 cup black beans, 4 egg whites, 1/4 avocado, 1/4 tomato, handful spinach, 1 teaspoon olive oil
    Dinner: large salad with mixed greens, spinach, tempeh, onion, radish, asparagus, red pepper, 1 tablespoon dressing
    Snacks: apple, orange, 2 rice cakes with nutella (1/2 tablespoon on each), 4 plain rice cakes, 1 cup millet cereal with almond milk
    Protein Shake: 8oz almond milk, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1 scoop protein mix (vegan)

    75 calories over budget for the day.

    My day got away from me a bit, so no chance to run or ride. Walked a lot though.
    My 2 cents on the diet: That's not a lot of vegetables, for anyone, much less a vegan. More vegetables is also a lot more filling. It's probably a lot more fat than you need. I'd ditch some of the processed foods and sugar (honey, rice cakes, nutella, dressing) and add salmon, tuna or sardines.

    As far as lifting weights and fat loss: Lifting heavy weights will burn fat for days after, but push ups, lunges and that sort of thing is only burning off a few calories while you are doing it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,033
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_pedro View Post
    Some quick remarks that come to mind after reading your post:

    Lifting weights won't make you loose fat. You loose fat by maintaining a calorie deficit, about 500 Cal is a good starting point, and eating "enough" protein.
    Substantially wrong. Lifting weights like other intense effort - eg interval training - causes the release of HGH and other adaptations in the body that cause muscle to be built and fat to be lost.

    Also it is better to concentrate on either loosing fat or gaining muscle. To gain muscle you need to lift weights and over-eat, that produces muscles and a bit of fat and is contrary of what you need to do to loose fat.
    Again, wrong - you are recycling the locker room "broscience" of 30 years ago.

    To the OP: if you want to lose weight, then interval train with weights, cycling, or kettlebells. Google "HIIT". You can certainly gain muscle and lose fat at the same time - far from being freakish it is what happens to most people who interval train - eg at army boot camps .

    Losing fat through simplistic calorie deficit is extremely dangerous to long term weight control - your body can go into famine mode and cut down on HGM production, you lose muscle tissue, and adapt to a new and lower metabolic rate - increasing your tendency to put on fat! 4 high quality interval training sessions a week will produce substantial fat loss for most people - obviously you shouldn't eat ultra-heavily during this, but I'd concentrate on a reasonable quality diet and maintain only a small calorie deficit.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    523
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
    Substantially wrong. Lifting weights like other intense effort - eg interval training - causes the release of HGH and other adaptations in the body that cause muscle to be built and fat to be lost.

    Losing fat through simplistic calorie deficit is extremely dangerous to long term weight control - your body can go into famine mode and cut down on HGM production, you lose muscle tissue, and adapt to a new and lower metabolic rate - increasing your tendency to put on fat! 4 high quality interval training sessions a week will produce substantial fat loss for most people - obviously you shouldn't eat ultra-heavily during this, but I'd concentrate on a reasonable quality diet and maintain only a small calorie deficit.
    Absolutely agree with this. Lifting will burn fat and eating better foods, not starvation, is better for your health and better for weight control in the long term.

  21. #21
    Senior Member trigger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    514
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks all, I'm definitely weighing everyone's advice and working on getting things better day by day.

    BUT I really don't think what I'm eating is "starving" myself. I'm a woman, and 1450 calories a day is a bit of a cut, but it's certainly not extreme. I'm not hungry very often, and if I am hungry I eat something. Something healthy - and I keep track. Twice this week I've been up and over my calorie allotment, but with quality food. I'm being sure to eat enough to recover after working out and, while I haven't weighed myself in a couple of days now, things seem headed in the right direction.

    So keep the advice coming ...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •