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Nutrition before riding

Old 01-05-24, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
more to my above post -

I'm currently trying to cut weight. I want to drop 10 pounds for an upcoming trip to the French Alps.

In order to do this, I have to severely cut my calorie and carb intake - and up my Z2 volume. I'm talking eating as little as two small meals per day of just meat and veggies - nothing else. Along with 1.5-2 hour Z2 rides daily, and strength/core work in the mix. Any change to that, any added carbs, any high intensity work = weight gain.

I'm dropping the weight now so that when I start my high intensity training blocks my weight may stay +/- where I want it. I will not lose a pound in the high intensity phase, best I can ask for is to stay the same.

Some bodies stay naturally thin and can't gain weight, some body's can pack on the weight in a hurry or fight to hold on to every pound. These body types require different training and feeding methods.
I went through this exact project myself for the 2022 LíEtape du Tour. I dropped 10 kg over an 8 month period in the lead up to the event. The event was in early July and I was down to my target weight a couple of months earlier. But my calorie reduction was not as severe as yours and I was fuelling my training rides with generous carbs throughout. Most of my weight loss came from simply increasing my training volume and using a calorie counting app (MyFitnessPal) to keep on track.

After that event it took me about a year to creep back up to my normal weight. My goal for this year is to drop around 5 kg and stay there indefinitely. Iím not overweight, but I would like to be a little leaner for cycling.
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Old 01-06-24, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I went through this exact project myself for the 2022 LíEtape du Tour. I dropped 10 kg over an 8 month period in the lead up to the event. The event was in early July and I was down to my target weight a couple of months earlier. But my calorie reduction was not as severe as yours and I was fuelling my training rides with generous carbs throughout. Most of my weight loss came from simply increasing my training volume and using a calorie counting app (MyFitnessPal) to keep on track.

After that event it took me about a year to creep back up to my normal weight. My goal for this year is to drop around 5 kg and stay there indefinitely. Iím not overweight, but I would like to be a little leaner for cycling.
Wasnít the Etape that year an absolute nightmare reaching over 35įC? Or was that 2023? Either way, chapeau for completing it. On my bucket list.

This is a really interesting thread. Congrats to the OP for the weight loss so far and I do think a lot of that will be down to ditching the junk which in itself isnít easy. I struggle to walk past an open pack of anything. Except Krispy Kremes, those things are vile.

I think that loop/track is a tough one to do any consistent zone2 (seriously recommend a power meter and proper bike computer to be able to keep an eye on effort level but you seem to be doing ok with the HRM). Can totally understand getting bored so finding some new routes will help with both of those. Maybe even on road, donít know what traffic is like in your area.

Did you resolve the aching tricep? Maybe was the saddle move, putting more weight forward onto your arms and bars. Maybe unrelated strain from something else too.
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Old 01-06-24, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
Wasnít the Etape that year an absolute nightmare reaching over 35įC? Or was that 2023? Either way, chapeau for completing it. On my bucket list.

This is a really interesting thread. Congrats to the OP for the weight loss so far and I do think a lot of that will be down to ditching the junk which in itself isnít easy. I struggle to walk past an open pack of anything. Except Krispy Kremes, those things are vile.

I think that loop/track is a tough one to do any consistent zone2 (seriously recommend a power meter and proper bike computer to be able to keep an eye on effort level but you seem to be doing ok with the HRM). Can totally understand getting bored so finding some new routes will help with both of those. Maybe even on road, donít know what traffic is like in your area.

Did you resolve the aching tricep? Maybe was the saddle move, putting more weight forward onto your arms and bars. Maybe unrelated strain from something else too.
My arm finally stopped hurting. The only thing I can think of is I had a small muscle tear.
The weather started getting bad and I havenít been back out yet but the indoor bike at the gym didnít hurt it.
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Old 01-06-24, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by choddo
Wasn’t the Etape that year an absolute nightmare reaching over 35įC? Or was that 2023? Either way, chapeau for completing it. On my bucket list.
Cheers, yeah it was f-hot! Over 40C down in the valley and no breeze. There were a lot of DNFs, only half of the field finished. I just about finished in the top 4000 out of around 9000 finishers.
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Old 01-08-24, 05:26 AM
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More on the low carb thing... I know its not for everyone, and I only do it to control blood sugars - but the longer I do it, the more benefits I see.

Been eating nothing but meat and veggies for the past two weeks - that's it.

18 hour fast, woke up and rode 2.5 hours on Zwift at 180-200w with about 2800' of climbing - zero food consumed, zero energy issues. I did one mid ride pull of 5-6 min at FTP and finished the ride 3-4 min at VO2 max levels. Zero carbs consumed.

If you want to eat low carb, if eating low carb helps you fight off a disease - you can get on your bike and ride for fitness.
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Old 01-21-24, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly
Another favorite snack is roasted jalapeŮos.
I take 2 or 3 fresh peppers, lightly coat them with olive oil and put them in my air fryer for 12 minutes at 400*.
I really like peppers. I also put several Trappey’s jalapeŮo slices on a zero carb street taco size tortilla and roll them up and eat.
This sounds interesting. ^^^^

I ought to try it. [I like jalapeŮos quite a lot and when they are fresh from our garden, I add them to many things. Along the lines of your roasted version, I slit them and add a little Queso (used chili relleno) before roasting - tastes quite good &#128523.
One my favorite late night snack is warmed corn tortilla with home-made salsa verde - happens only in summer when tomatillo are fresh. But this wouldn’t work to take on bicycling trips. I can see cheese stuffed roasted jalapeŮos in a ziplock bag as a good carry along item.

Last edited by Alan K; 01-21-24 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 02-15-24, 01:03 PM
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Losing weight should not be the focus but rather on reducing fat and increasing muscle mass. Muscle tissue weighs more per unit volume than fat tissue so going only by weight is not going to work if one is trying to effect body recomposition.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/body-recomposition

Excess fat is dead weight when climbing hills and a friend who has always weighed 15 lbs more than I has always struggled up long grades but often made up for it with being able to coast faster on the downhill sections of the road.

What most people fail to appreciate is the importance of being hydrated before a long ride. Dehydration results in thicker blood that is harder for the body to circulate. Starting out with a hydration deficit and then drinking while you ride is not going to be effective as effective as starting out fully hydrated. For me that means consuming 64 ounces of water each and every day. It took me a week to adjust to drinking that much water but it became quite natural.

Something also no appreciated is that carbs are "protein sparing" and having it to fuel your muscles during exercise minimizes the hit on the muscles. There is the false notion that only protein food can be used by the
body to build muscle and one only need to look at herbivores to know this is not true.
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Old 02-15-24, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
more to my above post -

I'm currently trying to cut weight. I want to drop 10 pounds for an upcoming trip to the French Alps.

In order to do this, I have to severely cut my calorie and carb intake - and up my Z2 volume. I'm talking eating as little as two small meals per day of just meat and veggies - nothing else. Along with 1.5-2 hour Z2 rides daily, and strength/core work in the mix. Any change to that, any added carbs, any high intensity work = weight gain.

I'm dropping the weight now so that when I start my high intensity training blocks my weight may stay +/- where I want it. I will not lose a pound in the high intensity phase, best I can ask for is to stay the same.

Some bodies stay naturally thin and can't gain weight, some body's can pack on the weight in a hurry or fight to hold on to every pound. These body types require different training and feeding methods.
Interesting. 2 weeks ago I finally put myself on the scale and learned what I sort of already knew - my time off the bike in the fall and my lack of dietary discipline thereafter resulted in a gain of about 12 pounds relative to my ideal riding weight. So I did something that sounds very similar to what Jughed describes. Most days, it's 2 meals/day, with 16 hours between dinner and the next days lunch. Meals are heavy on protein and vegetables, with only modest amounts of healthy carbs (examples, brown rice, black beans). in between meals, snacks are only fruit (strawberries, oranges, apples) and no snacking after dinner. Weekend ride days, I also eat breakfast. Upped my training time to above 10 hours/week (nice weather has helped).

I lost 4 lbs the first week - I guess that was including some water/glycogen loss, but I was including enough carbs so that I could still do 50 mile rides Saturday and Sunday without fatigue. The second week (this week), I've lost 3 more. That's WAY faster than I expected and maybe a little too fast. I don't expect that the rate of loss will continue. Hoping to plateau down to my weight goal in maybe another 3 weeks.
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Old 02-15-24, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott
Perpetuem.
Iíll pack an individual package or two of that on tour if I know Iíll have hard days with few or no services en route. It has saved me several times. Only caveat is that it doesnít last all that long in high heat. You need to consume it relatively quickly.
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Old 03-04-24, 01:09 PM
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Interesting article on how metabolism can change and affect weight gain or loss. It also points out that older adults need 50% more protein in their diet to maintain muscle mass than young people require. Exercise with an adequate amount of protein in the diet is the way to loose body fat and also have a healthier cardiovascular system.

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle...D=6345610#vp_2

Cutting back on calories is a great way to loose weight but a great deal of what is loss is muscle mass. Everyone likes a quick fix for problems and dislike making an effort to improve ones diet or exercise routine. It is an inconvenient truth that exercise and a better diet work with no downsides in terms of health. Lots of non meat sources of protein including Greek yogurt and lentils for example.
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Old 03-04-24, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Interesting that your high intensity training causes weight gain. I wonder what's going on there. Some speculation:

A. A high intensity session can increase blood volume -- I've noticed my body weight may rise by a pound or more overnight after a hard workout. But that gain is temporary (for me).

B. What about muscle mass gains from high intensity? That's definitely a thing, but muscle mass gains happen quite slowly.

C. Then there's the tendency for high intensity training to have shorter duration, so the calorie burn may be reduced.

If the weight gain is rapid, I'd guess "A. blood volume". If the gain is long-term, I'd guess "C. reduced calorie burn". In the end, weight gain/loss is primarily an energy balance.

That's all I got.
Originally Posted by Jughed
I should have said and vs any. Carbs in my system, regardless of exercise amounts or intensity = weight gain. High intensity work requires carbs.

Instant water retention and fat storage.

Steady state higher intensity work can cause spikes in cortisol and weight retention/gain in some people.

Not everyone reacts the same way to different foods and exercise.

Muscle gain is a great example. Some people can flat pack on muscle in a hurry, some can't. For some it's a struggle to gain weight, for some it's a struggle to just maintain, let alone lose weight.

All of our bodies are different, many of us require different training regimens and diet.
Quoting this because of the past 3 weeks -

My goal was to get below 180 knowing that I would gain weight when I added carbs and intervals.

Week 3 of 2x per week of 2x20 or 3x10 threshold intervals and increased total volume - added carbs to fuel and help recover from the efforts - gained 5#. In three weeks. From 178-179 to 183-185.
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Old 03-04-24, 03:13 PM
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Huberman is an incredible wealth of scientific information concerning physical health. I hope some of you enjoy him.
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Old 03-04-24, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
It also points out that older adults need 50% more protein in their diet to maintain muscle mass than young people require. Exercise with an adequate amount of protein in the diet is the way to loose body fat and also have a healthier cardiovascular system.
Also worth noting that most people are already eating approx double the standard protein requirement for younger people anyway. So itís only likely to be an issue for those on a very restricted diet with a large calorie deficit.
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Old 03-05-24, 03:04 PM
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On what factual information do you base your statement that most people (including seniors) are eating double the standard amount of protein? The advice has been to consume about 60-80 grams of protein which is not enough for a older man or women, much less for someone that is interested in retaining or even increasing muscle mass in body recomposition efforts. You assert that "most people" are already consuming 100 plus grams of protein each day. I know of no one who consumes that amount of protein at home during the week on a daily basis. Have you even totaled up how many grams of protein you yourself consume on an average day?

It is easy for those eating red meat to consume enough protein but more of a concerted effort for those who chose not to do so. This is why protein powder is so popular at this time and for general use not just the body builders.

Many posts about cutting back on carbs but that needs to be done within the context of the amount of fat, carb, and protein, being consumed daily. When consuming fewer calories most often the end result is loss of muscle mass and a slowing down of the person's metabolism. It can also reduce bone density which is even more of a worry for seniors who are more at risk of a fall and broken hips.
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Old 03-05-24, 03:50 PM
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Do you eat steak? A 14 - 16 ounce New York strip will have 98 grams of protein. So well over the daily amount. And that doesn't even consider the protein you get from any other vegetables that may be on that plate. Or the stuff that you ate for other meals during the day. Two eggs for breakfast started one off with 12 grams of protein. So we've definitely topped the 100 grams with just the protein of two specific items of two meals.
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Old 03-05-24, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
On what factual information do you base your statement that most people (including seniors) are eating double the standard amount of protein? The advice has been to consume about 60-80 grams of protein which is not enough for a older man or women, much less for someone that is interested in retaining or even increasing muscle mass in body recomposition efforts. You assert that "most people" are already consuming 100 plus grams of protein each day. I know of no one who consumes that amount of protein at home during the week on a daily basis. Have you even totaled up how many grams of protein you yourself consume on an average day?

It is easy for those eating red meat to consume enough protein but more of a concerted effort for those who chose not to do so. This is why protein powder is so popular at this time and for general use not just the body builders.

Many posts about cutting back on carbs but that needs to be done within the context of the amount of fat, carb, and protein, being consumed daily. When consuming fewer calories most often the end result is loss of muscle mass and a slowing down of the person's metabolism. It can also reduce bone density which is even more of a worry for seniors who are more at risk of a fall and broken hips.
Yeah I have actually. Over the last month I have been consuming an average of 113g of protein per day and Iím not making any special effort to consume extra protein.

The factual information came from one of the Worldís leading experts on protein in a recent podcast discussing whether or not we should be worried about not eating enough protein. He stated that the average American already consumes double the recommended amount and so not to worry about it unless you are on a highly restricted diet with a calorie deficit. Iíll dig out a link tomorrow if you are interested.
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Old 03-05-24, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Yeah I have actually. Over the last month I have been consuming an average of 113g of protein per day and Iím not making any special effort to consume extra protein.

The factual information came from one of the Worldís leading experts on protein in a recent podcast discussing whether or not we should be worried about not eating enough protein. He stated that the average American already consumes double the recommended amount and so not to worry about it unless you are on a highly restricted diet with a calorie deficit. Iíll dig out a link tomorrow if you are interested.
The fly in the ointment there is that not everyone is "most people." How about those who never eat animal products or those who never eat mammals or dinosaurs like my wife and I for the past 50+ years? I think this forum has put adequate negatively on the SAD over the years. The average American diet is rather on the deadly side, both in terms of health and planetary welfare. I don't think we should encourage athletes to eat that way and my guess is that actually few do.
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Old 03-05-24, 08:43 PM
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I traveled to India a month ago for business, for the first time in 20 years. I noticed some changes - more scooters, more cars, fewer pedestrians, actual luxury cars and big motorcycles. But the in-your-face difference was obesity. In 2004, there was virtually none; everyone was what we Americans would call skinny. I mean, at 6'2" I felt like a giant, but at 6'2" #180 I felt like a porker. Now... now the locals look a lot more like us. Less walking, more A/C, worse pollution. Subway, McDonalds, TGI Fridays. My local friends from 2004 tell me "kids these days" aren't staying vegetarian, eat out more, drink alcohol.

I'm sure there's some natural variation, but I'm not convinced that being naturally thin is an overriding thing. An entire country didn't lose their natural thinness in a generation.

On the other extreme, Audax has exploded in Asia generally, and in India in particular.

I expect the common denominator in the above extremes is disposable income and the related free time. So I'm frickin' doomed.
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Old 03-06-24, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
The fly in the ointment there is that not everyone is "most people." How about those who never eat animal products or those who never eat mammals or dinosaurs like my wife and I for the past 50+ years? I think this forum has put adequate negatively on the SAD over the years. The average American diet is rather on the deadly side, both in terms of health and planetary welfare. I don't think we should encourage athletes to eat that way and my guess is that actually few do.
This was the podcast I was referring to earlier


The reason I know my protein intake in detail is simply because Iím using the ZOE app to track my nutrition.

The daily target range the app sets for my personal protein consumption is 80-130g (I weigh 80 kg, so 1-1.6g per kg).

I eat a healthy balanced diet of approx 2500 Calories per day and without any special thought about protein I get an average of 113g protein per day. So smack in the middle of the target range. It looks like the Prof in the podcast knows what he is talking about.

I eat very little meat, just a little chicken and fish once or twice per week. I do eat dairy in moderation. The rest comes from plants. I take no protein supplements.

I agree about the average American diet being unhealthy. Itís the same here in the UK. But whether we eat healthy or not, it would appear that protein requirements are easily met or exceeded without really trying.

There was another ZOE podcast discussing protein that did mention some elderly people needing to monitor their protein intake if they had a very low appetite. But otherwise if we are eating enough calories to maintain weight then protein will almost certainly be more than enough for our needs.

To be on the safe side I am looking to bump my average protein intake up closer to my 130g upper limit. On many individual days I get well above that level anyway.




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Old 03-06-24, 07:11 AM
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If we are talking deficiencies, more Americans are deficient in fiber than in protein, or maybe that just depends on who funds the research.
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Old 03-06-24, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
If we are talking deficiencies, more Americans are deficient in fiber than in protein, or maybe that just depends on who funds the research.
Fiber deficiency yes for sure. I believe the average American/Bit (on their crappy diet) typically only gets about half the recommended daily amount. Something like 15g rather than the 30g min recommended.
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Old 03-06-24, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
This was the podcast I was referring to earlier

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DMwf_9wqWY0

The reason I know my protein intake in detail is simply because Iím using the ZOE app to track my nutrition.

The daily target range the app sets for my personal protein consumption is 80-130g (I weigh 80 kg, so 1-1.6g per kg).

I eat a healthy balanced diet of approx 2500 Calories per day and without any special thought about protein I get an average of 113g protein per day. So smack in the middle of the target range. It looks like the Prof in the podcast knows what he is talking about.

I eat very little meat, just a little chicken and fish once or twice per week. I do eat dairy in moderation. The rest comes from plants. I take no protein supplements.

I agree about the average American diet being unhealthy. Itís the same here in the UK. But whether we eat healthy or not, it would appear that protein requirements are easily met or exceeded without really trying.

There was another ZOE podcast discussing protein that did mention some elderly people needing to monitor their protein intake if they had a very low appetite. But otherwise if we are eating enough calories to maintain weight then protein will almost certainly be more than enough for our needs.

To be on the safe side I am looking to bump my average protein intake up closer to my 130g upper limit. On many individual days I get well above that level anyway.
To maintain weight, i.e. not gain (!), I now eat less than half what I ate at 30. Same stuff, much smaller portions for all 3 meals. I haven't been tracking my macros because my wife chooses dinner from about 500 different recipes, also a lot of variation in breakfast and lunch, of which I cook half, but she tells me what to do. Which is nice, I appreciate it. But I have better things to do with my time than run complex meals through a calculator every day. So I supplement, mostly going by how my legs feel. I also supplement with HMB. The last few months I've been noticing that I haven't been recovering as well as I have been, so I've doubled my HMB dose. Seems to have fixed it.

Back to the OP, I don't eat anything special before my usual training rides or sessions. But for long competitive group rides or events I eat a lot of carbs 2 or more hours before the ride. A lot.
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Old 03-06-24, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
To maintain weight, i.e. not gain (!), I now eat less than half what I ate at 30.
I eat about the same as I did at 30, but Iím only 56. I eat more healthy food now, but quantity is much the same. Not that I tracked my calories and macros back then, so pretty subjective.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting to learn more about protein since there is so much hype around increasing our protein intake. Our supermarket is full of products labelled as high protein. Eating actual food instead seemed like sound advice to me.
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Old 03-06-24, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I eat about the same as I did at 30, but Iím only 56. I eat more healthy food now, but quantity is much the same. Not that I tracked my calories and macros back then, so pretty subjective.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting to learn more about protein since there is so much hype around increasing our protein intake. Our supermarket is full of products labelled as high protein. Eating actual food instead seemed like sound advice to me.
"Actual food!" Yes, and the closer to the soil, the better.
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Old 03-06-24, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
"Actual food!" Yes, and the closer to the soil, the better.
Potatoes for the win!
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