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Calories and cycling

Old 07-20-21, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
I saw some threads regarding this, but it really didn't answer my thought about calories.

I biked about 30 minutes yesterday, with higher intensity, and averaged about 15 miles per hour. Keep in mind this is in a residential\neighborhood area, and there was quite a few stops and such. The longest stretch was 1 mile long, most other streets were like quarter to half a mile, before slowing and having to make a turn
My apple watch said i burned about 430 calories, online calculators all say roughly about the same thing. My heart rate was 135avg, and 150 max

Then on the other hand when I read power meter related calorie burn from people whom have a power meter, it seems like it is much less than that.
However it seems like power meter doesn't take into account, the heart rate or your age , gender, and weight.

So, how much calories do you think i really burned?
Also, is factors like gender, heart rate, and age not taken into account?
860 calories in an hour implies an average power of around 240-250 watts. This would take a lot of fitness to achieve. To only go 15 mph on 240-250 watts would mean either a stiff headwind or uphill the whole way.

I would estimate that you needed an average of 100-105 watts for 15 mph and you burned 180-200 calories in half an hour, at the most.
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Old 07-20-21, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
When you lost your first 100lbs through diet alone, what did you change in your diet?
Also, i'm curious, once you lose all that weight, do you generally eat less, like is your appetite lower (unrelated to junk food or over eating)?
HOw many calories do you eat now you think?
A. Obsessive calorie counting, low carb (not keto!), lots of vegetables, pretty much cut out starch, constant weight monitoring, and if I wasn't maintaining a loss of about 2-3 pounds a week, I would find another thing to cut. I was down to about 1800 calories a day and stuck at 220 pounds when I decided to introduce exercise. I kept my diet roughly the same while drastically ramping up the level of activity, and actually found I lost so much weight I felt weak and unhealthy, and actually looked about 10 years older than I was. I then started eating more which allowed me to put on a lot of muscle, which makes me look and feel better.

B. Without working out, I was constantly hungry. I actually eat quite a bit, but I try to make as much of that vegetables (and some fruit) as possible. I do eat a lot of meat as the extreme mileage I ride regularly requires a lot of muscle maintenance.

C. I stopped counting calories a few years ago. It's the primary benefit of exercising as much as I do that I can do that and not put on weight, I make no bones about the fact that I like to eat a lot. I have lost a lot of bad habits like eating several big pieces of pizza in a single meal. If I let myself do that whenever I wanted to, I don't think I could exercise enough to counter that.

D. I have no idea if the low carb thing has any relevance to my success or not and I certainly don't follow it when I'm on a 130 mile ride, but the no starch/no white sugar thing had a real practical impact--try to find a fast food joint where it's possible to order much of a meal without starch or sugar. It made mindless snacking nearly impossible.
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Old 07-20-21, 08:17 AM
  #28  
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56yr 6’1” 185lb…… flat ground, 12-13mph…. rule of thumb … 25cal per mile.
Based on reading from a Stages Cycling power meter.

Hills do increase cal, but not as much as you’d hope.

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Old 07-20-21, 08:30 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
It is really difficult to eat less calories for me, i feel sooo low in energy, and worst of all , l get low sugar symptoms (light headed, dizzy, sometimes the sweats), after doctors testing, they said i'm generally healthy
I personally don't think eating less calories will be option for me, all thought it is most effective

18 years ago, i had gone from 250 to 180, by cutting lot of calories, and maintained around 195-200 until i was 34-35, , at which point i started gaining, from 195 to 230, however bc i get the symptoms i described, it is hard to lose weight by calories cutting.
I literally, just naturally eat more, when i gained my weight, albiet, they are healthy choices, its kind of strange.
Losing weight is difficult for many of us, due to many factors, and many of the factors that affect weight loss are not considered when planning/evaluating weight loss, or are misunderstood.

Weight loss has to be considered as a lifestyle change, as others in this thread have said, not as a limited term deprivation. Weight loss does not occur overnight, anymore than the gain did (admittedly, the gain part is much more enjoyable than the lose part). Also, weight loss is not necessarily a simple process - it may not be as simple as calories in < calories out = weight loss. Our bodies and our metabolism can adjust to changes. A reduction in calorie intake may result in a change in metabolism so your body can maintain (or even increase) its weight at the reduced level of calorie intake.

In my case, for example, when I make a change to reduce weight I notice that I lose a significant amount of weight at first (maybe 1 - 2 weeks), then the weight loss levels off (or even reverses) for a time (another 1 - 2 weeks, or longer), even though I'm doing the same thing I was doing when I was losing weight. Only after the "rebound" effect does my weight start to, gradually, trend in a negative direction.

The toughest time is the beginning. And calorie restriction can be ... unpleasant. As you said: low energy, lethargy, hunger pains, etc. It will get better, eventually, and you'll have more energy, eventually, and if you push through you'll get an increased feeling of wellbeing, but while you're going through it, it is not fun. In our society it is so easy to make all the pain go away by abandoning the change you've made. For me distractions work - go on a bike ride (a favorite), or work in the yard, clean the kitchen, go on a hike, build a bookcase ... anything that occupies your hands and mind with something other than food.

Another huge mistake that people make is to reward themselves with food. "If I lose 5 lbs I'll treat myself to (a Big Mac, or ice cream from B&J, or whatever)." You're subverting your own efforts. Yes, it can be helpful to ease calorie restrictions occasionally, but that should never be structured as a "reward", it should be built into your lifestyle change from the beginning.

You have to be prepared for negative feedback. You would think that others would value your change because the goal is a healthier and happier you. This is not always the case. "You're too skinny." "You're losing muscle." "Here, have another burger!" Etc. This can be surprising, and if you're not prepared for it this type of negativity can derail your new lifestyle.

Many people (so I've heard) do not cook for themselves much (or at all). It is very, very, very difficult to control calorie intake by eating restaurant food, fast food, prepared foods. IMHO, the one lifestyle change with the biggest benefit to your health (and only incidentally to your weight) is to prepare the vast majority of your meals yourself from raw ingredients. I, personally, eat out about 1 - 2 meals per month.

There are many other factors to consider (people drink far to many calories - soda, juice, alcohol, fancy coffees, smoothies, protein shakes, etc.; portion control - put your meal on a plate and eat only that, no seconds; buy smaller plates to avoid piling too much on; having a partner in your lifestyle change to help keep you on track/for encouragement/for reinforcement; etc.), and the effect that each factor has is different for each person. Even your approach can vary - for some it is better to try different things to see what works, while for others it may be better to just choose one strategy (or set of strategies) and stick with it.

There's a lot to consider, and there are no easy (or, indeed, few even simple) answers.

Last edited by noimagination; 07-20-21 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 07-20-21, 08:32 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Just forget about Calories altogether. Just be happy you burned some. Don't try to rationalize the Calorie burns or formulas with some aspect of your performance.

If you want to apply them to weight loss, then can you accurately tell how many Calories you consumed?
Happy-go-luck has rarely led to significant weight loss. You have to keep an eye on things and track food/exercise at some level. You don't have to be obsessive about it, but you do need to be concerned with it.
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Old 07-20-21, 08:44 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
Losing weight is difficult for many of us, due to many factors, and many of the factors that affect weight loss are not considered when planning/evaluating weight loss, or are misunderstood.

Weight loss has to be considered as a lifestyle change, as others in this thread have said, not as a limited term deprivation. Weight loss does not occur overnight, anymore than the gain did (admittedly, the gain part is much more enjoyable than the lose part). Also, weight loss is not necessarily a simple process - it may not be as simple as calories in < calories out = weight loss. Our bodies and our metabolism can adjust to changes. A reduction in calorie intake may result in a change in metabolism so your body can maintain (or even increase) its weight at the reduced level of calorie intake.

In my case, for example, when I make a change to reduce weight I notice that I lose a significant amount of weight at first (maybe 1 - 2 weeks), then the weight loss levels off (or even reverses) for a time (another 1 - 2 weeks, or longer), even though I'm doing the same thing I was doing when I was losing weight. Only after the "rebound" effect does my weight start to, gradually, trend in a negative direction.

The toughest time is the beginning. And calorie restriction can be ... unpleasant. As you said: low energy, lethargy, hunger pains, etc. It will get better, eventually, and you'll have more energy, eventually, and if you push through you'll get an increased feeling of wellbeing, but while you're going through it, it is not fun. In our society it is so easy to make all the pain go away by abandoning the change you've made. For me distractions work - go on a bike ride (a favorite), or work in the yard, clean the kitchen, go on a hike, build a bookcase ... anything that occupies your hands and mind with something other than food.

Another huge mistake that people make is to reward themselves with food. "If I lose 5 lbs I'll treat myself to (a Big Mac, or ice cream from B&J, or whatever)." You're subverting your own efforts. Yes, it can be helpful to ease calorie restrictions occasionally, but that should never be structured as a "reward", it should be built into your lifestyle change from the beginning.

You have to be prepared for negative feedback. You would think that others would value your change because the goal is a healthier and happier you. This is not always the case. "You're too skinny." "You're losing muscle." "Here, have another burger!" Etc. This can be surprising, and if you're not prepared for it this type of negativity can derail your new lifestyle.

Many people (so I've heard) do not cook for themselves much (or at all). It is very, very, very difficult to control calorie intake by eating restaurant food, fast food, prepared foods. IMHO, the one lifestyle change with the biggest benefit to your health (and only incidentally to your weight) is to prepare the vast majority of your meals yourself from raw ingredients. I, personally, eat out about 1 - 2 meals per month.

There are many other factors to consider (people drink far to many calories - soda, juice, alcohol, fancy coffees, smoothies, protein shakes, etc.; portion control - put your meal on a plate and eat only that, no seconds; buy smaller plates to avoid piling too much on; having a partner in your lifestyle change to help keep you on track/for encouragement/for reinforcement; etc.), and the effect that each factor has is different for each person. Even your approach can vary - for some it is better to try different things to see what works, while for others it may be better to just choose one strategy (or set of strategies) and stick with it.

There's a lot to consider, and there are no easy (or, indeed, few even simple) answers.
So many excellent points! I highlighted my favorites....especially the part of rewarding with food. Man, that is so true!
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Old 07-20-21, 08:50 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
You have to be prepared for negative feedback. You would think that others would value your change because the goal is a healthier and happier you. This is not always the case. "You're too skinny." "You're losing muscle." "Here, have another burger!" Etc. This can be surprising, and if you're not prepared for it this type of negativity can derail your new lifestyle.
Really great post. I specifically avoid giving people detailed advice because, as I say, I am expert only in what works for me. The one piece of advice I do give freely, however, is "stop listening to other people's advice." It's all conflicting and, as you suggest, it's often a manifestation of someone dealing with their own demons.

What I really like about your post is that's there's a lot of practical considerations in there that are explained very well, but you're not overextending it into "these are the foods and exercises that will work for you" kind of crap that no one really can authoritatively define for another. CI/CO is not simple except at extreme imbalance.

One trick I learned cooking for myself, pretty much any spice is calorie free or close to it, so making food taste very different satisfies my craving for variety.

Also, for me, I can't watch cooking shows on TV. The "every meal has to be special" thing is just about the worst enemy to a rational relationship with food I can think of, especially when I can get just about anything delivered.

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Old 07-20-21, 08:53 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post
Another YMMV situation, but here is what worked for me: I could lose some weight just by adding exercise, but it was impossible to maintain.

More simplified math with lots of generalization: losing 1 lb requires burning roughly 3500 calories more than you consume. That is about 6 hours of cycling per week, using my 10 calories per minute and it assumes you will not eat anything extra doing all that exercise. A business trip or vacation interrupts the exercise regime or you eat more during or after the cycling that you do on days with no cycling and you are not losing weight.

So, cutting 500 calories per day will help you lose 1 lb per week with no additional exercise, the exercise calories are a bonus above that.

What worked for me was using a free app (LoseIt) to log what I ate and keeping the weekly average calories in at what would maintain my goal weight - and NOT logging exercise for anything less than a 2 hour ride. I've maintained most of that loss for over 10 years now, only have to go back to logging everything a few times like after particular food-filled holiday season or when I had rotator cuff surgery and my exercise went to near zero for a while.

Loads of generalizations but that works for me - just adding exercise did not work. To answer your other question, I think the exercise (biking plus some weights) was key - resting muscle requires more calories for you body to maintain that resting non-muscle. Just one of the other probably can be done but much harder and definitely didn't work for me.
thia approach, different calorie counting app worked for me. I think you must count your calorie intake or there is no baseline.
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Old 07-20-21, 08:59 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
Wow, congrats on your weight loss. Just curious, how did you alter your diet, when trying to loss weight?
I want to lose 30lbs, but i don't want to eat less then i do, about the same, just add exercise, but i don't know how realistic that is to lose 30 lbs.
It's entirely possible, but maybe not without paying attention to both sides of the Calorie equation. I say this because I lost 30 lbs last year. I was only able to do so by counting Calories rigorously and riding 3000 miles. It doesn't require a huge sacrifice in what you eat, just fewer snacks, smaller snacks, not going back for seconds quite as often, having a glass of water instead of yet another Coke or a beer. Those little things add up, and combined with Calorie-burning exercise, will take weight off.

BTW, I've also tried just riding a lot and NOT paying attention to what I eat. I got fitter, but never got below 220. Now I'm right around 200, +/-2 lbs, and have been for 7 months. I've also had years where I hardly lost weight at all, because I more than compensated at the dinner table for what I burned on the bike.
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Old 07-20-21, 09:03 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Really great post. I specifically avoid giving people detailed advice because, as I say, I am expert only in what works for me. The one piece of advice I do give freely, however, is "stop listening to other people's advice." It's all conflicting and, as you suggest, it's often a manifestation of someone dealing with their own demons.

What I really like about your post is that's there's a lot of practical considerations in there that are explained very well, but you're not overextending it into "these are the foods and exercises that will work for you" kind of crap that no one really can authoritatively define for another. CI/CO is not simple except at extreme imbalance.

One trick I learned cooking for myself, pretty much any spice is calorie free or close to it, so making food taste very different satisfies my craving for variety.

Also, for me, I can't watch cooking shows on TV. The "every meal has to be special" thing is just about the worst enemy to a rational relationship with food I can think of, especially when I can get just about anything delivered.
Bodybuilders who have to get bodyfat down to absurd levels think of food as simply fuel, not entertainment. I was kind of into that stuff in my younger days (but never got anywhere close to the results I expected)....a common theme from the pro guys is that mentality. You eat to fuel your body. Food is fuel. T-Nation is a pretty good forum if you are seriously into total fitness. Most of it is weightlifting and bodybuilding, but there are forums for pretty much everyone there.
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Old 07-20-21, 09:07 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
It's entirely possible, but maybe not without paying attention to both sides of the Calorie equation. I say this because I lost 30 lbs last year. I was only able to do so by counting Calories rigorously and riding 3000 miles. It doesn't require a huge sacrifice in what you eat, just fewer snacks, smaller snacks, not going back for seconds quite as often, having a glass of water instead of yet another Coke or a beer. Those little things add up, and combined with Calorie-burning exercise, will take weight off.

BTW, I've also tried just riding a lot and NOT paying attention to what I eat. I got fitter, but never got below 220. Now I'm right around 200, +/-2 lbs, and have been for 7 months. I've also had years where I hardly lost weight at all, because I more than compensated at the dinner table for what I burned on the bike.
I think most people could drop 15lbs just by doing that. Beer/alcohol and going back for seconds at meals are my biggest issues.
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Old 07-20-21, 09:15 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
I want to lose 30lbs, but i don't want to eat less then i do..
Okay, let's start with that working premise. Please write down everything you eat and drink for the next 48 hours. Everything. With as much specificity as possible (portion size, origin/brand, time of day). This will inform you as you move toward your 30-pound goal. Exercise is good and necessary, but not sufficient. Don't complain or poo-poo this idea of a detailed audit of your eating and drinking habits.. It's important.

A proper diet will be a lifelong tool for you to maintain a correct weight and body composition for you. 30 lbs overweight belies some other issue relative to your diet. Let's look at this first.
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Old 07-20-21, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by pgjackson View Post
I think most people could drop 15lbs just by doing that. Beer/alcohol and going back for seconds at meals are my biggest issues.
Biggest problem for me is what I call 'defensive eating'. When you're competing with a couple 20-something boys, you sometimes eat seconds you wouldn't otherwise eat just to make sure you actually get to eat them, because otherwise they'll be gone. I can't count the number of times I made what I thought would be enough for dinner two nights and lunch the next day only to find that instead of dinner the next night, it's all been consumed as midnight snacks and their lunch.
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Old 07-20-21, 09:47 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
The problem with this approach is that your body is much better at counting calories than you are - add a work load and your appetite will adjust to compensate and you're left hovering in the same weight range. I'm intimately aware of this because I've gone through it myself. Sure, I'd go through the annual cycle of taking off 15 pounds or so during the summer, but it was never long before it was back. The only thing that changed that was close tracking of my input (eating) and output (activity) and maintaining a daily deficit; I did this with a calorie counting app (it's actually not as tedious as it may seem and it's enlightening to do, even if you only keep it up for two weeks or so), an activity tracker and a power meter.

Until you do it, people seem to think of tracking input/output as an exercise in self-denial. It was quite the opposite for me and I found it much easier to maintain than "just watch what you eat."

"Just watch what you eat," *is* an exercise in constant self-denial and I think that the vast majority of people will fall off that wagon sooner rather than later. Maintaining a deficit, though, allows even daily treats, as long as you're not completely sedentary and as long as you're not too indulgent. Some ice cream at the end of the night? Sure. A beer? Yup, no problem, even on days where walking is my only exercise. On a day when I ride three or more hours? ****, I can eat just about anything I want and not come close to threatening my 750 cal deficit.

But this is only what works for me. If something else works for you, kudos, but if you're not seeing the results that you want, give the above a try.
Yep, this is what works for me. I've never actually been overweight, but I do occasionally reduce my weight for specific hill climbing events. I'm talking about 10 lbs here, not a huge amount. But the only way I can actually do it is to calorie count for a few weeks (using MyFitnessPal App) along with exercise input from a power meter and then targeting a goal weight in the App. It usually takes me a few months to lose 10 lbs in this way, but if I try and do it without monitoring my calories I get nowhere. The calorie counting basically puts a stop to my snacking habits in the evening once I've hit my calorie goal for the day.

I find that exercise helps a lot for me simply because it allows more food intake while still maintaining that deficit. I typically train around 10-12 hours per week consistently. It burns a lot of calories and I'm fortunate that my appetite doesn't tend to over-compensate. If anything exercise tends to suppress my appetite.

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Old 07-20-21, 09:54 AM
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You have to burn upwards of 3500 Calories to lose 1 lb of fat. Of course that's only if fat is supplying all your Calories expended on the ride which typically it isn't.

Any weight loss you see after even a two or three hour ride is going to be mostly water loss from sweat.

So my advice if cycling is for weight loss it to ride long and ride low effort rides. When I ride hard, I tend to want to eat more.

Weight is still Calories in vs Calories out. Don't get too wrapped up in what your device says you burned. If the scale is going the wrong way then consume less Calories or burn more Calories. But don't worry about the device accuracy for Calories burned. Worry about the trends.

If you track your food, do you really think those Calorie figures are accurate for every item every time? Calorie content widely varies among those food items and the charts and stuff are just averages. If we had a Calorie meter we could stick in them, then we'd have a whole new set of threads wondering why they got this reading from this apple and another reading from another apple and someone else will be answering about plums.
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Old 07-20-21, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Okay, let's start with that working premise. Please write down everything you eat and drink for the next 48 hours. Everything. With as much specificity as possible (portion size, origin/brand, time of day). This will inform you as you move toward your 30-pound goal. Exercise is good and necessary, but not sufficient. Don't complain or poo-poo this idea of a detailed audit of your eating and drinking habits.. It's important.

A proper diet will be a lifelong tool for you to maintain a correct weight and body composition for you. 30 lbs overweight belies some other issue relative to your diet. Let's look at this first.
Having actually gained weight for a time while riding across the country unsupported (i.e, on a bike that weighed some 90 lbs with gear), I can attest to this. Happened after the western mountains. Portion sizes grew larger and food choices more calorie-ladened on the occasions when we ate out. Combined with fewer calories burned on relatively flat terrain. Lost the weight one I stopped that kind of eating and we hit the eastern mountains.
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Old 07-20-21, 10:23 AM
  #42  
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It is possible to outride a bad diet but it ain't easy.

Somewhere around 400 miles or so per week is what it takes for me, I can throw whatever down the pie hole and it will burn w/o me gaining.

From my experience, diet is more important than the synergistic exercise component.

I lost a little over 60 pounds in just under 4 months once. It can be done.
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Old 07-20-21, 10:45 AM
  #43  
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Under count your calories from riding...just to be safe.

Over count the calories you're consuming...just to be safe.
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Old 07-20-21, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by pgjackson View Post
Bodybuilders who have to get bodyfat down to absurd levels think of food as simply fuel, not entertainment. I was kind of into that stuff in my younger days (but never got anywhere close to the results I expected)....a common theme from the pro guys is that mentality. You eat to fuel your body. Food is fuel. T-Nation is a pretty good forum if you are seriously into total fitness. Most of it is weightlifting and bodybuilding, but there are forums for pretty much everyone there.

I'm good with eating for pleasure, I have no desire to make eating into a chore, but I also don't need some chef going on and on about needing to make every meal special in some way. Lots of meals are just going to be a matter of fuel.

I'm seriously not into any kind of fitness "program". Probably a forum like that would just be bad for my morale. What I like about bicycling is it's both play and exercise.
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Old 07-20-21, 11:47 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Biggest problem for me is what I call 'defensive eating'. When you're competing with a couple 20-something boys, you sometimes eat seconds you wouldn't otherwise eat just to make sure you actually get to eat them, because otherwise they'll be gone. I can't count the number of times I made what I thought would be enough for dinner two nights and lunch the next day only to find that instead of dinner the next night, it's all been consumed as midnight snacks and their lunch.

There's absolutely no way I can go to a buffet and not overeat (I will let myself do this sometimes when I know I have and am about to do some unreasonably huge amount of riding). The big thing for me is similar to what you're describing--I feel a need to try everything and make sure I get plenty of the things I really like. It's a weird internal pressure to massively overeat.
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Old 07-20-21, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
There's absolutely no way I can go to a buffet and not overeat (I will let myself do this sometimes when I know I have and am about to do some unreasonably huge amount of riding). The big thing for me is similar to what you're describing--I feel a need to try everything and make sure I get plenty of the things I really like. It's a weird internal pressure to massively overeat.
True. If the food is not there I am rarely very hungry. But if the food is there (especially in large quantities like a buffet) I feel obligated to eat everything. It's a compulsive thing that is hard to control.
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Old 07-20-21, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I'm good with eating for pleasure, I have no desire to make eating into a chore, but I also don't need some chef going on and on about needing to make every meal special in some way. Lots of meals are just going to be a matter of fuel.

I'm seriously not into any kind of fitness "program". Probably a forum like that would just be bad for my morale. What I like about bicycling is it's both play and exercise.
That's just how bodybuilders with extremely low body fat get through another meal of chicken breasts and egg whites. It's like a mental game where you convince yourself that it really doesn't matter what it is or what it tastes like because it's just fuel. That's how some people avoid cravings and binge eating. It's like a business. You want to compete you have to adjust your mentality. You want the chocolate sauce or extra fries, it's going to hurt your business. It's just another way of thinking about food and it's purpose.
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Old 07-20-21, 11:57 AM
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Drunks are told stay away from bars. Nothing good is going to happen at a buffet......just sayin
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Old 07-20-21, 11:59 AM
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As a reminder, dietary calories are measured in units of energy. The dietary “calorie” is actually a kilocalorie for use in comparison with SI units of work, such as joules or kilojoules. one calorie = 4.184 Joules so one dietary calorie = one kilocalorie = 4.184 kJ.

As you will see in examples below, riders tend to be about 25% efficient at turning dietary calories consumed into useful pedaling work which would be measured again in units of energy. Most of the rest is ultimately dissipated as heat though there is also internal work done just moving the mass of legs, pedals and cranks at a particular cadence.

Power meters measure the instantaneous rate at which external work is being done on the pedals and is measured in Watts= Joules/sec.

For those interested, that internal power load and resulting internal work is strongly dependent on cadence, so at a given speed on the road (and external power load) the total load your body must power will be a higher level that is an increasing function of cadence.

Originally Posted by Branko D View Post
When calculating calories based on power meter data, no - conventional wisdom has it that cyclists don't actually differ all that much (the range last I looked at studies - admittedly with trained cyclists - was about is +- 10%) when it comes to turning calories into watts. Of course your basal metabolic rate differs based on age, sex, weight, height and so on but taking that into account is a bit iffy - you'd have expended (a good part of) that anyway just being alive.

Generally, 200W (which on a road bike on flat terrain with no wind is good for about 31-35 km/hr depending on how aerodynamic you are and how efficient the bike is) requires about 720 kcal plus whatever your basic metabolic rate is (which depends on weight, sex, etc) comes out to let's say about 800 to get a nice round number, so 430 kcal for going hard for half a hour is entirely feasible (or more, or less).

As long as you're watchful what and how much of it you put in your mouth, cycling is going to help.
So I presume that’s looking at pedaling at 200W for one hour. Total external work would be 200 J/ sec times 3600 sec = 720,000 J or 720 kJ. At 25% efficiency, that requires 4 x 720 kJ = 2,880 kJ of dietary energy consumed which is 2.880 kJ/ 4.184 kJ/kcal = 688 kcal = 688 dietary calories. The 25% figure is rough and varies a bit with individuals so don’t read more than two figures at most. Figure 700 dietary calories roughly.

Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
I ride with a power meter, and here are some stats from my end. Firstly, power is work in kj, so stuff like gender, age, HR etc. is not a factor. In cycling, we essentially take kj of work measured by the power meter to be equal to calories expended.
Power is actually the rate at which work is being done, measured in watts or kW. Coincidentally, the factor of 4 from the 25% metabolic efficiency roughly cancels the 4.184 conversion factor of dietary calories or kcal to kJ. So, yes, one kJ of cycling work is roughly one dietary calorie consumed.

Probably more than folks wanted to see but there it is for folks who might wonder.

Otto

Last edited by ofajen; 07-20-21 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 07-20-21, 12:10 PM
  #50  
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I didn't understand all of this podcast, but it came out on the 28th...
https://omny.fm/shows/clear-vivid-wi...ories-better-1
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