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High mileage riders - What do you do for calories?

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High mileage riders - What do you do for calories?

Old 01-18-24, 07:57 PM
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High mileage riders - What do you do for calories?

I'm 49. I figure I'm eating an extra 10,000 calories a week on top of normal human eating to fuel my bike commuting. I already lost weight last year so now I am balancing my lifestyle. I feel like I get most of my nutrition covered by normal eating, so I think I'm just looking for cheap calories to burn that taste good and are not bad for me. I look at it like a substitute for buying gas for the car.

I pound free food. I finish my kids' meals. I eat pounds of raisins/peanuts/chocolate chips mixed together. I also eat a lot of frozen pizzas. I deep fry french fries for lunch and fry potatoes/onions for breakfasts. Also a lot of cheese. I've also taken up baking (usually from mix) cake, brownies, bread, and cornbread. I do eat fruits and veggies.

Any thoughts or advice?
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Old 01-18-24, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
I'm 49. I figure I'm eating an extra 10,000 calories a week on top of normal human eating to fuel my bike commuting. I already lost weight last year so now I am balancing my lifestyle. I feel like I get most of my nutrition covered by normal eating, so I think I'm just looking for cheap calories to burn that taste good and are not bad for me. I look at it like a substitute for buying gas for the car.

I pound free food. I finish my kids' meals. I eat pounds of raisins/peanuts/chocolate chips mixed together. I also eat a lot of frozen pizzas. I deep fry french fries for lunch and fry potatoes/onions for breakfasts. Also a lot of cheese. I've also taken up baking (usually from mix) cake, brownies, bread, and cornbread. I do eat fruits and veggies.

Any thoughts or advice?
If you are looking for riding food, fig bars are a popular choice. If you are just talking general diet, then the standard advice that has been around for decades: plenty of colors on your plate, nuts and seeds, moderation on red meat and dairy. Regards your calorie estimate, that suggests you're riding about 250 miles per week (40 calories per mile vs. about 35 per mile for road riding). Even if you up the estimate to 50 calories per mile (really slow tires and a really heavy rider) you're still looking at 200 miles per week. Do you commute 40-50 miles round trip per day? I ask because there is a tendency to really overestimate calorie expenditure.
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Old 01-18-24, 09:08 PM
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probably more protein as you age.

oh wait, only 49. reduce your mileage for longevity.

(edit: thought I was in the 50+ Forum)
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Last edited by Wildwood; 01-18-24 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 01-18-24, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by KerryIrons
If you are looking for riding food, fig bars are a popular choice. If you are just talking general diet, then the standard advice that has been around for decades: plenty of colors on your plate, nuts and seeds, moderation on red meat and dairy. Regards your calorie estimate, that suggests you're riding about 250 miles per week (40 calories per mile vs. about 35 per mile for road riding). Even if you up the estimate to 50 calories per mile (really slow tires and a really heavy rider) you're still looking at 200 miles per week. Do you commute 40-50 miles round trip per day? I ask because there is a tendency to really overestimate calorie expenditure.
I'm 6'3" and about 195lbs. I do 34 miles/day round trip.

Interesting that you compare calories/mile - we are in the same ballpark, but as you say, I am over your estimate. My calories/miles is probably higher than most. My bike is a rescued 1990's Diamondback mountain bike with DIY maintenance and value-grade components. I also do a lot of stop and go with traffic and stop signs and lights and such, which makes some of my miles harder fought than just cruising down the road.

I used to eat tons of Fig Newtons as a kid, but I haven't had one in a couple of years.

EDIT: I just checked my trip both ways on a GPS cell phone app and the mileage worked out to slightly more - a hair over 19 miles each direction.

Last edited by ScottCommutes; 02-01-24 at 04:19 PM. Reason: Update accurate mileage
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Old 01-18-24, 09:19 PM
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Make your own calorie dense GORP (trail mix).

Last edited by CAT7RDR; 01-20-24 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 01-19-24, 01:03 AM
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Back when I commuted 31 miles daily, I chugged meal replacement protein powder to avoid becoming skeletor.

Last edited by Yan; 01-19-24 at 03:01 AM.
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Old 01-19-24, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by KerryIrons
If you are looking for riding food, fig bars are a popular choice.
When touring, I often pack fig bars before I head into a more remote location and have them for breakfast and a mid-ride snack. Light and easy to pack.
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Old 01-19-24, 05:36 AM
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Thoughts and advice: Eat and drink whatever you want. I don't care. Do not knock on my door for free food.
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Old 01-19-24, 09:28 AM
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For the first six weeks of my TransAm tour, I avoided desserts and tried to pass on french fries. I pulled off a lot of weight (and probably made my traveling companion miserable having to put up with her grumpy Dad!). TBH, I needed to lose weight. Then I relaxed a bit, started having an ice cream, or a piece of pie or cake most nights, and generally became more pleasant to live with.

As KerryIrons noted, most people overestimate their caloric expenditures. O.P., you don't tell us how much or how fast you're losing weight. My advice would be to take things very slow. Don't look at daily or weekly weight loss -- track it perhaps monthly. Note what you're eating, and how much. At 6'3" and 190#, you're borderline overweight by BMI (don't start, please!). If you don't stabilize before you hit 170# or so, reevaluate then. And keep in mind that it's a whole lot harder to take extra weight off than it is to put it on in the first place!
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Old 01-19-24, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
When touring, I often pack fig bars before I head into a more remote location and have them for breakfast and a mid-ride snack. Light and easy to pack.
What fig bars do you recommend?
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Old 01-19-24, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by WaveyGravey
What fig bars do you recommend?
Costco

Although their big box has only two flavors in it.

Barry
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Old 01-19-24, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by WaveyGravey
What fig bars do you recommend?
Little Debbie makes ones that are about 4 long, two to a pack. Taken out of the case, a pack fits nicely in a jersey pocket. Im also a sucker for Strawberry Newtons, when I can find them.
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Old 01-19-24, 09:58 AM
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I don't eat anything different, I just eat more of the same stuff I normally eat. I cook for 4 (it's just the wife and I) and there is usually no leftovers, and she eats like a bird. Mid season when I'm doing one or two long rides a week, I'm pretty much shoving food down my face non stop. I don't count calories, but it's north of 4000 a day I'm sure.
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Old 01-19-24, 10:06 AM
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Being on the edge of your 50's. You'll see a lot of things you eat now start to turn on you by the time you make it to your 60's. For some the transition happens sooner. For others later. Just be aware of what your body is telling you. For the longest time I thought my indigestion and reflux was a heart condition. I didn't even know I had the reflux. But once it was found and treated I no longer had the imagined heart issues.

As for what you eat while riding? Whatever you want that provides energy and you enjoy eating or drinking during the ride. But don't think that because it's good for you while on the bike that you should base all your diet on that.
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Old 01-19-24, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1
Thoughts and advice: Eat and drink whatever you want. I don't care. Do not knock on my door for free food.
Can we ring the bell?

Seriously...It has been my experience that a good number of cyclists overeat. A hoagie or half a pizza in the middle of a 40-mile, moderately paced, club ride? Really? Yet I have seen it plenty of times.

I actually managed to expand my guy while riding across the country fully loaded way back in '99, when I was a healthy age 34. We rode west to east. Once we got out of the mountains, I kept eating like I was riding in the mountains. That, combined with a lot of unhealthy option and large portion sizes during second breakfasts in the Midwest. any my jerseys became tight around the middle.

I stopped doing loaded touring in 2000 but picked it up again in 2009. I again realized at some point that was eating too much. Really focused on cutting down on consumption. on the road, but still consuming a good, balanced meal in camp.

Back in 2019, I did this day on a fully loaded bike on maybe 6 fig bars and coffee for breakfast and two Cliff Bars, an apple and lots of water on the road. Was I really hungry at the end? Sure. But I don't feel my performance suffered during the ride.

YAAK-REXFORD Ride with GPS

Last edited by indyfabz; 01-20-24 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 01-19-24, 11:12 AM
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Do some research and learn the health impact of all that processed food over time. Read the ingredients list. I recommend whole foods as minimally processed as possible.
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Old 01-19-24, 12:26 PM
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Define "high mileage"?

I'm doing about 35 per day - only eat twice a day, whole foods and really don't fuel my rides.
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Old 01-19-24, 07:43 PM
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I remember Lon Haldeman in the Race Across America, he ate McDonald’s. Burgers, fries, and cola, the food of champions.
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Old 01-19-24, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Barry2
two flavors in it.
"Nasty" and "Laxative".
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Old 01-19-24, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling
I remember Lon Haldeman in the Race Across America, he ate McDonalds. Burgers, fries, and cola, the food of champions.
Bet you never watched or know about the documentary, Supersize Me.

In a nutshell, Super Size Me" highlights the negative health effects of consuming a diet solely consisting of McDonald's food. During the 30-day experiment, Spurlock's weight balloons, his energy level plummets, and he experiences various unexpected and alarming side effects

He intended to go beyond 30 days but his physician warned him off it since he was deteriorating so quickly. Champions indeed.
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Old 01-20-24, 06:39 AM
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My apologies. I just noticed that there is a nutrition forum that would have been a better spot for this discussion.
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Old 01-20-24, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Being on the edge of your 50's. You'll see a lot of things you eat now start to turn on you by the time you make it to your 60's.
That happened to me. Substituted Yerba Mate for coffee, and stay away from acidy foods. I'm always discovering another food I need to be careful with due to acid reflux. I try not to eat two hours before bed.

I used to eat lots of peanut butter, peanuts and energy bars with peanuts, but at 62 peanut butter gives me heartburn and for the last two years, digestive issues. Almonds, walnuts and cashews work better now. I'll still get energy bars for longer rides, but not the peanut ones.

In my 20s when I swam every morning before work I'd eat loaded pizzas, but now, the onions and tomato sauce would kill me.

In my late 40s and 50s I ate lots of tinned tuna...it's cheap and filling...but now that causes heart burn as well.

Lucky for me my daily commute went from 9 miles each way to 6 so my caloric needs are less. I'm ten pound lighter than before the change to a shorter commute.
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Old 01-20-24, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
Bet you never watched or know about the documentary, Supersize Me.

In a nutshell, Super Size Me" highlights the negative health effects of consuming a diet solely consisting of McDonald's food. During the 30-day experiment, Spurlock's weight balloons, his energy level plummets, and he experiences various unexpected and alarming side effects

He intended to go beyond 30 days but his physician warned him off it since he was deteriorating so quickly. Champions indeed.
henry rono was about the greatest runner of his time and he apparently lived on big macs and coke and was reputed to have drank a 5th of rum before some big races. There is also a guy Don Gorske who has eaten a big mac every single day for over 50 years. Probably all about genetics.
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Old 01-20-24, 10:32 AM
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If anyone needs some calories I have quite a few stored. Can probably be made available in pound quantities.
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Old 01-20-24, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by jadmt
henry rono was about the greatest runner of his time and he apparently lived on big macs and coke and was reputed to have drank a 5th of rum before some big races. There is also a guy Don Gorske who has eaten a big mac every single day for over 50 years. Probably all about genetics.
You would need very good luck with your genetics on that kind of diet long term!

For the rest of us there are much healthier options that dont require super-human genetics to remain healthy.
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