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Cutting Out Sugar

Old 08-21-20, 07:07 AM
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CanadianBiker32
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Cutting Out Sugar

I am healthy and fit. However I still want to cut out sugar more from my daily diet. However Sugar in some aspects is needed in on the bike nutrition and energy etc.

What could I do I keep my daily energy and cut the sugar out?

I know carbs is needed. But i am thinking cutting out things more like eating cookies and chocolate a bit during the day more?

Would the cutting down on sugar more make things better in the long run?
Go with low sugar carbs for energy?
suggestions please?
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Old 08-21-20, 07:32 AM
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All carbohydrates are primarily sugar.

You could cut down on the more-processed stuff if you feel compelled, but you will be getting sugar from vegetables and fruits as well, though with more fiber.

But sure, cut out excess sweets = cutting out excess refined sugar = likely cutting out extra calories.

Could help with weight loss/maintenance, better blood sugar, etc.
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Old 08-21-20, 10:50 AM
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I don't think it's going to matter as much what you do off the bike toward cutting out sugar in your diet.

But for what you eat and drink while on the bike, if you expect to go for more than an hour and a half and hit some hills at a good effort or put intervals into your ride, then you'll need some carbohydrate during your ride.

There are easily absorbed carbs and not so easily absorbed carbs. Some have a bigger effect on glycemic index and other things if you are worried about that.

IMO, diet on the bike and diet off the bike are two different discussions. So make certain you know which you are asking about and which is being talked about.
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Old 08-21-20, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by CanadianBiker32 View Post
I am healthy and fit. However I still want to cut out sugar more from my daily diet. However Sugar in some aspects is needed in on the bike nutrition and energy etc.

What could I do I keep my daily energy and cut the sugar out?

I know carbs is needed. But i am thinking cutting out things more like eating cookies and chocolate a bit during the day more?

Would the cutting down on sugar more make things better in the long run?
Go with low sugar carbs for energy?
suggestions please?

I think you nailed it when you said cut out cookies and candy.

That piles up calories fast.

Otherwise, I think in the context of eating the *number of calories required to meet your goals, you need plenty of carbs.

How much is plenty? I think depending on how much you ride, carbs could be between 40%-65+% of your total calories.

Im no nutrition expert but just repeating what I have seen experts say in general.

Personally, I eat carbs in all three of my meals and my snack. Via fruit in my breakfast and snack. And bread or potatoes in my lunch and dinner.

I only cycle an hour every other day or Id probably have to up my carbs a lot. But I also strength train so Iím around 40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat.

The only sweet/dessert type thing I have is like 10-15 M&Ms after dinner 😊

Last edited by CyclingBK; 08-21-20 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 08-21-20, 12:00 PM
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how much riding are you doing?
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Old 08-21-20, 01:04 PM
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Our policy here at home is not to have edible snacks in the house. We just don't buy them or have them here. Of course we have relatively inedible snacks like nut bars and Clif bars for use on hikes and one the bike, but those are not by any means tempting snacks, so we don't eat them at home. That makes it quite simple. My favorite snack is an apple or a handful of walnuts and a glass of milk. We always have those on hand. On the bike our main fuels are maltodextrin and Ensure or one of its clones, also pretty much in the category of inedible by ordinary humans.
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Old 08-21-20, 02:28 PM
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Here is my take on refined sugar: I use it strategically, meaning only when I need fast energy to fuel my workouts and bike rides....It's not something that I eat as a comfort food for pleasure on daily basis...There is nothing wrong with refined sugar if it is used correctly as needed for its intended purpose.
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Old 08-21-20, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Our policy here at home is not to have edible snacks in the house. We just don't buy them or have them here. Of course we have relatively inedible snacks like nut bars and Clif bars for use on hikes and one the bike, but those are not by any means tempting snacks, so we don't eat them at home. That makes it quite simple. My favorite snack is an apple or a handful of walnuts and a glass of milk. We always have those on hand. On the bike our main fuels are maltodextrin and Ensure or one of its clones, also pretty much in the category of inedible by ordinary humans.
Thats the way to do it.

I mean, we have the M&Ms, lol, but been very disciplined with those, just a few after dinner.

Otherwise, we cleared out everything snackable, chips, crackers, ramen noodles, not to mention cookies.

If we really really want a Twix bar, ice cream, or some chips or something, gotta leave the house and go get it.
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Old 08-21-20, 03:15 PM
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I cut out white sugar in my racing days, late '70s. Still consumed fruit and honey. Used a sports drink that contained glucose. I got to see how much my body sees sucrose (and now the new sugars) a a drug, not a food.

I'm not a saint now. Some of the food I bring home contains sucrose but not a lot save peanut M & Ms for which I allow myself up to a small package a day. I do buy bulk white sugar, but I eat none of it. (My little hummers have no problem eating 5-10 pounds/year.) My coffee and pancakes get honey. I make granola with honey.

A couple of months into my no sugar diet of my racing days, I tries eating a candy bar on a ride. Wow! I felt like I got injected with a drug! Flew on the bike. And crashed to below where I started a few hours later. I"ve known ever since that white sugar is, for me, a pure drug. Yes, I can acclimate myself to it and build up to consume quite a lot with no (noticeable) effect, but that is like most other drugs I choose not to addict myself to.

I do not see the various sugars as being remotely the same. Yes, all have the same calories/gram. But huge differences in how my body reacts. My theory - that for the most part humans did not have access to large amounts of sucrose but did to fructose. Fructose is the sugar in most common fruits. Sucrose is primarily in saps. Summer and fall, lots of fructose to be eaten by humans in large quantities in many parts of the world. Sap is so dilute that man could never get very much until food processing started; a recent change. (Maple sap has to be condensed 40:1 to make the maple syrup we love which is 50% sucrose. Likewise the sap of sugar cane and beets.) So sucrose in large amounts is what? 2000 years old n human experience? (Did anybody make maple syrup or the like before then?)

Ben
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Old 08-22-20, 01:33 AM
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I eat plenty of carbs and sweets, but I'm actually bordering underweight in my BMI (Body mass index). I am 28" in the waist as a male so definitely have very little fat.

I make up for it by hard cycling training 21 hrs per week.
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Old 08-22-20, 11:22 AM
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Early this year I came across a Ted Talk by a microbiologist whose main point in the talk is that cancer cells love sugar. She can watch such cells multiply under a microscope when fed sugar. That cancer cells like sugar has evidently been known for some time but that revelation was news to me. As a consequence, I've given up most sweets and the fat has been melting off. I'm a bit below my high school weight but mostly I now have a flat stomach.

Last edited by berner; 08-30-20 at 09:26 AM. Reason: claarity
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Old 08-22-20, 02:46 PM
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When I went low carb (Atkins Induction, 20 g carbs / day) back in March 2018, I cut sugar from my diet. Easier said than done, as it takes months to shake out all of the processed food sugar (anything with a food label). It's worth it though. Your fatty liver will heal, your visceral fat will disappear. Your doctor will freak (let'm freak).
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Old 08-22-20, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CanadianBiker32 View Post

What could I do I keep my daily energy and cut the sugar out?
Eat the following:

white rice
oatmeal
potatoes
bread
bananas
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Old 08-22-20, 05:58 PM
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I've long cut out "straight" sugar (in foods) from my nutrition, and seek to avoid most all added (and fairly pointless) sugars in foods. Basically, I'm a "food in natural forms, as nature intended" type, these days, and have been for years. Yogurts, milk, honey, "granola" type mixes, dried fruits ... okay in moderation (given the carbs/sugars in them).

Of course, easily-absorbed sugars are like a "drug" in a sense. The body definitely has a lot of "oomph" when it kicks in, at least for the short run. At least, mine certainly does.

I've always performed much better, generally, with a moderate amount of protein, a good amount of "quality" fats, and a modest amount of carbohydrates that tend to be on the low-glycemic (slower-absorption) end of the scale. In time, the body adjusted itself to this and I found I could have greater stamina, albeit at a somewhat reduced power output for short periods. Preferable, for me, as I can generally do without the hard-sprint/max-effort type energy that a higher amount of carbs could deliver.
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Old 09-21-20, 09:06 AM
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Sugar can be as addictive as narcotic drugs for some people. It can be very difficult to cut the sugar habit as your body craves it. Some are allergic to it.
The best way to cut out sugar is to adopt a keto diet and get your dietary energy from fats and proteins.
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Old 09-21-20, 10:33 AM
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good. more Ben & Jerry's for me. step aside, please.
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Old 09-21-20, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
Sugar can be as addictive as narcotic drugs for some people. It can be very difficult to cut the sugar habit as your body craves it. Some are allergic to it.
The best way to cut out sugar is to adopt a keto diet and get your dietary energy from fats and proteins.

Your body craves it because it's a source of fuel, which your body needs to function. Participating in endurance sports and cutting out carbs/sugar is a recipe for disaster.
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Old 09-22-20, 09:05 AM
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A good way to think about this sort of thing is to think of food as fuel. I know a few riders who had pretty severe food hangups. They cured themselves by learning to think about eating as "fueling." You figure out what your body needs to have for fuel and you put that in your mouth, just enough for fuel needs, no more. It's only complicated if you don't know anything about nutrition or have really mistaken ideas about that. That's maybe curable if one gives up Facebook, etc., and learns to disregard all advice given by "experts" who profit off said advice.
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Old 09-22-20, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
A good way to think about this sort of thing is to think of food as fuel. I know a few riders who had pretty severe food hangups. They cured themselves by learning to think about eating as "fueling." You figure out what your body needs to have for fuel and you put that in your mouth, just enough for fuel needs, no more. It's only complicated if you don't know anything about nutrition or have really mistaken ideas about that. That's maybe curable if one gives up Facebook, etc., and learns to disregard all advice given by "experts" who profit off said advice.
Absolutely true. The best most efficient fuel in terms of calories per gram is fat.
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Old 09-23-20, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
Absolutely true. The best most efficient fuel in terms of calories per gram is fat.
It's only "best" if you're riding really slowly/ with low intensity.

If you're interested in going a bit faster (or doing anything with a modicum of intensity), then it simply won't work.
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Old 09-23-20, 05:25 AM
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Gels and energy drinks used on a power or long ride are all sugar because they enter your bloodstream quickly as ready energy. That said, I've known bike tourers to replace calories off the bike with beer, especially when on 30+ day tours.
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Old 09-23-20, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
Absolutely true. The best most efficient fuel in terms of calories per gram is fat.
Absolutely true. That's the reason than the early polar explorers took pemmican with them. In their time, pemmican was bear fat mixed with berries. I'm sure we'd all eat it if we were out on the ice and that's all there was. However we cyclists aren't sledging our supplies over ice ridges and thus weight per calorie makes no difference. In terms of weight, our caloric needs are vastly less than our need for water. In fact many of us can ride for hours without refueling. So your fact, while correct, is of no interest whatsoever to cyclists, whatever their dietary practices.

That said, is it possible that you're planning a multi-week cycling tour, stopping only to sleep, carrying all your food with you? Pemmican would be a good choice. Doesn't even need to be heated. You need to know a successful bear hunter though. The berries are to prevent scurvy, necessary even though they decrease the calories per pound
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Old 09-23-20, 02:34 PM
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I've only recently begun to understand the dangers of refine sugars and high glycemc carbohydrates. I use to consume them with abandon. I figured that I get tons of exercise and my BMI is usually around 23, so that I didn't need to worry about blood sugar and the like. I was wrong. Though I've never been diagnosed, I've recently recognized symptoms of pre-diabetes and there's evidence of this in my annual blood work.

I've cut out refined sugars in my off-bike diet. I miss the ice cream. Also I'm working on reducing the high glycemic carbs. White rice has been a huge component of my diet- asian food, indian food, middle eastern food, mexican food...you get the idea - and is probably the chief culprit. Google "white rice diabetes" and you'll find some eye opening stuff. I haven't foresworn white rice or other high glycemic carbs (e.g., potatoes) but I eat them much less frequently and, importantly, in much smaller portions. Same with pasta- small portions. I eat less bread, have more nuts, more vegetables,etc.

On-bike is different. I don't get sugar spikes when I'm actively burning up the calories. So I still use energy chews and sport drinks
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Old 09-23-20, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Absolutely true. That's the reason than the early polar explorers took pemmican with them. In their time, pemmican was bear fat mixed with berries. I'm sure we'd all eat it if we were out on the ice and that's all there was. However we cyclists aren't sledging our supplies over ice ridges and thus weight per calorie makes no difference. In terms of weight, our caloric needs are vastly less than our need for water. In fact many of us can ride for hours without refueling. So your fact, while correct, is of no interest whatsoever to cyclists, whatever their dietary practices.

That said, is it possible that you're planning a multi-week cycling tour, stopping only to sleep, carrying all your food with you? Pemmican would be a good choice. Doesn't even need to be heated. You need to know a successful bear hunter though. The berries are to prevent scurvy, necessary even though they decrease the calories per pound
Pemmican would be an excellent choice for a high calorie cyclists snack. Traditionally made from moose or bison meat it consists of dried and pulverized meat mixed with tallow and dried berries.
The voyageurs, who were no strangers to long and arduous days of extreme exertion, thrived on it.
Here is a youtube vid of how to make modern day pemmican. It doesnt look that difficult.

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Old 09-23-20, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Your body craves it because it's a source of fuel, which your body needs to function. Participating in endurance sports and cutting out carbs/sugar is a recipe for disaster.
When I went off white sugar entirely it became quite apparent to me that I am prone to using and needing sucrose as a drug and that it is, again for me, addicting. I've known this for nearly 45 years. The other sugars, at least the ones that existed then, did not and do not have that effect. I eat a pile of fruit every morning. I love honey. But I can go without with no issues at all (except riding when I need fuel).
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