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Increased appetite

Old 04-01-24, 12:33 PM
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Increased appetite

A few weeks ago, I resumed riding to work, about one or two days a week.

(Why only one or two days a week? I can't do it every day because it's too much effort and logistical trouble. It's 13 miles each way, there is one very difficult hill (on the way in to work), and there is a stretch of hair-raising traffic I can't avoid.)

I'm 63 years old and don't struggle with my weight. I'm still at approximately the same weight as when I was a young college student, about 160 pounds. I think I used to be 5'10" tall, and now I'm 5'8". Maybe I exaggerated my height when I was young, because losing 2" of height seems strange. I've always had a big appetite. I haven't counted calories, but I tend to surprise people with the amount I eat, and I don't tend to gain weight.

Since resuming bike commuting, my appetite has increased. That's not terribly strange, but the increase carries through every day, not just the day of the rides or the days after.

I suppose the explanation is that my riding has increased my metabolic rate. Are there any more nuanced insights?
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Old 04-01-24, 12:36 PM
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I also lost 2 inches.But no help on the eating.
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Old 04-01-24, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
I also lost 2 inches.But no help on the eating.


It's not a huge health concern, though it's a little bit of a cost concern. I figure not being overweight is a good sign. It's not the whole picture, and I have an annual physical checkup scheduled. I know my A1C (pre-diabetes indicator) is elevated, and so is my blood pressure. These are reasons (but not the only reasons) I'm riding more than before.
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Old 04-01-24, 01:13 PM
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Resting metabolic rate increases with exercise, but there is also the fact that caloric deficits, especially large ones, are not always made up the day they're incurred. If they were, no one would ever lose weight.
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Old 04-01-24, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
................................I'm 63 years old and don't struggle with my weight......................................
Originally Posted by noglider
...................................... I have an annual physical checkup scheduled. I know my A1C (pre-diabetes indicator) is elevated, and so is my blood pressure.......................................
Glad to read that you are back commuting by bike and will add that I hope you have been tracking your ANNUAL PSA numbers. I was feeling great at almost 65, had finished 5Ks to Marathons, 1/2 Ironman to FULL Ironman triathlons, 200+ mile/day bicycle rides and WAS TOLD I had Prostate Cancer in April 2015. PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen test is very important)

Good Luck and Happy Commuting
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Old 04-02-24, 11:15 AM
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Thanks everyone. @MoAlpha, you described what I suspected. @OldTryGuy, you're very right. My father had prostate cancer and caught it in time. I get my PSA checked regularly.
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Old 04-08-24, 06:48 AM
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Don't know if your diet has changed any because of the extra cycling but what I eat effects my appetite in the extreme. If I stick with whole food protein, fats and small amounts of natural carbs in fruits and veggies I do fine. If I cheat a little and have processed carbs and sugars, it increases my hunger extremely. I'll wind up eating twice as many calories.
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Old 04-10-24, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
Don't know if your diet has changed any because of the extra cycling but what I eat effects my appetite in the extreme. If I stick with whole food protein, fats and small amounts of natural carbs in fruits and veggies I do fine. If I cheat a little and have processed carbs and sugars, it increases my hunger extremely. I'll wind up eating twice as many calories.
Agreed. I'm working really hard to reduce junk food. I have succeeded mostly. I don't buy candy, cookies, ice cream, etc, but it's there during breaks at my weekly rehearsal, and I can't resist. Junk food is probably a small part of my diet. I make most of my own food out of wholesome ingredients. And still, I think my appetite has increased. Well, I guess that's life.
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Old 04-10-24, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
Agreed. I'm working really hard to reduce junk food. I have succeeded mostly. I don't buy candy, cookies, ice cream, etc, but it's there during breaks at my weekly rehearsal, and I can't resist. Junk food is probably a small part of my diet. I make most of my own food out of wholesome ingredients. And still, I think my appetite has increased. Well, I guess that's life.
It's the extra cycling causing carb cravings. I podcast listened to a long-drawn-out explanation of the process just yesterday. The short version is that longer sustained effort at a certain heart rate causes more cravings for carbs than lower-level effort with intermittent all out short bursts even if equal calories are burned. My strategy is to have a plan in place of exactly what I am going to eat when I get to that hunger point. If I start just looking for something to eat it's likely to include some things, I would be better off not eating. I went 2 years once without any added sugar in anything. I had occasional fruit but never anything with sugar as a listed ingredient. I also didn't consume a single bite of bread during those 2 years. It's quite eye opening when you break an addiction you didn't really know you had. IMHO sugar is likely the most harmful yet most socially accepted drug in our society. I have it now but very rarely and I can see how quickly it increases my hunger..
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Old 04-10-24, 06:07 PM
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I agree with all of that, @RH Clark. I'm not ready to cut bread out of my diet. I try to eat good bread, and I hope that makes a difference.

I'm reading (or really listening to) the book called Outlive by Peter Attia MD. (I bought a hardcopy also, and my spouse is reading it.) Very interesting. It has given me reasons to be even more prudent. He explains that process you mention where carbohydrates, even sugar, are good for us when making a big athletic effort. At other times, it's bad.

I'm concerned about health but not my weight. Maintaining a good weight has never been a problem for me, for some reason. I seem to have a built in calorie counter or something.
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Old 04-11-24, 05:31 AM
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I don't think anyone has to cut out all sugar and all bread to be healthy. That was something I did because I was in an extreme situation weighing 360 lbs. at 50 years old. I dropped 180 lbs. in just under 2 years and reached a very lean 170 for my 6' 2 frame. I got injured, double hernias and was misdiagnosed for over a year. Even thought I might have cancer for a while from one doctor. During that time, I stopped being so strict on my diet and gained about 20 lbs. I'm now in the process of recovery and getting that weight back off.
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Old 04-11-24, 05:41 AM
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I eat my feelings (anxiety) and out of boredom (desk job). I'll be 60 this year and with two kids 6 and 8, there is SO much junk food around, which has always been my weakness. In addition, cycling has always made me inordinately hungry, out of proportion to the miles and intensity. So, while my weight isn't increasing, my physique is not great (belly). I'm having a hard time reeling it in.
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Old 04-11-24, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by RB1-luvr
I eat my feelings (anxiety) and out of boredom (desk job). I'll be 60 this year and with two kids 6 and 8, there is SO much junk food around, which has always been my weakness. In addition, cycling has always made me inordinately hungry, out of proportion to the miles and intensity. So, while my weight isn't increasing, my physique is not great (belly). I'm having a hard time reeling it in.
I tell people getting off sugar would be like getting off cocaine, if cocaine was so socially acceptable that we gave it to children and so cheap you could get a fix anywhere for a dollar. I've seen studies where mice were clinically addicted to cocaine and given a choice between cocaine water and sugar water, 99 out of 100 would be off cocaine and on sugar very quickly. Under brain scans it lights up the same pleasure centers in humans as cocaine.

If you want to get off sugar, you have to treat it as a serious addiction. Personally, I used artificial sweeteners to help the transition just like a heroin addict is supposed to use methadone. Don't stay on them though since they may be more problematic long term than sugar. Once I was able to get off all sweeteners, it took about 3 months before all the cravings stopped. I never realized how addicted I was until I wasn't anymore. Foods started tasting sweeter now even without added sugar. My blueberries were sweet to me after 3 months that had been sour before.

My kids cried when I dumped the last 5 pounds of sugar out. I simply don't buy any junk food for the house. My kids get plenty of it when I can't supervise them anyway. I'm not even against them having an occasional junk food treat but not every day.
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