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Please Help Me With Nutritional Advice!

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Please Help Me With Nutritional Advice!

Old 07-23-11, 08:57 PM
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Please Help Me With Nutritional Advice!

I am still relatively new to cycling. I'm 29, 5'11" and weigh 202 lbs so I'm still getting in shape. I have logged over 200 miles in the 4 weeks I've owned my bike. I always ride at least 10 miles and just tonight I did 23 miles with an average speed of 14mph with many tough hills.

In those 4 weeks, I have cut out all soda and fast/restaurant food from my diet. I only drink 0-cal drinks now or water so my only source for calories is food. I do not eat anything greasy or high in calories and, although I'm not keeping a detailed log, I would guess I am only consuming around 1,500-1,800 calories/day.

According to a lot of calorie burning calculators for cycling available online, tonight I burned over 1,600 calories (not to mention 100's more while running around at work for 10 hours earlier in the day). I felt great on the ride and, as always, have more energy, feel better, and recover faster with every ride and tonight was no exception!

But, I am worried about my caloric intake. If I'm only consuming just as many calories as I'm burning in my ride, am I setting myself up for the bonk? I know calories are needed in exercise (they're basically energy) but I really don't want to start consuming the 3,000+ calories/day but am I just being ignorant and too concerned with weight loss?

I have 2 main goals with cycling:

1. Get down to 180 lbs.
2. Ride a 150 mile benefit ride in mid-September (75 miles one day, 75 the next).

Also, when I ride at night like tonight and get home at 9:30pm and take a shower, it's already close to 10pm and so I don't eat any food. Is that a bad idea after a long ride? If it is a bad idea, what about it being a bad idea to eat late at night and/or right before bedtime because that's also bad!

Thanks for any/all advice in advance-- I appreciate it!
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Old 07-23-11, 09:57 PM
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On line calorie counters are terribly inaccurate and often wildly optimistic. Most people who count calories find that they are eating much more than they thought.

I personally dislike calorie counting. I eat reasonably healthy all the time. When I want to lose weight I just eat less at every meal. If I wake up hungry and don't stuff myself during the day, I'll lose weight gradually. Losing weight fast often means losing muscle, which is counter-productive. If you are feeling good, you're eating enough. You're right that you can't go for long with a large caloric deficit. But it's probably not as large as you think, and until you get lean, you can have days where you burn significantly more than you eat. As you increase your time on the bike as part of training for your event, you'll burn more calories.

I'd recommend concentrating on your training over weight loss. It'll make you a better cyclist faster, and if you eat healthy you'll lose weight on the way without trying.

You need food after a long ride, so you can replenish your glycogen stores before the next day's ride. But you're not doing that long a ride yet. When you do, you'll know because you'll bonk on the second day.
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