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Need help with nutrition (riding, weight loss)

Old 03-27-12, 02:04 PM
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Need help with nutrition (riding, weight loss)

Ok, I don't think I've ever even looked in here, let alone posted. But it's time for a nutrition intervention.

My story - late forties, riding for my whole life (well, not my twenties, was addicted to cars and Lucky Strikes). Also overweight most of my adult and childhood life. Currently about 225 on a stocky 5'8" (172cm) frame. Would love to get back down to my healthiest jogger's weight I was at 25 (145-150 pounds) but at my age i would be more than thrilled at hitting 175 or so again for the first time in decades.

I don't eat a lot of junk food. My big downfall, I guess, is seconds and even thirds at dinner. I eat lots of poultry and a little fish, beef and pork almost never. And tons of carbs - breadaholic here. Usually eat a decent sized lunch but not a big breakfast person.

What finally drove me to seek help here? I had only ever bonked once - about six or seven years ago I was riding all day, from about 8AM to 3 PM, on a small bowl of cereal for brkfast. Only riding about 5 mph in a park all day, (with friends pulling their baby in a trailer) except at the very end my wife and I did one fast 3 mile loop (about 18-25 mph) and I exploded at the end, collapsed off the bike, shaking, nauseous, dizzy, tunnel vision, the works.

Two years ago I completed a club ride SIG, B group (17 mph on flats avg, rides progressed from 45-100 miles with increased climbs over a ten-week period). Had no nutrition issues there, other than I pigged out after some of the rides, so I lost weight, but not a lot of weight (maybe 10 pounds, 1 per week). BUt was always fueled well and hydrated enough that I became the butt of the group's jokes regarding my tiny bladder and frequent pee break requests.

Last year I couldn't ride due to bad luck - first a broken hand and after that a broken ankle. My weight nearly hit 240 at one point; my BP is now high (about 140/90) and I am taking some meds. (Hypertension runs in my family, I am surprised it took this long to surface in me). With 6 months of meds (and I am guessing/hoping, my return to the bike) it was last checked at 140/82.

Right now, a friend in his 20s got me to do a new club series but I am having trouble keeping up; they're more of an advanced group, people who get dropped off the back are left behind, and it's an 18 mph group. After a light winter of riding, getting back on the bike following a year off with injuries I am starting to think I may need to bail and concentrate on building up a fresh base of fitness before taking on such challenges.

Last week, in a desperate attempt to drop some weight so I could keep up on climbs (I typically stay with the strongest riders on the flats, but am way at the back on hills), I cut out bread and ate well otherwise - fruits, veggies, poultry, a little cheese) and lost about 9 pounds in a week and was light-headed at the start of the ride...turned around after only 20 miles and was a bit shaky by the time I got home.


The first thing I did (after forcing in some carbs and drinking lots of water) was pull out every book on nutrition and riding I own, and I've already learned a lot - such as glycogen being in your system from food eaten before the ride day - laugh, but this is news to me. I read somewhere about Lance weighing his skinless chicken breast and skimping on carbs at dinners to keep weight down and then going crazy with protein and carbo-loading at breakfast before the ride, so I figured that was a good plan. Maybe it would be if, like the pros, I ate a big meal at 8 am, rested for three hours and then rode at 1 PM.

In the real world of weekend club rides, I get up at 5, suck down (too much) coffee in order to wake up enough to eat, and then either eat so much that I'm fueled well, but feel vomitous, or eat less but feel weak on the rides. Either way, I have about ten minutes to digest before stuffing myself into spandex and riding through city streets to the start.

I think I would be okay just dieting to lose weight, or continuing to fuel my rides as I have for many years at my current 80 lbs overweight physique. I'm here b/c I need help figuring out how to lose weight sensibly - for my health - while fueling for challenging rides.

If this is not realistic and I simply need to eat less and ride at a lower intensity for more miles, pls someone clue me in. As much as I love riding and would like to be thinner, faster, etc. I am most concerned about lowering my BP.

I realize my scenarios are probably not uncommon, and there will be threads that address all of this and more...pls feel free to direct me to those if you can.

Meanwhile it felt good to get all that off my chest. I have been riding long enough to know how to fix my own bike, how to dress for the weather, etc. I am even overcoming my retrogrouch ways and the wife bought me a Garmin for Xmas so at least I can now upload my ride info. But I know nearly zilch about sports nutrition - specifically for a cyclist. What to eat, how much, when.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks if you read this far.
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Old 03-27-12, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by pgoat View Post
.

I don't eat a lot of junk food. My big downfall, I guess, is seconds and even thirds at dinner. I eat lots of poultry and a little fish, beef and pork almost never. And tons of carbs - breadaholic here. Usually eat a decent sized lunch but not a big breakfast person.
You seem to know what your main problem is: cutting back on the extra portions. Do you eat a lot of fruit and veggies? Every night at least half of my dinner plate is salad and veggies. It fills you up.

Do you drink enough water? Try having a big glass (24-30 oz) of water with dinner. It will make you feel fuller and then second helpings won't be so tempting.
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Old 03-27-12, 02:43 PM
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I think it would help to log all your food at least for a week or two, so that you know where your calories come from. Check out www.loseit.com. And yes, it means that you have to get a food scale and weigh everything that didn't come pre-packaged.

Do make sure to eat a lot of veggies and greens. You didn't mention alcohol. Do you drink alcohol? If you do, you have to account for that as well, there's a lot of calories in beer and wine.

How often do you have long rides (2 hours or more at once)? Is it just on weekends? In that case, you can load up on carbs the day before the ride and the morning of the ride, eat a hearty balanced dinner after the ride, and try to maintain a restricted diet, shooting for 1500 calories/day, the rest of the week. If you can stick to that plan, you'd be losing 10 pounds per month, which is at the high end of what's considered safe.

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Old 03-27-12, 03:49 PM
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Losing 9lbs per week is ridiculous, no wonder you felt weak.

If you go onto a low-carb diet you are quite likely to find yourself unable to sustain intensive efforts of any great duration. But that isn't necessarily a problem, if you have the time for long rides. In my experience, riding for longer at lower intensity has the advantage of burning the same amounts of calories as a shorter, harder, effort without producing quite as great an urge to overeat afterwards.

Personally, though, I wouldn't go in for any fancy diets, or exclude any food groups - not even carbs. I'd accept the pain of having to count calories, work out my base metabolic rate (there are calculators on-line) and from there I'd be able to work out the balance between consumption, and exercise, that should enable me to lose a couple of pounds per week. If a couple of pounds per week doesn't sound like much, trust me - what you are trying to do is make changes that you might be able to sustain, and in any event, how good would you feel about yourself if in six months time you'd lost 50lbs?

Forget about sports nutrition. Eat a balanced diet. You aren't entering the Tour de France.
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Old 03-27-12, 04:28 PM
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Losing 9lbs per week is ridiculous, no wonder you felt weak.
The worst part is that no more than 1 lb of that was fat. The rest was glycogen and water. That's part of the reason why low-carb diets are so popular. You cut out carbs from the diet, your weight rapidly drops 5-10 pounds, and you start thinking "hey, that diet really works!" Except, of course, it doesn't. Actually losing 9 lbs of fat requires an energy deficit of 30,000 calories, almost impossible to achieve with diet alone in less than a month.

Personally, though, I wouldn't go in for any fancy diets, or exclude any food groups - not even carbs. I'd accept the pain of having to count calories, work out my base metabolic rate (there are calculators on-line) and from there I'd be able to work out the balance between consumption, and exercise, that should enable me to lose a couple of pounds per week. If a couple of pounds per week doesn't sound like much, trust me - what you are trying to do is make changes that you might be able to sustain, and in any event, how good would you feel about yourself if in six months time you'd lost 50lbs?

Forget about sports nutrition. Eat a balanced diet. You aren't entering the Tour de France.
Agreed.
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Old 03-27-12, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by eugenek View Post
I think it would help to log all your food at least for a week or two, so that you know where your calories come from. Check out www.loseit.com. And yes, it means that you have to get a food scale and weigh everything that didn't come pre-packaged.

Do make sure to eat a lot of veggies and greens. You didn't mention alcohol. Do you drink alcohol? If you do, you have to account for that as well, there's a lot of calories in beer and wine.

How often do you have long rides (2 hours or more at once)? Is it just on weekends? In that case, you can load up on carbs the day before the ride and the morning of the ride, eat a hearty balanced dinner after the ride, and try to maintain a restricted diet, shooting for 1500 calories/day, the rest of the week. If you can stick to that plan, you'd be losing 10 pounds per month, which is at the high end of what's considered safe.
This is wonderful, exactly what I asked for, thank you so much. I've been doing long rides steadily, maybe one a month on average, for years but they've been urban pootles well under 10 mph. Fun, and certainly good exercise, but not vigorous by any means. The 2010 club rides were the first structured rides I've done and I really loved it. I want to continue, but sensibly, given my age, weight and high BP. Your advice is a big help; i like your plan for fueling the rides and that was exactly what I had planned....I mainly just goofed when I didn't carb up the night before last weekend's ride.

PS - no, I barely drink alcohol. I average maybe a few beers one or two weekends a month, if that...

Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
Losing 9lbs per week is ridiculous, no wonder you felt weak.

If you go onto a low-carb diet you are quite likely to find yourself unable to sustain intensive efforts of any great duration. But that isn't necessarily a problem, if you have the time for long rides. In my experience, riding for longer at lower intensity has the advantage of burning the same amounts of calories as a shorter, harder, effort without producing quite as great an urge to overeat afterwards.

Personally, though, I wouldn't go in for any fancy diets, or exclude any food groups - not even carbs. I'd accept the pain of having to count calories, work out my base metabolic rate (there are calculators on-line) and from there I'd be able to work out the balance between consumption, and exercise, that should enable me to lose a couple of pounds per week. If a couple of pounds per week doesn't sound like much, trust me - what you are trying to do is make changes that you might be able to sustain, and in any event, how good would you feel about yourself if in six months time you'd lost 50lbs?

Forget about sports nutrition. Eat a balanced diet. You aren't entering the Tour de France.
Thank you - very sensible advice.
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Old 03-27-12, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by eugenek View Post
The worst part is that no more than 1 lb of that was fat. The rest was glycogen and water. That's part of the reason why low-carb diets are so popular. You cut out carbs from the diet, your weight rapidly drops 5-10 pounds, and you start thinking "hey, that diet really works!" Except, of course, it doesn't. Actually losing 9 lbs of fat requires an energy deficit of 30,000 calories, almost impossible to achieve with diet alone in less than a month.
wow, see, this is the kind of thing I know nothing about, but it makes perfect sense. Thank you so much for this.

I should add I have also been super stressed out the past year, as my wife and I are in the midst of buying our first home...long long story, fraught with drama and anxiety, but our closing is set for tomorrow...hopefully my bp may go down a few points from that alone!
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Old 03-29-12, 08:52 PM
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Check this site out https://www.marksdailyapple.com/#axzz1qZ43qjoe.
I struggled for a long time with getting myself back in shape until I finally stumbled on this site. I ended up losing a little over 40 lbs and 8" around my gut. I also have a neck again.
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Old 04-01-12, 12:02 AM
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Somthing that is often not disscused, and i can see but more importantley feel the benefits of high dosing vitamin C. Imo not just a benefit to cyclists but to all.

Almost all animals on earth synthesize their own vitamin C ( ascorbic acid ) from their blood sugar glucose and do not need it in their diet. The few exceptions are humans, other primates, guinea pigs, the red-vented bulbul, the Indian fruit eating bat, the rainbow trout and the Coho salmon. It is interesting to note that humans are missing just one of the enzymes in the sequence of enzymes required to transform blood glucose into vitamin C . Perhaps we still posses the genetic code for this missing enzyme, but we are unable to access it. Judging from the amount of vitamin C synthesized per day by common animals the average person is grossly under-supplied in their daily vitamin C intake. For example when vitamin C needs are given in mg / kg / day we have Goat ( 32 to 190 mg/kg/day ), Cow ( 15 to 18 ), Sheep ( 25 ), Rat ( 39 to198 ), Mouse (33 to 275 ), Squirrel ( 28 ), Gerbil ( 25 ), Rabbit ( 22 to 226 ), Cat ( 5 to 40 ), Dog (5 to 40 ), and Pig ( 8 ).1 Now compare this to the recommended daily allowance ( RDA ) of 0.9 mg / kg / day allotted for humans by the federal government medical professionals.2 Now less you might think that primates are exceptional in their vitamin C needs note that wild baboons have blood levels of vitamin C consistent with 10 mg /kg / day and wild vervet monkeys have blood levels consistent with 3 to 8 mg / kg / day. At this point your common sense should be telling you that the human RDA of 0.9 mg / kg / day is absurd, ridiculous, and some people in government need to leave government. For example the subcommittee on Laboratory Animal Nutrition of the National Research Council has recommended that most primates be fed vitamin C supplements ranging from 1.75 to 3.5 grams a day. Now what about the primate man?
https://www.rifeenergymedicine.com/vitaminc.html
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Old 04-01-12, 01:55 PM
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Consequences of getting less than 0.9 mg/kg/day are quite obvious and nasty (scurvy). Benefits of getting 10 mg/kg/day vs. 0.9 mg/kg/day are much more tenuous and hard to prove even through clinical trials.
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Old 04-01-12, 06:49 PM
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weight loss nutrition and timed nutrition for intense exercise sessions are not the same. you need carbs to perform. simple and complex. chocolate covered raisins right before a ride or after 20 min is pretty awesome
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Old 04-01-12, 10:30 PM
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As a former biochemist, I could write pages, but the basic paradox is that your body wants to burn glucose/glycogen first, that's what it does best, and that's what your body needs to do for you to perform at your best athletically. However, to burn fat, you must be mostly depleted of glucose/glycogen. This is why, while dieting, don't count on any personal bests athletically. It is perfectly natural for you to bonk more easily while losing weight. To prepare properly for a hard ride, you need to eat well for 3 days before the event. It takes about 3 days to fully replenish the glycogen stores in your liver and muscle. However, while you are doing that, you are not burning fat. This is the dilemma. The proper way to prepare nutritionally for peak performance is pretty much the opposite of what you do to lose weight.
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Old 04-01-12, 11:19 PM
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It's really tough to walk the line between losing losing weight and getting more fit. I have been trying to do it for about 10 months now. The only advice I can lend is to try really hard to track your calories in and calories out as accurately as possible. Use these numbers to maintain a consistent but sustainable calorie deficit. I tend to find that looking at weekly net totals allows for more flexibility than trying to hit a daily goal. It allows me to take in a few extra calories the day before a big effort, and a few extra during/following that effort while still allowing me to stay in the ballpark with my weekly weight loss goals.

As I am approaching my weight goals, I have cut my deficit down to 3000ish calories per week from 7000 or so. I am definitely getting stronger at a faster rate now and feel like I am getting more benefit from my training. My weight loss has slowed to a pound every 1-2 weeks from the 6-9 pounds a month that I was running.

I track using myfitnesspal.com. It's the easiest tool to log with that I have found. The reporting leaves a bit to be desired sometimes but I really haven't found anything better or easier to use. Don't trust all of the calories burnt estimates given by them or any other site or device. Most are a bit high in their reporting. I am sure it varies dramatically from individual to individual, but I have had good results using a calculated BMR of a "sedentary" person using a couple of different methods and taking the average. I use about 80-85% of the calorie burn suggested by my HR measuring devices (Polar/Garmin) during exercise. Good luck.

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Old 04-02-12, 07:37 AM
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Hey LeeRoySD, looking at your ticker on the bottom of your post. 5 lbs to go... Awesome!
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Old 04-02-12, 01:05 PM
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thank you everyone and pls keep any comments coming you'd care to add...this is all a great learning process for me and I hope, maybe some others out there reading.

I've been eating more lately but trying to keep portions sane. Haven't weighed myself in a week or so but from the way my pants are fitting I can tell I only gained back a pound or two extra, which is fine for now.

In my mid 20s I ran a lot and weighed a healthy 140-150 lbs. a few years before that when I first went up over 190 lbs., I went on a "cigarettes and herbal tea" diet (my own design, I threw in apples and saltines as needed for survival). I felt okay but was totally not athletic at that point - desk job and pretty much lay around reading at home. Went down to about 130, which was clearly too thin for me. When I was running a few years later I ate well, but not to excess. And I did eat a lot of carbs; I've always loved grains and never been much of a meat eater....however I do need more f&v. For complex carbs and other nutrients, fiber, etc.

I appreciate the advice about eating well for three days before a hard effort club or training ride; is the window of recovery eating after the ride about one day?

If I am getting this right, that would give me about three days per week to cut back on caloric intake a little (not starvation) and three-four days to fuel well for hard efforts. In between I'd be doing some light weights (high reps, low weight, I usually do upper body only and maybe 20 mins tops, for toning) and my 20-mile round trip commute rides about 4x week. I also hope to get back into some gentle yoga daily (mostly stretching and TM, not the physically intense stuff).

I guess I am hoping if I can get the timing right and keep fueling rides and lose weight slowly and sensibly maybe even at my age my metabolism will speed up a bit and it won't be as much of a struggle to keep the weight off....idk if I am kidding myself there?
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Old 04-02-12, 01:18 PM
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Calories ingested must be less than calories burned.

Track your calories ingested - accurately with being an uptight perfectionist
Track your calories burned - again accurate but reasonable estimations are enough

I weigh daily, I weigh and measure every thing I can before I eat. I know how many calories I eat and I know how many calories I burn.

I am at a plateau now but dropping slightly in weight and did lose some size in my chest, waist, and neck this past month. BTW, I rode almost 800 miles last month.

How do I track all of this information? www.myfitnesspal.com

If you will be dedicated enough to put yourself on a calorie budget then I am confident you will lose weight. Oh yeah, I tend to gain weight after a long bike ride but within a few days I am able to drop the couple of pounds gained.
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Old 04-02-12, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by pgoat View Post

I appreciate the advice about eating well for three days before a hard effort club or training ride; is the window of recovery eating after the ride about one day?

If I am getting this right, that would give me about three days per week to cut back on caloric intake a little (not starvation) and three-four days to fuel well for hard efforts. In between I'd be doing some light weights (high reps, low weight, I usually do upper body only and maybe 20 mins tops, for toning) and my 20-mile round trip commute rides about 4x week. I also hope to get back into some gentle yoga daily (mostly stretching and TM, not the physically intense stuff).

I guess I am hoping if I can get the timing right and keep fueling rides and lose weight slowly and sensibly maybe even at my age my metabolism will speed up a bit and it won't be as much of a struggle to keep the weight off....idk if I am kidding myself there?
If I'm reading you right, you like to do one intense ride per week. Personally, I would opt for more training rides of less intensity while losing weight. So for example, rather than one intense 40-mile ride per week, do 3-4 20 mile rides per week of moderate intensity. Keep your diet fairly even. Your body will get used to it. Steadily drop the pounds. You will still gain fitness. Once a month, if you want to do a hard Sunday ride, do your normal routine M-F, but experiment and add 1,500 calories to your normal diet on Saturday (the value of counting calories). See if that is sufficient to get you through your hard ride. If so, back it off. If not, add calories on Friday in addition to the 1,500 calories on Saturday. Take 6-12 months, steadily lose weight and gain fitness, next summer you can ride with the 20-year-olds.
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Old 04-03-12, 09:35 AM
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Cut portion sizes. Not stupidly, just gradually down, especially dinner portions. Your stomach will gradually get used to the smaller portions and you'll feel satisfied sooner. Don't eat until you're full. Stop as soon as you aren't really hungry, have a cup of herbal tea, and see how that feels. Don't try to eat enough to last you all night. Instead, right before bed have 15g whey protein or a piece of cheese, 1-2 oz. You can also cut portion sizes by having 15g flavored whey protein in water about 1/2 hour before a meal. For dinner, 1/2 the plate should be veggies, 1/4 carbs, 1/4 protein. If you don't eat meat, you can put these things together in a casserole or some such.

After a hard ride, if you are going to work out again that day or the next day, it's important to have a recovery food as soon after the ride as possible. I usually try to have something in the first 10 minutes, then small amounts of carbs about every 15 minutes until I can get a meal.

Originally Posted by chet31 View Post
As a former biochemist, I could write pages, but the basic paradox is that your body wants to burn glucose/glycogen first, that's what it does best, and that's what your body needs to do for you to perform at your best athletically. However, to burn fat, you must be mostly depleted of glucose/glycogen. This is why, while dieting, don't count on any personal bests athletically. It is perfectly natural for you to bonk more easily while losing weight. To prepare properly for a hard ride, you need to eat well for 3 days before the event. It takes about 3 days to fully replenish the glycogen stores in your liver and muscle. However, while you are doing that, you are not burning fat. This is the dilemma. The proper way to prepare nutritionally for peak performance is pretty much the opposite of what you do to lose weight.
Most of this is incorrect, biochem or not. One burns fat and glycogen in proportion to the percentage of VO2max at which one is operating one's system. There is absolutely no need to deplete glycogen in order to burn fat. That's terribly wrong and misleading. Never do that if you can help it, it's called bonking. Instead, to burn fat, focus on time on the bike. The more time you can put in, the more fat you'll burn. The trick is simply to burn more calories in exercise than you replace by eating in response to that exercise.

It is true that you'll be gaining weight as you prepare for an exceptionally long, hard ride, but you'll almost never need to do that. The usual fast weekend century requires no advance nutritional preparation at all. I can easily ride a century on any given day, almost without respect for what I've done the day before. I'll be faster if I've rested for a couple of days first, though, but I certainly don't need to eat specially. Ordinary good nutrition is all that one needs. The old advice about carb depletion and loading is no longer operative, having been found to stress the athlete more than it's worth.

Thomas Chapple has written quite a good book, Base Building for Cyclists, which does a good job of describing the process of burning fat while riding, and how one can benefit by doing more of that.
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Old 04-04-12, 01:08 AM
  #19  
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^ No, I'm not incorrect, but you are not incorrect either. I agree you burn fat while riding, but then why is every serious cyclist not at 0% bodyfat? The OP wants to lose weight. He must run a caloric deficit each day, and his glycogen reserves are not going to be "topped off" for his work-outs. You are a fit athlete, and whether intentionally or not, you are riding with strong glycogen reserves. You indicate you ride faster with a few days rest - you are allowing your liver and muscle glycogen reserves to build. The OP will not have this luxury and is going to have to flirt with bonking each work-out. I personally see nothing wrong with this. Losing weight and peak athletic performance do not go hand in hand. I would prefer the OP consider doing several rides during the week of moderate intensity versus trying to do a once/week high intensity ride. However, if he insists on losing weight and doing the killer ride once/week, his only hope is to do some kind of carbo loading the day or two before his ride - in which case neither his weight loss nor his ride will be ideal.
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Old 04-04-12, 10:31 AM
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I was actually concerned about carbo loading - specifically the depletion that comes before it - as being too hard on the body. It strikes me much along the lines of blood doping - or any doping for that matter...suddenly infusing a boost to your system.

Just to be clear, I was off the bike for 2011 (aside from a few rides here and there to test the injured ankle) and very few miles for the last six months of 2010 (hand injury). In early 2010 I had more or less the same riding schedule as I do now - one hard ride on Sat. or Sunday - anywhere from 40 to 100 miles, avg HR 135-139 bpm. But I also bike commute on average three days per week year round (I take a few weeks off in the worst winter weather but also ride 4-5 days/week in the summer months....I'm doing about 4 days/week now). My commutes are mostly stop & go traffic and relatively flat, avg. 6-9 mph, though there are some interval bursts where My HR goes up (getting through yellow lights, etc). The only real hard riding there is climbing over a bridge twice a day (about half a mile each way, avg. grades about 4%). So they are not grueling commutes or non-stop spinning, but they do add 20 miles round trip per day, giving me a weekly total of anywhere from 80-200 miles. It's about an hour and ten minutes each way unless I really push the pace, it'd be more like 50 mins...which I could do, but prefer not to, for safety's sake in dense traffic (NYC).

I can certainly put in more miles, and plan to, as I continue to re-hab my ankle. But the nutrition is so in need of attention too.

This type of riding I do probably keeps me from weighing 300 lbs. (the way I eat, with a desk job) and God knows how many other health issues that would have popped up by now....but I really need to address the diet if I am ever going to drop down to a good healthy weight.

Most people I know are shocked when I tell them I weigh over 200 lbs, perhaps b/c I hide it well with clothes or just carry it well on a large frame? But they also can't believe I haven't lost more weight with the amount of riding I am doing! I have to kind of agree with them on that one....although it's clear I need a food intake overhaul.

I will check out that Chapple book...my wife is also trying to get me to read her book on 'Clean Eating' (the author's name escapes me at the moment).
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Old 04-04-12, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by chet31 View Post
^ No, I'm not incorrect, but you are not incorrect either. I agree you burn fat while riding, but then why is every serious cyclist not at 0% bodyfat? The OP wants to lose weight. He must run a caloric deficit each day, and his glycogen reserves are not going to be "topped off" for his work-outs. You are a fit athlete, and whether intentionally or not, you are riding with strong glycogen reserves. You indicate you ride faster with a few days rest - you are allowing your liver and muscle glycogen reserves to build. The OP will not have this luxury and is going to have to flirt with bonking each work-out. I personally see nothing wrong with this. Losing weight and peak athletic performance do not go hand in hand. I would prefer the OP consider doing several rides during the week of moderate intensity versus trying to do a once/week high intensity ride. However, if he insists on losing weight and doing the killer ride once/week, his only hope is to do some kind of carbo loading the day or two before his ride - in which case neither his weight loss nor his ride will be ideal.
Our endocrine system tries to control our body fat percentage. There are feedback loops between various hormones and body fat. This explains why it is increasingly difficult to get fat off as fat stores decrease, and why there are levels of body fat below which it is unadvisable to remain for long periods.

It is unnecessary for glycogen stores to be "topped off" for workouts. Between muscle and liver we store about 2000 calories of glycogen. A cyclist may burn an average of between 500 and 700 calories per hour on a hard ride, depending on talent and training. Some of this will come from feeding, some from fat, some from glycogen, the percentages depending on intensity. The average person is going to have a really hard time burning off that 2000 calories before exhaustion. It's relatively easy to prevent glycogen depletion by eating on long rides and cyclists can put back the glycogen they burn with a simple regimen of recovery drink, snacks, and dinner, which is not the same as putting back all the fat they burn. I do intentionally ride and train with good levels of glycogen.

Much more important, and the controlling factor in the riding mix, is hormone depletion rather than glycogen depletion. I need rest before long or competitive rides to restore hormone balance. Younger riders need much less of that than older riders like me.

Controlled studies show that maximum lipid oxidation occurs at a level between 65% and 75% of VO2max, higher levels being shown in elite cyclists. Since most of us have no way of measuring oxygen uptake while riding, 65% of VO2max approximately correlates to a heart rate (HR) of 78% of max HR.

More information on fat burning, HR, and VO2max here:
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/b..._hormones?open
https://www.abcbodybuilding.com/cardiolayman.pdf
https://www.brianmac.co.uk/vo2max.htm
https://www.brianmac.co.uk/maxhr.htm
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Old 04-04-12, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by pgoat View Post
I was actually concerned about carbo loading - specifically the depletion that comes before it - as being too hard on the body. It strikes me much along the lines of blood doping - or any doping for that matter...suddenly infusing a boost to your system.

Just to be clear, I was off the bike for 2011 (aside from a few rides here and there to test the injured ankle) and very few miles for the last six months of 2010 (hand injury). In early 2010 I had more or less the same riding schedule as I do now - one hard ride on Sat. or Sunday - anywhere from 40 to 100 miles, avg HR 135-139 bpm. But I also bike commute on average three days per week year round (I take a few weeks off in the worst winter weather but also ride 4-5 days/week in the summer months....I'm doing about 4 days/week now). My commutes are mostly stop & go traffic and relatively flat, avg. 6-9 mph, though there are some interval bursts where My HR goes up (getting through yellow lights, etc). The only real hard riding there is climbing over a bridge twice a day (about half a mile each way, avg. grades about 4%). So they are not grueling commutes or non-stop spinning, but they do add 20 miles round trip per day, giving me a weekly total of anywhere from 80-200 miles. It's about an hour and ten minutes each way unless I really push the pace, it'd be more like 50 mins...which I could do, but prefer not to, for safety's sake in dense traffic (NYC).

I can certainly put in more miles, and plan to, as I continue to re-hab my ankle. But the nutrition is so in need of attention too.

This type of riding I do probably keeps me from weighing 300 lbs. (the way I eat, with a desk job) and God knows how many other health issues that would have popped up by now....but I really need to address the diet if I am ever going to drop down to a good healthy weight.

Most people I know are shocked when I tell them I weigh over 200 lbs, perhaps b/c I hide it well with clothes or just carry it well on a large frame? But they also can't believe I haven't lost more weight with the amount of riding I am doing! I have to kind of agree with them on that one....although it's clear I need a food intake overhaul.

I will check out that Chapple book...my wife is also trying to get me to read her book on 'Clean Eating' (the author's name escapes me at the moment).
You can get a headstart on that book by reading a short article at Livestrong:
https://www.livestrong.com/article/31...n-eating-diet/

Looks to me like you're doing it right, just eat less, and probably a different nutritional mix. 80-200/week is excellent for good health.
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Old 04-04-12, 12:33 PM
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Thanks CF Boy. I'm checking that link out now.
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Old 04-04-12, 01:15 PM
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Regarding lowering your blood pressure, look into drinking a cayenne pepper tea (or cayenne in other drinks). My wife used this to lower her blood pressure from 120/80 to 90/60. However, I'm not sure about taking blood pressure medication in conjunction with this. Also, melatonin can work. i have heard specific warnings regarding taking melatonin with blood pressure medication.

The cayenne isn't easy, but I've seen it work wonders. https://www.cayennepepper.info/cayenn...-pressure.html
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Old 04-04-12, 07:35 PM
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First of all, everyone can be an expert, but you have to do something that works for you, both for weightless and compliance. I suggest learning as much as you can about what really is healthy food. There are a zillion diets, but no one has ever gotten fat from eating fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Make that stuff the basis of your diet. Think about longevity rather than weight loss. Eating right and riding your bike will make you live longer, and that's pretty cool.

Also, read Heft on Wheels by Mike Magnuson. It's a great book about cycling and losing weight (but not a how-to, more a narrative) by a great writer. Good luck.
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