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Cycling 60km+ a day and appetite

Old 05-04-12, 03:03 AM
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Cycling 60km+ a day and appetite

On top of my normal 4 hours of active teaching (singing/dancing/interaction) I also find myself riding 60km a day every day with the weekends getting out to 100km+ easily. Now all this activity is great, but I worked really hard to get down to 91kg and I fear the sheer appetite this kind of output creates is going to undo all my hard work. I still see my body slimming down and I don't seem to be getting any heavier, in fact I'm losing about 1kg every two weeks.

I try and eat vegetables, skinless chicken, brown rice etc to try and keep the calorie count low, but I find it very difficult to eat less than 2000 calories and still maintain enough energy to get all that I want done. It was easy to eat less when there was 12kg of fat for my body to harvest, but with a large portion of that gone I find that I need to eat more. At some point soon, probably about 88kg I have to try and maintain weight and also get some muscle building going to fill in the gaps left behind.

So... to those who are ahead of me on this journey how do you maintain your energy levels and not gain weight? This I think is trickier than losing it.
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Old 05-04-12, 11:18 AM
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Errr, at 88kg with that output, 2k may be too low if you want to stop the weight loss. Only way to do this dance though is to track and chart, moving average and the whole deal. It'll still vary day by day, differences in hydration and how much food is in your gut at any one time. What I'm trying with ok success is I've picked a range to hold within, for me 90kg - 95kg; if I weigh myself after exercise/voiding I expect to land on the low side, if I've just eaten or have 6 hours worth of coffee drinking in me, I expect to land on the high side. As long as my calories are coming in close to my calculated target (2600 + 600/hr of riding); and my weight is staying in my chosen range; I call it victory and don't stress over it. My weigh-ins are starting to "zero-in" to 93kg, as I try to weigh at the same time and conditions, and my calories are net'ing out close to zero over multiday intervals.

nb... 1kg/2 weeks is just about the recommended rate of weight loss for people TRYING to lose weight.

nb2... gaining muscle mass while running a calorie deficit is next to impossible.
https://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition

nb3 (I'm a klutz) If you still have weight to lose (91kg -> 88kg) then you still have to run a calorie deficit, which will impact your energy level. But, if you're spending 2+ hrs on the bike, you could sip some of those calories while riding to kinda take the edge off the out of energy feeling. I don't have much experience with the appetite problem as mine went away with the color of my hair....

Last edited by rwwff; 05-04-12 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 05-05-12, 03:18 AM
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You've answered your own question. If your current regimen has you losing weight, and you want to stop losing and stabilise, then you need to eat more. Alternatively, you could exercise less, but that isn't what I'd recommend and from your posting history, you're enjoying the cycling.

I'm roughly your weight. My BMR is 1900, give or take 20 kcal. I ride about 12 hours per week, at an average of about 500kcal per hour. I am also moderately active in other ways, but leave that aside for the moment and concentrate on the big numbers.

It follows that I should be able to consume in the region of 2700kcal per day without putting on weight and, from my practical experience, that appears to be broadly correct. On the 2000 - 2250 average I am currently consuming, I am slowly losing weight. The trend seems to be between one and two kilos per month. I'm happy with that, because this is a lifestyle I could sustain.

As far as managing appetite is concerned, I have found a number of things work for me.

First, I eat a large breakfast, often a full third of my calories for the day. On the days I do not do this I find it much more difficult to avoid bingeing later in the day. Interestingly, on my longest-ever bike tour I found myself, after a couple of weeks, settling into a routine of massive breakfasts, decent lunches and quite small evening meals. This wasn't the plan, it just seemed to be what I wanted when riding for five or six hours a day. That told me something about how my body works. YMMV

Second, I make sure I have a lot of fruit around. When hungry I eat that (or a raw carrot, or celery or whatever) as a snack. I occasionally have a handful of almonds or brazil nuts, but only occasionally, they're good for you but calorific.

Third, I don't overdo the low-carb thing. I flirted with going low-carb for a while but I found it incompatible with doing a lot of riding, I was ravenous all the time and ended up eating whatever was there.

All that works for me, you may be different. But it seems clear from your account that you could afford to eat a couple of hundred more kcal per day. Experiment: there isn't a formula, and it's important to find a pattern that you feel you can maintain.
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Old 05-05-12, 05:44 AM
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I tend to agree. People are starting to say I look like I've been sick and my skin is well... way too large for me. BUT I feel so much stronger and healthier. I think I may just have to eat a little more and settle in at 90kg or so. The majority of what bugs me is skin, and the only way to fix that is time, or resistance training.

I too find that I end up eating massive amounts of cereal in the morning, almost nothing for lunch (unless I just went 80km and then I'll eat anything I lay my hands on!) and a small dinner to take the edge off feeling hungry.

Weight fluctuates between 90.5kg and 92kg depending on the time of day. If I'm just back from my morning ride and totally empty and showered I can edge down to 90.3, by 3pm I'm back up to 91.5 and after dinner its almost 92kg again. I've tried to keep a stack of fresh and dried fruit around so when I do feel hungry I can eat some of that. Seems to help a lot. A could ride less, but whats the fun in that?
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Old 05-05-12, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by krobinson103
I
I too find that I end up eating massive amounts of cereal in the morning, almost nothing for lunch (unless I just went 80km and then I'll eat anything I lay my hands on!) and a small dinner to take the edge off feeling hungry.
If I were you I'd eat a decent amount of protein at breakfast. Helps with the training, I feel.

Weight fluctuates between 90.5kg and 92kg depending on the time of day. If I'm just back from my morning ride and totally empty and showered I can edge down to 90.3, by 3pm I'm back up to 91.5 and after dinner its almost 92kg again.
Short-term fluctuations mean nothing, really. Even from one day to another. It's the trend that is meaningful. These days I weigh myself once a week.
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Old 05-05-12, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rwwff

nb2... gaining muscle mass while running a calorie deficit is next to impossible.
https://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition
Wow! I'm sure glad nobody told me or my trainer that! Over the course of two years I lost 40 lbs and gained considerable strength. After two years when I tapered off the weight loss program, being reasonably satisfied, I lifted significantly more in the gym than when I started on my fitness campaign. I also was able to cycle up hills after two years that I had previously considered too steep for a bicycle, period. Of course some of the cycling up hills improvement was weight loss, but my legs most certainly had become stronger also.

I would agree more with a statement that attempting RAPID weight loss through a SEVERE calorie deficit is not compatible with gaining muscle mass.

I know many people who have become stronger and lighter at the same time -- just takes patience.

Don in Austin
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Old 05-05-12, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Don in Austin

I know many people who have become stronger and lighter at the same time -- just takes patience.

Don in Austin
Me, too. But one can get stronger without building muscle mass. One's existing muscles get more efficient, with training.
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Old 05-05-12, 04:48 PM
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My legs are much stronger and the muscles are larger than 3 months ago. That suggests that if the muscles are used you can lose weight and gain muscle at the same time. That being said I think a lot of the fuel for that growth came from my upper body as the muscles there are definitely smaller.
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