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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I realize everyone is very different but us cyclists are also
"bottom line" different than the 'average daily..' that is used on all the food packaging, probably by a big margin. So what kinda calories are you all ingesting, per day, to keep fit after you've reached your 'fighting weight'?

I'd like to become a bit more attentive to diet and I'm curious. It seems a bit obsessive, trying to count calories, but it is all a balancing act, is it not, between what you burn and what you eat.

I'm an older guy, train an average of ~200m per week with maybe two races a month. I like to race at 165lbs at 6'. If I have a slow week, I can find myself up to 170 before I know it..Then I have to fight that extra off over a couple of the next few weeks and I hate that..hence the questions on calories. It's difficult, for me, to curtail my eating when for various reasons I have a lower mileage training period.

Thanks, Don Hanson
 

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My calorie intake varies a lot these days.

I count all of my calories, but base my intake on my expenditure. If I have a light day or light week, I scale back. If I have a heavy day or heavy week, I eat more.

At 6' 190 pounds...my daily intake varies from around 2200-4500 per day. On days like last Friday when we had a team group ride with "Primes" along the way we put in 62 miles and it was very similar to a race. I ended up burning a little over 3000 calories on the ride alone, add in my BMR and I was around 5600-5700 calories burned during the day....which meant I needed to eat to refuel and even then I didn't make up the whole amount.

However on recovery days I may only burn 700-1000 extra calories on my bike, which means I'm in the 3400-3700 calories burned range and I'll cut back a bit on those days intake wise.

This is why I track both my caloric intake and expenditure so I have a good idea of whether I should be eating or not.

With that said....if I had a hard week sometimes on my easy days I just have a craving for food, any food and I'll eat a lot on those days. I basically try and listen to my body and what it's telling me, and if it's a day where I'm just hungry all day...I'll eat regardless of my workout or lack thereof that day.
 

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I'd say look into tracking calories for a few weeks at least just to see what you are eating vs. what you are burning.

I use fitday.com to keep track, but often use calorieking.com (or the food labels themselves) for the info. Fitday has stuff like fruit and basics, but sometimes they are lacking in other areas.

I only track on weekdays, and probably miss stuff here and there, but try to keep a good record. For one it somewhat keeps me honest, and also I'm looking for patterns. For example, I tend to gain anywhere from 1-5lbs over a weekend. I usually spend my entire weekend riding, so not sure how that happens. But, then the weight stabilizes again by like Tues/Wed if I'm diligent with not over-eating.

If I eat at home on the weekends and really watch myself I usually gain less, but I've been doing longer rides on the bike, so have been trying to keep my calories up so I don't run out of energy on 50+ mi rides.
 

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I would go crazy trying to count all of the calories entering and leaving my body.

I like the strategy of physicsdiet.com, which is simply to weigh yourself once a day and record the value. Take a few days' running average to smooth out day-to-day variance in water weight. This yields the important value, which is the net caloric surplus or deficit.

Is it even a realistic (or optimal) strategy to try to match input to output on a day-by-day basis? For example, Wookiebiker writes about trying to make up for a large energy expenditure by eating a bunch ("and even then I didn't make up the whole amount") but then having food cravings on less active days. Certainly our hunger and fat storage mechanisms have evolved over millions of years and can deal with day-to-day fluctuations in input and output.

Sorry if this hijacks the thread, just throwing it out there.
 

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pretender said:
I would go crazy trying to count all of the calories entering and leaving my body.

I like the strategy of physicsdiet.com, which is simply to weigh yourself once a day and record the value.
I do it twice a day when I'm trying to lose weight. I can be pretty sure I'll lose about 2 to 2.5 pounds over night. So I just eat modestly during the day if trying to lose weight and weigh myself after dinner. From that I can get a good idea if I can eat anything else that evening or not based on where my weight is and where I want it to be the next morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey thanks, everyone.

I'd actually not ever checked into my BMR..which I know is a very general number that is only somewhat relevant, as it comes out of any of the "expert" tables. However, knowing that, as a ballpark figure and perhaps watching the 'calories burned' function of my Garmin Edge..Perhaps I'll better avoid over-eating enough to keep that pesky couple of lbs from coming onto my body.

I never put much creedence into the "numbers" I see for calories burned as displayed by various cycle computers, but my Garmin seems pretty close. I'd bet a power meter would be really close, but so far I've not bothered with one. I'll just use the "numbers" as a broad guide, in conjunction with what my scale tells me and hopefully get a handle on those few extra lbs.

Thanks again all,
Don Hanson
 

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Round numbers

Gnarly 928 said:
I realize everyone is very different but us cyclists are also
"bottom line" different than the 'average daily..' that is used on all the food packaging, probably by a big margin. So what kinda calories are you all ingesting, per day, to keep fit after you've reached your 'fighting weight'?
You can get a rough estimate of caloric need as follows:

Body weight times 13 gives a base daily demand number for someone who is not a complete couch potato. Add you actual exercise requirements to this for a daily total. That said, peoples' metabolic efficiency varies quite a bit from one to the next, so can't really be that precise. Your best bet is to track calories consumed and weigh yourself. If you're gaining weight, then you need to cut back. Simple as getting one of those calorie guides and keeping a log.
 

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for what its worth, back in Feb I had a well administered BMR test done:
weight: 186
BF: 9%
BMR: 1861

I believe that means I need 1861 calories/day as a baseline. through in some exercise(like cyclists are prone to do) and you could add another 700-1000k/day for me based on 60-75mins of low-very high intensity training. therefore I need around 2500-2800 calories to maintain things as is. M-F i eat around 600 for bfast, 900 for dinner, with the balance from lunch and snacks
 

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bauerb said:
for what its worth, back in Feb I had a well administered BMR test done:
weight: 186
BF: 9%
BMR: 1861

I believe that means I need 1861 calories/day as a baseline. through in some exercise(like cyclists are prone to do) and you could add another 700-1000k/day for me based on 60-75mins of low-very high intensity training. therefore I need around 2500-2800 calories to maintain things as is. M-F i eat around 600 for bfast, 900 for dinner, with the balance from lunch and snacks
Your BMR is just what you need to keep that weight if you do nothing but lay around all day. You not only need to add in your exercise, but your daily activities such as walking to/around/from stores, what you do at work (desk job, hard labor, etc.) into the equation which can be 400-500 calories to 1500+ calories.

So take your 1861 and add in another 400-500 at a minimum for daily activities and it puts you around 2261-2361 per day + activities which is closer to 3000-3100 calories a day, maybe a bit more.

Base Metabolic Rate is just that.....your Base Rate with nothing else added.
 

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Meaning of BMR

bauerb said:
for what its worth, back in Feb I had a well administered BMR test done:
weight: 186
BF: 9%
BMR: 1861

I believe that means I need 1861 calories/day as a baseline. through in some exercise(like cyclists are prone to do) and you could add another 700-1000k/day for me based on 60-75mins of low-very high intensity training. therefore I need around 2500-2800 calories to maintain things as is. M-F i eat around 600 for bfast, 900 for dinner, with the balance from lunch and snacks
If you lay on the couch all day, your caloric need is 10 X body weight. If you actually get up and move some, it goes up. That's why I threw out the 13 X body weight figure. And then add your exercise on top of that.
 

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I'm 32 YOA, 5' 9.5" 152 lbs, 7-8% body fat. I ride 230 to 300 miles per week with 1 to 2 rest days a week. On my training/race days I eat 2,500 to 3,000 calories a day, rest days are around 2,000 calories.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
If you lay on the couch all day, your caloric need is 10 X body weight. If you actually get up and move some, it goes up. That's why I threw out the 13 X body weight figure. And then add your exercise on top of that.
Yeah, that's not a bad ballpark figure. I'm 163lbs and have a BMR of 2100 but I have about 6-8 meals a day, averaging around 2500 on rest days and anything up to 5000 calories if I'm in a longer stage race
 
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