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Well after taking a long break from cyling of 10 years I have put on the pounds... I am 38 now, metabolism has slowed and I have got fat... I am 6'4 250lbs now up almost 40lbs from when I was a more fit 215lbs 10 years ago.. When I was a senior I was 6'4 175 and rode alot and played basketbal.. For my own health and desire to ride again I want to work my way back down closer to 200lbs and am seeking the advise of anyone willing to give me some pointers. I know I could lose weight by just taking in less calories but I also know that as I get into longer days in the saddle for me I need to take in calories also... So wondering what some of you do for nutrition both when you ride and on your days off. With so many "FAD" type diets out there like Atkins, South Beach and numerous others that seem to work I don't want to get into something that I cannot sustain and end up back here again... I need something that is life long sustainable. To be honest I am not a huge fan of the Zero Carb diets because I think you need carbs also.. I think if I was riding with zero carbs on board I would bonk in no time at all.. So just a few questions for some of you who have been where I am at and looking to drop some lbs. What has worked for you? What do you eat on and off the bike?
 

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I weigh anywhere from 225 to 265. 223 at the moment which is where I feel pretty good. Riding a lot lets me lose a bit of weight even if I eat garbage. As an example, I drink beer 3 nights a week and consume a large chocolate milkshake about 4 nights a week. I have still lost 8 pounds in the past 6 weeks on that plan but I ride 200 miles per week and lots of that is hills. I lost a couple of pounds at Tour of California eating a patty melt every night and a hearty breakfast but again, riding volume cures a lot of dietary hogging.

Mostly I eat the Willy Balmat diet in summertime - rice and chicken and vegetables and chicken and rice and vegetables, in large quantities. Oatmeal and cereal and yogurt and fruit for breakfast. Smaller meals during the day. Kind of a modified Zone to be higher in carbs and lower in fat, with some Chris Carmichael influence.

I find that dedication to riding keeps me dedicated to eating right. As my dedication to riding slips, so does my dedication to nutrition. I'm somewhat flipped in that I tend to work into better shape in winter (backcountry skiing, ice climbing) and flab it up in summer. Cycling helps me reverse that trend.

On the bike I don't do a great job. I almost need to set an alarm or I won't consume anything, even water. When I do remember, it's 50 grams of carbs an hour, which is 2 energy gels. Maybe another 10-20 grams worth of watered down apple juice.
 

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Personally, as a 145lb (and dropping) 6' tall guy, I watch my portions and eat a lot of vegetables. Read the ingredients on the food you eat and don't put crap in your body. Lean meats, fruits, and vegetables in smallish portions seem to work great for me. I do, of course, make sure I've got enough of the right stuff in the tank before a ride.

When thying to lose wieght for the first few weeks, watching my portions is the toughest part. Once I'm used to an appropriate amount of food (ever measured one serving size of cereal by weight? It'll blow your mind.) I do pretty well at dropping weight along with cycling.

Ride lots and eat veggies.

-Dan
 

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Eating a whole food diet has kept me lean for years without having to diet.

I once weighed 238, I now weigh 170 at 6'2"

The key to loosing weight at first is to follow a low glycemic index diet. Get rid of the sugar that elevates blood sugar and causes rapid storage of fat if you're not riding hard.

With a whole foods diet you have lots of veggies..collard greens, kale, sweet potatoes, ect., fruits lots of berries, 100% whole grain...whole wheat, brown rice, steel cut oatmeal, beans and lentils, fish, turkey breast, egg whites, nuts like walnuts, almonds. You eat the foods as they appear in nature, you get the healthy fats, protein and fiber. Processed foods for the most part have all sorts of unhealthy crap and of course most of the time the nutrients have been snuffed.

I believe most people gain weight because they eat foods that are low in nutrients, their bodies are starved no matter how much they eat.

Avoid resturants or anywhere else you don't have full control over the foods you eat.

Shop at the outside isles of you grocery store, avoid the inner isles where most of the processed foods are contained. Cook your own foods from there raw state. Cooked meats often contain loads of sodium and often times MSG.

And yes you do need carbs, but you get them in the form of whole grains with fiber and protein which lower the glycemic index and give you sustained energy as opposed to sugar spikes and the associated crash that follows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
All good info so far. As far as on the bike nutrition and eating what do you like? Dryed Fruit, nuts, etc? What do I want to be consuming on my 40-60 mile rides if anything besides water? One of the things that is really hard for me is eating at the Fire Station... I work at one of the busiest stations in the nation and we usually always go out for lunch because we don't have time to cook and we always try to at least cook dinner. Problem with that is I think most of the guys are still on the If it Fried it tastes good no matter what style of thinking. That is what has helped me get to where I am now... I try to eat smart at work while still participating in meals. If we have something fried I try to have a super small portion..
 

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Fried foods should be out of your diet period. The peer pressure of the group is something you'll just have to shut down, we've all been there. I work night shift at a hospital, the nurses are always trying to shove sweats and junk food at me every night. I just keep telling them that while that stuff tastes good it's not good for me and I've got races coming up.

Fried foods increase a lot of inflammatory conditions, most of that stuff will be loaded with transfat and saturated fat, boosting your cholesterol and of course it takes months to rid your body of transfat once your eaten it, the stuff is like eating plastic.

I don't know if you work 24 hour shifts, but if I were you I'd cook enough food to eat on for several days. I work 8 days on 6 off with 10 hour shifts, so I have most all my food cooked the night before I go back to work that I can eat on for several days. I eat out maybe 2 times a year, everytime I do I feel like crap, my body is too used to eating heathy.

On 40 to 60 mile rides I eat clif bars and use powerbar drink mix and of course plenty of plain water with a touch of salt for electrolytes.
 

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lacofdfireman said:
I need something that is life long sustainable.
Stay away from anything labeled a special 'diet' then. Just eat controlled portions of good food. Unless you end up motivated by a moral conviction or something like that and turn vegan chances of sticking with a special 'diet' forever are slim and generally not they way to live/eat forever either.
Good luck.
 

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Jay Strongbow said:
Stay away from anything labeled a special 'diet' then. Just eat controlled portions of good food. Unless you end up motivated by a moral conviction or something like that and turn vegan chances of sticking with a special 'diet' forever are slim and generally not they way to live/eat forever either.
Good luck.

This is what I did and it really worked for me. I didn't completely give things up like sweets, beer, or fried food. I just try to limit my intake of those things and eat healthy. I also try to shoot for no more than a 500 cal deficit a day when trying to drop weight.
 

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I dropped 65 pounds in 9 months. And have kept it off for a year and a half now.

Caloric intake is where it's at. Not much of it. Cut back, a lot. I was eating 1800 calories a day. No more. Also, no soda, no alcohol, lots of water. No iced cream, no candy, no cookies. Cut back on meats and increased veggies.

Count your calories and stick to it.

Loosing weight is all about intake. Exercise will help, but don't use it as an excuse to eat more. That'll derail your program.

Watch your portion size!
 

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I agree with the above comments; put yourself on a reasonable diet and allow the occasional bad choice. Beer with friends, the occasional restaurant visit, etc can not be totally off limits or it won't be a life-long diet.

40 - 60 mile rides shouldn't require much in the way of "food". I typically take in 100ish calories/hr of sports drink and maybe a banana or granola bar. Nuts, dried fruit, etc in a baggie are also good but I don't really need them on a ride shorter than 60 miles. On the other hand, just drinking water on a ride longer than 1 hr is definitely not enough. A quality sports drink is required at a minimum.

heathb said:
Dude you need eat more calories. 6' tall and 145lbs is not going to put the meat on your legs where you need it most. Do you lift weights?
I have been lifting since I was about 12, as I was a competitive swimmer growing up. Body type plays a big role - look at the Schleck brothers. I visited a sports nutritionist when I was cycling in college and weighed 135 - 137 and they said I was a healthy weight and was taking in the right quantities and types of food.
 

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I was a success story last year - I went from 200 lbs to 164lbs - 36lb loss in 24 weeks (5' 9" tall).

Forget all the "diets". I did what a friend of mine has always said - "Ya gotta stop putting it in THERE" referring to food and pointing to his mouth.

So what *I* did was this -
Reduced portion sizes at ALL mealtimes - I had ONE slice of toast for breakfast or 1/2 a bagel for example.
No second helpings of anything, anytime.
No food intake at all after suppertime.
No ice cream.
No chocolate.
Reduced cookies from 1-3 per day (at coffee time) to 3 total per week (Mon/Wed/Fri).
Salad for lunch every other day.
Banana & yogurt for lunch on other days.
Maximum of 2-3 alcoholic drinks per week (I drink rum & pepsi).
No cheating - ever.

The weight loss could be seen daily on the scale. The change in my life was incredible.

My motivation was to do this - I lifted a 40 lb bag of cat litter and this hit me like a ton of bricks - I'm THIS much overweight? I ride 3-4x per week and lug around THIS much extra weight? I pick up cat litter now and can't imagine going riding and lugging around this much body fat ever again.

I placed the weight loss equivalent into a stout bag - I use steel barbell plates. Once in a while I lift that bag. I've lost this much body fat? That's my motivation for never putting that weight back on.

I rode about 100 miles per week through all this - what I've always ridden for 5 decades. One year later the weight is still off.
 

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Yeah, agree with the above. Many overeat on rides and post ride, and then wonder why they aren't loosing weight.

Today was an easy, shortish ride (for me anyway). About 56 miles and 3000 feet of climbing, avg of 16.2. I drank about 3 1/2 bottles of water. And I ate about 100 calories of GU shot blocks on the ride.

I just finished a late lunch. A normal lunch sized portion of left over pasta with salmon. Maybe a cup and a half if I'd measured it. Along with that, more water to drink.

Time for a shower.
 

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JoelS said:
Today was an easy, shortish ride (for me anyway). About 56 miles and 3000 feet of climbing, avg of 16.2. I drank about 3 1/2 bottles of water. And I ate about 100 calories of GU shot blocks on the ride.
I guess everyone is different, but I'm not sure most people could keep up that kind of power output for 3.5 hours on 100 calories without bonking.

-Dan
 

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I've found the best way to lose weight is to count calories, all of them. If you use iPhone, or some other smart phone, there are apps that are very helpful. Once you know exactly what your intake is, and your planned weight, you'll get there if you're diligent with the data. Do not skimp with your nutrition during the ride. If you eat right during the ride, you'll be able to ride longer and ultimately burn more calories. Lot's of great advice about what to eat on this thread. Just because you burn off junk food calories, it's still not good for you and shouldn't be eaten.
 

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Danimal said:
I guess everyone is different, but I'm not sure most people could keep up that kind of power output for 3.5 hours on 100 calories without bonking.

-Dan
Well before the ride, I did have a couple slices of homemade sourdough with cream cheese, along with 3 cups of coffee.

My point was that a lot of folks that are trying to lose weight with cycling eat too much on ride and post ride. 250 calories MAX per hour during the ride is enough. For rides of under 2 hours, food shouldn't be needed at all. Then eat normal post ride. You don't need extra food.
 
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