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Low Carb eating and cycling!(27 posts)

Low Carb eating and cycling!bear
Apr 14, 2002 12:13 PM
I started atkins and I was doing fine into I got back in the bike!! after 50 minutes I am out of gas... I should be doing 40 to 50 miles rides by now but I cant! Any one out there on atkins or low carb eating? help! I dont know what to eat during rides or trainig...I dont even what to think what will happen when I do some hard trainign days!
re: Low Carb eating and cycling! NOT compatibleszybki
Apr 14, 2002 12:29 PM
I tried low carb a year or so ago to help lose some winter "insulation" quickly. You can go slow ( HR low, minimal effort, burn mostly fat AND some muscle), but as soon as your HR goes up and your body demands higher octane fuel (glycogen) you're SOL. Low carb does not work with any kind of high intensity aerobic activity. These low carb diets seem to be primarily for sedentary people. I have yet to see anyone able to stick to them for any length of time too. I think Atkins states in his book that his diet isn't for athletes. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts when it comes to fat loss.
not surprisingcyclopathic
Apr 14, 2002 12:39 PM
since you have your glycogen at zero. The only source of energy available is fat and if your usual burn rate is ~600cal/hr only ~250 of them come from fat.

try to slow down and do long flat slow zone1-2 century rides. This will help you to improve your aerobic endurance more then riding 150-250mi on high carb diet. If you feel "bonked" slow down and suck it up, really.

In terms of while on the bike food make sure you get enough protein to spare muscles from catabolism. On long rides I carry chicken broth cubes (hot water is free) good source of sodium and aminoacids (and zero carbs).
re: Low Carb eating and cycling!weiwentg
Apr 14, 2002 1:00 PM
see lonefrontranger's reply to a similar thread in the racing section
here's the link.weiwentg
Apr 14, 2002 1:03 PM

this is, however, not the atkins diet. it would seem that extended aerobic activity needs carbs.
re: good lucklnin0
Apr 14, 2002 3:10 PM
Fad Diets are not good for your body at all. You give up something your body needs and usually end up taking in way to much of something your body doesn't (in your case - protien, fat and cholestrol).

It is also not good to loose a lot of weight in a short amount of time. I would say 2-3 pounds a week is the most you ever want to drop at a time. Anything over that is unhealthy and will usually return with a vengence. It doesn't sound as glamorous as 30 pounds a month but you didn't gain that much in a month either. It takes time and there is no quick fix to good health. Deal with that hurdle and you will have a lot more long term success.

If you insist on trying fad diets you should do them for no longer than two weeks at a time at a time and then return to a well balanced diet.

Carbs are your bodies first source of energy. Eat the carbs you need and you will never see them adding to your waistline. However, if you eat three large portions of pasta and a half dozen begals like your a Tour rider then you better be putting in Tour miles.

There really is no fast track to good health no matter what anybody tries to sell you. Eat a well balance diet and watch your portion sizes<<< probably #1 cause of American's Super Size (pun intended).

PS: You first clue your diet may not be good for you is how bad your piss smells.
Here's what I do:look271
Apr 14, 2002 3:27 PM
I follow the "zone" eating plan. (40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat) While on the bike, however, I eat primarily carbs with some protein. I've used Accelerade and I'm now using GNC's Distance. It's alot like accelerade, but it uses complex carbs, primarily. I have been doing this for years and have not bonked and feel great. Adkins is way too much protein-it'll destroy your kidneys in the long run.
Fast weight loss secrets revealed!Kerry
Apr 14, 2002 4:18 PM
Monique Ryan, RD, VeloNews, April 8 2002. "Because the FDA cannot tightly regulate dietary supplements, it is the responsibility of the consumer to make informed and safe choices. Health professionals and consumers should welcome supplements that are an established and effective adjunct supplements can't perform magic, some products appear to carry serious health and safety concerns, and others can treatment for weight loss, and which have a proven safety record. For now, however, it appears that weight loss come up positive at the dope control."

Same applies to fad diets, which have been around for decades, get recycled with new names and explanations, and still don't work (or even do harm). To lose weight, you eat fewer calories than you burn. Snacking throughout the day is one way to make sure you don't have an excess of sugar in your blood that can trigger fat storage mechanisms. Going to bed hungry is the best way to burn fat (all night long!) and probably the easiest way to help with your weight loss goals. The Atkins (AKA Pritikin, etc.) is a quack diet, plain and simple. Not supported by any credible research nor the vast majority of the nutrition community. People lose weight on high protein diets because they 1) drop water (the Fast Start secret) and 2) they restrict calories. Athletic performance goes in the toilet.
Fast weight loss secrets revealed!bear
Apr 14, 2002 5:39 PM
wowwww,,,thanks, I got lots to think about now!
Fast weight loss secrets revealed!zeke
Apr 15, 2002 2:29 AM
incorrect on 1) and 2) but yes, performance does go down the toilet on the atkin's diet.
read "A WEEK IN THE ZONE" by Barry Searsfirstrax
Apr 14, 2002 5:55 PM
read "A WEEK IN THE ZONE" by Barry SearsBreakfast
Apr 14, 2002 7:15 PM
The Zone diet and Dr. Adkins' diets are fad diets. Beware of the junk science they base their theories on.

Talk to a professional dietician and learn how to make changes in your diet, slowly and with your personal intake of foods considered. Don't read a book and jump into a national fad diet that sells books! How can a person who reads a diet book that proposes dietary changes know that such changes might be helpful to them? Persuasion by the author of the book is how!
read "A WEEK IN THE ZONE" by Barry Searszeke
Apr 15, 2002 2:32 AM
i have heard that there are refs to these 'fad' diets going back 2000 years. maybe, but i dont have evidence for them. however i do have evidence for these diets back to 1899. at that time it was called the 'banting' diet consisting of meat, fish or chicken, plus green vegetables. anyone can check the 'merck index 1899'.
A week in the zone is not a fad.firstrax
Apr 15, 2002 5:20 AM
Its a life style change. It teaches how to put together a program for your unique lifestyle.
Amen, Bro.look271
Apr 15, 2002 9:47 AM
I've been doing it for 6 or 7 years now. Fewer colds, more energy, higher HDL (ggod cholesterol), lower total cholesterol andLDL (bad cholesterol). It just makes sense. It is your granda's "balanced meal." Alot of people are following what the dieticians and other so-called experts are saying-high carbs, really low fat, not alot of protein. Take a walk down the street and look at the people. It's working great, isn't it?
NO, those people are eating high calorie dietssalmonwheel
Apr 15, 2002 10:10 AM
Most people that eat a balanced meal (food pyramid style) in proper quantities and exercise are relatively fit. People are fat because of our excessive anbd sedentary lifestyles. There's a lot of talk about how bad carbs are, but most fat people are fat because they eat too much and don't exercise. Go to Sam's club and look at all the people that have protein products in their carts! It's not magic carbs don't make you fat excess calories and lackof exercise. I was one of those fat people. If I'm correct the Zone is quite different than Atkins tough right.

If someone says with my new diet I run out of energy that sounds like something is wrong to me.
NO, those people are eating high calorie dietslook271
Apr 15, 2002 3:58 PM
You are right about several things-yes they eat too much and yes the Zone is very different from Adkins, Lots of lean meat and fresh vegetables, minimal grains, especially wheat, Complex carbs are preferred, All that I know is that since I started eating this way, nothing but good things have happened to me healthwise and it has not adversely affected my riding-in fact I'm stronger now than ever (addmittedly I ride more). Got to do what works for you.
What worked for me.... (long)-JC-
Apr 14, 2002 7:08 PM
First, understand that diets don't work period. The only thing that takes and keeps weight off is permanent lifestyle change.

I started out mountain biking at 215lbs (I'm 5'10"). From riding alone I got down to 190-195. I realized that I wasn't going to get any faster without dropping weight. I sent an email to Dr. Bill Meisner (hammer gel) asking for some general tips. He sent me an very helpful and informative reply. Much of what he wrote has been already been posted. I sort of synthesized these tips into a system that worked *for me*. Everyone is different, the key is modifying your behavior and finding foods you like so you can reduce your caloric intake and still live happily and not constantly long for a cheeseburger. Here is what did:

Only eat when you are hungry. I used to eat when I was bored a lot. Now I try to eat only when my stomach starts to growl.

Started eating food appropriate for my level of exertion. Fats and proteins burn slower than carbs (especially simple sugars). If I am not going to need a bunch of energy soon I eat lots of protein and fats. I avoid animal fat as much as possible. I like to eat lots of fish, avocados and olive oil. I don't seem to get hungry as fast as I would if I ate a bunch of carbs. If I am going to ride soon I eat more carbs and I always eat a cliff bar before a serious ride and carry gel with me in case I start to bonk. Avoid simple sugars (sucrose, fructose, glucose) as much as possible.

Eat lots of Fruits, nuts and salads. I try to eat a salad with every meal. Fruit is a much better snack than chips. I always carry an apple with me on MTB rides. Save desserts for special occasions

I cut way back on dairy because my cholesterol was a little high. This probably really cut my caloric intake.

Don't be a food nazi. If friends want you to with them for ice cream, go. Get a smaller size and enjoy yourself. Same goes for serious cravings. When you go out, look for fish and other low cal options. You should not feel like you are depriving yourself.

Fast food=death

Most importantly, listen to your body. If you are hungry, eat. Starving yourself is counter productive. You will actually gain weight because you will metabolize food more efficiently. I just got a road bike a couple months ago and after a month or so I was hungry all the time. I simply couldn't stop eating. I didn't gain any weight and after a couple weeks my body readjusted and I am back on my normal eating schedule.

The key thing to remember is that it is all about the lifestyle. Diets and gimmicks get you nowhere. Just be patient.

I hope you find this useful.

JC (now 170lbs and much happier)
What worked for me.... (long)Breakfast
Apr 14, 2002 7:30 PM
Two quick things about JC's post:

If you wait until you're hungry to eat you will overeat! Eat before you are hungry, drink before you are thirsty. The body tells the brain these things as a survival mechanism, if you eat or drink before the brain is reminded you'll be better off.

Food is food. Fast food is not bad necessarily, it just requires that you eat it only rarely and don't overindulge. You can break down the fats, carbs, protein, and calories of fast food and still fit them into your daily intake of foods even if it means cutting back elsewhere on other meals or snacks. Fast food habits and choices is where the problem lies, the food is not the problem, it's how it's marketed to you and how you respond. Can I super size my fries and drink, please?
true datColnagoFE
Apr 15, 2002 8:23 AM
Definately eat lots of small meals during the day. If you are eating good stuff you shouldn't need to weigh and categorize everything. Remember diets don't work--but you aren't gonna lose weight eating more calories than you burn off either. Whatever you choose you gotta be able to stick with it so if you crave McDonalds fries then haev 'em--just not very often. I keep some fruit and nut mix along with a number of other semi-healthy snacks at my desk at work. Also force yourself to drink tons of water. The worst is when I forget to bring snacks and sit here thinking of those snickers bars in the vending machine.
agree and disagree with breakfastup_hiller
Apr 15, 2002 12:07 PM
agree on pt. 1. eat 5 or 6 SMALL meals spread throughout the day. I'm not sure when the last time I noticed my stomeach growling was.

pt. 2 - "Food is food." Very generally, this is sort of true. For example, one should not condemn hamburgers in general. However, there are crappy foods out there, and I would include almost anything "fast" on the list. Fast food restaurants use crappy fat meat, very high in saturated fat, same for their salad dressings, mayo. Take one glance at an order of fries; no way they can be the best meal option for anyone who isn't about to die of starvation (and then only if that person has no alternative).
re: Low Carb eating and cycling!zeke
Apr 15, 2002 2:26 AM
i've been low carb for years, though not atkins. atkins would like all to avoid all carbs.
i had the same problem but fixed it in the following way. the morning of a long ride i eat 40g of whole grain hot cereal (i eat 20g when not riding) and a couple of eggs and fruit juice. then during the ride ( i found this was most important) i eat dried fruit, either prunes or figs. eg 1 fig or prune every 15 mins, or 2 every half hour etc. before i started on this regimen i had no energy and found it difficult to do 60k. now, no problem.
after your ride you can return to your low carb profile. high carb is ok during the ride since you burn that sugar anyway.
re: Low Carb eating and cycling!tarwheel
Apr 15, 2002 4:25 AM
I actually tried the Atkins diet for a while, and it works, but I don't think it's healthy to stay on it for a long time. I lost about 20 pounds over 6 weeks on Atkins several years ago. I wasn't cycling at the time, but walked every day. Energy was not a problem at that level of exertion. Then I started cycling again. A low- carb diet does not mix well with high intensity, aerobic exercise like cycling. You will never have enough energy. Another problem is that you need to drink LOTS of water while on the Atkins diet. That was the mistake I made -- I didn't drink enough and developed a kidney stone. No more Atkins diet for me. Now my philosopy is ride lots and eat sensibly. One thing I did learn from the Atkins diet is the need (at least in my case) for adequate amounts of protein. Before I went on Atkins, I had gradually been cutting back my intake of meat, cheese and other protein food for years and increasing my carbs. Contrary to what some people will say, you can eat too many carbs and it is one of the quickest ways to gain weight (at least in my case). Protein helps curb your appetite. If you eat mostly carbs, you'll be hungry all the time -- at least that's what happens to me. I gained 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years, even though I was riding a lot (more than 600 miles/month) -- mainly because I was eating so many cookies, pies, candy and other holiday treats. I've lost 12 pounds since then by cutting back on the sweets and portion control.
Atkins is a quack dietpmf1
Apr 15, 2002 4:35 AM
Most initial loss is water weight. Calories are later reduced because you get so sick of eating only fat and protein. There are many nutritionists who say that the Atkins diet is actually detrimental to your health.
definately hard on the kidneys (nm)ColnagoFE
Apr 15, 2002 8:24 AM
cycling is enough why mess with questionable dietssalmonwheel
Apr 15, 2002 9:57 AM
If you cycle regularly you should be able to lose weight by eating sensibly. I can't say I have it all figured out, but with the amount of information I see warning about these types of diets, I would be careful. If you can't ride 40 miles something needs to be adjusted. By mid summer last year I was struggling to keep from losing weight too fast. What to eat before rides? carbs with some protein. What to eat during rides? carbs with some protein. I would revisit your diet plans since it is the active season again. Lose a pound or two a week and in a year you'll be 50-100 lbs lighter (should be enough, eh?). Carbohydrates are an excellent source of fuel which means they are great for energy during activity, but are bad if you eat too many while living a sedentary life.

Again, Im not a nutrition expert, just a guy who was overweight for years until I rediscovered the bike, stopped messing with diets, and throughout my Dairy Queen frequent flyer card ; ). Actually I kept a food journal and did some rough calorie counting too.

Good luck
re: Low Carb eating and cycling!RULY
Apr 16, 2002 3:49 PM
I do atkins but in hard training and long rides,the day before and in morning breakfast eat a high amount of carbs..I'm not in pro races but works for me.I doing Sundays 50 to 60 miles.