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Silly Diet Question(14 posts)

Silly Diet QuestionJamieB
May 22, 2002 6:00 PM
I have a problem with deciding how much to eat. I either feel like I'm eating WAY too much and am a complete heifer. Or, I feel like I'm starving constantly. How many calories per day should I be taking in? I'm 119 lbs. and am trying to get down to 112 or so lbs. I ride 6 days a week. The rides range in lenght from 1 hr to 3 hrs. Of those, there are two interval sessions per week. I also weight lift twice per week (on these days I try to ride 1 hr steady). I do not want to eat too much, because I would like to get my weight down as fast as possible but sometimes I feel like my training is suffering because I'm under-fueled. My goal is to race next year. Thanks for all your help. Sometimes I think I'm a little too obsessed with food intake. Any help to ease my fears of blowing up like a balloon would be great. :)
119lbs blown up balloon???elviento
May 22, 2002 6:08 PM
I am 180lbs and I eat whatever I lay my eyes on. Just don't worry about it and enjoy your rides and food. 6 1-3 hour rides a week plus weight lifting will need a lot of calories. I figure I need 3500 a day with 10 hours a week riding.
How tall are you?Ahimsa
May 22, 2002 6:09 PM
Are you a male Jamie or a female Jamie?

A.
How tall are you?JamieB
May 22, 2002 6:11 PM
A female Jamie.....5 foot 3.5 inches
Jamie, 119lbs for 5'3.5" sounds fairly idealelviento
May 22, 2002 7:02 PM
in fact having too little fat on a female body can cause health problems, including bad effect on hormones. Unless you are a pro (heck even the women pros look not very skinny on TV), there is no need to worry too much about diet.
re: not that sillysievers11
May 22, 2002 6:12 PM
With the amount of riding you are doing you should be eating like a pig. You are burning a lot of callories and the last thing you want is to sacrafice your nutrition and fitness for fast weight loss. If you are looking to race and be competitive next year your weight this year is not that important, you should be focusing on your strenght and endurance. You will not be able to reach the fitness goal you need to be competitive racing if you are starving your self training.

How much you eat is only relative to how many calories you burn. Your main concern should be about recovery and there are alot of good supliment that will help you recover faster and work out harder. Make sure you get enough potasium and protein. Those goofy GU shots are great for keeping your energy up during a ride. I take one before and then one every 30-45 depending on how hard I am working.

If you are really serious you should talke to a sports dietition, call up you local sport medical clinic or a quality Gym, they should beable to hook you up with a good dietition. This isn't a silly question, lance is a freek about this stuff.
What he said. [nm]Ahimsa
May 22, 2002 6:15 PM
go here, go heresievers11
May 22, 2002 6:48 PM
http://www.dietitian.com/sportnut.html - solid technical
http://www.dietitian.com/ibw/ibw.html - sweet, calculator for figuring out calories per day and much more.

I figured at 3,200 a day and I am 5-9, 156 lbs and trying to maintain 155ish. That seems right, I eat constantly.
The calorie calculator is absolutely cool - nmMcAndrus
May 23, 2002 4:24 AM
dietitian.com is full of good info. Thanks! -nmTig
May 23, 2002 5:26 AM
re: Silly Diet Questionweiwentg
May 22, 2002 7:01 PM
coincidence!!! you're about 1 pound lighter than I am at the same height!!!
now, at 112 pounds you'll be positively skeletal. (I'm already a little skinny at 120.) I would say to hell with losing weight. just ride and eat normally. when I was riding (currently injured) I ate like a pig. I would just inhale bacon and tater tots at the brunch bar on sunday (dorm food isn't necessarily that bad).
if you have to lose weight, the maximum safe weight loss rate is something on the order of 1 pound a week, but that's for overweight individuals. I'll leave it to the guys who actually know about nutrition to give you the details...
but if you feel that your training is suffering, it may well be. how many calories do you take in? how much protein and fat? you do need fat to fuel your body as well.
Americans may be growing fatter, but the media portrayal of the ideal female as skinny is a very strong and pervasive one. I studied this crap in psych class, so I know what I'm rambling about. and I would actually say that, judging by your weight/height, you are one of the few who are genetically capable of reaching that ideal. but is it worth it? being that skinny will, I think, compromise your cycling ability. not to mention your health. remember, you need muscle to haul yourself up the hills.
if you feel that you are obsessed with your food intake, that may be a good sign - at least you don't see it as normal!
oh, and if you're up to 6 days a week, you're probably ready to race already :)
My Two CentsStewK
May 23, 2002 3:13 AM
To respond to your main problem -- how do you figure out how much food to eat -- eat normal-sized portions and listen to your body. What I mean is that you should have a normal portion of food and then wait 15 to 20 minutes before you have anymore. This is the amount of time it takes for your body to respond to food intake and feel satiated. If you're still hungry, have more to eat. My understanding is that your body can only metabolize 200 calories an hour anyway, so waiting 15 minutes won't hurt you.

Also be conscious of what you eat - make sure to eat a combination of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and fats. Proteins and fats are especially important since they satiate more. High fiber foods help to fill up your stomach. Do not be scared of fat, but limit your consumption of animal fats and of high fat foods like ice cream and sweet baked goods. Bacon and tater tots help to clog your arteries, so don't make them a staple either.

As far as whether you should be 112 lbs., 120 lbs. or 135 lbs., I don't think anyone on this board can offer you smart advice on that since they don't know you. As a woman, you should definitely be concerned with losing too much fat since it can upset your hormonal balance, but, unless you have an eating disorder, you should be able to judge for yourself.

Different people have different body frame sizes and different body makeups, and that affects your ideal weight. As a woman, you should probably be going to the doctor every year. She/he is a better judge of whether you're too thin than any of the jokers (myself included)who post on this board.
Very basic diet informationDave Hickey
May 23, 2002 4:00 AM
Without cycling or weight lifting, your body needs between 12-15 x your body weight in calories just to maintain your weight. If you cycle, add between 400-800 calories for every hour to the above number. To lose 1 pound, you need to burn 3500 calories.
re: Silly Diet Questionmtber
May 23, 2002 9:51 AM
First of all, you didn't ask this but I will offer my suggestion anyway :-) :

Don't wait til next year to race, you are probably MORE than ready NOW. Sounds like you are putting in lots of quality training (from long rides to intervals) and you are light, which definitely helps as a racer, esp for climbing races.

Now about your weight - I agree to a point with the other posters about not obsessing. If you are really serious about your performance, the main thing to consider is WHAT you are eating, how much is secondary. Don't eat crap - eat whole grains, lots of veggies, lean meats, etc. Minimize processed foods - do your shopping on the perimeter of the grocery store - the stuff in the isles is mostly processed or sugar filled crap.

That said, I get sick of hearing that weight doesn't make a difference. I am mostly a MTB racer in very hilly Colorado and if you look at the top (pro, semi-pro, even top experts) males AND females, they are very lean. I don't know what your body type is (big vs small bone, % muscle mass, etc) but top female endurance athletes are in the 10-12% body fat range. I said top so I don't want to hear any flames.

I agree w/ the other posters, however, that weight is a minor concern when just starting out and may never be much of a concern if you never make it to the top. And it is IMPERATIVE that you fuel and refuel your body when training hard. Friel recommends losing weight in the OFF season - it is too difficult to both eat enough to recover and lose weight at the same time.

My advice - for this year, just clean up what you eat - cut the crap food (also get out and race!)
next fall winter - try losing a few pounds and see how it feels (I started at 145 in 1999, 143 in 2000, 140 last year and wanted 138 but am stuck at 140 this year - 140 may just be as light as my body can handle).

Good luck.