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Should I eat gels or bars even if trying to lose weight?(15 posts)

Should I eat gels or bars even if trying to lose weight?shakyfish
Aug 1, 2003 8:10 AM
I am riding with the primary goal of weight loss and also because I just truly enjoy riding. I have been steadily losing weight but I have a question. My rides are typically 1-1.5 hours. I usually ride B4 dinner. I can keep a respectable pace of about 18mph over rolling terrain. Taking a gel at about 30 mins into the ride really helps with my energy for the 2'nd half. Is it better from a weight loss perspective to skip the gel and ride on even if I bonk or struggle thru the last 30 mins? I do not know how the body really fuels itself after burning up the available carbs and sugars.

Part 2

What is a good recovery drink or meal? Any out there that deal with eliminating Lactic acid? I would love to ride 5 times a week but get too sore towards the end of the week and end up having to sit off for a few days to recover. Or do I just need to let my body catch up with my desires to ride this much?

Thanks for the input.
You shouldn't need carbs, unless the ride is over 2 1/2 Hr.MR_GRUMPY
Aug 1, 2003 8:18 AM
On rides that short, you don't need a special recovery meal. Just eat less.
For myself, I don't take any food with unless the ride is over 3 hours or 50 miles, whichever comes first.
Rides under 2 hours usually won't require fuel.Spunout
Aug 1, 2003 8:20 AM
If you've eaten three hours before your ride, you should be fine.

Part 2: Periodization. Follow short intense days with long easy days. Put another rest day into the end of the week (Friday?). Never do two hard days back-to-back.
Aug 1, 2003 8:29 AM
If your main goal is weight loss, then my own regimen is to not use gels or bars and ride at a reasonable pace, but not fast. You want to stimulate fat oxidation, and this cannot happen at anaerobic workout levels. Slow and steady.

When I do a group ride, which usually ends up being race-like simulation, I use bars and gels, because I need the carbs to run the motor at the higher level.

Using these techniques, I have lost 40 lbs, and am still losing weight.

Best recovery drink, IMHO, is Endurox. Again, I usually only use it after a hammer-ride, not a weight loss ride. Your question about being sore after riding everyday...just part of the drill....if you want to ride everyday, you need to go slow most of the days, and hammer maybe 2-3days/week at most, depending on your goals. If you try to go >80% max HR all the time, you just wear yourself out.
Damn... 40lbs...Dave Hickey
Aug 1, 2003 8:48 AM
That's great. How much have you lost since I saw you in November? You didn't look like you need to lose any. FYI, I'm down about 15 since I saw you...
Aug 1, 2003 9:04 AM
Yeah, I had lost 20 lbs when we rode in Nov., and I've lost another 20 since then. I now weigh 193lbs. I am 5'10", and built like a linebacker...not your typical roadie. So despite looking pretty trim, I want to lose another ten pounds, so I'll be in the 180 neighborhood. If I get to 180, don't you think I should reward myself with a new bike? ;-)
Absolutely....Dave Hickey
Aug 1, 2003 9:13 AM
A new C40 has your name on it. I'll let you figure out how to explain it to your wife.........
Follow this advice!wspokes
Aug 1, 2003 8:56 AM
This is pretty good advice! I lost 20 pounds since march and must say it is pretty much the same effort. I am still riding the same distances which are not heavy mileage due to time constraints but I am just riding moderate rates. No barn burners anymore and My weight has steadily decreased. I don't use energy bars unless it is a LONG tour or really hard effort over an extended time (for me, 1.5 hours, this is more of an individual thing...depends on what your body is telling you!) I usually only drink water on the rides and have adjusted my daily nutrition to include a healthier lifestyle change rather than just a "diet". This seems to provide the right recovery for me and helps sustain the weight. Good Luck.
Excellent Post. I believe you are correct. nmKristin
Aug 1, 2003 9:18 AM
Good job on the 40 pounds, btw.
Hey you typed nm then you wrote a message. :-o NMPEDDLEFOOT
Aug 1, 2003 9:44 AM
See,no message. :-)
re: Should I eat gels or bars even if trying to lose weight?Mariowannabe
Aug 1, 2003 8:53 AM
Sure - eat a gel half way through if it helps you feel strong throughout your workout. You're definitely burning more than the 150 calories that it gives you. 18 mph average solo over rolling terrian means that you are moving pretty good.

A lot has to do with how "full the tank" is before you ride. If you haven't eaten since lunch, you'll need something. If you're like me, I eat five (smaller) meals a day rather than three big ones. I'm sufficiently fueled for evening rides before I go.

After the ride if you're feeling lactic burn, I suggest a couple things. 1) lots of water, 2) self massage or use one of those rollers. A good recovery drink is some fruit juice with a scoop of protein powder, and maybe some fresh fruit. Then go REAL light on dinner. Keep some health low cal snacks around for the inevitable late-night munchies, ie. rice cakes, (frozen) grapes, pea pods, etc.

There's no substitute for counting calories.
Disagree with Depends...customsteel
Aug 1, 2003 8:59 AM
Just riding is going to burn calories. Never mind the slow and steady vs. intervals/fast rides. Slow and steady will burn more if you ride further. Thats why the fat burning mode on treadmills etc go for slower pace for longer sessions, so that you are able to sustain that pace. Faster intervals will also burn approx the same amount of calories for your faster pace as long as you warm up for 15-20 minutes to burn the glycogen thats currently in your system from the day's caloric intake. Once this current form of fuel is burnt off from your warmup, you will then pull from your fat reserves. People get too hung up on which is the preferred method. Mix it up and enjoy the miles whether fast or slow. I prefer intervals mostly because with this method, you will increase your aerobic capacity as well as shed those last few pounds. Either way, to burn calories, your caloric output must be greater than input. Cheers

~I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle~
I agree with you in premise, however,MXL02
Aug 1, 2003 9:09 AM
the point of this thread is whether to eat gels or not while riding. The point of riding slow is that you can burn fat calories longer without bonking, ie, running your glycogen to zero, and needing to take on calories in the form of a gel, bar, whatever. I, for one, cannot ride "hot" without taking on more calories while riding, and although this helps me get into better shape, it doesn't necessarily burn more of the calories I am carrying on my arse.
Disagree with Depends...yeah right
Aug 1, 2003 9:30 AM
i'm no biologist, but what you say goes contrary to everything i've read. your body can't convert fat to energy at high rates, or else we'd never bonk, or need to eat during rides, because we'd always have fat. in the early season before intensity sets in, i loose lots of weight, and start gaining it back during interval/race season, even for the same time on the bike.
In response to part 2.....scary slow
Aug 1, 2003 10:31 AM
One thing that seems to help me with lactic acid is to prop my legs up against a wall while lying on the floor. I typically do this after my harder rides and it seems to help flush some of the lingering lactic acid out of my legs.