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Generally speaking...seriously... how is your diet?(36 posts)

Generally speaking...seriously... how is your diet?funknuggets
Oct 15, 2003 8:18 AM
As I took down my second Krispy Kreme and downed my second cup of coffee for the day, I thought to myself... my diet sucks. Despite the fact that I burn a lot of calories and can probably afford the excess calories and fat... it is still pathetic. I eat what I want, pretty much when I want. Are most of you the same? I mean, I don't eat out much, nor do I drink much sugary drinks, and I try to get my fruits and drink plenty of water. Other than that, I eat all kinds of carbs, get all kinds of fats, have no clue about my cholesterol... will eat snickers, etc.

Is this about the same as everyone else, or do most competitve cyclists carefully watch pretty much everything they eat? If you do think you are careful, what general principles do you follow and what classification of rider to you consider yourself?

I know this is a weakness of mine, but have not seen any change in performance (that I know of), that is directly related to my dietary intake, either good or bad and just want to get a consensus of what others are doing... generally speaking.

Thanks in advance.
re: I have no weakness................Rusty Coggs
Oct 15, 2003 8:28 AM
All fats and calories are not the same.
The more I ride, the worse I eat.OldEdScott
Oct 15, 2003 8:31 AM
I mentioned this yesterday in non-cycling. In summer, when I'm riding 12-15 hours a week, my eating is nightmarish, constant and junk-carb loaded. I just can't get enough. I'll come in from a ride and eat a big bag of Cheetos.

Thankfully, in winter when it's a few hours a week (at best) on the trainer, I seem less ravenous for junk and have time to cook in the evenings, so I do better. Still gain weight though.

I think its kind of common.
If the furnace is hot enough, it will burn anything . . .ms
Oct 15, 2003 8:43 AM
That is the motto of one of my friends who justifies eating anything and everything he wants when he is riding a lot.
The more I ride, the worse I eat.Rusty Coggs
Oct 15, 2003 8:48 AM
Yeah,gaining weight is common. Biggest health problem in this country. It's what one stuffs in face. Does not have to be though.
The more I ride, the better I eat.SEPARIDER
Oct 15, 2003 8:56 AM
We are talking a guy one month shy of 50 yrs old that in a good year will do 4000 miles, but typically rides 2000 or so miles a year. About 5'7, 150-155# or so. A guy that can ride a 3 mile TT around 20.3 MPH, if my speedo is calibrated right. Nothing spectacular compared to some of the animals on this site, only giving the info for background.

There is something about riding a lot that makes me more conscious of diet, stretching, and all the other good things we should do. I think it has to do with knowing that if I want to ride well, all the crap that tastes so good will not let me accomplish said task.

Also, as I'm getting older, I am more aware of cholesterol and weight. Over the last few months I have cut down on carbonated beverages, ice cream, candy bars, and taken to reading the nutrient labels more, cutting down on saturated fat etc. Although not a large consumer of the above products, I figure cutting back won't hurt my heart, and if a few pounds come off the waist, the knees (both missing 30% of their cartilege) will also be happy. Also, by shedding a few pounds (I doubt if I'll ever see my marathon weight of 138#)I can rationalize to my wife that when my present ride needs replaced, a lighter steed is necessary because the motor is about as light as it may get. No sense in going super light on the bike with extra poundage on the backside.
OK . . .ms
Oct 15, 2003 8:41 AM
First, I am not a "competitive cyclist." But, I do ride a lot (or did ride a lot before July 3 -- I am just starting back from a broken shoulder).

Second, I have a long-standing cholesterol problem, so I try to avoid things with high cholesterol or high fat content.

That being said, I would say that my diet is OK. I do not follow any prescribed diet. I try to avoid too much fat and eat as many fruits and vegetables as is possible. But, I have a weakness for red meat and cheese and I do not like fish (something that everyone tells me I should eat). When I am riding a lot, I find that I have little tolerance for alcohol, so I usually avoid it. I, too, have not found much correlation between in intake and performance, but maybe that is why I get dropped on group rides by my diet-obsessed friends.
I am what I eat.hrv
Oct 15, 2003 8:51 AM
Unless I know I'm going to be riding hard/long the next day I've pretty much eliminated non-vegetable carbs like pasta/rice/potatos from dinner. Not an Atkins or S. Beach follower by any means, my body just feels better without them.

Drink a coke once in awhile, have pretzels now and then, otherwise no processed foods. All snacks are fruit or vegetables , meat/fish, whatever not processed. My recovery times are reduced and my performance has increased (on the bike too!). Works for me. I do get into phases of eating junk, and the more I eat, the more I want, and when I start feeling like crap again (and I know I will), I'm off it for months at a time.

Most importantly, I have had Crohn's for a long time (in remission) and if I didn't eat a really healthy diet I might not be here typing in this response.

better than it was..._rt_
Oct 15, 2003 9:10 AM
i'm not much of a junk food eater but i live for carbs. :)

i'm a competitive expert mtb'er (use my roadie for training but raced cat 4 for a while) and i found this summer that i was having trouble keeping weight on with all the riding i was doing. i also noticed that my dinners generally consisted of 100% carbs & a salad, and my lunch consisted of fresh veggies & carbs. i didn't eat breakfast but would have 2 cups of coffee.

so i decided to improve my diet & up the protein content...

i quit drinking coffee, and started making myself a protein smoothie every morning. lots of calories (fruit) and about 30 g of protein (between the protein powder, the yogurt, and the soy milk). i stopped dropping weight and my energy increased some.

i also try to include some form of protein in my dinner.

that said, i have weakness for cookies and will have cookies for dessert a couple nights/week.

all in all i'd say that it has made me feel better. it has definately helped with energy for riding & for not dropping weight.

don't know how i will carry this over into my winter training since i will be doing a new training program this winter.

Fairly good, witha few weaknesses.KG 361
Oct 15, 2003 9:19 AM
Namely, icecream and chocolate. I try to eat at least 5-6 helpings of fruit/vegetables a day (usually more), don't eat a lot of processed carbs (except the aforementioned "sins"!) and try to get a fair amount of fiber in my diet-there's a history of colo-rectal cancer in my family, so..... I do eat more during peak season and tend to add 5-10 lbs in the winter, but it's cold here in the winter-I need the extra insulation! =)
diet is great except for booze (nm)ColnagoFE
Oct 15, 2003 9:21 AM
my diet is great to compensate for booze. nm.Steve_0
Oct 15, 2003 9:23 AM
My booze is great to compensate for diet...rwbadley
Oct 15, 2003 9:58 AM
We eat ok in our house. The wife tries to shovel good stuff into us, at least for dinner. Lunch I usually have some form of leftover from the night before. I may be top heavy on carbs and animal, but I try to use olive oil and a little red wine to make up for it.
My diet is great and booze has an integral role in it...Spunout
Oct 15, 2003 10:19 AM
Wine gives good digestion, aids apetite to keep me eating. Beer for the extra calories, and recovery drink. Beer for recovery? Sure! Drink two 500ml Heinekens after a 3 hour road race (along with a five egg omelette and three cups of rice) and you'll sleep like a baby. I wake up feeling much better ;-)

As an ex cuisinier, I prefer to cook most of our own food. Not to be snobbish, but fast food makes me feel very slow and sick.

When ramping up the carbs, the proportion of fat must reduce, but increase in quality. I eat alot of beef, roast a chicken once a week, fish, vegetables, rice, potatoes, fruit. Weaknesses: Chocolate ice cream, pizza.
Guinness makes an even better recovery drink_rt_
Oct 15, 2003 10:41 AM
have 2 guinnesses and you won't need to bother with the eggs & rice!! ;-)

They actually used to market Guinness as a "healthy" drink...Gregory Taylor
Oct 15, 2003 10:52 AM
That's what all of those old "Guinness for Strength" ads are all about. I guess that compared to whiskey, beer IS the healthy choice.

After a cold wet ride, a nice pint of Guinness certainly hits the spot.
it's the ideal drink after a mtb race_rt_
Oct 15, 2003 10:55 AM!


Actually ......toomanybikes
Oct 15, 2003 4:10 PM
rt - Guiness is the ideal drink - period!

Of course I did spend some time at University in Ireland. I had a Guiness weakness before that - Ireland just made it worse!!!!!
Oct 15, 2003 11:47 AM
years ago, philadelphia area hospitals gave Guinness to mothers recovering from birth.
Dr. Atkins recently saved my lifeterry b
Oct 15, 2003 9:46 AM
I've had a cooperative metabolism and a huge sweet tooth for most of my life. As I've aged, I've pretty much been able to eat sweets and other crap with impunity, at least until recently. This year, despite riding more than last, I did not slim down to my normal 168 or so pounds (from 173.) Instead, I was riding, eating and stuck in entropy.

My wife suggested we play with Atkins (based on the good success of a couple of friends) and I, ever skeptical of my willpower (I mean, I really like Krispy Kremes and Pepperidge Farm cookies,) went along.

I did not do the full blown diet heading down to 20 grams of carb - I stuck with my microwave Malay and Thai food lunches and I kept my pre-long-ride Pop Tart breakfast. Instead, I completely eliminated cereal, cookies, candy, soda, pasta, bread, rice and potatoes. One veggie with dinner became two. Snacks changed to fruit and nuts. Breakfast (on non-ride days) became eggs. Stayed with my regular portions of fish, chicken, pork and beef. Result was I lost 14 pounds down to 159 and I have more energy than ever. On rides up to 3 hours I no longer need my requisite PowerGel. In my uneducated opinion, those extra 300g of carbs (per day) were setting me up.

My goal was not to lose weight per se, it was to break my crummy eating habits and to that end it worked fabulously. Most people fail at diets (I think) because they don't recognize the need to alter their eating habits on a permanent basis. I did realize that and I've done it.
Anybody use the Atkin's Diet?MXL02
Oct 15, 2003 9:48 AM
Generally, speaking, I am pretty good about staying on the diet...once or twice a week I may fall prey to the deadly cookies, ice cream, or pizza, but, again, the constant riding and keeping a strict diet the rest of the time allows me "pig out" on occasion without the guilt. Doing it this way I've lost 45 lbs.

A lot of aquaintances have asked if I do the Atkin's own take on this is that the Atkin's diet is better for non-active people who have to limit there carbs in order to stimulate their body to burn fat. We cardio freaks, on the other hand, have to have some carbs just to keep our activity level up...any thoughts?
oops- terry b posted while I was composing my response. nmMXL02
Oct 15, 2003 9:50 AM
Agree, athletes need fuel, that fuel is mostly carbs. nmSpunout
Oct 15, 2003 10:25 AM
I did the Atkins thing...DL Lawrence
Oct 15, 2003 10:33 AM
Three years ago, I lost 35 pounds using the Atkins diet. I was 215, and got to 180. That was before I began riding. I now weigh 183. I still watch my carbs (sugars mostly), and step on a scale every day. Over the past couple of years, since I've been riding, I do eat carbs, but watch how many and of what. If I learned anything, it was that processed sugar was my worst enemy. If I start gaining one or two, I reduce the carbs for a few days. I can fuel up with high carb foods the day before a ride, and don't gain any weight at all. I guess the bottom line is, I would agree with you. It works great for sedentary people, and my experience from talking with lots of people who have done it is that it tends to work better for men than for women. YMMV, JMHO, etc.
Similar exerience...CurtSD
Oct 15, 2003 12:18 PM
About two years ago before I got back into cycling, I lost 50 lbs (from 255 to 205)- didn't use the formal atkins diet but limited carbs pretty drastically. Once I got back into cycling I couldn't stay with the reduced carb thing - I couldn't ride more than 1/2 hour without bonking.
human variation I reckonterry b
Oct 15, 2003 12:37 PM
I've not had any problem with bonking on Atkins although I fully expected to. However, I never have tried going on a long (>2 hours) ride with the standard Atkins breakfast. That was my one indulgence - continue to have 60 or so carbs before long weekend rides. During the week though, I typically ride 60-90 minutes nightly after work and manage to do so without any extra carbs, running on whatever low-carb load I've taken in during the day.

Guess we're all unique.
I don't think so, our metabolisms are pretty much the same...MXL02
Oct 15, 2003 1:27 PM
I think we all try to watch what we eat, and tank up the night before. A true adkins diet would avoid carbs no matter can't do intense cardio with no carb intake...IMHO, unless you are going really have to take on some carbs to stoke up the boilers.
I don't tank up the night before and I'm not going slow (ly)terry b
Oct 15, 2003 1:46 PM
I strictly observe Atkins rules during the week and I also ride at least 3 nights for 75 minutes (hard) on average. No loading, no eating before riding, no bonking. My diet during the day consists of eggs, nuts, fruit and water. Those plus a microwave lunch with 40 grams on average. I figure I'm taking in about 65-80 maximum, and virtually none of it is "bad" carb (processed sugar, processed flour, rice, potato, etc.) And, I'm riding 150 miles a week while the sunlight lasts.

For the weekends, my carbs are limited to 2 Pop Tarts and a banana before my regular 3 hour Saturday and Sunday rides. No loading the night before, no eating during those three hours, no bonking. Used to "need" a PowerGel during that ride, not any more.

Unless I'm reading the previous two posters incorrectly, they said they did the diet and could not hang with it. The one I replied to said "no more than 1/2 hour without bonking." I'm not seeing the same result, I'm exercising as much as ever and I'm not hitting any dips. Maybe I've made the transition to efficiently burning fat, who knows, but I'm not seeing the problems described here.
Well, kind of...DL Lawrence
Oct 15, 2003 1:54 PM
For the first few weeks (or however long you want, based on how much you want to lose), it's under 20 grams of carbohydrate per day. More importantly, the end result of the Atkins diet (after the induction weight loss period) is to find your CCLM (critical carb level for maintenance), or the amount of carb grams you can consume per day and remain at the same weight. I found mine to be around 90-100. If I'm riding the next day, I can load up major (over 150 to 200 grams) and burn it off cycling with no weight gain. It's not actually to avoid carbs at all cost, but to learn how to manage them. YMMV, JMHO, etc.
Not yet found my CCLMterry b
Oct 15, 2003 2:04 PM
And have not really tried. Since I was not really after significant weight loss (was shooting for about 10 pounds) I did not do an official induction. I merely cut down from 100s per day to less than 100. Lost 14 pounds so far and it appears my weight has (now)largely stabilized (get down a little bit more on weekends with 6+ hours of exercise, up a little during the week.) So, I'm guessing my CCLM is probably around 100-150 with a standard level of exercise. On my long ride days, I probably ingest something in the 150g range, but I never add any the night before. I limit it to breakfast before the ride. It's working for me, my weight is steady, I've got plenty of energy and most importantly, I broke some pretty bad life-long eating habits.
M+M's are killing mebiknben
Oct 15, 2003 9:55 AM
There is a guy in the office who goes to Sam's club with the corporate credit card. He's supposed to get soda, and normal office supplies (TP, paper towels, etc.) He has gradually expanding to include rediculous junk food. Among other things, he comes back with 8 industrial size bags of M+M's every time. Thats four bags of plain and 4 bags of peanut. Plain M+M's are my weakness. I can stay away from Peanut, but not the plain.

I've asked him to stop buying the plain but he thinks it is a big game. He goes stupid in Sam's and buys more and more crap each time. He's like a little kid.

I've tried to stop eating the M+M's but they are addictive, I swear!!! This week, I came in after hours and hid the unopened bags. Since there is still plenty already out, he hasn't noticed yet. I'm waiting for him to realize that 15 lbs worth of candy has disappeared. I'm not saying a word. When he buys more, I'll keep hiding them. Yes, it is silly, but that is what I have been reduced to.
Oct 15, 2003 10:16 AM
Part of the reason I ride / work out (aside from the fact that I would be insane otherwise) is to create space, so to speak, so that I don't feel guilty downing a Hacker-Pschoor (there's a week's load of carbs right there) or bottle of wine. And, it being Halloween soon, there is nor shortage of chocolate around the office these days.

I'm 34, though, and I expect this to catch up with me soon.
Our household is on the Count Chocula Reduction Plan (nm)Crankist
Oct 15, 2003 10:20 AM
Weight Watchersretbchboy
Oct 15, 2003 10:56 AM
I turned 50 in June.
I quit smoking last April.
Started mountain biking in May.
Have gone on a diet in August and lost 30 lbs. (another 30 to go).
I have found, according to my HRM, I'm burning between 6 and 8000 Calories a week cycling, and it is very important for me to replenish all of those calories. I am shorting my normal daily calorie intake about 15% and that works.
I cheat once a week on my dinner date with my better half (been doing that for 20 years now).
I guess you burn the 6 calories on your short rides... haha(nm)funknuggets
Oct 15, 2003 11:19 AM
Cleaning the MTB after Pisgah!!!! (nm)retbchboy
Oct 15, 2003 11:23 AM