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how many calories?(11 posts)

how many calories?snowrider123
Jul 25, 2001 4:31 AM
does anyone know how to get an accurate measurement on how many calories you need daily. i want to know so i can slightly cut back to drop %body fat. i am currently averaging 25-45 miles a day. any help would be appreciated.
re: how many calories?Duane Gran
Jul 25, 2001 4:53 AM
You probably won't be able to get a precise figure, but most people are able to maintain status quo with about 2000-2500 calories a day. It is estimated that cycling consumes 400-600 calories an hour, so factor this in when you consider your daily need.

For a little trivia, riders in the tour require 7000-10000 calories a day in order to keep fueled. I personally require about 3500 and I ride about 35-45 miles a day.

If you haven't done so already, I would consider looking closely at the types of calories you consume more than the quantity. For example, striving for 60% of your diet to come from carbohydrates will serve a dual purpose. It will give you the energy supply your muscles need, and by focussing on carbs you will tend to choose foods that are lower in fat.

You can try monitoring your progress with a scale, but I find a scale to be more useful in monitoring my hydration. Big changes in weight simply don't happen quickly, and if they do it is most likely dehydration. I use a Tanita scale which also measures % body fat, but its effectiveness is suspect. At best it gives you a look at your trends, but don't expect it to reliably tell you on any given day your body fat.
re: how many calories?jayz
Jul 25, 2001 6:21 AM
obviously, you burn more calories for more high intensity workouts such as racing. My Polar S410 has a "calorie burning" looks at your weight, age, sex, driving record, etc to estimate how many calories you are burning...during a race, it claims i am burning upwards of 900 calories/hr. this seems a little high to me...but maybe not totally out of reason. who knows.

another thing to concider is your current weight. if a 140lb person and a 190lb person do the same workout for the same amoutn of time...the heavier person will burn conciderably more calories..

but as duane says...getting down to 2500 cals shouldnt be unreasonable...unless you are doing alot of high intensity stuff.
i read some stuff that said limiting your HG carbs to during and directly after your workout might help on loosing some of that bodyfat.
stay aerobic thopmannion
Aug 6, 2001 5:19 AM
remember folks, you're not burning tons of FAT (as fuel) when in the anaerobic mode. You are then burning muscle glycogen.

If the goal is to lose weight, and you ride for an hour a day, you are better served by spending that hour in the aerobic mode. If you spend lots of that hour hammering to the max, and its mostly anaerobic, you're going to lose weight slower.

Don't you want that exercise applied towards your unwanted fat? Glycogen is like kindling. Fat is like the big log. Warm-up (glycogen/kindling), then go aerobic (fat/log).
site I've usedjbrown2036
Jul 25, 2001 6:30 AM

I like the quality of information gathered here and it's accuracy. I've compared and contrasted a lot of it with information given to me by my nutritionist and found it helpful.

good luck, and don't do anything too drastic
re: how many calories?Spox
Jul 26, 2001 1:19 AM
Just lying awake burns about 1 kcal/min, doing basic homeworks burns 2-4 cal/min, riding EM, LSD or recovery miles takes 8-10 cal/min, riding from aerobic to anaerobic thd takes 15-20 cal/min, flat out-black out can take even 25 cal/min (xc skiing)

(yesterday I had 4,2 hours ride > 3,1 hours under aerobic thd > 0,9 hours between aerobic and anaerobic thd > 0,2 hours above anaerobic thd > average hr 140...basic daily need 2070 cal + ride > about 5000 cal...weight 76 kg, f-% 6,7)

First you need to know your fat-% and lean body mass, fat don't need any energy, your body and brains does. If you want to cut down your weight, don't never cut more than 0,5 kg per week; if you cut more, you also cut your muscles off. So it is mainly done during off-season and forget those 'afterseasonfiestawithfivekilosoverwieghtpartymonths'...just keep your form round year or go bowling and stay there...

When you know your lean body mass, count proteins first (if you do nothing 0,8-1 g/(lean body!)kg, easy training 1-1,5 g/kg and competive training 1,5-2 g/kg), then count fats and carbs. Brains need about 120g minimum /day and fats must be 15-30% of daily intake. Amount of carbs varies widely depending what type training you are doing.

Don't freak out with fats, like you yanks normally do..;) normal mixed food, just learn what is bad and good in fats. If you cut your fat intake under 15%, your body stops producing testosterone and that pretty bad situation...

And learn what is fast sugar and slow sugar. During hard rides mixed fast and slow sugars, after ride next two hours fast sugars and after that slow sugars mostly. If you use mainly fast sugars, it makes insulin levels freak out and insulin will pack it all to fat stores.

when you cut down your weight, it's sort of stress for your body. Rule is; only one stress factor for body at a time. So training during weight cut period should be pretty easy, for example mixed easy weigh training and easy riding.
The only thing that counts is ...Humma Hah
Jul 26, 2001 10:42 AM
... are you gaining weight or losing weight!

I put myself on a diet in January, with the target of losing 2 lbs a month of fat, maintaining muscle. I got an initial hydrostatic test reading and have since been recording my Tanita scale readings, bodyfat and weight, on my computer several times a week, but looking at the long-term trends (daily variations may be several pounds). I'm running a linear least-squares curve fit on the data, and keeping myself almost perfectly on my goal line.

I am not counting total calories to do this. Instead, I'm making small adjustments in my diet and adding exercise. The basic key to this is knowing a pound of fat is 3600 calories. To burn 2 pounds of fat a month, 7200 calories per month or 240 calories per day, I know I need to use some combination of decreased eating and increased exercise.

I read the labels on what I eat, or look up the calories, enough to estimate that a couple of innocent-looking snacks a day make up about 240 calories. I also estimate my ancient, heavy singlespeed uses about 50 calories per mile during hard riding, plus 20 calories per 100 ft of climbing.

You really only need to know the DIFFERENCE in calorie intake and burn needed to reach your goal, not your total.
Very hard to calculateKerry Irons
Jul 26, 2001 4:56 PM
Riding the bike is 30-35 calories per mile on flat land, depending on your weight, body size (wind drag), and your style (efficiency). Your basal metabolism is around 70 calories per hour. Then there is the uncertainty of the rest of your daily activities (do you fidget, do you walk around your home or workplace or do you pretty much stay put, etc.) At the end of the day, you can do a calculation and be off enough in your estimates such that you will over or under eat.

A much better approach is to deduct 250 calories per day from your diet (preferably from your evening eating) and see the results. As another poster noted, this will give you around a 2 lb/month weight loss. If you want to lose faster, cut 500 per day, although that will be harder to take because you'll be hungry. The fastest you can safeyly lose weight is 2 lb per week (1000 calories per day shortfall) and that is pretty tough while also trying to gain fitness and maintain a pleasant personality.
Jul 27, 2001 1:12 PM
I chuckled when I read your question, because I too have been looking for a simular answer. I have long questioned my nutrition, and was seeking what my daily kCal intake should be. I searched some Dietetic journals at college library, but their not tailored to cyclist. I found that their is no exact anser, but mearly trainers/coaches/nutritionist's recomidations for a specific rider/sport. About 6 months ago my wife bought me "The Lance Armstrong Performance Program", which is a training book by Chris Carmichael. There is a complete chapter on nutrition and lossing unwanted weight. I relied on Chris's suggestion on calorie intake and created a formula for easy calculation.

This formula is based on the following information:

* calories = Total Calories per day
* wght = Morning body weight
* dmilage = # of miles you ride per day
* days = # of days your in the saddle per week

These next two are pretty complicated, so I will only give the numbers for an average male between 150-250 lbs, who is a "fast recreational rider." If your are interested in further groups please purchase his book.

* wmilage = Chris's suggested weekly base milage. 125 miles/week
* mult = Chris's suggested weekly base multiplier. 15 kCal/lbs

Calories = wght(mult+(0.5*(((dmilage-(wmilage/days))/(12.5/days)))))

Calories = wght(mult+(0.5*(((dmilage-(wmilage/days))/(12.5/days)))))
Calories = 190(15+[0.5*((35-(125/7))/(12.5/7))))
Calories = 190(15+(0.5*((35-17.86)/1.79)))
Calories = 190(15+(0.5*(17.14/1.79)))
Calories = 190(15+(0.5*9.58))
Calories = 190(15+4.79)
Calories = 190(19.79)
Calories = 3760.1 kCals

This is what I got from reading "The Lance Armstrong Performance Program" by Lance Armstrong and Chris Carmichael. I highly recomend this book for answering most of the concerns in building a training program. I enjoyed not only learning how to build my own program, but how Lance used many of the techniques to win 2 (maybe 3) years, in a row, the Tour De France. Take care...
Check the sign ...Humma Hah
Jul 30, 2001 8:15 AM
Can you go back to the book and check the sign between the dmilage and wmilage terms below? It looks to me like he'd calculating an average daily milage, so there should be a + instead of a -!


When I turn the crank on the formula you gave, I get an inverse relationship of calorie burn and miles. The more I ride, the less I burn, and the numbers seemed low, below 3000 per day for big efforts.
Breaking it downMichelle
Aug 5, 2001 7:16 AM
Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook has a whole chapter dedicated to this subject that is very easy to read and understand. Aside from that, it is an unbeatable resource for daily nutrition needs: