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diet - help

le_bossle_boss Posts: 183
edited January 2011 in Road beginners
hiya everyone

wondering if someone might be able to give me some advice and tips on diet.
seem to be lacking energy at the moment, pretty certain its because recently my diet has turned in to more of a snacking when i have time to diet.

im a vegetarian and have always found it pretty difficult to get the quantity of protein i need.

i know that a nutritionalist or even some books might be able to help me, but thought i would ask on here to see if anyone can offer advice?

basically what types of foods should i be eating? whats the best meal to have before a ride? after a ride? on a rest day?
how many calories a day should i be eating?

any help will be very appreciated!

thanks

Posts

  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    Calorie requirements would be down to your activity levels, and also your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), there are BMR calculators available on the net.

    Things like brown pasta, brown rice, pulses are good, quorn is a good source of protein too, maybe you could list a usual days food / drink intake.

    I'd also suggest the book "sports nutrition" by Anita Bean.
  • I'm a veggie and used to suffer after really big rides, feeling tired for days afterwards, until I started using recovery drinks.

    Not for every ride, just the hard ones.

    I started on For Goodness Shakes but know use whey protein powder from H&B mixed 50/50 with milk and water and a blended banana in there too.

    I also try and balance my diet more so there is more protein.

    Its made a real difference for me.
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    As you are a veggie, like you said good quality protein is not as easy to find. Try nuts, they have a good amount of protein in them, but also alot of fat (though it is classed as good fat, it still contains the same calorific content as bad fat), so don't go eat packets at a time.

    Also are you able to eat/drink whey protein, if so this is a very good quality protein and will help you no end.

    You need to eat a balanced diet, with lost of fresh fruit and veg, avoid processed foods.
    As above calorie intake is based on what you personally need, mine can vary between 1900 and 3000 based on training, though I am trying to lose a little weight at the moment, as soon as I start racing calorie intake will probably go up a little.

    I eat about 5-6 times a day, with my main meal being lunch. Typical is below.

    Breakfast: Bowl of Shreddies, and a banana
    Mid Morning Snack : Whey Protein, Apple, and Banana
    Lunch : Turkey/Chicken Salad, Apple, Banana, Handful of Almonds
    Mid Afternoon Snack : Whey Protein, Apple, Banana
    After Training : Whey Protein with Milk
    Evening Meal : Soup or Stir Fry, or maybe a bigger meal if doing a long ride the following day.

    I also drink alot of water, probably about 3-4 litres a day.
  • le_bossle_boss Posts: 183
    danowat wrote:
    Calorie requirements would be down to your activity levels, and also your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), there are BMR calculators available on the net.

    Things like brown pasta, brown rice, pulses are good, quorn is a good source of protein too, maybe you could list a usual days food / drink intake.

    I'd also suggest the book "sports nutrition" by Anita Bean.

    tbh it differs each day, but heres the average day:

    i generally skip breakfast (have never really had breakfast) unless im riding that morning in which case it would be a large bowl of porridge.

    for lunch i usually have some type of sandwich or bowl of cereal, a yogurt and a pear or apple.

    then in the evening i try and have some type of high carb meal, usually a big bowl of pasta or rice, with some veg and then maybe some pizza or something, followed by a yogurt or custard or rice pudding.

    have tried the protein shakes, but really didnt like them tbh.

    i usually ride about 150miles a week. rides of about 40 miles on sat and sunday during winter (increases in summer) and an hour or so 4 nights a week (during week) on a route of about 18miles.
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    le_boss wrote:
    danowat wrote:
    Calorie requirements would be down to your activity levels, and also your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), there are BMR calculators available on the net.

    Things like brown pasta, brown rice, pulses are good, quorn is a good source of protein too, maybe you could list a usual days food / drink intake.

    I'd also suggest the book "sports nutrition" by Anita Bean.

    tbh it differs each day, but heres the average day:

    i generally skip breakfast (have never really had breakfast) unless im riding that morning in which case it would be a large bowl of porridge.

    Well, theres a fix for starters, breakfast is VERY important, even if you are not riding your body needs fuel to refill its glycogen reserves, nutrition (and hydration) is (IMO) as important on rest days as it is on days when you do ride.

    Would you class yourself as a fussy eater?
  • le_bossle_boss Posts: 183
    fussy eater...yes i am. partly due to not liking certain foods partly due to sensitive stomach. thats what makes it even harder to find balanced diet.

    i know i have to improve diet but its hard when ur in a bad habit and i admit i have no idea with foods and nutition.
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    Your car wouldn't go very far if you didn't put petrol in it, your body is exactly the same, you'll suffer if you don't fuel your body properly.

    If your sensitive stomach is a medical issue, see your GP and get them to refer you to a dietician / nutritionist, if its pure fussiness, then try and find something that you like, or just man up, I was told that if you eat something 10 times, then you'll like it!!!.

    Experimentation is the key, have you tried stuff like suba noddles or quinioa?, have a look at that book I suggested, there is alot of good stuff about nutrition in it, it even has daily diet plans for various cal requirements
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Find a breakfast that you like and can manage eating every day. Routine will probably help you.

    Porridge is the choice of most people. There are loads to chose from and if you look around you can find a tasty one. Eat it daily, regardless of what you are doing and you'll get your day off to a good start.

    As for protein - can you eat eggs? I personally eat loads of them. Egg white omelletes made with 4 egg whites and loads of veggies. And +1 for recovery drinks or protein powder.
  • GrifterukGrifteruk Posts: 244
    +1 on the breakfast point.

    I found that when I used to have a low quality or no breakfast, the rest of the day was spent trying to catch up, leading to poor eating choices during the entire day. I also used to (and still do) suffer from a sensitive stomach. However changing the quality of foods I have eaten (more wholemeal/fresh food/less processed items and, importantly I think, a proper breakfast) resulted in a massive change in how I feel both on and off the bike.

    My bowl of cereal is followed up by fruit mid morning (apple and/or grapes), wholemeal sandwich for lunch followed by a granola bar mid afternoon in preparation for an evening training session. I am presently looking for a different mid afternoon snack to boost my carb intake a few hours before training, with a protein shake afterwards. I am also making changes to my evening meal to improve that area.

    At the moment, I am reading "Racing Weight" by Matt Fitzgerald. Half way through and it seems to be making a lot of sense. FWIW, he suggests having 25% of your daily calories at or around breakfast.
  • le_bossle_boss Posts: 183
    thanks for all the advice fellas.
    thinking i might get myself the books mentioned.

    one more question, what would you normally eat before a race then? would it be different to a normal training day?
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    No different for me, it is all about what you eat in the days running up to an event. I don't change my diet at all during the season, apart from perhaps eating a little bit more so I don't run such a big calorie deficit.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    le_boss wrote:
    thanks for all the advice fellas.
    thinking i might get myself the books mentioned.

    one more question, what would you normally eat before a race then? would it be different to a normal training day?


    My races are at different times of the day - and have different intensities. For instance, I wouldn't eat anything special for an after-work 10 mile TT, but a road race in the morning - I would still start with my porridge.

    In fact, porridge is my pre-race meal of choice whenever possible. Fills me up without making me feel ill - and releases energy slowly so will give me energy well into the event.
  • crankycrankcrankycrank Posts: 1,830
    If it is protein that you're lacking try some Spirulina tablets before the ride. Spirulina is an algae that is heavy on protein. Not a cure all or the magic pill but it does give a good shot plus it's easy and inexpensive. Not always easy to find in stores but usually found in the vitamin section.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirulina_ ... supplement)
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,448
    I'm mostly vegetarian and have been for more than 20 years (although I do eat a little fish these days). I'm surprised no-one has mentioned tofu so far - I eat loads of the stuff. It's not quite a complete protein source, but the only amino acid it doesn't have so much of is found in nuts, wholegrain cereals etc. So combining tofu with good quality cereals works really well.

    Different varieties of tofu vary a lot in the amount of protein they contain. Generally the denser it is the better - the "silken" stuff tends to be pretty low in protein. The best tofu can have 30g of protein per 100g - it has the consistency of cheese (without the fat of course) but you'll probably need to go to specialist shops to get it.

    Wheat tends to get a bad rep these days, but I'm a huge fan of good quality wholegrain bread. There are all sorts of important nutrients in wholegrain wheat. Unfortunately the easily available wholemeal bread in the UK tends to be pretty uninspiring, full of air and pre-sliced. My standard breakfast is just two thick (i.e. 1-2cm) slices of wholemeal toast with olive oil instead of butter or marge (put it in the fridge to make it spreadable) and marmite and/or jam, and a big jug of fresh coffee. I always slice the bread myself - the thicker the slice the greater the percentage of bread you are eating (as opposed to whatever you spread on it). Really good bread (like really good tofu) is dense and heavy - very difficult to get in the UK unfortunately.

    I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but if you've been training really hard and need to seriously refuel, don't knock pizza. It's actually a fairly balanced meal, the only issue being the saturated fat - so just don't have it too often. I always pile mine with loads of extra healthy stuff before putting it in the oven, usually frozen spinach, pine nuts and frozen berries (again difficult to get in the UK..) Lingonberries go surprisingly well with piizza, and blueberries aren't bad. My fave is sea buckthorn berries, which you can buy frozen in big bags here in Finland. Incredibly good for you. In the UK they grow wild along many coastlines but hardly anyone eats them, which is a shame really.
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    we make our own bread, and pizza dough, hence we make our own pizzas too, that way you can put decent chesse on it, not that manufactured censored you get on shop brought pizzas
  • mattshropsmattshrops Posts: 1,134
    veggie protien sources; tofu eggs veggie cheese (i think most are these days) milk nuts and soya. you can buy the beans frozen whole if you want and add to a big veggie casserole with pulses and other beans like canneloni and broad beans etc. yum im getting hungry now.
    if you want to get healthy you really NEED to understand about nutrition, i cant believe how many people see themselves as healthy and dont get it. you dont need to get too technical just a good balance of food , cut out the bad fats-use olive oil instead. i personally TRY not to buy hardly anything which is processed. if you buy the raw ingredients yourself and make the food then you know exactly whats in it and have a good idea about the quality. Unfortunately we as consumers get what we deserve - we demand cheap food and thats just what we get-CHEAP food.. i dont do everything right and i cant always do what ive said BUT the main thing is to be aware of what your doing and TRY. 3-2-1-back in the room.
    ( you cant beat your own bread and pizza dough)
    Death or Glory- Just another Story
  • Hi, i have found this site really good for monitoring your diet and it is free. www.foodfocus.co.uk/
  • I also have porridge with a couple of big spoonfulls of crushed nut which is high in protein.
  • NavrigNavrig Posts: 1,352
    I have found a great and well balanced breakfast:

    Dorset really fruity muesli, handful of nuts and Innocent coconut, bananas and pineapple smoothie with a small dash of milk. All in one bowl. Tastes great.

    It addresses all my needs for the morning and is a great slow release fuel for an early morning ride.
  • neeb wrote:
    I'm mostly vegetarian and have been for more than 20 years (although I do eat a little fish these days). I'm surprised no-one has mentioned tofu

    That's because it's repulsive unless marinaded in something that actually has a flavour and then deep-fried. And as tofu has plenty of fat it it to start with, you might as well eat deep-fried Mars Bars.

    On any kind of Western diet, even Clueless-About-Nutrition Vegetarian, it's extraordinarily hard to get too little protein unless you are doing something completely extreme like training for competition body building (in which case you have bigger problems anyway, like the steroids shrinking your willie).

    If you're avoiding dairy, the simple trick is combine grains (porridge, bread, rice, pasta) with pulses (beans, lentils etc).

    There is lots and lots of outstanding garbage written about nutrition. As a rule of thumb, if anyone purporting to be a diet professional calls themselves anything other than a 'dietitian', they are a fraud. Dietitian is a legally protected term - like doctor - that requires proper study to attain. Any quack or charlatan can call themselves a nutritionist, and these days most of them do.
    John Stevenson
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    neeb wrote:
    I'm mostly vegetarian and have been for more than 20 years (although I do eat a little fish these days). I'm surprised no-one has mentioned tofu

    That's because it's repulsive unless marinaded in something that actually has a flavour and then deep-fried. And as tofu has plenty of fat it it to start with, you might as well eat deep-fried Mars Bars.

    On any kind of Western diet, even Clueless-About-Nutrition Vegetarian, it's extraordinarily hard to get too little protein unless you are doing something completely extreme like training for competition body building (in which case you have bigger problems anyway, like the steroids shrinking your willie).

    If you're avoiding dairy, the simple trick is combine grains (porridge, bread, rice, pasta) with pulses (beans, lentils etc).

    There is lots and lots of outstanding garbage written about nutrition. As a rule of thumb, if anyone purporting to be a diet professional calls themselves anything other than a 'dietitian', they are a fraud. Dietitian is a legally protected term - like doctor - that requires proper study to attain. Any quack or charlatan can call themselves a nutritionist, and these days most of them do.

    :lol: Magnificent. There's enough contempt in this post to last me until Christmas.
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