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Nutrition advice

Afternoon All,

I am just looking for some advice on nutrition but a bit of a boring history first.

I have been on a weight loss journey during these lock downs and started doing some walking when I reached 21st and 13lbs, or 134kg in today's money, I am now down to 18 stone or 114kg and managing to keep it off, mainly due to eating a lot better and also taking up mountain biking as well, my final target weight is yet to be decided but there is at least a good three stone to go yet!

A few years ago I bought myself a road bike as something to try and motivate me to get losing weight and I set myself a target of eventually being able to ride up one of the passes in the Lake District (still my goal) but as I was too big I didn't ride the bike partly due to shame of my size and also the fact that I would probably break it if I rode it! but now I can start riding the road bike which begins this weekend.

So my question is this, I ride the mountain bike first thing on a Sunday morning, out at 7am for approx 2 hours, I then come back and usually have eggs or some muesli and bran flakes with banana, then it tends to be a sandwich and soup for lunch and something like fish with veg and rice or chicken with veg and rice for tea, but I then find that for the next few days I am wanting to eat like a horse! I always have a decent breakfast every day, ie porridge, cereal or scrambled eggs etc and take good lunches to work, I have fruit and nuts for snacks during the day but I just cant seem to satisfy my appetite so it dawned on me, do I need to eat more when I am back from the Sunday ride? is that the reason why my body seems to be crying out for more food? usually sugary stuff as well like chocolate/cakes etc

If anyone has any advice or can point me towards some good books/websites that may help me that would be greatly appreciated.
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  • webboowebboo Posts: 6,071
    You shouldn’t need to eat anymore for a 2 hour ride. You might benefit from eating something before you go out, the you might not be so hungry when you finish.
    Your body is probably crying out for food because you are on a diet.
  • Pretty obvious really! haha think i was thinking a bit too much into it, thanks for the reply though

    Tony
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 2,468
    First off - great work for losing 20kg, congratulations.
    In order to do this, you are clearly creating a calorie deficit, and your cycling is simply making this deficit bigger - hence you feeling more hungry.

    Maybe try having a small amount of muesli before you go out and then eggs when you get back - see if that cuts down the cravings.

    It sounds like you've done your research and already know a lot about your diet. I read a book some years ago that was interesting and helpful for me - called "Racing Weight" by Matt Fitzgerald - it's not a weight loss book per se, but it is about getting to your optimal weight to perform at your best.
  • Thanks I will have a look at that book, I am trying to avoid the word "diet" as i think that's a way of making yourself think you are restricting food, its more carrying on with a lifestyle change but as my life just literally consisted of chocolate bars for breakfast, pies, KFC and other "good" stuff for lunch then pizza and kebabs for tea this healthy eating is starting to get a bit harder now I am getting lighter, I've been a fairly big chap for a good few years now so its like learning a new skill knowing what to eat to give me the right fuel etc especially when I am now cycling and walking as well!

    Again thank you and I will investigate further

    Tony
  • mr.b-campagmr.b-campag Posts: 377
    Sounds like your Sunday ride is effectively a two hour fasted ride (you don't mention taking anything on board during it)? As others have said probably not a great idea for you; there are some supposed benefits from such rides, but for most people that would probably be max 1.5hrs on the road. If you can't stomach breakfast can you eat/drink on the bike instead?

    As you're (rightly imo) interested in eating healthily, it does seem that there are advantages to not eating breakfast on the other days. Also some would argue that there is no such thing as a 'healthy snack'. Have a look at 'The diet myth' by Tim Spector which has some really useful info and recommendations (he is a leading expert in the field of gut health).
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,706
    There could be a few factors. A 2-hour fasted ride could easily lead to prolonged feelings of hunger later in the day, even if you eat well after the ride. But this is something that you can adapt to, as a low intensity fasted ride is a good thing and it may be that your body doesn't yet burn fat as efficiently as it could. Also, the more you weigh the more kcals you burn - when climbing as you're hauling 114kg up every climb.

    I'd suggest you do the fasted rides steady and if you want to do intensity then take on calories before and during the ride. After 2 good hours I suspect muesli and banana then soup and a relatively light evening meal (in itself a good thing) isn't enough.

    The craving is your brain reminding you of the lovely sweet things you used to eat and I think the only way to make those recede is to retrain it by avoiding sugary foods as much as possible. I find modest amounts of additional fat or protein can improve satiety. I add almond butter and seeds to porridge or a pre-soaked brekkie of granola+oats with seeds, nuts and dried fruit.

    Are you drinking plenty of water? It's not a magic wand but it's crucial.

    An increasing number of people are talking of the benefits of a restricted time window for eating e.g. Michael Mosley's 5:2 diet. Whether this - or any other eating pattern or plan - works for you will require experimentation. And that applies to your diet and exercise / lifestyle in general. Read widely, try sensible strategies and find ones that you can stick to. It's a lifelong game, there's no quick fix.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • Thanks for the replies fellas, I am reading as much info as I possibly can do about eating right and you are right, there is no quick fix at all, I am now viewing this as a complete lifestyle change that will never stop as I need to get those healthy eating habits in place forever.

    I did my first road ride in a long long time on Sunday, only 13.5 miles and I was out for just over an hour plus it involved some steep (to me anyway) hills which I managed to get up first time with no stops so I was proud with that, I did actually surprise myself with my fitness, not exactly record breaking speed but its a start!

    The thing that struck me the most though was how much I loved every minute of it, didn't stop smiling all the way round even when I was gasping for breath at the top of the hill!

    I did stop about half way through for a quick drink and half a breakfast bar thing to keep me going but once I was back home I had scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast, I was out at 7am so no time for anything before hand really other than a quick brew, lunch was soup and a sandwich then some fruit during the afternoon and chicken wraps for tea and I felt good.

    Anyway thanks again, don't want to turn this into my progress report as that will be boring! i'm just going to get out there, ride and get fitter and slimmer!

    Cheers

    Tony
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,706

    don't want to turn this into my progress report as that will be boring! i'm just going to get out there, ride and get fitter and slimmer!

    I disagree, it's the kind of thing I was hoping you'd write.

    Don't neglect to post more updates when you have them. :)
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • yorkshirerawyorkshireraw Posts: 1,628
    Well done Tony - you've clearly made some great strides already and are viewing this process in exactly the right way - as a long term lifestyle approach not a quick fix.

    Glad you enjoyed your road debut! Keep at it and you'll see the distances & speed you can handle increase - which adds to the fun.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 28,042
    you should try to work out what is roughly your base metabolic rate, in other words how many calories you need to maintain your current weight. I would assume it's going to be somewhere north of 3,000 calories a day, but it can be estimated more accurately, and of course it could even be measured!
    2 hours, depending on pace, I can guesstimate you will burn somewhere around 1,500 KCal at your weight, could be more.
    All in, it's not much, in the grand scheme of things, probably 7% of your weekly energy expenditure. I wouldn't change my eating habits to fuel a 2 hr weekly ride. Ignore the cravings, if you can.
    left the forum March 2023
  • So if anyone was interested just thought I would give an update to where I am at now.

    I've been doing a mix of mountain and road biking over the last couple of weeks and my fitness is coming along nicely, I can get up hills I never thought I would be able to and, possibly a bit controversial this, I do actually prefer road cycling to mountain biking, not sure why but I will still be doing both as I feel different muscles in my legs and arms being used.

    With regards to the eating issue I have had, I seem to be controlling it a lot better now, I am making sure I am having something small before I go out first thing in the morning, I am carrying a bar with me as well just in case I run out of steam but so far that hasn't been needed, managed to knock 5 minutes off my usual ride as well so I'm happy with that, (this was the total moving time not the total ride time as I thought I may have just had a shorter break too!)

    The cravings have died down as well and as bizarre as this may sound we have removed the scales from the bathroom and reduced our weigh in's to every fortnight at the moment and this appears to have had the effect of reducing the number of times I am thinking about food, weird how our minds work at times I think.

    I have lost a couple of pounds but nothing to shout about just yet, its going in the right direction though so I am chuffed with that and as summer now approaches and freedom beckons for us all I'm only going to get fitter and thinner.

    Cheers,

    Tony
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 7,078
    Just as an aside, if you're going out regularly for a couple of hours ride, i bet you that you could ride one of those Lake District passes now.

    You might not be as quick as you like, but i reckon you'll get up it and you'll have a target time to beat for the next time!
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame
    Tall....
    www.seewildlife.co.uk
  • elbowloh said:

    Just as an aside, if you're going out regularly for a couple of hours ride, i bet you that you could ride one of those Lake District passes now.

    You might not be as quick as you like, but i reckon you'll get up it and you'll have a target time to beat for the next time!

    I'd certainly be willing to give it a go, just worried it may take me the best part of a week to get up! Going to be increasing my mileages over the next few weeks too but I am proper loving this road cycling thing, its awesome fun! just wish I had started years ago!
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,050
    Good progress OP my advice would be ditch bread in all its forms
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • Well its been sometime since I have posted on here and I am ashamed to admit that over the last 16 months I have let everything slip and its all gone wrong again!!

    Reading through my previous posts its very embarrassing that I have let myself go as bad as I have, cant make excuses and I fully accept its my decisions that led to this, I took my eye off the ball as life got in the way, work and home life became stressful and it appears my way of dealing with stress is to eat as much food and snacks as I can and not do any exercise! Ridiculous I know, especially as I had been feeling so good!

    So I am pretty much back to square one, well not quite, I am still 1 stone and a bit under my previous heaviest weight, but its not good!

    Therefore I have made a decision over the weekend and I have entered into a 60 mile sportive next year, in June to be precise, so I am now starting back on the bike and walking as well in the hope that I will be fit enough and ready to ride.

    I know June 2023 seems a long time off but I have to take a realistic view on this and its not something I am going to fix quickly, I need a total change of outlook and lifestyle to get this sorted, I also accept that in a few months its Christmas and this will be a hard time of struggle for me, especially as my family think I am a bin who will just eat anything and everything! Which is part of the problem in that I will!, but as I say a change of outlook and mindset is needed.

    So over the next 12 months or so I may come on here typing boring and silly posts like this or asking for any advice etc so thanks for reading and lets see where this goes!

    Cheers
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 28,042
    edited August 2022
    One event in June might be too little for a change in mindset, as you call it. You need intermediate targets to keep the pressure piling up.

    Also, your attitude (which needs to change) is self defeating... you have basically already given up on Christmas... which will probably set you back 3 months in your quest. There is nothing wrong in ONE Christmas meal, as long as it begins and stops there... typically Christmas means a couple of weeks worth of Christmas meals for most people.

    You are not weak, you are strong, therefore you will stick to the plan, no question!

    Allow yourself some minor cheats... one pint on a Friday (not 5)... a slice of cake on a Sunday or whatever...
    left the forum March 2023
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 24,684
    "No exercise = No treats" was a help for me.
    Still have to limit the treats, and be honest with yourself. Being honest is probably the hardest part. From what I've observed people on diets know what is bad for them but lie to themselves about their eating habits.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 28,042
    There is also a tendency to underestimate how much energy is in food and how little energy is used in exercise.
    It was eye opening to see the KCal on a menu last week: an English Breakfast (a small posh one with one sausage and one rasher of bacon, not the kind of oversize stuff you get in a greasy spoon) was advertised at 1100 KCal... that is 2 hours of cycling at a decent pace.
    left the forum March 2023
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 2,468
    Hey @Antlancs76 unless you are Dr Who or possess similar time travel abilities, all you can do is start where you are today - that's the only thing that any of us can do.

    The past is done and can't be changed, so by all means let it motivate you, and let it help you not make the same decisions again - but don't dwell on the negatives too much.

    You did it once and you can do it again - you've proven that.

    Don't worry too much about Christmas until December arrives. From now until then just focus on what you can do, what you can change and hopefully over the next few months you'll make good progress and Christmas won't be as bad as you think.

    Also - tell your family what you are doing so they can be a help and not a hindrance to you.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 4,488
    Why not do the Festive 500 over Christmas. That should burn a few calories.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,412
    Find some hills, bury yourself on the climbs

    It will hurt a lot. But use the pain as a driver to tighten the nut on disciplined calorie intake.

    It helps keep a calories in check and a real time consequence for stepping outside your intake.

    But as Ugo has said, attitude is the main platform for success. Give yourself small targets and use them as stepping stones on your journey
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 8,688
    If you look around at other middle aged men and women it's shocking just how big we have become as a nation. I consider myself somewhat overweight relative to "race weight" - maybe 4kgs or so - but the norm seems to be closer to 4 stone.

    It's clear that there is something very wrong with our Western diet. I've even seen it suggested that there is a generational effect - eating poorly causes genetic changes that make our kids predisposed to becoming fat.

    Anyway this isn't going to change any time soon - staying slim in this society isn't easy - because who would choose to carry around an extra 20kg plus of fat if it was easy to choose not to?


    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 24,684
    edited August 2022

    If you look around at other middle aged men and women it's shocking just how big we have become as a nation. I consider myself somewhat overweight relative to "race weight" - maybe 4kgs or so - but the norm seems to be closer to 4 stone.

    A typical example has been on my mind recently.
    I have been holding onto some classic/vintage/old casual shorts until I could get back into them, and now I can.
    They are sized as 34" and are still slightly tight while my new 32" or "M" shorts are loose.
    Obesity is being pandered to.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • katanikatani Posts: 126
    edited August 2022

    If you look around at other middle aged men and women it's shocking just how big we have become as a nation. I consider myself somewhat overweight relative to "race weight" - maybe 4kgs or so - but the norm seems to be closer to 4 stone.

    It's clear that there is something very wrong with our Western diet. I've even seen it suggested that there is a generational effect - eating poorly causes genetic changes that make our kids predisposed to becoming fat.

    Anyway this isn't going to change any time soon - staying slim in this society isn't easy - because who would choose to carry around an extra 20kg plus of fat if it was easy to choose not to?

    The current generation of western teenagers is said to be the first one ever in the history of humankind who are expected to live shorter lives than the preceding one. This is purely due to diseases caused by obesity and sedentary lifestyle.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 28,042
    could this all be a reflection that as a society we don't value commitment? You can always commit to do something and then get out of it without any real consequence... It's accepted, nobody ever questions your last minute problem that prevents you from doing this and that...
    Equally, it's easy to justify to yourself not being able to stick to a plan... "life got in the way" kind of thing.
    I am lucky in the sense that I was raised by old fashioned parents and any commitment was law in the family.
    left the forum March 2023
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 2,468
    It’s coming true:



  • All i would say to the OP is that consistency is key. It doesn't matter if you slip up every now and then. If you look back in 60 days time and you've been good for 45 of them you'll be in a better place than you are today.

    As someone else said above, having intermediate goals is useful when the main goal is so far away. There will be charity rides in the run up to Xmas, sign up for one of them (say 20-30 miles). Gives you something to focus on and will also make you less likely to have a massive run-up to Xmas. Something else in March (Spring sportive of 30-40 miles) would then also be useful.

    Good luck.
  • Thanks for the comments and advice everyone, this weight thing is weird and I appreciate everyone's views on it, I'm not one to say its not my fault because it is, I've made wrong choices and sometimes I lose control of what and how much I eat, sounds daft I know but its true, its like one voice says eat it and that voice is stronger than the voice that says no don't eat it fatboy! but that needs to change

    But I have to own it first, I have done it before and I will do it again, I like the idea of planning targets within a shorter time frame, that's how I will go, there is a ride near me that is a decent distance and I can target with some good hills in it, hills every which way I go near me anyway so I cant avoid those!

    Anyway thanks again, I will post updates as I go along, possibly just to help me realise how far I have come and maybe a bit of interest for those who read it along the way!

    Cheers
  • So just thought I would provide an update to my situation.

    Since my last posting I have lost 10lbs and have been doing a fair amount of walking, done some cycling but the self awareness as to how I look has been getting in my head again, stupid really as I know no one really cares and I am not that important, I will get through it, just sometimes stops me from riding a bit more.

    I have got my Zwift set up anyway so I can spend sometime cycling indoors at first, lose a bit more weight and get a bit more bike fit then I can get out there again but I am now due to go away for two weeks to hopefully sunny Portugal and that can go either way, I either come back lighter as I really watch what I eat and do a lot more walking, or I eat all the good stuff, just got to remain focused and avoid the temptations!

    Anyway I will probably come back again in a month or two and provide an update, not that I expect anyone to be that interested to be honest!

    Cheers,

    Tony
  • Good job - it is possible that to others you look like someone who's trying their best and might inspire someone to get on their bike. Keep it up though and only care about what you think about yourself. If you take it slow and steady it's more likely you'll keep at it for longer so you're going about it the right way.
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