Hey guys

I need some help and advice, i ride about 400-800km a month depending on how much free time i have. I am 97kg and I've lost 13kg in 6months of riding :). But i need to get my diet sorted so i can continue to loose weight! I feel i have come to a stop in loosing weight! I ride for fun and to try an loose weight. I do long rides and short rides, i try and mix it up and keep it varied. I wonder what you guys suggest i should be eating or not eating! obviously not chocolate etc. Which i try my hardest not to eat!


Tony Farrelly [2961 posts] 5 years ago

My advice would be to find a varied healthy diet that works for you something you can stick to forever - so a lifestyle change rather than going on a diet.

I eat most things but in moderation, what has worked for me is to re-organise when I eat them. So I make it a rule not to eat carbs after six o'clock in the evening (someone told me pro athletes don't eat them after 4pm, but then they probably go to bed a lot earlier than me).

My last meal of the day is protein and lots of veg and I front load the day with a bigger breakfast and a big lunch. I don't eat any less than I did before, in fact I think I eat very slightly more carb than I used to, but I'm giving my body the chance to burn it off before bed time. The other benefit is that I seem to have more energy on my ride home too cos there's more fuel in the tank.

stuke [334 posts] 5 years ago

try to eat as much 'real' food as you can rather than anything processed, you'll feel satisfied for longer and have more energy.

My wife has been home on maternity leave for the last six months so she's been cooking dinner from scratch most days and I've lost a stone through very small tweaks to our diets. Homemade sauces instead of jars,swapping beef mince for turkey mince, fruit or nut/seeds for snacks instead of chocolate or biscuits, those sort of things. As Tony said, its about a lifestyle change so you've got to be able to stick to it long term without feeling like you're missing out.

Plus homemade soups are quick and easy to make while getting loads of veggies into your diet in one go  4

Campag_10 [153 posts] 5 years ago

First, I'd suggest you develop a meal/snack timetable that you can stick to so that you eat meals at regular times and top up with healthy, planned snacks. Losing weight only happens if you eat fewer calories than you burn so it's vital that you regulate your input.

Secondly, food shopping – buy only items that are recognisable as having been harvested or reared. So fruit and veg, meat and fish. Pulses (lentils, chick peas, beans, etc.) are a great source of protein; chicken and turkey are better than red meats. Not only will you lose weight but you'll probably save money on your food bill.

You can get smart by cooking in bulk and freezing which works really well with curries, casseroles and soups. Aim for the daily five portions of fruit or veg.

Avoid, ready meals and highly processed foods – they contain high amounts of sugar, the so-called 'empty calories'. That's particularly true of products labelled 'low fat' – when the fat is removed the taste goes with it so sweeteners are added to make it palatable I'd also cut out all takeaways, fast food, cakes, biscuits and fizzy drinks.

It's surprising how little time cooking from scratch actually takes - most people waste any time 'saved' by heating up ready meals and you may as well peel and cook a veg stir fry as go to the take away and hang about waiting for your order.

Don't cut out all treats, but be disciplined. It's okay to reward yourself for sticking to your plan with chocolate or ice cream occasionally.

Finally - hydration. Many people think they feel hungry when they are thirsty and snack when they are dehydrated. Drink plenty of water often to avoid this.

Updesh [9 posts] 5 years ago

I've been slowly losing weight all year and I think for me that has been the secret. I've always been active, everything from running up stairs to lots of gardening and not sitting around, but my weight plateaued at 74.5 kg

So I did a couple of things

1. Started tracking my food - I use Myfitnesspal - since most of what I eat (and I'm a strict veggie) can simply be scanned in
2. Started tracking my rides more carefully - I use Endomondo

In both cases I set very achievable goals

Lose 500gms a month, that's .5 pounds a week, basically a good 2.5 hour bike ride a week, whilst maintaining my calorie intake at the same level

Note I eat what I always did (including chocolate  1 ) but just am a little careful about quantity. I travel a lot for work and whilst the missus thinks I obsessed - I do what I like (eat and bike)

Also by using the above mentioned apps you can not only track your progress you can challenge yourself against others - for example my neighbour and I had a simple "who can ride the most in August" without ever riding together due to our different jobs

What does all this mean - since June

My average speed has increased by 2km/hour even as the weather gets worse
I've consistently lost between a pound and 2 every month and went from 12 stone to 11 while still eating everything I always did
Waist has dropped from 34" to 31" and falling
I even lost weight over Christmas

It's simply calorie restriction not so much type of food and a good food tracking app will actually help you see what you are eating better and enable you to make more healthful choices, e.g. 1 chocolate digestive = 3 chucks of dairy milk or a can of apricots

Slowly over time you'll just automatically start making better choices about food and as others mentioned - cooking for yourself not because it's healthy but because you can eat more for the same calorific intake

Home made cake is less calories than shop bought cake and without the preservatives

Good luck!

Simon E [3381 posts] 5 years ago

I'd agree with the above comments.

Try to eat more 'real' food instead of processed, packaged stuff with loads of sugars or padding. Eat as much unprocessed and raw fruit and veg as you can. A rule of thumb: the more processing the less nutrition remains.

Cut down the amount of starchy carbs - don't fill up with spuds, pasta, bread and so on. These high GI products cause sugar spike and crash leading to further craving. At work I find the lunches where I have wraps or flour tortillas or homemade bread are more satisfying than sandwiches made with cheap supermarket 'packet' bread.

Try making real porridge for brekkie (not instant sachets) or pre-soaked muesli using skimmed or rice milk with a mix of fruit, nuts and seeds instead of sugar-laced cereals.

If you regularly eat smaller portions and less packaged stuff labelled as 'low fat' or 'healthy option' (which they invariably aren't) your body will gradually adapt to that intake. You may even find you enjoy refined products less as time goes by.

OldnSlo [137 posts] 5 years ago

Try going to gym and supplementing the very impressive Km count with some weight training...
It's been proven to increase metabolism, don't go mad and keep it cycling specific.

Raleigh [1667 posts] 5 years ago

Try pre-breakfast rides.

Making your body work on low glycogen levels accelerates fat burning.

ie: Set all your kit out the night before, including filling water bottles and attatching lights.
Fill a glass of water and drink it first thing when you get up (at 4:30).
Get ready to go and be out the house by 5.
Go for a 2/3 hour ride, at 10% more intensity than you would usually maintain over such a distance, drinking regularly.
Return before 8, have a porridge, yoghurt and apple sauce breakfast and enjoy the rest of the day.

Paul J [953 posts] 5 years ago

Cut out refined, processed foods from your diet (meats, snacks, white bread, etc). Also, cut out sugar as much as possible. You'd be surprised how much food has lots of added sugar, from tomato sauces/ketchups to breakfast cereals.

Try eat fresh fruit and vegetables as much as possible. If you must snack, go for fruit and nuts (*un*roasted, unsalted, raw) instead of sweets. Bring bananas on your rides, instead of those sickly sweet gels. Where-ever you can substitute low glycemic-index foods for high-index ones.

Not all calories are the same. Calories locked into rawer, less cooked, higher fibre, and/or less processed foods literally take more energy for your body (inc your bacterial gut fauna) to break down and make useable.

SideBurn [890 posts] 5 years ago

Have a look at Optimum Nutrition 4 Sport http://optimumnutrition4sport.co.uk/articles/an-on4s-state-of-mind/ is as good a starting point as any! The author has been retained by BMC for next season so should know what he is talking about. He provides a lot of information including the science behind the idea put forward by Raleigh above (Pre breakfast rides), there is stacks of stuff on there, it has taken me a while to get through it but is working wonders for me at the moment  16

abudhabiChris [691 posts] 5 years ago

These are all excellent suggestions.

The only thing I could add is watch your drinking, as in alcohol. Even relatively small amounts will add a lot of calories to your intake.

Until recently I was around 84-85kg (I'm 6'3") and have been pretty much that weight most of my life (I'm 46). When I was at university and rowing for hours every day I was 82kg.

I had been trying hard this year to see if I could shed a little bit more. There's definitely some fat around my middle that could go. I do all the things above. I hardly ever buy lunch out or eat processed foods, and I spend ages in the supermarket checking the sugar content (do that BTW, you'll be amazed). But nothing seemed to work.

Until I cut out most alcohol. Not totally but I stopped having a glass or two of wine or beer in the evenings, which I'd got in the habit of doing. Never more than two, but fairly regular.

At Christmas I was under 82kg for the first time in 25 years. I sort of wish it hadn't worked really...

hotweathercyclist [30 posts] 5 years ago

I will take your advice and see what i can do, I have cut down my drinking and only drink once every two weeks. I used to drink most days but have stopped that- and even had my first NYE with no beer!
Thanks for the advice guys  1