View Full Version : Diet/How to lose weight without bonking

06-11-2005, 06:59 AM
I really want to lose some weight, but everything I read talks about how you should eat carbs and fluids while riding. Can anyone tell me an easy solution about pre and post ride meals? My husband pushes me to carb up before a ride, so I assume I will burn this off during my ride. Is this right?

06-12-2005, 01:54 AM
Hey Wannabee -
There was a discussion about nutrition and weight loss a while back - you may find some of the information you are looking for there, and I also highly recommend the books by Nancy Clark and Liz Applegate that I mentioned in that thread - it's in the Nutrition forum here: eating for endurance/weight loss (http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showthread.php?p=18926#post18926). (The link will take you to the bottom of the thread, so you'll need to scroll up to see all of the posts.) In addition to the two books mentioned in that thread, Nancy Clark has a new book out called The Cyclist's Food Guide. All 3 books are excellent sources of good nutrition information.

Your husband is right - it's really important that you eat to fuel your activity. And that means carbs (plus an overall diet that includes protein + even some fat).

--- Denise

06-12-2005, 08:06 AM
I highly recommend Weight Watchers. How much you eat depends on the amount of exercise you do.

06-13-2005, 07:31 AM
This is an interesting question. I'm a novice rider, just getting back in to the casual riding scene and I've noticed all the goo and stuff that people have on rides, even easy 25-40 mile rides.

I've also noticed that cyclist come in all shapes and sizes. :p

Do you really think all the supplemental carbs is necessary?
Is a moderate (16-18mph) 2 hour session so gyclogen depleting so as to warrant so much supplementation?

06-13-2005, 12:41 PM
slwsue sez:

Do you really think all the supplemental carbs is necessary?
Is a moderate (16-18mph) 2 hour session so gyclogen depleting so as to warrant so much supplementation?

I've wondered that myself. After some thought, I have decided that, no, extra nutrition is really not in my best interests for the amount of riding I usually do. (A known distance that takes about an hour to ride.) Long rides and tours are another matter altogether, of course, which may be one reason I'm starting to get in to touring. :rolleyes:

Right now, I'm trying to balance burning off the excess on my hips with keeping my energy up. I've noticed, though, that rides after dinner are more energetic than others, with no net calorie (intake) gain. I must be doing something right, I'm losing weight and also getting faster.

As usual, YMMV, and you get a full refund on whatever you paid for my advice if I'm wrong (less a small service charge, of course). :p

06-14-2005, 04:15 AM
A one hour ride at a moderate pace should not require extra carbs before you ride. You will want to have a post ride snack containing fast carbs and some protein. I like orange juice cut 50/50 with water and a scoop of vanilla protein powder. You want to protein for your muscles.

However - if you want permanent weight loss, you should build muscle. Muscles will increase your resting metabolism and generally make you look better. Weight lifting is a great addition to cycling.

06-14-2005, 05:47 AM
I think goo use depends on how hungry you think you'll get. I don't really like the stuff very much, so I tend to eat a granola bar instead. But a two hour ride all uphill - yeah, I want to eat something in the middle. On a two hour flat ride, probably not.


07-01-2005, 12:09 PM
I'll second the Weight Watchers advice... I'm a lifetime member and have kept 80lbs off for just over 10 yrs now... cycling is great for weight loss and muscle strength... and the advice to cross train with weights is great too as cycling does not target the upper body... I can ride forever but weed whacking used to kill my arms! LOL

also, how far and long are you riding when the DH pushes you to carb up? I don't eat extra carbs unless I'm riding more than 25 miles... everyone varies, and any further than that you most likely WILL need to consume some carbs, which could mean as little as half a banana and 2 fig newtons, just a small amount of fuel... often I use Clifshots... they are easy to carry and only 100 calories but pretty effective for me at least (there's also Gu, CarbBoom and a bunch of other brands... they're all pretty close)

there is another great thread going right now called "bonking isn't just about long rides"... check it out when ya have a minute... women and men process carbs differently so what the DH does may not be what you need to do for the exact same ride! You'll get to the point where you'll know your body and what it needs... I bonked twice trying to eat just like my ex-husband on 50 mile rides... it's a horrible feeling...

07-11-2005, 05:28 PM
I am a serious fan of Weight Watchers as a weight loss method. Years ago I lost 35 lbs and it took childbirth and a lot of years to gain about 80% back. It is a balanced diet, as opposed to one heavily balanced in the no-fat or no-carb thing. It is much easier to do than in the "old days"!
This summer I am back in the groove and have lost 13 lbs and do not have energy problems biking. Also I usually go after lunch. However my rides are mostly in the 15-20 mile range. On a longer ride a Luna bar is good and not too high in calories.

07-11-2005, 06:52 PM
I found this on a calorie counting website: Cycling at an average of 14-16 MPH will burn 567 calories an hour.

That applies to my height and weight... 5'4", 122 pounds.

It might be a good idea to figure how many calories you are taking in and how many you are burning when exercising.

You can go here: www.caloriesperhours.com, to find out. Surprisingly enough, cycling is not a top calorie burner.

Now... I will tell you that before I ride in the morning, I will eat a fake bacon sandwhich (230 calories) and a bagel with PB (estimate 350 calories). This past weekend, I rode from 7:15 AM to 10:30 AM, 40 miles, at an average of 16 MPH, and I didn't feel tired or hungry, and I didn't eat again until 11:30 AM. So, yes, I carb loaded before I rode, but I also didn't stuff my face at every rest stop.

People really over estimate HOW MUCH they need to EAT while riding. If you aren't going really fast and really far, you don't need that much to carry you through a ride.

But in the end... to lose weight... it's all about calories in and calories out. This can only be achieved through a daily food diary, knowing how many calories your body burns at resting weight (I know 24 Hour Fitness can test for this), and how many calories you are burning when you workout.

07-13-2005, 01:31 PM
hey oldbikah... way to go on your recent loss! :)

KSH... that site is gone... I would LOVE to look at it... ('cause I'm NOT 122 lbs and 5'4"! sigh.... )

07-13-2005, 09:01 PM
A handy resource right here is


how much do you have to ride to work off thanksgiving dinner?

08-03-2005, 09:36 AM
I think it all depends on the chocolate size, you know ... :) My guess is that one chocolate a week is best and keeps your sugar levels normal. What do you think ?

08-19-2005, 08:22 AM
Hi Wannabe,

I am trying to lose some weight. My goal is 60 pounds. I had pneumonia in July, and lost 12#, and then had some blood work done, which slowed me one glucose point away from diabetes!!! So I drastically changed my diet and reduced my calories and increased my exercise. I am using Palm software called Diet Diary from Calorie King to track everything. It makes it so easy! Basically, what I am doing is trying to stick to a 1500 cal/day diet, and riding 4-5 days a week, with a minimum of an hour a day, with an ever-increasing long ride on Saturday. I'm up to 80 miles now for my long ride. 50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat. Yes, I am hungry all the time. But so far I have lost 22 pounds! My blood work is back to normal. I am losing 2-4 pounds a week.

On the day of my long ride, I eat sushi (four pieces) for breakfast. (Nice combination of carbs, fat and protein!) Then, after the first hour of riding, I eat one gel of 80 calories. I continue to eat one gel every hour till the halfway mark, when I drink half a serving of Endurox R4, a recovery drink (240 calories for the whole serving). Then I continue to eat the one gel per hour, and sip the Endurox. Lots of water the whole time. I also carry a couple half servings of Soy Crisps, 50 calories per half serving, if I get hungry for something crunchy during the ride. When I am done, I eat the other half of the sushi roll for lunch. I try to eat a normal dinner, but usually exceed my 1500 calories by 200 or so for that day, and don't feel bad about it. It's working great for me- I don't bonk while riding, I have plenty of energy.

In the past, while running or riding, while not trying to lose weight, I had been consuming about 240 calories/hour.


08-19-2005, 01:10 PM
Hi everybody. I have a simple question. I might have been posted on the wrong thread but anyway here is it:
If chocolate is good for us, then how many normal chocolate bars can we eat in one week and not getting weight? Thanks.

LOL... asking a lot of chocoholics about how many one can eat...
Well, I eat what chocolate I want, and if I get to more than 2 novelty bar sizes (i think they're about 100grams) then I increase the exercise. REstricting chocolate intake is not something I ever desire to do... however... when one's fitness increases, one's body doesn't want to eat fatty and rich foods... so your desire may not decrease, but how much chocolate will satisfy you does.
So I have gone from wanting chocky every day, to occasionally just having one square or bite and that being enough... It sorts itself out - your body knows what it needs - we just have to retrain ourselves to listen.

And welcome to the boards, Christina and Helen...

08-19-2005, 01:23 PM
Basically, what I am doing is trying to stick to a 1500 cal/day diet, and riding 4-5 days a week, with a minimum of an hour a day, with an ever-increasing long ride on Saturday. I'm up to 80 miles now for my long ride. 50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat. Yes, I am hungry all the time. But so far I have lost 22 pounds! My blood work is back to normal. I am losing 2-4 pounds a week.

You're over a third of the way to achieving your goal, Nanci - you must feel so great about that. Way to go...

Hey, just thinking about you being hungry all the time... I have heard from people I know that many diet plans (like Weight Watchers) have "free" foods - foods that have no calories and you can eat all day if you wanted... have you any of those in your plan you could eat when you feel hungry?

The other thing I always ask or suggest to those trying to reduce food intake... do you listen to you body and eat only when it says eat, and only until it says its not hungry. In the western world we are trained from infancy to to eat at certain time... and finish what is on our plates... of course, this training to eat when and what we are told, "untrains" us too.
We learn to stop listening to the messages our body gives us. It is very hard to learn how to listen again, but often, when one does, food intake begins to drop.

Good luck with it all Nanci... keep us posted so we can celebrate your goals and achievements with you!

08-20-2005, 04:44 AM
This is really good:


It talks about eating less vs exercising more for weight loss and also addresses the problem of losing muscle.

<"show me the science" dogmama!> :D

08-20-2005, 06:02 AM
Hi Nanci ... How did you manage to keep track of all the calories you take or burn every day?
I only heard about online tracking services but I don't know where to start ...

08-21-2005, 04:37 AM
Hi Helen,

I use Diet Diary software from Calorie King. Http://www.calorieking.com Look under software. There is a Windows version, but I have mine on my Palm Pilot, which goes everywhere with me. It makes it easy to make choices at lunch or at a restaurant. I usually have the same thing for breakfast, so I enter in that for the whole week, then I plan out what I am having for dinner and put that in, and then see what's left for lunch/snacks. Mostly I have a bottle of grapefruit or cranberry juice for breakfast, and a couple cups of coffee. Then for lunch, chicken or fish and a veg or two- about 200-300 calories. Then dinner is something like a turkey burger or turkey mignon or grilled chicken breast, with a salad and a veg or small baked potato and a glass of skim milk.

You can buy a pretty cheap Palm Pilot for around $150, I think.

One thing I figured out to save calories- when I'd get home from work and want to ride for an hour before dinner, I'd be hungry and need some sort of snack. So instead of eating something extra, I'd microwave my baked potato for dinner and eat half.

Yesterday I did my longest ride ever! 92 miles. I had sushi for breakfast, then an 80 cal Energice gel every hour, and my Endurox R4 at 52 miles. I stopped for a Diet Coke with 30 miles left to go, yum! It's hard to drink enough when you've been out there for five hours and your water is 90 degrees...

I think my total calories for the ride were 670, and I burned 5000 something! I am doing ok, not bonking, and each ride which is 20 miles longer seems easier than the last shorter one, so I must be building up my base ok.


08-21-2005, 01:24 PM
If chocolate is good for us, then how many normal chocolate bars can we eat in one week and not getting weight?


I say go for quality, not quantity.
Normal chocolate bars are full of crap, filler, wax, hydrogenated oils, and very little cocoa.
Go for chocolate that is as pure as possible. Read the ingredients and make sure you can pronounce all of them. And go for a semi-sweet or a dark chocolate. It has more of the stuff that is good for you.

In the end, I don't know how much of it is the quality of the chocolate, or the otherwise healthy eating, but once I got used to this type of chocolate, I can make a bar last for a week or more! :p
And you can too!


08-21-2005, 02:42 PM
Hey, I lost about 15 pounds last summer, and I wasn't working out too seriously then. I ate more healthily than I ever had in my life, and felt better...and, most importantly, was never hungry. My skin also cleared up and my digestion got way better. I thought, (since I've already e-mailed the tips to people before and it's easy to copy and paste it) I'd post it here, so people could use whatever might be useful...

Of course, I wasn't cycling when I did this diet, so I don't know if you'd have to modify it to get more carbs when doing heavier work-outs. That may be...I found these things called "Organic Food Bars" which seems to have just good stuff in it, though.

Sorry, it's kind of long...

"So, what I did is basically the Zone, so you can look it up or buy a book and talk to your doctor about it. It's basically a really balanced diet, so you don't eat carbs unless you balance it with a protein (and the carbs are from more healthy sources), but you don't count them completely out of your diet.

I also did a kind of modified version that my friend coached me through, designed to really reduce intake of sugar and starches (a yeast reduction diet), and since I was the kind of person to want to eat the whole basket of bread at a restaurant, it made sense for me. I avoided mushrooms and vinegar, which harbor yeast, but you don't have to pay any attention to that, necessarily.

These are the foods I didn't eat at all: anything with "sugar" in the ingredients, bread, (except for this one kind that I'll tell you about), pasta, white rice, corn products (corn is not so bad in tiny amounts), cheese (including cottage cheese), milk, dried fruit...I think that's it.

The thing is, though, don't focus on what you're not allowed to eat. There's so much you can eat. Make sure you always have something handy, so you're never hungry. This is what I ate:


Low Fat Plain Yogurt with blueberries and strawberries and slivered almonds on it (this tastes like a fabulous dessert, and I wanted to eat it all the time. The trick is stevia, which is a natural sweetener. You put a tiny bit into the yogurt with a little vanilla extract and it's amazing. Research Stevia online, though, because there's some controversy about it's healthfulness. I decided it was ok for me, though. Since I can't get good berries now I make a shake with blueberries, yogurt, a little no sugar soy milk, vanilla and stevia. It tastes like ice cream, which is nice.

You can also have an egg and a piece of toast (with this special bread called Ezekial bread, which only uses sprouted grains, so it's a high protein bread...and essentially doesn't have flour in it...this bread is what saves your life, too, because it's just too sad to never be able to have a sandwich or toast). You can also occasionally have a sausage if you're out to breakfast...or any kind of omelette that doesn't have cheese in it. Mix it up so you don't feel too deprived. I use yogurt on anything I would normally want to eat with sour cream.

For awhile, when I had more time, I'd make an omelette with spinach (from frozen), sauteed in onions and garlic, with yogurt on top. It's really good, and really healthy. You can have it for dinner, too.

Or if you're only having the shake and it's not keeping you full long enough, have some almonds, too.


Having lunch meat at hand is really helpful. You can make a sandwich with the Ezekial bread if you want, but you don't want to have too many pieces of bread per day. Ideally, make a sandwich with hummus, because legumes are better to eat than mayonnaise. Or, you can have a salad with chicken, almonds, sunflower seeds, and other vegetables in it...It makes you feel like you're eating a lot. I'm usually running around in the middle of the day, so I get one of those tossed salads. Just no cheese. You can have an almond butter sandwich (the almond butter is really fine to eat, though it is higher in fat, so don't have too much too often). Or a green apple with some almond butter and cold cuts is good. You can have a lot of different things...just think higher protein, selective carbs...Chili and brown rice is actually a really great, filling thing to eat. I'd put a little yogurt on it instead of sour cream. When I had no time to prepare something, I'd grab some lunch meat (you can eat a lot of roast turkey if you want), some brown rice crackers, an apple, and some almonds.


Again, low fat protein, vegetables, brown rice.

An easy thing I'd do is buy low fat ground turkey and make turkey burgers, have some brown rice, and vegetables. Or you can get those packaged, chicken sausages and cook them up...that's a quick, no fuss source of protein. You can also occasionally make a guacamole with avocado and yogurt as a treat (you don't want the avocado too often, or too much of it, because it's higher fat, but it's important to have treats).

Or again, there's chili and brown rice...very filling, and good in cold weather, when you need comfort food.

Or there's also brown rice pasta and low carb pasta sauce (you can buy it at Trader Joe's) for the occasional pasta craving, which I get (I bought some soy parmasan cheese). Put some chicken and vegetables in it, and it's a perfect meal.

Or any number of other things that you can do if you want to cook more than I did then...

For snacks:

At Trader Joe's there are some dried salted peas, which aren't amazing, but when you want to mindlessly shove food in (which I sometimes do), they're handy to have around.

Brown rice crackers are great (they're the small crackers, not rice cakes...those are fine, too, but they don't taste as good). They come in different flavors. Make sure you don't buy a kind that has cheese in it, and it should be brown rice. I'd just be careful about portion control, and would separate some into a little ziplock bag (that helps with almonds, too, since I can't stop eating them sometimes). You can have some other nuts, too. Some are higher fat than others...I think macadamia nuts are the worst, if I remember correctly.

Flavored sparkling water (the unsweetened Poland Springs or Perrier kind) with a little stevia mimics soda and makes you feel really full. It's handy to have around. If you drink one of those, you often don't want to eat anything afterwards.

Popcorn (check ingredients...there are some that have a lot of bad crap...whole foods should have a good kind) is a good snack. I like putting garlic powder, salt and pepper in it, so it turns into a real treat.

A little bowl of yogurt with stevia and vanilla in it is a really good dessert. (If you want to go hard core, you can get nonfat yogurt, but I didn't and I swear it worked anyway...the texture is a little better). Even a little soy milk with stevia and vanilla is a good sweet treat. Apples and pears...

Unsweetened carob covered almonds are good to have around in case you really need a chocolate fix. Very occasionally you can also have these carob covered rice cakes. I've also recently discovered Rice Dream "Ice Cream", that has no dairy or sugar in it and is really yummy.

I think the idea is to keep your blood sugar stable. To eat a really balanced diet, so you're not eating too many simple carbs that cause your blood sugar to spike and then drop. Lots of vegetables and low fat meat (fish is great, just too expensive for me). I was told that some fruits are higher in sugar than others, and that as a rule of thumb try to eat fruits from colder climates rather than things like bananas and mangoes. No juice (it's full of sugar). Berries are really good for you, frozen or otherwise. You should never be hungry, and you get into the habit of making sure you always have food with you that is good for you to eat, so you never feel deprived, and your body feels good."

08-22-2005, 03:50 AM
Read the ingredients and make sure you can pronounce all of them.
I like it. Unfortunately, two thirds of the papers I did at university were chem/biochem. :p

I swear by the "don't go to the supermarket when you're hungry" rule. Kinda helps that I can't afford treats at the moment, too. :rolleyes:

08-29-2005, 04:39 AM

Go for chocolate that is as pure as possible. Read the ingredients and make sure you can pronounce all of them. And go for a semi-sweet or a dark chocolate. It has more of the stuff that is good for you.

In the end, I don't know how much of it is the quality of the chocolate, or the otherwise healthy eating, but once I got used to this type of chocolate, I can make a bar last for a week or more! :p
And you can too!

I am sure I CAN'T :) but I will surely try.
I read somwhere that we really need chocolate and it should not be avoided because eaten in small quantities can bring us energy and other stuff important to our bodies ...

09-04-2005, 06:31 AM
I noticed that when I eat good chocolate, even if I eat too much, my stomach doesn't feel upset. As for low-quality chocolate bars, I always feel strange after I eat a little too much than usual. I think this happens because of the hydrogenated oil ... at least this is what I read on another forum.

Yes but you will still gain weight even if its high quality chocolate so ... try to burn the calories from your chocolate otherwise ... your body weight will increase. :p

09-06-2005, 02:50 AM
Just been reading through the threads ...
Gosh, I'm now sooo hungry and craving chocolate! :(
Another point I'd like to add - often our bodies think they need food, but what they really need is water. Especially after a long ride, it's so easy to become dehydrated, but our brains often translate this into needing food NOW!
Sometimes it's a combination of the two, but we go for the food, as psychologically we think we've earned it and that's what we crave.
Congrats to everyone who's slowly slogging away at the pounds and kilos.

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory is just being released here - I'm surrounded by Wonka Bars - my life is a living hell! :eek:
So glad to be back, amid women who understand !!

09-07-2005, 12:41 PM
KSH... that site is gone... I would LOVE to look at it... ('cause I'm NOT 122 lbs and 5'4"! sigh.... )

http://www.caloriesperhour.com/ (There was a little typo in the original link.)

http://www.fitday.com is a great site for tracking nutrition, if anyone is interested.

(Hi, all!)

be well.../julia

09-08-2005, 05:55 AM
Yes ... fitday is ok but aren't you tired of filling all those forms ?
I'll wait for the http://www.lifestylescanner.com to open its services and see what's with that little scanner. It could save my hands from typing all those info for fitday .. at least I hope so. ;)