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valve
06-05-2006, 09:22 PM
Ok Im a little nervous posting this here. I've got some weight to lose.

I've began exercising and focusing on cycling again. I go for 60 minutes and average between 21 and 23 miles 6 nights a week.

I don't eat good. Today I started out with:


Breakfast: 1 packet of oatmeal

Snack: Blueberry Cereal bar

Lunch: Large Spinach Salad w/ Italian Dressing. 1/2 cup of hummus and 2 whole wheat pitas.

Snack: 1 small avocado

Dinner: 2 bean burritos from Taco Bell

Snack before ride: Banana

After ride drink: Protein Shake

(I am a strict vegetarian)


Help with suggestions, please!

Thank you!

Brandy
06-05-2006, 09:33 PM
Do you eat dairy or eggs?

KnottedYet
06-05-2006, 09:50 PM
Sounds like a pretty decent (though not enough food for one day for me) list.

What don't you like about it?

And are you vegan or vegetarian?

DeniseGoldberg
06-06-2006, 07:01 AM
If you're active, one packet of oatmeal isn't enough food to start the day! And if it's the pre-sweetened kind, the mix isn't good either. I'd recommend starting with regular oatmeal (it can still be quick to cook if you use your microwave) - and add some fresh or dried fruit to it as a starting point.

The Taco Bell burritos need to go too!

Also - you haven't mentioned what you are drinking. Are you drinking water?

There are some nutrition books that I really like that are geared for active people (and sanity as opposed to fads). They are Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, The Cyclist's Food Guide (also by Nancy Clark), and Liz Applegate's Eat Smart, Play Hard: Customized Food Plans for all Your Sports and Fitness Pursuits.

--- Denise

valve
06-06-2006, 09:45 AM
Do you eat dairy or eggs?


No. I am vegan

valve
06-06-2006, 09:50 AM
Sounds like a pretty decent (though not enough food for one day for me) list.

What don't you like about it?

And are you vegan or vegetarian?


Thanks for the reply. I try to eat decently with a schedule thats way too crowded. I've come here for as much help as others are willing to give. I offer the same, if I can help any I will speak up :D


I am vegan, for various reasons; the umbrella that all my concerns which lead to veganism fall under Health, Environment, and Animal Rights :)

valve
06-06-2006, 10:06 AM
If you're active, one packet of oatmeal isn't enough food to start the day! And if it's the pre-sweetened kind, the mix isn't good either. I'd recommend starting with regular oatmeal (it can still be quick to cook if you use your microwave) - and add some fresh or dried fruit to it as a starting point.

The Taco Bell burritos need to go too!

Also - you haven't mentioned what you are drinking. Are you drinking water?

There are some nutrition books that I really like that are geared for active people (and sanity as opposed to fads). They are Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, The Cyclist's Food Guide (also by Nancy Clark), and Liz Applegate's Eat Smart, Play Hard: Customized Food Plans for all Your Sports and Fitness Pursuits.

--- Denise


Sounds good. The oatmeal will be replaced with regular. I've used blueberry oatmeal for some time now. While its yummy, I knew it wasn't as good for me as the original.

Taco Bell burritos are my weakness. Quick, cheap, and delicious. Good for energy while riding but gives me terrible heartburn. I should listen to my body more when its 'angry' with me eating burritos.

On water, I drink at least 1 gallon of water while at work. My mouth is always dry for more water except when on the bike. I drink 1 quart during the ride and a protein shake afterwards, followed by more water.


I plan on using amazon to pick up the books you mentioned. Thank you for the response!

GreenLady
06-06-2006, 10:08 AM
I would also say skip the Taco Bell burritos (they're easy to make on your own!), and definitely eat more for breakfast. Oatmeal is great; we also like granola with soy milk. Make sure you eat enough before and during the ride - try an energy bar (I found some vegan coconut bars that are great).

Eden
06-06-2006, 10:16 AM
Sounds good. The oatmeal will be replaced with regular. I've used blueberry oatmeal for some time now. While its yummy, I knew it wasn't as good for me as the original.

Taco Bell burritos are my weakness. Quick, cheap, and delicious. Good for energy while riding but gives me terrible heartburn. I should listen to my body more when its 'angry' with me eating burritos.

On water, I drink at least 1 gallon of water while at work. My mouth is always dry for more water except when on the bike. I drink 1 quart during the ride and a protein shake afterwards, followed by more water.


I plan on using amazon to pick up the books you mentioned. Thank you for the response!

Wow - that seems like an awful lot of water? Excess thirst can be a sign of a medical condition like diabetes. You might want to get that checked out.

valve
06-06-2006, 10:54 AM
I would also say skip the Taco Bell burritos (they're easy to make on your own!), and definitely eat more for breakfast. Oatmeal is great; we also like granola with soy milk. Make sure you eat enough before and during the ride - try an energy bar (I found some vegan coconut bars that are great).

I love granola. I fear it due to the fat in it. I like Rice and Soy Milk, both are delicious.

I'll stop by the food co-op tonight and pick up some good energy bars :)

Thank you!

valve
06-06-2006, 10:56 AM
Wow - that seems like an awful lot of water? Excess thirst can be a sign of a medical condition like diabetes. You might want to get that checked out.

I went for my check up about 1 week ago and was told that all my blood tests came back looking good.

I enjoy water, excess thirst to me just mean that I needed more. Thanks for your advice, I will mention it to my dr next time I go in.

fretwes
06-06-2006, 01:07 PM
I'm also a vegan cyclist and I don't think your diet looks too bad. I'd throw in some unsalted cachews or almonds as a snack and some extra protein - also ground flaxseed adds some healthy fats and lots of fibre. I also don't see any fruit in your list - berries are great. Good luck!

valve
06-06-2006, 01:54 PM
I'm also a vegan cyclist and I don't think your diet looks too bad. I'd throw in some unsalted cachews or almonds as a snack and some extra protein - also ground flaxseed adds some healthy fats and lots of fibre. I also don't see any fruit in your list - berries are great. Good luck!


Thank you. I'll pick up some walnuts tonight. I take flaxseed oil daily with the 1 a day vitamin, Super B complex with vitamin c, and 2 fiber pills.

I take 2 more fiber pills at night. I will add strawberries to breakfast :D

DeniseGoldberg
06-06-2006, 04:12 PM
I plan on using amazon to pick up the books you mentioned. Thank you for the response!
Keep in mind that these books are general sports nutrition books - written by well respected nutritionists. They are not vegetarian but should still give you some ideas.

One other thought - do you eat edamame? They are also a good source of protein.
--- Denise

CycleChic06
06-06-2006, 04:57 PM
May I also suggest switching your meals and eating your larger meal at lunch and a lighter meal, like salad and hummus, for dinner? I tend to burn more calories and be more active during the day, but come home and am less active in the evenings, and eating a big meal at dinner and sitting around the rest of the night isn't always best for weight loss.

It was hard for me to switch at first, I found myself staaarving at night (yes, with three a's!), but when I increased the amount of fiber in my diet, I found myself feeling more full on less food. I really think fiber is key!

And if you are vegitarian, I'm a huge fan of anything boca or morningstar farms...and I'm carniverous! Definately go for the boca burger over the bean burrito (but taco bell is tempting, I know).

valve
06-06-2006, 06:24 PM
Keep in mind that these books are general sports nutrition books - written by well respected nutritionists. They are not vegetarian but should still give you some ideas.

One other thought - do you eat edamame? They are also a good source of protein.
--- Denise

That's what I run against with several of the nutrition books. Seems like eggs & lean cuts of meat for the most part.

I do eat edamame :D had to look up what it was also called.


///

Edamame (ey-dah-MAH-meh) is a name often applied to several specialty varieties of soybean. It is also referred to as the "green vegetable soybean." Edamame is a popular vegetable in Asia, where it is harvested and eaten in its green stage. The popularity of edamame in America has grown with popularity of Asian-American cuisine and with recently reported health benefits of soy foods.

Development of a niche market for edamame in Kentucky has been promoted extensively by soybean and commercial vegetable producers near Owensboro in Daviess County (Western KY). There are also producers in central Kentucky that are successfully marketing fresh edamame in Louisville and Lexington farmers' markets.

Edamame is the same species as grain soybeans, but has a sweet, nutty flavor and a larger seed. In the United States, there has been success crossing Asian edamame with U.S. varieties to produce larger pods that are easier to harvest.

Edamame is a specialty soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) harvested as a vegetable when the seeds are immature (R6 stage) and have expanded to fill 80 to 90 percent of the pod width. Like field-dried soybeans, the seeds of edamame varieties are rich in protein and highly nutritious. Worldwide, it is a minor crop, but it is quite popular in East Asia. Edamame is consumed mainly as a snack, but also as a vegetable, an addition to soups, or processed into sweets. As a snack, the pods are lightly cooked in salted, boiling water and then the seeds are pushed Edamame is consumed mainly as a snack, but also as a vegetable, an addition to soups, or process into sweets. As a snack, the pods are lightly cooked in salted, boiling water and then the seeds are pushed directly from the pods into the mouth with the fingers. As a vegetable, the beans are mixed into salads, stir-fried, or combined with mixed vegetables. In soup, (gojiru in Japanese), the beans are ground into a paste with miso, which is used to form a thick broth. Confectionery edamame products, such as sticky rice topped with sweetened edamame paste (zunda mochi in Japanese), are occasionally prepared. For marketing, edamame pods are sold fresh on the stem with leaves and roots, or stripped from the stem and packaged fresh or frozen, as either pods or beans.

///

source: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=edamame&btnG=Google+Search

valve
06-06-2006, 06:35 PM
May I also suggest switching your meals and eating your larger meal at lunch and a lighter meal, like salad and hummus, for dinner? I tend to burn more calories and be more active during the day, but come home and am less active in the evenings, and eating a big meal at dinner and sitting around the rest of the night isn't always best for weight loss.

It was hard for me to switch at first, I found myself staaarving at night (yes, with three a's!), but when I increased the amount of fiber in my diet, I found myself feeling more full on less food. I really think fiber is key!

And if you are vegitarian, I'm a huge fan of anything boca or morningstar farms...and I'm carniverous! Definately go for the boca burger over the bean burrito (but taco bell is tempting, I know).

I'm all up for suggestions.

A larger meal at lunch may do me a lot of good. While I ride late in the evenings, I should have a smaller meal a couple hours before riding and a banana 30 minutes before I hop on the bike.

With my current size I may be starving with 6 a's. How did you increase your fiber?

Boca and morningstar make great products. The only thing that I dislike is the amount of sodium the products contain.

I'm all up for ways to increase fiber. I take 4 fiber pills daily to help me raise my intake. I feel like I do not get enough greens, and I can only eat so much salad before I dislike it for weeks.

I know beans are very good, and a great source of protein.

Thank you

ladyjai
06-06-2006, 08:53 PM
the easiest way to increase fiber is to increase fruits and veges, and other non-processed foods. usually vegetarians who focus on eating healthy have no problems getting enough fiber. you should have 2-3 servings of fruit a day and as many veges as you can consume ;) for me that's about 2-4(maybe 5 if i'm lucky:rolleyes:) servings. If you eat most of these raw (some are better for you cooked!) you'll find they are more filling. Focus on the veges, fruit, beans, legumes, and grains. 1/4 cup of dry grain or legume is usually about 150 calories. that doubles in size when cooked! It's quite filling.
I'd also recommend adding coconut oil to your diet, and make sure you are supplimenting what you need to.

my breakfast consists of 1/3 - 1/2 cup dry oatmeal, added to microwaved water and allowed to sit and cook while cooling. and then add 2-3tsp honey - yum!

take fruit for snacks at work. a small salad with a favorite dressing makes a great snack as well, and serves to help wake you up. i have fun trying new veges and greens. some are disasters, others are fantastic!

A few of my favorite lunches:
1. quinoa and black lentils mixed with olive oil, salt and a variety of spices to taste plus 1-2 sliced soy dogs is yum! add 1-2 ears of fresh steamed corn.

2. bread made in breakmaker using whole wheat, spelt, amaranth seeds, and whatever else i feel like adding. slice thickly and on one side place an organic peanut butter, and on the other use raw almond butter (tastes like a rich walnut - yum!) add a salad with dressing or a favorite vege.

here's a general idea of what i did (and will get back to soon, with perhaps an increase of some things. I've had a stressful time and fell out of my patterns)

breakfast: 300-400 calories.
ride bike 5.5 miles as fast as I could, am i ever early? :rolleyes:
snack on banana or small salad at work
10:00 starving! 150-300 calories or so from dried fruit/seedsnuts/salad/ or fruit.
12:00: lunches like the ones above: 500-700 calories usually.
sometimes mid afternoon snack, usually unhealthy like chocolate ~100-250calories
banana before i head out on ride home
ride home: 16 miles
arrive home, grab something proteiny, often a soy dog: 50-100 calories
dinner somewhere in the evening 300-500 calories.

simply by changing my diet to have as little processed foods (ok, so there was soy dogs and chocolate :p ), i didn't notice the change in my body until i realized i had to go and purchase bike shorts in size small - I wasn't trying to change my body! i lost no weight, but then it's not about numbers. though bike shorts are too expensive to have to buy a whole new collection :( never thought I'd be a little frustrated with weight loss! lol

valve
06-07-2006, 04:47 AM
the easiest way to increase fiber is to increase fruits and veges, and other non-processed foods. usually vegetarians who focus on eating healthy have no problems getting enough fiber. you should have 2-3 servings of fruit a day and as many veges as you can consume ;) for me that's about 2-4(maybe 5 if i'm lucky:rolleyes:) servings. If you eat most of these raw (some are better for you cooked!) you'll find they are more filling. Focus on the veges, fruit, beans, legumes, and grains. 1/4 cup of dry grain or legume is usually about 150 calories. that doubles in size when cooked! It's quite filling.
I'd also recommend adding coconut oil to your diet, and make sure you are supplimenting what you need to.

my breakfast consists of 1/3 - 1/2 cup dry oatmeal, added to microwaved water and allowed to sit and cook while cooling. and then add 2-3tsp honey - yum!

take fruit for snacks at work. a small salad with a favorite dressing makes a great snack as well, and serves to help wake you up. i have fun trying new veges and greens. some are disasters, others are fantastic!

A few of my favorite lunches:
1. quinoa and black lentils mixed with olive oil, salt and a variety of spices to taste plus 1-2 sliced soy dogs is yum! add 1-2 ears of fresh steamed corn.

2. bread made in breadmaker using whole wheat, spelt, amaranth seeds, and whatever else i feel like adding. slice thickly and on one side place an organic peanut butter, and on the other use raw almond butter (tastes like a rich walnut - yum!) add a salad with dressing or a favorite vege.

here's a general idea of what i did (and will get back to soon, with perhaps an increase of some things. I've had a stressful time and fell out of my patterns)

breakfast: 300-400 calories.
ride bike 5.5 miles as fast as I could, am i ever early? :rolleyes:
snack on banana or small salad at work
10:00 starving! 150-300 calories or so from dried fruit/seedsnuts/salad/ or fruit.
12:00: lunches like the ones above: 500-700 calories usually.
sometimes mid afternoon snack, usually unhealthy like chocolate ~100-250calories
banana before i head out on ride home
ride home: 16 miles
arrive home, grab something proteiny, often a soy dog: 50-100 calories
dinner somewhere in the evening 300-500 calories.

simply by changing my diet to have as little processed foods (ok, so there was soy dogs and chocolate :p ), i didn't notice the change in my body until i realized i had to go and purchase bike shorts in size small - I wasn't trying to change my body! i lost no weight, but then it's not about numbers. though bike shorts are too expensive to have to buy a whole new collection :( never thought I'd be a little frustrated with weight loss! lol


Thank you :) I eat a lot of veggies, not a lot of fruit. Maybe 3 servings of fruit (dried). Last night I had strawberries and canteloupe as a snack.

Today I am starting out with "bran flakes" 1/2 an apple and 1 cup of cranberry juice.


Your favorite lunches sound delicious. Mine yesterday was a baked potato and salad. I would much prefer lunches, want to trade?

Riding in the morning too! I will try this tomorrow (45 minutes until I'm suppose to be at work, so today wouldn't be good) The morning ride would help my metabolism 'stay' active, in my opinion or at least thats what I would want to believe.

I drive my car, I'm too nervous to be on my bike in the mornings and evenings here without bike lanes. (I know share the road, tell that to the driver behind me trying to push me down the road) I swear it seems that people try to get as close as they can.

Thank you for your diet plan, I am looking for something very similar where I know that I will have energy to ride hard when I get home.


A small in bike shorts. must be nice. :)

I need to push myself harder. I feel I'm not really riding good unless I want to quit half way through.

CycleChic06
06-07-2006, 07:01 AM
I just have to add this, it was a shock to me when I went to the grocery store last week and looked at what I was buying, whole wheat english muffins, all natural no butter popcorn, grape tomatoes, seltzer water, etc...and thought holy crap, I'm so not in college anymore, when did my diet change from 2L bottles of coke, frozen pizza and doritos?

And valve, try not to think of it as a diet but a change in lifestyle! Good luck.

Dogmama
06-10-2006, 04:48 AM
Your Taco Bell burritos may have lard as an ingredient.

You need more protein. If you can combine beans and rice in your burro, that is a complete protein. Building muscle helps lose weight because muscle needs calories to survive. I would suggest some weight training. Push ups (modified, on your knees) lunges (keep toes behind knees and concentrate on pushing off with your heel - activates the glutes), overhead press (light weighs or use some big cans to begin), etc. If you have a gym membership, that is even better.

You might add protein powder to your oatmeal and mix in a little soy milk.

Are you taking a multiple vitamin? Vegans often have problems getting enough calcium and B-12.

hibiscus09
06-12-2006, 06:03 AM
Try "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle" by Tom Venuto -- you can google it and order it online. Try to eliminate processed foods. What type of protein shake do you drink? Post workout, a whey shake is best -- any other time, a protein blend.

Stay away from Taco Hell. :D

The important thing is to eat enough. Here's an excerpt explaining how you calculate how many calories you need to eat to keep your metabolism fired up:

The first step in designing a personal nutrition plan for yourself is to calculate how many calories you burn in a day; your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). TDEE is the total number of calories that your body expends in 24 hours, including all activities. TDEE is also known as your "maintenance level". Knowing your maintenance level will give you a starting reference point from which to begin your diet. According to exercise physiologists William McArdle and Frank Katch, the average maintenance level for women in the United States is 2000-2100 calories per day and the average for men is 2700-2900 per day. These are only averages; caloric expenditure can vary widely and is much higher for athletes or extremely active individuals. Some triathletes and ultra-endurance athletes may require as many as 6000 calories per day or more just to maintain their weight! Calorie requirements may also vary among otherwise identical individuals due to differences in inherited metabolic rates.

Methods of determining caloric needs

There are many different formulas you can use to determine your caloric maintenance level by taking into account the factors of age, sex, height, weight, lean body mass, and activity level. Any formula that takes into account your lean body mass (LBM) will give you the most accurate determination of your energy expenditure, but even without LBM you can still get a reasonably close estimate.

The "quick" method (based on total bodyweight)

A fast and easy method to determine calorie needs is to use total current body weight times a multiplier.

Fat loss = 12 - 13 calories per lb. of bodyweight
Maintenance (TDEE) = 15 - 16 calories per lb. of bodyweight
Weight gain: = 18 - 19 calories per lb. of bodyweight


This is a very easy way to estimate caloric needs, but there are obvious drawbacks to this method because it doesn't take into account activity levels or body composition. Extremely active individuals may require far more calories than this formula indicates. In addition, the more lean body mass one has, the higher the TDEE will be. Because body fatness is not accounted for, this formula may greatly overestimate the caloric needs if someone is extremely overfat. For example, a lightly active 50 year old woman who weighs 235 lbs. and has 34% body fat will not lose weight on 3000 calories per day (255 X 13 as per the "quick" formula for fat loss).

Equations based on BMR.

A much more accurate method for calculating TDEE is to determine basal metabolic rate (BMR) using multiple factors, including height, weight, age and sex, then multiply the BMR by an activity factor to determine TDEE. BMR is the total number of calories your body requires for normal bodily functions (excluding activity factors). This includes keeping your heart beating, inhaling and exhaling air, digesting food, making new blood cells, maintaining your body temperature and every other metabolic process in your body. In other words, your BMR is all the energy used for the basic processes of life itself. BMR usually accounts for about two-thirds of total daily energy expenditure. BMR may vary dramatically from person to person depending on genetic factors. If you know someone who claims they can eat anything they want and never gain an ounce of fat, they have inherited a naturally high BMR. BMR is at it's lowest when you are sleeping undisturbed and you are not digesting anything. It is very important to note that the higher your lean body mass is, the higher your BMR will be. This is very significant if you want to lose body fat because it means that the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn. Muscle is metabolically active tissue, and it requires a great deal of energy just to sustain it. It is obvious then that one way to increase your BMR is to engage in weight training in order to increase and/or maintain lean body mass. In this manner it could be said that weight training helps you lose body fat, albeit indirectly.

The Harris-Benedict formula (BMR based on total body weight)

The Harris Benedict equation is a calorie formula using the factors of height, weight, age, and sex to determine basal metabolic rate (BMR). This makes it more accurate than determining calorie needs based on total bodyweight alone. The only variable it does not take into consideration is lean body mass. Therefore, this equation will be very accurate in all but the extremely muscular (will underestimate caloric needs) and the extremely overfat (will overestimate caloric needs).

Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 X wt in kg) + (5 X ht in cm) - (6.8 X age in years)

Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 X wt in kg) + (1.8 X ht in cm) - (4.7 X age in years)

Note: 1 inch = 2.54 cm.
1 kilogram = 2.2 lbs.

Example:
You are female
You are 30 yrs old
You are 5' 6 " tall (167.6 cm)
You weigh 120 lbs. (54.5 kilos)
Your BMR = 655 + 523 + 302 - 141 = 1339 calories/day

Now that you know your BMR, you can calculate TDEE by multiplying your BMR by your activity multiplier from the chart below:

Activity Multiplier

Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)
Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
Mod. active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
Very active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
Extr. active = BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training, i.e marathon, contest etc.)

Example:
Your BMR is 1339 calories per day
Your activity level is moderately active (work out 3-4 times per week)
Your activity factor is 1.55
Your TDEE = 1.55 X 1339 = 2075 calories/day

Katch-McArdle formula (BMR based on lean body weight)

If you have had your body composition tested and you know your lean body mass, then you can get the most accurate BMR estimate of all. This formula from Katch & McArdle takes into account lean mass and therefore is more accurate than a formula based on total body weight. The Harris Benedict equation has separate formulas for men and women because men generally have a higher LBM and this is factored into the men's formula. Since the Katch-McArdle formula accounts for LBM, this single formula applies equally to both men and women.

BMR (men and women) = 370 + (21.6 X lean mass in kg)

Example:
You are female
You weigh 120 lbs. (54.5 kilos)
Your body fat percentage is 20% (24 lbs. fat, 96 lbs. lean)
Your lean mass is 96 lbs. (43.6 kilos)
Your BMR = 370 + (21.6 X 43.6) = 1312 calories

To determine TDEE from BMR, you simply multiply BMR by the activity multiplier:

Example:
Your BMR is 1312
Your activity level is moderately active (work out 3-4 times per week)
Your activity factor is 1.55
Your TDEE = 1.55 X 1312 = 2033 calories

As you can see, the difference in the TDEE as determined by both formulas is statistically insignificant (2075 calories vs. 2033 calories) because the person we used as an example is average in body size and body composition. The primary benefit of factoring lean body mass into the equation is increased accuracy when your body composition leans to either end of the spectrum (very muscular or very obese).

Adjust your caloric intake according to your goal

Once you know your TDEE (maintenance level), the next step is to adjust your calories according to your primary goal. The mathematics of calorie balance are simple: To keep your weight at its current level, you should remain at your daily caloric maintenance level. To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by reducing your calories slightly below your maintenance level (or keeping your calories the same and increasing your activity above your current level). To gain weight you need to increase your calories above your maintenance level. The only difference between weight gain programs and weight loss programs is the total number of calories required.

Negative calorie balance is essential to lose body fat.

Calories not only count, they are the bottom line when it comes to fat loss. If you are eating more calories than you expend, you simply will not lose fat, no matter what type of foods or food combinations you eat. Some foods do get stored as fat more easily than others, but always bear in mind that too much of anything, even "healthy food," will get stored as fat. You cannot override the laws of thermodynamics and energy balance. You must be in a calorie deficit to burn fat. This will force your body to use stored body fat to make up for the energy deficit. There are 3500 calories in a pound of stored body fat. If you create a 3500-calorie deficit in a week through diet, exercise or a combination of both, you will lose one pound. If you create a 7000 calories deficit in a week you will lose two pounds. The calorie deficit can be created through diet, exercise or preferably, with a combination of both. Because we already factored in the exercise deficit by using an activity multiplier, the deficit we are concerned with here is the dietary deficit.

Calorie deficit thresholds: How low is too low?

It is well known that cutting calories too much slows down the metabolic rate, decreases thyroid output and causes loss of lean mass, so the question is how much of a deficit do you need? There definitely seems to be a specific cutoff or threshold where further reductions in calories will have detrimental effects. The most common guideline for calorie deficits for fat loss is to reduce your calories by at least 500, but not more than 1000 below your maintenance level. For some, especially lighter people, 1000 calories may be too much of a deficit. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that calorie levels never drop below 1200 calories per day for women or 1800 per day for men. Even these calorie levels are extremely low. A more individualized way to determine the safe calorie deficit would be to account for one's bodyweight or TDEE. Reducing calories by 15-20% below TDEE is a good place to start. A larger deficit may be necessary in some cases, but the best approach would be to keep the calorie deficit through diet small while increasing activity level.

Example 1:
Your weight is 120 lbs.
Your TDEE is 2033 calories
Your calorie deficit to lose weight is 500 calories
Your optimal caloric intake for weight loss is 2033 - 500 = 1533 calories

Example 2: Your calorie deficit to lose weight is 20% of TDEE (.20% X 2033 = 406 calories)
Your optimal caloric intake for weight loss = 1627 calories

Positive calorie balance is essential to gain lean bodyweight

If you want to gain lean bodyweight and become more muscular, you must consume more calories than you burn up in a day. Provided that you are participating in a weight-training program of a sufficient intensity, frequency and volume, the caloric surplus will be used to create new muscle tissue. Once you've determined your TDEE, the next step is to increase your calories high enough above your TDEE that you can gain weight. It is a basic law of energy balance that you must be on a positive calorie balance diet to gain muscular bodyweight. A general guideline for a starting point for gaining weight is to add approximately 300-500 calories per day onto your TDEE. An alternate method is to add an additional 15 - 20% onto your TDEE.

Example:
Your weight is 120 lbs.
Your TDEE is 2033 calories
Your additional calorie requirement for weight gain is + 15 - 20% = 305 - 406 calories
Your optimal caloric intake for weight gain is 2033 + 305 - 406 = 2338 - 2439 calories

Adjust your caloric intake gradually

It is not advisable to make any drastic changes to your diet all at once. After calculating your own total daily energy expenditure and adjusting it according to your goal, if the amount is substantially higher or lower than your current intake, then you may need to adjust your calories gradually. For example, if your determine that your optimal caloric intake is 1900 calories per day, but you have only been eating 900 calories per day, your metabolism may be sluggish. An immediate jump to 1900 calories per day might actually cause a fat gain because your body has adapted to a lower caloric intake and the sudden jump up would create a surplus. The best approach would be to gradually increase your calories from 900 to 1900 over a period of a few weeks to allow your metabolism to speed up and acclimatize.

Measure your results and adjust calories accordingly

These calculations for finding your correct caloric intake are quite simplistic and are just estimates to give you a starting point. You will have to monitor your progress closely to make sure that this is the proper level for you. You will know if you’re at the correct level of calories by keeping track of your caloric intake, your bodyweight, and your body fat percentage. You need to observe your bodyweight and body fat percentage to see how you respond. If you don't see the results you expect, then you can adjust your caloric intake and exercise levels accordingly. The bottom line is that it’s not effective to reduce calories to very low levels in order to lose fat. In fact, the more calories you consume the better, as long as a deficit is created through diet and exercise. The best approach is to reduce calories only slightly and raise your daily calorie expenditure by increasing your frequency, duration and or intensity of exercise.

References:

1. Katch, Frank, Katch, Victor, McArdle, William. Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance, 4th edition. Williams & Wilkins, 1996.
2. Whitney, Eleanor, Rolfes, Sharon. Understanding Nutrition, 8th Edition, Wadsworth Publishing, 1999.
3. American College of Sports Medicine. Position Statement on proper and improper weight loss programs. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 15: ix - xiii, 1983.
4. McDonald, Lyle. The Ketogenic Diet. Morris Publishing. 1998

About The Author

Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, freelance writer, success coach and author of the #1 best-selling e- book "Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle" (BFFM): Fat Burning Secrets of the World's Best Bodybuilders and Fitness Models. Tom has written over 170 articles and has been featured in IRONMAN Magazine, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Muscle-Zine, Olympian’s News (in Italian), Exercise for Men and Men’s Exercise. Tom's inspiring and informative articles on bodybuilding, weight loss and motivation are featured regularly on dozens of
websites worldwide.


Venuto is a natural bodybuilder, but the nutrition ratios he suggests are something along the lines of 30% protein, 55% carbohydrates & 15% fat -- which works fine for a cyclist also.

Here's a link to an Excel sheet to calculate your caloric needs. The Katch McArdle formula is more accurate, but you need to know your bodyfat for that formula:

http://www.freedomfly.net/Documents/calorie_calculator.xls

By the way, I'm not a spokesperson for Tom Venuto. LOL I have read a lot of fitness and nutrition books -- and have participated in both figure contests working with a nutritionist and cycling (definitely not as much as the former). I love his books -- he's very inspirational and gives sound advice.

valve
06-13-2006, 04:13 AM
All the equations make my head spin :( Thank you for this! :D I will look into this more tonight :)

I think I should talk with a nutritionist too. They're not too expensive and my insurance will cover it!

hibiscus09
06-13-2006, 06:25 AM
ha,ha about the equations. I'm a total math phobe -- but it really isn't that difficult -- it just seems overwhelming on first read. :D

You're welcome!

valve
06-13-2006, 03:46 PM
ha,ha about the equations. I'm a total math phobe -- but it really isn't that difficult -- it just seems overwhelming on first read. :D

You're welcome!


Oh Im craving pizza tonight. :eek:


must..... resist.....