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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Irthlingborough, UK
    Posts
    6

    Calorie Help Please :)

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    I'm a bit stuck. I've been gradually increasing my cycling in an effort to lose weight and get fitter. I am definitely getting fitter, and I've changed shape a bit, but I haven't lost an ounce in weight.

    I don't know how many calories I should be eating.... I'm 5'4 and 290 pounds, so depending on where I look, I can be recommended to eat anything between 1200 and 1900 calories a day. I also have a sedentary job, stuck behind a desk....

    Does anyone have any experience of trying to lose this much weight, and how did you change your diet, how many calories etc, did you eat?

    I would really appreciate any help please, I can't wait to see how much more fun the bike is when its carrying one person and not the equivalent of two..!

    thanks

    Elaine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352
    First, you should always check with your doc before making any major diet changes.

    Having said that, I used My Fitness Pal to lose 60lbs a couple years ago. I'm 5'3 and went from 200 to 140. I was eating 1200 calories and exercising 6 days a week.

    However, what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Irthlingborough, UK
    Posts
    6
    Thanks. Well done on the weight loss, you must feel so much better now.

    I did see my doc, he gave me the green light to go ahead, but he wants me to go and see him in six weeks to check all is ok.

    I've been using my fitness pal too - what a great app that is! I tried 1200 calories a day, but that made me very wobbly. I should maybe also admit to being diabetic too, which is one of the reasons for the diet and exercise thing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352
    Whatever your calorie goal I recommend eating back your exercise calories.

    Another, more healthy option would be to improve what you're eating instead of worrying so much about the calories. Eating less processed, less breads, pasta etc and more veggies and lean meats. I know, easier said than done...been there!
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    I lost 30 pounds in 2001 - went from 180 to 150 in about 4 months. Since then my weight has fluctuated from a low of 143 to high of 156 and a body fat percentage of 14 - 22. I think the biggest thing is to make changes to your diet that you can live with for the rest of your life. I'm a teacher - there's almost always crap food around. To lose that initial weight I stopped eating anything I didn't bring to work. I've relaxed that "rule" but I'm really picky about what I choose to eat. I also realized that I am a stress eater. I went from 165 to 180 pounds in a school year because I was so stressed out. The school secretary had chocolates on her desk. I ate A LOT of them in 2000! Now I really pay attention what I eat and why.

    Everyone is different. Riding my bike a lot does not really keep my weight down. I weighed 156 when I was training for and riding double centuries, but I wasn't really moderating what I ate and I wasn't doing any weights. I've been working with a personal trainer since 2008 and I think the weight work I do with her is what has made the biggest difference for me and keeps my weight below 150. I really like the variety in my workouts. I try to eat most of my carbs in the morning. I have a tremendous sweet tooth and I don't like most vegetables. Here's what I'm eating this week:

    Breakfast - either a cup of NF Fage yogurt with strawberries and a half cup of cereal or frosted mini wheats with strawberries and 2% milk - we're getting fresh strawberries out here
    Snack - honey stinger proten bar
    Lunch - salad - red leaf lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, celery and 4.5 ounces of grilled steak with onions and peppers, Yopa yogurt with raspberries and dark chocolate
    Snack - 1/4 cup trail mix - cashews, almonds, raisins, M&Ms
    Dinner - 6 ounces pork tenderloin with onions and red peppers, seasoned with fajita mix, 100 calorie guacamole and some salsa - no tortilla!

    During the day I only drink water. Mornings I have a little bit of OJ and a lot of coffee.

    You have to figure out what will work for you and your lifestyle. My trainer, who has a minor in Nutrition, would love for me to eat nothing but chicken, fish and turkey, egg whites, broccoli and cut out some more of my sugar. I hate broccoli and get tired of chicken and turkey pretty quickly. I am also not a big fan of fish.

    Good luck!

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    548
    Mish, have you worked with a registered dietician and/or certified diabetes educator? Most insurers will cover at least one visit (sometimes more) with a diabetes diagnosis. Doctors often just throw some general guidelines at you, but RDs can provide much more tailored advice.

    ETA: oops, just noticed you're in the UK, not sure what the insurance coverage is there. But even if you have to pay for it yourself, it could be very worthwhile.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,956
    Quote Originally Posted by BikeDutchess View Post
    Mish, have you worked with a registered dietician and/or certified diabetes educator? Most insurers will cover at least one visit (sometimes more) with a diabetes diagnosis. Doctors often just throw some general guidelines at you, but RDs can provide much more tailored advice.

    ETA: oops, just noticed you're in the UK, not sure what the insurance coverage is there. But even if you have to pay for it yourself, it could be very worthwhile.
    I do recommend this, especially since you are diabetic. You need to have a baseline of calories, and it also matters WHAT those calories consist of. I've reversed my diabetes with diet/exercise and have kept the weight off for over 4 years now, but I only had about 85 pounds to lose (dropped from 210 to 125 and I am 5'3). If you cut your calories too much for your metabolism that causes other problems that can defeat your entire purpose. It might be good to get a resting metabolism test if you have access to that in order to get a good idea what your current metabolic rate is - this will allow for more informed help from your dietitian (if you have access to one). I don't know how this is in the UK, but here there are some physician's offices that has this available, and also some of the larger/more developed fitness facilities. The cost varies from reasonable to outrageously expensive, at least here it does.

    Good luck, whichever approach you decide upon!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Irthlingborough, UK
    Posts
    6
    Thanks for all your replies. It's really interesting to see what other people eat! Veronica, your diet sounds like you would never be hungry, is that right?

    I've also stopped eating stuff at work I haven't taken in myself. I now make my own vegetable soup (no cream), and have that with brown bread for lunch. It's a lot more effective than I thought it would be.

    I'd also never thought of seeing a dietician... That sounds bizarre to me now. Thank you for that suggestion, I think a little investment in that direction will be well worth it.

    Elaine

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    I'm actually pretty hungry when it's time to eat. I work out most morning before I go to work and my job isn't sedentary - elementary school teacher. It's not like digging ditches, but there's a lot of movement throughout my day.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Irthlingborough, UK
    Posts
    6
    Well, I am happy to report that the scales have moved! Not a lot, but I have lost 3 pounds. More importantly, I have also dropped a dress size, so I am happy I'm doing something right. After all your advice, I am now eating 1700 calories a day, which I will monitor as the pounds come off. thanks again

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,048
    I lost about 40 lbs (from 150-111 lbs) on weightwatchers several years ago. I started cycling after a 2 month plateau (after I lost the first 13). I have gained back about 10 pounds over the last 3 years, which really frustrates me, because I ride 80-100+ miles a week. If I don't track, my weight inches up again.

    I've found it's sometimes hard to balance the eating/ exercise. I get hungry the day after a long ride, but of course then I'm not using up the calories so it's frustrating.

    I think weightwatchers can be a good and effective program however. Good luck with whatever you choose to do, and good for you in making a choice to become more healthy and fit.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    Are you diabetes 2, Mish? If yes, then cutting back on heavy pastas, processed breads and white rice down to only once a month or so. There are much lighter pastas that are less hypo-glycemic.

    If you do make permanent food choice changes and eating habits, your palate will probably change. If you reduce drastically butter and heavier cheeses, a few months later, the same stuff will taste rich and heavy. So for heavy pastas --which I enjoy maybe 1-2 times per year, handmade Italian pasta with a lovely sauce, etc. Butter sauces give me diarehea...which I actually consider a good thing. It's warning signal for me not to eat too much butter in 1 sitting.

    Another consideration, is don't buy for the fridge or cupboard anything that's unhealthy for home. Leave that for restaurant / cafe, if you would like to indulge abit occasionally. Forget premade frozen food from store if you can. The closest I get to this, is handmade frozen perogies from a local Ukranian maker and only once a month or less. I don't even buy frozen Chinese dim sum: if I'm going to have it, it's best tasting when freshly made and hot in restaurant. ....seems to be only 1-2 times a year. (Yea, unbelieveable. But this hasn't been any different for the past ....few decades.)

    Reconsider going even more ethnic and diverse....with a broader range of veggies and fruit (ones you may have rarely/never tried before) with whole produce food cooking, healthy recipes and spices that don't use cream nor any fat as a base.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 05-19-2014 at 09:15 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    Here's an interesting perspective: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/op...-why.html?_r=0.

    We are all different. If I don't incorporate sufficient fat and protein into my diet, I am constantly starving. My body will NOT lose weight on a traditionally "healthy" low fat, low processed carb diet. I do cut out the breads and such, but cannot cut out fat and protein. This article, I think, is spot on for what happens to me. I actually noticed that I was still hungry after a sufficiently large dinner last night - because it was *very* light on fat.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    Sure, agree Blueberry. I'm the opposite. I know I should have light fat in my diet. It doesn't work for me otherwise, I'm small boned, etc. Lean meat protein is only 1-3 times per month or less for me...which is very different when in my 20's I was eating meat nearly every single dinner.

    I think some of all this, is what type of food I was raised on as a child/growing teen --low fat, less heavy cheese, very little butter, cream and a lot less sugar (not true now) back then. I really think at childhood, this sets some of our body's natural predispositions later on in life.

    I'm pretty certain it's me naturally cutting back on heavier pasta, etc. that's helped me maintain my weight past 6 years or so after my diabetes 2 scare. My metabolism is slower because I am at menopause stage..no period for last 2.5 yrs. and I haven't cycled as much compared to 5 years ago.

    Mish, a sister of mine who is a doctor, gave herself her own weight loss after diabetes 2 reading (she obsessively tested herself twice, to make sure the reading was verified), she changed her diet, took up jogging and lost 50 lbs. Then later with child 2, she had to monitor her eating, because she was verging on gestational diabetes.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 05-19-2014 at 10:09 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    I actually eat very little meat. Most of my protein sources are vegetarian - beans, chickpeas, tofu/tempeh. I also do eat eggs and yogurt (homemade, plain with fresh or frozen fruit added sometimes) - and I do eat poultry and fish occasionally. Most of my fats are olive oil, avocado, or coconut oil - plus some dairy fat (milk in tea, yogurt, some cheese). I made a veggie soup last night that happened to not have high protein veggies (no beans), and I cooked in broth - so no olive oil to sautť. Should have added a wedge of avocado or something - and I would have been fine.

    I grew up in the southern US - so every meal was a very heavy meat (fried chicken, steak, etc), a starch, and a side of veggies (which were cooked with animal fat). I actually have become so unaccustomed to eating animal fat that I end up sick if I try to eat that way (much to my family's annoyance at holidays - we just bring extra food now to share).

    I do think the new research is interesting, though. People have been saying calories in/calories out - but it seems to really matter more what *kind* of calories they are (not sure, processed carbs, etc.). I was actually doing some research on artificial sweeteners this weekend - and the one I have used on occasion has been shown (in a small study) to promote high insulin levels in the body. There's just so much we don't know about how the body reacts to foods!
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

 

 

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