Hunger, Exercise and Negative calorie balance

Jul 28, 2009
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OK most have heard the 500 kcal deficit a day method for weight loss, it's been done to death and doesn't need any discussion. The more "extreme" version involves 1000 kcal a day deficit. National Health Service nutritionists advise a maximum weight loss of 2 lbs a week (or roughly a 7000 calorie deficit a week so a maximum of 1000kcal a day deficit).

Take yesterday, I woke up hungry ate cereal and a small plate of rice and chicken. Rode from 10am to 4 pm stopping twice for a coffee about 30 minutes each time, didn;t eat just drank water and coffee no sugar. Undulating terrain, severe heat, very windy, not fast I rode hard the day before so just stayed with the slower group and it was a very easy ride.

Got home, rice and chicken medium portion. Cereal, 300 ml glass of skimmed milk before bed. I couldn't figure out what my deficit was but I would be amazed if it was less than 1000 kcal yet I felt no hunger. This morning I could easily have missed breakfast and ridden I was not hungry at all. WTF.

Anyone go through these periods of non hunger? I am 82 kg now and getting quite lean. Did the long slow ride do something to my fat metabolism? Ordinarily I battle hunger constantly over the last 3 or 4 months especially after a ride it's usually massive hunger.
 
Aug 24, 2009
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Let me first say that i'm jealous. I am in the process of trying to shift some excess KGs (only a couple) after my break and as hard as I try to cut down on my food intake, I find that i'm constantly hungry and will wake up during the night because of my hunger. I am not going on any stupid fad diets or anything like that, just trying to watch what I put in my mouth, but it seems as though no matter what I eat, i'm constantly starving!! I want what you've got!!! Any suggestions??
 
Jul 28, 2009
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Personally if I deviate from my list of

weetabix or oat cereal
skimmed milk
some nuts
one "hot meal" a day (rice chicken, casserole, spgetti bolognese etc etc basically some meat or fish and some veg)
the odd piece of fruit (fruit tastes like sh1* to me but it must be done i suppose)

If I deviate from that list I fail hard at weight loss. I might start taking oats to work. I am not giving that as advice just relating that since you happened to ask.

Also if I don't ride I also fail hard at weight loss it's way too slow otherwise I am not a patient man. Again just my own personal preference but I aim for a round 10 hours a week in the saddle either on the road or the turbo. It's a rough rule of thumb. I do at least one interval session or timetrial in a week, and most hills give me a hard workout riding with the fast group. Again I am not giving advice I know it's not perfect, just sharing what I do and what I found works for me.

I still don't get the lack of hunger after yesterday's efforts.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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The feeling hungry could depend on "what" as much as "how much"; the body reacts differently to carbs vs protein vs fats. Perhaps playing with the proportions of carbs vs protein vs fat will help (or at least change) your hunger response? For instance, for me an egg and 1 piece of toast in the morning "lasts" longer than a bowl of oatmeal.

Also try to eat like a bird: little bits more often instead of "3 meals" a day. This tends to even out the body's response.

Note: these are just opinions based on my experience, I'm just an engineer, not a Dr/Nutritionist/Physiologist nor do I play any of them on TV.
 
Jun 23, 2009
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What did you eat in the days before? I find after a week of eating junk with little to no exercise, I do not get hungry when riding. A couple of weeks into training with a healthy diet, if I do not eat within 30 mins then I am toast.

I am lucky in that I can drop weight very easily just by riding more. I find it difficult to eat enough. I disagree with the eat like a bird approach, but this is purely down to my personal experience. I need to eat as much as I can at breakfast, lunch and dinner and supplement with snacks as often as possible.

I would suggest that if you can do a long ride and not feel hungry, your nutrition is doing quite good (with the caveat that you do not feel full?). Give it a few weeks to a month and I bet you will be suprised by the scales.
 
Jul 30, 2009
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cromagnon said:
The more "extreme" version involves 1000 kcal a day deficit.

Take yesterday, I woke up hungry ate cereal and a small plate of rice and chicken. Rode from 10am to 4 pm stopping twice for a coffee about 30 minutes each time, didn;t eat just drank water and coffee no sugar. Undulating terrain, severe heat, very windy, not fast I rode hard the day before so just stayed with the slower group and it was a very easy ride.

Something does quite add up here. Given that you rode for 5 hours in "severe heat" with hills and wind thrown in...no food...etc...you'll be closer to 7000kcal deficit for the DAY rather than the week.

I'm in decent shape and can't go 3 hours on the bike without food...if I do the ride comes to a grim end shortly after that.

Putting in huge deficits works in theory, but in practice your body will shut down the metabolism if it thinks hard times are coming...that's one of the reasons that extreme calorie cutting doesn't work well.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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Steampunk said:
Doesn't scurvy mask the effects of hunger? :D

I was only being a bit facetious. I really worry about the kinds of diet regimes that people go in. There might be short-term rewards in cutting weight, but I think the long-term costs can be problematic. A healthy, balanced diet is always going to be more beneficial than any kind of quick, weight-loss diet, especially one that dodges important nutrients. For all the carb vs. fat vs. protein formulae, there are all kinds of minerals and vitamins that are essential to a healthy body and they frequently get overlooked.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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cromagnon said:
OK most have heard the 500 kcal deficit a day method for weight loss, it's been done to death and doesn't need any discussion. The more "extreme" version involves 1000 kcal a day deficit. National Health Service nutritionists advise a maximum weight loss of 2 lbs a week (or roughly a 7000 calorie deficit a week so a maximum of 1000kcal a day deficit).
Really??? If I dropped my diet by 1000 kcal/day I'd be about 30% short of my RDI!

This is from the NHS website - on the page about diet myths:
2. A radical exercise regime is the only way to lose weight
Not true. Sensible weight loss involves making small changes that you can stick to for a long time. To shift 900g (2lbs) a week, you need to reduce your calorie intake by around 500 calories a day. This can be achieved by eating less, exercising more or, best of all, a combination of both. Achievable daily activity can set you on the way. A brisk 30-minute walk burns around 100 calories. A 45-minute game of tennis burns around 325 calories.


As I've said on other threads that you've been on - there's more bull**** on these threads than in the average woman's magazine ... and they're pretty pathetically terrible and dangerous when it comes to diet advice. Again, as I've said before, if you want to lose weight quickly (which you seem to want to do), go consult a good sports nutritionist. Whilst I don't doubt your comments in another thread about your science training giving you the ability to read nutrition science journals, I'd respectfully suggest that your desire to lose weight has put a filter in place which is making it hard for you to objectively read and analyse these studies. Case in point is doubling the NHS' safe diet level as per the above ...

I am guessing that you wont take any notice of what I type up here - you seem fixated on applying what is effectively a power sport starvation diet to an endurance sport (which may work short term, but you can pretty much bank on not working over the longer term - at least not in a way that will allow you to get and maintain your sub-20minute TT goal) ... so this posting is probably more in the hope of stopping anyone copying your diet and exercise regime ...

Good luck Cromagnon - but for your own sake, man, stop trying to do all of this yourself and go see someone who is trained in this stuff ...
 
Jul 28, 2009
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kiwirider said:
Good luck Cromagnon - but for your own sake, man, stop trying to do all of this yourself and go see someone who is trained in this stuff ...

:D not the first person who has said that, but I am in really decent shape now I was not asking for weight loss tips I was just curious about hunger. I was thinking pretty abstractly. Although I am curious how I would ride at 70kg.

EVERYTHING can be researched and no one would ever write any posts here. And anyone who sees a journal abstract and p values and other jargon and can't glean much from it never has that gap bridged.

Regarding exenditure that day, it was a really slow group. I could keep up with them on my first proper ride back in February when I looked like a powerlifter in lycra. Was not a pretty sight.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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mistahsinclair said:
Something does quite add up here. Given that you rode for 5 hours in "severe heat" with hills and wind thrown in...no food...etc...you'll be closer to 7000kcal deficit for the DAY rather than the week.

I'm in decent shape and can't go 3 hours on the bike without food...if I do the ride comes to a grim end shortly after that.

Putting in huge deficits works in theory, but in practice your body will shut down the metabolism if it thinks hard times are coming...that's one of the reasons that extreme calorie cutting doesn't work well.

Im a bit sceptical about this too as I start to hunger knock at roughly the same time (3 hours or 100kms). Its happened on more than a few occasions where I've gone from being fine to hardly being able to turn the pedals. And this is after a big breakfast and carb loading from the night before. If you can go 6 hours with just 2 cups of coffee, kudos to you.
 
Jul 28, 2009
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unsheath said:
Im a bit sceptical about this too.

Fair enough I don't really care, the slow group is slow, it used to be a challenge but it's like a commute for me now.

I considered eating as always when we stopped and as always on slower rides I decided I would not eat unless I felt discomfort or hunger. I felt neither. Then I felt none at home. I was amazed hence this thread. I wondered if the low intensity switched by lipid metabolism "on" or something like that but between the unwanted diet advice and the rest, I've stopped giving a toss. You people kill enthusiasm.

P.S. Riding with the fast group I do the usual hydration and carb strategy that all the other guys do. I never leave home without gels and a few bars, desn't mean I have to have them especially on a slow one.
 
Aug 24, 2009
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burning body fat and cycling

Hello to everybody, it is very easy to estimate how much fat your body will be burning (oxidizing) during cycling. In fact, many studies have measured quite precisely the amount of fat oxidized by the body during cycling at different exercise intensities. In a range of intensities, let’s say, between 55 and 70 % of VO2max (corresponding to roughly between 65 and 80 % of heart rate max) fat oxidation rate can be expected to reach a maximun of about 0.6 gr of fat per minute of exercise. Of course you can expect some degree of interindividual variability in this value and for instance, the more you are trained the higher will be your capacity to oxidize fats. Another factor to take into account is the diet: it’s known that eating carbos before and during the exercise impairs to some extent the ability to burn fats during the effort. In conclusion, expect to loose about 200 gr of fat for a biking trip lasting 6 hours (0.6 gr/min x 360 min). If your desire is just to loose weight, be carefull not to push too much because for intensity > 90% of your heart rate max the body will be relying almost completely on carbohydrates as main fuel and fat oxidation will be close to zero!
Now, is it clear why is’nt that easy to cut down body fat? Anyway, no pain no loss!
Please feel free to contact me should any of you require further info on this interesting subject.

Ciao, Roberto

Dr. Roberto Salvi
Nutrition Biologist
szerelem69@yahoo.com
 
Mar 12, 2009
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robertos said:
...Another factor to take into account is the diet: it’s known that eating carbos before and during the exercise impairs to some extent the ability to burn fats during the effort. In conclusion, expect to loose about 200 gr of fat for a biking trip lasting 6 hours (0.6 gr/min x 360 min)...

Though in saying this, from my meagre knowledge, if you neglected to ingest any carbohydrates over such period the actual intensities of exercise will drop to a level whereby, although the percentage of fat burning may decrease slightly, the overall calorific expenditure (including the percentage of fat used) is far greater than relying on fat stores alone?
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Tapeworm said:
Though in saying this, from my meagre knowledge, if you neglected to ingest any carbohydrates over such period the actual intensities of exercise will drop to a level whereby, although the percentage of fat burning may decrease slightly, the overall calorific expenditure (including the percentage of fat used) is far greater than relying on fat stores alone?

And to keep your body burning the highest proportion of fat that it can, you've got to really be practising "Tai Chi with bicycle" - in other words going really, really slow/easy. With any sort of intensity - which includes LSD ride, small ring spinning pace - the body has a preference for carbs ....
 
Mar 19, 2009
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mistahsinclair said:
Putting in huge deficits works in theory, but in practice your body will shut down the metabolism if it thinks hard times are coming...

this is why you weren't hungry the next day. basically you rode for 5hrs with insufficient intake so when you finally did eat you body said "better store this for the next time he tries that" at the same time your metabolism slowed down to conserve for your next effort.

there is a reason that the best way to loose weight is slowly, so that:
a. you burn off fat and not muscle (your approach will burn muscle stores),
b. ensure your metabolism is not negatively impacted (why majority of people regain the weight after a crash diet)
c. most importantly as kiwirider stated, so that it is maintainable.

loosing weight is not a diet, its a life style. pick you life style be patient whilst your body weight catches up.
 
May 9, 2009
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One big reason people who knock off 500 calories a day still don't lose weight is that they were eating too many calories in the first place. E.g. they were on a 1 pound a week weight gain intake to begin with so if they knock off 500 calories a day, all they are going to do is stop gaining weight and they'll hold steady.
 
Mar 26, 2009
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My problem is that I have trouble not eating everything in sight a few hours after a workout. I think my brain is expecting a famine. I usually workout after work, so that means I will sometimes eat up to midnight. At least it's fruit or yogurt or both.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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daviel said:
My problem is that I have trouble not eating everything in sight a few hours after a workout. I think my brain is expecting a famine. I usually workout after work, so that means I will sometimes eat up to midnight. At least it's fruit or yogurt or both.

maybe your not eating the right kind of foods prior & during a workout, leaving you feeling empty. i sometimes have a similar problem where no amount of food seems to satisfies my hunger, a friend who's a nutristionist suggested it could be sugar level related ( i don't eat sweets or have sugar in tea/coffee) and that i start eating oats.

benifits of oats on sugar levels:

http://www.eatmoreoats.com/health.html

Benefits of eating oats on blood sugars
Eating oats can spread the rise in blood sugars over a longer time period. Control of blood glucose and insulin levels is essential in preventing many of the complications associated with diabetes. Oat beta-glucan slows the rise in blood glucose levels following a meal and delays its decline to pre-meal levels. Here's how it works. As the beta-glucan in the soluble fiber of oats is digested, it forms a gel, which causes the viscosity of the contents of the stomach and small intestine to be increased. This in turn slows down digestion and prolongs the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. This means dramatic changes in blood sugar levels are avoided. Other sources of soluble fiber are grains, fresh fuit and vegetables.
 
Mar 26, 2009
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thanks, I'm going to try that. Do you eat them before a workout, or for breakfast, or what?
 
Mar 19, 2009
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i have them for breakfast, and i add honey to them. plus i have honey in my tea, it's the only 'sugar' i have.
 
Mar 16, 2009
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Beans are also a great slow burning carb. Also the right balance of fat is important to a feeling of fullness and maintaining blood sugar levels.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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krebs303 said:
Beans are also a great slow burning carb. Also the right balance of fat is important to a feeling of fullness and maintaining blood sugar levels.

they're also good if you need a bit of a "tailwind"