Calories

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Mick F
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Calories

Postby Mick F » 18 Feb 2009, 9:32am

I rode out on Monday for a long 'un - 65 hilly miles and was amazed how many calories that my Garmin 305 and its associated software said I'd consumed.

5040

How much do I need to eat to replace that lot?
Sausage, egg and chips and beans?
Sponge pudding and custard?
Choccy biscuits?

Help, I'm wasting away!

Seriously, though, it's amazing how much energy is required to cycle for the day. Perhaps 1000 calories per hour. Trouble is, I tend not to loose much weight - too many sausages I suppose - it can't be the choccy biscuits .....
Mick F. Cornwall

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Postby emergency_pants » 18 Feb 2009, 9:54am

When I'm on the treadmill at the gym, I use 450-500 calories for a half hour run at pace. So... 1000 calories on the bike in an hour definitely sounds right but then I'm running continously and solidly at 6 to 7mph non-stop. You must be doing the same and not freewheeling much, combined with the hills which is pushing the calories up! :shock:

A big portion of meat & two veg and a pudding is going to be what... about 750 calories?

hahaha... you'll need to eat four curries on the trot to get those calories back... get munching! :lol:

Edit PS: Sausages are not good, by the way. My doctor takes a deep draw in of breath when I mention them (I really like sausages too). Really, really bad for the heart. I go for steak now instead :)

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Postby Richard » 18 Feb 2009, 10:04am

The calorie counters on exercise machines and bike computers are far from accurate. Wouldn't want to risk sausage/cake overload would we? (yes!)

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EdinburghFixed
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Postby EdinburghFixed » 18 Feb 2009, 10:15am

Remember that you're "supposed" to burn around 2500 calories a day, most of that during the day.

So if you spent most of a day riding, you'd need to remove maybe 1500 calories from the total because that's what you'd have burned anyway.

I use about 600 calories each way to work, I think, but if I sat in the car I'd still use about 150... so eating 1200 calories of extra cake a day doesn't work :)

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Postby dmiller » 18 Feb 2009, 12:43pm

EdinburghFixed wrote:Remember that you're "supposed" to burn around 2500 calories a day, most of that during the day.

So if you spent most of a day riding, you'd need to remove maybe 1500 calories from the total because that's what you'd have burned anyway.

I use about 600 calories each way to work, I think, but if I sat in the car I'd still use about 150... so eating 1200 calories of extra cake a day doesn't work :)


This actually makes sense, I cant believe I never thought of it before!

Thanks!

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 18 Feb 2009, 1:39pm

I see what you mean about burning calories anyway, but the program and Garmin read zero unless you do some work!

So I suggest the readout is in addition to the normal calorific count.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Postby EdinburghFixed » 18 Feb 2009, 1:49pm

I tested it by doing an 'office workout', where I just put on the HRM and did my ordinary sedentary duties.

But I'm not an expert - if the measurement is derived from the bike's movement and not from your heart rate, then it may well be more accurate. I guess the ultimate would be to derive calories from the Wattage from a power metre.

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 18 Feb 2009, 1:56pm

Yeah, but it's still a bit unclear how it's calculated, so I'm actually a little lost in making a definitive statement!

With the basic Garmin 305 - no HR input - it will still calculate calories burned. The software in Garmin Training Centre and the program I use - Ascent - calculate it too. No movement - no calories.

But do the calories recorded take into account normal usage too? I don't know, but if I were designing the package, it would only record the calories that the cycling used and not anything else, otherwise it's all meaningless.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Postby robwa10 » 18 Feb 2009, 1:57pm

Mick F wrote:I see what you mean about burning calories anyway, but the program and Garmin read zero unless you do some work!

So I suggest the readout is in addition to the normal calorific count.


I see what you're saying Mick about the Garmin counter. I think though to get a truly accurate readout you'd have to find out how many calories you burn during a day without riding. If you're only burning say 2000 then that leaves another 500 you need to get rid of just for a normal days amount.

If you were really obsessive about it then you'd have to figure out how many calories a day you normally eat as well. My own opinion is that as long as you're not dropping large amounts of weight or feeling really tired or dizzy all the time then you must be okay. The body is very clever in giving you cravings when you need something.

I think the calorie counters and heart monitors can cause more problems than they solve sometimes. My heart rate is between 180-190 when I ride. Mentioned it to my doctor and he asked if I felt faint or ill whilst riding. Said no and he asked what I was worried about then, I just naturally have a higher resting heart rate and as a result I naturally burn calories quickly and keep a slim figure easily.

But as I'm sure someone will point out, I'm no expert. :)

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Postby Tonyf33 » 19 Feb 2009, 5:25pm

1000 kilocalories/hour would be very unlikely indeed cycling wise especially over a 5hour period, you'd have to be very heavy(over 95kg) AND averaging about 20+mph. it would be more in the range 550-750/hour
Jogging/running burns a heck of a lot more calories than for the same relative effort in cycling as it's unsupported(ie no bike) 1000 Kilocalories per hour is within range.
think there is an online calculator somewhere taking into account your body mass & average speed/time/distance (running/cycling/swimming etc)

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Postby Neil Fat Man On A Bike » 19 Feb 2009, 6:42pm

Last edited by Neil Fat Man On A Bike on 19 Feb 2009, 6:43pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby vernon » 19 Feb 2009, 6:42pm

Tonyf33 wrote:1000 kilocalories/hour would be very unlikely indeed cycling wise especially over a 5hour period, you'd have to be very heavy(over 95kg) AND averaging about 20+mph. it would be more in the range 550-750/hour
Jogging/running burns a heck of a lot more calories than for the same relative effort in cycling as it's unsupported(ie no bike) 1000 Kilocalories per hour is within range.
think there is an online calculator somewhere taking into account your body mass & average speed/time/distance (running/cycling/swimming etc)


Using the online calcualtor on the www.mapmyride.com website,

I get through 4000 calories or so on a 100km audax involving 5 or so hours of pedalling. I weigh in at 130 kg....

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Postby paulah » 19 Feb 2009, 7:13pm

Stop, stop, there is an easy way to check all this.

Every now and again have a good look at yourself and think "am I putting on weight or looking too thin or looking the same as last time or becomming more toned / less lardy".

If you answer yes to either of the first two then your diet needs some adjustment.

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 19 Feb 2009, 8:06pm

No. I'm not putting on weight, I just wonder how many calories I'm using and eating. My weight is stable.

I eat like a horse and don't worry what I eat. I enjoy fried breakfasts, and stews and pies for tea, let alone beer and wine in the evening. I just think that the calorie numbers are astronomical! I weigh 13st odd, and am approaching 57 this autumn.

What?
Me worry?

Cycling gives me an excuse for eating apart from giving me a buzz. I enjoy getting the miles in, and riding along the lanes and exploring. Ride, ride, ride - wonderful. Man and machine in perfect harmony.

5000 calories for a day out?
Mick F. Cornwall

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Postby minkie » 19 Feb 2009, 10:07pm

The Garmin gives a very similar calorie result for the same journey under a range of circumstances - head wind / tail wind, pedaling hard / cruising etc.

Leads me to guess that it calculates based on weight / distance / ascent rather than how hard you're working, how fit you are or anything very clever.

I'm ok that it might not be incredibly accurate but I do like looking at the numbers. I'm up to 5622 calories this week so far, and 175,839 since 9/03/2008. :shock: That must be the equivalent of a very big pile of food!

Wonder what's in the fridge........