calorific intake

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foxyrider
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calorific intake

Postby foxyrider » 10 Mar 2018, 7:36pm

Other news pushed it from the headlines in short order but the government have suggested this week that we shouldn't take on board more than 1200kcal (I recently read that medically a reasonably active person of the male persuasion needs @ twice that to function) per day as part of their anti obesity plans. (as a nation we were healthiest mid 20thC when there was food rationing - perhaps that would be a more sensible approach than picking some random number of calories out of the ether? Just a thought)

I'm far from an avid calorie counter so i've usually no idea what food has what in it but i'm now at a bit of a loss regarding my long term survival. Why? Well on a fairly mediocre ride today my electronic friends suggest I used 3000kcals and whilst I haven't done a great deal else during the day I must have burnt at least another 500kcals, that's almost 3x the government intake advice. I reckon if I follow the advice I will shrivel up to nothing before christmas! :lol:

Now whilst i'd like to lose a little bit of weight i'd rather not end up looking like the Grim Reaper. So should we consign this latest 'advice' to the bin with the over intake of liquids and so on or should we all start weighing and calculating every morsel we consume? I throw this to the floor for discussion.
Convention? what's that then?

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Richard D
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Re: calorific intake

Postby Richard D » 10 Mar 2018, 8:03pm

I'm pretty sure that the 2,000 cals for a "reasonably active person" is a big overestimate. Or that most of us are not close to being "reasonably active".

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Re: calorific intake

Postby PH » 10 Mar 2018, 8:59pm

foxyrider wrote:Other news pushed it from the headlines in short order but the government have suggested this week that we shouldn't take on board more than 1200kcal

What advice is this? Public Health England launched a "Know Your Numbers" campaign last week which recommends meals of 400-600-600 and a couple of healthy snacks to make it up to the level it's been for a long time - 2,000 a day for women and 2,500 a day for men
https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/eating#W5ylutIZhFmxDEuB.97

It is a good idea to be aware of what's in your food, two similar looking products can have vastly different calories.
I'm losing weight at 1,800 cal a day, which from the results looks like a 1,500 a day deficit.

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Re: calorific intake

Postby PH » 10 Mar 2018, 9:02pm

Richard D wrote:I'm pretty sure that the 2,000 cals for a "reasonably active person" is a big overestimate.

Based on what?

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Re: calorific intake

Postby Richard D » 10 Mar 2018, 9:14pm

Based on two things. The fact that Most people are getting fatter, and the belief that most people massively overestimate how active they are. Thirty minutes walking the dog does not mean someone is "reasonably active".

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Re: calorific intake

Postby PH » 10 Mar 2018, 9:19pm

Richard D wrote:Based on two things. The fact that Most people are getting fatter, and the belief that most people massively overestimate how active they are. Thirty minutes walking the dog does not mean someone is "reasonably active".

Well the experts at PHE think it's the other way round, that the advice on how much to eat is correct and it's mainly people underestimating how much they consume that causes the problems.

Thornyone
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Re: calorific intake

Postby Thornyone » 12 Mar 2018, 8:42am

I’m not sure what “reasonably active” means. Current guidelines suggest taking about 150 minutes moderate exercise in a week. At least five times a week I take that amount of exercise, sometimes considerably more. People who take almost no vigorous exercise (and it seems that a great many individuals in western society now fit into this category) would do well to stick to a pretty rigorous calorie counting regime. People who exercise plenty can eat more, people who don’t shouldn’t. Presumably the PHE guidelines would be for the “average” ideal male doing the 150 minutes exercise a week. This amount of exercise is a very small amount to my mind.

ANTONISH
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Re: calorific intake

Postby ANTONISH » 12 Mar 2018, 9:02am

I lived through rationing and I don't think there was a shortage of actual calories.
Sugar and confectionery rationing meant that there was little of the sugar rush so readily available today.
OTOH fewer people had cars - walking and cycling were commonplace so they were less sedentary.
Also central heating wasn't commonplace so houses were generally colder.

What with the amount of time most people spend screen gazing possibly pigging out on "sharing packs" etc , the government calorie guidance isn't much more than wishful thinking - I can only see levels of obesity generally continuing.

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Re: calorific intake

Postby PH » 12 Mar 2018, 11:25am

Thornyone wrote: Presumably the PHE guidelines would be for the “average” ideal male doing the 150 minutes exercise a week. This amount of exercise is a very small amount to my mind.

I think you're right and for many of us who cycle that 150 minutes a week doesn't seem much. There are though plenty of overweight cyclists (I'm one) and it's easy to overestimate how much extra we can eat for the extra effort. Even on a 50 mile club ride, the cafe stop and a pint at the end can easily add up to more calories than expended.
Calorie counting and awareness is tedious, but still useful knowledge. Yes we all know that burgers and chips are BAD, but I was a bit shocked to find how many calories are in olive oil, which I'd previously sploshed about with abandon, because we all know it's healthy...

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Re: calorific intake

Postby mjr » 12 Mar 2018, 5:37pm

PH wrote: There are though plenty of overweight cyclists (I'm one) and it's easy to overestimate how much extra we can eat for the extra effort. Even on a 50 mile club ride, the cafe stop and a pint at the end can easily add up to more calories than expended.

Are you sure? I tested a food+exercise calorie counting app recently because I'm slightly concerned about losing weight and on the days I cycled 50 miles (and slower than most clubs), I don't think I could physically eat enough (or drink enough beer without passing out) to achieve equilibrium so had to average over three days to do it. I am slightly concerned about touring as averaging isn't going to help then. I'll probably resort to cakes and dried fruit as well as drowning salads in oil, but they're not great ways to get the energy, health-wise.
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horizon
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Re: calorific intake

Postby horizon » 12 Mar 2018, 11:20pm

It looks like it is around 50 calories a mile when cycling as a rule of thumb - more if it is vigorous, a bit less for leisurely.

Milkshake calories range from 510 to 540. If, for example, you're having a Big Mac with a medium order of fries and a medium cola, your total calorie intake is 1,080 calories, meeting more than half your daily calorie needs if you eat 2,000 calories a day.


So that looks like a 20 mile ride or two hours which isn't bad. On a long day's loaded hilly cycling it seems you really could eat whatever you had the time and energy left to do so.
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Thornyone
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Re: calorific intake

Postby Thornyone » 13 Mar 2018, 9:01am

horizon wrote:It looks like it is around 50 calories a mile when cycling as a rule of thumb - more if it is vigorous, a bit less for leisurely.

That figure of 50 calories per mile sounds like a lot to me, especially if it is at an “average” pace. Of course it depends on so many factors (speed, rider and bike weight, uphill, downhill or level, headwind or tailwind?) but even so it seems to be a lot more than my calorie counting bike computer calculates. When I recently rode 29 miles (mixed terrain, part with panniers and load) my computer suggested 597 calories. Your formula would give over 1400 calories. I know which figure I’d like to believe, but following a moderately indulgent Sunday lunch my waistline suggests that unfortunately my calorie counter might be closer to the truth.

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Re: calorific intake

Postby Psamathe » 13 Mar 2018, 11:48am

horizon wrote:It looks like it is around 50 calories a mile when cycling as a rule of thumb - more if it is vigorous, a bit less for leisurely.
.....

From my reading and software I recon on 40 per mile - but I live in Norfolk so not so many inclines as others claim.

Base my 40 on the METS table thingy (http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/tools/docs/documents_compendium.pdf) and from loading recorded tracks into various software once home. No idea in terms of weight gain/loss and never gone as far as those wrist things nor anything beyond basic wired speed/distance only cycle computer on the bike.

Though I did turn out a heart rate watch for a couple of rides (with chest sensor - a Suunto t1c) and that gave around the 40 as well (though quickly lost interest in the thing.

Ian

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Re: calorific intake

Postby PH » 13 Mar 2018, 11:54am

mjr wrote:Are you sure?

Yes - Though it's deliberately written in non specific terms as there's so many variables, both in riders and cafe stops! I wouldn't like to relate it to anyone's own needs. If you're concerned about maintaining weight you could see if your GP can put you in touch with a nutritionist, the one attached to my doctors is very helpful.
I don't know what app you're using, to get a reasonably accurate output they require reasonably accurate input of the energy being expended and the rider, otherwise they're just using some formula that might not be appropriate for the individual.
I don't have this sort of info on the bike, but I've been doing some Wattbike sessions at the gym, they have the input, including power, heart rate, riders max power, max heart rate.... Zone 2 - which feels like riding at 12 -14 mph on the flat and breathing at a level where I could easily hold a conversation - is estimated to be using 380 calories an hour, which works back to around 30 a mile. Also note this is total calories, not extra, I might be burning 80 an hour sat at the computer, more when I'm doing other stuff. I estimate I'd need an extra 800 - 1,000 calories for a reasonable 50 mile ride, and I can easily exceed that with a couple of stops.
We also need to account for our bodies efficiency, the more we ride the more adapted we become to it, it's often reported that TdF riders need 6,000 calories a day, that's only just the 50 a mile of horizon's rule of thumb.

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Re: calorific intake

Postby Thornyone » 13 Mar 2018, 4:11pm

Psamathe wrote:Base my 40 on the METS table thingy

I find these tables pretty unsatisfactory. I can understand that a stationary exercise bike in a gym can give a pretty accurate measure of calories used. I can also see that it would work for track cycling. Getting an accurate reading of calories used on a bike moving on real roads seems much more problematic. 10-12 mph slightly uphill into a steady headwind of 15 mph on a heavy bike is going to require considerably more energy expenditure than riding a lightweight bike at 15 mph on the level in near windless conditions or riding on the level at 18 mph with a 15 mph tailwind.
I did 24 miles this morning. My Cateye says I used 442 calories. That equates to a bit under 18.4 calories per mile. Hopefully it is a considerable underestimate. There was little wind, but several uphill sections. (According to Swimtag I used 335 calories on my 1 kilometer swim of breast stroke which took took 30 minutes). I actually find that I lose more weight cycling than swimming, so maybe my bike computer is talking nonsense :lol: