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Cyclist’s Nutrition: Choose Where You Get Your Calories

There are 3,500 calories in each pound of body weight. Riding your bike zaps nine to 10 calories a minute, meaning a 150-pound bicyclist will burn between five hundred and 600 caloriesroughly the amount in a 6-inch Spicy Italian tube subon a typical hour-long ride. ( If you are heavier, you shed more calories ; if you are lighter, you lose less. )

Cyclists famously overestimate how many calories theyre burning. If you eat an energy bar and drink a sports drink on a fair ride, youve effectively cancelled out any calorie burn. Surveys show that some exercisersoverestimate the calories they burn by nearly 1,000about half a days worth. Unless each morsel has a food label, its troublesome to know how much you are taking in. It can be even harder to learn how much you are burning.

A calorie is a measure of the energy in food. And for years weve been told a calorie is a calorie : Whether you eat 500 of broccoli or pastry, your body will burn or store them equally. Thats not true. Foods close to their natural state,eg fresh vegetables, whole grains and lean, full cuts of beef, require actionenergyfrom your body. You want to work to munch them and to digest them. They make a thermic response, which means you burn more calories just processing them.

Professionals partially blame the preponderance of lazy calories for the current obesity pandemic. Our food is so heavily processed, its practically predigested. That fastfood burger has gone thru so much pulverization, you barely have to munch. Were losing the facility to burn calories as we naturally would during the eating and digestive process. And many of those same foods are calorie-dense, so theres more for your body to store. Professionals don’t suggest calorie counting. It takes the joy out of eating and ends up a futile venture. Instead, fill your plate with active calories, like those found in fruit and vegetables. Such foods possess more fiber and water, which means you digest them slowly, feel pleased with fewer of them and gain longer-lasting energy. You can consider them free foods and eat as many as you would like.

By simply changing the composition of your plate, you can lose pounds without worrying about hunger pangs, bonking episodes or watching the calories.

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