So how do skinny people do it ? Chances are you know of someone who seems to effortlessly control their weight, while you may struggle with yours.
So what healthy eating and healthy lifestyle habits do these individuals have that keeps them slim with seemingly very little effort?
Would you like to control your weight for good? These are the common lifestyle habits that these people share:
1) They do not ‘diet’
They are not concerned with the latest diet fad. Evidence suggests that slim people consume a basic healthy and balanced diet.
The problem with diets is that they tend to create a feeling of restriction and deprivation.
This can lead to an excessive focus on food and eating, fueling binges and an obsession with food which basically negates any benefits associated with the original diet.
The bottom line here is that if a diet feels restrictive, it is unlikely to help you with weight control in the long term. It is best to create healthier eating habits for life. Diets don’t work. An authentic Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating.
2) They exercise, a lot
Skinny people and individuals who lost weight and kept it off, exercise for at least an hour each day. That may equate to a 2000- plus calorie burn every single week.
3) They eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
No surprises here — they eat 7-10 servings or 3 1/2 - 5 cups of fresh fruits and vegetables every single day. The daily recommended intake is a minimum of 2.5 cups of vegetables.
The more fresh produce you add into your diet, there is far less room for other high calorie foods. You naturally eat less of them and in smaller quantities.
4) They think quality over quantity
This is one to note! Long term weight control is not about focusing on what you should not eat. It is about enjoying good quality food, high calorie or not.
It means enjoying a small serving of good quality cake, rather than eating an entire packet of biscuits. Good quality dark chocolate or a glass of red wine.
Practice mindful eating … stop and think before you put something into your mouth. Is it worth the calories? It is not just the calories that we should think about. Is it beneficial to our health?
5) They shop smart
Inspecting your grocery bill is one of the easiest ways to check the quality of your diet. If processed, high fat snacks in colourful packaging are about 2% of the items then you’re doing well!
On the other hand, if you regularly buy these junk foods, then you’ve lost the battle. If you buy them, then you’re eating them.
If you know you should not be eating them for either weight loss or health reasons, then you’ve got to get honest with yourself and stop buying them… and don’t use the kids as excuses. They shouldn’t be eating them either!
6) They cook at home
Meals prepared at home are healthier and have considerably less calories than take-out meals.
Many popular lunches bought in restaurants or take-outs can contain almost double the calories of the same meal you prepare for yourself, while restaurant meals can contain an entire day’s worth of calories. If you simple must buy food, make sure you make healthier choices and get a quinoa or tuna salad.
Cooking at home is an easy step towards weight control.
7) They stick to their healthy eating habits
It does not matter if it is Christmas, a major birthday, or winter time. Individuals who control their weight maintain diet structure.
There is no such thing as taking a day or even a week off their diet, rather there is a one off heavier meal or occasional treat, and the normal diet resumed straight after.
8) They eat healthier snacks
Forget packaged snacks, low fat treats and processed foods. Snacking means something light and nutritious for those in control of their weight. Fruit, veggies nuts and goat’s yoghurt or cheese are all great choices for snacks.
9) They don’t do food guilt
Forget diet talk and cycles of deprivation and bingeing depending on what you have eaten.
Food is not used to soothe emotional states and there is an understanding that at times we will overindulge and consume higher fat, higher calorie foods, but it all evens out eventually.
There is no guilt or compensatory behaviours associated with eating. It all comes down to healthier habits, the occasional treats and balance.
10) They watch their weight
Skinny people watch their weight. They may weigh themselves or, just simply feel how their clothes fit on them.
This means that you notice when you start putting on weight and you do something about it. You can respond quickly and take the steps required to reverse weight gain, before it becomes significant.
The benefits of cooking with olive oil made headlines last week after revelations from a recent study in Food Chemistry may have turned more than one version of ‘conventional wisdom’ on its head. The Spanish researchers found that deep-frying and sautéing vegetables in Mediterranean extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) resulted in increased total phenolic compounds within the food. These phenolics are phytonutrients (plant chemicals) that are known to have anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic properties. It was also found that cooking in water reduced the phenol content.
This study follows a systematic review, conducted also by Spanish researchers, published in April last year, that showed that consumption of fried vegetables, especially ones cooked in olive oil, did not directly increase cardiovascular disease risk. The review did however show that high rates of consumption of fried vegetables did tend to increase weight gain, which is indirectly correlated with CVD and other chronic diseases.
These most recent findings may have heartened those who are well aware of the health benefits of EVOO, some of which are due to the oil’s own high polyphenolic content, but who have been reluctant to use the oil for cooking for fear of heat damage and loss of some benefits. Others may have been somewhat enlightened, especially those who thought that frying of any kind, regardless of the oil used, would always degrade the quality of food. Despite these findings, there is still good evidence to suggest that certain types of frying, such as deep frying, as well as the over-consumption of fried foods, does more harm than good. There are many reasons why over-frying can be bad for foods, this not only being due to the denaturing of food ingredients by heat, but also through the formation of toxic compounds, such as acrylamide, aldehydes and glycation end products.
We summarise below, the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of cooking with oil, olive oil especially.
Cooking with olive oil:
The key to healthy cooking with olive oil, and minimising damage, lies in keeping the temperature below the smoke point of the oil. That means keeping the heat below 160oC for EVOO, and below around 195oC for virgin olive oil (VOO). The EVOO smoke point is relatively low, but this is less of an issue when cooking vegetables which have a high water content and so help lower the overall cooking temperature.
Lightly frying vegetables below the EVOO smoke point enables some nutrients to become more bioavailable, such as beta-carotene in orange or yellow pigmented vegetables, quercetin in onions or green peppers. In practice this means light frying rather than heavy or deep frying, and if you choose to cook with virgin olive oil it’s important to place the vegetables in the oil soon after heat is applied to the oil to ensure its temperature doesn’t rise too high. As the water is drawn out of the vegetables it mixes with the soil forming an emulsion that is maintained at a lower temperature than oil alone. Light frying also curbs the production of large amounts of harmful compounds, such as aldehydes, which are formed when you cook with maize (corn) or sunflower oil (commonly used in deep frying).
When looking at the composition of commonly used cooking oils in the western diet, it’s clear that the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content is skewed heavily towards a high ratio of n-6 (Omega 6) to n-3 (Omega 3) oils. This is one of the key drivers of inflammatory conditions associated with Western, chronic diseases. As we have said before, we can all derive considerable benefits by reducing or eliminating our n-6 PUFA intakes, and so olive oil, high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) — heated or not, is one of the healthier choices of oil.
Cooking oil pitfalls
So as to avoid an excess of these inflammatory n-6 (Omega 6) PUFAs and to avoid damaging chemicals formed during cooking, steer clear of processed and refined oils. Often they are simply labelled ‘vegetable oil’. We strongly suggest you avoid sunflower oil and maize (corn) oil which are widely used, especially as they ahve a tendency to create trans fats on cooking. Soybean oil should also be avoided and in many parts of the world it may also be genetically modified.
We strongly advise you avoid regular consumption of commercially-cooked deep fried foods as these are generally cooked in PUFA n-6-rich vegetable oils. This not only skews your n-6:n:3 ratio in the wrong direction, it also results in denaturing of foods and the creation of a variety of compounds that may be both harmful and carcinogenic.
The best oils for high temperature cooking
The best one here is virgin olive oil, provided it is used as detailed above. The next best is probably non-GMO rapeseed oil, although frying it releases more airborne, cancer-causing polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HAs). It should be noted that stir-frying with maize/corn oil also increases harmful trans fat levels.
The best fats for non-cooking purposes
These oils are best drizzled over salads and other dishes:
Gently does it
In summary, cooking your veggies with olive oil is only a healthy option provided that you don’t heat the oil beyond its smoke point. Equally, the latest Spanish research doesn’t detract from the value of eating plenty of raw foods, as well as ample research to show that frying, and especially deep frying, of meats both denatures protein, but also forms harmful compounds such as PAHs, HAs, advanced glycation end (AGE) products, aldehydes.
Once an oil has been heated beyond its smoke point it oxidises, becomes rancid and is then loaded with free radicals. Additionally, the glycerol (oil is made from glycerol and free fatty acids) in the oil is converted to acrolein which has been shown to be a mutagen. Acrolein is widely distributed in the food supply and is responsible for the bitter taste in burnt oil. While it is not as yet classified as a human carcinogen, its mutagenicity is clear and, based on research of acrolein-DNA adducts in cigarette smoke, there is now mounting evidence for acrolein’s role in increasing cancer risk through DNA damage and its inhibition of DNA repair. Finally, of particular concern for those working in commercial kitchens, in and around deep fryers, there is clear evidence of increased cancer risk through the inhalation of toxic fumes from burnt oil.
Article Compliments: Alliance for Natural Health International.
In a recent study comparing the nutritional and antioxidant values of ten different types of nuts, surprisingly pecan nuts came first, followed by walnuts and pine nuts came last.
The top five healthiest nuts are pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios and almonds, followed by peanuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts and pine nuts.
Nuts are underrated as nutritious snacks . They have been linked to lower cholesterol, improve heart health, great for weight loss, and even lower cancer risk.
Most people are afraid of consuming nuts due to their fat and calorie content. It’s a shame as a small handful of nuts can pack your diet with satiating protein, fiber, unsaturated fats and important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Nuts are so packed with antioxidants they’re adding nut powders to meat to keep it from spoiling longer.
Here’s how you benefit your health every time you snack on a handful of nuts:
Pecans improve your heart health and are among the most antioxidant-rich nuts. They may help prevent plaque formation in your arteries. In the a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, it stated that consuming pecans can help lower LDL cholesterol levels by as much as 33 per cent. Pecans also protect your brain. The vitamin E found in the nuts could delay progression of degenerative neurological diseases like amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Walnuts contain the most antioxidants of all nuts which help protect your body from the cellular damage that contributes to heart disease, cancer, and premature aging. They also have the highest amounts in omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation.. Walnuts are a wonderful alternative to eating fish. The manganese content in walnuts may also reduce PMS (premenstrual symptoms).
Hazelnuts are notable for their high levels of monounsaturated fats, which can improve cardiovascular health and help to manage type 2 diabetes. They’re also high in the antioxidant vitamin E, which may prevent cataracts and macular degeneration, maintain healthy skin, and reduce risk of dementia.
Pistachios are the skinny nut, with less than four calories each. Eating them from the shell slows down the pace that you eat them and hence the snack lasts longer and you eat less overall. The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center researchers found that eating two ounces of pistachios daily may reduce lung cancer risk.Pistachios are rich in the antioxidant gamma-tocopherol, a form of cancer-fighting vitamin E. They are packed with potassium, a mineral essential for a healthy nervous system and muscles, and are a good source of vitamin B6, which can lift your mood, fortify your immune system, and more.
Almonds are good for your gut as they contain the most fiber compared to the other nuts. They are also a very rich source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Almonds assist weight loss. In one International Journal of Obesity study, when two groups of obese adults followed low-calorie diets for six months, those who included almonds in their weight loss plans lost more weight than those who ate more complex carbohydrates. Other research shows that almonds are especially healthy for people worried about their blood sugar: Those who ate about 20 percent of their calories from almonds for four months saw their bad LDL cholesterol drop and their insulin resistance decrease compared to a control group who didn’t eat them. Almonds also raise levels of good bacteria in the gut which then improves the body’s immune system.
Peanuts actually grow underground and, despite their name, are actually legume. Peanuts are abundant in the vitamins niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, choline, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E and rich in minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese and selenium., making them a great energy food for athletes. Studies have found eating peanuts five times a week decreased heart disease and reduced the risk of diabetes, gallbladder disease and colorectal cancer. They also help to lower blood pressure. Peanuts contain the potent antioxidant reservatol which has anti-aging properties. Peanuts have also been shown to reduce cholesterol and have heart-protective effects. It is best to find a source of peanuts which are free from the mold aflatoxin which may cause liver cancer. A healthfood store may be your best bet.
Cashews are particularly rich in iron and zinc. Iron helps deliver oxygen to all of your cells, which can prevent anemia, and zinc is critical to immune health and healthy vision. Cashews are also a good source of magnesium: One ounce provides almost 25 percent of your daily need. Magnesium may help improve memory and protect against age-related memory loss, according to a study in the journal Neuron. Also a handful or two of cashews keeps depression at bay as it boosts tryptophan levels.
#8 Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are the most calorie dense nuts yet they contain the largest amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat (MUFA) per serving. This ‘good fat’ lowers LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol levels and blood pressure. A Pennsylvania State University study (funded partly by the Hershey Company, which owns the Mauna Loa Macademia company) found that people who added macadamia nuts to their diets reduced their triglyceride levels, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol by nearly 10 percent.
#9 Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are potent cancer protectors ! Just one Brazil nut packs more than 100 percent of the daily value for the mineral selenium, which may help prevent certain cancers, including bone, prostate, and breast cancer. A recent study in the Journal of Medicinal Food suggests that the selenium found in Brazil nuts, along with soy, may help fight prostate cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells. However, don’t overdo it on Brazil nuts: High levels of selenium can be harmful, so eat no more than 3-6 nuts a day.
#10 Pine Nuts
Pine nuts may help with weight loss because they contain pinolenic acid, which triggers the release of an appetite-suppressing hormone. They are also a good source of magnesium, which may help boost energy and fight fatigue. Pine nuts contain anti-aging antioxidants and nutrients that support heart and vision health
How much should you eat per day ? Not more than a couple of handfuls a day.
Nuts are always best eaten raw and on an occasional treat to be eaten roasted. Roasting has been found to damage nutrients in nuts, including decreasing the availability of beneficial fatty acids and amino acids. A better option would be nuts that are hot-air dried at temperatures of 82C or less, which should help to minimize any potential heat-related damage.
An even better option is to consume nuts raw, and soak them first for 8-12 hours. Phytic acid, which is found in the coatings of nuts and seeds, is an "anti-nutrient" responsible for leeching vital nutrients from your body.
Soaking nuts will help to get rid of the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, which can interfere with the function of your own digestive and metabolic enzymes, in the nuts.
To make them more palatable, you can use a dehydrator to improve the texture. Enzyme inhibitors in nuts (and seeds) help protect the nut as it grows, helping to decrease enzyme activity and prevent premature sprouting.
When nuts are soaked, the germination process begins, allowing the enzyme inhibitors to be deactivated and increasing the nutrition of the nut significantly, as well as making them much easier to digest.
One exception is with macadamia nuts (and other white nuts), which have only negligible amounts of enzyme inhibitors, so soaking is not as necessary. If you prefer to eat nuts and seeds roasted, do so yourself so you can control the roasting temperature and time.
As far back as Ancient Greece nutrition has been linked to performance and health. It was Hippocrates (400BC - ca. 370BC) who said “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.”
It is believed that the first documented information about a special diet of a Greek athlete was Charmis of Sparta. He is said to have trained on dried figs. I’m not surprised as figs are a Mediterranean powerfood loaded with minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron as well as high in carbohydrates making it an excellent energy source.
What, how much and when you eat and drink can affect your energy, your training, your immune function, and even your risk of injury.
Muscles burn glucose for fuel and the body stores glucose in the form of glycogen which can be broken down into useable glucose when working muscles need an increased fuel supply. The body can store enough glycogen to support approximately 90 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. More than 90 minutes, or if you are going to experience periods of high intensity riding, such as strenuous hill climbing, on a ride of less than 90 minutes, you are going to need to get glucose to fuel your muscles from food you ingest during the ride.
What kind of food should you eat?
Supported by decades of research into endurance sports, the answer is carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates (carbs) can be broken down quickly and efficiently into useable glucose.
Glucose can be derived from fats and proteins as well as carbs. The problem with both fats and proteins is that the process of breaking them down to extract useable glucose takes a long time and is inefficient.
Truth be told you have to burn more energy to extract glucose from fats than you do to extract it from carbs. In fact, fat metabolism (the process of breaking the fat down) requires carbohydrate that could have been more efficiently burned for glucose if wasn’t used to break down the fat.
Carbs, on the other hand, can be broken down quickly and efficiently to provide the glucose needed to keep going on the bike. They are absolutely essential for the long-distance cyclist.
Before the Ride
Glycogen replacement before the ride involves replenishing the liver glycogen lost during sleep along with any muscle glycogen burned while you move around during the day before your ride begins. Carbohydrates are the primary source for replacing lost glycogen.
Complex and simple carbohydrate meals are recommended. It is best to consume them on a regular basis and especially more so the night before your long ride.
Examples of such foods are whole wheat pasta, brown rice, white rice, quinoa, buckwheat, bulgur wheat, beans, lentils, chick-peas, oats, potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Great meal combinations are: Chicken stir-fry with lots of vegetables served with brown rice or noodles, whole meal pasta with either a veg or meat sauce, baked potato with a topping (cheese, bean, chilli, tuna, sweetcorn, kidney beans), mushroom & spinach risotto etc.
How long do I wait before I cycle after a meal ?
General recommendations are to plan on waiting 3 to 4 hours to ride after eating a large meal, 2 to 3 hours to ride after a small meal, and an hour to ride after eating a snack such as fresh fruit, yoghurt, or small bowl of oats.
One way to approach snacking is to eat your last snack an hour or so before the ride and nibble small amounts of carbohydrate every 30 minutes or so from the time you finish your snack to the end of your ride.
During the Ride
Good on-the-bike foods include bananas, dried fruit like raisins, dates or figs, oat based cookies, or low fat bite-sized cookies. Energy bars are a terrific source of carbs. For example, a single powerbar may have 45 grams of carbohydrate and only 2 grams of fat. There are also energy gels made specifically for endurance athletes which have very high doses of carbs. If you eat high density carb supplements like energy bars or gel, make sure to drink plenty of water with them or they will sit like sludge in your stomach and you won’t get the quick transfer of carbs into blood glucose you need. Some sport drinks can be an excellent source of carbs, yet in the case of sports drinks it may be best to choose a brand that isn’t loaded with artificial colourings, additives and refined sugars. These drinks may also be the main cause of accelerated tooth decay in cyclists.
When do you eat?
A well known cycling saying is “Eat before you’re hungry and drink before you’re thirsty”. This is excellent advice. By the time the body reacts to low levels of fuel or fluid and sends hunger and thirst signals it’s too late ! It is best to eat high carb foods frequently throughout the ride.
Rather than stopping and eating a large amount of food (such as lunch) mid ride, nibble high carb foods frequently throughout the ride. This not only provides immediate glucose, it can help protect the body’s glycogen stores; if the muscles are burning glucose from the low-fat oat bar you just ate, they’re not burning your stored glycogen. Try to ingest some carbohydrates every 30 minutes or so. Start eating during your first hour on the bike. The sooner you begin drawing needed energy from food intake the longer you can keep a reserve of stored glycogen.
How do you carry the food?
Eating on the bike isn’t easy, especially in the first hour when you probably won’t feel hungry. Stopping to eat makes eating even more of a hassle which makes it more likely you’ll skip it. Not such a good idea ! Carry nibble foods in your rear jersey pockets and learn to eat while you ride. Prepare it before you ride and make it hassle free. That means unwrap foods in wrappers, cut all foods in bite sized pieces and put it all in a baggie. Roll it up but do not seal it. When it’s time for food, simply unroll the baggie, reach in and pull out something to eat. No fuss, no mess and no garbage like food wrappers to put away ! Note the time your ride starts and make yourself nibble some food every 30 minutes.
Can I have too many carbs?
If you’re going to be ingesting large amounts of carbohydrate during the course of a ride, you should be aware that high concentrations of carbohydrate in the stomach can cause gastrointestinal distress such as nausea. The more you rely on dense carb sources like gels and energy bars, the more you’re likely to run into this problem. Individuals vary widely in their sensitivity to carbohydrate concentration so you will have to experiment to find your limits. If you’re feeling nauseous, drink water to reduce the concentration of carbohydrate in your stomach and lengthen your feed time until you feel better.
What happens if I don’t eat?
Ingesting carbs while you’re cycling isn’t always easy and it it isn’t always fun but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to have the energy you need to finish your ride. Failing to take in the carbs you need can lead to pronounced losses of energy and strength, reduced awareness of what’s going on around you, and increased irritability and hostility, all combined with the feeling that finishing the ride is an unbearable and impossible task. In other words, you could bonk ! Not eating can turn a pleasant ride into an unpleasant one or a challenging ride into a nightmare. Eat before you’re hungry and continue eating throughout the ride.
Post Ride / Recovery
Most of it comes down to what you eat in the first 30 to 40 minutes after you get off the bike. When you finish a long ride your glycogen stores are exhausted and you are very likely to have low blood glucose. Your body responds to the glycogen debt by going into overdrive to replace the missing glycogen. Excess glucose in the bloodstream is converted to glycogen and stored in the muscles and the liver. Under normal circumstances insulin is used in this conversion process. However, after an extended period of exercise when the muscle glycogen stores are exhausted an abbreviated and accelerated glycogen-storage process kicks into gear that converts glucose into glycogen and stores it in the muscles without the need for insulin. This period of intense glycogen production and storage lasts for 30 to 60 minutes.
In order to take advantage of this brief period of accelerated glycogen storage the system must have blood glucose that can be converted to glycogen. And there’s the problem. When you finish a long or intense ride you are almost certainly low on blood glucose. Your system is ready to rapidly and efficiently replenish your empty glycogen stores but it doesn’t have the glucose it needs to make the glycogen.
The solution is to flood your system with carbohydrates that can be quickly converted to blood glucose which will in turn supply the accelerated glycogen production and storage mechanism with the glucose it needs. Although the enhanced glycogen production mechanism will operate for roughly 60 minutes after exercise has stopped, keep in mind that it takes time for carbohydrates in the stomach to be broken down into useable blood glucose. Food you eat during the second half of that 60 minute window may still be in the stomach being digested when the enhanced glycogen-storage process ends. The first 30 minutes after you get off the bike are critical.
If you are going to fully replenish your glycogen stores for the next day’s ride, you must ingest enough carbs during those 30 minutes to flood your system with glucose.
If you don’t, it doesn’t matter what you eat for the rest of the day; you will be building on a weak foundation and you won’t have the glycogen reserves you need to ride with strength day after day. This cannot be stressed enough; you have to reload your system with carbs during the first 30 minutes after you get off the bike.
How many carbs do you need to eat during the critical 30 minutes?
Current thinking holds that you should aim to ingest 1 - 1.5g/ kilogram of body weight as soon as possible after exercise
A rough estimate is to eat or drink 60 grams of carbohydrate (if you’re an average-sized woman) or 80 to 100 grams if you’re an average male.
Eating enough food to provide this much carbohydrate in the first 30 minutes after you get off the bike can be very difficult. The 30 minute part is much more important than the specific amount of carbs and protein part. If you can’t manage to choke down the full recommended amount, eat as much as you can, but make absolutely certain you do it in the first 30 minutes after you get off the bike.
You can eat any kind of food you like as long as it’s high in carbs. Simple carbohydrates that can be more quickly broken down into blood glucose are better than complex carbohydrates that take a longer time because you need to get the glucose in the blood stream within a short window of time.
A recovery drink or smoothie is a good option. Just try and make sure that it contains carbs and proteins in the recommended 4 to 1 ratio. You may find it is much easier to drink a large number of carbs than to eat them immediately after a long ride.
After the critical 30 minute window, try to continue to ingest carbohydrate at regular intervals throughout the remainder of the day. Eat small amounts steadily rather than eating nothing and then pigging out at dinner.
Avoid alcohol because it will interfere with the uptake of glycogen and will also dehydrate you. Avoiding alcohol is especially important immediately after the ride when the body is in the critical glycogen restocking period.
What you eat during the 30 minutes after you get off the bike is probably the single most important factor affecting how you will fare if you’re riding more than 90 minutes a day for more than 2 days.
If you get the carbs you need during this 30 minute window, you can ride for days and days without problems; if you don’t, you’re most likely going to be tired and out of energy by the third or fourth day.
Good Hydration Strategies !
Just as is the case with eating on the bike, it’s a good idea to train yourself to habitually drink on the bike at regular intervals. You’re likely to want to drink after you eat so that if you’re following the recommendation to eat every 30 - 45 minutes, you can finish each of these small feeds with a couple of mouthfuls of water.
No matter how much you drink on a long ride you’ll finish dehydrated. Weigh yourself before and after. For every 0.5kg lost, drink 475- 710ml of fluid. Be aware that products marketed as recovery shakes or beverages are designed to replace carbohydrate and supply protein but will not provide enough fluid to re-hydrate fully. If you sweat heavily, be sure to include ample sodium / electrolytes as well as fluid after the ride. Since your body absorbs fluid best in small amounts rather than a lot at once, get in the habit of taking in fluid at regular intervals during waking hours to best enhance re-hydration.
How do you know you’ve caught up?
Your urine will be pale and plentiful, and your weight will be back to normal. Re-hydrating is especially vital during multi-day rides. If you get a little behind each day, by the end of the week you’ll be severely dehydrated, feeling lousy, and riding poorly.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !