This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
Calorie madness is part of cycling. A lot of energy is consumed and must be taken up. But that’s not my topic. I had no idea how many calories are actually contained in our food. Let me explain what I mean with calorie madness.
I started relatively late with roadbike cycling and also coincidentally. Enthusiasm, ambition and interest brought seriousness. Seriousness means accumulating knowledge in cycling technique, bike training, bike repair and maintenance. Bit by bit. My newest bit of seriousness is diet.
Write down what you eat
Cycling makes you fit. I’ve lost weight since I started. But you reach your limits relative quickly. Weight reduction works only by diet. I already knew somehow that in order to reduce weight the energy consumption must be higher than the energy consumed. The penny had to fall that this does not work by feeling. Since end of April, I write down what I eat. That works quite well with the app “Yazio“.
Yazio calculated for me a daily calorie target of 1866 kcal. I try to keep that up. It will not work without an adaptation of my eating habits and my diet. And I admit that without my enthusiasm for roadbike cycling, I would not have the necessary discipline. The chance of carrying less weight on the bike is my motivation.
Incredibly high nutritional values
I had no idea how many calories are hidden in food. For example, my healthy breakfast cereal with fruit and healthy grains contained already half of my calorie target for the day. Since I know that, I’m weighing my breakfast. And it is still enough to be satisfied. I do not buy anything anymore without reading the energy content on the packaging. All by itself I eat less fat and sweets. Automatically I buy more and more healthy food. Now and then I cheat a bit. That’s also part of it.
It is unclear to me why I did not put on more weight with my previous eating habits. Pizza usually has well over 800 kcal. Bratwurst with a bun and mustard notable 600 kcal. A slice of toast has about 100 kcal, a bun even 175 kcal. I did not realize that. I just did not worry about calorie madness.
If I now go to the supermarket with my eyes wide open, I understand why one shouldn’t buy ready meals. That may be because of the quality of the ingredients. But it’s also about the energy contained in it. Ready meals usually have an incredibly high nutritional value. The breading of fish is enough to turn healthy fish into a calorie bomb.
A social problem
And now I’m no longer in cycling. Germany is getting fatter. You can see it on the streets. No wonder. Who knows how high the daily calorie overconsumption actually is? Who is interested in it? At least I had no idea that it is so much. The Robert Koch Institute writes that two-thirds of men and half of women in Germany are overweight. One quarter even very overweight. Writing down what you eat is a good starting point and a good concept.
I was always interested in Nutrition advices. But each time I gave up soon. I simply found no way into the topic. There were always too many items to consider. All the nutrients, groups of food and compounds. And then you have to prepare food out of it. How could that work. That was too much to control. But now it works.
My tip to get started is the path that worked for me:
- Alejandro Junger’s CLEAN program (or a similar diet-based program with healthy ingredients). This already causes a first change in eating habits.
- Record the calories you have eaten and keep your daily limit. This works good with an app. It creates sensitivity and raises interest in the ingredients of food.
- For me, both would not go without motivation for a target. The best is a target with a high fun factor: participate in an important sports event (for example, running, cycling, swimming), hike the Way of St. James, do an alpine cross with backpack or bike. There is so much to experience and to discover!
- Exercising is first and foremost good for health and improving the quality of life.
- Losing weight succeeds over eating and changing the eating habits, not over sport.
- There is much more energy in food than you would expect.
- Endurance sports help with weight regulation more than other sports.
- Exercise and healthy food are part of life.
- Life offers too many opportunities to give up.
- It’s never too late to change something!