Posted by: CODE | 2003/01/21


How much energy (calories) should I be eating if I cycle indoors 3 days during the week for 40 minutes, and do 40 minutes weight training on the upper body along with a 20 minute cycle the remaining two days. Weight = 53 / 54kg and am 1.68m tall. My fitness bike says a burn + - 230 calories every 20 minutes. Would this be considered a low or medium workout? I have been eating between 1.200 and 1.500 kcal per day. I cont seem to get rid of this little roll on my stomach. When I cut down on calories I don't feel like I have enough energy to exercise in the morning but if I eat then the stomach remains. I cont seem to find a balance that will get rid of this problem. Can you please give me a little advice. I have been doing this close to 3 years now.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Code
According to the USA Recommended Daily Allowance for energy an adult woman requires 2 200 kcal and an adult man 2 900 kcal per day. You don't indicate if you are male or female, but if you are a woman, then your energy intake of 1 200 to 1500 kcal a day is between 1000 and 700 kcal less than you actually require. This is mirrored in your low BMI of 19,1. No wonder you are feeling tired when you cut down on energy intake even more. The fact that you have a small amount of fat deposited on your tummy, is probably genetic and if you are a woman, a gender-related phenomenon. I presume you are doing exercises that target the tummy when you do weight training? If not, then ask your instructor to add such exercises to your programme (sit-ups, etc). Women tend to deposit fat on the stomach, breasts and hips, men on the stomach and the neck. Certain beauty salons offer treatment for problem areas such as body wrapping - phone Lillian Terry International at (012) 361-2606 and ask about the Cellulito Aromeopathic Complex treatments. I must caution you not to ingest too little energy and also not to further reduce your weight, as there is always the danger of developing an eating disorder which is not the way to go.
Take care

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Our users say:
Posted by: Ma'at | 2003/01/24

Gee, this is getting complex - but at least it's a healthy debate with valid comments! Basically I agree with Triboy's advice although I'm not an athlete of his calibre. I'm a 47 year old male (Yes I know Ma'at is a female neter...) with a current body fat of 15% - high for me (festive season) but will soon be 10% (my average), height 1,8m and weight 80kg at 10% BF. I guess I'm reasonably muscular but not "big", my VO2 max is 50 , (I'm not the best endurance athlete). I try to consume 2g of quality protein for every 1kg body weight spread over six meals with the bulk of my carbs (equal to protein) in the AM. I don't agree that this is harmful to one's kidneys - well it hasn't been to mine after all these years....I don't believe you can follow this diet without supplementation and I use EAS Sinply Protein as well. More expensive, but no flatulane, and my wife hates me farting! IMHO the Body for Life programme makes complete sense if you want to follow a health lifestyle, look good and get reasonably fit. Personally I don't follow it (I'm not really a beginner to training) but my principles are very similar. Basically I do less cardio and more resistance training, but if I wanted to drop body fat quickly I'd do the extra cardio. I don't think it's right for competative endurance athletes

Reply to Ma'at
Posted by: CODE | 2003/01/23

Hi there Triboy/Ma'at

I have been following a diet of 60% carb; 30% protein more or less. I'm worried about taking in more protein then I'm already getting. I'm going to tell you why, will you please then let me know your view.

The typical recommendation of protein for athletes range from 1.2 to 1.4g of protein per kg of body weight, considerably higher than the RDA of 0.8g/kg body weight. My weight is 53kg, so if I eat for e.g. one chicken breast, a small lean hamburger, a half a cup of cooked beans, 6-oz can of tuna, and two glasses of milk a day, that would give me about 82g of protein. This is twice the RDA. If I'm going to have protein with EVERY meal (and you advise 6 meals) I'm going to be consuming even more, so why have a protein shake or any bought high-protein product? Hi-protein diets can increase calcium loss in urine and compromise our bone health. It also unduly burdens the kidneys by forcing them to excrete the resulting excess nitrogen as urea. I want to have toned muscles and be healthy, but it needs to be inside and out, not just appearance. Don't you believe there's any side effects to all this protein you are consuming or are you eating really SMALL portions of protein per meal. How many grams do you think you are consuming and what is your weight? I'm willing to try your way if its not detrimental to my overall health. Please can you give me a little more information with regards to your method of training and why you have chosen this approach? If I've got it all wrong I would hate to continue down that path.


Reply to CODE
Posted by: Triboy | 2003/01/23

Hi Code,

Sounds like you in good shape. I agree with Ma'at. Smaller portions more often. Try and eat 6 times a day. Also, watch out for high carb diets. Not good. My motto: If I don't burn it, I will store it!

A reason to have a pure protein shake before going to bed is to help with recovery. When you sleeping, your body is trying to recover from all the stess you placed on it. The protein is needed for the muscle to recover. I have one just a bit before bed. Personally, I recommend the "EAS Simply Protein" (chocolate flavour :). It tastes real good and gives results! I found some of the other cheaper alternatives to be a waste of time and good money.

Fatfree yogart is considered a protein and carb. Check the side of it. Watch out for fatfree products, some of them they only take the fat out to replace it with empty carbs!!

One of the reasons Ma'at said no fruit and carbs after 6pm is because it interferes with your sleep and therefore recovery. What is a fruit? It is a yummie juicy thing loaded with natural sugar to keep you going strong. If you want to go to sleep, do you prefer to be going strong or to be sleepy? There is nothing worse than trying to fall asleep when you are wide awake!

Last thing, maybe next time in the gym, start doing more excercises that focus on your stabilizing muscles.

Reply to Triboy
Posted by: CODE | 2003/01/22

Thanks a mill Ma'at, now that your finished scolding me and everyone else, your advice sounds great. Why no fruit after 5pm and carbs after 6pm and what time during the evening should I have my last protein snack. What protein and carb mixes are good and which should be avoided? I usually have hi-fiber bran and yoghurt. Does fat free yoghurt count as a protein or a carb and what is a "good quality fat burner"? Your advice sound a little like "Body for Life". Do you agree with his plan?

Reply to CODE
Posted by: Ma'at | 2003/01/22

Maybe you should ask Triboy whom you berated - he doesn't seem to have your problem. Don't mean to be sarcastic but have you checked your body fat%? My view is you could be eating the wrong protein carb mix. Most dieticians favour a high carb diet, IMHO this is BS - it does not reduce body fat. Switch to six small meals a day, protein & carbs at every meal, portions the size of your fist. 2l water minimum per day, no fruit after 5pm, no carbs after 6pm. You should have a protein shake before going to bed (your last meal). Again IMHO, you can't do this without correct supplementation. Our food sources are just too poor to get adequate nutrition. I assume you follow the basics like no fat, no dairy and eat quality complex carbs and quality low fat proteins? A quality fat burner will certainly help. READ THE LABEL first! Good luck - hope this helps!

Reply to Ma'at

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