walking around in tap shoes and pyjamas since 2010 - my cycling log (opens in new window)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stay Hungry? Heck, I Can't Stay Full.

I've noticed that when I spend a week or two off the bike, once I start riding again, my appetite loses its 'off' setting.

The night before last, after arriving home, I threw back a glass of chocolate milk (world's greatest — or, at any rate, tastiest — recovery drink!), then got dinner started. While making dinner, I ate something like four or five cookies and a granola bar. Then I ate dinner — a bowl (normal-person-sized, not super-sized) of beef stroganoff (this was followed lunch that consisted of an Arby's beef-n-cheddar, two mozzarella sticks, and a tiny Jamocha shake [the $1 menu variety] — all things considered, it was a very beefy day). That kept things under control for a while, but around nine PM I started feeling hungry again. I decided that I would use the technique Jens Voigt uses on his legs when they're being recalcitrant: I said to my stomach, "SHUT UP, STOMACH!"

Yesterday I wasn't quite as ravenous. After my super-scientific recovery drink (LOL), I ate only one cookie while making dinner (Korean short ribs with yellow squash and wild rice blend). I did, however, eat several slices of raw squash (it was gooooood). I actually left part of a rib on my plate (OMG!).

This morning, I ate a double-serving of oatmeal before I realized I had bought a scone yesterday afternoon that I meant to eat for breakfast this morning. Scones only last so long before they turn into stones, so I decided to eat that, too, though I was actually feeling pretty full after eating all that oatmeal. I am now quite comfortably full, which tells me my appetite is down-regulating to its normal state. A few days ago, I would have killed off the oatmeal and the scone, then rummaged through my desk 'til I found enough change for some animal crackers, or gone hunting for a bagel, or something.

I'm curious — does this happen to other cyclists, or is it just me? When you take a short break or a vacation or whatever, do you find yourself eating more than usual when you get back on the bike?

P.S. If I have learned one thing this year, it's the value of recovery periods. I don't think I want to take two weeks off in a row again any time soon, but I do feel pretty darned good on the bike right now.

It didn't listen, but I did manage to get to sleep without eating anything else.


  1. koko it's my (unscientific) belief that cycling is such a felicitous activity for the mind/body/soul/metabolism complex that stopping even for a couple of days, once the complex grows accustomed to its daily dose(s), it reacts in the only way it can in response to such an unthinkable turn of events: eat eat eat. OTOH if you tend to cycle before meals like I do, I feel a lot less like eating a bunch afterward.

  2. LOL, dead on, both points! I have noticed that I definitely eat less when I ride first.

    Perhaps the body's 'cave-cyclist' logic goes something like this: Cycling part of daily routine! Body like routine! Routine good! Body like cycling! Cycling good! Wait ... how come we not cycling? MUST BE END OF WORLD! ARRRGH! EAT EAT EAT BEFORE ALL FOOD GONE!!!

    This makes me wonder why my inner cave-cyclist sounds so much like Cookie Monster...