18/12/08, 33 days, Eat up!

A little over a month untill my departure for Cairo. And the funny thing is that my main focus is not on getting enough kms on the bike, because I feel quite confident that my legs are strong enough and that the best strategy at this moment is to not over do it. No my main focus at this moment is not on making sufficient kms, but on gaining a bit of weight! Or at least on not losing any (such a luxury problem, i know).

Vietnamese food does not contain a lot of calories. Despite the fact that noodles and rice consist mainly of carbohydrates, you have to eat a lot of it to reach a sufficient intake. The problem is that the noodles and rice are accompanied by very lean proteins (chicken, beef, sea food) and vegetables. So even if a bowl of pho with noodles and chicken, or a serving of fried rice makes me feel full, they respectively only contain 250 and 400 kcals. So if I eat three bowls of pho per day, i’m still 1250kcals short on my basic required intake of 2000kcals to maintain weight. And these 2000kcal do not yet account for the 600kcals a day I burn with my daily 25k bike ride and the walks I take accross the site. The main thing I miss is proper bread. With 250kcals / 100 gram bread provides my main itake of carbohydrates back home. And proper wine, but that’s for other reasons 🙂
Oke so it’s not like i’m starvig to dead here in beautifull Vietnam, but keeping properly fed is a challenge. I lost a lot of weight during my 10 day bike trip in februari and again when I was ill in Juli, when my stomach just overreacted to any food I ate. Since then I think I’ve been quite stable on my weight. But knowing that i’m gonna do 130k rides 80% of the time for the next for months makes me worry a bit about my current reserves. During an average 130k ride at 20km/h I will burn about 3000kcal per day, which is a conservative estimate. Riding 88 days, makes a loss of 246.000kcals in total. In order to lose 1kg of body fat, one needs to burn about 7700kcals, meaning that if I would keep a regular diet during my stay in Africa, I would lose about 34kg of body weight. As I weigh only about 82kg, this seems quite problematic to me 🙂
Eating an additional 3000kcal per day is not easy either. A Big Mac contains about 500kcal. 100grams of  M&M’s with peanuts 500kcal as well. 100grams of B&J cookie dough 270kcal. And a bottle of my favorite wine 500 as well. This means that on top of my regular food I would have to eat an additional 6 Big Macs, 600 grams of M&M’s with peanuts, 1.2 liter of B&J cookie dough or drink 6 bottles of my favorite wine each day to maintain my current weight…
So that’s why I try to eat up a bit 🙂
So besides Vietnamese food not being very nutritious, it doesn’t look very apealing either…
I mean…. Would you try it?

This was my inauguration meal…

Lunch. Heavy on coke!

It looks good, it tastes good, but after a long day of cycling it’s unfortunately not enough…

Neither is this..

But if people invite you to their table you can only be gratefull right?

And it certainly looks feasty!

The Vietnamese know how to hoste a dinner party!

Now they only need to learn how to make proler wine..

Luckily they know burgers in Hanoi

And then there are the proper breakfast buffets in the hotels!

And Sinterklaasvoer, provided by yours truly!

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