Dear Doctoeur Spalm:
As I am riding my bike, the longer I go, the more often I find myself thinking about food. At some point, all I can think about is food and what I want to eat when I get off the bike. Even when I think I am eating enough on the ride, this becomes somewhat overwhelming.
I read conflicting advice about how many grams of carbs or protein I should eat before a ride or during a ride based on my body weight, but changing this up doesn't seem to help. What can I do to stop fixating on food while I am on the bike.
You, like all of the other people who write in to this blog are Americans and therefore are fat. You are also lazy, watch too much TV, have too little education and let your children listen to Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift. You probably think that this answer is just suggesting that you are a stereotypical American and therefore I hate you. It is true that I hate you, as that is the way of Dr. Spalm, but there are reasons I am elucidating these items beyond my normal per-word payment scheme. While the longer and more detailed my answer, the more I get paid, it is not simply this motivation that leads me to detail these specific items.
No, the answer to your problem is within these exact items.
In Europe, the professional cyclists and all those that emulate professional cyclists do not have the problem you have. Instead, they do not worry about their thoughts on food. No, they expect to be thinking about food two times each day - when they are riding their bikes and when they are not riding their bikes. They do not however expect to be eating twice a day. That would be too often for someone who truly wants to be good at riding a bicycle or more specifically racing a bicycle. So, if the underlying concept of your question relates to the way you can become a better cyclist, then the answer to your question is very simple, straight-forward, and can be summed up in four words - eat less, ride more. (In order to be a true professional, you have to add one more word "vitamins", by which I mean performance-enhancing-drugs.)
However, as a man of science, I am compelled to offer a fuller and more complete explanation. I am banned from suggesting that I am man of medicine specifically in several countries, but those jurisdictions have nothing to do with this country and do not clearly prohibit that statement. But I digress.
The water sources and food preparations in America are distinctly different than those in most of the rest of the world. You see, despite the attempts of some politicians to return to the days of the Love Canal and the ability to light the Hudson River on fire, for the most part the drinking water in America is cleaner than the rest of the world and the cleanliness standards for food preparation are similarly higher. You may think that teenagers in prep kitchens are not sanitary, but their bad behavior with regard to the fast food restaurant fryers simply does not compare to the utter disregard for hygiene in most of the rest of the world. Do you think that the aroma eminating from any Eastern European or Frenchman comes from too much bathing or excellent toileting standards? I should say not. It is true that there are areas of under Bavarian influence where similarities to US standards exist, but you will see eerie parallels to American social ways, for instance, in those areas the focus of any Bavarian's day will include primarily beer, strudel and kinky pictures of maidens in lederhosen or ill-fitting dirndls. And this proves my point.
By "cleaning" the water and reducing or eliminating so much bacteria or fecal contamination from your foods, you allow a process to start that ultimately creates a perfect breeding ground for replacement growths. Not all of these are other types of bacteria, as some are different types of abnormal growths or viruses. These colonies of replacement infection have a gaseous discharge that is released from the stomach and, as all gases do, it travels upward where is makes its way to the brain. At this stage, it interacts at a cellular level to cause mild hallucinations, lack of focus and other small but significant disruptions to the brain wave patterns. In certain scientific (I didn't say medical) experiments that are alleged to have taken place in the country of my birth, small portions of the skull can be removed and replaced with tiny double-pained, insulated window that permits the "volunteer" to otherwise live a completely normal life (with the exception that they tend to wear hats more often than their neighbors) but it allows the scientists (not doctors) to view the functioning of various portions of the brain. Thusly, as each "volunteer" is subjected to a different diets or conditions than the control subjects, the effect is easily visible to the well-trained eye. These studies, as I suspected when I, I mean, they, started, each show a persistent creation of the same type of behavior patterns as "volunteers" are treated to an American/Bavarian style sanitation versus pan-Euro style. In each instance, the result is a marked decrease in activity levels, increased consumption of passive entertainment and a very high threshold tolerance to pop music. Despite my attempts to reintroduce a more European style lifestyle, the "volunteers" just didn't want to get off the couch or were willing to tolerate vast quantities of television and pop music, even combined into such travesties as American Idol.
And, while my, I mean, "this" research is rejected by mainstream medical personnel, you will find that the American vernacular has adopted a high level recognition of the theory that clean food causes gases to travel to your brain that disrupts, and decreases, function. That is why they are called "viral" videos. It is the virus that weakens the cognitive process so that they become compelling. As a result, Hungry Rider, in order to cure your fixation with food, you will need to embrace rather radical changes to your diet by either dropping your meals on the floor before eating them or by spreading a very slight amount of fecal matter in your food or water. That, I guarantee, will stop you from constantly thinking about or looking forward to your next meal as most Americans do and therefore will cure your problem.
Yours in Science,