Weekly TSS for weight loss

Hi! I just started off the Base Phase. Still adjusting my calendar. I am new to TR and would like to know what is the best TSS to achieve per week if my target is to lose weight?

200 TSS per week is sufficient?

Depends all on what you are eating


Hey there!

The first thing to keep in mind is that 90% of weight loss takes place in the kitchen, while maybe 10% takes place on the bike. To lose weight, you are going to want to focus on eating whole grains, fruits, veggies, unprocessed meats, etc. You need to control your intake by maintiaining a high quality source of calories in.

And then when you ride your bike, you can supplement that foundation with a source of “calories out”, by causing your body to burn more calories which helps you to maintain a calorie deficit.

So how much will 200 TSS help? Well it will help about as much as the calories you burn in that 200 TSS (as long as you don’t overeat as a response to exercize). By keeping your intensity low, you can help minimize the need to “properly fuel” your workouts, which will again help you with your calorie deficit.

I hope that helps, let me know if you have any more questions for me!

Another forum that may interest you is this one:



Thats a perfect link that @Bryce provided, I came in here to do the same. This topic is near and dear to me, as I had major hip surgery in April of this year, and that, combined with the months I was in Physical Therapy before and such led me to a point where I was…lets just say politely, a little soft and squishy.

TSS isnt really the way to calculate caloric needs for training, but most calorie calculations in the various apps are way off, especially if you’re not using a power meter (Kj to KCalories, the 1:4 thing, etc…) The bottom line is burn more than you consume, but its a delicate, delicate balancing act, with regards to ensuring that you don’t rack up so many or so large a deficit that you cant continue to work out at the required intensity.

You know you can read articles that say long slow distance burns more fat, or HIIT burns fat faster, etc but in the end, for me at least, its the F in “F.I.T.” F=Frequency, I=Intensity, T=Time or Duration.

Keeping the frequency up results in a daily burn. You have to fuel the burn, and as @Bryce pointed out, that’s where the kitchen comes in. I fuel myself to roughly 80% of what I burned based of Kj to improve my chances of being able to do it again the next day, and maybe just as importantly, I try to time it when its most beneficial. On @chad 's recomendation I picked up the “Nutrient Timing” book by John Ivy, and paid special attention to the Insulin Resistance data. So far Ive lost 28 of the 35-ish lbs I gained pre and post surgery, with the lions share of it being in the last month.

In the interest of answering your actual question, I have been averaging 275-350 TSS weekly lately, though I’m usually 375-450 when Im fit and healthy. I’m definitly not starving myself, just riding the way I need to for my training goals and fueling accordingly.

Keep in mind that losing weight is a secondary goal for me, because i figure it will just come as I ride. My main goal is gaining back my FTP after the surgery.


Thank you for the advice!

I would take a look at this thread for some more specific advice: Your personal best way to lose some fat - anecdotes / experiences / examples of what kicked your ***

I think as you get more experienced you get a better idea of the weekly work you need to do to stay fit, lose weight etc. For me it’s around 5-8 hours on the bike, but starting out I would tackle the weight part head on.

@mellowdave Would you tell a bit more about this? I’m eagerly interested in this book and this approach. As Chad recommended the book it went straight to my wishlist because of the insulin part.

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You bet, with the caveat that I’m no expert. I just follow directions well. -

The basic gist is that Insulin is the most important hormone when it comes to the consumption of sugar (simply put, your muscles are burning sugar when they work). Insulin resistance (which is stimulated when the muscles operate without the appropriate supply of carbohydrate and protein during and post workout.) puts the muscles into a catabolic state, rather than an anabolic state. Insulin resistance can be prevented with an adequate supply of carbohydrate during and post exercise.

Straight from text–>
Muscle growth and activity are controlled in large part by anabolic and catabolic hormones.

Following exercise, muscle cells are especially sensitive to the multiple anabolic effects of insulin

Insulin increases muscle glycogen uptake and storage

Insulin increases net muscle protein by increasing amino acid transport into the muscle cell by increasing protein synthesis and reducing protein breakdown. <–

The book is well worth the cost, and I will say that as I have followed the basic tenets as laid out in the text, I have definitely seen reduced recovery time. As far as increases in strength and or endurance, given my current exercise load, it would be impossible to attribute that DIRECTLY to my changes in nutrient consumption, though I would say it probably hasn’t hurt me any. :muscle:t4::+1:t4:


Thanks. Would you recommend this book? Are there more takeaways than one or two laid out on to many pages or is it worth a read? Particularly with a focus on fat loss? Many thanks for sharing.

Diet first - what works for me is using something like MyFitnessPal and logging the calories in. That’s quite a learning experience be prepared to adjust your diet. Then it’s a simple matter ( relatively) of targeting the 500 calorie per day deficit. Be careful not to overeat your day exercise.

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Seconded, my wife and I track EVERYTHING. Because we both do it, we keep each other honest and share “recipes” for the food whichever one of us cooks or whatever creates. It doubles the coverage with basically half the work. It’s been critical for us, as she isn’t a cyclist (yet).

Make sure you are fueling your workouts… I switched to a higher carb diet (mostly whole grains and such) with high quality fats and lean proteins when possible. I also started to drink less beer (bourbon has less calories as it turns out!) I dropped an additional 8lbs (3.6kg) this season. I noticed a huge drop in perceived exertion in both indoors and outdoor rides at the same power because my muscles had the fuel they needed. Its highly subjective and you’ll have to dial in what works for you. Don’t try to starve yourself though. Calorie tracking is great in teaching you about some things that have way more calories than you thought, and hopefully help you make better choices.


You lose weight through diet.

You getter fitter through exercise.

The two things are mutually exclusive!

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I decided to start eating vegan-like for some time. The web says that switching to the vegan diet helps in losing weight. In addition, I also heard that the vegan diet can be harmful because of the lack of certain nutrients. I am going a little hard on my self with appetite suppressors like appetite suppressors because I think I need to learn more about the diet before starting it!

JMO but, taking Phentermine and starting to go Vegan is a recipe for hurting yourself. Especially, if you start to try and follow a power based plan. I say this based only on decades of being around elite athlete across a few disciplines including cycling.

A nutritionist that can help you with healthy whole food recipes and portion size is the way I’d go. This is what I’m referencing:

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I’ll take a look, thank you! I guess I am in a little hurry. Need more reading.

Like lots have people have said, it depends on your intake.

I do 200 TSS per week commuting, and last year I gained a load of weight while doing so. Clearly, I was managing to out-do my calorie expenditure quite significantly and during this period, no, 200 TSS was not enough to lose weight.

Since September this year I’ve continued the 200 TSS and managed my intake a lot more carefully and seen a significant loss of weight.

(Of course, when people say they want to lose weight, they usually mean they want to lose fat, and I’m told that one of the ways to make sure the weight you lose is fat and not muscle is to make sure the body sees that the muscle is necessary, by using it.)

My TSS is currently around 300-350 and I find that, on days when I do a TR workout, it is hard to eat enough calories to make up for those used (eg today I did Fletcher which burned about 825 Cal).

Oh, and the biggest thing I did to kick start my weight loss was massively reduce my alcohol intake.


Again just my opinion but that’s another huge red flag. Slow and steady for long term results. Lifestyle change. It’s not easy but, like everything in life it’s a bit of mind over matter. There are strategies that can help for everything including weight loss.

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@Landis I agree with you that it’s a huge red flag.

If your weight drops too fast it can cause all kind of problems and usually isn’t sustainable.

I dropped a lot of weight in a really short period, caused all kinds of problems in my body as my system couldn’t keep up with all the fat loss and dispose it in the proper way.

In my case I had to stop training for a long time to settle my body down again, gained weight again and could start partial over again due to my impatience.

In case you are overweight, small changes can already have a big impact and cause significant weight loss without overdoing it.

First step would be to start tracking stuff, I can recommend MyFitnessPal app, I still use it nowadays.

As for food/drinks there are relatively small changes that can be done but can still have a big effect.

I wouldn’t do them all at once or aim for a drastic kcal reduction with MFP, set the target at losing 0,25 or 0,5KG per week. This way you will most likely be able to reach the kcal goals easier and still lose weight will give you a boost in confidence.

Putting it at 1KG will just make it harder and you have a bigger chance of feeling disappointed if you don’t drop 1KG per week. Where if you’d but it on 0,25 KG/0.5KG you will most likely drop more in the beginning if you are overweight.

  • Drop sugary drinks, switch to water/tea without sugar.
  • Drop latte drinks, no cappuccinos but just black coffee (calorie difference is huge between the two)
  • I used to eat a lot of crips/chips during the week (Lays, Smith’s), stop buying that stuff but buy something that has the same taste/structure but is healthier. I now have sea salted crackers in my cabinet. The idea is that I just want something that is salty and crunchy at times.
  • Get enough sleep
  • Check your yoghurts/milk/cheese products and switch them for less fat ones or one’s that have less sugar in them. We have 0% greek yoghurt where I live and they have different flavours with minimal sugar in them.
  • One of the biggest things that helped me to drop weight and body fat is switching to vegetarian food as much as possible during the week. In the weekend I am not as strict and definitely not when I am eating out or at someone else’s house. If you use MyFitnessPal you will notice that it will be a lot easier to meet your daily kcal goals (although you need to keep a track of the macro’s as well).


As mentioned by others its mostly achieved through your diet.
I am doing SSBLV2 which has a TSS under 300, but I am still losing weight and I have enough energy for my workouts.
I am managing to up my FTP as well on the ramp test but that’s likely due to proper fuelling my workouts and making sure I get enough rest between the workouts so I can maximise the gains from the training.
But I have also had period (not with TR, but outside training) where I would train more and the weight plateaued. I think that might have been my body being in a too big of deficit and that it started turning more food into fat just to make sure that I would have a reserve.

I guess it will also be a bit of trial and error what will work for your body.