Calorie Debt and Longer Weekend Rides

Got a good solid winter of TR behind me and a 5 day trip to Spain that went well.

Dropped ~10% of body weight from start of the year to mid-March, then stayed steady for a few weeks as I ate plenty to fuel relatively long days in the saddle in Spain.

Trying to get back into a calorie debt to drop off another bit of weight, but now struggling with empty legs on the weekend rides.

Any tips for maintaining a calorie debt over the week, but still fuelling sufficiently to manage a couple of 3-4 hr rides at the weekend? Is it even possible?

< Amber voice> Don’t diet on the bike. </Amber voice>

To me, that’s one of the best mantras she’d use, but I also think it’s incomplete. Plan your day for the calorie deficit and eat fully on the bike. That doesn’t mean 100 grams of carbs an hour. It could mean a sandwich or banana. Also, don’t try to front load the calories. Eat a normal breakfast and eat while riding.

One of the big ways that TR has gotten off the rails with nutrition is making it seem like every ride needs race day nutrition planning. If you’re going out for 3-4 hours at endurance effort, you can totally eat normal food or even have stops for snacks. You don’t need bottles prepared by a chemist for that kind of riding.

So, figure out how many calories you’ll burn for the length of ride you’re going on. Pack about half that…maybe 3/4…and make yourself eat it. Then, when your ride is over, you should be able to get right back to your normal daily diet without feeling ravenous.

If you’re normal diet would have you losing without exercise, then you need to fuel the exercise or the body will shut down. You have to eat to lose and eating more often just keeps the fire stoked and the body happy.