Calorie deficit

I’ve been successfully losing 0.5kg/week for the last couple of months. I have 3 more kg to lose to be at race weight. To date I have managed to successfully lose weight and build my FTP at the same time.

I have a couple of race events fast approaching and am thinking of increasing rate of weight loss from 0.5kg/week to 1kg/week (500 daily calorie deficit to 1000 daily calorie deficit). The thing I’m worried about is losing FTP with this increased rate of weight loss.

Any advice on whether this increase in calorie deficit will potentially result in an FTP loss would be much appreciate. Cheers

Currently on a shame sort of weight loss path. - 500 calories a day, still gaining fitness and strength on the bike (MV SSB2 was +4 watts, -3KG). I feel fine on this and have plenty of energy but I don’t think I would like to go - 1000 just for some extra quick gains. No real experience but just based on how things are going now.

If you are going - 1000 for a couple of weeks, make sure you keep your protein intake high:

“One study compared the effect of low protein intake (1.0 grams per kilogram per day) to high protein intake (2.3 g/kg per day) on lean body mass over a short term caloric deficit. On average, the low protein group lost about 1.6 kilograms (3.5 pounds) of muscle mass while the high protein group only lost 0.3 kg (0.66 pounds) of muscle mass (6).”

Oh, one thing to add. Perhaps the most important question. How important is that 1,5/2KGs less for your race. Is it worth the risk that you might feel less good on the bike?


I think the idea that you lose power when you lose weight is overblown for most people because they’re not that lean to begin with. If you’re toing the line then yeah, it could affect you. Also, I think companies that are selling training regimes to the public have to be careful about telling people to lose weight because if someone overdoes it, that’d be bad PR.

Having said all that, at some point the calorie deficit just won’t work for getting your workouts done.

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Just do what you are doing. If you are losing body weight and your performances/training sessions are good, then that is a positive adaptation. Losing body weight and your performances are poor and training sessions are not going well, then thats a negative adaptation. (There are many variables!). Be smart!
Ideal weight? What discipline do you do? What is your body fat%, and how much muscle mass do you have? They are important componants, so are the guidelines.


I think increasing weight loss in the build up to races has more risks than benefits. Unless you’re riding up a mountain, the benefit of carrying ~1kg less is extremely marginal. Whereas if that extra deficit pushes you into struggling to nail or recover from your workouts, or means you’re going into the race with depleted glycogen reserves, that’s going to hurt your performance a lot more.

I’d just stick to what you’re doing, sounds like it’s working well. If one of those races is an A race then if anything I’d consider having no calorie deficit at all in the last week or so.


Thanks for the replies. Sound like it’s best to accept the slow weight loss and potentially head into my climbing event a kilo or two heavier than risk any FTP and workout performance loss through increased calorie restriction.