Changing my current plan to lose weight

I’m in a similar place with regards to weight and I’ll say this, if you’re only using MyFitnessPal to figure your calories you should also check a TDEE calculator. I suggest this because I found that using TDEE my caloric burn rate is vastly different from MFP…in fact if I set MFP to 1 pound a week I hit the maintenance calories I get out of a TDEE calculation…same for my partner. So personally I have MFP set to -2 pounds a week but know that it’s really only about a 500 calorie deficit as opposed to the 1000 calories they claim it would be.

If you can get your BMR tested that’s even better. From a tested BMR I’d go with 500 calorie deficit and then add in your caloric burn from your workouts.

For me right now my base is 1,690 on MFP (again set to 1,000 deficit). I’m currently doing Sustained Power Build low volume so I workout Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. For those days I try to get 1,000-1,200 calories in before my workout. Then my workout will be 600-800 calories which gets added back in to meals after the workout. Make sure you’re eating something like 50%-60% carbs and 20%-30% protein on those days. On off days I’m trying to do 60-90 min of fasted endurance rides like Petit, and Baxter etc. When I was doing SSB Mid Vol2 I started to fail workouts because #1 I hadn’t eaten enough before my hard workouts and #2 I was eating too few carbs. The switch to my eating habit has really helped me be stronger for my workouts.

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@Grasschopper has a great point…knowing your BMR will save you lots of time and frustration. I knew mine and sort of assume everyone has a close estimation of their own…

I think weight loss and building fitness are hard to do at the same time. Not impossible by any stretch but hard. If I want to raise my FTP I need to be well fed so that I can optimize my workout performance and “raise the bar” week by week. If I want to lose weight/fat, I have to have a caloric deficit so that I can burn more calories than I take in.

The two are naturally conflicting which then makes it hard to do both well simultaneously. I would say it’s impossible to “optimize” fat loss and FTP gains at the same time. You can lose fat and build FTP, but each will improve at a slower pace than if the entirety of the focus was on just one aspect.

I was able to go from 190lbs (untrained) to 170lbs over about a 3 month period. This was a drop of between 1-2 lbs per week. I’ve been stable at 170 for 3 months now as my focus has shifted to increasing my FTP.

How did I do it? The honest answer is you don’t need to workout at all to lose weight. In fact, the harder I train the harder it is for me to lose weight. So rather than fighting against my own goals, I made the determination to lose weight as my number one priority. I did very short bike sessions (30-45 mins tops) and generally didn’t care how many of those I did or didn’t do every week but averaged only 2-3 hours on the bike weekly. I would do a HIIT style workout, generally riding outside or on Zwift for a lap of whatever the course of the day happened to be and then I would get off the bike. Enough to maintain some fitness or even improve slightly but not enough to build a dramatic calorie deficit that would make me want to eat, and eat again and then eat some more. The more I would ride and especially the harder I would go, the more I would have the unrelenting feeling of being hungry. If I could keep it to short but hard workouts, they were easy to refuel and I could run a 500 calorie deficit (or more at times) and the weight just fell off.

So my short answer… decide what is most important; weight loss as a priority, FTP gains as a priority or time. By time I mean if you aren’t in a hurry you can do both, lose weight and gain FTP, but it will take longer to reach your goal with each.

Good luck!

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FYI: MyFitnessPal will not go below hard coded minimum calorie recommendations, I would guess for liability reasons. 1200 for women, 1500 for men off the top of my head. If you set your profile as sedentary, then add exercise calories after (as is the best way in my view) this could very well be above the true 500/750/… calorie deficit you wanted the app to set.
To work around this, you should set your baseline calorie goal manually.

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No what I’m saying is that when I put my info into MFP it gives me 1,690 daily calories when set to -2 lbs per week. When I do the TDEE calculation giving it the same info but set to “Cutting” which is -1 pound per week I get 1,740. That is regardless of exercise calories. The same held true for my partner and when she was set to -1 pound per week in MFP (this was before learning about the TDEE calc) she wasn’t losing any weight.

Point is don’t take MFP as gospel. It’s a great tool for tracking but it’s only guessing at your BMR and that guess may not be a very good one at that.

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+1

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Good call - I am in a similar boat (98kg but looking to return to 87kg by the summer). I tried only surviving on 1200kcal per day and even during the Sweet Spot Base I found I was then bingeing on food because I was genuinely starving due to the exercise.

A more moderate approach supports your needs and these include doing quality workouts and not becoming chronically fatigued…

Good luck. See you on the other side.

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Be Careful of to much of a calorie cut back. Science has proven that a large deficit while still eating a normal amount of times per day can cause damage to your metabolism. I think it’s best to reduce your calories only slightly and let your exercise make up the difference. Alternatively you could go with some kind of intermittent fasting approach and say skip breakfast everyday and then eat your other 2 meals as normal each day… Or just skip breakfast every 2nd day.

Ive been trying the fasting method and although it has worked in the past for me it has not been working lately. Ive been missing the mental side of prep for it.

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How do I thank so many of you guys? This thread is dripping with so much of help, gratefulness, and information that I couldn’t have gather elsewhere.

I’ll each of the suggestion and would curate a certain strategy to get back into my shape. I also checked that TDEE Calculator that you mentioned but it kept crashing. I found this TDEE Calculator site though. I hope they are all the same.

Also, @BadgerBeaver I hope we achieve it together :wink:

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Depends on your goals and how much weight you have to lose, right?

1000 kcal/day is certainly doable, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. But it’s hard, it sucks, and you would have to engineer your workouts around this. I think SSB 2 would be really rough on that big a deficit. Maybe SSB 1 low volume, adding aerobic rides as you can, or traditional base. I did about that big a deficit, with IF and a lot of Z2 biking, for about half a year. Had to stop eventually, but I stopped about 25 kg lighter.

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I know you’re talking about calorie deficits, but I misbehaved a bit too much during the weight training phase and to try to get back to base have added in some extra rides to the TR calendar that I do fasted when I wake up each morning and it seems to be helping without notably affecting the “real” ride later that day. I added a 30-45 min fasted morning ride to Tue & Sun (Taku, W Vidette, Volunteer, etc) and do the Wed ride fasted as well. So far I’ve still been able to do the base plans as scheduled without more struggle than expected.

If you lose 1 kg per week, in 8 months your doctor will be begging you to eat more.

Losing more than 2.25kg per week can kill your gall bladder.

Hi @amygates! I’m going to give you a framework to achieve your weightloss goals that is tried and true. I was a competitive strength athlete for ~a decade and a half & at one point later in my career I showed up at an event thinking I was competing in the 120kg+ category but they gentlemen I wanted to beat were actually in the <120kg. It was a tough weight cut…which is just to say I weighed well over 265lbs.

While I was doing triathlon & running after my weightlifting career my bodyweight was typically around 175lbs. Last year I won an ultracycling nat’l championship at a slightly heavier bodyweight around 185lbs. My last serious strength event was 2nd place @ state champs just before 2005. That’s just to let you know the tips I’m about to give you aren’t just regurgitated from stuff I heard on the internet: it’s stuff that works.

First, test in your depleted state. It doesn’t make sense that fully fed FTP should be the same as depleted FTP. If you test & then deplete your workout plan is going to crush you.

Only eat between 2p and 6:30p. In the words of Allen Lim eat food, not too much, mostly plants. No fad gimmick goofball stuff like gluten free, low carb, vegan, ketogenic…eat normally. If you want to eat ice cream and Twix that’s fine as long as you control energy content of what you eat (it will be harder to control hunger but as long as you have the willpower, no difference to your weightloss goals). Generally speaking it’s easier if you select foods that have lower calorie density.

Do at least 500kcal/day of low intensity cycling…except on one off day/week. Don’t eat on these rides. These rides will act to suppress your appetite for at least a couple hours post ride if they are low intensity rides. That’s 3+ hours out of the day when you’re not eating.

Maintain an additional 500 kcal/day deficit with diet. If you’re only eating between 2p and 6:30p this won’t be as hard as it sounds. In fact, you might feel like you have to constantly eat during the feed time just to get enough calories. I like to workout somewhere around 5p & then have a veggie meal post workout so sometimes that means my last meal might be a little out of the feeding time.

Get more sleep than you normally do. If you don’t get enough sleep you won’t lose weight. Most of us don’t eat while we’re sleeping so if you sleep 10 hours that’s 10 hours you’re not eating. Never go to bed hungry. Always lay down with a full stomach but your last meal has to be veggies. I like green beans, brussel sprouts, broccoli. A little salt…maybe a touch of butter.

@amygates after winning my nat’l champs I let myself enjoy life a little too much & my bodyweight ran up to a little over 205lbs. Starting 15may I depleted myself for a few days then took a ramp test. Then I did the mid volume rolling road race plan for 7 weeks…culminating in a victory at a 50 mile gravel event, a PR/KOM on a 22 mile loop, and a PR/KOM on a 13 mile loop. As of this morning I weighed 188lbs.

So 17 lbs over the course of 7.5 weeks. Not as a sideways brag but just to let you know I’m not just repeating things I heard on a podcast or stuff I read on a forum or even research I saw on pubmed. I’m telling you stuff that works.

Good luck!

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I’m not Amy but I’m taking notes! :rofl:

You mentioned only eating between 2-6:30 PM. Does it take alot to get used to this? I’ve tried intermittent fasting before but with a larger window (e.g. 12-8 PM).

What about fueling longer weekend rides? Would you fuel those outside of the 2-630 window?

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@FrankTuna yes but you gotta use two tricks I mentioned…first of all sleep a lot & second of all do a low intensity ride to suppress your appetite. Also, as mentioned, people don’t usually eat while they’re asleep! And if you don’t take food on your bike ride you won’t be eating there, either, and it will help you regulate intensity down. So…sleep an extra 90 minutes…ride for an hour…the ride will supress appetite for 120 minutes…that’s 4.5 hours right there. How long is it between breakfast and lunch, usually? Chew some sugar free gum, drink some water, and you’re there.

If the ride is on Saturday I make Friday my day off. During the ride I’ll take down ~20g carbs/hr. But I try to avoid any long group rides where we krush. Other goals hold primacy right now.

For the race, I just ate normally on a normal schedule 48 hours previous to start. And afterwards I sat with some of my competitors and had a couple shots of rye over bierox and spaetzle. Can’t live like a monk all the time.

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@Brennus there’s some recent research out there that indicates that Intermittent Fasting or fasted exercise is not as effective and in fact can be harmful to female athletes. Most research on fasted exercise thus far has been done on male athletes but research by Stacy Sims and some others is finding that IF can result in reduced performance, and hormone imbalances.

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I often give this advice just based on my own tried and true observation but have never understood why it’s true…here is George Brooks discussing post exercise appetite supression with Rhonda Patrick & musing about what might be causing it:

IF IF IF that hypothesis is true I find it very interesting that even light intensity exercise induces appetite supression.

More comments on workout-induced blood pH and post-exercise appetite suppression from the TrainerRoad Science of Getting Faster podcast:

Don’t know. I can’t remember ever getting off the bike and not wanting to eat everything in sight.

@amygates How have you progressed?

I’ve gone through quite a change to my diet these past 10 months, started cycling, and use of TrainerRoad. Am curious to hear an update.