Dieting, Peaking, Cooling Strategies, and More – Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast 433

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(0:00) Welcome!
(0:33) Alex Larson’s take on using natural foods to fuel your rides
(11:10) How to find the right gearing for a course
(12:26) 2023 IRONMAN World Championships course discussion
(22:57) How to ride descents blind
(30:31) Have you reached a lifelong peak?
(38:18) Does spraying water on yourself mid-race actually cool you off?
(51:52) Carbohydrate intake recommendations for rides of different durations and intensities
(1:03:54) Does dieting ruin your metabolism?
Signs you may be not eating enough
(1:19:40) Has the scientific research on beer and cycling changed?


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4:00 in Alex Larson echos @ambermalika “DO NOT DIET ON THE BIKE”
9:00 @Jonathan DIY carbs and carb density is a tough formula to crack which is why the nutrition companies are in business.

Can anyone confirm if they actually talk about dieting or just say “don’t do it”?

I’ve not listened to a podcast since 2019, I’m tempted to give it a go, but maybe I won’t.
I stop listening for a reason. Don’t think I can help.
(surprised myself I even looked at the more detailed break down.)

I asked because there was a podcast a few weeks ago called “Weight loss nutrition for cyclists” that didn’t actually talk about weight loss for cyclists. I’m not trying to stir that back up, but don’t want to waste the time again if they don’t talk about it and the title is just for clickbait.


Time stamps above for some more targeted listening of that section:

(1:03:54) Does dieting ruin your metabolism?
Signs you may be not eating enough

Seems a particular direction than “Dieting” as a broad topic.

1 Like

Somewhat related topic, but I’ve been trying to lose weight over the past 3-4 months. TR loves the saying, “don’t diet on the bike” and “fuel the work and your body composition will sort itself out.” Along with general guidelines that gaining weight is beneficial and you’ll do better with more weight and more watts. Well I definitely went against all this advice and have had amazing results. For me, “fuel the work and your body will adjust and sort itself out” meant I gained close to 30 pounds over 3 years while I gained watts. The ftp gain was awesome but anytime the road tipped up I suffered.

I’m now close to 13kg lighter and yes my ftp and overall watts went down, but my w/kg went up, I’m leaner and look better, and I’m climbing faster than I ever have. I listened to TR for years and almost was made to feel bad for trying to lose weight. It seemed like every discussion about dieting and weight loss they always heavily pushed not trying to lose weight. To the point like you said, they don’t even really give actual advice. All I can say is that I lost weight while training and did lose watts, but I’m doing better in every actual metric, ie staying with the bunch over climbs and finishing hilly races strong, getting in breaks, and going after KOMs. And I’m not losing anything seemingly on flat races.


Did you still fuel during your rides, or was most of that work fasted? Or some third option (fueling at 60 g/hr instead of pushing 100 g/hr)? I ask because I’ve always taken the “don’t diet on the bike” bit to mean keep eating/drinking all the carbs on the bike, and reduce calories elsewhere in your daily intake of healthy foods.


I listened to it. The message was 100% don’t diet. Even off the bike. In fact, it was to do the opposite.

Maybe not 100%…there were a couple passing comments about eating healthy during non training time. But only in passing, while the consistent message was eat more all the time.


Thanks Abe.

NP. I will say that on balance…it was a better episode than most recently. Alex the nutritionist is good, and brings some good info/viewpoints. But this was most definitely NOT a how to diet podcast. Very misleading title again…

It pays off for me to listen to the question and then decide to listen or not. A minute or two at the beginning “dates are ok! but too many might be too much fiber in the gut” and then skipped ahead to (1:03:54) Does dieting ruin your metabolism? where Lauren’s question essentially came down to “I’ve been a serial dieter, but not overweight, and the past year finally started eating right, but I’m still drained at my parenting job.” Yes, parenting is hard, even when they are adults and completely independent. Vaguely listened in the background - this came across as a discussion on disordered eating.

So ‘dieting’ from the perspective of people that aren’t overweight. Rather than from the perspective of those of us that are working on losing excess weight.


Yes, any time “Diet or Dieting” is on a title - we usually think about losing weight. Maybe they should’ve replaced Diet with Dates. This podcast focused on Lauren’s inquiry into her energy levels and her history of dieting, her metabolism and what she’s currently doing. They covered quite a ideas for Lauren including what may be iron deficiency which I thought was a great insight. Personally I’d like to know Lauren’s stats -age/weight/exercise volume and her current macros. Those would allow for a more accurate assesment of what can be done to help her.
Overall, some good advice.


yes that was a good discussion. I also wanted to hear how much exercise she was squeezing into her full-time parenting schedule. Four kids is a lot! At one point in my life I wanted 10, but then gave up the farm idea and went to toil away in Silicon Valley. Now I think two kids is a lot - but at least you and your spouse can play 1-1 defense :rofl:

Wow, I just listened to that segment. Went from standard recommendations, to Ivy’s too brief “winning in the kitchen” to fueling 100g/hr on recovery rides.

My walk away from listening to parts is this was a podcast for athletes that have disordered eating issues. Not really of interest to me personally but would be for others. My wife and I have been on the “win in the kitchen” team and the standard recommendations for fueling on the bike are a good fit for most (myself included), with some fine tuning to your individual experiences/preferences. My excess weight is 100% a result of decades allowing myself to be a slave to the desk, not enough exercise, and a lack of self-control in the kitchen (not from a crappy diet).


Yes and no. I’m not taking in as many carbs on easier rides and Z2, and have incorporated some fasted endurance rides as well. That alone could be anywhere from 300 to 600 calories per day. For example, going from 240g carbs for a 3 hour ride (80g per hour) down to say 120g for that ride is like 480 calories. Or doing an easy fasted ride and skipping the 40-50g of carbs. And the afternoon/evening ride I might not take in a lot of carbs on the bike, just making sure I’ve been eating solid through the day. So if I ate lunch at noon and hop on the bike at 2pm, I might have like 30-40g carbs total for a 2-hour ride.

SS and higher I still take in about the same. And I’m not doing fasted for most of the endurance rides, usually just like an hour easy spin. They always talk about carbs being like a cheat code and they make workouts easier but I can’t tell any difference in decreasing. For races I still go full on and target 100g per hour.


I suspect ‘Dating, Peaking, Cooling Strategies’ would have been an even more misleading title.


Absolutely with you. I see people proud of having 300/350 as FTP, winning Zwift races and so on, but this very same people struggle A LOT to keep up on the real road.

Software such as TR, Zwift or whatever have to measure and show the costumer their improvements, and they do this completely based on FTP. The issue is, FTP only tells part of the story, I’d say a small part to be honest.

Aside from that, people shouldn’t face eating properly as a diet to be made in cycles. One has to eat properly for healthy reasons, the weight control will be a bonus.


Agreed. In the past I justified it to myself that I was just “fueling the work” by taking in 80-100g of sugar water per hour for every ride as well as scarfing down bowls of pasta all the time. And it was a revolving cycle because I’d see my FTP go up, so I would continue what I was doing. I hit an all time high FTP, as well as a high in bodyweight. By cutting out a lot of the sugar in my diet (while still adequately fueling my training), I saw the weight continue to fall away. Lost 20 watts off my FTP from last year’s peak, but like I said, my W/kg went up and my real world results are better. Plus I think I look better and feel healthier at this weight.


I’ve noticed the same in about 90% of rides.

I POSSIBLY notice a difference in some of the harder 90 minute sweet spot workouts…it might be my imagination though. I’ve stopped fueling for workout beyond just a scoop of gatorade in each bottle

The big difference I’ve noticed, is hard group rides where I spend a lot of time at threshold. The real difference though is energy levels AFTER the ride…I dont crash like I had sometimes. I’ll take 80g /hr or so on these.

For what it’s worth…I think my approach more or less aligns with the guidelines Alex the nutritionist laid out…maybr a little something for 1 hr workouts…but doesnt really matter…80g for multi hour events.


Has anyone been able to take the recommendations from the podcast regarding the amount of carbs based on the time duration of the activity and write down what was said?