Fueling Long Ride and Weight Loss

Hello all

I am currently doing a build phase and about 4 weeks in, my current training consists of 3 build workouts a week, 1 hour long endurance ride and a long ride on a Sunday. I’m still trying to shed a few KGs while training and riding, I fuel at the moment with about 60g of carbs an hour, after listening to the recent podcast they mentioned the need for 100/120g of carbs an hour I understand this is when racing but would this be applicable for a weekend 3 hour ride and would this affect weight loss goals along the way? I appreciate I won’t be able to take 120g an hour like tomorrow but it could be something I work towards over the coming winter months.

Also any suggestions on things to eat while riding would be great to hear, I’m running out of ideas and currently have, SiS mini bars, Gels and 2 bottles of SiS go electrolyte with carbs versions.

Apologies if this has already being asked had a look with the search function but still can’t find much of an answer.

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Flapjacks. Plug your favorite recipe into the MFP and track your carbs. Ones I make are about 20-25 grams of carbs, and I usually eat two per hour of a long endurance ride.


I’ve heard a few people mention flapjack, I’ll take a look. What do you use in your recipe for them?

Frozen waffles are also pretty easy, Kodiak cakes, Kashi and a few others make some that are pretty good. I toast them (sometimes the night before) and then eat them plain or make sandwiches with peanut butter or cream cheese and jam.

Potatoes sliced to a manageable size and boiled also work well.

I am assuming that the two goals you are trying to balance are completing your three hour rides and weight loss. This means both of these things take precedence over improving your fitness for my answer.

As long as your current fueling strategy has you completing those rides feeling fine then there is no need to increase your carbs/hour at this time. This holds true as long as you don’t feel the need to binge eat after a ride and finish feeling okay physically but also mentally

If you’re often finding yourself chasing a huge meal after a ride, or eating other high calorie quantities away from the bike then you should consider eating more on the bike so you can better control your appetite off the bike.

Basically you want to eat enough that you feel great on the bike and aren’t starving when you finish the rides. This will likely lead the best overall caloric consumption


The humble banana works well for me. Not tomorrow though as I’ve ran out :scream:


If it’s a 3 hour endurance ride then stick to what you’re doing if it’s working for you.

If it’s a 3 hour Sufferfest then perhaps look to increase your intake gradually.

The guys at TR, especially Nate, bang on about 100+g carbs an hour. Unless you’re doing long sweet spot workouts or include a lot of time above zone 2 then there’s no need to take in that much an hour, unless you’re going long.

Another reason would be if your goal event is long then perhaps consider training your gut to cope with more carbs an hour.

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The amount you need depends a lot on your FTP and your IF on the ride. Fo the same IF someone with an FTP of 200W would need a lot less fuel than someone with an FTP of 350W.
Looking at you kJ or Cals for a similar ride will give an idea of how much you need. On a mainly Zone 2 ride I assume equal amounts (gms) of Fat & Carbs, although everyone is different, Using 4 cals/g of carb and 9cals Fat/g you can get a rough idea. anything above zone 2 and I start using a lot more Carbs.

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My ultimate goal is to do a 100 mile ride in a respectable time, hopefully under 7 hours so I’m trying to get my carbs right on the way up to this goal.

I wouldn’t say I’ve had that feeling after a ride, I sometimes get to the last 30 minutes and start feeling slow but this could do with the way I tackle sections of the ride possibly going hard too many times. Would you say upping the carbs for the same ride to see what it feels like would be a good idea?

If you’re adding intensity to long rides then absolutely increase carb intake. Carb consumption should be in line with carb utilization. So as your intensity/carb burning goes up so should your fueling.

Remember… don’t diet on the bike!


Eat more on the bike, and you will 100% eat less off it.


Sure - increase it and see how it goes.

Basically - you want to eat as much as you need to keep your bike performance going. You don’t need to count calories on the bike for weight loss, you need to count calories off the bike. If you’re thriving or even surviving with the current consumption rate you’re probably fine

Increasing and seeing how you feel is a relatively safe experience, you just need to keep in mind that you should be watching your off-bike nutrition more closely than your on-bike nutrition. Having an extra gel on the bike won’t hurt your weight as much as that post-ride burger and fries

As a reference point I’ve been doing 5-6 hour endurance paced rides once or twice a week all summer, which for me means a caloric burn of around 4-4.5k. I can’t possibly eat enough to keep up with this on the bike, so I eat as much as I can stomach on the bike (nearly all junk food) and then eat a bunch of really healthy stuff as soon as I get back. The focus on healthy foods afterwards is more important than the 1.5-2k sugar calories I eat on the bike


I’ll give it a try the next ride I do and see what the difference in the last 3rd of the ride is. I count calories at the moment off the bike and have played about with certain breakfasts and lunches for lower calories but struggled to perform during the training sessions on TR. Currently sticking with Porridge in the morning, and usually something light on toast like eggs for lunch. That’s seems to be working at the moment for energy on the night ready for training. Struggle to skip the snacks In between meals though but gone 5 days so far :rofl:

It’s amazing how much of a calorie burn those rides are. I have been doing lots of tempo, long durations (4+ hours) and there is no way in hell you can eat anywhere close. I wonder how these grand tour riders even function after 3 weeks.

Bananas, gels but mainly home made flapjacks. There’s liads of recipes on line but funnily enough the best one at the moment I’ve found is in one of our daughters children’s cookbooks. Get a recipe you like and develop it. Mine includes nuts and dried apricots or raspberries and Chocokate depending what we have in. Couple of those an hour with a banana or gel and I’m hitting upwards of 60 carbs. Longer rides akways require a slightly larger breakfast beforehand and keep ahead of the eating.

This is getting away from on-bike fueling, but I find it is easier to control my diet and caloric intake when I let myself snack between meals. I’ve just managed to replace my snacks with healthier options. Fresh fruit, plain greek yogurt with some fresh berries mixed into it, some cherry tomatoes, etc.

I eat pretty much all day, but I eat healthy stuff so I keep the system running with no junk food if possible

My problem is build. I find it damn near impossible to lose weight and feel strong during build. I can drop a few pounds and feel like crap during build, but if I want to crush the build workouts, I gotta eat…a lot. Like, Nate kind of a lot.

For long rides, try Tailwind. 30 min in start drinking. 1 bottle per hour. It’s electrolytes and carbs together. I’ve done a number of centuries and it wasn’t until I started downing Tailwind that the last 10 to 20 miles didn’t suck!

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Tailwind user here as well. I can do a hard ride up to 2 hours drinking nothing but plain water with electrolytes, a big breakfast, and eating nothing at all. No noticeable decrease in performance.

But when I get home, I will be starving.

If I put 3 scoops of tailwind per hour per bottle, I won’t even be hungry when I get home.

The following is from stuff I have learned from a member of this forum, so I am just parroting what he taught me and which works great!

For bigger rides, like last weekend or tomorrow, riding 80-100 miles and 5,000-7500 feet of climbing, for instance. I will do the same 3 scoops, but add half a cliff bar, or a banana, or a gel each hour. Doing that, I feel good to the end, get home and I am not starving.

What I like is not having to carry tons of food, etc…in my pockets. I typically carry a third water bottle in my jersey center pocket so I don’t have to stop more than once in 6 hours. (I hate stopping). Tomorrow, I will only have 2 cliff bars, pre-cut In halves, two gels, and a plastic canister with 9 scoops of powder.

As far as weight loss…I’m skinny at 5’11” 150 lbs (3 years ago I was 198 pounds) but I ride with at least a hundred different guys, and all I can say is the guys that ride a lot and regularly, and eat somewhat normally are also skinny. The ones that starve themselves or always try some complicated diet that they can’t stick to struggle with their weight. The ones that eat way too much, and don’t ride regularly well…you can guess…