"Fueling the work" without stuffing my face

So I know they’ve talked on the podcast a lot about fueling the work and not dieting on the bike. And a recent podcast hit home with me when @ambermalika talked about a rider who was coming back from injury and would eat a ton, then train a ton, then eat a ton, and so on. And it got me thinking. I’d love to just go max watts this base/build season and not care about the weight gain. But I used to be obese and can wager I could give @Nate_Pearson a run for his money on eating. Like 6000-7000 calories a day is nothing. I just finished a SS workout with around 1200kj burned. My post workout drink was 2 scoops of protein (240 cal), 1 cup of whole milk (150 cal) and 60g of carbs (240 cal). I was still hungry so ate a bowl full of Cheez-its (~700 cal by weight). And I’m still hungry (going to start cooking dinner soon). This is on top of the 100g of carbs I took in on the bike over 1.5 hours. So I’ve fueled the work and then some. So here’s my question.

What surplus of calories should I be shooting for? I’m not bulking in the sense that I’m not trying to put on mass. I don’t mind the weight gain if I gain power and get stronger. But I have to rein in the eating or I will easily gain a ton of fat, I’ve done it in the past. So similar to losing weight with a deficit and going slow, should I track calories and shoot for a set surplus? I can’t just free feed unfortunately.

I hope this isn’t a topic that’s been covered. I tried searching but there weren’t any threads I thought it could fit in. @mcneese.chad if you feel like it can fit into a different thread, that’s cool.


First, I would look at the quality of the calories you are consuming. Cheese it’s are basically nutrient free calories, so I can see them leaving you still hungry after. Cut out as much non-real food as you can, and focus on eating more rounded meals - carbs, fats, and protein together.

After the above, you could track calories and weight to see what you really need. Unless you are doing a bunch of strength work and looking to bulk up, I wouldn’t necessarily target eating excess calories.


But they taste so good! Lol, I know I should just stop buying them and not give myself the option. I used to kill a pint of Ben n Jerry’s every night after dinner so I’ve made progress.

And that’s where my question really lies. I’m not trying to lose or gain weight specifically. I just want to get stronger on the bike. And at the same time, I want to fuel the training effectively. So because I know my eating can get out of hand, I kind of have to treat my eating like a diet to make sure I don’t overeat. Nutrient dense foods I know are the way to go, but I think I’ll still need to limit myself.


Should maybe eat real foods that feel as though they fill you. A plate of porridge? and jazz it up with a spoon full of jam/honey or something when you get bored of it. Potato salad? Brown bread sandwiches.

You (and me) could eat ten bags of Cheez it’s. and still be hungry/feel empty.


One suggestion for being able to easily add veggies: roast a large pan on Sunday, and then you can just add them into dishes.

Last weekend I did a large amount of broccoli, 1 eggplant, and 2 zucchini’s. Roasted with just some olive, then added cherrie tomatoes, so spicy pasta sauce that has zero added sugar, some shredded vegan cheese (I’m lactose intolerant) and herbs. Roasted some more till everything got to the point I wanted.


Do you do home deliveries? :rofl:


Yes. You have to live in San Francisco, and the delivery fee is “if you have to ask, forget it” :thinking::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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This is me. If I buy the junk (e.g., chips, pastries, cookies, etc.,) I have no portion control. I’ll eat the whole bag or whatever in one sitting. My solution is to not buy it. Oddly enough I can control the urge to buy when at the store.


As long as I don’t go to the grocery store hungry.

I love veggies. But do get bored with pan fried broccoli every night. I need an air fryer. My go to, albeit very weird habit according to my wife, is eating a handful of raw spinach straight from the bag (apparently channeling my inner Popeye).


Never go to a food store hungry :+1:t3:


Liquid calories are the least satiating. I don’t get all the talk about post-ride ‘recovery shakes’ or whatever… The ‘anabolic window’ is bro science. Just eat some regular food after your rides, its all good. And I don’t think you need a ton of protein post-ride, if you’re targeting recovery go for carbs. Protein is satiating, so to me thats fine if that is the intent of all the protein. If you’re worried about over-eating I would also look towards low-calorie dense foods: so lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, egg substitute, sugar-free drinks, etc.


There are plenty of vegetables other than broccoli. Chicken / broccoli / rice is old-school thinking.

I sometimes eat spinach straight from the bag too. Lol. I guess its better than drinking milk straight from the container?

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It’s tricky trying to maintain weight and get stronger. Food wise It sounds like I eat as much as you. I usually eat a lot of pasta, rice or any grain/ starch. with lean meats and vegetables. I try to hit a certain amount of protein grams daily which helps me feel more full. Then I fill the rest with lots of Whole Foods and healthy fats like avocado and peanut butter, and some oils for cooking. For “recovery” I try to eat solid foods, it makes me feel more satiated than a liquid drink. Some of my gotos are: a couple cups of cereal, banana or any fruit, protein powder and milk, also peanut butter, bananas sandwich.

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It’s mainly the ease of cooking. I buy a big bag of florets. So it’s really easy to throw a couple handfuls in a pan with some olive oil and pan fry/steam it for 5 minutes. I have done brussel sprouts in the past as well, which aren’t too hard either but have to slice them. Asparagus should be pretty easy. Any others that are quick?

Yeah, cheese it’s are the summary of the issue.

I’ve completely eliminated processed foods and am fully on the WFBP diet and literally eat as much as I want and the scale stays the same. It feels magical, this was not the case before. All about quality.

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I’ll Paypal you it :rofl: Glasgow… it better be warm when it get’s here!

Don’t get me started on peanut butter. I’ll eat it straight from the jar. And PB&J sandwiches are a staple in my diet. I’ll also throw some in a smoothie with yogurt and frozen fruit.

I’m not even necessarily trying to maintain weight, just not gain too much. Which with my past eating habits I could gain 20 pounds in a month or two.

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Have you tried peanut butter and marmite on toasted bread?

I don’t think I’ve ever tried Marmite actually.

No, seriously I’ve been sinking isolated whey protein for quite a few years after various sports, mainly indoor soccer/ all cycling… I’ve also fairly recently added ultra fine porridge outs to the mix for carbs.

I have no doubts at all it speeds up recovery significantly.

Downside is you stink, your bedroom stinks, and you’re at the toilet 3-5 times a day depending on what zone you’ve been training in/how much you’ve consumed.

But you are ready to go again quick.

There is a whole lot of benefits… if you can sleep with the window open!