Fueling workouts (can't eat enough) help?

hey all,

i have the exact opposite problem than most. i guess many of the exact opposite problems.

im 28, not married, no kids, no responsibilities, no bills (aside from rent and the cheap easy stuff,) and my work situation allows for 3-4 hours a day to train (hour before work and 1-3 hours after.) i guess what im saying is i have a low stress, low responsibilities life and a young healthy body that can handle a lot of tss. im adding an easy spin every morning (lazy mountain -1) to the high volume sweet spot bace plans. this puts me between 12 and 15 hours a week during the base blocks and slightly less for the remainder of the training year. this seems to be where the P/1/2 guys fall in my area (always looking for that upgrade.) the problem im having is figuring out how to fuel my rides. i use myfitnesspal to track cal. and macros to make sure im fueling correctly. but i can’t stomach enough food to meet the cal. deficit i create with all this riding. tomorrow for instance is (lazy mountain) before work which is scheduled to burn about 350 cal. then (hunter) when i get home from work which burns around 1350 cal. THATS ALMOST 2000 cal. ON TOP OF THE 1750 myfitnesspal SUGGESTS FOR MY BMR!!! i simply can not stomach in the neighborhood of 4000 cal. a day. and i don’t think having a daily cal. deficit of between 1000-2000 cal is sustainable.

is there some super cal. dense healthy veg. im not aware of? do p/1/2 riders eat an entire half of beef a week? i realize i could get those cal. eating mc-ds or t-bell but i generally don’t eat fast food and would rather be a competitive cat 3 who can’t eat enough to fuel 15hr a week, than a p/1/2 with heart disease from eating cheese burgers every meal.

can anyone shed some light on this topic? @chad or @Jonathan what do the H24 or cliff bar guys eat to fuel base periods like this?


A pint of milk between all your meals is an affordable, accessible and convenient way to add calories (especially if you choose whole milk). It will also keep your protein intake high!

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Hey there!

I’m certainly not going to be able to give you professional advice in any way in regards to nutrition or the level of training, but here’s a couple of suggestions just to simply answer the question.

To eat that many cals, you’re best off breaking it in to more smaller meals. Eating 3 large ones will make it painful until your stomach gets used to the sheer volume of food you’re packing away. It’s taken me a while to adapt to a little over 3000.

As for foods, you’re looking at whole foods, like rice, pasta, brown breads, nuts, seeds - these are quite calorie dense. Try looking at some of the diets of body builders. One of my friends packs away 4500+ on some days, the guy just never stops eating.

If you really, truly don’t want to eat that much food, you could consider supplementation with products like Huel - essentially drinking your meals.

Good luck!


+1 on the idea of using supplements to help you increase your cal intake… they an’t cheap but they are extremely helpful when someone struggles to get enough calories… you could sip some while you work… some BB bottles have space to store other powder/nuts so you can keep it simple

Watch and learn.

In all seriousness, is there any reason you are doing two workouts in a day? How often do you manage that?


You might want to look at mass building shakes as previously touched on. Mix them with full fat milk and you have a huge amount of protein, tons of carbs and hopefully fats in the right amount with a good brand. Don’t mistake these for the usual protein shakes though

Following with interest. Hoping to move up to cat 2 next year. Have made solid progress in FTP & sustained subthreshold work recently to the point I’m routinely close to 1000kJ per hour (so also c.1000 cal/hr) on the bike. Working a M-F 9-5 and finding it tough during the week to get the calories in without eating junk, having huge meals that make me bloated or spending all my spare time preparing or shopping for food.

1st thing: STOP!!!

One of the largest weight and nutrition related issues with endurance athletes is assuming that you must replace every calorie you expend exercising.

The “problem” you’re describing is not performance related it is based on what you think you’re supposed to eat based on myfitness Pal and the expected calorie burn of the workouts, i.e. theoretical.

I would base my eating on a well rounded diet eating 3 meals and 2 snacks per day so eat every 2-3 hours. Then, fuel rides above 2-3 hours based on the type of effort (base, SST, LT, etc.) with about 100-300 calories per hour. Then on rides at the 3 hour or longer mark, eat a recover meal such as a shake afterward.

On days you don’t ride you eat your 5 meals for the day that’s it.

Then see how you’re feeling. Are you feeling empty every morning and during workouts? Are you failing workouts because you’re not recovering from the prior day?

Now you will be making your nutrition decisions based on actual performance and objective metrics vs what a computer program is telling you you’re supposed to eat.

I’ve seen it and experienced it myself where I think I’m supposed to replenish 1500 additional kJ every day from my workouts. What ends up happening is you never lose weight (if that’s your goal). Your body stores a ton of calories on board ready to be used and unless you’re exercising for over 2.5-3 hours you don’t need to specifically replenish those calories.

Hope that helps.


So you don’t need to lose weight, like most of us?

Cheeseburgers bro, I am lucky I have no problem eating back my calories. I have a good appetite.


Agreed. People get caught up in calorie math when there’s not a lot of science to it. Your body doesn’t actually incinerate food and use the energy provided from that fire, which is what a calorie is.

I forget the podcast number but they address it in the episode where they state you can run a caloric deficit until you should be zero pounds, but you won’t be.

Calories are a handy way of portion control, but don’t hold much relevance to what the food actually does in your body. 300 calories of fried potatoes are drastically different than 300 calories of yogurt are drastically different than 300 calories of fruit.


Read The Endurance Diet and drop the calorie counting. I went down the counting road and got so obsessed, eating became something I hated.


I count calories with MyFitnessPal, it just gives me an idea of how much food I am eating so I don’t go hog wild and keep the cheeseburger count to one a day :slight_smile:

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Same boat. I"m doing mostly double days in December; SusPowBuild HV + 30min (Dans etc) on weekdays and 60min (Lazy Mountain etc) on the weekends. I was in SSBLV before that. I’ve had to ramp up my food intake substantially and even failed a couple of the first workouts cuz I was way underfueled.

As others have said – supplements. I’m taking protein powder and I’ll eat real food protein about twice a day. This leaves me a lot of room for carbs and veggies.

Try it and you’ll find out why we do it. :wink: (zoom! zoom!)

I don’t think a 1 hour easy spin every morning is making you or him faster. I fail to see the benefit; It’s just adding TSS.

I get there can be benefits to double days but if he is really struggling to meet his calorific needs there is low hanging fruit in dropping the easy morning spin.

Refining the eating plan vs not riding would be of even more benefit because he’s learning instead of just being lazy. :+1:

I’ll let Coach Chad explain why we do it:

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good info man. the workouts have been hard but not un completable. ill put more thought to the performance end of things and adjust cal. based on that. thanks a lot

Thanks dude! Not much substance there to convince me otherwise. If it works for you though, keep doing it!

Would suck to be a triathlete and ALWAYS have to do 2-3-a-day workout! :scream::rofl: