Headed in the right direction again, looking for nutrition help

Ok some of you will remember a series of threads I’ve made where I’ve failed some workouts and my FTP has dropped. If not se here:

So while many questions came up about my training load (started with a mid volume plan) and the calibration of my gear I think I’ve come to the conclusion that my diet has been playing the biggest roll in my issues. In the last thread a lot of people were blaming my workout failures on a caloric restriction because I talked about weight loss being my main goal. To clarify CURRENTLY weight loss is my main goal. When I was doing my SSB work weight loss WAS NOT my main goal and I was not focused on my diet, in fact I had increased my caloric intake thinking I needed to for the program. But I think I’m finding that nutrient balance and not caloric intake has been my limiting factor.

As weight loss is NOW my main goal I have started tracking on MyFitnessPal (MFP) again. What I found was that I eat a majority of fat (damn I love avocados) and WAY not enough protein. So for the last week I’ve worked on changing up my diet to achieve a better macro balance while restricting calories. Current targets have been the generic 50/30/20 Carbs/Fat/Protein split that MFP defaults to and 1,690 calories a day, before exercise. I’m also intermittent fasting again (I did this early in 2018 but had mostly stopped during SSB) using the 16:8 method several days a week.

But with that said cycling performance is also near the top of my priorities, why else would I be a TrainerRoad subscriber? So my goal with this thread is to hopefully get some feedback on what I’m doing and learn to eat the right way. Funny to say that as a 45 year old and parent of two but really I feel like I’ve got no clue how to properly eat. I WON’T be fasted for most of my workouts though I will probably do some added zone 1/2 type rides fasted. Currently I’m in week 2 of sustained power build.

So yesterday felt like a huge success. I’ve been struggling to complete workouts at 100% but yesterday was able to complete Bashful +1 at 100% and honestly I felt like I could have gone a bit harder…like I could have completed it if my FTP was set higher. What was different? Well my caloric intake before my ride was much higher (I didn’t IF yesterday) and my carb intake was also higher than it had been. My partner (decided calling her my girlfriend just was right at our age) on the other hand really seemed to struggle, though she did complete it at 100%. She on the other hand only had a Shakeology shake for lunch and nothing else before the ride. Looking at the numbers breakdown I had eaten all of my base calories before my ride and unfortunately after dinner I had gone over my total for the day but not grossly. I have a couple of easy tweeks to what I ate yesterday that would have landed me almost spot on my caloric target.

So on the advice of many I have ordered The Endurance Diet by Matt Fitzgerald since Barnes and Noble didn’t have it…still waiting for that to arrive. Thanks to those that have taken the time to read my threads and keep giving suggestions.

So question for those that may know. Do you see any issue doing 16:8 fasting, eating at lunch time and then doing my TrainerRoad workout after work (typically 5:45-6:30 start for my workout)? I’m thinking that as long as I eat a sized meal at lunch and a snack in the afternoon a couple hours before the workout I should be good.

Also I heard @Nate_Pearson suggest a 60/20/20 macro split last week and even pushing to 70% carbs on a hard workout day. Is that a better macro target than 50/30/20?

Can I offer one piece of advice - stop over thinking it!

Just eat a balanced healthy diet for a while. Watch your portion sizes and watch what you’re snacking on.


Calories In / Calories Out. Eat balanced like @AndyGajda said.

Winning in the kitchen with Frank Overton. Fascat coaching podcast. Great place to start without overthinking it.
I went from 188 to 145 in just over a year eating chicken, rice, veggies, and drinking lots of water. 12% body fat. I still eat pizza and snack a lot.

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IMO, I’d worry less about the exact macro split and focus on things in the following order:

#1. Getting enough protein. On a calorie restricted diet and a training regimen, the usual rec is around 1.6g -2g/kg of LBM/FFM (lean body mass/fat free mass). For me, I have roughly 130lbs/59kg of FFM, so I am for at least 95 to 100g of protein per day.

#2. Figure out your TDEE without workouts. Ideally you are looking for a good sustainable level where you are in between your BMR and your TDEE. There are a number of calculators out to help you with this.

#3. Fuel your workouts, and shoot for around 50% replacement of the total kJ for anything Tempo/SS/Threshold/VO2. For aerobic, limit your intake to necessary calories only.

These three guidelines have taken me from 205 pounds to 155 pounds over the past 4 years and I’m now under 15% body fat on the Dexa.


Good advice there from @AndyGajda.

I hear and feel your pain @Grasschopper.

I’m 46, work shifts and have struggled with my weight since my 30’s. I’m 5’10, peaked at 245 Ibs and now sitting at 185 Ibs. I’m trying to shed those off season pounds and hopefully will reach ~170 Ibs come Spring/Summer. Been down the fasting route with low carbs and paid the price by bonking on numerous occasions. Steady weight loss is the key, with 1-2 pounds per week otherwise your body will snap back. You need to basically cut the crap out of your diet and eat sensibly, fuel adequately for those efforts with decent post nutrition and of course reward yourself from time to time. I have no experience with alternating macros, too much thought and time for me.

I’ve been a TR user for a couple of seasons and always seem to fall off once the weather changes. This season I’ve purposely selected low volume so I can load up more stress when it suits and still have the satisfaction of knowing I’m sticking to the plan. Previously I always bailed out of intervals around the 45 minute mark, I have this chimp that’s always whispering around this time. The pain is there and you think that 45 minutes is still a good workout, wrong :tired_face: :monkey:

I see your into 2nd week of SPB, me too and those intervals seem to go on forever, I’ve been seeing stars on a few occasions when I’ve finished the last one. I’ve put more time into SSB this time and I think that the muscle endurance element is helping to complete the intervals, stacked with a true ftp score, good diet and adequate sleep. If I’m feeling tired I’ll change out the workout or just not ride.

One more thing I’d like to share :roll_eyes: lol . On my first ftp ramp test I limped my way through to the end with my cadence dropping to ~40 rpm. I don’t know if the results were skewed by my method but I struggled like hell with the following workouts. This time whilst testing I kept a higher cadence and made a sensible call when to let go before embarking on another grind fest :triumph: The plan seems hard but manageable and I’m seeing steady progress.

I’m jealous of your Yosemite training camp, definitely on the bucket list for me. Say hi to the VC :sunglasses:

Good luck with your plan and stick with it :+1:


I’d recommend you come up with a fairly reasonable macro balance for a normal day (a day with no biking) and apply that to your non-workout caloric intake and then fuel the workouts with a more carb heavy split.

Said differently this means that if you want to eat 2,000 calories a day + replace the calories you burn on the bike you’d split that first 2,000 calories as appropriate for your base macros and then more carbs for the remainder.

This is, roughly speaking, what Nate is suggesting when he says he eats a high(er) carb % on heavy workout days. It isn’t that you really want to reduce protein and fat, it’s just that you don’t increase them at the same rate when looking at calorie burn from a workout

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Yeah I had seen this site: https://tdeecalculator.net/

Using that my base calories is 2,263 when I put in Sedentary. If I say Moderate Exercise (3-5 times a week) then it’s 2,923 to maintain. Taking 1,000 off of that gives me almost the same answer as MFP set to 2 lbs per week weight loss and adding in a TR workout so I’ll keep using MFP.

Been tracking my calories for a week and a half again and doing a bit better on my macros though yesterday was closer to a 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 split. Doing well today but I need more protein. Looking forward to Fang Mountain +1 tonight.