How have people lost weight whilst maintaining intensity

Hi all,

Since the beginning of December until today I have been repeating SSB 1 as a base whilst adding various adjustments depending on how I’m progressing (adding VO2 efforts/adding longer tempo efforts/generally upping TSS) and have progressed from 267w @ 78kg to 315w @ 81kg which I’m very happy with (previous best 298w @ 76kg)

In the last block I did I tried to start reducing weight back down to the original 78kgs but found I struggled even with routine SST efforts (like Carrillon or Antelope) without any hope for the harder over/under efforts. Because of that I reverted to high evening carbs (I train early) and had continued success whilst maintaining weight but struggled any time I tried to bring calories down.

My training setup is Wattbike in the gym during the week and on the bike within an hour or so of waking up - I weigh 81kg @ 5’10 @ probably ~ 13-14% bodyfat. I have recently begun running again after a 6 month knee issue had was considering 3 low intensity runs each week to aid calorie burn whilst maintaining the glycogen stores needed for the harder morning efforts.

I was wondering how people here have gone about cutting down weight without sacrificing power (I don’t mind if power stays still as long as W/KG improves) as I have been doing structured training for 3 years so incremental gains will become harder to get. Specifically, how have people who have early morning workouts managed the situation in terms of nutrition timing and laying out the training week - looking for inspiration ahead of an eight week block! Alternatively have things like 2 week ‘fat loss’ blocks worked with a focus on endurance rides? I can probably commit ~ 1.5-2 hours per working day plus a 4/5 hour weekend ride if needed.


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Tbh, If i cut calories whilst doing high intensity, i find my workouts suffer in quality and i feel drained.

I’ve found what works for me is to just eat healthily and enough so that I can complete the workouts, and my body seems to adapt and settle into a weight that it wants to. My diet is generally the same everyday, about 2000 calories.

You could try mixing in fasted rides. My easier rides, such as Pettit are done fasted. The higher intensity stuff like VO2 max, i’ll have a gel when i hop on the bike


Are you fueling during the rides? I would suggest doing that vs increasing your evening carbs. You have all day to refuel/replenish glycogen stores. Yes, you went Xhrs after dinner until your workout w/eating. Yes, you probably still have enough glycogen for your workout. You can either get up early enough to grab a light snack and coffee. Or you can give fueling during the workout a try. Pop a caffeinated gel to start. Or maybe just a bottle of carb drink (e.g., SiS, Endure, Skratch, etc…) Pick your poison. Then, go about your regular meals sensibly.

Maybe add an evening ride like Taku in here and there before dinner add up. Long easy rides on the weekends help.


I find it very difficult to do any sort of intensity (>= sweet-spot) while losing weight. I did something similar last year and had the same experience although I am 45 years old. I started at about 392W 86 kgs / 15% fat in January and now down to about 375W 82 kgs /13% fat.

January - April: Base training at tempo and lots of endurance with about 45% carbs / 35% protein. I lost most of the weight in January and February. From March I haven’t been losing much weight but my body fat keeps dropping according to my scale and calipers. I could do 90 minute runs at a good pace but sore legs but could finish without any loss of performance. I could not do any sort of trainerroad intervals even high sweet spot without blowing up. Fueling up just before and during the ride helped a bit but I would still blow up. I think I improved my fat burning based on fat lost but no noticeable improvement on fueling higher intensity on fat. I could only really do endurance and some tempo.
April - : SSBhv1 I can just manage the workouts at 55% carbs and fueling with a light dinner with some carbs the night before since I also train first thing in the morning. I have to periodize my carbs very carefully else I put on weight. Adding in extra short endurance rides adds no value to my power development so I dont bother and rather recover for the next high intensity workout where I will need to bury myself.

Have you got a method to track your body fat since it could be dropping and your weight is about the same? If you are looking for more weight loss then I would recommend a 4 week weight loss block where you focus on endurance work and make sure you maintain a calorie deficit but ensure you get enough protein (1.5grams or protein/kg lean body mass or more per day)

If your goal or focus is purely w/kg then keep doing what you are doing and fuel for the work required to build your FTP in my experience.

My goal has moved from a half marathon to TT in July with short hills (5mins) so need to build power but still have a good power to weight.

I added weight over the winter and was much more successful in my training. Now that outdoor rides are going to be more frequent, I expect to lose most of the gained weight, which means doing less of the TR workouts. Just doesn’t work for me to be doing those hard workouts while dropping weight. One of the lessons I learned over the last few years.

Calculate the calories burned during your workout. Match that with carbs and sugar before, during, and after your workout. Energy mix, gels, bars, porridge, bananas, whatever.

Calculate the calories your body would burn if you weren’t doing your workouts. In your remaining meals, eat healthy foods a little below that calorie target.

i.e. “Don’t diet on the bike”.

Fuel your rides and diet the rest of the day.

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I just recently lost 2kg while doing SSB1 MV. My body composition is pretty similar to yours so perhaps my experience will be insightful. Like others said, the key is to make sure you fuel yourself while on the bike unless you’re doing Taku or something else super-easy. I usually took a gel or other carb 10-15min before the ride, and kept at it on the bike. During some of the longer 1:30 ones I got up to around 600 calories during the ride. After the ride too I would do a recovery drink with some carbs and protean. It’s the other meals of the day that I would cut back on, but doing it sensibly so as not to loose too much too fast. There are days when it’s tough and you need to eat more, but you need to figure out when you body just wants something, and when it needs something. That’s the really hard part.

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I’ve lost about most of my winter weight and pretty close to race weight. This morning the scale said 149. A few days ago, 147.5. This has been happening throughout the first three weeks of short power. I did sustained power just before this. I was also pretty sick for the last three days, so not sure how much that affected the scale numbers. Haven’t been on the bike since Thursday.
I haven’t changed anything diet wise. I ride my bike a lot. I eat a lot. But, I limit food intake after 8 pm, well try anyway. I did my recovery week a few weeks back all fasted as well. I don’t use my fitness pal, count calories, or any of that. I keep my diet to mostly veggies, fruits, and lunch/dinner is basically chicken, rice, and broccoli. Bfast is either two eggs and two waffles, or eggs with oatmeal. I do treat myself to pizza once in a while -usually after a hard weekend of training/racing. Could I lose the weight quicker/more efficiently if I counted? Perhaps, I don’t know.

For reference, my ideal race weight for this season will be about 143-145. My power is also steadily increasing as well. If I can be 143/145 for Tulsa Tough I’ll be sitting pretty good.


Hi Peter

What age are you?

Another point to note is that I think most gyms are too hot to get the quality sessions in on a watt bike. I can’t get a decent fan into mine either.

I really think it’s important to maintain a healthy balance with weight and exercise. Be realistic about what you can achieve. I made a lot of mistakes this winter, generally not following my own advice. I was training too hard, putting in for me too many hours. I wasn’t paying attention to my recovery and all the while slavishly focussed on losing weight to try and get under that magical 70kg barrier.

I ended up plateuaing in gains, and getting lots of minor illnesses. I got down to just under 71kg, and began to struggle with dieting. I’ve realised that this was below my optimal weight, and I’ll never be a pure climber! I’ve made a concious decision to let my weight creep back up to 73kgs and I feel much better for it. Not only am I now making gains again, but my power is up right across the board, as is my w/kg compared to when I was lighter. I’m also climbing faster carrying a couple more kg!!!

The point I’m trying to make I guess is that it’s important to pay attention to what your body is telling you through all of this. I’d recommend avoiding any sort of faddy diet or weight loss method. Eat healthy, train consistently and watch recovery. I’ve learned that weight loss doesn’t always lead to gains.


Hey, I’m 25.

Agreed on the heat - I nailed my over/unders this morning but again off 4 slices of toast last night and another 4 this morning + a flapjack. Possibly if there was some better ventilation I could get away with eating less but it does feel like I work a lot harder on the longer (10+m) intervals in the gym…

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Hi, thanks for the reply - I am considering something similar to the block you suggested - have you done something like this before and if so has it worked well in terms of weight loss & power maintenance? Also interested in terms of timing - added to the end of a 6 week block or a stand-alone block?

I track weight, sleep TSS etc etc but not fat which I probably should start doing considering it would take very little time!

I’m going to get a box of SIS gels and see how that works for any intensity other than my over/unders which I almost treat like a full race day effort.

Interested if anyone has considered timing weight loss (if that’s a thing). Ie do Over/unders & VO2 Monday Tuesday heavily fuelled then look to do wednesday-saturday with decreasing carbs for the more manageable efforts with a long ride on the saturday.

Not sure if this will work or I’d just end up overeating or underfuelled by the end of the week…

As people have already mentioned, I think that eating well, with consistently, is the key. Try and eat at the same time each day. This can help you avoid snacking and just like training, the body adapts. I swear by this because I could happily sit and eat all day!

Having varied, balanced meals is also important. Enjoy the food you’re eating as well as just seeing it as training fuel.

I have one of those weird bodies that just doesn’t seem to gain or lose weight easily. I sit around 75-76kg year in, year out. I did once drop to 73kg and I couldn’t turn the pedals. I felt hollow.

only way I can really do it is have high calorie and low calorie days and call any minor drop in weight a success. It’s really easy to mess up a 200 calorie planned deficit, so it also takes some patience and never having a very big deficit on the low cal days.