How to modify my plan to help lose weight

I feel a bit like someone who turns up to an AA meeting.

Hi I’m Rob and I want to lose weight. I’m currently 100kg and my FTP is 324 (it was 332 but it has dropped since I lost a couple of kgs).

My question is what training plan would people suggest I follow to help with a daily 1000kcal deficit goal. I have just started mid base 2 but I am starting to really struggle holding the intervals. I just feel too tired. Do I continue but reduce the intensity?

My gut is to focus more on endurance rides of 1-1.30h daily combined with a better diet. It is quite demoralising to fail on a SS workout that I would’ve been able to make a few weeks ago.

I’ve thought about timing my workouts so they happen 1-2 hours after eating but that is quite hard to time in a busy day and consequently I just don’t do the workout.

My primary goal is to slim down and my secondary goal is to maintain FTP as best as possible.

Thanks in advance.


you can’t try and chop that amount of weight and maintain a mid-vol program without digging yourself into a nice little hole. 1000cal deficit is a LOT.
Try something more realistic like 300-500 a day and see how that goes.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but you can’t out-run/out-ride a bad diet. So if weight loss is the primary focus right now prioritize that and just try and maintain. if that means dropping down to a low-vol plan to allow you to keep a realistic calorie deficit and complete your workouts then try that out.


“Lose weight in the kitchen. Gain fitness on the bike.” Obviously CICO is a combination of how much cardio you can tolerate while cutting calories off the bike but, so many focus on cardio and neglect (long term weight management) the kitchen part of the equation. My suggestion:

-Get an app light myfintesspal and start tracking what you eat. It will help keep you honest on portion size and how much junk/fill food you may be consuming.

-Cut out white starchy type carbs.

-Spread the calories into more meals throughout the day. 5-6 vs. 3 for example.

-If you have time add in core/muscle strength routine.

edit: as Rondal suggested, keep the plan as is and lower the deficit to a long term manageable one. In my own n=1 experience it took a couple month before I saw much on the scale or in the mirror. It’s definitely a slow process it seems.


Hi Rob,

I can’t offer much advice but I can offer some solidarity. I’m 101 kg and just Ramp Tested 335w FTP. So pretty much in the same place. I feel your pain entirely. My goal is 360W at 90 kg while still enjoying racing CX over this winter. Doesn’t take a genius to see that’s going to be tricky - much like you describe. Wishing you the best as you try to make it work for you!


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Rob – I have absolutely no scientific basis for this, but I will tell you what has worked for me…

  1. Pick a low volume plan with a decent amount of intensity. This will get you on the bike 3 days a week and put your effort on the business end of things. Two recommendations would be:
    -----Sweet Spot Base, Low Volume II
    -----General Build, Low Volume

  2. Run 2-3 days a week for at least 30 mins. Leave one day for total rest. (Much depends on your running strength/fitness – I could give you a bunch of tips if I knew your specifics)

This may impact your ability to grow FTP, but running is an accelerant for weight loss. And – bonus for you if you’re unaccustomed to running – it doesn’t take much volume to get results.

Most people here (myself included) often fall into the trap of thinking of all fitness gains strictly through the lens of cycling. But if you think of periods of fitness . . . “weight loss then strength” instead of “weight loss and strength” it makes perfect sense.

In fact, I just got done with a 3.5 mile/5.6 km runs for 30 minutes. I just had 3 straight days on the trainer, and needed a mental break, but didn’t want to slow down my weight loss momentum. I’ll be back on the trainer tomorrow for over/unders and won’t be totally recuperated…but I contend that fatigue from running is not 1-for-1 in terms of fatigue from cycling.

Again – none of this is scientifically proven (that I know of), but I’m 44 which makes me generally more sensitive to the needs of recovery than younger men…and this works for me.

Last thing – and someone else already pointed this out – slow and steady weight loss is the way to go.

Drop the weight --> Hold FTP --> Hold the weight --> Increase FTP --> rinse and repeat

Like I said, this has worked for me but I have no basis in science for any of this. Just anecdotal experience.

Good luck!


A 1,000 calorie deficit is unnecessary and self-destructive. As advised, 3-500 calories per day is plenty to promote a healthy and sustainable loss.

If you are able to complete a 60-90 minute endurance ride, which should really be Z1/Z2 and not cultivate much (if any additional) hunger, those would be the days I’d recommend any additional deficit be taken - if you so wish.

You will really want to make sure you’re properly fueled for, and recover well from, your workouts.

I’d not recommend taking up running or any other impact exercise unless you’re already accustomed. Rowing and/or circuits would be my go-to if you are looking for variety.

Increasing meal frequency and reducing caloric intake at each sitting is probably likely to reduce satiety and increase tendency to overeat (or want to) and spend the day thinking about food and restriction.

In my opinion I would not change your current meal timing habits but look to maintain food volume with lower energy density options. You will still be eating ‘as much’ phyiscal food as normal but ingesting less calories.

There are my 10-cents :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: more than one way to skin a cat :ok_hand:


Have a read of this:

The guy seems to talk a lot of sense.


Sweet spot base is the most efficient way to burn calories without overly fatiguing your muscles. Do the highest volume version of sweet spot base that your body can take (likely medium).

Repeat sweet spot 1 and 2 as necessary.

As others have mentioned - 1,000 calories is too much of a daily deficit. I’d strongly recommend sticking to 500 as your upper limit of deficit.


Loosing weight is almost entirely about what you eat, and not how much you eat, nor how much you train.

THE simple rule is - prepare all your food - don’t eat anything that you didn’t prepare (including sauces, which usually have tons of sugar). And if you drink alcohol - know that it’s contributing a lot to the weight.

Ideally, you will end up eating mostly veggies (a lot of greens obviously, not potatoes), fruits, meat and some pasta / rice. You will loose weight very quickly. At one point, I’ve lost almost 10kg in 3 months, just sticking to this simple rule (and this was with eating 1 or 2 cheat meals on the week-ends). I’ve also managed to gain 3kg in a month by just eating bad food and drinking, even though I was training >10h / week.

So yeah, from my experience, weight is almost entirely about what you eat.


I have focused on a normal healthy oatmeal breakfast with a protein drink, which allows me to avoid snacking until lunch. Lunch will be light, like a big salad, with some snacks in the afternoon at work, like popcorn. Then I ride after work and have the bulk of my daily calories immediately after the ride, when absorption is greatest. If I can avoid snacking after dinner before bed, things are good.


Lots of good advice here.

Personally, I would rather focus on gaining strength (cycling + cross-training) with plenty of recovery in between, rather than stressing yourself about weight loss.

Eat plenty of vegies for carbs and legumes for fats and protein and cut out alcohol and fizzy drinks.
I can almost guarantee that together with Trainer Road plan, the weight loss will occur naturally.


Don’t know the exact timing of your day - but in general when you’re trying to lose weight you don’t want to eat the bulk of your daily calories that late in the day. If possible you should be eating the majority of your calories much earlier in the day. You need to eat something after the ride, but try to keep it as low as possible.

A typical weekday for me has me needing to eat between 3000-4000 calories to maintain my weight and eat to fuel my ride. I try to eat ‘only’ 800-1,000 post my evening ride - far from the majority of my daily caloric intake

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Intervals are always hard - they’re meant to be :slight_smile:

I would try low or mid volume traditional base, do some cross training, and focus on a eating healthy foods.

I struggle to maintain it, but a diet that’s healthier equals fat loss for me. And by healthier I don’t mean a fad diet, just the basics - more fish, less burgers, more veg, less chips, etc.

It’s not want you asked for, but I gained weight on a calories in/calories out diet. And I won’t be fooled again.

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Read this:


Hi @Rob, I understand your struggle because I live it everyday :smiley:

When you’re in a very restricted diet, caloric intake deficit of 1000Cal+, it is very hard to do Sweet Spot (SS) workouts without bonking in the middle. My suggestion would be trying the Traditional Base Plans.

Choose the Volume that you can handle, meaning time on the bike. A couple of years ago, I use to enjoy/endure riding on a trainer more than I do now. So for me, I do Low Volume and complement it with other 3 rides (outside or Zwift), leaving one day to rest.

Traditional Base workouts are more Z2, Fat burning Zone, and although it doesn’t burn as much fat as SS, you can do longer workouts to compensate. You will still be burning fat and could restrict Carbs even more since you are not doing HIIT.

Good Luck!


Matt Fitzgerald’s Racing Weight Quick Start Plan has you doing a 300-500kcal/day deficit on the intake side while eating quality foods. On the exercise side, he advocates a fasted weekend ride in the Z1 area, and 2 sprint workouts during the week. Those workouts are like 20 min warmup Z1, then do something like 10 sprints for 10-30 seconds with a minute rest. He goes into much more detail about all of this in his book. He even lays out an exact plan for runners, cyclists and others. It also includes some at home exercises for core and strengthening.


Hi Rob,

When I need to shed some pounds (like right now!) i’ll use a calorie tracker. I like one called lose it! It links to Strava so my excersise - TrainerRoad, outside rides and runs get added.

For me - I find running helps a lot. I aim for 4 TR rides a week and 3 runs.

But I think it’s mainly calorie accountability.

Good luck


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The absolute best, end-all for me is running. I drop POUNDS when I run regularly. It ruins my bike training, tho.

Nothing makes a bigger impact on my body composition like running regularly.


I can help you feel better about yourself…I’m the same weight and my FTP is 100 points lower. :sob:

I was doing SSB Mid Vol too and it got too hard just with a poor diet. I’m now doing low volume sustained power build and I’ve found that even with a caloric deficit as long as I eat the majority of my calories before my workout and get a good macro balance (like 50%-60% carbs) the workouts are doable. Then fill in non workout days with zone 1/2 rides. I like Baxter turned down 10% for this because while it’s easy it’s always changing so it’s not stupid boring. No clue how @Nate_Pearson stays sane doing those long 45% workouts he does.


Hi Rob, I informally coached a friend of mine. He is 62 years old. Seven years ago he was 168pounds (5’6) and couldn’t make it up a 2000ft hill without 4 stops. This past summer (at 143 pounds) he easily completed the “Tour of the CA Alps” (a.k.a. Death Ride) - 125mi; 15,000ft of climbing.

The 2 key ingredients of his success:

  1. Small habit changes in his eating (no big calorie deficits), such as replacing sodas with water, reduction of deserts, portion sizes. Nothing dramatic. The weight comes off slowly, but he’s kept it off for 5 years (his new habits are engrained in his life style).

  2. Long Endurance/Tempo rides. Roughly in that 60-80% FTP range is maximum fat burning. He doesn’t measure his FTP, but judging by his climbing times, he has PR’ed everything from his heavier days and is now in steady state mode on short climbs but he can ride long distances at fantastic pace.

It seems to me, that if you start out with a plan like I put my friend on, you can loose the weight and build the endurance you want as a base for future goals.