I want to drop my body fat and maintain strength

Hi everyone!

I’ve been looking around this forum for a bit and still can’t find a definitive answer on the best way to lose body fat but keep my strength. After reading a few different things, I know not eating heavy carb meals for dinner and fuelling early in the day (when i know i will be using the carbs up) to get me through. But what I really want to know is how many calories do i need each day for big workouts and recovery workouts and is there a tool to work this out. I don’t want to under/overfuel but it’s proving very difficult to find a good method of knowing how much i should eat and when.

Thanks for all your help in advance!

Carb counting is so difficult to get truly accurate. MyFitnessPal is useful but invariably I am unsure that my measure of a cupful of rice or whatever is equivalent to MFP numbers - which could throw everything out.

I suggest you try exactly what you suggested and monitor progress and adjusts accordingly. Of course a lot depends on what timescales you are working t.



have you seen this topic?

You need your daily TDEE (any calculator is ok) and the workouts estimate kj. Take these as kcal and add them to your TDEE. This is the startline. From here on you have to be consistent and see If your weight drops if you eat at a deficite of 500-1000 kcal. Therefore you have to track your meals (My Fitness Pal e.g.).

If you dont want to loose muscle/strength you should take a closer look on your protein intake. Everybody has a different opinion. But if you aim for at least 1g Protein/kg weight up to max 2g Protein/kg (very high) you should support your body in a good way.

Thats the short answer.

Best regards!


Thanks. I don’t have any races planned yet. On base build medium volume so should be a good time to expirment. Thanks for the tip.

I’ll take a look. I feel like I’m just eating normal meals currently then adding something in after a hard workout.

Agree with what @Turtle_Express said and was even more pragmatic than that: instead of calculating my daily needs, I just stopped eating when not hungry anymore. Or, in other words, I started leaving something on the plate instead of always eating up. You’ll notice there’s a remarkable difference between “I’m not hungry anymore” and “I can’t fit in anything more”.

You’ll also see that Protein makes hunger go away, so that helps if you have trouble adapting your food intake.

You can use the NIDDK bodyweight planner to see if you are in a comfortable calorie deficit or if you are overdoing it but you’ll quickly see yourself every time you measure your weight.


Ok. Now we take the next step. :wink: You eat what you eat now, just track what you eat for your workouts and the rest of the day, you eat what you eat now. But only two thirds of your portion size. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes, I think that’s actually a sound strategy. Most of the time a normal, varied diet will supply everything you need and you just need to reduce overall intake (or increase your burn rate).

It’s also a lot easier to follow than to go really in-depth and count your macros etc… I get that you need to start doing it once you want to reach a certain level, but just to get rid of some fat an easy strategy is a probably easiest to follow and will yield good results.

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I find MyFitnessPal works really well. The TR workouts import to it from Garmin. Each TR workout has the estimated calorie amount on it and you could always look at that ahead of time.

I talked to my aunt who is a nutritionist and she told me to set my macros at 60 carbs, 20 fat, and 20 protein. (Because I only cycle) So that is set in MyFitnessPal.

Over the summer I wasn’t on TR so I used HR and would stay in zone 3 for five minutes then go up to zone 4 for a minute and back down to zone 3. I would do that for an hour every other day. Then the other rides were as hard as I could go for an hour. (So I was still working on threshold training.)

In April this year I was over 25% body fat and weighed 155lbs. In October I was down to 134lbs at 20.3% body fat. (My first scan was in June so I am not completely sure on body fat until then and in June it was 25%.)

I just used the inbody scan at the nutrition store to make sure I was on track. I found every other month was more than enough to check it. TR has for sure helped me put on muscle though as I was down a bit over the summer and it came right back after a few weeks into SSB mv1.

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SO if you’re really serious. go get a body comp test. Here at the University of Texas performance center, they offer tests covering among other things, VO2 max, and most pertinent to your situation, a Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) calculation. Its as accurate as you’re likely to get in this lifetime, and from that you can calculate your daily requirements by adding in whatever you burn, (Calculated via kilojoules), consult a (sports centric) nutritionist for some really accurate calories and good advice, and you’ll be a little lighter in the wallet, but you’ll know as close as is reasonably humanly possible what the road ahead is. UT at least lets you stack certain tests on the same day for a discount. I’m sure there is a program or a university near you that offers a similar setup.


Calorie FIT -


Body Comp FIT - (DEXA is available elsewhere for less, but this one comes with consultation)


I’d suggest scrapping measuring by cup and just use grams instead. As someone from the UK I’ve never understood the invention of a standardised cup size and am continually confused by recipes from the states!


Thanks for all the tips guys. I’m already at 17% body fat. So by no means overweight. Really want to get to 10% to up my watts per kilo. But obviously get stronger will do that. Will try all the advice and see what happens.

Nutrition in food is variable. In the US, regulations allow a 20% variance from the label numbers. See Federal Register :: Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels. I’d assume that means we should expect something similar for the USDA food nutrition database (for raw ingredients), and at least that much for restaurants.

If you’re tracking to 2000 calories a day, that’s a +/- 400 calorie variance. Over the course of a week that’s a variance of 2800 cal, compared to SSB MV 1 week 1 at 2888 kJ. So in that week, you’d roughly break even at +20% or have a 5700 cal deficit at -20%. That math ignores personal differences in calorie burn due to physiology, work, and daily activity variation, hydration, when you used the bathroom, etc.

The best course is to be conscious of what you eat (MFP and other apps can be useful for that, but so might a pocket notebook), make wise, healthy choices, and track weight (MFP, other app, notebook). Watch the trend over time and make small changes as needed.

Disclaimer: Twice, I have meticulously tracked food (in grams when possible), weight and exercise with MFP for a year. I lost weight because tracking made me more conscious of the amount of food and the labeled nutrition content of “healthy” food I was eating.


I find this to be the biggest value for something like MFP

If you actually weigh and track everything you eat for a month - and I do mean everything - you’ll quickly figure out where your calories are coming from.

The variance in caloric content is relatively meaningless when you can see that a handful of cashews (say, 30g) has double the calories of a piece of fresh fruit or a fairly large serving of non-fat greek yogurt (1 cup). You’ll make better choices once you have done this for a while and can understand where your calories are coming from

Did you just accidentally recommend a link to HGH for weight loss?


Nope, I did it on purpose in case there’s someone interested in Human Growth Hormone and its weight loss benefit.

Hol up. You dug up a post that’s over a year old to promote a steroid - a banned substance for competitive cycling, and only legal with a prescription - for weight loss?

What doctor prescribes HGH for weight loss?

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Exactly, it’s unnecessary. Eat whole foods, lots of fruit and veg especially, and the weight will come off, it always does. Restricting sugars through added means yes, but carbs from healthy sources? Well, if you want to lose water weight then ok, but I think that’s not the point here.

Ingesting some protein before bed helps, it doesn’t also convert to fat in the same way as I understand it.

HGH is not FDA approved for weight loss treatment. Can you please provide the name of your doctor who prescribes you HGH for weight loss purposes?

Perhaps try a 24hr fast once a week, it will burn fat without any muscle loss!