Intermittent Fasting, Gaining Weight, Race Nutrition, and More - Ask a Cycling Coach 404

Your body weight has nothing to do with it….people with the same weight can have vastly different RMR.

People vastly underestimate how many calories they consume through liquids.

Black coffee has almost no calories, but start drinking lattes or other cafe-style coffees (and don’t get me started on iced “coffees” w/ whipped cream) and you can quickly load up on the calories. . Juices, milk, sodas, alcohol, etc all pack significant calories…very easy to drink over 1kcal day and not realize it (and that is not including on-bike hydration / nutrition)

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This may be true for some RD’s but I know this is not the case for the majority of them. My wife, who is a Registered Dietitian with an emphasis on sports nutrition, regularly does talks to cyclists before long charity rides. She informs people on what the sciences says and realizes that there isn’t a “one size fits all” in terms of nutrition. Speaking in generalities, RDs are more educated in nutrition than any other medical profession. I would listen to them. Please don’t pigeon hole a profession.

*my wife doesn’t have instagram


You could argue being that restrictive is disordered eating. And one of the triggers for binging is often overly restrictive diets*.

*as I have found recently after reading up on my own “issues” that I’ve developed.


If you are trying to restrict calories most of the time and then you have late night huge snack attacks it might be due to over restricting.

Advice that you didn’t ask for - if you try to focus on eating high volumes of nutritionally dense foods it can help a lot. More fiber, protein and healthy fats in what can seem like huge meals will really help. I try to keep things that are calorically dense and will cause blood sugar spikes around workouts. But I also don’t beat myself up about eating a lot of calorically dense foods when I’m hungry even if I’m eating something that might be classified as junk food - like big oatmeal cream pies or whatever.

I’d talk to someone tbh - Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a recognised “thing”.

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Well that is an outright false statement. Your RMR and BMR are not the same, for starters. However, body weight is the single best predictor of BMR available. It is literally the most important measure for determining BMR. It absolutely does vary, but height and weight gets you very close to the result. RMR is a bit more variable and takes into account dietary thermogenesis, typical daily activity level and exercise habits, etc. Thus, athletes in particular may see a greater discrepancy between BMR and RMR than the sedentary population. However, saying that body weight has “nothing to do with” BMR is a clear fallacy.

My point remains - saying you weigh 140-142 is not an accurate indicator of your RMR or BMR. As noted (and you agreed), there are variances, often significant , between people weighing the same.

Hence the reason you should ideally have your RMR or BMR tested instead of estimated.

And I never said RMR and BMR were the same thing…hence the reason I specifically used RMR.

I actually wonder the same thing. I would think that most people “underfuel” around training and eat perhaps a bit more than they would want to during the rest of the day. To make training productive, it is very important to eat well before, take in plenty of carbs on the bike, and have a solid meal afterwards to recover.

I would guess that a lot of people skimp on calories before and during training to “save” them for later, but that misses the point. If you’re going to have a massive meal, it is much better to have it before training so that you feel great during the session. This allows for a lower RPE and perhaps higher power, which in turn leads to greater training adaptations. Under-fuelling training and over-fuelling TV night is probably quite common, but even the same calorie count for the day can produce vastly different results in training.

I would also guess that those carrying a very moderate training load, say less than 8 hours per week, likely don’t have to be nearly as concerned with the risk of under eating at those training more. If those 8 hours are performed at an average of 200 watts, the calorie expenditure for the entire week is about 6,000 calories, or an average of 1,000 calories extra (on average) per training day if they train 6 days on 1 day off. That is quite easy to manage with on the bike fuelling and perhaps a recovery snack or just eating larger meals throughout the day.

For athletes carrying much heavier training loads, and/or those with higher FTP’s, under eating is likely more of a concern. Personally, I train 18-23 hours per week, and my exercise calorie expenditure is often greater than 20,000 kJ’s per week. Paired with a fairly active lifestyle, I have to eat between 5,000-7,000 calories per day to maintain my weight and keep improving in training. I find that my hunger cues do a decent job of getting me to about 4,500-5,000 calories, but above that I make sure to eat even if I don’t feel like I “need to” at the time. Also, if I don’t get in 90-100g of carbs/hr during training, it is pretty much impossible to “make up” that deficit during the rest of the day. Saying all this, I’m not a big guy. At 5’10, 140-142 lbs, I feel bad for the pro riders with massive FTP’s and training loads. I cannot imagine how much food they have to be putting down in order to keep training the way they do.

In summary, I would think that higher level athletes with higher FTP’s and those carrying greater training loads (both in terms of hours and intensity) are much more likely to under eat than most recreational athletes. Burning an extra 1,000 calories per day through exercise may sound like a lot at first, but that is likely easily managed with on the bike nutrition and a slight increase in portion size during regular meals.


I won’t argue with you as I don’t see the point, but what you said was that weight had “nothing to do” with BMR, which is just untrue. RMR varies because of several factors, BMR is almost entirely dependent on your weight.

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I will concede that my wording was perhaps a little strong, but the point remains…body weight as the determining idea of BMR is simply wrong. The tell is in the name - Base Metabolic Rate.

Yes, weight is a factor, but it is your metabolic rate that determines the calorie expenditure…and that is individual, not determined by your weight.

We have literally tens of thousands of readings in our database that clearly demonstrates this fact.

This. Like I would be 350 lbs if I didn’t consistently think about not becoming obese. I have zero issues “fueling the work.” The past two years I’ve ridden/trained the most I ever have and am 20 lbs heavier than the start 2020. Been working super hard so far in 2023 to undo it, but still.


I don’t understand why so many of you are nitpicking small points in this podcast.

I got Ivy’s point. A “packet” of instant oats usually is a sugar bomb and probably good for her training.


The podcast team is people with self described minor eating disorders and a tall naturally skinny guy. Go somewhere else for this advice.

That is the fundamental problem for people struggling to lose weight. They get conditioned to highly satiable food and then come to think that whole food like a chicken breast, some rice, and some veggies on the side is depressing.


You can still lose weight by eating crap :wink:

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Exactly - just eat less of the crap;)


Exactly…I’ve always said that I can create a diet for people eating nothing but Big Macs and get them to lose weight…they may not be healthy, but they will weigh less. :crazy_face:

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Is this always the case, or does it depend on brand/type of “table sugar”?

I was responding to the comment:

The crap is the source of the lack of self control. If you are used to over-eating on pizza and candy bars, it’s going to be really hard to cut back and diet on those foods, still eat them, and lose weight. Yes, I get that it is theoretically possible to only eat a little bit of pizza.

My advice for people with control issues is to ban all the crap food you don’t have control over. Reacquaint your palate with blander whole foods and the over eating issues will self correct.