More Nuance Around Weight Loss

That was one of my main gripes with sports in school. What’s with all this running??? This isnt what I signed up for :joy:

This is where I’m at. I’ve run major caloric deficits while training and that led to disaster. I’ve paid no attention to calories while training and that led to being powerfully slow. This year I may have found the sweet spot, but that remains two be determined.


I’m going to try to drop a few pounds over the summer…but my ‘offseason’ this year I plan to take a month-6 weeks if necessary and just ride all zone 1/2, maybe 6 hours a week and drop the weight. Max would be 10 pounds…probably more like 6. I think I can do 6hrs a week of 40-60% ftp whole running a substantial deficit.

I honestly think one of the big problems when it comes to kids, is that if there are physical activities it seems to be mostly in structured and competetive sports, there isn’t enough emphasis on just playing and having fun imho. And more and more spaces where kids can just do stuff outside are getting removed. Also lets not talk about the problematic state of food advertised to kids and the bad habits that creates early on.

I also don’t think it is necessary to workout a ton to life a healthy life, 3-5 hours a week would be enough and then physical activities doesn’t have to be sports, working in a Garden just going for walks etc. is already an improvement.

From my personal journey I was 114kg around 2.5 years ago and went down to 82 kg last year. I did a really aggressive weight loss for the first 15-20 kg. Which was not easy but felt managable, after that I had to slow down because of energy levels. I did it mostly with portion control cutting out snacks and eating more Veggies and Legumes as well as reducing Alcohol intake (at least for a time). Last year I stopped drinking Alcohol completely and switched to a Vegetarian diet. Fell off the Wagon a bit last fall and winter because of a lot of sickness and difficult life stress and got up to 87 again. Now I’m on 81kg, I’m currently stagnating there, but I also am not activily restricting intake because Training and life would get to hard currently. I still should have around 3-4 kg to loose (190cm tall) If I can shed some weight until my first big climbing event in August It would be great but currently more focused on getting the training in. I will probably diet down a bit after the Season is done with 1-2 Months of mostly easy Z2 riding.

I hate when people say it’s easy to loose weight. Yes it is simple from a concept with CICO, but the challenge is actually getting there, being in a big deficit can be mentally challenging and changing life long bad habits takes a lot of willpower to brake. I still have phases where I really need to use a lot of my mental energy to not fall back into bad patterns and just eat a big bag of chips or a whole block of chocolate.


Thoughts on the latest podcast’s diet/weight talk?

I’ve been dieting since January and feel a little stuck for the last few weeks so I was already taking a break from tracking and just trying to listen to my appetite and eat things that appeal to me and I think I’m going to officially stop the deficit and just focus on enjoying hard workouts and big rides in hot weather.

Yeah, I appreciate that they brought in the dietician (Alex) again. I know it must seem to belabor a point made over and over again - i.e. focus on fueling rather than weight loss while in the midst of heavy training. but I mean, I’ve heard the same from other dieticians and sports nutritionists. It’s definitely solid advice.

But, she also said if you have weight loss goals to pursue it’s best to periodize that during the off-season, when you can focus on more longer-term goals.

On another note, there was a really good deep dive with a researcher in all of this on Simon Hill’s podcast. It’s really quite good!

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I like Stephan Guyenet. I think his theories of food satiety and over eating are right on the money. Basically, if we eat “modern” packaged and prepared food, it encourages us to overeat. I believe there are studies that show it’s only a small number of calories per day but it adds up over time.


The most frequently referenced study about this was not an insignificant number of calories. On the order of 500 per day from a highly processed diet.


Yeah, I thought that was a good podcast as well. One thing that resonated with me - she had a couple athletes she used as examples who were training hard and not focused on weight loss, but still ended up shedding weight. This matches my experience. I almost never go into the season with great body comp and base training never seems to improve that even when doing decent volume. The more the intensity picks up and the closer I get to events, I always drop some weight right up until it’s time to taper. There may be some subconscious improvement to diet going on or some other contributing factor, but I’m almost always dropping weight slowly during build and specialty. I find this particularly true when doing a bunch of hill work outside. Bro science makes me think that my body knows it needs to get lighter for climbing steep hills, but logically there must be other factors that help when I’m climbing a lot.

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I find it’s best to just decouple the two and focus on training. And no, you’re probably not going to magically drop a bunch of pounds by doing this. Depending on your genetics, weight loss is like rolling a boulder up a hill. I think it’s better to devote the majority of one’s energy on more guaranteed gains (intervals, weightlifting, etc) with the remaining energy given to sustainable dietary goals (eating healthier foods, optimizing nutrition). The amount of extra spoons you’ll have towards dieting will wax and wane with the stresses of the season.

I would hypothesize that the amount a caloric deficit will affect your training depends partially on your fatty acid oxidation ability. If you’re good at dipping into fat stores for energy both during exercise and rest, you can get away with more deficit.

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