Need some nutrition help!

Hi all! I am relatively new to the endurance world and am struggling with my nutrition and food intake. I am a 23 year old male, and my height is 6’ 1. In the past 2ish years I have managed to lose a lot of excess fat/body weight going from ~200 pounds to my current weight of ~160. I am now getting into triathlon with the help of trainerroad and have noticed that I often lack the energy to get through workouts in the later part of the week. I believe this is because of a lack of caloric intake. My typical week day looks like this:

Morning workout (swim or run) burn ~300 calories.

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs, 1 banana ~300 calories

Lunch: 1 raw bell pepper, 1/2 cup of almonds, 6 oz chicken, 1 apple ~ 600 calories

Dinner: 1 cup rice (or a sweet potato), 2+ cups of some veggie, and 6-8 oz of some meat. ~600-700 calories

Night workout (typically a bike session) burn ~400-700 calories

So my caloric intake is only around 1600 calories while I burn almost ~1000 calories on a big workout day.

I definitely need to add in more complex carbohydrates throughout the day, I am open to any and all suggestions! Please note I am a graduate student and do not have a lot of extra time/money to prepare food in my current schedule, so relatively quick and inexpensive would be nice but is not necessary.

Looking at your diet, it would appear you are underfueled (which you recognize). You’re making up what’s burned, which is good, but there’s nothing for the next time when you need it. I’m 6’0” and 175 lbs and I’m taking in quite a bit more than you; maybe you’re sacrificing calories for weight? That sounds odd because of the emphasis on power to weight but if the power isn’t there, does the weight really matter?

Nutrition is a touchy topic but I can tell you that I have been following The Endurance Diet with good results (it’s relatively inexpensive on Amazon - $11.55 USD).

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Thank you for the reply! I have heard about that book on the TR podcast and will definitely give it a read.

No problem. I amended my comments to add another thought on weight.

For comparison I’m 1.75m and 67-68kg and a rest day for me is 2500 calories. On exercise days I simply try to add the exercise calories by eating more before and during the exercise rather than trying to cram it all in in the 2-3 hours before bed.

I second the endurance diet though havent got through it all yet.

If you access to it then Joe Friels training Bible also has a section on diet and some suggestions on macros balance and even periodisation of your macros.

It is a good note, I need a transition of mindset from losing weight to fueling for energy.

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It has been my experience that paying too close attention to how much you weigh causes undue psychological stress. If you make it a habit to eat whole, complex carbs with the occasional sweet mixed in throughout the week, you’ll get all the fuel you need. Sweet potatoes, LOTS of salad portions, other leafy greens, brussel sprouts, etc are all good options. I typically have a serving of oatmeal each day. I make either savory or sweet with ingredients. It’s easy to over/underfuel so give yourself some time to figure it out.

The Endurance Diet by Matt Fitzgerald
The Feedzone Cookbook by Allen Lim/Biju Thomas

Those two books have been a staple in my kitchen this year.

Good luck with your training.

“We demand our bodies do exceptionally things, we must fuel it exceptionally.” - @Jonathan


You seem to be well under fuelled.

I made this mistake, which effectively put me in an overtrained state, to much excercise, not enough fuel. Took months to get out of it.

Think in terms of base metabolic requirements e.g. 2500 cals per day and then what you’re burning for workouts e.g. 1000 cals. I’d recommend trimming from the 2500 or whatever your base is but never from the workout.

Personally I perform best by fuelling for the ride before during and after by dividing up the calories.