🎉 New Video! 🎥🧑‍🔬 Science-Backed Nutrition Plan for Cyclists | Cycling Science Explained

One way is via a met cart test. I had one a few years ago and at the intensity that I ride most at it was 18-19%

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We like to have fun on this forum

The idea is usually that as long as numbers are consistent in their inaccuracy you can work with them. This resolves power meters, efficiencies and so on but cannot address calories in. Unless all you eat is refined sugar and whey protein powder, I guess.

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That is the idea that I’m pursuing at the moment using Garmin “activity calories” for my everyday energy out estimation. It may not be accurate but at least I hope it has a chance of being consistently inaccurate. Calories in is a bit more of a problem…

I love the idea of a formulaic method of deciding how many calories to consume.

I’ve been training/losing weight in the method suggested for about 2 years - that is, consuming a base number of calories per day that leave me in a modest deficit, adding the calories from my ride on top - effectively working on “net calories” as MFP puts it. I’m currently 20kg down, but making further progress has been difficult. Goal is still 15kg away.

My observations have been that I’ve needed to consume somewhere around 30cal/kgFFM (based on my Garmin Index S2 scales) to lose weight at any significant pace.

But recently found out that just eating what I want (and not tracking calories) resulted in a fair bump in FTP (From 240 to doing 262w for 47 mins).

I suppose this largely supports the formula provided in the video, but I don’t think I’d see significant fat loss at 35cal/kgFFM. I’m going to give it a go in December.

The one thing that does have me doubting my current restriction is just how quickly I gain weight when I stop. 5-7 days holiday without watching what I eat and I can easily pop 2kg back on.


This is what I have struggled to understand when it comes to counting calories and restriction. Eventually you stop and eventually it comes back


From what I understand, it should be expected to have a surge in weight when transitioning from a deficit to a maintenance/surpluss, most of it being water weight.


@Jonathan and/or nutrition folks on this thread: How do we adapt this for multisport? Swimming an hour won’t burn 90g so there is a net gain there?

Also, Do you scale down he 90g/hr for workouts that are shorter than an hour or 0-30mins nothing, etc.?

And yes, calculator please.

To be fair, as the comment above suggests, it’s usually just a surge. It doesn’t continue to rise.

I recently spent a month off work cycling for fun, I ate when I was hungry for the most part and went hard on the carbs for the big days and while I gained 2kg initially, my weight levelled off at ~1-1.5kg higher than before I started with a slight shift in body comp away from fat and towards muscle.

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I was thinking about this video last night. Is it that bad to “lose muscle”. I know that the holy grail is to gain muscle and lose fat. But if one wants to be a skinnier cyclist, do we really need to try and keep muscle mass. Often the fastests cyclist in the world have skinny legs and are not muscle bound types.

If one is trying to go from 90kg to 80kg, it seems that one is going to have to drop some lean body mass to get there. No?

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I’ve thought it too. The numbers show they lost more weight, and some of it was muscle. If the goal is to lose more weight as fast as possible, it seems you would be willing to sacrifice a bit of muscle. I’m working on my weight right now, and I’m fine with losing some muscle if it helps me achieve faster weight-loss (which, overall means more fat loss).

But…I also think we have to remember the goal in this topic for TR was to maximize performance while working toward your best body composition to achieve that goal, NOT to try to cut big weight. Once I’ve lost the weight, I’m going to revisit this topic (and hopefully use the incoming calculator) to focus on performance and body composition.

:man_shrugging: I used this approach for ~2 years and lost weight, gains cycling fitness, and improved body composition.

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I would think it depends on how much muscle, and if not losing muscle was that important, then the best way to keep the muscle on while in a deficit is to incorporate some resistance training if it isn’t already part of the program. The other part is getting somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 gram/lb of goal body weight +/- spaced out throughout the day.

Depending on how much fat you are trying to lose, sacrificing a little muscle may not be that detrimental, especially if you plan to gain it back after losing all your excess body weight.

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I do think losing not more than say, 1 pound per week, as shown by the calculation is a good idea. That is still 52 pounds per year if you can maintain the deficit. (Most probably cannot sustain that.)

I guess my point is more along the lines that a fast cyclist doesn’t look like a cross fitter and if one wants to be a fast cyclist then sacrificing some lean body mass may not be the horrible thing it’s made out to be.

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I have Renpho ones I got here on Amazon Europe. I use smart scale sync, and it feeds Connect/ Strava/ TrainerRoad

I weigh everyday, and I “surge” after the weekend and it drops away over the week. Weekend consumption normally includes some beer, more salt (snacks), and more processed carbs. It tends to drop away by Wednesday.

I set my target on the Friday figure, but I prefer to see the weekly trend rather than rely on a single day (given so many variables, even if the same time and conditions every day).


I’ve had terrible luck with trying to keep a deficit. I never seem to lose much but definitely show up depleted. I just get cranky.

I like this as it looks like it gives a little more calories to work with and thus maybe a little more sustainable. I think the body fat % is the biggest variable. I thought he said it’s something that cha fed every day so how often do you have to run the calculation? Daily seems a bit much.

I think Jonathon said in the video that he did a day by day calculation using his Garmin scale but I’m not sure that is valid as your body fat percentage isn’t going to change very much day to day. None of the studies talk about that. (I could have heard Jonathon wrong. He’s a skinny guy and I’m guessing that his weight doesn’t change very much.)

The numbers given by these scales can change with hydration levels and probably many other things. It seems that they are at best good for watching a trend. Maybe after you’ve lost some weight, you might use a lower percentage of body fat going forward.

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I think the biggest mistake folks make when trying to lose weight is they create too big of a deficit day after day. This results in a crash after a couple of weeks usually. Creating small consistent deficits over a long period of time is really hard to execute, but this is the right way to do it - This is the hardest part though! I think the vast majority of people lack the patience to make permanent changes needed. The struggle is real…

On a personal level, I’ve been successful by making semi permanent changes to eating and drinking choices by not seeing them as temporary changes, and not being too aggressive on fat loss timelines.


It’s very challenging to train and diet.

I’m doing it right now. A 500 calorie deficit equates to 1 pound per week. In the middle of it, it feels like a snail’s pace. After a couple of weeks I look slightly thinner but I’m not even sure the scale is cooperating because I’m still within my normal daily weight variation.

I’m going to focus on low cal carbs to see if this allows me to be less grumpy, tired and continue to train daily.