Nutrition Feature Request

TR team/community,

Thanks so much for all you do. Five stars on all levels. You motivate and entertain us in so many ways. Congrats on an incredible product and culture you’ve created.

My question is around nutrition and maybe a feature request. I’ve seen the forum questions regarding a tie into MyFitnessPal or similar and I get that if you’re not going to do it better, you don’t want to do it just for the sake of doing it. Maintaining a database of foods, portions, etc. is dumb when there are multiple free apps out there that do it already. I also get that each individual is unique, you’re not here to dispense medical advice, etc.

What might be helpful and far less involved than a full-on nutrition program is to establish some baseline calories or even Macros for a given calendar day. Essentially, for a given workout, what percentage of my daily caloric needs (leaving people to decide that on their own), do I need to consume if my goal is weight-loss vs. if my goal is strength gains, etc.

Taking the existing filter categories on TR and adding a lift day, recovery ride and rest day you get the below but I’ve added an example percentage of my DCN (Daily Caloric Needs) if my calendar prescribes one of the above activities or lack thereof. It would look something like this, assuming a 2500 DCN:

Endurance- 70% or 1750 calories

Tempo- 80% or 2000 calories

Sweet Spot- 100% or 2500 calories

Threshold- 90% or 2250 calories

VO2 Max- 90% or 2250 calories

Anaerobic- 80% or 2000 calories

Sprint- 80% or 2000 calories

Lift- 80% or 2000 calories

Recovery Ride- 110% or 2750 calories

Rest- 90% or 2250 calories

The daily caloric deficit could total on the right of the calendar just like time and TSS does, showing a weekly prescribed deficit/surplus.

Ideally, you could even take it a step further and break that down into Macros, emphasizing protein over fat and carbs for recovery days or maximizing carb intake before Sweet Spot and Threshold days.

The actual percentage would vary depending on the goal (weight-loss vs. strength gains or maintenance). Tying this into Plan Builder, by adding one more step, I might specify that during a given 6-week period I want to focus on weight-loss, followed by 6 weeks of strength gains. The prescribed plan would include the workouts I should do during that first 6-week stretch, as well as a caloric/macro target specific to my goal (weight-loss) and the workout (Sweet Spot, VO2 Max, etc.). During the next 6-week stretch, those percentages would change to align with the new goal of strength gains.

I could see this ‘toe in the water’ to all things nutrition related as a great and relatively easy step for TR to take without giving wholesale, meal by meal advice, maintaining a food/portion database, etc. It would be a ton of work for the Chads, Petes and Ambers of the TR team but relatively little work for the programming teams. It also might eliminate like half your podcast content to make more time for race analysis which is way more entertaining anyways. :wink:

You’re also not dispensing medical advice. You’re just providing a percentage of that individuals self-selected daily needs as it pertains to their goals and the specific workouts they are doing. I know for my part this would eliminate a ton of the guesswork on properly fueling for or recovering from workouts, meaning less skipped or shortened workouts and making me a faster cyclist which is always your ‘North Star’ at TrainerRoad. :blush:

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Hi TR,
I’ve been using TR for the last 6 months, and the results have been great! Thank you for the great platform.

I’ve noticed a discrepancy between my goals and my wife’s goals while using TR.
She is more concerned about weight-loss while I’m more focussed on getting faster. Both goals are real, and both is equally important.

So we’ve been discussing possible features that would allow athletes to adjust their nutrition effectively to focus on Weight-loss or fuel the muscles correctly(which is why I’m resurrecting this old post).

So our idea is the following:

  1. Have a select tick box where nutrition info(of that day) can be displayed in the workout Description(so if you dont care you dont need to read it). Now of course nutrition is based on the athlete, but Chad Timmerman has some great guidelines on the amount of carbs/protein/fat ratios per grams/kg of body weight.
    So we were thinking that the normal Carbs/protein/fat g/kg that a person would need for that day would be different compared to the carbs/protein/fat g/kg that would be required for something like a VO2 workout.

This would then allow the athlete to make good decisions regarding where to cut calories out of your diet if weight-loss is your goal, or fuel your body correctly for that days’ workout.
Example: Dont cut Carbs if you do VO2, but rather cut fat and maybe protein(Chad might kill me for saying this) if you want to have a calorie deficit without negatively affecting progress.

This would be a great feature to add right before winter, where everyone starts focussing on next year and building a good base.

I also think this feature would allow a weightloss Traning build option, where the training would focus more on endurance and fatmax.

I feel like this would lead to eating disorders

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Great thinking.

Completely agree. And it’s a primary concern I have with app-based nutrition anything.

If not implemented very thoughtfully, creating disordered eating in some users is almost a guarantee.

Not a good outcome.

Being overly specific and granular with nutrition prescriptions definitely can lead to orthorexia or anorexia, or anything in between.

The only time granularity may sometimes be worthwhile is probably during training.

And maybe in the few hours before a harder training session, but you can get by with non-specific targets there too.

Outside of training, fuzzy prescription ranges which tend to encourage intuition and listening to your body, while staying within broader ranges of macronutrient targets, is a much better approach than counting every gram of everything.

Especially if paired with sound nutritional education and some psychological education.

@Nate_Pearson I think I may be able to help here, if you’re interested in offering quality custom nutrition with appropriate and safe levels of granularity for both getting faster, and living healthily.

I was pointed to this thread by another @trainerroad user who thought that this might be a reasonable time to formally-but-informally introduce myself to you and the team.

I’ve spent some time chatting in messages with @mcneese.chad, but beyond that, the only interaction I’ve had with the TR team was when I recently got flagged for my inept use of sarcasm while trying to help educate. @IvyAudrain gave me quite the “talking to” for that. And I deserved it. Like I said, it was indeed inept. In written communication, clarity of intent matters! I hope that Ivy and all the team would review that and find me to be appropriately repentant!

COI disclosures: I wrote a book, lifting plans, running plans, and a macro calculator for endurance athletes. They’re all little side projects over the years compared to…

Most important disclosure: I’m developing an app that I hope changes the game for workout fueling and endurance nutrition entirely. I hope that it frees people from the guesswork and constant trial and error. So far, of the 100+ beta testers, the results have made me very optimistic that we’re on thee right track.

@Nate_Pearson if I can ever be of service to the TR users, I’m happy to be. This is an awesome forum you’ve nurtured over the years, and I’m glad to be a part of it. I hope that I have offered, and will continue to offer more help than I’ve received, which is a tall order, considering my previous naivete with regard to XC MTB tires. :wink:


These are some interesting suggestions.

I do share the same concerns expressed here. I am going to share this with the team to see what their thoughts are.

Thanks for introducing yourself, @Dr_Alex_Harrison. Welcome to TrainerRoad!

I have noticed your name pop up on a number of occasions, and I have found your contributions to be super helpful and insightful! Thank you very much for being such a positive contributor!


Pleasure to meet you here @SarahLaverty! Nice interview with Dr. Podlogar :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the responses everyone.
The last thing anybody would want is something that could cause eating disorders, however I think guidelines would be a great feature(That you can enable or not) if required.
Yes each body is different, but knowing which fuel system will be used for each type of workout would allow someone(that wants to know it) how to fuel correctly. Don’t eat donuts on those short endurance rides as an example :wink:

Going into winter this is even more important where the ride durations are shorter and correct fueling is paramount of weight adding/shedding without negatively affecting muscles is your goal

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