Sharing beginner progress and newbie nutrition questions

I am very new to cycling and discovered trainer road from the podcast. I dabbled in plans for a couple months at a time over the last couple years, but struggled with commitment and doubts from ramp test/calibrations (basic dumb trainer/no power meter).

In April I jumped in fully committed with a high volume plan. Starting with an FTP of 151 and a weight of 252lbs at 5’9. Currently, I am at 192lbs with an FTP of 211. Life changing results for me. I have worked out a very solid routine and have rarely missed a workout 6 days a week, and sometimes fit in a leisure outdoor ride on top of this. I knew the weight loss would inevitably slow down, but I have hit a pretty solid plateau over the last 1.5 months, with the scale fluctuating in the 195 range. My current diet is in the 2400 cal ballpark, with my macros in the 225g carb / 125g protein range. I stick fairly strict to high quality foods 5 days a week, and use the weekend for my more slack “cheat” days.
In the 190lbs I feel I still have a fair amount of room for progress. Since I am still in the “beginner gain” phase and I still have quite a bit of fat to loose, would it be possible to go into a fairly large deficit without having a negative affect on my current progress? Still fueling my work properly, but letting that be the majority of my daily calories? Would I be better off to keep the same calorie range but shift macros to go less on the carb side and heavier on protein? Should I proceed with my current regime and hope as the power increases the weight will start to move again?

Ideally I would like to drop an additional 20lbs over the next 4-5 months, even if my current power level stays the same. I just don’t want to loose the little bit of power progress I have made.

Thank you

First, congrats on the weight loss, that’s a lot.

The lighter you get the harder it’s going to be to lose additional fat. From your body’s perspective, it’s a valuable energy source and it doesn’t know if a famine is right around the corner.

Another thing with having less fat is the rate of energy (ie, watts, though metabolic ones) you can draw from the remaining fat is less. ie, if one pound of fat can release 31 (per the article below) calories per day than as you have less fat the amount of energy it can provide drops. Net result being larger differences between calories in / out become harder to sustain (and your body can/will break down muscle for energy, too). Source for this was the stronger by science article and by extension that study.

As far as goals going forward, I’d suggest setting some process goals instead of outcome goals. ie ‘I’m going to be 90% (pick your number) consistent with getting workouts done’. Weight is less directly controllable and trying to force it could encourage less healthy approaches to hitting a target.