Struggling with carb intake

I’ve recently read Matt Fitzgerald’s ‘Race weight’ and ‘Endurance diet’ books. Both great reads, highly recommended for anyone serious about their nutrition.

I’m 172cm and weight 67kg so shooting for about 1800 calories a day to maintain weight (currently tracking calories until I get a feel for carb intake). I aim for about 250 grams of carbs daily (both on rest and workout day) and add extra carbs around workouts to make sure I fuel well (80g/hr on the bike).

The problem I’m having is getting enough carbs in my diet on rest days without eating when I’m not hungry. This goes against Fitzgeralds advice regarding not continuing to eat once full. I eat a lot of good carbs - oats, honey, fruit, dried fruit, rice, potatoes etc., but still struggling to get above 200 grams daily without stuffing myself. I’ve recently come off a daily 500 calorie deficit in order to shed weight, so one possibility is that my stomach has adapted to smaller quantities of food.

Any advice on on how to get towards 250 grams daily in this situation would be much appreciated.

Maybe stop shooting for an arbitrary macro target if you are getting enough calories and micronutrients?
Otherwise, make your carbs more palatable? Homemade pizza and bread, for example.


I’d agree with @BT-7274, I wouldn’t stress over not hitting an exact macro count. Sounds like you are fueling the days with workouts and not starving yourself on rest days, which is a great place to be.

But if you really want to increase the carbs in your diet, I’d just make sure you have a source in each meal. For me that means oatmeal and berries in the morning with milk/protein powder (post ride), some flavored rice over greens with some sort of protein, and then similarly for dinner a protein with some rice or potatoes or pasta and veggies. It doesn’t have to be a ton at any one sitting but a bit at each meal adds up. Then snack on some fruit to fill in hungry spots. That’ll usually get me to ~300g for a 2000 cal rest day.

Personally it’s more challenging for me to get ~30g protein at each meal, I find the carbs easy.


Like someone mentioned, eat something more tasty!

Pizza Marinara is great for example. 100g of pasta is like 86g or carbs.

My coaches usually tell me to focus on protein on off days and carbs on riding days (pre ride carb intake).

If I have a rest day after a ride day, focus on protein.

If you have back to back days, or a long day in the saddle, focus on carbs.

Don’t get hung up on details so much. It’s way more important that you eat enough, than maybe going over in calories one day.

Say you have rest day on a Friday, and a three hour ride on Saturday. Friday evening you need to GO ABOVE Fridays daily calorie intake to carb load for Saturday. Then on Saturday, you can eat “like normal” to offset the extra you had on Friday.

But, if you’re riding Sunday again, you need to load up once more.

I hope that this helps a bit!

Also keep carbs easy, if you’re eating a lot of fiber and fruits etc you might get very full. Pizza, pasta, rice, toast etc will allow you to have more carbs while not being as filling :slight_smile:

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Also, eat more meals. I have the opposite problem…

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My guess is that 1800 cal/day while training is dieting. I’m a little taller and my maintenance calories are around 2300 but training requires another 5000-8000 calories per week.

Most of your “good” carbs are high glycemic. You don’t need those unless you are burning them off training. Vegetables are the good carbs. Get adequate protein for an athlete (>1.5G/kg) and eat healthy fats.

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That’s what I’ve been doing recently and it feels way better.

  • I was eating too much carbs and wasn’t able to lose fat.

Just focusing on proteins on rest day was like a magic trick and helped a ton!


Yeah, I am able to eat a shit tonne of food even on days off, if I focus on protein.

Usually do 2-4 eggs scrambled in the morning with one piece of toast with greek yoghurt (yes, its good) with some sugar free strawberry jam.

Lunch is 250g chicken with 100g rice and 150g greek yoghurt and some chili sauce or whatever.

Then dinner we usually have maybe some fish, or chicken again but cooked differently.

I steer VERY clear of pasta unless I do big days on the bike. You can eat very little pasta and get in very many calories. So if weight loss is in focus, eat potatoes and rice for carbs and have pasta on those 3-5 hour bike days.

Also, big tip if you wanna have the best chicken of your life. Get a sous vide and do big batches of it. 1h 45min @ 73c. You’ll thank me later :slight_smile:

We cook 2-3kg at a time, and then Ill usually finish that in 3-4 days.

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All I have to say is I hate you, I wish I had this problem.

Look at the sources of carbs. There are plenty of things with a ton of carbs which do almost nothing for satiety. Liquids, low fibre foods, dried fruit are all good. You will find liquids like fruit juice the easiest. I would ditch potatoes, they have the highest satiety index of basically any food. How much protein are you getting, depending on the answer to this, maybe decrease it given how full it makes you feel. cereals also have a lot of carbs for hardly any food, maybe swap the oats.

I’m similar stats to you, and eat about 500g carbs a day without struggle.


Thanks for the replies.

Looks like focusing on high carb liquids and foods with little fiber is the way to go.


Rest days should probably have different carb intake than training days. If I had to guess, I’d say increase training day carbs substantially, especially via higher carb consumption rate on bike, and very slightly decrease rest day carbs so that you’re not stuffing yourself unnecessarily.