Does anyone ever get food fatigue, or simply struggle to get adequate calories in on bigger ride days? Say I do a 5+ hour / 4000 kJ ride, starting at 8 am, take a coffee break at 10:30, get home at 1:30, take a shower and now it’s 2pm. I’ve eaten roughly 350 grams of carb on the bike, plus 600 calories between breakfast and the coffee stop, for a total of 2000 calories. To “break even” for the day I need to eat roughly 4200 more calories between 2pm and 8pm. I can manage a massive rice & chicken bowl, for a total of 1000 calories, but then I just can’t eat for at least another hour because I’m so full. So another rice & chicken bowl for another 1000 calories, and I’m sick of eating. I eat again at 630 but can only get in another 1200 calories. Still in a 1000 calorie deficit I stuff myself with some more rice and chicken, but literally just can’t. End the day miserably full, but in a 600 cal deficit… Am I the only one that struggles to eat this much??
When you get to volume like this, you need to start thinking about energy availability because you can’t break even on the single day alone. It’s fine to be deficit today, and be surplus tomorrow. You also want to start planning workouts with this in mind.
I’m so with you on this. I think it can be problematic for me to get in everything I need to eat (sometimes) because I’m trying to get in high quality food/calories. That’s the kicker. Yeah, I could slam half a pizza and chug a family sized bag of m&ms, wash it down with a root beer and be caught up in a hot minute, but it’s garbage calories. Trying to be a bit responsible with your food intake quality while meeting some high caloric energy requirements can be rough, especially when you run out of daylight. Anyway…yeah, I totally get this.
Probably you need to find a more comfortable source of calories. Rice tends to fill you up. You don’t have to go full “pizza + beer + m&ms”, but adding in some fattier foods would make it easier.
Yeah, like @Gnome said, try to be in balance over 2-3 days.
Also, there are many calorie and nutrient dense snacks: various nuts, dried fruits/berries, dark chocolate. I don’t like particularly full stomach feeling. Eating those does not fill too much but I am in balance, weight has been fluctuating within 1kg over last 4 years.
After a really hard ride I cannot be bothered with food but I usually binge a day later. Are you perhaps training too hard and are constantly fatigued?
As mentioned it’s overall energy over time that counts provided you have the energy to get through the intense ride. Calorie deficit will be made up during your easier/rest days. Alternatively drink more beer…that’s what I do!
I wish I had that struggle. It’s not uncommon for me to be neutral after a ride so I have to hold myself back or I’ll go over my calories for the day. My last century I was actually over by a few hundred calories. A couple PB&J sandwiches and a mile 80 ice cream. I just eat a ton and it took a lot of willpower to drop weight.
The second bowl of rice and chicken is your problem, a more varied diet will increase your appetite.
Don’t worry about it and eat more on rest days.
You are not alone. I recall an interview with a Tour rider. He mentioned how he disliked the bloated feeling from having to consume so much during the month long race.
2 cups milk, a big spoonful of peanut butter, a scoop of chocolate protein powder is probably close to 1000 calories depending on your peanut butter scoop, and you can drink it in 10 seconds.
I struggle with the opposite, despite rides of 2000-3000kj I always seem to be near my calorie limit when planning dinner.
My days start at 4am, rides at 5am, and bed by ~8pm. With 3-4x90g/hr on the bike and a proper pre (90-120g carb) and post workout (90-120g carb, 20-30g protein, <15g fat) meal I’m budgeting my calories for the rest of the day and almost constantly hungry.
I always marvel at people who have difficulty eating enough when I feel like left to own devices I could be at my daily limit by lunch.
1000%. I try to keep a lot of varieties of cereal in the house to fill calorie gaps. Maybe not perfect “clean” eating but at least it’s fortified?
If you are losing weight when you don’t want to and/or feeling tired from being in too much of a deficit while already being at a low weight I’d recommend focusing on caloric density and liquid calories.
A 500 calorie smoothie is very easy to easy to drink and won’t make much of a difference in satiety, or at least will clear your stomach pretty quickly. I also highly recommend nut butters, homemade oatmeal raisin cookies and other calorie dense treats. I try to avoid eating right before bed as it tends to negatively impact my sleep if I eat a a ton within an hour of bedtime.
I can easily eat three servings of cereal with milk and not be overly full afterwards. My favorite is to mix rice chex, corn chex and cinnamon toast crunch together.
Thank you so much for posting this! After a big ride (I almost always ride early in the morning) I can slam a large breakfast but am usually not hungry the rest of the day. I know my body is craving food and drink, though, based on the headache I develop, but I have no desire to eat.
Yesterday I made a conscious effort to eat and drink more, and it helped, but was still -1000 cal for the day. Like others have posted, I look to balance the calories in/out over a couple of days, but am interested in ways to still stay on top of it, if for no other reason than to eliminate the headache (and grouchiness that comes with it).
That’s impressive. 300-400 calories / hr is about all I can sustain comfortably.
I used to be about 50-60 pounds overweight. So it took a while for that to become normal. But also why I have to be conscious about it so I don’t go back to my much heavier self.