Weight loss and diet

Hi all

Any advice please. I’m currently 122kg and looking to get down to 80kg. I realise this will be a long game but has anybody got any advice for me that will help me on my way? Any nutrition tips? I’ve just started with Trainer Road too. Thanks

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You will find a wealth of knowledge on this forum about this exact subject. My suggestion would be to do a search, there is a lot of reading to be done.

Some threads to start with:

In summary:

track your calories in and out via an app like myfitnesspal
Ensure a caloric defecit between 200 and 500 per day
Fuel your workouts properly by eating plenty of carbs before/during the workout

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Thanks @onemanpeloton this is really helpful!

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Just from personal experience on how i did it. (went from around 130KG about 10 years ago to 82KG now, lost the last 15KG the last 1,5 year once i started cycling regularly).

What helped me the most is realizing i don’t really need any extra food. Regular breakfast, lunch and dinner is more then enough. For work i spend a lot of time on the road and it’s very temping pick up something nice at a gas station, that you really don’t need.
Also snacks in the evening and weekend, try to skip them. That bag of chips on a saturday evening can destroy all your hard work during the week in 15 minutes. Just being aware of what you eat can help you a lot. Read the labels and be terrified by just how many calories there are in some foods.

As for the combination of cycling and losing weight. Long slow rides are your best friend. You don’t really need that much extra fuel to complete them but you’ll burn a lot of fat during the ride. I did fuel for the intense rides but that 3 hour endurance ride in the weekend, mostly just water.

So in a nutshell. Losing weight really starts with what you eat. That’s the most important thing. You can exercise 20 hours a week. But if all you eat is junk food you won’t lose a pound.
Oh, almost forgot. If you want to keep the weight off. About half a KG per week is a good amount to aim for. If you try to lose that 40KG in 6 months, you’ll probably bounce back right away. It’s unhealthy and not recommended.

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My personal experience shows that I can only do 1. Either lose weight or increase ftp. I find that when I’m trying to cut weight I’m better off getting lots of rest and keeping the training intensity low. Maybe an hour long walk or Zone 2 ride rather than Sweet Spot, etc.

I’m currently trying 16:8 and it’s working so far (2 weeks…it’s early), but I’m still in the first couple weeks of Low Volume SSB. The thing I like about the 16:8 approach is that I can still carb up before and during the ride (because I ride after work). I struggled with that when just trying to count calories.

Edit: male, 52yo, so if you’re 25, my advice might be useless. Good luck!

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Wow! That’s great work! Exactly how I want to be. Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s so right what you say about snacking and undoing all your hard work in 15 mins on a Sat night! I’m still doing that right now! Thanks for the advice and wish me luck!

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I’ve lost a solid 20 pounds over the last 1.5 years - about 1 pound per month. I’ve tried to lose 4 pounds a month and always fail. I can do it for a short period of time but it’s never lasting weight loss.

Here are the hacks that have worked for me:

Eat whole foods - cut out sugar, junk food, fast food, prepared food, processed food, frozen dinners as much as possible. Eat some fruits or vegetables with every single meal. (this is the single best thing)

Count calories with an app at least for a month or two (good feedback to realize where big calories come from) - lets you know that that half a block of cheese and salami you like to snack on is about 1000 calories. :slight_smile:

To support training, get 5 doses of at least 20 grams of protein per day. This starts protein synthesis 5X per day, and will help prevent muscle loss while in a calorie deficit. It also has a side benefit of curbing appetite. You can eat 3 ounces of chicken breast and get 22 grams of protein and it only costs you 120 calories.

If you have the time, go out and do those 4 or 5 hour long slow adventure rides. You’ll burn tons of fat. Refuel with healthy food afterwards. If you have the time, you can ride off fat.

I found reading Jason Fung’s book helpful. A couple of take-aways: a 12-13 hour fasting window can really help many people. This is the lightest level of a restricted eating window and it basically means no sitting in front of the couch eating a bowl of anything before bed. The other take-away is to not snack between meals. I’ve also experimented with up to a 24 hour fast. Once you do that (easier than one thinks) you realize that you don’t need a snack to get to your next healthy meal. You have weeks of fat stores on board. A hunger pain will be brief and will pass.

If I could orient my life around it I would try a longer 5 day mimicking fast but I have a wife and small kids so it’s just not in the cards right now. A longer fast would not be good for training or FTP but you’d probably lose 5 pounds and it would have some regenerative health benefits. Like I said, I haven’t done it yet.

As mentioned before the weight loss occurs with what is eaten. The link here is from a young CTS cycling coach on youtube, in this video he is talking about “low calorie dense food” being better than calorie counting and restrictions. This resonated with me as last year I got down to 73kg at 183cm using MyFitnessPal. But the constant restrictions would break my resolve every 2 to 3 weeks and a huge binge would result. Currently I am 57 years old and 77kg, just trying to only eat whole, good food to satiation without calorie tracking. It still takes resolve to not eat when bored or it is just a habit. As well it seems the office candy dish people do not want me to ride my bike uphills.

Low calorie density, whole nutritious foods will get the health you want.

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count your macros, shoot for a 500 calorie daily deficit that will have you losing 1lb per week, while still making sure to get plenty of protein (at least 1 gram per lb of bodyweight). Look at your weekly average, if you arent dropping weight, then cut your daily calorie goal by 100, keep doing this until you are losing 1lb a week. Every 6 weeks or so, go back to your maintenance calories for a week or two so your metabolism doesn’t get jacked.

Or, you can just work on eating a little bit less and cut out the low hanging fruit (soda, candy, desert etc) from your diet and pay attention to how your body feels.

All of this. I’m down 30 lbs since sept 19, and the biggest difference for my weight loss was the calorie counting. I rode on zwift a lot without changing much diet and only lost 10, then plateaued for months prior. Get a scale and start to figure out what things look like at a certain calorie value, and if you have time, meal prep helps. I have 4-5 lunches that I can rotate through, and through tracking food and visualizing what a non-US portion really is, I can usually get close enough on calories during dinner without “insulting” the wife’s cooking :grinning:

Have you tried weight watchers? Tried it around four month last year and Web t from 115kg to 95kg. Then i stayed there for during rest of year. This year i do it again for around 3-4 month. Going from 95kg to maybe between 85-90kg… And so not folllow as strict as last year.
Lost weight and gained ftp=nice raise of w/kg

My n=1, that got be down from 135ish kg down to my current 70kg-ish was tracking calories.

  • I worked out my estimated tdee in a calculator.
  • Reduced that by 500 for my intake deficit (if I was starting again, I’d go for 15% rather than an absolute number)
  • Put that into myfitnesspal
  • Tracked calories, including weighing food, properly portioning meals
  • I aimed to earn 500 calories from exercise. I ate anything earned above 500.
  • 500 from food, 500 from exercise generally did give me the 2lb/ 1kg a week loss
  • Weekly weigh in, after which I recalculated tdee and adjusted targets.

This worked for me as it lead to a gradual and sustainable change of diet. At the start, it was really just portion control. I didn’t, and still haven’t, excluded any foods. I still have sweets, cake, carbs, beer etc. I just track and move on. I haven’t been convinced a calorie isn’t just a calorie yet.

I still track my calories. There’s stats in Ireland that only 10% of people who lose more than 10% of weight. There’s also evidence that that the difference in those 10% is that they keep the food diary going after losing the weight. Now in maintenance, I work to a deficit during the week and then don’t sweat the weekend too much.

Regarding Training, I only managed to maintain FTP, which was obviously a w/kg increase. However, I did too much dieting on the bike, and didn’t fuel workouts/ rides and recovery enough. That’s a big change I’d make if I was starting again.

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After calculating tdee what would you say is a good split for your macros carbs, protein, fat?

@Ampslave First, congrats on already doing two of the best things you can do – set a firm intention of what you want to accomplish and announce it to the world. There can only be accountability when those steps are taken, and accountability is huge.

I had a big weight loss last year and am maintaining this year. A few things that stick with me from that experience:

  • Go to bed a little hungry
  • Drink water
  • No limits on whole fruits and vegetables
  • A shocking amount of weight will lose itself if you kiss alcohol, desserts, sugary drinks and fried foods goodbye

Good luck soldier - you can do this.

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A few podcasts ago, the team (with @ambermalika huzzah) took my question on this very topic, with almost the same exact goals.

It was a super crazy couple of weeks for me after that podcast, but they’ve been amazing.

-First, I made the conscious decision that enough was enough.

-Second, in the past, I’ve played around with MyFitnessPal (and others), but what I’ve found to be the most helpful is literally writing out my food journal. There’s something about physically writing out the food item, time consumed, macros, estimated calorie values, etc, that just seems to work for me. For me, the apps just allow a mental disconnect from the process.

-Third, life got CRAZY in a heartbeat for me not long after they took my question. Due to some blood pressure issues, my wife got was induced into labor far earlier than I was expecting. Everyone is happy and healthy, but that series of events including a month long NICU stay obviously kept me off the bike. That was PERFECTLY FINE. But I made the decision there and then that I was going to focus on my food choices until I could get back on the bike, especially since I didn’t know how long my son was going to be in the NICU. It was super hard when we were spending so much time either sleeping or at the hospital, but it also helped solidify the focus on the goal. It also helped solidify what the goal actually was (for me).

I think the biggest help to me (other than the things like journaling/etc) is to not worry about the bad crap in your diet. I’ve just focused on adding more and more high quality things and the bad stuff just gets crowded out. It sounds dumb, but if you eat a huge volume of high nutrient content food, there just won’t be room for the crap.

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I focused on maintaining protein, at grams per kg at goal weight (not current weight). Pretty sure I researched that at the time but can’t link to it now. I went the upper end, so 2g per kg.

I meant to add, I did that over 6 years, with 5 or 6 goal weights along the way. I set a goal weight, reached that, spent a few months at maintenance and then went again.

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I’m down 65 pounds and have around 35 more to go. I track all my food using my fitness pal. I try to keep my ratios 40% carbs, 30% fat, 30% protein. I have one free day a week, where I eat whatever I want. This has lead to steady, but not fast weight loss. I know its not what most people want to hear, but the slow is good for weight loss. You will be much more likely to keep it off if you are doing something sustainable to lose it.

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Thank you all for your stories and advice. I’m now super motivated to do this!

I have lost around 70 lbs (32 kg) over the past few years. I started as a heavy drinker and heavy smoker. I slowly introduced changes to my lifestyle in order to stick with them. Its kind of like a snowball rolling down a hill. As you keep moving forward you keep gaining momentum and each incremental change is easier. It helped me to focus on the progress, as well as specific goals.

Don’t get too caught up on weight, instead focus on a healthier lifestyle. The weight takes care of itself. I personally have stagnated on weight loss the last year or so, but instead have seen a dramatic increase of added muscle and overall athletic strenght.

I could still lose some more weight, but I can keep up on the group rides, my wife digs the fit bod, and my overall happiness and quality of life has improved.

I wouldn’t begin to tell you exactly what to do, you need to figure that out for yourself. I instead would recommend just to make positive choices consistently and continue to build on those choices.

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Not sure if others could help on this topic but I don’t really want to start a whole new thread… Has anyone had good experience identifying their ‘ideal’ body weight/composition?

My backstory - high school & collegiate XC & track runner. Came into college running ~ 50-60 miles per week and by the time I left I was running 100-140. Struggled with somewhat disordered eating patterns on the basis of trying to minimize weight to maximize performance and would occasionally count calories but preferred to avoid it as it only became a mental game. I never tracked body comp except for the one time I had body fat % measured in a Bod Pod for VO2 experiment. BF was 5.9% at the time and weighed in at 149lbs (5’11). I’ve fluctated in weight from 165 to 135 and am currently around 162. Higher weight now has been due to more cycling & lifting which has in turn increased muscle mass, specifically in quads. Haven’t been able to run much as my tibia has had issues after a stress fx back in January of 2019. Did my first ramp test ~3 weeks ago after being on the bike for ~ a week and came in at 3.93 W/kg. Diet is very clean - loads of raw fruits and veggies, almost never any added sugar, really avoid processed foods in 98% of scenarios. At this point I don’t know whether I should count kcal to try and lose weight to get back down < 150 again or if I should just continue to eat normal and assume hunger levels will be dicated by training and body comp will come naturally. Fwiw, training ~13-16 hours a week right now, 23 yrs, working FT. Thanks for any tips/recs people might have.