Weight loss (fat loss) with easy endurance riding?


I wonder if this approach is advisable or not? My goal is too loose 1-2kg of body fat. I already watch my calorie intake but not every day because I also need some fueling for my training rides.
But I was thinking about doing some extra rides at very low power (50% FTP). So let’s say I do a 2hour 50% ride, I will burn around 40-50grams of fat. If I do 10 rides like this this would be around half a kilo of pure fat burned. Together with some normal calorie deficit approach and fueling my more intense rides or normal Z2 rides. I could loose an extra kg or so within 2 weeks? Or will I kill myself with this idea?

Weight loss would be more than what you think. You burn carbs while riding as well. It’s not like those dont weight anything, and they dont spontaneously reproduce before being burned off or anything.

I’m no expert with this…my weight has been stubbornly consistent for years. But a kg a week is certainly doable if on the high side. I’d just recommend you’re not doing a lot of hard high intensity rides in addition to the easy rides.

For what it’s worth…my plan is to drop my stubborn 10lbs this off season doing essentially what you’re doing, though at most at half the rate… 0.5kg per week.

I’m sure someone here will say “it depends.” IMO your approach is perfectly fine if your main goal is to drop weight. That said…if you’re dropping weight for some event in a few weeks…it’s a BAD idea…it will be counterproductive IMO. Likely the same if you’re training to get more fit at the same time. I think it’s a great idea if you just want to drop 2kg quick while doing no intensity, then return to normal activity though.

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Roughly speaking most people can loose ~1lbs/wk without too many side effects, that’s a ~500Kcal/day deficit.

So ~2 weeks on -500Kcal should net you 1kg fat loss, but it will likely cost you a little muscle mass too, unless you are weight lifting (heavy/low volume is what is generally recommended for maintaining muscle on a deficit).

It really boils down to calories in - calories out, now whether you achieve that through exercise/diet or a combination is the question. If you enjoy riding then do that, but you may find the added fatigue is not worth it while in a deficit.

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I tried this experiment with base miles one season and it didn’t really work. I was calorie counting and lost some weight but not nearly as much as I had hoped. I think also calculating the calorie deficit while training 10-12 hours per week is difficult.

But 1-2kg is like nothing. :slight_smile: Just stop the pizza, alcohol, and all other bad foods. Tighten the diet belt for a while and you’ll lose weight.

I’m not sure it’s possible to just loose the weight as fat. Your body will constantly add back to fat stores when it can.

If I were going to try the experiment again, I’d go on a low fat calorie restricted diet so there is not enough dietary fat to refill the fat stores. I’d also emphasis protein 4x per day and then balance that out with healthy carbs to fuel the riding. That’s my bro science recommendation for you!


Cool. Good advices here. Thx

I’m not a nutritionist or an RD but you don’t have to eat fat for your body to store fat. Carbs on their own can be enough. I’m not suggesting low carb as the way to go just wanted to correct that.


Yea calories are going to go wherever they need to go regardless of how they start out. If you take in too much spinach it will go to fat.

Well. I guess not for everything. Fat is the exception I guess. You need protein for muscle and carbs for glycogen. Your fat is not picky in the slightest though :joy:

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Well, if you want to be pedantic with bro science then go ahead! Note, I did put a disclaimer on there. :slight_smile:

Still, my understanding is that it’s harder for the body to convert carbohydrate and protein into fat. The body is only going to do this when one is in a calorie surplus so if one is going to biohack weight loss, it seems that one might try to take their calorie deficit from fatty foods rather than carbohydrate and protein since we are training.


I really recommend Racing Weight - Quick Start Guide book (and the full Racing Weight book if you want to delve more into detail). Contrary to your gut feel just slapping on some easy rides is probably not help that much. It’s all about balancing nutrition, strength training and relatively low volume of cardio on the bike.

The “Quick Start” is more of an off-season approach but you could totally use it now - it outlines a 6-8 week plan that really works if you stick to it. I’ve followed it before with great results and I have a pretty awful metabolism. I’m one of the unfortunate people who gain belly fat when they just look at a donut.


Fat loss is 80% diet. Trying to lose weight with exercise is inefficient. That said, if your goal is losing weight through training, a lot of z2 is arguably the best way to do it, because you don’t need as many additional calories for optimal performance and recovery.