Your personal best way to lose some fat - anecdotes / experiences / examples of what kicked your ***

I am still unsure if a sportsperson with regular workouts 4-6 times a week needs to go after low fat alternatives

I have done so for some time and did not feel much difference in weight loss/gain as long as this was “healthy” fat like natural joghurt, pure milk, cheese etc.

Anything full fat sweets, candy, chips etc is certainly a different story.

Doesn’t matter if it fits in with your overall calorie targets. I don’t bother with cheese. As a family we go low fat milk (not skimmed). We do go zero fat yogurt - just one where I don’t see it as an addition, and I’d rather my healthy fats from nuts on top of the yogurt!

Serious question: are fats from full fat milk and yoghurts unhealthy fats? What makes them worse the fat from nuts etc

As far as I’m aware they’re healthy - I just like the crunch on my yogurt more than full fat yogurt and milk!

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I can echo a very similar change to my diet that yielded similar results (down from 90kg to 78kg).

I cut out snacks and desserts. I drank more water and accompanied my meals with water (rather than squash or juice). I cut down on junk food and I left it a little after my meal before I reached for seconds. Sometimes I just needed to let my meal settle in my stomach.

I didn’t diet on the bike and kept cheat days in there, or weekends where I would accept not to worry about my intake. The weight stayed off and the habits stayed in place.

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I’d never heard of “squash” before as a drink - that one hasn’t made it to this side of the pond, but you learn something new every day!

Squash is cordial, or drink mix, or concentrated syrup.

There are versions that have sugar, but often they are very low in sugar so just makes drinking lots of water more fun while minimising calorie intake.

Probably healthier to drink real juices, but 1l of orange juice is about 100g of sugar. and 400 calories. Also expensive.

As they contain sweeteners, probably best not to have huge amounts of it, but I find its good for taking the edge of sugar cravings (in the same way a can of diet coke might)

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One of the few things I miss from the UK is Vimto (Dealz, which the Irish Poundland Brand) used to have it, but hasn’t had it the last few times I’ve been in (which is admittedly much less frequent with wfh).

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I think this is quite important. A change in diet has to be sustainable. Cutting out everything you like really doesn’t help that.

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I started to drink coffee and added some casual walks to my then “low consistency TR plans” and my weight dropped from around 93kg to 85kg, while my FTP improved from 299W to 335W.

So my conclusion is, don’t think too much about compromises in your life, but try to improve it as a whole. Change is sometimes better than improvement.

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I have realised some key things that make it easier - first, being to eat what I want to eat… but always making a conscious choice of how it fits into my training and life in general…

The second is to understand food. There just are some things that are really bad for you, such as pizza, fries, soda etc. So instead of complaining that “I can’t have those”, I just see them as things that come between my goals and my training.

Instead, I focus on making good food that will keep me full, fuelling the work I do on the bike: cornerstones being carbs and protein, low fat

Its honestly not super hard to find food that is low on calories and makes you full, you just can’t look at the basics of pasta, bread, rice, butter, etc since it is so damn calorie dense that you will eat you calories before you get full…

Also, get a scale! There is no way I can live without one… Its impossible to eyeball meal sizes and know what you are actually putting in your body.

I don’t believe in skipping meals, especially if it coincides with training… I diet on my off-days, and eat more on my training days. I also focus on carbs in mean before training, as well as feeling on the bike (around 40g)


I have been working with a coach for awhile now and some things that works for me:

  • Chocolate milk the second I get off the bike to replenish carbs and protein
  • Plenty carbs during meal before training
  • Z2 half fasted rides, no carbs first hour or so, then add carbs.
  • 1700-1800 calories base intake, mostly carbs, then protein, least amount of fat. Always eat the calories I burn on the bike, so if I burn 800 on the bike, ill be eating 2600kcal that day.

I have a desk job, don’t do anything but move between kitchen, bed, desk and bike… So 1700 is enough…


Result:

  • 4,5kg weight loss in 1,5 months…
  • 7% increase in power since November (crash and 3 weeks in bed) + 2 weeks cold during Christmas

Did nothing else but understand what I put into my mouth. I sleep better, I feel better, I am more fresh on the bike, I recover faster - and I am faster on the bike :wink:

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A beautiful strategy. Folks should read this. It’s not 100% what I would do, but it checks two boxes:

  1. It is very close to “theortically optimal”
  2. It works for you, you stick to it and feel good doing it.

The second one is probably the most important one.

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Very helpful, just curious: what low calories/high carb food do you eat as main base for carb intake ?

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Good sources are potatoes, brown rice, legumes, fruit. These still contain decent amounts of fiber to fill you up.
Low calorie stuff like e.g. vegetables is what you eat next to other foods in order to keep total calories low an hunger down. You are not eating only low calorie foods.

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My experience so far with weight loss/gain is that if I don’t pay attention to what I eat and how much, I will slowly increase weight over time. My habits that cause this are: I still tend to eat whole foods cooked from scratch, don’t do soda, not much processed junk. I might snack a bit on cheese/nuts/dark chocolate and probably over-eat at dinner time.

Everyone has different habits, go to foods they crave and food choice in general that dictates the weight they end up with. For me with 182 cm, about 6ft, my highest weight was 95 kg, came back down to 80 kg when I started cycling 10 years ago, and slowly it has been creeping up to recently 85 kg. I have a muscular build with wide shoulders and muscular thighs, but still at 85 kg the small protruding belly was putting me at the start of being overweight.

The point here is that it is not enough to eat “healthy” foods and to exercise. It is a good start though and will most likely prevent you from getting morbidly obese anytime soon. But for me, moderately exercising and good food choices still has my weight going slowly up.

So I had a change of habit about 4 months ago and weight is steadily declining, now at 81 kg. I have counted calories before and I still do it some times for a specific meal, for example after a ride with 1500 Cal burned and 400 Cal consumed, I would allow myself to eat up to 1500 Cal if I wanted to. This does not mean I will stuff myself with junk up to 1500 Cal. I would still eat mostly good whole foods making me full before reaching the 1500 Cal and allowing me to eat a bit more for the next meal as well.
But this time I am mostly not counting calories I would not even describe it as being on a diet. I changed my habits, I don’t feel deprived and therefore it is a sustainable habit change that can be maintained. The point is that you don’t get overweight by only eating too much in a specific period, you need to keep eating those amounts to maintain your weight. It now works the same way in the opposite direction, you don’t keep weight off by eating very little in a specific period, you need to keep eating like that and therefore it better be something you can keep doing.

This is what I changed

  • I started with a structured cycling program first in Zwift then in TR. This helps mostly for staying motivated, 5 workouts per week, burning perhaps 600 Cal average per day is not where the calorie deficit to loose weight is coming from, because it also makes you more hungry and there is an “unlimited” amount of food available.
  • I have a goal to climb the Mt Ventoux this summer so looking to increase the W/kg. I regularly envision myself going up that mountain with a lot less kg’s to carry.
  • Regarding diet, I eat 2 or 3 major meals per day and in-between snacks are fruits if I am a bit hungry and lower Cal stuff like tomatoes, cucumber, bell peper if I just need to chew on something. That is a big change as before I was plundering the fridge before and after dinner with calorie dense stuff.
  • For the major meals I am still eating the same things. Maybe a bit more vegetables now. Biggest change is quantity. I have learned to stop eating while not yet completely full. Then 20 min after eating that final sense of hunger goes away and I am good.
  • It is important not to starve yourself, because that is not sustainable. I have now learned to feel good having an empty stomach, cultivating appetite for the next meal and then allow myself to eat following that same appetite and stopping right before being stuffed.
  • You will notice that cutting down on calorie dense snacks and eating whole foods will almost make it hard to over eat. As during the meals your natural appetite will be sufficient. Then you need a conscious decision to grab an apple or a grapefruit rather than cookies or potato chips.
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Just a point from me on this - which may already have been mentioned but I found that I used to eat out of boredom or as a response to emotional stress. If you see that and question yourself each time you open the fridge/cupboard door looking for food with “Am I hungry or am I feeling something else?” It can help you become a mindful eater and aware of extra calories that you’re consuming maybe for the wrong reasons.

We’re all complex but I found that I would often eat to respond to certain stressors - I do it less now but that helped me shift some weight along with a couple of other things.

Not getting into the weeds on overall diet as that way “lays madness” with so many personal views some of which are polar opposites - what works for one often doesn’t for another. But I do think being mindful can help with the calories that maybe folks don’t actually need.

And if you’re going to have a treat accept it and just don’t beat yourself up about it.

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Avoiding obvious unhealthy choices and becoming friends with a little hunger.

Personally I like to skip breakfast when I dont have training before afternoon. Also big on cutting alchohol and not opening drawers and the fridge after 20:00 :sweat_smile:

I got lean by reducing cardio. This helped me get a handle on calories in v. calories out and get in a healthy sustainable deficit. During this time I did many hours of strength and core training. When at home I’d do anything to stay busy. I have a yard that can take some effort to keep up so that helped. Point is keep your mind occupied.

For ref I’m 180cm tall and went from 77kg to 68.

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Interesting video posted here a couple of weeks ago made sense to me and has seemed to work for me. Basically said that the number of calories absorbed is NOT what the package says because the human body either doesn’t break it all down (think corn) or some additional energy expenditure is required to break it down, such as splitting out nitrogen from protein. That basically says that diets that are high in fiber and diets that are high in protein are typically more successful because the calories of foods with either of those characteristics suggest less calorie absorption. Highly processed foods are also a negative because the more processed the food, the higher the percentage of calories are absorbed. I’ve increased both and dropped 6lbs in the past month when I’ve been fighting it for months.

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Listened to a fairly recent “Fast Talk” podcast with guest Tim Noakes the other day. There was quite a bit of discussion about the practical issues associated with calorie tracking / counting and the typical errors associated with the methods commonly used.

Is Weight Management as Simple As Calories In, Calories Out? With Dr. Timothy Noakes - Fast Talk Laboratories (fasttalklabs.com)

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