Changing my current plan to lose weight


#1

I’m a 101 kg and just Ramp Tested 335w FTP. My question is what training plan would people suggest I follow to help with a daily 1000 kcal deficit goal. I have just started mid base 2 but I am starting to really struggle holding the intervals.

I’ve thought about timing my workouts so they happen 1-2 hours after eating but that is quite hard to time in a busy day and consequently I just don’t do the workout. I just feel too tired. Do I continue but reduce the intensity?

I am trying hard to lose weight. Please help me out here.


#2

1000 Kcal is way too much! 250-500 is what you should aim for to lose weight, stay healthy and improve fitness. Fuel your rides/training with a bit to spare.


#3

It would really be helpful if you added more about your background. Did you just sign up for TrainerRoad?

If that is the case, you should choose Sweet Spot Base I and then proceed to Sweet Spot Base II. The load will increase progressively.
You might also want to try Low volume first and supplement it with lower intensity workouts if needed. Another option is Traditional Base which will require more of your time, but will have less intensity (but also no breaks).

I was using low volume plans to prepare for racing for a few seasons and just this year stepped up to mid volume and find that quite demanding in terms of recovery (35 years old skinny dude).

Considering meals, sure it can be challenging to integrate in busy workday. If you can, do easy rides in mornings without breakfast, it will help to burn fat. For the evening rides, try to have a banana or two before you leave work. For harder training sessions plain water might not be enough.


#4

Also, open secret: Trainer Road podcast “Ask a cycling coach” is unofficial manual. It is close to 200 episodes now (I still have 83 of them to listen).

Some of them talk about weight loss and fasted training:



#5

The body can convert fat to energy only slowly. So for a recovery/endurance ride, the majority of your energy can come from fat, but as you add intensity, your body can’t convert fat any faster, and all the extra required from higher intensity rides has to come from carbs/glycogen.

This becomes a problem with a large calorie deficit, as your body is just not getting enough carbs to replenish its glycogen stores before the next intense workout. This may well be why you are having trouble with the intervals. A calorie deficit of about 500/day is generally considered sustainable alongside a structured training program.

However, you might consider the Traditional Base plan, which puts the emphasis on longer duration lower intensity rides. These lower intensity rides burn more fat and less carbs, and are more compatible with a large calorie deficit. However, it does take more time, and can be a bit monotonous on the indoor trainer. Using the trainer during the week and doing longer outdoor rides on the weekend (weather permitting) can make things more palatable mentally.

In terms of fueling workouts, perhaps some sports drink or the like on the bike. Typically simple carbs like this take 20 minutes to digest, so should be hitting your bloodstream while still on the trainer.


#6

I’ve been in your shoes… you just have to aim for a 500cal deficit and be more patient. Sorry.
Kudos for having the will power to go for a 1000cal deficit - but you just won’t be doing yourself any good - especially if you want your ftp to stay high while the weight comes off.


#7

Thanks for sharing this. If you guys are saying so, then I’ll definitely aim for a 500cal deficit rather than the 1000cal. Though I wanted to try out my extreme but I guess it wouldn’t be worth it.

Also, @Papuass @mcalista Thanks for being so informative. It is way too much to read and process. I’ll get back to you guys once I finish reading the sources.

Thanks again.


#8

Even 500 is really ambitious! Everyone covered this in detail, but weight loss is a marathon not a sprint - plan for a sustainable deficit and you are much more likely to reach the finish line


#9

When you try and hold too much of a deficit you will likely binge/overeat later in the day; and/or get demoralized with riding and life in general. 500 is reasonable and doable. It takes time to see changes so set a goal to not give up until 6 months into the project. That will give your body time to show changes in body composition and what you see on the scale.

You’ll get every piece of advise under the sun but, if I may the best advise I can think of is “lose weight in the kitchen and gain fitness on the bike”. Some small lifestyle changes might be necessary but in general: eat often (6 meals vs 3); try to not eat or snack later at night; eat lean and clean (lean meats only, more greens and fruits, less processed everything); and the big one…reduce or eliminate white carbs (breads, pasta, chips etc…).

Many people lose sight of the calorie in calorie out game and focus on more cardio. Not saying this is bad but, it can lead to binge eating post ride. Get a calorie counting app like MyFitnessPal or if you have a smartwatch use the feature there to get a handle on portion size. After a month or so of tracking what you eat you won’t need to do it so much but, you will change habit!


#10

One more thing. You will attain your goal if you set your mind to it. The hard part is maintaining the new you. So take this opportunity to make this a lifestyle change. You can do it.


#11

Totally supporting your goal and this revised approach, :+1: :+1:if your body thinks it’s not getting enough and the demand to exercise is going up…it’s going to change your behaviour for you! Either by making you eat more or exercise less.

As I posted on another thread, TR is a great place to get an exercise plan but you need to support your body with nutrition and recovery. The body will change its composition of its own accord :+1:


#12

I’m in a similar place with regards to weight and I’ll say this, if you’re only using MyFitnessPal to figure your calories you should also check a TDEE calculator. I suggest this because I found that using TDEE my caloric burn rate is vastly different from MFP…in fact if I set MFP to 1 pound a week I hit the maintenance calories I get out of a TDEE calculation…same for my partner. So personally I have MFP set to -2 pounds a week but know that it’s really only about a 500 calorie deficit as opposed to the 1000 calories they claim it would be.

If you can get your BMR tested that’s even better. From a tested BMR I’d go with 500 calorie deficit and then add in your caloric burn from your workouts.

For me right now my base is 1,690 on MFP (again set to 1,000 deficit). I’m currently doing Sustained Power Build low volume so I workout Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. For those days I try to get 1,000-1,200 calories in before my workout. Then my workout will be 600-800 calories which gets added back in to meals after the workout. Make sure you’re eating something like 50%-60% carbs and 20%-30% protein on those days. On off days I’m trying to do 60-90 min of fasted endurance rides like Petit, and Baxter etc. When I was doing SSB Mid Vol2 I started to fail workouts because #1 I hadn’t eaten enough before my hard workouts and #2 I was eating too few carbs. The switch to my eating habit has really helped me be stronger for my workouts.


#13

@Grasschopper has a great point…knowing your BMR will save you lots of time and frustration. I knew mine and sort of assume everyone has a close estimation of their own…


#14

I think weight loss and building fitness are hard to do at the same time. Not impossible by any stretch but hard. If I want to raise my FTP I need to be well fed so that I can optimize my workout performance and “raise the bar” week by week. If I want to lose weight/fat, I have to have a caloric deficit so that I can burn more calories than I take in.

The two are naturally conflicting which then makes it hard to do both well simultaneously. I would say it’s impossible to “optimize” fat loss and FTP gains at the same time. You can lose fat and build FTP, but each will improve at a slower pace than if the entirety of the focus was on just one aspect.

I was able to go from 190lbs (untrained) to 170lbs over about a 3 month period. This was a drop of between 1-2 lbs per week. I’ve been stable at 170 for 3 months now as my focus has shifted to increasing my FTP.

How did I do it? The honest answer is you don’t need to workout at all to lose weight. In fact, the harder I train the harder it is for me to lose weight. So rather than fighting against my own goals, I made the determination to lose weight as my number one priority. I did very short bike sessions (30-45 mins tops) and generally didn’t care how many of those I did or didn’t do every week but averaged only 2-3 hours on the bike weekly. I would do a HIIT style workout, generally riding outside or on Zwift for a lap of whatever the course of the day happened to be and then I would get off the bike. Enough to maintain some fitness or even improve slightly but not enough to build a dramatic calorie deficit that would make me want to eat, and eat again and then eat some more. The more I would ride and especially the harder I would go, the more I would have the unrelenting feeling of being hungry. If I could keep it to short but hard workouts, they were easy to refuel and I could run a 500 calorie deficit (or more at times) and the weight just fell off.

So my short answer… decide what is most important; weight loss as a priority, FTP gains as a priority or time. By time I mean if you aren’t in a hurry you can do both, lose weight and gain FTP, but it will take longer to reach your goal with each.

Good luck!


#15

FYI: MyFitnessPal will not go below hard coded minimum calorie recommendations, I would guess for liability reasons. 1200 for women, 1500 for men off the top of my head. If you set your profile as sedentary, then add exercise calories after (as is the best way in my view) this could very well be above the true 500/750/… calorie deficit you wanted the app to set.
To work around this, you should set your baseline calorie goal manually.


#16

No what I’m saying is that when I put my info into MFP it gives me 1,690 daily calories when set to -2 lbs per week. When I do the TDEE calculation giving it the same info but set to “Cutting” which is -1 pound per week I get 1,740. That is regardless of exercise calories. The same held true for my partner and when she was set to -1 pound per week in MFP (this was before learning about the TDEE calc) she wasn’t losing any weight.

Point is don’t take MFP as gospel. It’s a great tool for tracking but it’s only guessing at your BMR and that guess may not be a very good one at that.


#17

+1


#18

Good call - I am in a similar boat (98kg but looking to return to 87kg by the summer). I tried only surviving on 1200kcal per day and even during the Sweet Spot Base I found I was then bingeing on food because I was genuinely starving due to the exercise.

A more moderate approach supports your needs and these include doing quality workouts and not becoming chronically fatigued…

Good luck. See you on the other side.


#19

Be Careful of to much of a calorie cut back. Science has proven that a large deficit while still eating a normal amount of times per day can cause damage to your metabolism. I think it’s best to reduce your calories only slightly and let your exercise make up the difference. Alternatively you could go with some kind of intermittent fasting approach and say skip breakfast everyday and then eat your other 2 meals as normal each day… Or just skip breakfast every 2nd day.

Ive been trying the fasting method and although it has worked in the past for me it has not been working lately. Ive been missing the mental side of prep for it.


#20

How do I thank so many of you guys? This thread is dripping with so much of help, gratefulness, and information that I couldn’t have gather elsewhere.

I’ll each of the suggestion and would curate a certain strategy to get back into my shape. I also checked that TDEE Calculator that you mentioned but it kept crashing. I found this TDEE Calculator site though. I hope they are all the same.

Also, @BadgerBeaver I hope we achieve it together :wink: