Awesome podcasts fellas, especially loved the recent ones with @ambermalika! I was a TR user several years ago when first getting into indoor training and am considering mumping back on TR because of these great poddi’s.
I’m a Cat 2 roadie and have felt like I have plateaued on a few levels, FTP wise, weight reduction wise and performance race results wise. I’ve been racing at about 143-145 lbs for the last 5 seasons, eating healthy but not limiting my portions at all and really over eating quite often. I feel like a good race weight would be about 135-137lbs and achievable without power loss. I have an FTP of 280-300w which puts me in the 4.5w/kg range. I’ve been experimenting with IF and time restricted eating for several months now to try and break the weight plateau and I feel like for offseason and zone 1/2 endurance rides its a great weight management technique but the biggest upside long term is the general health benefits of giving your gut a break, autaphagy (breaking down of less desirable cells), increased growth hormone and insulin sensitivity.
This graph is a good illustration of the relationship between insulin and energy use systems.
Autophagy-Fasting-Chart.pdf (722.1 KB)
As a competitive cyclist, I feel I’m always eating to fuel, giving it a break has to be good once in a while. One of the comments by @Nate and @Jonathan was about being grumpy and having low energy, in my experience once your body adapts to IF, your body starts using fats as energy so you don’t feel hungry or H’angry and you don’t have low energy because your body becomes efficient at using fats for fuel. It’s those first few days of your body transitioning from being a sugar user to a fat user that is tough.
I think IF is more beneficial than just “calorie watching” in reducing fat because of the insulin science. From what I’ve experienced and the information I’ve watched, if you fast, after about 10 hours when you have very little insulin in your body, your body then is able to switch to using fat stores. So if you fast for 18 hours a day, then for 8 hours of that day your body is using fat to fuel your activity. If you eat the same amount of calories but take them in over the entire day, your insulin levels never decay enough and you always have a little bit of sugar to fuel your activity and therefore your body doesn’t need to go to your fat stores. So you’re not losing fat in this case.
I do agree with fuelling for performance so for any workouts other than endurance rides, to get the most out of you training it make sense to fuel. From what I’ve read, the benefits of IF still present themselves by even doing it a few times a week, on rest days or on low intensity days.
The other thing I’ve noticed too is that I’m not eating significantly less calories or eating significantly differently, I’m just eating everything within a 6 hour period. What it has cut out is the needles snacking between dinner and going to bed which I figure is about 500 calories.
During the race season I may only IF once or twice a week to give my gut a break to keep fuelled for training and racing.