Weekly TSS for weight loss


Hi! I just started off the Base Phase. Still adjusting my calendar. I am new to TR and would like to know what is the best TSS to achieve per week if my target is to lose weight?

200 TSS per week is sufficient?


Depends all on what you are eating


Hey there!

The first thing to keep in mind is that 90% of weight loss takes place in the kitchen, while maybe 10% takes place on the bike. To lose weight, you are going to want to focus on eating whole grains, fruits, veggies, unprocessed meats, etc. You need to control your intake by maintiaining a high quality source of calories in.

And then when you ride your bike, you can supplement that foundation with a source of “calories out”, by causing your body to burn more calories which helps you to maintain a calorie deficit.

So how much will 200 TSS help? Well it will help about as much as the calories you burn in that 200 TSS (as long as you don’t overeat as a response to exercize). By keeping your intensity low, you can help minimize the need to “properly fuel” your workouts, which will again help you with your calorie deficit.

I hope that helps, let me know if you have any more questions for me!

Another forum that may interest you is this one:



Thats a perfect link that @Bryce provided, I came in here to do the same. This topic is near and dear to me, as I had major hip surgery in April of this year, and that, combined with the months I was in Physical Therapy before and such led me to a point where I was…lets just say politely, a little soft and squishy.

TSS isnt really the way to calculate caloric needs for training, but most calorie calculations in the various apps are way off, especially if you’re not using a power meter (Kj to KCalories, the 1:4 thing, etc…) The bottom line is burn more than you consume, but its a delicate, delicate balancing act, with regards to ensuring that you don’t rack up so many or so large a deficit that you cant continue to work out at the required intensity.

You know you can read articles that say long slow distance burns more fat, or HIIT burns fat faster, etc but in the end, for me at least, its the F in “F.I.T.” F=Frequency, I=Intensity, T=Time or Duration.

Keeping the frequency up results in a daily burn. You have to fuel the burn, and as @Bryce pointed out, that’s where the kitchen comes in. I fuel myself to roughly 80% of what I burned based of Kj to improve my chances of being able to do it again the next day, and maybe just as importantly, I try to time it when its most beneficial. On @chad 's recomendation I picked up the “Nutrient Timing” book by John Ivy, and paid special attention to the Insulin Resistance data. So far Ive lost 28 of the 35-ish lbs I gained pre and post surgery, with the lions share of it being in the last month.

In the interest of answering your actual question, I have been averaging 275-350 TSS weekly lately, though I’m usually 375-450 when Im fit and healthy. I’m definitly not starving myself, just riding the way I need to for my training goals and fueling accordingly.

Keep in mind that losing weight is a secondary goal for me, because i figure it will just come as I ride. My main goal is gaining back my FTP after the surgery.


Thank you for the advice!


I would take a look at this thread for some more specific advice: Your personal best way to lose some fat - anecdotes / experiences / examples of what kicked your ***

I think as you get more experienced you get a better idea of the weekly work you need to do to stay fit, lose weight etc. For me it’s around 5-8 hours on the bike, but starting out I would tackle the weight part head on.


@mellowdave Would you tell a bit more about this? I’m eagerly interested in this book and this approach. As Chad recommended the book it went straight to my wishlist because of the insulin part.


You bet, with the caveat that I’m no expert. I just follow directions well. -

The basic gist is that Insulin is the most important hormone when it comes to the consumption of sugar (simply put, your muscles are burning sugar when they work). Insulin resistance (which is stimulated when the muscles operate without the appropriate supply of carbohydrate and protein during and post workout.) puts the muscles into a catabolic state, rather than an anabolic state. Insulin resistance can be prevented with an adequate supply of carbohydrate during and post exercise.

Straight from text–>
Muscle growth and activity are controlled in large part by anabolic and catabolic hormones.

Following exercise, muscle cells are especially sensitive to the multiple anabolic effects of insulin

Insulin increases muscle glycogen uptake and storage

Insulin increases net muscle protein by increasing amino acid transport into the muscle cell by increasing protein synthesis and reducing protein breakdown. <–

The book is well worth the cost, and I will say that as I have followed the basic tenets as laid out in the text, I have definitely seen reduced recovery time. As far as increases in strength and or endurance, given my current exercise load, it would be impossible to attribute that DIRECTLY to my changes in nutrient consumption, though I would say it probably hasn’t hurt me any. :muscle:t4::+1:t4:


Thanks. Would you recommend this book? Are there more takeaways than one or two laid out on to many pages or is it worth a read? Particularly with a focus on fat loss? Many thanks for sharing.


Diet first - what works for me is using something like MyFitnessPal and logging the calories in. That’s quite a learning experience be prepared to adjust your diet. Then it’s a simple matter ( relatively) of targeting the 500 calorie per day deficit. Be careful not to overeat your day exercise.


Seconded, my wife and I track EVERYTHING. Because we both do it, we keep each other honest and share “recipes” for the food whichever one of us cooks or whatever creates. It doubles the coverage with basically half the work. It’s been critical for us, as she isn’t a cyclist (yet).


Make sure you are fueling your workouts… I switched to a higher carb diet (mostly whole grains and such) with high quality fats and lean proteins when possible. I also started to drink less beer (bourbon has less calories as it turns out!) I dropped an additional 8lbs (3.6kg) this season. I noticed a huge drop in perceived exertion in both indoors and outdoor rides at the same power because my muscles had the fuel they needed. Its highly subjective and you’ll have to dial in what works for you. Don’t try to starve yourself though. Calorie tracking is great in teaching you about some things that have way more calories than you thought, and hopefully help you make better choices.


You lose weight through diet.

You getter fitter through exercise.

The two things are mutually exclusive!