I had a very interesting chat with one of my training partners during our ride this morning. A lot of what he said made alot of sense. I would like your views on this. We were discussing losing weight for cycling, but still maintaining energy levels. Obviously, you can't carboload all the time, but you also shouldn't cut too many carbs out of your diet either. This was the advice I received.

Your last major carbohydrate meal should be at lunch and not at dinner.
You should rather have your proteins for dinner.
(Remember that this does not mean you should have no carbs at dinner etc, just less)

Another fellow knows someone who religiously took protein drinks after every ride and as a result suffered from gout, so keep it tidy.

Does anyone know where I could get a decent diet to assist me to lose about 2 kilos while not sacrificing power and energy on the bike.
If anyone laughs at me remeber, I am "woes"!! LabRat, try WieghLess (if you're willing to chance it). My wife dragged me in there and I lost 9.5kg's and had more energy than I have ever had. It is a balanced diet and it does have enough of everything for the day to day life. I did change it a bit before races though. ;)
Energy stores = energy intake - energy expendature

So to lose weight, reduce energy intake or increase energy expendature! Eating carbohydrates will ensure that you have enough glycogen to 'fuel' all of the cycling that you do. Remember that when you run out of energy (i.e. glycogen depletion or 'bonk') your cycling and training quality will fall, doh! So eat fewer calories in total, but get a higher percentage of them from carbohydrates!

Did you know that a pound of body fat has 3500 calories, so if you burn 3500 calories less than you eat you will lose a pound of weight! Think about it, 30 minutes extra on the bike might expend an extra 250 cals a day and eating 2 slices of bread less a day might reduce energy intake by 250 cals. Thats a deficit of 500 cals a day, over a week thats 3500 cals or a pound of body fat.

When loosing weight, don't get 'put off' if you gain or loose pounds in weight day by day as these changes are most likely due to changes in body water content.
Ta very much for the info. I might just try the weighless thin Ewep.
2 Lap, great advice. Do you know where I could find info for calorie counting? How can I find out how many calories a piece of chicken has for example as opposed to a piece of pork? At the moment, I have cut alot of fat out of my diet and eat quite heathily. I don't have a problem with my weight, I am actually trying to reduce my body fat %. (I think the term is BMI)
Altho people achieve good results with dieting programs such as Weighless, I personally believe that they are not developed with the athlete in mind. These diets usually encourage users to exclude sugars and starches from their diet, which as you know, is not the way to go if you are an athlete. I'm not saying that Weighless does it this way, as I don't know the product. But you will find that most diets that promise weight loss within a few days or weeks prescribe to the "sugar and starches make you fat" notion. The fact is, I have yet to see an overweight pro cyclist or track athlete.
Another problem with a dieting program is, when do you stop? When you've reached your target weight, what then?
As a hardcore cyclist you cannot expect your body to deliver and perform without the correct types of fuel, and CHO in it's many different forms should be your primary food source.
Rather than weighing yourself, measure yourself. Cycling will build leg muscle mass that can be mistaken for fat on the bathroom scale. Building lean muscle mass through resistance training will "replace" fat with muscle, and that is what you ultimately want.
2LAP is right by saying that you either need to reduce calorie intake or increase calorie expenditure, or both. Keep saturated fat consumption down to a minimum, and ride your bike long and slow. The philosophy behind this is that you will mobilise fat stores instead of burning up your glycogen stores.
Amen V20. All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, I eat them all ;) The only way to lose weight is to train @ 65-75% of your max heart rate.
Exercising @ 65 to 75% VO2 max isn't the only way to lose weight, not everyone has hours to spend time at this intensity. It is true that fat utilization is at its greatest at this intensity, however if creating a calorie deficit is the goal (and it should be to lose weight), training at the highest intensity you can for the duration you have to train is best.

10 minutes at 65 to 75% VO2 max will burn fewer calories than 10 minutes at 95% VO2 max. So if you only have limited time to train... work harder (don't forget the warm up and cool down).

You are right to want to lose body fat as this is 'dead weight' for endurance cyclists. BMI relates to the relationship between body mass and height, its not related to body fat. Both muscular and fat people will have high BMI's, while skinny people will have low BMI's. A reduction in BMI is more likely to be related to fat loss than muscle loss as body fat changes more readily than muscle mass. BMI is most useful for giving people in a normal population an indicator of risk to health. High BMI = Heart disease, Low BMI = Respirtory illness.

This doesn't apply so well to athletes who have 'abnormal' body compositions due to training. Just think of the body builder, very muscular and so has a very high BMI, but unlikely to be at risk of heart disease (unless steroids are used) beacuse of healthy eating, regular exercise, etc.
Great, thanks again.

VO2, you've jogged my memory. I remember having an informal test done at one of the big fun ride expo's. I was told that I had a body fat % of 14 but due to my height I was still considered overweight according to the BMI. (My mate said the expression on my face was priceless.)

Do you know what the healthy benchmark is for body fat? I would like to lose all the excess fat and deadweight before I start spending a fortune on lighter go-faster bits for my bike.
The American College of Sports Medicine Suggests for men...
  • 3 to 5% is essential fat (and it may be unhealthy to go that low)
  • 5 to 13% is recomended/normal/standard for athletic people (cyclists being at the lower 6 to 10% range).
  • above 25% is considered obese for men of all ages.
  • between 10 and 25% would be a recomended range for normal (i.e. non athletic men)
and women...
  • 8 to 12% is essential fat (may be bad for health to get this low)
  • athletic is 12 to 22%
  • recommended body fat is around 20% to 35% for women of all ages
  • above 35 (young) to 40% (old) is considered obese for women
Women need to be aware of the health issues of having too little body fat and periods stopping!
Cyclists would tend to be at the lower end of the athletic range as every extra % is extra dead weight!
Oh my gosh, I'm fat :'(

Where did I put that weighless number??

Perhaps I should put a week's leave in and cycle for 8 hours a day at 90% effort ;D

I need to go and have my body fat reading taken.

Thanks for all the info guys.
Don't panic!

You've given yourself some good advice...go and get your body fat measured!

Remember that measures of body fat are really inaccurate (particularly electrical impedance). Try to get your body fat measured by someone with experiance and a set of good calipers (i.e. not someone in a sport centre or sport shop).  Alternativly, the best method is 'underwater weighing' but you'll need to find a lab with the correct equipment to do this.

If your not sure how accurate the test is ask the person doing it, if they say 100% or don't know how accurate it is then they don't know what their doing!

Know the beast before you atack it!
;D Thanks for the input 2Lap. For those of you who are in SA and in particular in Gauteng, you'll know of Gary Beneke. He will be doing quite a comprehensive assessment of me including whether I'm too podgy for my height, my power to weight ratio, body fat, bike set-up, MHR, VO2, power distribution (I think) and then giving me a program to get me on the right track. Cost is R650. I'm going next month coz I'm still recovering from a big MTB crash a few weeks ago.

I'll let you know how it went.
You've given yourself some good advice...go and get your body fat measured!

I went and did as I was told 2Lap and the result was much better than I thought it would be. The test was done by a competent fellow, who without any prompting confirmed the different ways of measuring fat % and their accuracy. He used calipers though so we'll take it from here.

Reading was 8% at present, so I'm really motivated to go after the next 2%. Watch out for Project Creatine which I'll be starting next week.
8% body fat is very low and 6% body fat is an extreme! Be very careful when attempting to acheive and maintain low body fat levels as it can put you at risk of respirtory illness. Further drops in body fat below 6% could have serious health implications! You have been warned!

I would suggest that if you want to lose another 2% you get a weight target to aim for (i.e. 2% off your current body weight) and get your friend to monitor your progress. Let us know the performance results of the weight loss.
Thanks for the heads-up 2Lap.

I will be careful. I eat like a trojan at the moment, (see Creatine string) so if I just cut some of the many high fat stuff out of my diet, I'll cut that 2% quickly. I'm a sucker for cheese, and I drink a big cup of chocolate Horlicks made with full cream milk just before bed and always have Pizza on Friday nights (usually with extra cheese). :eek:

I need to make these changes anyway, to avoid the dreaded cholestrol demon.

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