When to stop a diet for weight vs. performance

burnthesheep Posts: 675
My first goal starting last year was to lose weight and reduce BP/HR. I'm down to 165lb with kit and shoes on and the BP is below average now.

I have maybe a couple lb left of midsection fat. But pretty much none anywhere else.

I don't feel I fuel well before long rides or higher effort rides. I don't want to use riding as an excuse to eat like a pig, but only eating normally before a 62 mi ride and only having a little biscuit during the ride feels like I'm not well fueled.

I don't eat gels. I mix my drink mix on the "light" side. I can't stand the flavor of it at full strength.

What do you say? When is it enough? I'm 5' 9" tall for reference. I live in a rather flat area with some short but wall like hills out of some creeks and streams. So being stronger instead of a super-thin climber is more my style or desire.

Some info if it helps: I'm 165lb with kit/shoes, about 5' 9" tall, 32 years old, I have ridden now about a year

Any advice is appreciated.


  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    if you have a couple of lb on the tummy - then you could still lose a bit more ? How is the cycling going ? Is your diet hindering it ?
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,196
    I'd suggest you could still lose a bit more, in BMI terms that's low at all - I'm just under 5' 9" and currently 157lbs, I like to be 150-154lbs ideally. I've still got a bit of fat round the middle (which is annoying)

    I think I could possibly get down to about 145 (65kg) which would be good for my cycling but bad for my general appearance. Although it might lead to me losing the saddlebags, which are annoyingly stubborn.
  • svetty
    svetty Posts: 1,904
    If you ride regularly you should be fine with minimal carbs for a 2 hour ride. After this a carb rich bar and/or gel should be sufficient for the remainder of the ride.
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • The riding is going well. I have both lost the weight and gained power. I started around 180 lb and 160 watts or so last year.

    Down to 165 lb and up to about 205 watts. This is wattage on a non-FTP test, just doing intervals of 4 min or 60 sec and looking at the average. On doing some climbing repeats on an 800 ft climb this Weds it said I held 205 watts for about 75 minutes (during the climbing part, the descents were near zero due to the slope).

    I want to remain fueled so I don't lose any muscle as I'm working. But if based on body type I can lose another 10-15 lbs, then that's cool.
  • If you are happy with what you are doing and enjoying your cycling then continue what you are doing.
    FWIW I'd lose the 10-15lb and then start working on power output.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • simon_e
    simon_e Posts: 1,706
    Even with a pre-ride meal, one biscuit wouldn't be enough for me, though I drink water, not an energy drink. I usually ride first thing in the morning so have just a glass of water before I leave the house then eat something every hour - a banana, flapjack or snickers. I can manage 4 hours and not feel I need to raid the shelves when I get home.

    On lower intensity rides your body can burn fat more readily, particularly if you don't eat beforehand. If the ride includes a fair amount of higher intensity your body will want to burn carbs and deplete your glycogen stores so conversely a regular intake of low fat high carb energy e.g. dried fruit or fruit bars or similar may work better as the lack of fat level means will be absorbed faster.

    I would try to reduce/eliminate processed and sugary foods from your diet, this will have a greater effect than what you eat while riding (unless you're doing long rides daily).
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • Thanks. Makes sense. I guess I won't be adding anything extra unless it is a much longer ride then.

    I posted in another topic what I normally ride in a week, but it may be relevant here:

    -2 days a week of intervals at lunch time on a trainer with real power: either 1 min intervals at max output for 1 min OR 4 minute intervals. Something like 1 min at 350 to 425 watts then rest 2 minutes and repeat. Or I will do 4 minutes at around 250+ with rest and repeat.

    -One day a week I'll do about 35 miles on the bike somewhat flat like 450 ft
    -One night a week I'll do about 18 to 32 miles on the bike with about 2200 ft.

    -Before the lunch workouts I eat an orange around 10:30 and then do the work around 11:30 and have lunch after.
    -Before the daytime ride I'll have a solid size lunch and then start the ride around 3PM. I'll drink watered down Gatorade and water.
    -Before the night time ride I eat dinner as normal. If under 20 miles no drink mix, if more elevation and 32 mi then same as the daytime ride.