Losing the last fat

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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by KWalker

The idea that endurance athletes require more carbs is somewhat of a myth. CHO and macro intake depends on the following:
-Total exercise volume
-Type of exercise and intensity
-Metabolic rate
-Individual spirometry

As I said in the other thread, I'm not sure IF would work for large volume endurance athletes, but delaying breakfast or only doing the 16/8fast on rest days could work fine depending on volume and what part of the year someone is in. If its in base it'd probably work, but I would hate to hold someone back and risk them not recovering during a build or race period.

I laugh when I hear about people carb loading for 45 minute crits and short road races when their training load never eclipses 15 hours a week and they're not doing back-to-back long duration rides day-in, day-out. Endurance athletes generally expend more energy than say, a bodybuilder, but someone doing your average 10-12hrs/week is only expending 7,000-8,400kj/week. Considering that relatively little of that would come from glycogen per session and that their endurance activity is not significant enough to enhance insulin sensitivity for more than ~2-3hrs post workout, there isn't a need or ability to process an abnormal amount of CHO in excess of 50% of total caloric intake. If training changes and volume stays the same say if someone starts doing a lot of racing and anaerobic workouts, then rates of depletion change slightly, but its not even close to the same as a pro that rides 20hrs/week during the lightest week of their year or a Kenyan that goes out and runs 3hrs day.

Your average interval ride will at most use around 450-600kcal of glycogen of a 2,050kcal muscle glycogen reserve. If you simply eat some CHO during and after your workout, you will replace this no questions asked. Other than that eat for what you're doing. I always wonder why some of my cyclist friends sit at their desks and snack on fruits and carb filled meals and then don't eat anything on the bike and eat light after to lose weight- its so counterintuitive.

Like everything I disagree with Tapeworm on bodyweight to a degree. While I agree that focusing on power should be prime, there is no reason why most people cannot lower their bodyfat with better eating habits. Your average cyclist is not an elite athlete that is already below 8% bodyfat. Dieting does not require aggressively cutting calories or reducing intake in a way that would hurt performance- its more about having sound practices that support your training and provide for optimal needs. There is no set rule that someone has to lose x lbs per month for it to be a 'diet'. A person I train went from 175 at the start of his base period last year to 155 during his peak season (October to May), which represents a weight loss of ~.5lbs/week. Much of this came from the increased volume during his base training, the rest came from recs above. As a cat 2 he finished in the top 10 (often top 5) of every NRC race or elite race he entered. Numbers were great across the board, his blood values were much better and most of all he felt better. As a student and fairly average person I see no reason why sound habits couldn't help others just as much. His former coach, a now pro on a World Tour team, had him train and eat like a traditional pro despite the fact that he wasn't one. His power was slightly better at times, but he often felt terrible and his weight hurt him in harder stage races.

Likewise I've known a hell of a lot of amateurs that have lost weight and increase performance in almost every racing category, level and age. Some tried the Paleo Diets for Athletes, which I don't necessarily recommend, and had their best seasons ever. In almost every case people cut out processed carbs and learned to eat around their workouts/when they needed it. My posting in the other thread was meant for this regard.

I wouldn't base your diet on ratios or percentages or specifically count calories on a micro level. I did for years to no avail. I ended up using the portioning guide found on precision nutrition's website and it worked pretty well for me. Read the studies I posted in the other thread on energy usage at various intensity levels and ballpark estimate if your rides really NEED more CHO. Chances are they don't unless you consistently do longer rides with higher intensity mixed in, you don't fuel while on the bike, or you ride a fairly high volume per week. People try too much to emulate what pros do, but pros train a hell of a lot more, and rest a lot more. Ted King posted his diet from both a 12 hr training day and a rest day a while back and on a rest day he basically sticks to proteins, healthy fats, lots of vegetables, and a diet low in CHO, but on a training day its the opposite.

Most endurance athletes are also really afraid to eat protein for some reason. While studies have shown that eating more protein won't increase performance or lean muscle mass above baseline recs, protein has several advantages including the fact that it is extremely difficult to convert to lipids, it increases the thermic effect of eating (thus raising BMR), lowers LDL cholesterol, increases glucogen, increases IGF-1, and provides auxiliary nutrients. In addition research from Layman and colleagues has demonstrated that reducing the carbohydrate ratio from 3.5 – 1 to 1.4 – 1 increases body fat loss, spares muscle mass, reduces triglyceride concentrations, improves satiety, and improves blood glucose management. So for your average person that rides an amateur volume or is in the base period, there are compelling arguments to lower CHO intake.

There are a lot of supplements that are basic and have been shown to help oxidize fat:
-Medium chain triglycerides (found in many cooking oils) cannot be stored as lipids. Cooking food in them also tastes good and they're not really expensive.
-Fish oil can help insulin sensitivity and lipid storage. Ideally just consumed by eating right.
-Free range butter is extremely high in omega 3 fatty acids, see above.
-Most people are deficient in chromium, especially those that drink or consume a lot of food or a lot of acidic food. Chromium helps insulin sensitivity.
-There are promising results shown for cinnomonium take with chromium.

I personally also take R-ALA because it has a wide range of studies that back up its nutrient partitioning and insulin secretion effects. Its also cheap.

As for fat burners, stimulants, and other things I'd tend to avoid them as they really aren't necessary. I've taken nurtient partitioners before, but most of the time I'd rather just save the money and eat more fish or buy more vegetables.
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by KWalker

majklnajt wrote:A friend of mine told me that the best way to loose that last fat is to make a "zig-zag" diet.
For example:
1. day: deficit
2. day: deficit
3. day: suficit
4. day: cover caloric needs
5. day: deficit

.....and so on and on....

It also recommended to cut the junk, sugar, etc... you know.

This is actually really good and something I do. I have one day a week that is primarily carbed and not super clean. This helps to reset leptin, thyroid levels, and ghrelin levels. These hormones influence a lot of biomarkers including perceived satiety, hormone output/hpta function, and can help break monotony. I tend to do this on a weekend day with a long/hard ride hoping I absorb most of the excess CHO and top off stores. I've heard people doing full on cheat days with really dirty food, but I just don't enjoy eating a lot of that stuff other than some processed grains and ice cream in respectable amounts just to get it out of my system). The body will not be able to adapt the metabolism enough to slow it down or alter hormone responses. Again this is why IF might not work well even on rest days (but can't hurt).

While dieting is great, if you're at 7%, going to 5% might be tougher than necessary, but going from 15% to under 10% could be done with ease and would represent a significant change.
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by Gonzalo

Well fat is due to eating more junk foods, and some of the foods which are prepared in oil. So first they have to leave these, foods next they have to add fresh fruits such as mango, banana and strawberry and vegetables such as cucumber, spinach and some sort of meats, like fish as well after that exercise also has great significance in my view for burning fats.

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by HillRPete

KWalker wrote:Most endurance athletes are also really afraid to eat protein for some reason.

Though when reading this and other forums one gets the impression that this trend has reversed, and many people are chugging protein shakes like no tomorrow. Gyms probably have a part in this, trying to make an extra buck off their clientèle. Reminds me a bit of working at the petrol station years ago. Seasoned attendants would always try to top up oil, regardless of level, to meet their bonus quota.

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by Kermithimself

wassertreter wrote:
KWalker wrote:Most endurance athletes are also really afraid to eat protein for some reason.

Though when reading this and other forums one gets the impression that this trend has reversed, and many people are chugging protein shakes like no tomorrow. Gyms probably have a part in this, trying to make an extra buck off their clientèle. Reminds me a bit of working at the petrol station years ago. Seasoned attendants would always try to top up oil, regardless of level, to meet their bonus quota.

I actually think that this has to do with the fact that there's not a lot of information of how endurance athletes should lose weight. If you Google how to lose weight, most of the articles are made for everyday people trying to lose weight, and that includes a larger focus on protein. For most endurance athletes though, this approach isn't ideal as your performance will be likely to suffer.

A small increase in protein intake can be benefitial, but as Tapeworm stated - weight follows performance - not the other way around.
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by mattydubs

Good thread. I have some experience in this area over the last two years so here's my $.02

I had quit training seriously in 2008, moving from a home right below mountains to the middle of a moderately dense city wherein the goofy track bike I rode around for fun before became my sole means of transportation and then fun... basically finishing grad school and changing jobs led to developing a social life where drinking and packing on the pounds went hand in hand. Aside from an occasional club ride, commuting about, and "fair weather weekend rides" (fred-cruise, eh?) I wasn't training at all. I got up to 180 lbs (81 kg or so), but due to genetics it wasn't as obvious... I sort of put it on everywhere instead of localized at the gut. Basically, I became a skinny guy in a suit of fat. Disgusting.

I began to lose weight just from mild training and calorie counting in 2011 but put on a tiny bit of winter weight and was a bit careless about things like drinking. That ended in spring of last year, when I got dropped on a club ride and only due to freakish genetics did I catch up and finish the 98 mile "practice century".

Enough was enough.

So now, eight months later, I am down to 147 lbs (66 ish kg) and should really be at 139 (63 ish). This was all done with training, training, and more training and calorie counting. I wasn't always as strict, but now that I'm down to the last little bit and count every little thing I can say what has worked for me.

(BTW, I'm 5' 8.5" about 174 cm.)

Since 2009, I have used a Wiithings scale and Loseit. I was pretty bad about using Loseit for a while, but the last two years I've been pretty solid about inputs (especially the last six months). The Wiithings data, though, goes back enough to have very good info regarding body fat, lean mass, and general weight. It also hooks up with Loseit and updates my weight daily (and caloric needs as well).

What really has helped was not just counting food, but having an accurate idea of how much I expend during a workout.

So I did some research.

I found out that most calorie estimation tools for exercise are far too generous. So after reading around, I found out about the Firstbeat algorithm that Garmin devices now use (specifically the Edge 500 I use). It is supposed to be startingly accurate once you have set up some basic information. Read up on it here.

Let me show you what I mean.

Here is a ride I did recently on Strava:


Note the calories at 2364. Now look at the same data from Garmin connect, where the number matches what comes from my Edge:


Now note the calories there, 1601. That is a whopping 700 calorie difference. Consider that, if you're like me, you are either on the trainer or the road six days out of the week and you're trying to lose weight. That 700 calories in one ride would really add up. In fact, considering my average weekly caloric expenditure from riding comes in at around 5,500 calories or so (estimate, this time of year my weekly mileage is 180-220 depending on the weather conditions) if that was similarly off (47%) I'd not lose much of anything.

There's a little more to this as well, that's worth considering. Saying that a chap like me, shorter, not terribly muscular (aside from the legs, of course), should burn about 2300 calories a day if not losing weight or otherwise exercising means that I normally burn about 95 calories an hour (on average) just being alive. So really, a ride as I showed (which was about 3.5 hours) really only burned 1268 calories above what I would have burnt otherwise.

I could be off in my reasoning (some of this came from a free e book I read years ago entitled "The Hacker's Diet") but this stuff really does matter when you're getting into the nitty gritty.

I did not see as solid and consistent results with calorie counting and training until I took these things into account. It does help that I still commute by bike and walk around a good bit, but I don't count those as part of my expenditure. Other than that your methods should work, but it is so crucial to have accurate data.

The only other thing I should add is that I am careful to eat well for recovery (eggs, nuts, fish, etc... I read Lim's book of course though sometimes time pressures have me resort to Endurox) and diligently consume protein (nothing crazy).

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