“New year, new you!”; “A fresh start!”, “My New year resolution!” and “Got to lose that Christmas weight” are all things that are said frequently this month and whether that’s the case for yourself or you’re still trying to carry on your goal of dropping a little body fat then this is just for you!
Understanding how to create a deficit and then the importance of carbohydrate, fat and protein and their role in fat loss is important.
First of all, we need to be in a calorie deficit to lose body fat – if it isn’t dropping then you’re still eating too much compared to the activity you’re doing. Try tracking your food in a calorie counter and doing so accurately while monitoring these things;
- Your weight (preferably as a weekly average)
- Step count – all your non exercise-based activity
- Monitoring the calorie or Kj expended on your chosen bike computer
In a calorie deficit protein is integral to success and helps us to keep fresh and powerful on the bike. It is the foundation of recovery; it aids us in maintaining our lean tissue; it’s filling and may help us still gain some muscle despite being in a deficit.
Aim for 2g/kg/bodyweight per day and have a portion with every meal which is every 3 to 4 hours in addition to after our training session.
Fat plays an important role in hormone, nervous system and cell health and provides fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.
As cycling is mainly endurance based, we only need a daily requirement of about 0.6-0.8g/kg/bodyweight to keep a healthy system with higher intakes only really being needed on specific protocols, strength-based sports or very high calorie intake days. On rest days- which could be a couple of days a week- we can quite easily a drop this amount a lot lower to help with a calorie deficit.
Lastly, we have carbohydrate – this fills out the remainder of our daily calories. These become the most heavily manipulated macronutrient on training days fuel for the work required. Have a larger daily serving on intense/ long duration bike days or if you’re just at work all day and not training then sack them off a bit, eating smaller portions at each meal as you don’t need the energy.
Focus on having some carbohydrate before hard sessions, fast releasing before morning sessions (like a 1 slice of bread, banana and a bit of honey) or slow releasing 2-4 hours before an evening session or a later start on the weekend.