That Elephant not really trying hard enough to hide over there in this room packed full of cyclists. Although, with reference to this topic, maybe we should swap the Elephant for a big lanky Giraffe as it’s equally as terrible at hiding in any room as the Elephant, but it’s definitely under 8% bodyfat. Which is nice.
The subject of weight is so important yet controversial when it comes to cycling. From CAT4 to World Tour level, weight has been a historically “funny” subject often only spoken of in very dismissive and less than personal detail by people who DO actually care quite a lot about it. I personally do care about it and I am happy to admit that, but I am also happy to speak about it openly and honestly, down to whatever detail the person asking/reading/bothering is willing. This post is therefore going to speak about my own nutrition and diet which I hope will help some people but will also give me a platform to show that being “skinny” or “light” can be achieved without the common misconception that said “skinny” person surely has starved themselves to be how they are. Nobody is doing fasted 4 hour rides before popping some sleeping pills these days, it was stupid back then and is even more stupid now but it absolutely is possible to become lightweight in a healthy fashion….. even whilst still enjoying beer and cookies!
Standing 173CM tall & weighing in at 59KG…. or 5ft 8in & 9stone 4lbs if you still live in the stone ages:
You might or might not be surprised to hear that I get comments made all the time about being “too skinny”. Or that “you’re wasting away”, “there’s nothing of you”. It is usually followed by being told to “eat something” and whilst I can honestly say it doesn’t bother me (because I know the full story) it does get rather old when you don’t have the time/care nor the full attention of the person making the comment to try and make them understand that it’s actually perfectly healthy because of XY and Z.
XY and Z in my case being the subject of this post and subsequent linked posts below. Although, an easy quickfire way of compiling all of this into a witty retort would be great so that I could respond to the people making such comments…. That would depend on them actually being up for a discussion on the matter rather than just being interested in a throw away publicly aired snide though.
^ This is my daily calorie intake during recent training for the hill climb nationals.
1850 calories is what MyFitnessPal reckons I need to consume on a daily basis to maintain bodyweight and this is represented by the red line for “Daily Goal”.
2900 calories consumed appears to be my average trend for this time period with some days lower (shorter/easier training days) and some days well over 3000 calories (longer/harder training days).
At a very basic glance I am averaging right around 1000 calories consumed over and above what I require to stay at my current weight.
^ This is my daily calories burned during recent training for the hill climb nationals.
1500 calories burned appears to be my average trend for this time period, again, with some days lower and some days higher depending on training load for those days.
At a very basic glance and a like for like, average versus average, I am running on a deficit of 450 calories per day.
This is of course a very broad top level overview and if we were to delve into it properly you would see higher consumption days and lower volume training days, as example, begin to offset each other and bring that net deficit up and into a surplus on some days. So it is absolutely not a case of running on calorie deficit all of the time. This furthers the case that starving ones self is not what is going on here. Key things being that I am not going super hungry during the days, I am not struggling with my training volume/sessions and I have not even seen a hint of illness. In other words, MY body (not yours, not anyone else’s) is working very well with my diet and this is furthermore shown by my increase in power from 1minute right up to 20minutes whilst also dipping under 59KG…. All within the past 4 weeks.
A starved unhealthy body could not achieve nor sustain this. Fact. But lets be clear that this is very specific to me, as we are all very, very different. I would never simply tell anyone nor suggest anyone do what I do to the letter. By all means, use it as basis, or as a guide if you would like to get leaner whilst training, but nutrition is all very personal and dependant on so many factors so it is not possible to simply copy/paste someone else’s.
^ This is the resulting “weight loss” over time. As you see since mid-September it has remained static as I have reached a happy medium so to speak. The consistency in training volume and calories going in/out results in me hovering right around 58.5-59.5KG. It’s here in that range I have been producing my personal bests from 1min to 20min power of recent weeks.
^ This is my W/KG chart. It shows the maximum power I have achieved for 5seconds, 1minute, 5minutes & 20minutes, shown top right, red text.
Each of these numbers achieved in watts is divided by my weight in order to attain a “watts per kilogram” figure which is shown top right in black text but also highlighted in green on the table.
Consistency is King (& Queen). Three Square Meals a Day & a Snack. Click each meal to head to its subsequent post:
Eating the right foods and getting enough calories from said foods and then allowing my body that time in between to digest and use said calories is exactly what worked best for me so long as I am very consistent with it.
I have tried the common suggestion of smaller and more frequent meals including snacks in between which essentially results in 5/6 smaller “meals” per day. It didn’t work. I felt hungrier and was always clock watching to see when the next snack or meal would be which gave me this sense of always being hungry.