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How to Lose Weight for Cycling the RIGHT Way

How to Lose Weight for Cycling the RIGHT Way

hey what’s up guys welcome to another video my name is Dylan and I’m a cycling coach in cts and today we’re gonna be talking about how to lose weight for cycling the right way there are a lot of weight loss strategies out there and regardless of what they tell you their secret is the root of why they caused you to lose weight is because in one way or another you’re eating less calories than you previously had this can be hard to maintain though which is why most people who go on diets fail and regain the weight back the strategy I’ll be going over here has a lot of science to back up its long term success and is one of the healthiest ways to go about losing weight on top of all of this the science shows it can help boost your recovery after a hard workout I’m talking about understanding the concept of calorie density and utilizing it in your own diet I’ll explain that concept go into a little bit of science and then get into some practical tips that you can use to implement this strategy in your own life so be sure to stick around for that if you’re new to this channel I make weekly training topic videos going over tips and tricks that I’ve learned in my 12 years of racing and training experience that have gotten me to the top of the ultra endurance mountain bike am in the US and as a cycling coach at cts I also go into the science on your training questions so if you want to learn how to get faster or just more about sports science in general be sure to subscribe and hit the notification bell so you don’t miss anything if you have a training question or a suggestion for a future video be sure to leave it in the comment section down below I do my best to answer all training questions in the comments section but the volume of comments has been really high recently so I apologize beforehand if I don’t get yours it’s that time of year when race season is fast approaching you’ve gotten in a pretty good base and are doing some good workouts but you step on the scale and realize that hmm that satellite bought this 20 grams lighter isn’t gonna make a whole lot of difference when I’m toting around a whole old steel road bikes worth of extra body weight or maybe you’re not an overweight weight weenie and you’re just overweight and most of the reason you ride your bike is to get healthier and lose weight either way what I’m about to go over applies to you now you may be sitting there thinking to yourself what is this skin twenty-something who probably has the metabolism of a racehorse gonna tell me about weight loss I look like him when I was his age and I ate whatever I want I understand but what I’m about to share is demonstrated in a scientific literature not just my own experience let’s go ahead and jump into some science by starting off with why losing weight can be such a challenge even as an athlete who trains four hours a week for starters it turns out that the weight loss from exercise might be lower than you think a review on metabolic adaptations to weight loss and athletes stated that low energy intake and minimal body fat are perceived as indicators of energy unavailability resulting in a homeostatic endocrine response aimed at conserving energy and promoting energy intake so basically as you reduce your food intake and get leaner your body fights back and this is for a number of reasons like changes in energy expenditure mitochondrial efficiency and circulating hormone concentrations all right Dylan but I don’t need a study to tell me that weight loss is hard okay all I got to do is look in the dang mirror when I’m wearing a skin suit to tell me that something ain’t working just get to what I need to know already alright let’s jump into it the strategy I’m talking about involves calorie density calorie density is just as the name implies how many calories are packed into a certain proportion of food and calorie density varies wildly 100 grams of potato chips which is what someone might reasonably eat in one sitting if they don’t just eat the whole bag is around 536 calories while a whole head of lettuce is just 53 calories Wow such great insight Dylan potato chips have more calories and lettuce the point I’m making is that the calories in the food we varies dramatically and if we focus our diet on low calorie density foods then we don’t have to reduce our portion size in order to reduce the calories that we consume and we can say satisfied and satiated with the amount of food we eat and we don’t have to starve ourselves so what do low-calorie density foods look like as we can see from this calorie density chart the foods with the lowest calorie density are vegetables averaging just point two calories per gram and then fruits averaging just 0.7 calories per gram these are the two food groups you want to focus on not just because they’re extremely healthy but also because they have the lowest calorie density meaning you can eat a lot of them without gaining weight you want to lose weight then bump up that fruit and vegetable intake okay so this whole calorie density thing is great in theory but does it have any science to back it up has it been put to the test a study on energy density of foods effects on energy intake took 18 subjects and provided them with meals for two days during 3 separate testing sessions in these three sessions the subjects consumed either low medium or high energy density or calorie density meals the results showed that significantly more calories were consumed for the higher energy density conditions even though the amount of food by weight was relatively similar calories consumed were around 1,800 calories for the high energy density group and below 1,400 for the low and that’s the key here with energy density you don’t have to reduce your portion size or starve yourself to lose weight and 400 calories is the kind of deficit we’re looking for to have consistent gradual weight loss the study concluded that energy density influenced energy intake independent of macronutrient composition and that subjects reported no difference in feelings of hunger or fullness okay that’s great but that was two days of eating how does eating low calorie density stack up in the long term a study on energy densities effects on weight change over 6 years took 186 subjects and measured the energy density of their diet six years later they found that the energy density of the diet had not changed for the individuals and that a higher energy density was associated with weight gain and a higher BMI the study concluded that low energy density diets moderate weight gain and that lower energy density can be achieved by consuming more fruits and vegetables and these are just two studies out of many a systematic review on dietary energy density and body weight looking at many studies concluded that their findings highlight the growing body of scientific evidence suggesting a relationship between energy density and body weight and that consuming diets low in energy density may be an effective strategy for managing okay so lowering the energy density of your diet by increasing the amount of fruits vegetables and other whole foods that you eat will help with your weight but what does this actually look like in practice a study done on salad and satiety took 42 subjects and have them eat a meal with a low medium or high calorie density salad before a main course of pasta they manipulated the energy density of the salad by changing the amount of dressing and cheese they put on it what they found was that a low energy density salad reduced the total caloric intake of the meal since subjects ate less pasta afterwards and what’s crazy is that an even bigger salad reduced intake even further so more food less calories the opposite was found with the high calorie density salad with dressing and cheese eating the salad increased the total number of calories consumed during the meal the study concluded that eating a low energy dense first course enhances satiety and reduces meal energy intake and then consuming a large portion of a low energy dense food at the start of a meal may be an effective strategy for weight management okay Dylan all of this is well and good but I didn’t see any of these studies use athletes I’m a high-performance thoroughbred race machine who won the town sprint at the Tuesday night group ride that one time when the fast guys took a recovery day not some quote normal study subject fair enough and guess what the inclusion of high amounts of fruits and vegetables is actually even more important for athletes not just because it’ll lower the calorie density of their diet but because it will improve the recovery after hard workouts because of the increased antioxidant intake let’s jump into some science to see how various fruits and vegetables improve your recovery a study looking at the effect of tomato juice on oxidative stress took 50 male track athletes and divided them into two groups a control group and an experimental group that drank tomato juice after their workouts they tested both groups in a 12-minute time trial before and after and found that those drinking tomato juice ran significantly farther than they previously had while the control groups on no improvement the tomato juice drinkers also showed a reduction in markers of oxidative stress leading to the conclusion that the antioxidant lycopene in the mate Oh reduce oxidative stress and improved performance these sorts of findings are all over the scientific literature a study on lemon juice and exercise induced oxidative stress found the same thing concluding that the lemon did not block the cellular adaptive response but also reduce cellular oxidative damage cherry juice has been shown to increase antioxidant capacity after a marathon leading to aided recovery and in another study reduce symptoms of exercise induced muscle damage that’s Lenny sure that strength loss after eccentric exercise was 22% with a placebo but only 4% when subjects consumed cherry juice blueberries are another rich source of antioxidants and have been shown to reduce inflammation after two and a half hours of running now notice how over the course of this video I haven’t said anything about your macronutrient ratio meaning carbs protein and fat and that’s because your macronutrient ratio is a whole lot less important to weight loss than you think it is a study comparing weight loss diets with different components of fat protein and carbs took 811 overweight adults and assign them to various diet groups with different ratios of carbs fat and protein which the subjects follow for two years what they found was that there was no difference in weight loss between the different diet groups they concluded that reduced calorie diets result in meaningful weight loss regardless of which macronutrient they emphasize if you’re thinking about your diet in terms of macronutrients then you’re thinking about it in the wrong way carbohydrates could come from sweet potatoes or candy fat could come from walnuts or hydrogenated vegetable oil what you need to do is focus your diet on whole foods not processed ones and in particular the low calorie density ones like fruits and vegetables that’s the science on how understanding and applying the concept of calorie density to your own diet can help you lose weight basically your mom was right eat your veggies not exactly groundbreaking stuff it’s pretty common advice that we’ve all heard before and that’s because it works it isn’t a fad diet now what are some practical tips that you can use to implement this into your own life for starters stop thinking and vegetables as your side and start thinking of them as course when you prepare a dish start with thinking about what vegetables you’re going to use and then add in the other food groups and make sure vegetables take up the majority of your plate having a salad with every meal is another great way to lower your calorie density as we saw just so long as you don’t use high-calorie toppings use fruit as your snacks throughout the day and after rides to capitalize on those antioxidants for aid in recovery my go-to after a hard ride is a bowl of oatmeal with a high antioxidant fruit like berries and be sure you stick to Whole Foods as we can see there is a huge difference in calorie density between processed and unprocessed carbohydrates for example finally you want to lose weight gradually instead of all at once because that will help you keep it off and large calorie deficit swill compromise your performance and recovery make sure you’re losing weight before your competition season not during and make sure you’re well-fed for your high intensity workout so you can get the most out of them thanks for watching I hope you guys found this information helpful if you like this video be sure to give it a like share it with a friend and subscribe for more training tips if you want to see more coaching content be sure to follow me on Instagram Twitter and Facebook and if you want to follow my training leading into this upcoming season be sure to check me out on Strava finally if you’re looking for a coach shoot me an email at D Johnson a train ride calm [Music]

100 comments on “How to Lose Weight for Cycling the RIGHT Way

  1. After 2 weeks of following the diet plan, I lost half a dozen pounds. It's amazing, I look great and haven't had this much energy in years.

  2. Could not disagree more about the macro-nutrient balance. I lost 50 pounds in six months on the keto diet. I wish I had tried it years earlier.

  3. "Because the body relies on glucose for energy during hard exercise, a high proportion of the calories consumed by riders come from carbohydrate — around 70 per cent, or 1,100g a day for a 70kg rider, according to Emma Barraclough, senior sports nutritionist at SiS.
    Read more at"

  4. I switched to a clean eating diet last summer which resulted in less energy density food choices and lost 20 lbs in 4 months. I did not even know I had extra pounds to loose as I was quite fit. Feels great to be back to my old highschool weight!

  5. I supplement beer as recovery/ carb loading 3.7 phase (science) oh fyi i'm 2 time stop sign to stop sign sprint champion in the fast group Tuesday night rides thank you very much!!

  6. For me the bonking has been a big problem when trying to lose weight for cycling while trying to train more especially in springtime. I wish there were a way to more accurately gauge how low your glycogen reserves are in liver and skeletal muscles actually are. Is there some kind of possible urinalysis or breathalyzer to test for the glycogen level?

  7. this video is amazing it helping me to loss weight this program can also help you to loss weight very fast you can check that out on my YouTube channel## @cPPo

  8. I understand that this video is about weight loss and not performance. But I am a bit confused with your conclusion that nutrients don't matter. That study was performed for non-athletes. It's proven that low protein diet for athletes most likely leads to muscle loss. I'd like you to mention it at least briefly.

  9. Well, that's nice and all — but without the carbs in your body to burn on the road, you're not going anywhere. I had hoped for some insights on how to make that balancing act. How many calories should I compensate before, during and/or after a ride? How many carbs? How many fast carbs? How much protein? Where to skimp to make sure that the calorie delta is negative?

    Losing weight on the bike is hard stuff. Cycling, after all, makes hungry. It'd be nice to have some handles on that besides basic dieting tips 🙂

  10. I thought this was going to be about training… I'm disappointed. I know plenty of fat vegetarians. The best why I have found to loose weight is eat normally and ride lots more.

  11. Lot of data
    Science can be merged with ancient Vedic precepts of whole live foods
    A plant based diet ( often referred as vegan ) is least understood and practiced incorrectly
    Plants get their phytonutrients directly from the Sun . We consume live plant based diet but not all raw we se effectively Gaining that extant joule of energy from the direct intake of live or least processed foods
    I think it would be an informative analogy to compare cultures diets based not only on religion but on the principles of Ayurvedic medicine
    Both me and my son. Age 12 are extreme road endurance climbers
    We are constantly thinking of creative methods of preparing low Caloric / high nutrient plant foods ie lentils , beans and legumes using Vedic spices
    Tumeric , ginger , curry Masala mixes to keep it interesting and curative at the same time
    Look for an upcoming feature on our climbing and training lifestyle in the feb / March edition of Peloton mag

    Power to weight without animal products would be another interesting topic

  12. Hi Dylan what's the degrees drop on the stem behind you. Sorry it's not relevant to the episode even though I found it a great bit of a info thanks.

  13. From January 2 through about February 5 I dropped 20 pounds (250 to 230). Tracked and reduced calories while greatly increasing my cardio (weight training stayed the same). Since then I’ve leveled off, now down to 223. A Friend of mine convinced me to try the KETO diet. I’ve been doing it for a week. What I’ve noticed is my cardio sessions are a real struggle. I was told that the change of burning fat instead of carbohydrates would give me just as much or more energy, but so far that isn’t the case. I was also eating a lot of fruit and more carb related vegetables than now. I’m always hungry and eating A LOT of protein. But again the worst is my rides are really suffering. Anyway, think I’m gonna start eating fruit and filling vegetables again, keep ramping up my riding and manage my calories. The fruit really helps with the sweet tooth cravings.

  14. Good in theory but I find that low calorie dense food leaves me craving food and unsatisfied despite feeling reasonably “full”. What works for me is IF and cutting out alcohol.

    I’d also suggest that you should focus on protein more. A chicken breast is filling, low calorie and good for you

  15. I tried fasting. Didn't eat for 4 days in a row and only water. Lost about 4kgs. Wasn't able to eat more than 800 kcal for the following week. Vegetarian meals and easy on the stomach. One week later i tried meat again and now I'm eating normal again. But the main goal was for me to be able to be hungry without bonking. Now I can rely on my fat way better than before and skip a meal or two without any problems.
    Currently 68kgs @182cm and half asian/european. Before i had 72-72kg

  16. Recently, the LCHF based diets have proven to be more effective long term for weight loss and other metabllic diseases (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) . What are your thoughts on LCHF and cycling?

  17. Very interesting indeed. Steam vegetables are just as good? I been increasing my salad intake and keeping at bay my rice and potatoes intake. Doing mostly lean meat fish and chicken and every other week steak.

    Will definitely add the juices and fruits after workouts

    Great video as always Dylan.

  18. Great video and simple message in this world of diet fads! My go to recovery juice is beetroot juice, seems to be a ton of science in mitochondrial recovery with beetroot. Finally I find that intermittent fasting helps too, I start race day in an empty stomach and have first meal after the ride. I also find that I’m quite full after a weekend of eating and generally use Monday for a cleanse which makes me feel great from Tuesday for my first training session.

  19. Great video with plenty of good info! I have found fasted rides work for me riding at a low intensity for 1-2 hours a couple of times a week. lost nearly 4.5kg since the new year with a couple more to come off hopefully!

  20. Too much intro. Tell us what you're going to tell us, then tell us. BTW. you summed up your video before you explained it. I didn't start to get fat until I turned 40. Come back in 20 years.

  21. Thanks Dylan. I’m certainly not an athlete and I need to drop some weight. Good strategies for eating. Any non salad low calorie density foods you’d recommend for breakfast and lunch? Also, Would getting a used road bike that I could ride on the street if I don’t have trails for my Mtb out my back door be a good idea?

  22. yeah one thing I would mention here is the relationship between sleep and food. If you get your 7-8 hours a night of good rest, it is a lot easier to carry a calorie deficit.

    Also, if you overdo it with the calorie deficit, your sleep cycle is bound to catch up with you. I tried a larger deficit only to find that i'd wake up in the middle of the night with severe hunger pangs; basically you have two major nervous systems; the enteric gut and your brain. If your enteric gut feels like it is being persecuted or left out, it will shout LOUDLY at your brain to adjust its behavior – in this case by forcing you to eat lots of food.

  23. If calorie density matters then macronutrients matter as a consequence! The calorie density of fat is 9 per gram, alchohol is 7 per gram, but protein and carbs are just 4 per gram, while fibre is 0 per gram! And that's the actual reason for why getting your veggies and fruits in is important – because they are the main source of fibre in the diet and rarely contain any fat or alchohol

  24. This video is fantastic. Great to see evidence referenced from the literature instead of just opinions. I’m a vegan cyclist from the UK so fruits and vegetables have been the main thing on my plate for a while but still some awesome insights in this! Thank you!

  25. 4:11 that's what I needed to know. More broccoli and less Legumes, what a releif. LOL
    I'm struggling to get healthy first, then lose weight to get back into mountain biking on long rides. Thanks for the GREAT tips and backing it all up with evidence.

  26. Or go ketosis and the fat will come off no matter what. Also, if you are worried about the gains. My best ftp test ever is on keto.

  27. Lose weight slowly or you will lose FTP. It’s nice to have great VAM but FTP is king overall for an all rounder Like myself.

  28. I've heard this explained before in other videos and podcast, but this is by far the best. Excellent incorporation of science and sarcasm to drive home the point! I know this video focuses on caloric density since it is about weight loss. I would be interested in seeing a video comparing the caloric density hierarchy v that of nutritional density (described in an episode of FastTalk presented by VeloNews). Makes sense that they are not interchangeable.

  29. Excellent, thanks for the video! Interesting that the 1st chapter of the book of Daniel reveals the same. What would you recommend for protein… meats, beans? Thx!

  30. thank you so much for this video it is spot on, iv'e have had very good success with the south beach diet, on June 27th 2018 i weighed 168 lbs. i did the 3 phases of the diet first 2 weeks no sugar no carbs, the most difficult phase. that's really the key. the craving were gone in the first week. i continued on to phase 2and 3. the only thing i did different was add more veggies in my diet with small amounts of protein, salads every day at lunch again with small amounts protein. iv'e lost 21 pounds and kept it off to this day, it feels so good when i put on my kit and look like a real cyclist, no pot belly or love handles, plus i can climb so much better and i feel better sugar is a horrible thing, and provides no nutritional value. i eat lots of fruit now and i love blue berries. all it takes is a little discipline and will power.

  31. Get up and leave the table when the dessert comes…SIMPLE!..I lost the stubborn fat the whole world can't loose..

  32. Going after breaking a World Record Dylan .
    And now, SO excited. I want more to come!

    With THAT in mind, can you direct me (in your opinion) your views on ketogenic diet or eating for SUPER long endurance racing long distances covering 450 km to 4,418 km (2,765 miles)

    Also, your views on what to do – when at the starting curve – to NEW training program for doing hard core for a period of 2 years.

    I'm including weights. Which exercises is best? (remember long distances with long steep grades along the way)

    Thanks SO kindly.

    Can you reply to [email protected] = Police monitored for hackers. Heads up.

  33. climbing towards age 55 and a life long weight problem I'll probably never look like a cyclist til I'm dying This is really good advice on diet. Fitness and daily exercise with this will help. You may be like us and never really look pretty but I think it will help the joints and such stay intact a lot longer than if you followed fads. I'm adopting this and ditching the diets. ( which I've followed religiously at least a couple times a year for my entire life) I've always had a problem but I never gave up trying to stay on top of it

  34. This is exactly how slimming world works and I lost 1 stone in 9 weeks eating loads of yummy food including pasta, rice and potatoes

  35. What about changes in riding practices?
    Years ago I read something about "the best way" to lose weight on a bike is put out as much power as possible while keeping your heart rate at 70% of your max, for one hour… this of course in addition to dietary changes. I haven't had to opportunity to test this theory since I live in an area with a lot of hills and it's almost impossible to go more than a mile or two without going up a hill and exceeding that 70%HR pocket. Think there's any truth to that?

  36. Calorie density diets make no sense for anyone that does any serious riding. In one of my typical rides, I burn between 1400 – 2000 calories. 2000 calories plus what my 6'4 frame burns is roughly 5k calories. If eating 3/4k calories worth of food (dense or not) is not enough to keep you satisfied then you have a serious eating disorder.

  37. Weight loss does’nt work after 64. Road bicycling is for skinny, young people. Dieting and exercise just does’nt work anymore. Frustrated !

  38. i love sarcastic (backwards cap) Dylan. he reflects the replies i often get when trying to suggest things to other cyclists.

  39. I recommend salads with a sprinkle of herb feta cheese. A little of the cheese will overpower the 'veggie ' taste of a salad without dressing on top. A great calorie tradeoff. Get a is a good, strong cheese so not much required.

  40. Wow really well done video. Quite impressed by the fact that you actually quote real studies – hard to find on the web. Keep up the great work!!

  41. A good way for me to lose weight is to feed me vegetables and salads. Cause I won’t eat any of it.

  42. Good info here! Not ground-breaking, like Dylan said, but backed by science and common sense. I like the idea of making your veggies the main course and adding macros around them. Thnx!

  43. Is there a point that we get can too thin and by that I mean run the risk of losing power and getting sick more often.

  44. Hey Dylan, I just signed up for TrainerRoad. What do you think about their programs? Here's another question, too: How can I determine what a healthy, realistic, but competitive weight would be for me? I have already dropped 30 lbs, which is great, but I'm still overweight.

  45. Thank you! I'm going to try implementing these strategies. Just wanted to know your opinion on protein after a ride. One of my largest struggles is the length of recovery since even shorter rides take me two or three days to recover. I'm going to try tomato juice and berries next time but do you take any protein immediately after a ride?

  46. Oh yeah. Ive watched this. Ive been good volume of low desnsity for a while now…I already 90% vegan 😊 with an occasional 4oz piece of tilapia or salmon. But my Late July tortilla chips addiction is probably not aiding my weight loss 🤙🏽😂😂 at least their "organic" 😊

  47. Dylan…are you aware of any longitudinal studies of elite level sports like endurance bike riding, career UCI pro racers or marathon runners on the physiological impacts on their bodies. These athletes are pushing their bodies to extreme limits constantly and I'm curious if there are any objective studies to assess damage or life shortening outcomes?

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