Losing weight is challenging for everyday people and amateur athletes. It’s a misconception that only intense training is a solution for weight loss.
When it comes to losing weight, one of the most heard rants is, “I’m training hard all the time, but I’m not losing weight. Is there anything wrong with me? Am I not training the right way?” We understand why people have these questions as they’re disappointed with their results. Sometimes it can be challenging even for athletes to get the desired body composition and power to weight ratio.
The thing is the key to losing weight is that there should be some form of energy deficiency in the body. However, it’s not easy. Moreover, it becomes even harder when you have a high training regimen. It is crucial to refuel well for specific training sessions and not to over-restrict in the process.
Is It True That I Am Not Losing Weight Because My Nutrition Is Wrong?
It’s common to see athletes struggling with their nutrition and weight and that too in many areas. Sometimes it is the obvious ones such as overeating or underestimating portion sizes. Other cases include poor nutrient timing or not taking adequate nutrition during the training sessions.
Some athletes tend to have the same diet over and over again, regardless of the training. It is also the situation for most people. A habit like this can lead to over-eating on rest days or under-eating on training days. So, it is imperative you have a diet the matches the minimum nutritional requirements for a specific type of training plan.
A solution is to pack some snacks such as nuts and dried fruit to eat during your ride so you will not be so hungry after.
Not Losing Weight Can Be Blamed On Portion Distortion
It’s difficult for everyone to lose weight if his or her food portions are distorted. If you aren’t careful enough, you may unknowingly add a couple of hundred calories here and there, and at the end of the day, you’ll realise that an extra 300-500kcal than your recommended allowance. This can deter you from making progress.
Take peanut butter for example. It’s nutritious and tastes great. It also high proportions of fat and energy. So, it is effortless for you to overeat this particular item in more significant portions than you realise. Another mistake most tend to make is to differentiate between a teaspoon and tablespoon. Typically, a tablespoon of peanut butter will have more calories than a teaspoon of the same stuff.
This doesn’t in any way mean that you should always measure what you eat all the time or list down the number of calories you’ll be having in every meal. It’s a reminder that not paying enough attention in the portion size can disrupt your nutritional balance making it difficult for you to lose weight.
Nutrient Distribution and Periodisation
You nutrient distribution and periodisation depends on your training. Some days you need more, others you need less. If you’re in a high-intensity training program, you’ll need more carbohydrate for optimal performance. On the other hand, long steady rides or endurance races need fewer carbs. If you want to get the most from your training sessions or losing weight is your primary concern, you should know how to manipulate when and what you eat to maintain your progress.
Most of us tend to overestimate how much calories we burn. We are guilty of stuffing our faces with food after a ride to ease our insatiable hunger. Not only does it leave you feeling bloated, but you might also need to get out for a second ride to burn off the extra calories.
Getting the right balanced nutrition can be a challenge for athletes and there is no easy fix. It takes time to make sustainable changes, even minor changes. However, the key here is to be consistent on keep building on them in a sustainable manner. We would also recommend you work with a sports dietitian specialising in cycling so that he or she can help you identify you what’s holding you back from losing weight despite and suggest training programs that suit you best.
Besides the imbalance of input vs output, another reason might be that you are drafting in a pack too much. By drafting behind someone, you save up to 30-40% of your energy, depending on how fast you’re going. In fact, you’re just freewheeling and not getting in a good quality workout.