Whether you have 6 pounds to lose, 6 stone, or anything in between it’s well worth. Losing it. Every extra pound of fat you carry is a pound you have to carry up the hill with you. If you struggle with climbs then losing weight is one of the most important, if not the most important thing you can do to improve your climbing.
What you eat is 80% of losing weight. Unless you can train for hours a day then it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to out-exercise a bad diet. You need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, and the best way to do this is through watching what you eat. Here’s 4 things to consider with your nutrition to help you lose weight for your riding :
1. More ‘good’ food less ‘bad’ food
This might sound really obvious. But think deeper about why… A bag of sharing minstrels which is easy to devour in 5 minutes is around 1100 calories. A FULL chicken which you buy from the rotisserie section of the supermarket comes in at around 1000 calories.
You could take all day to eat a full chicken over 3 or 4 meals, paired with some salad or veg and you’ve still got calories left for good carbs and some good fats.
For the exact same amount of calories you have a completely opposite effect in your body. It would be tough to get through a full chicken in one sitting, and if you did you’d be stuffed for a good few hours. Maybe the rest of the day. A family bag of minstrels fills you up for all of 30 minutes. Aim to eat foods that fill you up for longer and foods that are hard to over-eat on and you’ll find you naturally eat less.
2. More protein less carbs
Now carbs aren’t bad first of all. But like discussed above, they are really easy to overeat on…and they also don’t fill you up like protein does. High carb foods actually increase your hunger hormones. Whereas high protein foods increase your satiety hormones which make you feel full and satisfied. As well as this carbs digest and breakdown into energy quite fast (even slow release carbs) which makes them perfect for riding…but not great to eat all day as you’ll be hungry within an hour or 2. Protein breaks down and digests much slower and will keep you fuller for longer. Basing your meals around protein and veg with a small amount of carbs is a much better balance than the typical bulk of carbs with a small amount of extra protein
You need to be drinking 2 litres of water a day as a bare minimum. Dehydration is often confused with hunger meaning you go eat when you should be drinking. It’s important for your focus and concentration and it’s super important for performance on the bike. Make sure you hit your 2 litres as a minimum each day!
4. Prep your meals
It’s super easy to eat the wrong foods when you are unorganised. Right now I’m getting hungry while I sit writing this email. My stomach feels ready for a meal and I can feel myself getting tired and irritable. Give me another 30 minutes and I’ll be STARVING. Given the option of a bowl of cereal or cooking a chicken salad you can be damn sure I’ll choose the cereal! Luckily I have meals in the fridge ready cooked and in boxes. That means when I finish this article all I need to do is get it out of the fridge, pop it in the microwave and eat! Preparation is SO important.
Remember – unless you are crazy active all day you are going to need to watch what you eat to help you lose weight. Sort your food FIRST and you’ll see much better weight loss results!