Rebecca Williams, performance nutritionist for Maxinutrition, has some advice for us on how to keep your weight loss resolutions and targets...
UK readers: can you help us get more people on bikes? Whether you’re a keen cyclist or a complete beginner, we’d love you to get involved in our Get Britain Riding campaign, in association with B’Twin. Click here to sign up!
1. Eat right for each ride
If your aim is to be lighter while keeping power output high, periodising nutrition around training is imperative.
Fuel your rides with optimal glycogen stores but on rest or light training days reduce your calorie intake. If you need to top up your glucose levels on a ride do it with 30–60g of carbohydrates per hour. That’s a handful of jelly sweets, two gels or two medium ripe bananas.
2. Mix going fast
To encourage fat burning it’s important to mix up your rides. Longer, fasted sessions are great to get the miles in and churn through the calories, but you may not be able to reach maximal power/speed potential in these sessions.
Go for a maximum of two fasted rides a week. Look to include shorter high intensity rides (these should be fuelled) to push your body to adapt.
3. Note the numbers
Regular food intake (every 3–4 hours) is vital for weight loss. Aim to hit your daily protein recommendations (ranging from 1.2–1.6g protein/kg body weight/day) to restore muscles for the following day.
Ideally take some of this appetite suppressing nutrient within 20 minutes of a training session ending. A training and nutrition diary to monitor progress aids weight loss too.
4. Do dense dishes
Miss breakfast and you’re more likely to eat more calories. Opt for nutrient-dense food and drinks that have low calorific cost — lean cuts of meat, fish, fruit, veg and wholegrains.
Use nutrient-rich alternatives like half an avocado instead of butter as a spread, popcorn over crisps and skimmed milk instead of full fat. Use spray oils for cooking and increase veg portions in meals.