Why dieting causes you to loose power

I hear many times from athletes that they can not get too low in weight because they loose power. But if the main factor in cycling is power to weight ratio – and that ratio increases if you lost weight then how can you also loose power?

I think that there is a point of minimum bodyfat where someone would loose strength or reserves. However, if that is the case, then what about all the Pro racers that come out of stage races with less than 5% bodyfat.

My hypothesis is that when people are dieting and do not eat as much for meals ‘reducing calories’ then when they go out for a long or hard training then they do not have enough nutrients in their body and they do not ingest enough calories too keep them going. Once the body runs out of nutrient supplies then it doesn’t function optimally – they loose energy (power).

Now take the same ‘reduced calories’ and factor in the high intensity of training and/or racing and the body is in a depleted state WHEN beginning an event – and since it is difficult for most people to ingest enough nutrition during an event, they eventually ‘loose power’.

Something I tell my clients is to ‘feed your training’. In other words you must eat according to what you are planning to do. If you are going to hang out on the couch then you can/should consume less food. But especially consume less food that the body would use immediately for energy. This is a good time to consume foods that the body would use as building blocks or repair.

When you have a long training day or race day, now is the time to ingest more foods that the body can and will use for energy.
This past weekend I was leading a group ride – I got up 30 minutes earlier just so that I could prepare some Belgium waffles with maple syrup. Less than 2 hours later we were all on the bikes and riding a few miles over to a 3 mile climb – I had a great day, which started out with a meal that was going to fuel my activity.

This morning I was in a meeting for a couple hours and have been working on some research and getting some ideas on paper. For breakfast this AM I had an omellete with chicken, salsa and guacamole. Foods that I wouldn’t get a burst of energy from, but food that will keep a steady stream of nutrients with out an insulin spike.

Want to really find out all the details of nutrition and proper dieting, check out my EbookSupport independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Remember: Feed your training.

Does Protein intake improve cycling

An interesting Does protein intake improve cycling“>article + discussion.

I’m a fan of eating a higher protein diet after hard rides for muscle recovery and repair.
This does not negate the need for simple sugars and carbs immediately after a ride – then my next meal will usually be more focused on protein. BUT keep in mind that I am a protein metabolic type. Meaning that I do well eating meat, steaks, chicken, fish, beans. Some people don’t feel as well on a diet like this, but eating ‘more’ than usual would be helpful.

Four Hour Body review

Jim at Hodgson Co Marketing suggested a book to me, that he is reading.

Take a look at some of the mixed reviews in the comments section on Amazon!

Although it isn’t going to drastically change my eating – I lean towards Paleo diet, eating mainly meat, veggies, it has me cutting back on cheese & sugar [just in my coffee & replaced with Cinnamon], so far.
Also, I have added much more vegetables than I would normally eat, including Sauerkraut, Kimchee, and spinach.

And, it has gotten me over my ‘fear’ of eating too many beans. I have had a week of beans and no smelly side-effects. In fact, I notice more side effects from broccolli (your flatulence may vary).


I think a big difference maybe the regular timing of measurements. I used to take my measurements whenever the mood struck. I have recorded my baseline of where I am at, after taking a lot of the Winter off to work on this website.

UPDATE: In about 2 weeks I lost 6 pounds, and my jeans fit much better around the waist. I find that I have been tucking in my shirts much more often than several weeks ago!

I’m anxious to get to the section about sleeping also – or rather how to go on less sleep and not feel tired.

UPDATE: I downloaded the electricSleep for Droid and have been using it overnight. The main thing that this does is allow the alarm to go off when I am not in REM (deep sleep), which allows you to wake feeling more refreshed.

Speaking of sections, I like how T.Ferris tells you to read the first several chapters, then jump around and absorb what interests you most. As long as you follow the info first laid out in the book, you can then read more about specific sections that interest you. Isn’t this the way learning should be!?


UPDATE: A very interesting chapter! TFerris got an insulin meter installed into his body and watched his blood sugar changes after eating different foods… This showed some interesting information!
A) It is not what you eat, it is what enters your bloodStream!
B) The amount of time it takes nutrients to actually enter the bloodstream is different than what most have thought!
C) the length of time it takes some nutrients to actually reach the blood stream is much longer than we realized. much longer. I used to try to finish a ride with out using another gel – whoops, making my recovery worse! Get those nutrients INTO the body BEFORE you finish!

weight loss is for the off season

Sit around most any group of male cyclists and they will end up talking about their weight. A conversation so in depth that it would shock most women not in the cycling community. Besides shaving their legs, nearly all cyclists attempt to stay as light as possible, yet attempt to keep a high power to weight ratio. This is quite a challenge for almost everyone I know, but here are some thoughts on how to do this effectively.

To drop bodyfat, there are good ways and not good ways to go about it. For example, most people tend to just eat less, but Caloric deficit is one of the prime facilitators of over training and slow recovery.

I did a consultation with a 300 pound guy that said he was eating under 1200 calories a day, basically starving himself and only eating a dinner meal. Yes, the scale reads a lower number, but A) what is the bodyfat % are you loosing fat or muscle? you want less bodyfat and keep or add more muscle, especially since muscle burns more calories than food and B) what happens when you do start to eat more – your body has been in starvation mode and will pack on the fat reserves in preparation for the next starvation.

I don’t truly believe the numbers behind calories, however I get where it can make it easier for some people to understand their eating habits – but please do NOT tell me that 100 calories of cheezy poofs are equal to a 100 calories of broccoli.

It’s a tough balance because of the great advantages of weighing less in a sport where power to weight ratio can matter.

For cyclists doing LSD (Long Slow Distance) is a great time for work at ‘on the bike fueling‘. This is the time to have an alarm go off every 30 minutes and eat/drink a little. You will be amazed at the difference this will make.

When I do this well, I am usually starving at the end of a ride because my metabolism is fired up so much. But try to keep this steady supply of nutrition going and you metabolism will have less tendency to slow down!

For more detailed information on how my clients are loosing up to 2 pants sizes a month get my “Drop Pounds, Gain Watts” ebook:
Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.