My weight goal … 🤨

Remember?

I just have 2 cycling goals for the month: increase my FTP by 5%; and lose 5 pounds. Simple. Right?

I got the scales out today. Surprise! I thought 5 pounds would get me back to my optimum cycling weight of 142 pounds. Well, it’s more like 8 pounds I need to lose. I haven’t been this heavy in a few years. Less cycling, the colder weather, and more eating are the culprits.

Eight pounds is too much to lose in a month with the volume of training I do. It just means it will take me 2 months – a pound a week – ready for summer cycling.

I mentioned previously, I do not plan to radically change my diet. I am vegan, and my meals are all homemade using fresh ingredients including a lot of vegetables and fruits. I only drink black coffee, and water. No pop. No alcohol. I don’t like sweets, or candy. I practice a 16/8 intermittent eating schedule, frequently training fully fasted.

The only thing I need to change is how much I eat.

This is the plan:

1 – Keep the scales out, and weigh myself everyday after each workout. Otherwise, I may not stay as focused on the goal. I do this when I am at Camp PedalWORKS, and find it is a daily reminder making me plan meals, and grocery shopping, more carefully.

2 – Eliminate second helpings at dinner. I have already started doing this. I quickly realized I didn’t need more food. I once heard a dietician say that a serving only needs to be the size of your fist. This seems like a good idea. One trick is to drink a glass of water the hour before dinner to fill the stomach beforehand. This way you are not hungry when you sit down to eat. Another trick is to eat slowly, making certain to fully chew every mouthful. This gives your senses time to realize your stomach is in fact full, and doesn’t need more food.

3 – Eliminate Fresh Baked Goods. There is a baker in the house, and every week there is a batch of fresh muffins, chocolate chip cookies, and scones that need to be eaten. Not by me so much, but they are a temptation. I like the muffins. I’ll leave the cookies, and scones for others.

4 – Eliminate late night snacks. I don’t do this much. If I eat anything it is a piece of bread with peanut butter. I don’t need this, but will keep a glass of water handy in case I get a craving.

5 – Eliminate afternoon cafe stops. Instead, snack on an apple while walking, and have coffee at home. I think I was doing this more for the social contact than the coffee and muffin. Since COVID, I don’t see many people, and would look forward to chatting with the baristas. I’ll find others on the walk to chat with.

This plan seems easy to follow. I’m not having to give a lot up. When I am alone at Camp PedalWORKS, I am more disciplined about food. It’s easier. I just have myself to shop, and cook for. It’s more complicated here. Other mouths. Other preferences. Other goals. We are not all on the same page.

Maybe this plan is not as simple as it sounds.

No. It is.

I simply need to be a little more disciplined about the food.

Imagine change. Intermittent Fasting …

I am committed to making positive changes in 2018.

Instead of making unattainable New Year’s resolutions, I am going to keep the idea of positive change forefront in my thoughts throughout the year by regularly thinking “Imagine. Change., the words fortuitously embroidered on the young skater’s right shoulder that I met on the flight home from Phoenix two weeks ago.

It’s my 2018 mantra.

The first change I am making is to revise my diet and eating schedule to help maintain a more optimum cycling weight throughout the entire year, not just during the cycling season.

We all know that excess body weight is the cyclist’s nemesis. And, who doesn’t have a few extra pounds. I certainly do. And, at the beginning of each cycling season, I try to shed them. This year I got down to 152 pounds, the lowest I have been in decades, and close to my ideal cycling weight.

This winter, I want to keep my weight under 160 pounds so that as the season approaches, I won’t be struggling to lose weight, and can concentrate on my bike handling skills and conditioning.

How am I going to do that?

Well, I’m going to give intermittent fasting a try. I like the 16/8 method, where you fast for 16 hours, and then consume your daily calories during the next 8. It is the same schedule each and every day, and enables me to workout in the morning before having my first meal of the day, a technique purported to accelerate weight loss.

Intermittent fasting is controversial. Some like it. Some don’t. Some say it is the quickest, and most effective, way to lose belly fat. Some argue it makes little difference, saying all that maters is to consume fewer calories than you expend throughout the day. For me, the method makes sense, and also conditions the body to use fat stores for energy, something endurance athletes need to learn to do.

After considerable research, I am convinced intermittent fasting is beneficial. Here are 10 evidence-based benefits to consider.

I’ll try this for several months, and then report back. I have a 100 km century ride planned for the first week in April. By then I want to be at my optimum cycling weight, and will know if intermittent fasting worked for me.