My ftp has improved a lot since joining zwift. After training the most basic ftp builder, the weight also decreased from 77kg to 66kg. But I finished the mid-level ftp builder training program afterwards and my weight didn’t change at all, I don’t know why my fat keeps accumulating on my belly, waist and thighs, it’s making me anxious. I haven’t ridden in zwift for the last 3 months either, sometimes outdoors. My weight has increased to 70kg and the ftp has dropped to around 200. So I would like to ask everyone, is there any suitable plan for me to lose weight while increasing my ftp and aerobic capacity a little bit. I envy Julian Alaphilippe’s body shape, I wish I had the body shape like him, haha. If you have good suggestions, you are very welcome and thank you very much for your message!
Welcome to the Forums, John.
First of all, as you are no doubt aware, the subject of fat loss is vast and there’s plenty of pseudoscience out there, along with lots of “accepted wisdom” that is based on exactly zero proper evidence.
Sorry to be “that guy”, but even though you asked specifically about a training plan for weight loss, I’d point you first in the direction of nutrition. As someone whose weight has gone up and down all my life while doing various amounts of endurance sport, I’ve seen firsthand that, all other things being equal, I can influence how much fat I’m carrying far more by what/how much I eat than doing specific exercise.
There are many people on here who will be able to point you to good training plans that can assist you in reaching your goals, but as the adage goals, you can’t out-train a poor diet. Good luck in turning the ship around.
First of all, congrats to your achievements so far. I don’t want to sound harsh now, and I hope you are not angry at me, but:
Reducing weight starts at the fridge. As hard as it sounds, you definitely need to change your eating habits, otherwise your weight loss will only be a temporary thing.
Sport is just a supporter to accelerate a caloric deficit. But it can never be your only source for a weight loss.
Mike and Roule are spot on. Just look at the calories burned on your typical ride, then compare them to the calories in a typical day of “grazing”. Not even close. Love the ride. Adopt it as a lifestyle. Eat right. The weight loss will follow. Start with loving the ride.
Coming back to the question of a training plan, there are differing ideas about what works best for optimal fat loss. I’m so far from being a sports scientist it’s laughable, but I do think that it’s somewhat individual, insomuch as one person’s body will use a proportionately higher percentage of their fat stores during an hour of high intensity exercise, while another will draw on a higher proportion of fat when doing low intensity. (We will of course use up more calories in high intensity, but the proportion of fat used won’t be the same.)
In the absence of being able to work with your own personal sports scientist and lab, it’s probably worth experimenting with a variety of approaches to see what works for you.
One thing that has worked well for me in the past is using intermittent fasting (I was on 17 hours fasted, 7 hour eating window), training at zone 1-2 power at the tail end of the fasting period, when my glycogen stores were well depleted, and thus getting the body to use fat earlier in the workout than if I’d eaten more recently. Doing that first thing in the morning everyday seemed to be a great help in burning more fat.
At another time, I’ve found that training in the evening and then not eating at all until the morning helped me lose weight. That one might also not have been great for maintaining muscle mass, so perhaps not recommended.
All of this has worked so much better when in a calorie deficit, eating a high proportion of raw or steamed vegetables and having cut out heavily processed foods and reducing sugar to the absolute minimum possible. Cravings and appetite are reduced after a while, helping to avoid breaking the eating plan on bad days.
Oh, and one of key tools that isn’t talked about much is getting regular and sufficient sleep. Apparently, the body is more likely to store any excess energy as fat when we’re sleep deprived. Also, fighting cravings for calorie-heavy foods is much harder when we are tired.
On the ‘eating plan’ front, you might want to look into intermittent fasting. The basic idea is that as long as your body is producing insulin (which it will do basically anytime you consume calories) your body will want to store calories. So, in order to lose fat (and, most likely, weight) you need to have a good amount of time where you are not consuming any calories. This allows the insulin to work its way out of your system, and for glucagon to start being produced (which releases fat from your cells to be burned as energy, instead). You might start with a 16:8 to begin (16 hours of no calories/8 with) and go from there.
Also keep in mind that cutting alcohol and soda will help immensely, as both alcohol and fructose (including HFCS) are processed through your liver and do not send any signal to your brain like ‘I’ve had enough calories’ like food will do.
Thanks for your advice. I used to belived in excercing is the key to lose fat. In this forum, many people point out that sport is a bit part of it. More importantly is that a good diet and a good living habbit.
Thanks for your advice. But I’m a little bit confused about the 16:8. Can you tell me a specific eating plan? Btw, does the 16hours no diet includes the sleeping time?
I consider myself a “lucky” person, I never drink alcohol and only drink soda once a month or two. But I have to point out my own shortcomings, I often go to bed after 12:30 at night, I usually drink very little water, even if I have dry mouth, I don’t know why I don’t drink water often, any good advice for me How about changing these bad habits?
That is 100% correct. Diet is the most important. Find something that works for you. Cutting those “sugar free” stuff is a good start. Try to eat food that look like it was created, that will cut out a lot of processed stuff.
As for workouts I like doing long Zone 2 (blue zone) workouts in the morning to burn fat
Set you’re telephone alarm regularly so you are alerted to drink. furthermore you can uses water bottles / glasses filled with water so you see what you need tot drink better
Both you and Nigel mentioned intermittent fasting, and the ratio is 16:8 or 17:7. I’m very puzzled that this concept of ratio is a bit abstract to me. Can you give a concrete example of timing, I wonder if sleep time counts in the fasting ratio? I usually eat light food, but I like to eat Chinese food at noon and in the evening, rice is a big part, followed by vegetables, then meat. Breakfast is usually eggs and soy milk. Is your training recommendation to do zone 1-2 cardio at the end of the fasting period is the best way to burn fat? I don’t know if I understand exactly what you mean. Finally, thank you very much for your valuable advice. I wish you a happy life.
That sounds a good plan to alert me to drink water, thank you!
I love rice, but are carbs considered “sugar free”?
Rice is sugar free. And actually good carbs. Brown is better. Low GI carbs is the best.
But start with the big hitters with lots of corn syrup and sugar and sugar sports drinks.
No, carbs are basically sugar and will spike your insulin as they are broken down after eating.
16:8 is, basically, 16 hours of not consuming any calories (which can definitely include the time you are sleeping, and an 8 hour window when you are consuming calories. This does not mean to restrict your overall calories (though cutting carbs, as noted elsewhere can be helpful, as all carbs are, effectively, sugar and will spike insulin), but just to keep them to a limited portion of the day, so that your body has a chance to process any insulin produced, and then allow the glucagon to do its job of pulling lipids out of your fat cells.
Also, as mentioned elsewhere, cut out processed foods as much as possible. Even the difference between a processed carb and a natural carb is immense.
That’s just one possible approach. It has worked for me, in that I’ve found my bodyweight dropping consistently across a good span of weeks when following such a plan. It’s not for everyone. It can take a while to get used to not taking in any calories for an extended period of time, especially if one is used to eating every two-to-four hours.
Every time I’ve gone from eating whenever I feel like it to time-restricted eating (which is all intermittent fasting is), I’ve found it’s taken my body between a week to ten days to feel habituated. I always like the mental and physical effects that it procures, but it’s not always easy to keep to, especially with work and social constraints. It’s worth the effort, in my opinion.
On this topic, there are certainly some people who feel that only lower energy efforts are possible when fasted or on a low-carb/keto diet. My experience, however, is different, including have my highest ever normalized power on a fasted ride last week. I will say, though (and this was mentioned by @Roule_Thoune), that getting used to fasting and/or a low-carb diet can take a bit of time. This is basically because it will take some time for your body to develop the mitochondria to more efficiently process fat as a fuel. So, you may well go through a period where it feels like you can’t go hard efforts, but that should subside after a bit. (The amount of time this takes should, relatively speaking, decrease with longer fasting periods and lower carbohydrate intake.)
Perhaps the biggest thing to keep in mind is that insulin leads to caloric storage, and eating ANY food will cause an increase in insulin (carbs the most, fat not much at all, and protein somewhere in the middle). So, if you want to burn stored fat you have to get to a point where your blood has no insulin remaining (and should have, then, some glucagon in it), which requires an extended period of consuming no calories. To steal an analogy from Jason Fung, as long as there is food in the refrigerator you don’t need to get anything out of the freezer in the basement.
If you can afford it, I’d highly recommend that you consult a nutritionist. In one or two appointments they can consult with you to assess your current eating habits and lifestyle and create a plan that’s tailored to your needs.
You want to find someone who can help you take a comprehensive approach to creating a healthy lifestyle that you can maintain for a lifetime rather than achieve short term weight loss goals or cobble together piecemeal strategies. The hardest part of weightloss can be keeping it off; and that requires permanent changes that you can live with and enjoy. There’s a lot of different ways to approach healthy eating habits and a good nutritionist can help you identify a comprehensive plan suits you.
@John_Marston to add just a bit to this, if you go this route I would recommend that you find a nutritionist who is open to all sorts of different diets (and I mean diet in terms of the foods and frequency of eating, not in a caloric-restriction manner) and can work to find what is best for you. There will certainly be some (many?) out there who will be a proponent of this, or that, or whatever they learned in school, and won’t truly look at which choice makes the most sense for you as an individual.