Weight loss strategy - which one is better?


I would like to loose around 5 kg (my weight is 89kg) and, although I understand nutrition is the main driver for achieving it, I would like to know what can I do in zwift too.

Moreover, my question is, if I have to do 5 workouts per week of one hour each, what would be better, z1-z2 workouts like zwiftoff, or hiit workouts as the epoc one?

I can’t add links but both workouts are available on whatsonzwift website

Or it might well be that there are better options… what would you suggest?


My thoughts and I am not a nutritionist or certified in any way…

  • Long ride…2+ hrs at least once a week…twice/wk if you have time
  • Ride as much time just below threshold as you can (High Z3)…fat burn as a percentage is lower than Z1/Z2 but the fat burn rate goes up…you just burn more sugar also…
  • Eat 300 calories less/day…usually cutting out crap “food” is enough…chips, cookies, etc…
  • HIIT workouts burn more fat than Z1/Z2 rides

Good advice below, cut out the Bread and biscuits they are the real probs with fats. Sign up to one of the trg programmes so you have a structured training programme and maybe add 1 or 2 races or group rides per week for Steady fat burning rides the BOTS are ideal for steady gp rides

1 Like

Thanks. So, hiit over z1-z2 then? I have read different opinions on that, I would tend to believe hiit is better (you burn more calories) but don’t know

Do not worry about zones…

1 Like

My limited understanding is it isn’t “either” type of training… it’s a mix of “both” (plus more).

For cycling, it looks like some variety in workout intensity is needed to boost performance, while ensuring enough recovery to prevent overtraining and injury.

So a weekly programme might include 1 HIIT session, 1 (or 2) longer rides (2+) hrs, and a recovery ride at Z1/Z2, plus some days off.

Personally, I would put some resistance training in there to build up other muscle groups too. Building/maintaining muscle takes more energy each week than the HIIT session.

I am not an expert at any this, so my $0.02 is worth exactly that. I highly suggest continuing your own research and adding to your personal toolbox before committing to only one type of training.

I’m 53 years old, and have dropped from a “moderately-active” 95kg to an “increasingly active” 89kg, in 6 weeks, by trying to break this smart trainer while it’s in the warrantee period ;-). I’ve lifted weights for 4 decades, although it doesn’t really look like it, LOL.

I firmly believe a variety of workout methods is needed for recovery, adaptation, and motivation.

1 Like

I’m going to respectfully disagree with many of the posts above. While you will indeed burn more calories during higher intensity rides over lower intensity rides, doing 5 high intensity rides per week can also have a negative impact on your stress hormones, ultimately decreasing your metabolic rate. That kind of approach generally produces great short term results, but as your cortisol levels rise the weight tends to come back with a vengeance.

A better long term approach might be doing 2 high intensity interval workouts per week and 3 lower intensity zone 1-2 rides per week, as the lower intensity rides will not have the same impact on your stress hormones as the higher intensity rides do. Improving muscle mass with some added strength work will also help a great deal. Whatever you decide, cheers!


You might also try intermittent fasting and reducing your carbohydrate intake a bit. And do your best to not eat anything for 3-4 hours before going to bed.


FYI whilst you can burn a lot of energy with HIIT, the best benefit of HIIT for weight loss is that it will kick your metabolism up a gear or two, so your body will naturally burn more calories as a norm (I dont have any science behind how much but likely very easy to find with a search elsewhere). And per the advice here, I’d reinforce the no more than one or two HIIT workouts a week.

Something else to try and relates to Nigel’s post above, go and do a decent Z1/2 ride after waking up in the morning and not eating anything until after. Fasted energy burning is evidently really effective and the science behind it makes sense (teaches your body to burn fat rather muscle) when it runs out of glycogen.


Thanks all, that’s useful information!

I’m a bit worried about exceeding the intensity. Is there any way I should use to measure that, other than fatigue?

Do you have a fitbit, Whoop, oura ring, or apple watch that can track your sleep? Sleep is the best way to recover, make sure you are getting enough.

1 Like

It’s often said that high intensity training tends to stimulate your appetite, making it hard to control diet. Anecdotally, I also lose weight reliably through the winter when I do a fair amount of running, mostly steady pace with very little high intensity work. (marathon training).

Going on a cycle tour is a good way to lose weight, the only time I finished fatter than I started was when we went to Texas :slight_smile:

1 Like

Resting heart rate is a decent indicator of how much “work” your body is doing while you are relaxing. It is best taken first thing in the morning (via a heart rate monitor or the old fashioned way) before getting out of bed. Jot this resting heart rate down on a notepad or on your phone notes app.

If you find your heart rate is increased by 8-12 bpm in the morning from your normal average, that is a sign that your body is working hard to recover from exercise (or illness, etc), and indicates reduced volume or a break from exercise is a good idea.

Many great coaches have said that we only get faster/fitter/stronger when we recover… so we need to make room for both recovery rides, and complete rest days, in our programs.

i really don’t suggest going hard more than once a week or so if you’re cutting weight. you won’t gain much from doing high intensity on a calorie deficit, and you’ll feel like crap doing it too. i don’t actually know if the science agrees with me on that, but whether or not it makes biological sense is secondary to whether it makes practical sense because if you dread training, you won’t do it.


I dropped about 5 stone (31kg) over 12 months. I’m 6’1" (185cm) and now around 68kg (150lbs)

Some of this was exercise (around 12 hours a week on Zwift) but the majority of it was diet. I stripped bread, flour and oil from what I ate and avoided excess fat and sugars. Also looked carefully at the quantity of what I was eating and tried to ensure it was as balanced as possible.

Missed bread, pizza and crisps the most!

It is more about what you are eating, but exercise will play a key part. Good luck.


Additionally, low intense is good for burning belly fat. HIT is needed if you want to address your viceral fat depos.
Combine cycling with leg muscle training and you’ll get higher BMR (basal metabolic rate) 24/7 as well as being capable of higher HIT

You will always burn more calories when NOT training vs calories burned during training, unless you are some extreme long distance rider

And like most stated already, it’s mainly in what you eat and what you don’t eat :+1:

One other exercise…track your food intake in one of the apps: MyFitDay, Noom, etc…be rigorous and you will be shocked at the caloric intake of some foods.

Whatever is more enjoyable for you.

Any exercise that you do because you like doing it is better than exercise you avoid doing because it’s boring, painful or any other reason