Loving the BITE: Off-Season Fat Loss Recipes

There’s no better time for a cyclist to shed some pounds than in the off-season.  In fact, while it may seem counter-intuitive, it can be very difficult to lose weight during a long, grueling on-season of cycling, training, and racing (especially if you’re already reasonably fit and just want to lose those last few pounds).

3 Reasons Why Intense Endurance Training Makes it Hard to Lose Weight:

  1. As you get better at a specific endurance sport, your body burns fewer calories and fat during them.  You become more efficient, so it takes less work for the same amount of activity.  During the off-season, many cyclists use cross-training activities, at which they are less efficient.  Hour for hour, these can burn more calories and fat than our normal training.
  2. The off-season is a great time for cyclists to add resistance training.  Lifting weights can increase calorie burn simply because muscle in our bodies burns more calories than fat burns, even when at rest.  The effects of resistance training increase our calorie output for hours, even days, after we’re done.  While cardio exercise is great for overall heart health and calorie burn while we’re doing it, adding weights can improve our overall daily calorie burn.
  3. With shorter days, we often engage in shorter cardio workout sessions during the Autumn and Winter than in the Spring and Summer (especially if we’re adding resistance training as well).  With shorter workouts, even at higher intensities or with cross-training, you need less fuel.  One of the factors that diminishes fat loss during the on-season is the need for adequate, efficient training fuel (before, during, and after training) to improve athletic performance.  This carbohydrate fuel is not needed when cardio sessions are less than an hour, and in fact, will likely not provide any benefit even when you do add them (fluids and electrolytes can still help).  What’s more, you’ll burn more fat without added carbs in these shorter sessions, even up to 40% more (again, this extra fat burn can be negligible for longer activities, in which decreased performance reduces calorie burn).  So, for cardio sessions of 60 minutes or less, I recommend hydrating before and after, and drinking water  or a low-calorie electrolyte drink during training as needed (you can really lose a lot of electrolytes when training indoors).

If you have goals to shed fat this off-season, we’ve listed a few recipes that will help.  Plus, I’ve included my 5 Top Tactics for Off-Season Fat Loss.

Off-Season Fat Loss Recipes of the Week

(click links to find see recipe posts)

Homemade Low-Carb  Electrolyte Drink (if training 60 minutes or less, skip the carbs during it)

Eggs for Breakfast (protein in the morning often lasts longer and helps decrease needless snacking compared to refined carb breakfasts)

Half Plate of Vegetables every Dinner (paired with a protein source and healthy fats, this is the perfect combo for evening)

Winter Squash in place of Pasta (replacing grains with vegetable whole foods, even slightly starches ones, can reducing total carb and starch intake)

Salmon as a Nutrient Powerhouse Protein (more omega-3s in your diet can reduce inflammation & fat storage)

Pre-Sleep Muscle Sparing Shake (especially helpful if adding strength training)

Bonus: Top 5 Tactics for Off-Season Fat Loss

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