Should I prioritize loosing weight or increasing power?

I just created my ATP and did a 20 min test. My FTP is 20W lower than a couple of years ago and I am about 10kg heavier. It’s a reverse shit sandwich without the good part in the middle.

I am wondering what should my priorities be in preparation for an A race in October. Gaining weight is fun, loosing it is not fun at all. Increasing power can be fun because I like hard work but at 50 I shouldn’t expect miracles. I know that focusing on training I will loose weight but not as much as if I fast. If I fast, I will not be able to train effectively. It’s quite a conundrum.

Definitely don’t fast - focus on FTP. Eat lots of Whole Foods full of protein and mix in weight lifting and core strength


You have lots of time on your side, so aim to lose weight now, while you’re in the early part of your training. Like your base fitness takes time, so too does losing weight.


I would focus on following a trainingsplan. Having fun in training and getting higher values (absolute values). Losing weight is no fun and if you start training you’ll naturally think of yourself as a fit person. And a fit person doesn’t eat too much. Prioritize your identity a cycler and you dieet will follow.

I’ve lost about 25kg over the past couple of years while not exercising much. In the past 3 months I have started training and raised my FTP from 220 to 266. So, I have some experience on both ends.

My recommendation would be to focus on the power. Included in that will be eating to fuel your workouts and recovery and ultimately should lead to weight loss. Calorie restriction while increasing exercising can be disastrous as it can lead to swinging back to disordered eating and binging. When off the bike, eat nutritious food that is mostly low-calorie density. Dylan Johnson does a great job of reviewing the science for this approach in this video titled: “What is the Most Effective Way to Lose Weight for Cycling? The Science”. This approach may go slower but it will be more likely, imo, to get you to your goals.

Good luck!


Train hard. Eat well. Your weight will take care of itself.


This is pure gold. I will have to read AtomicHsbits book.

Absolutely amazing. Good work.

I bookmarked this one, so it must have been good a one:


You’ve got plenty of time for weight loss ahead of the A race. I’d say to focus on increasing power across the different intensities. Once you hit a ceiling of sorts there, if the weight hasn’t already dropped off, then try to manage that to increase w/kg. If you focus weight loss first it might hamper your ability to train and improve power output for longer periods.

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Thank you. I am going to listen on the way to the ski hill.

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I’ve been there before.

I really don’t agree with Namrita’s statement that the bottom line is energy in vs out. Hormones have a huge impact on more than just desire to eat. Take for example the HPT axis and the various dysfunctions possible, and the menstrual cycle (which to some extent continues to cycle post menopause). Sure, we can’t burn what’s not there but, as she points out, the processes aren’t happening in instantaneous time. Namrita used the term ‘real time’, but it’s all ‘real’ time just on vastly different scales. Then there’s the quality of food (a point made repeatedly in this thread), food intake timing, the macros & fibre vs individual abilities to digest and uptake those elemental forms, type of exercise and timing, sleep quality and quality, mental health (and all the possible cycles, i.e. mood disorders), etc. There are incalculable processes ongoing in the body and mind. It is known that diets don’t work (over time) in relation to long-term change. Differentiating between intake vs uptake is important but even still there are things happening, perhaps especially with mental health, that we just don’t understand why a person looses or gains weight (not to mention the influence of medications). There are some common generalities, i.e. pringles vs freshly baked spuds, but…
Personally, I find it all fascinating,


I got a chance to listen to the podcast @Gerald recommended and I also found the information Namrita provided a bit simplistic. Actually the host provided more useful and practical information than she did. I wondered if she was a bit nervous or not used to being on the spot light.

On the other hand I can see how easy it is to overcomplicate diet and having simple guideline can be useful in developing awareness and discipline.

BTW, @Gerald thank you for linking the podcast. There was some nice information I found on strength training in other episodes. It definetely made the 3 hour trip to the ski hill go by faster.


There’s a few other “simplistic” podcasts from Kolie, like this one (not related to diet, but rather training zones). Rory is very good.

And perhaps this one; I’m just over half way, where they talk about the dangers of counting calories due to the allowable variances in nutrition labels, apps and all.

Counting calories is better than not.

I lost 20lbs last year by counting calories at a pretty stable and even enjoyable 1lb/week rate mostly through portion control which you really can’t do unless you’re actually monitoring your intake and expenditures. Seven months later I’m still at 75kg because counting calories taught me how to eat in a more sustainable way.

I’m sure you can do both at the same time. I lost around 20kg last year and gained 40 Watt in my FTP in the first 5 months despite being at a high calorie deficite in the first two months. A lot of gains were made by starting with structured training so take the watts with a grain of salt. But in the end I managed to gain 90 Watts and lost 20kg.
Counting calories worked for me but doesnt work for anyone but when losing weight is becoming your goal, you should always be careful. It can become quiet obsessive and unhealthy. Maybe start with a food diary. Weight isn’t everything and if you want to measure, a skinfold caliper might be a better option. Currently I trie to fuel everything and do the “gain watt and body will adapt” approach but tbh I don’t lose weight anymore. So Im kinda biased towards this approach since I still want to get under 85kg.


Agreed - calories in vs calories out is completely bogus! The concept makes sense, EXCEPT that (and it is a big exception), there are too many variables that impact what and how your body receives what is put in it!

What people mean by CICO is really “Calories ABSORBED; Calories Used.

Everything impacts what your body absorbs - and that assumes that what is listed in the packing is even accurate within +/- 20%

Focus on PWR and eat REAL food and the weight will take care of itself

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Focus on PWR and eat REAL food and the weight will take care of itself

Yep, love this! Just saying CICO is akin to saying to someone they can get rich by taking in more money than they spend. While true, it’s sort of meaningless in its simplicity. The key is in the “how” and the “why”. Asking ourselves why we eat, eating when hungry, stopping when full, and focusing on nutritious food (nutrient dense not calorie dense) will go a long way.