Cycling for weight loss: Who else wants to eat more and still lose weight?

Cycling for weight loss: Who else wants to eat more and still lose weight?

Why leading obesity researchers suggest we need to eat more.

Get RIDE to 75

By Clint Latham – Get Free updates of new posts here

Working in the bodybuilding community you hear all the time that eating 6 times a day boosts your metabolism. The idea is that by eating through out the day your metabolism keeps humming and your body  burns more calories. However, the research shows that this is not true.

Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD author of “Fearless feeding: How to raise healthy eater from high chair to high school.” States a study from the University of Ottawa where they put this theory to the test. They had two groups of participants, both on low calorie diets. One group ate 3 times a day, making sure to stay within their calorie limits. The 2nd group ate 6 meals a day, also staying within their calorie limits. What did they find? There were no significant weight loss differences between the two groups. Thus you can eat 3 or 6 times a day and it will not have a significant affect on your weight loss.


The truth is eating 6 times a day does not boost your metabolism but it can help you burn more fat in another way.

Obesity specialist Dr. Yoni Freedhof’s biggest challenge when working with his patients is to keep them from getting hungry but still being able to lose weight. Losing weight is a simple formula. Burn more calories than you ingest each day. But problems arise when you try to fight the bodies natural hunger triggers.

In the study “Hunger and Satiety Mechanisms and Their Potential Exploitation in the Regulation of Food Intake” Tehmina Amin & Julian G. Mercer conclude; “It is accepted that calorie restriction in the form of dieting generally delivers rather limited success in weight management, an outcome which probably reflects the fact that this strategy is being countered by the body’s natural physiological response to negative energy balance.” Research is now focusing on how the body’s natural responses to food can be manipulated into better weight management.

When you limit your calorie intake, your body see’s a shift in total calorie consumption. The body’s natural mechanisms kick in to push you to eat more. If you are on a traditional diet you are now fighting two fronts. 1) You probably don’t like a majority of the food options available to you in your diet plan 2) Your body’s natural hunger mechanisms are working in full force.

What this means is that you are fighting a losing battle. You are simply out numbered. Thus you need to put the odds in your favor to help you win the battle. The Full4Health project is working on just that. Dr. Yoni Freedhof also takes a very similar approach.

Why you should eat 6 times a day

The idea behind this new research is to not allow the body to get hungry. We need to know how many calories we can consume to lose weight and affectively strategize those calories to prevent hunger. Simply eating 6 times a day without watching the calories you consume would do the trick. However, you would also likely not reach your weight loss goals. Here are some simple guidelines we can use to put the odds in our favor.

1) Determine the number of calories we can consume to reach our weight loss goals
2) Eat foods that have a higher satiety rate
3) Eat every 2 to 3 hours to prevent the body from getting hungry.
4) Eat on our rides

Let me show you how I personally use this strategy everyday.

I know that to maintain my weight on my non-riding days I need to consume 2300 calories. On the days that I ride and depending upon the length of the ride, I need to consume 2800 – 3200 calories. Thus if I need to shed a few extra pounds I need to stay under these numbers. I also shoot for a min of 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat per meal and snack. Protiens and fats digest slowly, thus increasing their satiety rate. This makes nuts one of my favorite snacks.

Eating foods that increase satiety
On my non-riding days I know that I’m generally not overly hungry in the mornings but my hunger shifts to later in the afternoons. So I shift my calories and eating to match my bodies natural hunger patterns

6:00 am, Cappuccino w/ whole milk
9:00 am, 2 egss w/ Grass fed butter, 1 slice of whole wheat toast, 1tbs of natural (no sugar) peanut butter
12:00 pm, Lunch which is usually the same meal I had for dinner the night before
2:00 pm, Plain Greek Yogurt with vanilla extract, 83 grams of baby carrots, ½ cup of pistachios
5:30 pm, Dinner Lean meat, Carb, vegetable piece of fruit.
8:00 pm, Homemade protein bar

On my riding days my eating is roughly the same. But I know that my body needs carbohydrate to get through the ride and also to prevent hunger post ride. That is where I make up the calorie difference.

5:00am, Pre-ride Blend of Glucose and Maltodextrin to prime my body for exercise. Black coffee and a banana. Depending upon intensity and ride duration another shot of my custom carbohydrate blend.
8:00am, Immediate post ride, Home made protein bar or protein shake.

The only way you will know how your body reacts to it’s hunger mechanisms is to food journal and take detailed notes. It will be the consistent monitoring of the foods you eat and how your body reacts to them that will allow you to make the proper adjustments. For example, I found that when I ate oatmeal versus whole wheat bread I would get hungry a lot faster. So I switched to whole wheat bread and ditched the oatmeal. It’s through these small changes that you find in your food relationship that can make or break your weight loss goals.

The Take Away

The key take away is that you need to understand how your body reacts to food. More importantly when does hunger strike for you? You do this through Building a Food Relationship. I offer a FREE 3 part series to help you get started on building your food relationship. You can get it here. Once you have a better understanding of how your body reacts to food you can make the necessary adjustments to increase satiety and prevent hunger. Which through your bodies natural mechanisms leads to over eating. If you can prevent hunger you are taking the 1st major step in weight gain and reaching your weight loss goals.

Tell me your experience with hunger? When do you find it kicks in the most and what can you do to prevent it without over eating?

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Food R


  1. This was great. So often we are conditioned into thinking we need to constantly be hungry to lose weight. I need to start doing this now

  2. What a great article! So nice to see weight loss articles about people who actually need to lose weight and are not already uber-ahtletes. Inspiring for me

    1. At last! Someone with real exsteripe gives us the answer. Thanks!

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