August 19, 2009

The Weight Loss Plan

So in the last week I have finally seen huge results by putting in the…. erm…. hungry hours.

I got back from Knysna and was, for me, fat. 82.3kg for me is overweight, and I could see it in pictures and felt it running, especially. It was a combination of lots of swimming (I pick up muscle quickly), bad eating habits and stress.

I made the decision to do some homework, and worked out a plan to eat healthy, whole foods, based on a calorie count of 2300 calories a day, total. Cut out a lot of sugar, all wheat, all milk and generally made the decision to tell myself to take 2 cups of HTFU and be hungry for a while. I started doing more regular cycling as well.

6 weeks later, 75.7kg and almost 7kg lighter, I feel much better, healthier, and have dealt well with the hunger. I can even feel the difference in the pool.

In the past, I have used fat burners (eek! I know I know) and other products to help me along, but this time I went clean, and focused on taking lots of anti oxidants and got enough sleep.

Whats my goal?

I want to get to around 73kg, as there is definitely still room for improvement, and apparently, according to good mate Robin 800g = 10 watts on the bike saved. With Epic in the distance, and around 20km of vertical ascent, for me to be 72kg vs even 80kg, that’s 100watts less I have to put out per pedal stroke for 1000km in the African sun.

Thats how Bradley Wiggins did it – so I can do it too. I want it THAT badly.

11 Comments on “The Weight Loss Plan

August 19, 2009 at 10:48 am

Congrats! The first few weeks are the toughest but its worth it.

As you know I went the extreme route (1700 cals/day) and lost over 10% of my bodyweight. Now I am back to 2300 cals/day and still losing (slowly) but more importantly I am smashing the bike and run training with ease.

Urban Ninja
August 19, 2009 at 3:40 pm

thanks mate. 1700 calories per day is extreme. Dont know if I have the mental stability to deal with that.

there comes a point for me where i can feel my body is going catabolic and then I need to eat really smart to avoid blowing up completely.

August 19, 2009 at 6:25 pm

High 5 dude!! 🙂

Pieter Blaauw
August 20, 2009 at 8:46 am

Don’t you find you feel weak and restless though? I tried to restrict my diet to 2500 calories a day (I was 102kg then) and my training just went for a ball of sh*t, until my coach picked up on the numbers just not being right and I had to come clean.

Now I eat a lot (even the people in the office comment on it), I never starve myself, my training is going well and I’m down to 94kg’s and dropping more every week. Just eating the right stuff of course (resisting the toasted bacon-egg-cheese and having the yogurt instead) 🙂

Urban Ninja
August 20, 2009 at 9:13 am


I think there is a misconception that I am NOT eating.

2300 calories a day of veg and fruit is alot of veg and fruit (as a basis). My lunch and dinners are 2 big plates of food, and I eat more (read: better) than I did before, but with less calories.

A BIG MAC meal with a coke is around 2000 calories. So I could eat that 1 meal a day, or do what I currently do:

Before morning training: Apple & black coffee

Breakfast: muesli with fruit juice (full cup)

11am: Apple + 4 rice cakes + spread

Lunch: Full cup of veg, lean meat and sweet potato

3pm: Apple + almonds

Dinner: Full cup of veg, sweet potato and lean meat

I am not starving, but the first week or 10 days there is a feeling of emptyness – this relates more to the craving my body had for sugar, wheat, etc which are all incidentally bad for me.

RE: Training on less calories – at 2500 calories and 102kg, depending on how much intensity you are doing (too many coaches prescribing too much intensity in my humble opinion), it could be catastrophic. I am in a base phase and my current HR ceiling is 155 on the biggest efforts. For most people that’s as low as they ever go, but then that would be a training error, not a nutrition error.

Also – I have to sleep regular hours and if you are training hard and sleeping 6 hours a night, 2500 calories will never be enough.

Pieter Blaauw
August 20, 2009 at 9:26 am

Geez didn’t know a Big Mac was that bad…

Apparently Andy Lambert is restricting a lot of guys to 2500 calories (don’t quote me though), and their power-loss is visible. Sure they’re 3.5% bodyfat, but man, that’s starvation.

On a Sunday when I do 4hrs riding, and 1hr running I’m allowed up to 500gr carbs, it’s good days 😉

PS: you got the photo I sent of the built bike?

Urban Ninja
August 20, 2009 at 9:45 am

Its a ratio for power loss I guess. I have never gotten below 5% bodyfat, 3.5% seems ridiculous.

If you lost 50w in power, but lost 8kg, then you still gain 50w in power/weight ratio, so in essence you are still faster.

Considering Tour de France is won by a ratio of 6.7 over 6.6 or 6.5 watts per kg, then if you weigh 60kg, you need to put out 402 watts to win.

if you are 63kg, you need 422 watts.
if you are 68kg, its 455 watts.

So a 70kg guy like Wiggins who lost 8kg to be around 63kg I reckon, he could climb with the front guys, even with a slightly lower power, but with 8kg less on his body, his power/weight ratio put him in the game.

Nice pics yes.

Doc G
August 20, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Weight loss of 8kg’s will lower the wattage requirement about 25 watts when climbing a hill (at the same speed). It’s more like 2.5 watts per 800 grams. That is significant.

August 21, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Jees, I dont belive what I am reading.. I just read an artice about Kenyans elite athletes diet, 25% of all their calories from cane sugar, huge amount of calories and protein from milk, staple part of diet is bread i.e (wheat).

What to do now????

August 21, 2009 at 9:25 pm

I got to say also that any day i burn over 3000 calories in exercise, I consider a keeper, what do u eat on those days.. surely not still 2k in calories, your requierements would be like closer to 5k in calories…

On a good day, I smash about 2000 calories in recovery chocolate and Milo befor bed alone!!!

Am i getting it wrong or this kind of eating for like spin class, 3 per week or is it like a crash course thing only, how in Gods name can Bradley wiggins eat that little if he is doing 5000 calorie long rides in the mountains.. or is that diet for his rest week???

Help, my head is spinning!!!

Urban Ninja
August 23, 2009 at 3:30 pm

I reckon Wiggins and co can eat whatever they want – they train around 5-6 hours per day, so to get in their 1500 (more or less base metabolism) + 600 cals per hour = 4500 calorie days every day, you can eat and eat and eat.

My training schedule allows me around 2 hours a day max at this point, I dont have the time to train more than that.

I have to lose weight at the moment, it just makes sense to me, in my head. As as numbers based guy, I simply have to put in less than I expend, for 10-12 weeks, to get to the numbers I WANT.

I could happily smash out 2000 calories just before bed. man – that would be great. But I just cant right now. On big training days like today, I smashed out a big lunch at 12pm, and another at 2pm. But I put out around 3000 extra calories today in training, so I can justify it.

That Kenyan article is amazing.

Makes us all jealous, but there is an overlooked factor in that study.


Stress leads out bodies to intolerances. Work stress is especially the destroyer of good bodily function.

If I had no worries (i.e. a steady sponsor income that allowed luxuries, travel, etc) and could train 5 hours a day, without stress, I reckon I could eat what the hell I wanted to eat.

But I work, 8 to 5, and a bit over weekends. So we can’t tick that box just yet.


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