To Include or Not to Include food intake during exercise in log

I apologize if this topic has already been discussed, but I couldn’t find any mention of it in my quick search of the forum.
I have a history of not taking in enough food through the day and, as a result, don’t have enough energy to have a great workout in the evenings. Because of this, I started a food diary to make sure that I take in enough foods and the of the correct type.
Question is… Do I include the food that I take in during my workouts/ rides in my daily caloric and carb count? Or is this food intake not considered in daily total.

Hey @jonathan - the calories/ nutrition you eat on the bike should be logged as that will contribute to you meeting your energy and carbohydrate needs for the day. Make sure you aim for 1.2-1.8g per kg of protein per day as well :slight_smile:

If you are struggling to eat enough, I recommend including more calorie dense foods such as nut butters in your diet. A pre ride snack can also help to increase your calorie intake and will help keep you energized before training.

Just curious what the thought process/rationale is for not including calories ingested on the bike?

Thought process= Food in during exercise negates the food burned during exercise.

Jonathan Perry

Hi @Lacey_Rivette

Perhaps consider providing the basics of the energy balance equation in your nutrition podcast.

@jamesstevens @jonathan
This is definitely something I can go into more detail on.
If you read this training tip Coach Frank made, I added in some details about calculating daily energy needs (using BMR and Kj burned from exercise). Those energy needs are essentially the calories you need to consume each day to maintain your body weight.

So to fully answer your question - Yes you are technically “burning food (calories) off” when you ride. However those calories still contribute to your overall energy intake and thus play a role in maintaining energy balance (aka weight maintenance).

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1 kiloJoule from your powermeter data = 1 calorie of food.

So 1,000 kJ’s burned during a 2 hour ride = roughly one Chipotle burrito :burrito:


Great, now I am craving chipotle :joy:


Thanks Frank. So…for conversation purposes, If I’m supposed to consume 2400 calories a day and burn 1000 calories on top of that during a workout, I’m supposed to consume 3400 calories at the end of day? If that’s the case, I’ve been ending each day with a large caloric deficit at the end of each day.
I use Myfitnesspal to log intake and meals from Lacey’s meal plan, are a large part of my meals.

Correct and if you want to lose some lbs strive for 250-500 calories under your Total daily caloric expenditure , consistently over time


Hey Jonathan! How many hours per week are you training and how much weight have you been losing on average per week? You are currently on the basic level of the weight loss meal plan, but if needed I can bump you up so that your calorie intake is more in line with what you need to lose weight at a sustainable rate (aka a rate that does not impede performance).


I’ve been training 9-11 hours per week. My main problem is not having ample (or any) energy to maximize the potential of the weekly workouts in the afternoon. My long weekend rides are in the morning and I try to eat enough afterwards, but struggle to have enough energy for Sunday’s ride and usually sleep in late and ride an abbreviated workout by myself later in the day. Now I realize that I haven’t been consuming near enough calories per day.

I just finished 6 week Sweetspot 3-Intermediate and am in 3rd week of Road Racing in Season-Intermediate. I’m not sure on the weekly weight loss, as I realize that I’m not eating enough and I try to make up the week’s deficit after my weekend’s rides, which isn’t good I know. I’ve probably been bouncing back and forth on losing half pound to 1 lb a week.

My wife Melissa is on the weight loss plan (110-140 lb 4-8hr) that I bought from you and I’ve been trying to abide by the Winning in the Kitchen intro plan that I got sometime last year.

Hopefully, all of this hasn’t been as clear as mud. lol

Nope, I follow everything that you’re saying & I remember corresponding with you via email a while back :slight_smile:

The intro plan that you have is not meant to be a “weight loss plan” per say. It is meant to help give athletes direction in learning how to win in the kitchen, which is why there is only one version of the plan. That plan averages around 2200 calories, thus athletes will need to adjust serving sizes, eat food on the bike or add in additional snacks if they need more calories than this.

Considering that you are currently doing race specific intervals, I would encourage you to try and maintain your weight and not continue a caloric deficit as that is very likely a culprit for the fatigue you are experiencing. From the sounds of it, you calculated your daily needs to be ~3400 calories.

To achieve that, consume ~45-60g of carbs per hour (more for harder rides). So for example a 2 hour ride would require ~100g of carbs or 400 calories worth of carbs. That brings you up to 2600 calories per day in addition to the calories you are getting from the meal plan, so you will need to add in ~800 more.

Some easy ways to get those additional calories are to:

  • Have another snack such as a banana and 2 tbsp nut butter (adds 300 calories)
  • have 3 eggs with your breakfast, cooked in 2 tsp olive oil (adds 150 calories)
  • add 2 tbsp chopped walnuts or 1 tbsp nut butter to your oatmeal (adds 100 calories)
  • use 1.5 cups rice or quinoa with your meals instead of 1/2 cup (adds 200 calories)
  • use 1/2 avocado with meals instead of 1/4 (adds ~100 calories)
  • have a Larabar or RX bar with your lunch (adds 200 calories)
  • After hard/long workouts have a post workout smoothie (ex: 1 serving gu roctane recovery blended with oat milk and a banana will add ~450 calories). This is important for all cyclists, but especially those getting closer to race day.
    *Use 1/2 cup beans and 1/2 cup corn in burrito bowl instead of 1/4 cup (adds ~100 calories)
    *Use 2x the amount of roasted sweet potatoes in your bowl of health recipe (adds ~150 calories)
    *If training in the evening, replace carrots and hummus with a Banana and another good source of carbs, such as a boon stroopwafel 30 min before you ride (adds ~250 calories).

I could come up with a lot more… but the list is getting long and I think you have caught on by now :wink:
Point of it all, it’s not surprising your energy levels are low considering how much less you are eating compared to your needs. The solution is to bump up your food intake with some more nutrient dense foods :slight_smile:

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