Gran Fondo Hincapie Bentonville, September 7th - Register Now!
United States | Southeast | Virginia >> Losing Weight in the Off Season Part 3

Losing Weight in the Off Season. Part 3

Xmas and Trying the Super Juice Me diet

I was nearly 177 pounds (80 kilos) at the start

In Parts one and two I learned a lot of things about losing weight as a cyclist in the off season. I explored a diet that replaced a typical diet with healthy fats and protein and moved away from refined sugar, processed and high carbohydrate foods to a low-carb, ketogenic or vegan type diet.

Having put this into practice, over a 3 month period before Xmas I lost over 7 pounds and started to notice a reduction in overall body fat. The great thing about the keto diet, I wasn't hungry at any stage. I just replaced my food with more healthy foods, higher in protein and healthy fats.

I learnt that my training regime was 70% about food and only 30% about training. I also learnt that rides over 2 hours, weren’t a good idea on a low carb diet, as the body runs out of glycogen.

I lost over 7 pounds on a low-carb ketogenic diet

This was ok because it’s the off season and this suited my situation. The diet was a success and I had slowly weened myself off junk food and by accident - junk miles.

It was all about nutrition and fitting in 6 hours of riding per week with rides no longer than 2 hours. Due to winter and not being able to ride as much on the roads due to the weather, I switched to off-road gravel rides and the turbo trainer. For a time crunched cyclist in the Northern Hemisphere where it’s dark, cold and wet - this really suited my situation during the off season.

I could have easily continued with the new regime but then came Xmas. Not even a Saint can maintain their weight over the holiday season and I can honestly say I gained about 4 pounds.

The long term goal was to lose the middle age spread that had creeped on over the past 10 years and get back to my racing weight. So the plan was to slowly drop from 177 pounds (80 kg) to 154 pounds (70 kg) a drop of 23 pounds, incidentally, about the same amount of weight that Chris Froome reportedly lost before winning the Tour de France.

So at this stage, with the support of my nutritionist, I decided to try the Super Juice Me diet by Jason Vale to lose the Xmas weight I’d put on, get even healthier and get back on track.

In a nutshell, the Super Juice Me diet provides your body with a full range of minerals and nutrients from fruit, vegetables and healthy fats. This also allows the body to detoxify itself and encourages fat burning. It requires commitment, planning in terms of buying food and preparing meals plus some additional supplements required from health shops.

I had lost 13 pounds dropping to 164 pounds (73 kg)

For two weeks it was smoothies up to 4 times a day. It was struggle for the first few days and then became easier. After two weeks I had lost 6 pounds and generally felt a lot better, with more energy and another noticeable reduction in body fat.

I didn’t cycle as much for the first week as this is a more regimented diet. In the second week I did some rides but only around 90 minutes long. Again, it was more about the diet rather than cycling and it suited me being the off season. I followed Jason Vale’s Super Fast Food, which introduces healthy meals after super juicing and helps to support long term weight loss. Not only is this a great diet, it's much more than a diet, it's about detoxing your body, making sure the body has all the essential minerals and vitamins. People who have suffered allergies and other medical conditions have reportedly lost weight and their symptoms have disappeared.

Overall, after 4 months through Xmas and into the New Year, I had lost 13 pounds dropping to 164 pounds.

The Keto diet was easier because I didn't feel hungry at any stage because I could eat when I needed, just much healthier. The Super Juice Me diet was more difficult, but after 3 days it got easier as I adapted and I got used to drinking smoothies regularly. It was worth the commitment and effort.

I really wanted to get to 154 pounds. This was my weight when I raced in my twenties. I was already half way there. However the off season isn’t going to last forever and soon the weather will improve and I need to start thinking about my season goals and what's on my Bucket List!

Once I hit the main season it won’t be possible for me to diet and race as I will need to incorporate carbohydrate to fuel longer rides, hill repeats and interval work.

For endurance athletes looking to ride some of the toughest Gran Fondos in the North America, like the Gran Fondo Golden, Levi’s Gran Fondo, the Vermont Gran Fondo or even Phil Gaimon’s new Cookie Fondo, it's nearly time to start think about base endurance training, as we start to move into spring.

For rides over 100 miles and over 10,000 feet of climbing, I want to make sure I was the light, lean and powerful.

So how am I going to continue to lose weight and put in longer base endurance rides before moving into more specific interval work?

See you in a few weeks for Part 4

Look out for Part 4, a Guide to Weight Loss during Base Training mid February,where we will incorporate the last phase of the diet while increasing the length of our rides, getting ready for the Gravel and Gran Fondo season!

This training article was written by Mark Harding, Founder, Gran Fondo Guide.

Mark is a qualified Personal Trainer and life long cyclist. 

Mark sought the advice of a qualified nutritionist in regards to his dietary changes.

For details of Jason Vale's Super Juice Me, please visit

Losing Weight in the Off Season Series

Part 1 - Lose Weight in the Off Season

Part 2 - Two weeks adapting to a “low-carb” diet

Part 3 - Xmas and trying the "Super Juice Me" diet

Part 4 - Guide to Weight Loss during Base Training

How to lose weight cycling in the off season

Tag: training
Sep 08 2019 - NEWS: How much should you Cycle every week to stay in Shape?
Jan 07 2021 - NEWS: Fasting could help make you a better cyclist
Jan 09 2021 - NEWS: Training Tips for Your First Gran Fondo
Jul 22 2020 - NEWS: Carbohydrates could be worse for health than fat
Jul 14 2020 - NEWS: 7 Climbing Tips for Beginner Gran Fondo Cyclists
Jul 03 2020 - NEWS: Study Shows that Riding a Bike can Reverse Heart Damage
Mar 06 2020 - NEWS: Pro tips for better cycling pics with a mobile phone!
Dec 31 2016 - NEWS: Top 10 Cycling Tips for the New Year
Dec 30 2019 - NEWS: Cycling Regularly Can Keep You Younger, Study Finds
Nov 11 2019 - NEWS: Study Finds that Cyclists Suffer Fewer Mental Health Problems
Nov 01 2019 - NEWS: Top 9 Reasons Why You Should Start Cycling Now!
Nov 04 2019 - NEWS: 10 Tips to help you Crush "Your Crush" on your Bike
Oct 27 2019 - NEWS: Could potatoes be an alternative to energy gels?
Oct 19 2017 - NEWS: Guide to Tackling the Mighty Gran Fondo Marmotte Alps
Jan 05 2017 - NEWS: Top 10 New Year Resolutions for Cyclists!
Tag: centuryride
Mar 31 2023 - NEWS: Register Now for the 40th Honolulu Century Ride
Feb 23 2017 - NEWS: Guide to Weight Loss during Base Training
Jan 07 2014 - NEWS: Nutrition Tips to Survive Your First Century Ride
Feb 06 2017 - NEWS: Lose Weight Cycling in the Off Season
Dec 26 2016 - NEWS: 2017 North American Gran Fondo, Gravel and Century Rides Revealed
Aug 08 2016 - NEWS: Cycling century season rolling into New England
Jul 27 2014 - NEWS: Tips for Riding Your First Century
Jan 07 2014 - NEWS: Training for a your first Century Ride
Sep 24 2023 - EVENT: Honolulu Century Ride
May 26 2024 - EVENT: Chippewa Valley Century Ride
Oct 06 2024 - EVENT: Lifeline 100 Ride
Nov 02 2024 - EVENT: Singing Brakeman Century Ride
Tag: granfondoguide
Dec 27 2022 - NEWS: Over 2,500 event organizers events confirm dates and details
Aug 23 2022 - NEWS: Strong Steady Growth Predicted for the Cycling Events Industry after Rapid Pandemic Recovery
Dec 31 2021 - NEWS: Over 2,000 events confirm their dates and details for 2022!
Jan 22 2021 - NEWS: Top 13 Most Popular Gran Fondos Globally in 2020
Jan 13 2021 - NEWS: Top 10 Most Read Cycling Articles on Gran Fondo Guide in 2020
Dec 28 2020 - NEWS: 2021 Gran Fondo Calendar with thousands of events Worldwide
Dec 29 2020 - NEWS: 2021 Gravel Ride Calendar with thousands of events Worldwide
Dec 29 2020 - NEWS: Top 10 Bold Predictions for Cycling in 2021
Dec 30 2020 - NEWS: A Tale of Two U.S. Rides that Absolutely Crushed COVID in 2020
Dec 29 2020 - NEWS: 2021 Century Ride Calendar with hundreds of events across the USA
Jul 10 2020 - NEWS: Top 11 Toughest Climbs Used in Professional Cycling
Nov 27 2019 - NEWS: 2020 Gran Fondo Calendar with Thousands of Events Globally
Dec 31 2016 - NEWS: Top 10 Cycling Tips for the New Year
Nov 29 2017 - NEWS: Top Ten Craziest Switchback Cycle Climbs in the World
Jul 14 2019 - NEWS: Switzerland – Europe's Best Kept Cycling Secret!