How To Lose Weight Like A Professional Cyclist With Team Sky’s Head Of Nutrition

How To Lose Weight Like A Professional Cyclist With Team Sky’s Head Of Nutrition


– Balanced nutrition
forms an integral part of any structured training programme. But can the manipulation
of nutrition alone have an effective impact on your training? Well, to answer that very question, we’re gonna speak to James Morton, Head of Nutrition at Team Sky,
here at the Giro d’Italia. (whooshing) So James, in your role as
Head Nutritionist at Team Sky, how do you use diet in
combination with the coaches and training so riders
can actually lose weight? ‘Cause it is one of the holy
grails of cycling, isn’t it? Is the power to weight ratio, so being as light as they can, but while still maintaining
that optimum power. So, what techniques? – Well, I think it’s
the $64 million question of cycling really. It doesn’t have to be as
complicated as what people think. Ultimately it comes
back to energy balance. So if people want to lose weight, they have to expend more energy
than they actually consume. The difficulty of it is of
course is that these guys are training for six months for the peak event of the season. So it has to be done at the right times, and you can’t lose weight
too quickly, too soon, otherwise you burn out. So it’s more of a gradual approach really. We try and do it over a six month period. We identify the types
of weight loss targets that we want in certain
phases of the season. But of course, the initial conversation involves the coach and the rider, and we have to plan out the
correct times in the season when we’re, or the correct
days in the week actually, down to that level of
where we’re training hard. Or days when the intensity isn’t as high, and you can maybe afford a
calorie deficit on those days. So I guess it’s very much a meal by meal, day by day approach. And we do that every week. – Yeah. – And we’re in dialogue every week to try and make sure that
we’re fueling well for the days that we need to fuel well, and I guess you could call
it deliberately under fueling on the days that you can
deliberately under fuel. And over the course of a seven day period, you build up a calorie deficit. (popping) Every month you’re building
up your calorie deficit, and then slowly but
surely you chip away at it and hopefully you arrive on
day one of your peak race in the best shape of the season. – I’m intrigued, how often
will a rider weigh themselves? I mean, at home. I mean, I know on a grand tour because of dehydration and stuff riders are weighed everyday, because it’s important
to maintain, obviously, a balance especially from
a hydration perspective. Not losing too much weight. But say you’ve identified a rider arbitrarily needs to lose two kilogrammes, would that rider be required
to be weighed every day, or would it be every couple of days? How would you manage that side of things? – Yeah, again, it’s very
individual, specific. I mean, these guys
aren’t robots, you know, they’re human beings as well. And you’ve gotta treat
them like human beings, they’re not robots. So it all really comes back
to those intense periods of the season when we want to do that. And in an intense period, which might be five,
six, seven, eight weeks, it’s not uncommon for
riders to weigh themselves every morning and every night. And in fact, we encourage that. The more times they do it,
then the more that we learn how they’re responding to
the different interventions. But more importantly,
the more that they learn. And once they learn
and they take ownership for it themselves, then
that’s real progress really. – I mean, typically in terms
of the actual diet itself, I guess you’re keeping, I mean, in terms of like the
proteins and carbohydrates, do you increase proteins,
decrease carbohydrates? I mean, what kind or
permutation do you use? I mean, what’s the science
behind the best way to kind of lose weight? ‘Cause there’s so much
conjecture over this particular subject.
– Yeah. Well, I think you’ve hit
the nail on the head there. We’ve been debating this for 20 years. And longer, actually. It was certainly in my career, – Yeah.
– For 20 years or so. But, sports scientists
have been debating this for many decades. I think the research in 2017 is pointing towards a higher protein diet. And perhaps a carbohydrate
restricted diet. Or in fact, a carbohydrate
periodized diet. So we would say consistently
high protein everyday. – Yup.
– You never compromise on the protein.
– Okay. – But what you do manipulate
is energy balance. And the way that you
manipulate energy balance is to manipulate the carbohydrate intake. And so what it really looks like then is that some days you will fuel well with high carbohydrate for
those intensity type days, and other days you will under fuel for those perhaps longer duration,
but lower intensity days. And that’s where you would
restrict the carbohydrate. But the protein always stays the same. And I think most sports
scientists nowadays would agree the benefits
of a high protein diet on weight loss. So, we’d use a lot of
the Science in Sport, the whey protein supplements. The Advanced Isolate Protein,
which we’ll have on the bike. The Overnight Protein, which
we’ll have prior to sleep. We’ve got the Whey 20 product, which is effectively
almost like a protein gel. We’d use that on the bike quite a lot. So I guess when we look at a rider and they might need to
hit, maybe 180g of protein per day, of course we will try
and emphasise that in food. But purely on convenience,
and also quality, because a lot of these
protein products are rich in real key amino acids.
– Sure. – Then we will top up
the daily protein intake with the SIS products. And all of the riders buy into that, I mean they really like those products. And more importantly, they
see the benefits from them. – Now, farther question, if, many of our viewers
watch these videos, you know, are trying to lose weight. It always has been,
always will be, you know, a big topic in cycling. Losing a little bit of weight, getting that bit more
efficient on the bike. So what are two pieces of key advice for somebody watching this,
for them to lose weight safely and effectively? – I think I would aim for a
slow and gradual weight loss. So certainly no more
than one kilo per week. You can lose weight
much quicker than that, but that’s usually where
trouble starts to happen. So I would say slow and gradual. In my mind, and in my experience of research & practice,
the nutritional strategy that facilities that is higher protein than what the general population
are used to consuming. And certainly less carbohydrate than what they’re used to consuming. But make sure that when you
have those key training sessions you consume the carbohydrate. And make sure when it’s race day itself, then obviously you consume it. And I guess the principle
that really brings it all together is this concept of
fuel for the work requited. – Okay. – In other words, if you
have a long, hard day in the saddle, then fuel for it. And if you don’t have a
long, hard day in the saddle, then don’t fuel for it. – Okay. James Morton, thanks very much. Top tips there, thank you. Well some really interesting,
intriguing points there that I know are gonna light
up the comments section. And if you wanna get involved, leave your comments down below. Now if you haven’t
already subscribed to GCN you can do so by clicking on the globe somewhere on the screen here. It’s absolutely free, and
that way you won’t miss another GCN video. Now, for some more nutrition videos, how about clicking just up here for how many calories
you burn through cycling. And click just down here for Team Sky’s secret nutrition tips. And don’t forget to like
and share this video, too.

100 Comments on “How To Lose Weight Like A Professional Cyclist With Team Sky’s Head Of Nutrition”

  1. ha i run past the John Moores University School of Sport and Exercise Science and the Henry Cotton building on primrose hill just under the bridge / flyover on Gt Crosshall street in Liverpool twice a day. Brad was there a few weeks ago but I have never seen Dr James.

  2. hi gcn. This looks like a continuation of a video matt did with james several weeks ago which was noted as being sponsored content. although this was very informative, I am curious as to why this video has not been noted as being sponsored content, especially as a lot more SiS products were promoted this time.
    just to note. i already have an account with sis with nd delivery

  3. A huge vegan triggering video. i always believed cyclists should eat like bodybuilders (high protein, low to moderate carb) and the expert is saying the exactly the same thing.

  4. Hi, Matt
    I got this message when I was trying to translate it.
    "The video owner hasn't yet enabled community contributions for this video. "The link up there in the description (http://gcn.eu/fG) doesn't work.Can you help? Thanks.

  5. Matt, great questions! James is quite engaging and answered the questions clearly and understandably; making the information useful to those of us not on the pro level with access to a sports nutritionist on a daily basis. One of the most informative nutrition segments I've seen on any YouTube channel, thank you for doing this segment.

  6. Eat carbs for energy prior to a ride, protein after to aid in muscle repair. Eat for energy during ride so you don't binge later.
    Eat good stuff, don't over eat. 30 minutes cardiovascular exercise a day. That's it.

  7. 180G of protein a day is LOTS. It's actually very hard to eat that much protein. Hence the protein powders. Also, all the studies have showed you need around 1.8g per kilo of bodyweight to build muscle (ie basically double your bodyweight and convert to G) – body builders love to know these numbers. And here we have 70kg cyclists eating 180g. Very surprising. Protein can be converted to carbohydrate. Carbohydrate can not be converted to protein, but it can be converted to fat, possibly hence the 'low carb' diet here. Durian Rider must have just about plotzed watching this. 'Carb the fuck up' he yells every 60 seconds.

  8. Triamcinolone in a Jiffy bag will drop you 2kg per week and may have a side effect of helping the asthma you haven't got.

  9. I tried Steve Cummings' weight loss program last year and barely made it up the hill (1%) to my house after 3 hours with no food. How do spell bonk?

  10. In the end I can not be bothered to get into the plant based v all the others argument. In the end you have to make your own decisions but I have read and continue to read around the subject and watch some pretty informative videos and I am 100% plant based (and have been for six years) and there are enough roll models out there for me to as certain as I can be that this is the right way to go. I am glad I am not cycling for Team Sky. 180gms of protein a day FFS! But also shocked that GCN produce this sort of video. They should be ashamed and while I will continue to watch them it will be with less respect.

  11. Yay, this guy has reinforced my basic diet habits of maintaining protein levels and using carbs to determine how much energy I get that day. Too high protein like for a weight lifting only diet is terrible for cycling! I can gain weight in the gym and get strong fast, but that's at like 220g+ protein a day. For cycling I only need 100g protein a day, lower fat and about triple the carbs as when solely in the weight room.

  12. hmm i am confused. top researchers and nutritionists dont recomment lowering the carbs in endurance sports. You immediatelly compromise performance, and i also think they dont do it at SKY in those intense weeks as well…

  13. If team Sky ever need a replacement lead nutritionist they should look in this comment section, so many complete experts!

  14. I thought GCN was a learning channel of how to be a good bike rider since I love the sport but today it is clear to me that the channel has now been paid to advertise products of SIS which I haven't got any personal thing against them. however I think GCN should stick to helping young riders and give people hope these whom
    are over weight and thinking of cycling will help them in the long term. I am really disappointed at matt advertising but then again he's been paid. I would say this all of you are not TDF pro cyclists stick to what you think is best for you remember corporate behind dairy, poultry,and fizzy drinks would do anything for our money healthy food is what everyone should thing about they are manipulating by selling us GMO food all the 🌎 so good luck to all

  15. Interesting stuff. I've been trying to loose a little 'winter timber' for some up-coming races. I thought I'd go down the 'carb dodger' route, switching to higher fat foods like greek yogurt, eggs and nuts (sorry Vegans !). This has worked well for me, apart from the drinking less beer bit

  16. In order for anything to eat and survive it must eat other living things, with the possible exception of a worm. Plants are living things the same as animals, and yes they do suffer pain when they are harvested as well. For vegans to claim any kind of moral superiority is beyond hilarious and shows how desperately in need of protein they brains truly are. How pathetic it is to see vegan trolls on every cycling video comment section. Clearly they are desperate for attention and this is their way of getting it.

  17. at 2.22 did the scales stop at 32.7 kg? Even strict followers of the Pantani panini diet won't get near that.

  18. Avoid chicken and beef ! eat more fish and other seafoods high is protein low in cholesterol but rich in natural omega 3 fatty acid .when it comes to fruit melons or watermelon is good for you low in calories ,90% water a good source of Vit C and has Potassium ,Vit B + niacin +thiamine this fruit is also light on your tummy

  19. Lots of talk about Protien and Carbs, what about saturated fats? Surely they are equally if not more important than the other two Macro nutrients.

  20. Hi guys… I've always watched the GCN videos and I loved that one. But I have to say .. how difficult it can be to loose weight, when you have a full week office job. And just ride one the weekends… thank you guys for all brilliant videos.

  21. Ok new beginner road cyclist age 65 .weight 75 kg trying to loose 5 kg off my stomache any advise much appreciated regards plumb bob

  22. Struggling to keep up with my ride mates who weigh 30 kilos less than me…thanks for this video, hopefully it'll help me get back on track.

  23. We are a little more advanced now with a more natural extract of protein that simplifies the whole process of taking protein daily. Been unable to make headway in pro peloton even with our local DDD Team. Is GCN willing to trial ?

  24. Joe Friel " The Road Cyclist Training Bible " Every thing is there , most important eat natural , those products you see on the video are rubbish!!

  25. I’m a cyclist that recently discovered the joys of power lifting so that means a lot of protein supplementation for me. I would consider my carb intake to be high because I’m riding over 200 miles a week and I’m lean.😀

  26. M to F morning 7:00am 30g yogurt protein granola bars and almonds,10:00am snack Energy Collagen liquid protein 26g shot lunch potato or sweat potatos with protein, snack eggs with steak ,dinner Caesar salad or spinach salad with chicken or tuna weekends i eat what i want

  27. The text on the thumbnail is beautifully ironic.

    “Lose weight like Team Sky”

    At least 2 shots of triamcinolone a year should do the job nicely!

  28. I switch off when they start pushing the SIS products, it makes the average cyclists think they need to be spending 100's each month on nasty protein/carb powders.

  29. Eat Greggs when you stop to fuel whilst out. I swear to god I rode from Leeds via Roundhay then past Harewood House to Otley. I stopped in Otley to refuel and had a Greggs Pepperoni Pizza slice, Chicken slice and an Espresso. I then rode from Otley back to Leeds via the A660 up that fucking never ending brutal hill with ease like I've never done before. 36 mile all round trip.
    For those of you reading this that have rode the same hill will know what i'm talking about.

  30. The secret to winning the TdF is a medical exemption for cortico steroids. Take cortico steroids in the morning and again in the afternoon. Strange no mention of this?
    Froome, Wiggins and Millar are all cheats.

  31. I agree with what he says about restricting carbs, but at no point does he mention replacing at least some if not most of those calories with fat. Essentially similar but not quite as extreme as a ketogenic diet.
    It's almost like fats(healthy ones) are the elephant in the room in cycling, which they shouldn't be.
    Somewhat counter intuitavely this is how your body burns fat and uses youe energy efficiently.
    I feel a lot of the cycling world is still 20 years behind.
    Carbs are really not essential( for the most part) and if anything, a detriment.

  32. I can easily burn 4000 kcal in one single ride without eating almost food, maybe with a handful of nuts. 75% of these 4000 kcal come from fats. In each ride I could easily burn up to 250g of fats, without losing muscle mass. There many riders doing a keto diet in the off season, and I wouldn't be surprised if Sky are doing the same thing, especially fat-adapted guys like Froome.

  33. Nobody watching this channel is ever going pro, so just eat and drink what you want and enjoy life. That's why they make aero jerseys in extra large.

  34. That is what I usually do on a daily basis. Someday is more or less than another depends on the ride that day. I always thought, Im not doing it right because I'm not a vegan. However I eat very little of chicken sometimes and that's about it. This is good to know so I can continue with what I'm doing.

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  36. After I done the investigation on this “Yamzoko Weebly” (Google it) diet routine that was mentioned by a buddy who lost excess fat, I lost about 9 lbs also. My very own calorie burning as well as weight-loss should have been brought by this particular course. I have realized at this point I am eating healthy. .

  37. I'm a morbidly obese guy in my late (ish) thirties, started cycling two months ago (commuting to work 6.5 km each way), I've seen significant improvement in fitness (average speed, strength, time) but I think I hit a plateau… how can I push for further improvement and lose some serious weight?

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