Weight Loss Plan

It would be awesome if SYSTM had a weight loss plan or perhaps several plans of various types specifically to lose weight and are fitness oriented. Obtainable, realistic goals and a pre plan analysis to get started, (maybe based in part on the 4DP and other measurable factors or parameter inputs.

I’ll bet the sports scientists could put something together fairly easily with much of what you already have to build off of.


Absolutely nothing about weight loss and nutrition planning are easy.



With a little bit of knowledge on the subject, I’ve gotten by using the LoseIt app. Their web app has languished from inattention but the phone app is quite good, IMO.

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The science says that weight loss is almost completely about how much and what you eat and a bunch of really complicated metabolic factors. Exercise, while great for fitness, has been shown over and over again to have minor impact. People automatically eat more when they burn more calories and/or their metabolism slows down and they get more efficient (which sounds good, but prevents weight loss).


Lose It + Sufferfest = - 12kg to date.

Have been working with a nutritionist this year, and purchased an annual subscription to Lose It on her advice. It’s a very good go-to.

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Weight loss is incredibly individual as well. Everything from age, gender, how active you are (both via the exercise you do AND what you do the rest of the day), availability of food type, budget, whether you have any allergies/intolerances or preferences like veganism plus timing of when you eat relative to when you train, how hard you’re training etc.

I believe 80+% of why we weigh what we weigh is due to what we eat and the old adage that you cannot out train a bad diet is true. In fact, you cannot out train a moderate diet either.

I’m now working with a nutritionist/dietician who specialises in endurance sports and she’s made a HUGE difference through what felt like relatively small tweaks. Am able to sleep better, work with more focus, train harder and feel less hungry while losing weight or body fat sustainably and holding on to my muscle mass. And let me tell you, it is a VERY tight target to fuel while dropping fat. Best money I’ve spent on myself after my bike.


Personally, I don’t think it’s all that complicated. You must take in less than your burn. Doing that isn’t necessarily easy so there are innumerable “schemes” to try to make that easier for some. Also, once you’ve restricted your Calories, you are also reducing your intake of nutrients so it becomes more important to eat well and not waste your budget on “empty” Calories, those with little accompanying nutritional value. Active people/athletes need more protein too especially for older ones. Then there is adequately fueling for activities. You to consume enough in 12 hrs prior to an activity, and some (~100C/30 min) for strenuous activities that will exceed an hour or so. And finally, some carbs and protein within 1/2 hour of completing an intense activity can help recovery. All this info is readily available from legit sources on the web.

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Actually, to my understanding about 80% of the ease of gaining or loosing weigh in Western society is heritable.

While you are correct from an energy balance point of view, human psychology works against this approach being practical for most people. The difficulty of actually measuring your intake is difficult for most people.

I agree with the comments and I know it’s very individualistic, and there could be a myriad of factors. Although I’ve not tried that other app, I did lose over 50 lbs cycling and working out, while being more diligent about what I ate and how much, as well as just being more active in general to burn more calories. That being said I do agree with the comment that it’s not that complicated, at least for the typical person of decent health.

The feature request I was suggesting would be a great addition to the training plans. Despite losing over 50 lbs in the first few years of cycling, unfortunately over the past couple of years I’ve put on about 20 to 30 lbs just because of the pandemic change of my routine, working from home, etc. My eating has become more complacent as well. So, although I’ve made measurable gains in terms of cycling performance 4DP, thanks to Sufferfest, I’ve also gained weight, so when the rubber meets the road I doubt I’m any faster, probably slower and not quite as much endurance because whereas I used to ride 35+ miles a few times per week outdoors, and worked out 3 to 4 times per week at the gym, that’s turned into more free body and light weights at home and lots of cycling workouts… My mileage total is up with more days working out, but I don’t have those huge 2500-4000 calorie burn rides like I used to outside.

Long story short, I thought it would be simple to put together a training plan for burning calories, strength training and maybe add the nutrition aspect to Mental Toughness, to round it out… For example when I lost a bunch of weight, I had to say “no” to cheese, Mayo, ranch dressing, butter, sausage, bacon and so on. I had to tell myself it’s okay to not eat until I’m stuffed, and saving half that burger for tomorrow’s lunch is better than devouring now.

Anyway… Just a feature request I think lots of people may like. I know I would like having weight loss plans to pick, because I’m not really planning for any crit races, time trials, or endurance rides, so whether or not I gain 3 bpm or 20 watts FTP makes zero difference to me, I would much rather fit into my 34 waist jeans comfortable again.

I think it’s more about the level of activity and what a person eats. Food is like fuel. I’m not saying counting calories is what’s needed… Just a general caloric deficit. I lost about 1/2 pound every week+/- going from 255 to 190 over the course of 3 years, then held steady for 2 years and never counted any calories in, just calories burned. Now I’m sure besides being older, for the past couple of years besides but being as active,

I’m not in the same caloric deficit I was for the previous years. Here’s a few pics that show sort of the progression. I don’t want to share a photo now lol, but my healthiest feeling weight is about 190, and I’m at 220’ish now, so I’ve got to get cracking again on burning calories, but DANG it sure would be cool if SYSTM had some built in plans I could follow instead of making my own.


So how did you know you were in caloric deficit in the short term? A weekly loss of .5 - 1.5 lbs is within the margin of error of a scale. I assume you weighted yourself at the same time every day.

Incidentally, it is not at all unusual for people to gain back the weight they lost. In Western society, I believe, the ability to gain/lose weight is about 80% heritable.

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I just weighed myself whenever I went to the gym after work, (usually 3 times per week). When I wasn’t working out, I would cycle as often as I could. I didn’t do any indoor training until the last year and a half when I started Sufferfest. I’m not sure what heritant means, but basically I’m a firm believer in the power of activity and routines of working out, eating decent and being as active as possible to lose or just maintain weight. That’s why I thought weight loss plans in SYSTM would be a good feature.

Heritable means the degree in which differences in a certain characteristic (phenotype) among individuals in a given population is due to genetics.

For example, in out case the heritability of weight gain/loss would be very different in a population suffering from malnutrition.

In essence, weight/gain loss is easier for some people than others, irregardless of what they eat. Weight loss programs need to be individualized.

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I would agree to an extent, but in my non expert, non medically qualified opinion, I would argue that although genes and/or shared genes within a group that would produce shared traits, (skin color, hair color, eye color, structure, features, and so on is obviously true, and that it would carry to some physical size and build characteristics as well, I wouldn’t say that the propensity to be genetically skinny or fat would be great enough to omit a cool feature like a weight loss plan within a fitness program like SYSTM.

I have seen plenty of examples of shared “HABITS” that can counteract any small effect that genetic makeup has on body fat percentage.

Look at the military, or athletic organizations, or certain industries or professions and you’ll see that this equalizes any genetic pre disposition to be fat or skinny, (or somewhere in between). Looking beyond the present, (because presently most people in a civilized society are fat, lazy and soft by comparison), with a focus on the past, you’ll find that obesity and lack of fitness were far less prevalent. Just 30 or 40 years ago we were in better shape as a society and the further back in time you look, the more pronounced that difference is.

For a dramatic example of caloric deficit, look at films and photos from the Holocaust.

Watch movies or TV from certain decades and you can see us evolve into an overwhelmingly obese culture, (more so in the US than anywhere else). I think there were perhaps a handful of people overweight in the movie JAWS and they were thin by today’s standards.

I’ll steal a quote I found online that summarizes it very well: "
Jung Han Kim, PhD, an obesity researcher and professor at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, agrees. Obesity has increased around the world with industrialization, a sedentary lifestyle, and a fat-filled diet."

I can tell you from personal experience, and I think it’s plainly obvious that the more active we are and the less fat filled foods we eat can have a profound impact on our physique and weight. The type of activity makes a major difference, (look at Olympics and the differences between those folks, or look at pro cyclists compared to NFL football players, etc).

So in summary, I would say that for the most part a training plan to lose weight or get leaner, is a pretty simple thing and would work for the vast majority, with the exception of someone who’s got a medical condition that has something to do with metabolism. That’s why I thought it would be a cool feature, because the training plans there now, while great for improving overall health and focusing on certain aspects of cycling performance aren’t the same as a training plan to lose body fat.

I’ve followed SYSTM for over a year, going from one training plan to another as well as cycling outdoors and I can guarantee that while my cycling performance has improved my shape has not. It has to do with my lifestyle, diet and type of exercise within the training. 45 minute blocks of HIIT are not the same as 2 hours of cycling at tempo. 15 minutes of free body exercises and yoga are not the same as 1 hour blocks of resistance training in a gym. I think you get the idea.

Feature request: Body Fat Loss training plans in SYSTM. I think it would make a great addition to a fitness product.

I’m wondering what a weight loss plan in SYSTM would look like. Bottom line for me personally has been simply counting calories. It’s a bit of a chore. Long I ago I had a calorie booklet and kept track in a little notebook adding things up in my head. Apps like Loseit make it a heck of a lot easier, but it’s still the same deal. I weigh everything, eat less of all the same stuff, and stop for the day when I reach my limit. I’ll tend to avoid calorie dense low nutritional value stuff in favor of being able to eat more better stuff. Will I eat a glazed donut? Generally no. It’s not worth the tradeoff against other things I’d rather be able to eat and that have better nutritional value. Also, I don’t reward myself with food. If I reach a weight or performance goal, I don’t celebrate by having a big meal and blowing by my calorie limit, with food or drink. I think that can set the stage for an unhealthy relationship with food.

I’m envisioning just selecting a training plan just like we currently do except there would be a few weight loss or fat loss more specifically, plans that went for a certain length of time and incorporated a choice of indoor or outdoor or both, as well as resistance training with dumbbells etc. Perhaps a mental toughness addition that focused on how to say no to overeating, and staying away from crummy foods. Not too hard really.

The trick to losing weight is keeping your metabolism high by daily exercise or activity that stresses your muscles enough to make them want to grow or rebuild, while bringing your heart rate up, and of course, in a caloric deficit, even if it’s just a slight deficit, (day burning 4000 calories a day but consuming only 3000). And those calories should be nutritional calories, not crap. For example a nice filling sandwich with lean meat and water, instead of a slice of pizza and a beer.

I think you’re on the right track in so far as staying away from crummy non nutritional foods. For me, I was never able or willing to follow a diet or count calories. It was just easier for me, (and simpler to adhere to), burning energy and being mindful of what and how much I eat, especially avoiding high caloric high fat food like cheese, deep fried food, etc. Lots of water, fiber, lean meat, eggs, protein shakes and bars, whole grain bread and cereal, etc.

The dispute is not whether consuming less than you use will cause you to lose weight. It will; that is simple physics. The issue is whether SYSTM can offer a generalized dietary plan of any kind. Essentially my argument is that since SYSTM does not offer real individualized coaching of any kind, and there is no 4DP equivalent for diet, it cannot offer such a plan, much less a plan that focuses on losing fat.

My statement was NOT that some people are genetically doomed to be heavy. It was that the ease of weight gain or loss, in rich societies where food is, as you note, overabundant, is largely genetically determined. This does not deny that an abundance of food is causing obesity; it is about how easy it is to combat that obesity, and whether a non-individualized plan could do that. This is why generalized diets do not work for most people. Even if they lose weight they will gain it back after a while.

Of course this is a statement of population statistics which means that its applicability to a particular individual is unknown, but that is the situation that SYSTM is in. That is why as good as 4DP metrics might be, individuals still have wide degrees of success with plans – some do not use plans at all.

Your examples argue for what nobody denies – consume less than you use will cause weight loss. Nonetheless, your examples are situations where people are essentially forced to undergo certain dietary regimes. They also suffer from survivor bias because they do not include all the people who dropped out because they could not lose weight. When people leave those regimes, they generally gain back their weight. So those habits do not last.

It is also difficult for the vast majority of people not in those extreme regimes to calculate what they eat, and what they use. Just look at how much you have to exercise to counteract one doughnut.

You mention metabolism. That is a highly individualized matter. There is even some evidence that microbiomes in our digestive system are different in different people, and that leads to the need to individualize diet.

In addition to all these problems, there is no way of knowing whether a person using such a diet would lose more fat than they should, or lose other important nutrients. Understanding overreaching and overtraining is hard enough. The effects of poor nutrition can sometimes be hard to detect.


I think you’re over thinking it and poo-pooed all over the idea with a whole lotta circular reasoning. Paralysis by analysis. Everything you mentioned while true for the topic, could also apply to any other topic. Use it or lose it.

A 21 week all purpose road training plan is pretty darn involved and tied in with 4DP, etc. Couple that with opting for mental toughness and yoga or strength training and there’s a bunch going on that may or may not have the desired outcome for every rider who tries it and even if they finish it, (I’ve done it at least twice), if you stop cycling and using what you learned it all goes away in a matter of time if you don’t keep it up or put it into practice correct?

If SYSTM can put together a plan like that as well as other equally complex plans, creating some simple plans to burn calories, build strength and learn some mental toughness for eating habits sounds like a walk in the park for a fitness focused company. Just ride, exercise, keep active, and eat better… Not that hard and it’ll work for pretty much anyone that doesn’t have a medical disorder.

Anyway… This is the feature suggestion area, so just figured I’d suggest it as a feature.

Creating a plan to burn calories is not enough if you do not control what people eat.
The evidence is overwhelming that exercise alone is not enough.

How do you think it is possible for SYSTM to design a generalized diet plan when nobody else in the world has been able to do that?

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