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Food Friday - This is how our riders keep an eye on their weight

Food Friday - This is how our riders keep an eye on their weight

Our riders need to have the optimum weight, especially the GC riders. The winner of the General Classification is often determined during a mountain stage, and every extra kilo “is one too many” at that moment. In this Food Friday, you will get more insight into the role of nutrition on our riders’ weight and you will get some practical tips on how to make conscious nutrition choices yourself.

The weight of our riders partially determines how fast they can ride uphill without putting in too much effort. The performance of a rider is multi-faceted, but if you would isolate a riders’ weight you might start to see an effect on performance. Suppose a rider drops in weight from 65kg to 64kg, there would be a theoretic win of 30 seconds on an 8% climb of 8km. Rides have been won with less time difference!

With the Foodcoach app, developed by Jumbo in cooperation with the team, our riders know exactly what they need to eat based on their daily energy consumption. We measure the exact amount of calories and grams per meal. That is why you will always find, for example, a scale on a buffet so that our readers can eat the exact amount of food, in grams, as the Foodcoach app tells them to eat.

"With the Foodcoach app, our riders eat what they need"

Dietician Nancy van der Burg

It might be the case that a rider needs to drop some weight to gain his optimum weight. This can be achieved by eating a little bit less than his daily energy (calorie) consumption. In order to lose 1kg of fat mass, you will have to consume 7.000 kcal less than your body consumes. So if we would aim for 1kg of bodyweight loss in 1 month, a rider would need to consume 250 kcal less than his daily energy consumption for 30 days.

Food (calories / energy) plays a crucial role when it comes to making weight loss easier. Food rich in fibers and protein can delay a hungry feeling as it makes you feel replete. Moreover, it is important to eat small meals the entire day (versus three big meals). In that way, you stay ahead of getting hungry. It is actually always important to eat 5 to 6 times a day a small meal rich in protein if you workout often (for muscle building and –recovery purposes).

The food choice in itself is also important. If you consume less calories in a day, chances are that you will consume less nutrients (such as vitamins and minerals). Therefore, make sure you will eat 250 grams of vegetables and fruit every day, just like our riders, even if you want to eat less on a daily basis.

Making the right food choices based on the daily energy consumption of our riders, that is what our daily menu is all about. Sometimes we get inspired by the surroundings our riders ride through. Looking at the Spanish roads for the last couple of weeks, we immediately feel like cooking some tapas! Tapas can be a healthy dish, as long as you make the right choices.

A typical tapas meal can contain a lot of calories (about 1.000 to 1.500 calories easily) if you do not pay attention to what you eat. The true calorie bombs are those with (whole) fat cheese, meat, crisps, bread with spreads, fried potato and alcohol.

"Is tapas healthy?"

It is with the right nutritional choices!

The basic dinner rules our riders have to follow are: carbohydrates (preferably from whole wheat products), protein (for example meat or fish), not too fat (preferably unsaturated fat), a lot of vegetables and varied food. A rider can eat some “tapas” for dinner as long as those basic rules are followed.

Do you want to follow the same rules? Try one of the following typical tapas dishes which comply with our riders’ basic dinner rules:

  1. Gazpacho
  2. Olives
  3. Grilled vegetables
  4. Salad
  5. Carpaccio
  6. Ham with melon
  7. Tortilla (from eggs and potatoes)
  8. Mushrooms
  9. Chicken skewer
  10. Tenderloin or steak
  11. White fish and/or salmon


If you find yourself in a tapas restaurant, 99% of the above mentioned dishes will be on the menu. Agree on a fixed amount of dishes with yourself and limit the amount of alcohol as well as desserts. Make sure ¾ of your food choices are healthy and the other ¼ of your choices can be what you feel like eating (such as those delicious nachos calling your name). In that way, you can enjoy the Spanish cuisine without feeling guilty afterwards. Although you will not hear us making any objections if you determine to go out for a tough ride the day after anyway.

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