Losing weight can only occur if you’re in a calorie deficit. This requires either eating less or moving more.
One way of increasing your activity is through cycling. Getting on your bike can help you burn calories, get stronger, and lose pounds!
Depending on your age, weight, and height, cycling can burn anywhere from 400-750 calories an hour.
When you combine this with a slight calorie deficit, you’ll be well on your way to losing fat.
It’s clear why cycling is great, but there are a few things you should know to increase your chances of successful weight loss.
We’ll cover these tips in this article, including tracking your progress, interval training, and cycling with other people.
Always Keep Track
No matter what your weight loss goal is, the journey isn’t going to be easy. There will be good days and bad days.
Keeping track of your progress allows you to see how far you’ve come.
This will be motivating on days when you feel like skipping your workouts, eating junk food, or sleeping all day.
You should keep track of your cycling workouts too. Looking back and seeing how you’ve improved from your rides in the past can help you feel focused enough to continue.
You may want to keep track of miles covered, speed, duration, or all three.
Your goal may be weight loss, but seeing how your fitness has improved may lead you to switch your mindset.
You can track your progress using smartphone apps like Strava or Map My Ride.
These are free to use, although some choose to pay for the premium benefits.
These apps also let you connect with other riders socially, but you can choose to stay independent if you prefer.
Cycle To Work
Your chances of successful weight loss increase the more active you are. It can be hard to fit in a regular activity if you have a busy schedule, but cycling to and from work can make a huge difference to your well-being.
If you already cycle to work, try increasing the intensity of your ride. You may not want to do this riding to work, but as you ride home, you can try cycling faster or opt for a route with steep hills.
The harder you work out, the more calories you’ll burn, and the more weight you’ll lose.
Varying your workouts will also increase your fitness level, so you’ll feel stronger in the long run too.
Try Interval Training
We all have busy lifestyles, but interval training can help you get enough exercise during a short amount of time.
Interval training involves shorter periods of high-intensity exercise and periods of lower intensity intervals.
Interval training can increase your metabolism after your workout, which means you burn more energy at rest.
However, these workouts can be hard on the body, as they damage muscle tissue more than traditional exercise does.
If you want to start interval training, you must make sure that you prioritize rest and recovery afterward.
Interval training can be done through practically any workout. You can find some inspiration online, but here’s a simple cycling example.
Ride your bike for 30 seconds at high intensity, then resting or cycling at low intensity for a minute. Repeat for 5-7 rounds.
Make sure that you push yourself during the harder periods, as this is needed to get the benefits of interval training.
Follow An Exercise Plan
While losing weight without a plan is possible, it isn’t easy. As you keep cycling consistently, your fitness will improve.
The same rides that you did before won’t be enough to challenge your body anymore.
It can be easy to fall into a rut, but a plan prevents you from doing so.
Your plan doesn’t have to be super detailed. All you need to do is track your progress and aim to push yourself with each ride.
Try to ride for longer, faster, or further than you did the week before.
Nevertheless, if you prefer, you can opt for a progressive training plan that aims to improve your fitness as you go on.
You can pay a professional for these or find free plans online.
Avoid the ‘Fat Burning Zone’
Many cyclists believe they have a greater chance of losing weight by cycling in the ‘fat-burning zone.
This zone involves activity at low intensity to keep your heart rate at the ‘right’ zone.
The human body mainly uses fat reserves as fuel during low-intensity activity.
However, as the body isn’t working hard enough, it won’t use enough energy and won’t burn many calories.
You’ll have a better chance of losing weight by improving your fitness each week.
If you want to lose weight, leave the fat-burning zone in the past and concentrate on putting your effort into your cycling workouts.
Cycle With People
Exercising on your own is always beneficial, but sharing the experience with people has many benefits.
When it comes to cycling, riding with others can make you push yourself more than you would have done individually.
Riding with others means that you can hold each other accountable and motivate each other to keep going.
Riding with people who are better cyclists than you may seem like a bad idea, but it can make you a better cyclist.
As you work hard to keep up with your peers, your body will adapt and you’ll get closer to their level with each workout.
If you can ride with people who share your weight loss goals, you can give each other advice and encourage each other to keep pushing.
It’s also much more fun to ride with someone. If you start enjoying your rides, you’re more likely to keep cycling, which can help you on your weight loss journey.
Try Fasted Training
This tip isn’t for everyone, but it may help you maximize your efforts. We prioritize carbohydrates for energy, but when we haven’t eaten, there aren’t any carbohydrates for the body to draw energy from.
Fasted training can make the body use its stored fat reserves as energy.
Research differs on whether this is true or not, but some people are big fans of fasted training.
Cycling wise, fasted training involves riding your bike after a period of fasting. This can be 8, 16, or even 24 hours, but it’s best to start with 8.
This doesn’t have to be hard, as you can simply opt to cycle in the morning before you eat breakfast.
Water and black coffee won’t break your fast, but make sure you don’t eat or drink anything until after your ride.
If you’re not used to fasted training, it’s important to ease into it. Don’t begin with a super long ride, as you may crash and burn out on the way.
Either take some food with you or plan a refueling stop. Keep in mind that some people won’t be cut out for fasted training.
These individuals will need to consume the right fuel before they train. Despite this, fasted exercise can be a great tool for others trying to lose weight.
Train In Other Ways
You may not want to put the bike aside, but adding different types of exercise to your regime has several advantages.
Variety keeps your mind fresh, but it can also make you a better cyclist.
For instance, yoga can improve your flexibility, which can make it easier for you to push the pedals.
Weight lifting can make you stronger, improving your ability to climb steep hills.
Sports like boxing or swimming can improve your upper body strength, making you a well-rounded athlete. This all burns calories too!
Different forms of exercise will help you lose weight as you burn more energy.
No matter what activity you choose, they can also help you cover more distance and ride faster on your bike. Who doesn’t want to do that?