The topic of losing weight is a broad one; it’s easier to gain than it is to lose. But when it comes to biking and weight loss, the primary question is, ‘is biking a good way to lose weight?’
Yes! You can lose weight by biking, but how much you lose depends on the intensity and discipline. If you go for high-intensity interval training, increase your riding intensity, embrace cross-training and tame your diet, you will likely lose weight.
But as it’s tempting to shed more weight, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study shows that rapid or sudden weight loss is difficult to maintain. Those who lose more weight fast are likely to add more weight back.
So, considering that you don’t want to shed the excess weight but also want to keep it off, you need to shed weight gradually. But how do you go about it?
Check out the 11 things you must embrace before commencing your weight loss journey. Number 7 will even surprise you!
Is Biking a Good Way to Lose Weight?
Cycling is a low-impact aerobic exercise that torches calories and is a better way to lose weight than jogging or running. However, to see much effect and shed more body fat, below are the things to do:
1. Set A Goal
The weight loss journey is not easy, especially if you want to lose weight healthily. Before starting this journey, you’ll need to set a goal. You should know your current weight and how much you want to lose.
The BMI is a process where a medical professional determines your height-to-weight ratio. It stipulates how much you should lose or weigh. You can also use a tool like the Withings Body + Small Wi-Fi Bathroom Scale BMI Checker (Check on Amazon) to check your body weight metrics.
Another way to know how much to lose or how much you weigh is by knowing your body fat percentage.
For example, while a healthy woman has a body fat percentage of 25 – 32%, a healthy man should have a 15 – 18% body fat percentage.
So, starting a weight loss journey is good if you measure this. Suppose you find your body fat percentage way off the limit. Then, it’s time to start your weight loss journey.
2. Go for High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Now that you know how much you weigh and have set a goal of how much to lose, it’s time to start working out. By working out, you challenge yourself more, and one effective way to lose stubborn fat is by going for a HIIT workout.
HIIT alternates low-intensity workouts with short cycles of high-intensity ones. To get a picture of what I mean, consider this example. You can cycle very fast for about 30 – 60 seconds (against high resistance), then cycle gently (slowly) for about 30 minutes (with low resistance).
Then repeat this thread for about 30 minutes a day. The HIIT process not only helps you torch more calories but also uses less time to help you shed weight and is also an excellent cardio workout.
According to a 2017 National Library of Medicine Study, HIIT training reduces 10% of your body fat mass within 12 weeks. That means that HIIT alone is a practical and excellent way to lose fat in a shorter period.
Even better, the merits of this process don’t stop there. Even after the day’s workout, you will continue to burn more fat as your body metabolism remains intact. How awesome is that!
3. Increase Your Riding Intensity
You can’t lose weight while riding at your comfort level. So, you need to up your game by increasing your riding intensity.
Remember, your body will likely use more energy when cycling faster, which helps torch body calories.
According to the letter by Harvard Health, a person who weighs 155 pounds can burn 298 calories riding moderately for 30 minutes at 12 – 13.9 mph. If the same person increases the riding intensity and cycles 14 – 15.9 mph for 30 minutes, they can burn 372 pounds.
So, this is evident that the more intensely you ride, the more calories you’ll burn. So, push yourself beyond your comfort zone.
4. Embrace Cross Training
As stated earlier, cycling is a low-impact exercise. So, combining exercise with other workouts is a brilliant idea for you to lose more weight.
Cross training is where you combine two or more workouts, like cycling and lifting weights. And as the American Council On Exercise puts it, you can ride a bike today, go to the gym tomorrow, and continue alternating the two workouts.
5. Go Further
Going further is supported by the idea of endurance training. It entails going a bit further when you have had enough.
One research by the Journal of Applied Physiology states that going further will help burn excess fats, which translates to weight loss. So, if you want to start building endurance, you can begin your workout slowly.
If you start cycling at 20 minutes a day, you should add a few minutes in each session. Let’s say your session takes 20 minutes. You should add at least 5 – 10 minutes during the next session. That means you should go 25 – 30 minutes.
If you plan to ride for 30 minutes, add a few more minutes. That ensures you go further and will help you shed more weight.
6. Commute to Work
You can make your two wheels a brilliant way of commuting to work. That will, in turn, help you lose weight. The Science Daily Release shows that people who cycle to work can lose 7 kg annually, riding just 30 minutes daily.
Remember, commuting to work doesn’t only help you lose weight but comes with more merits. For example, people who cycle routinely boost their memory, creativity, and concentration and reduce stress and anxiety.
So, this means one thing. Unlike people using public transport or driving, those who cycle to work are more productive at work.
7. Ride Before Breakfast
Many people probably don’t know this, but biking short rides before taking your breakfast can be a start to your weight loss journey.
When you choose to ride faster for about 30 minutes – 1 hour every morning before breakfast, it will force your body to use stored food (in this case, fats) as there is no food in the system.
However, please note that you should not exceed the 1-hour duration. If you prefer going beyond the one hour, you will need to eat first or carry something in your lunchbox.
8. Get Enough Sleep
Maybe this is new to you, but enough sleep goes hand in hand with weight loss. People who get plenty of sleep (about 6 – 8 hours) every night have a more successful weight loss journey as they tend to be more relaxed and less stressed.
A night of good sleep also helps your body to build and repair muscles, and the more you feel prepared for the next day’s workout.
On the other hand, those who do not get enough sleep are more likely to be stressed, feel hungry and eat more which won’t help with losing weight.
9. Tame Your Diet
Let me tell you this so quickly. You cannot do all the above and then eat all you want. When you set up a goal of losing weight, one thing you should put in mind is your diet change.
Some foods to avoid are processed foods, sugars, and fatty proteins. Instead, you should say goodbye to rich proteins and smoothies and start to focus on vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins like pulses, chicken, beans, and fish. You should also ensure that you eat often and little.
10. Enjoy Riding
Riding is considered the best fun activity. So, it should not be otherwise. While you take it that way, you will start focusing on your weight loss journey more enjoyably.
If you feel like doing it alone is impossible to achieve your weight loss goal, you can join a club where you ride as a group.
One study by the Science Daily shows how social support increases your weight loss goal. Group riding will motivate you and push you further toward your goal.
You can tag along with friends or family members if there’s no group in your locality. At least they know your plan and will help you achieve it.
11. Track Your Progress
There isn’t something so lovely as keeping track of your weight loss journey. Even if you are making plateau progress, it’s still progress, and you should keep its record intact.
Are we not happy and motivated by other people’s journey to weight loss? We are! They kept track of and recorded their weight loss journey.
You can track your weight loss progress using body fat percentage or using your body weight. You can ensure that you measure this once a week. The most popular time is in the morning after visiting the toilet.
People Also Ask
How Much Weight Can You Lose Biking 30 Minutes A Day?
You can lose a pound or two a month by biking 30 minutes daily. However, by combining biking for 30 minutes a day with eating a healthy diet, you can lose even more.
Does Cycling Burn Fat On Stomach?
We all know that belly fat is so stubborn. Though cycling works mainly on your glutes and quads and not much on your belly muscles, you can still lose that stubborn fat if you combine cycling with cross-training.
Is Indoor Cycling Good for Weight Loss?
Depending on your workout intensity, you will likely burn 600 calories or more working out with stationary bikes (Check on Amazon) an hour each day. So, it’s true you can burn calories doing indoor cycling. Remember also to tame your calorie intake. The rule is to lose more calories than you consume.
Does Biking Help You Lose Weight?
Yes! Biking an hour a day is an excellent start to your weight loss journey. It helps burn fat and torches calories, and this aids in losing more weight.
The benefits don’t stop there. Since cycling is a good cardio workout, it boosts your lungs and heart health, builds muscles, improves blood flow, and lowers stress levels.
In Summary, Is Biking a Good Way to Lose Weight?
As seen, biking is a great way to lose weight. However, for better results, you should get involved in high-intensity interval training, increase your riding intensity, embrace cross-training, go further, and tame your calorie intake, among many others.
Not only will you lose weight successfully, but you also have better physics, good heart and lung health, and reduced stress levels.