DOES CYCLING HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?
The good news is yes but it won’t happen overnight. If you cycle for about one hour per day at an average pace you will burn about 4000 calories per week which could equate to about 0.5 kg of weight loss.
Burn fat and carbs.
Cycling helps you burn fat and carbohydrates more efficiently. Your body’s metabolism changes, the basal metabolic rate goes up and stays elevated for over a day after the exercise. This means your your metabolism is sped up by cycling and you continue burning calories long after you put the bike down.
As you burn off fat your cycling causes your muscles to work harder and become more toned and developed. This can result in calves, butt and thighs that look great.
Lose belly fat
Belly fat is the first place you will lose weight. This is particularly good for your health as its been shown that excess weight around the waist is linked to health problems such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes. The fitter you get the more oxygen circulates through your bloodstream increasing the fat burning process.
When you cycle at a lower intensity the fat burning process is more efficient. This is good news if you are starting out cycling. You don’t have to flog yourself at pace to burn fat.
Lose weight like me
Look at the photo on the right. That’s me weighing in at 95 kg eight years ago.Today my weight is constant at 84 kg. Before I started cycling I had been up to 100 kg. Just start riding and stick with it. You will be amazed at your progress and shrinking waistline.
When you cycle regularly you will find you sleep better. Its been shown that lack of sleep can lead to hypertension and elevated blood sugar and weight gain.
Cyclists are usually less stressed. A fitter, leaner body helps elevate your mood and reduce stress factors.
A reduction in stress hormones such as cortisol helps prevent weight gain. When you are relaxed and in a good mood you are less likely to use food and snacks to give you a feel good lift.
When you get used to cycling you will get so much enjoyment from the riding that any weight loss will be a bonus. No spending hours in the gym doing boring exercises on the treadmill. You can plan a different ride every time you go out if you wish.
Once you lose weight and keep it off your body will reset the metabolism for that lower weight. You would think that cycling regularly would increase your appetite. Not so, a lower body weight demands less calories hence you appetite actually decreases.
Make cycling part of your regular activities
You can use your bike to visit the local shops, a friend, even commute to work everyday or several days per week. These activities will increase the hours spent pedaling hence help you with your weight loss.
The amount of weight you lose will depend on a number of factors such as your own body build and metabolism, the type of riding you engage in and the hours you spend riding.
Watch your food intake
Your food intake has a huge bearing on your weight. Cycling isn’t an excuse to over indulge after the ride. The secret is to be sensible with your nutrition. Good wholesome foods will bring huge benefits for your health, weight and cycling.
Cycling is suitable for a wide range of people
One of the great advantages cycling has over other activities is it accessible to a wide range of people and being a non load bearing activity it is easy on the joints, opening the sport up to people who are restricted from activities like jogging.
Once you lose weight, the goal is to keep it off. By making your cycling enjoyable and increasing the distances and or intensity of the rides you will maintain a healthy weight. You could follow a simple plan to help you with your riding target. Check out my article on streetarticles.com
In summary, does cycling help you lose weight?-Absolutely.