6 Effective Biking Tips for Weight Loss
If your goal is to become fitter, thinner or lighter, or even to reach a particular health goal, cycling should be one of the activity options you choose. It can be fun, efficient, easy to fit into your busy day and, most importantly, it has emotional, mental, and physical benefits.
If you want to lose weight while cycling, you can begin by applying a few simple techniques both on and off the bike, such as avoiding sugar, training intensively, and paying attention to how you exercise.
However, losing weight while cycling can entail a lot more than that.
In this article, you'll learn some tips that will help you get the most out of your bike and use it to lose the excess pounds and achieve your goal weight.
1. Make your commute count
Commuting is often an integral part of daily life, so it is essential to associate this part of your day with your weight loss efforts.
One of the most exciting aspects of cycling is that it is also an efficient means of transportation. So, by choosing to cycle when you commute, you will be exercising regularly for a period of time that you would have spent traveling anyway.
Cycling has proved to have a significant impact on weight loss. As proof, a 2015 study by the University of East Anglia and the Centre for Diet and Physical Activity Research demonstrated that people who switched from the car or public transportation to cycling lost an average of 7 kilograms per year by riding 30 minutes each way.
Cycling also improves concentration and creativity and reduces stress levels, helping you achieve your weight loss goals. A study has proven that stress leads to elevated cortisol levels that stimulate your appetite, resulting in weight gain or difficulty losing unwanted pounds.
2. Try cross-training
If you are not comfortable sticking to a rigid routine, cross-training may be right for you. It's a great way to add some diversity to your workouts by rotating activities.
Consider getting on your bike for a long ride outdoors one day and then going to the gym to lift weights the next.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) suggests that you should cycle at a moderate intensity level for at least 30 minutes at a time. To burn even more calories, you will need to cycle for more extended periods.
As such, you can incorporate two activities into a cross-training session to stimulate weight loss. As an example, you could go biking for 30 minutes and then try another exercise such as using free weights, Pilates, swimming, Zumba, or boxing for an additional 15 minutes.
3. Practice high-intensity interval training
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can be a powerful way to reduce fat and lose weight.
HIIT consists of short periods of intense exercise alternating with low-intensity exercise intervals. With cycling, here's what a HIIT workout can look like:
- Cycling as fast as possible against high resistance for 30 to 60 seconds
- Practicing easy cycling with low resistance for 2-3 minutes
- Repeating this for the next 30 minutes
High-intensity interval workouts help improve your cardiovascular fitness and make your body more efficient when it comes to calorie-burning.
According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, both HIIT and continuous moderate exercise can reduce body fat. However, compared to moderate exercise, HIIT results in 28.5 percent more significant body fat reduction.
The benefits of HIIT are not limited to what is listed above. When you are not pedaling, and your exercise session is at an end, your metabolism remains engaged. It means that your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate even as you finished your session and returned to a normal state of rest.
There are many tools that you can use to support your HIIT training. All you have to do is order them from an online sports shop in Dubai or anywhere in the world.
4. Ride before breakfast
There is no better way to start a day than by taking a bike ride before dawn.
Going on a short ride before breakfast can be an excellent way to start losing weight. By doing so, your body has to use up its fat reserves because there is no food in your system. This is what experts call fasting training.
Try to go on a bike ride for 30 minutes up to an hour every morning and remember to eat breakfast when you get home.
5. Keep track of your progress
It is easy to be lulled into thinking that you are losing weight when you take up physical activities. Remember, however, that merely moving is different from progressing. That's why it is crucial to track your progress by recording it as you go.
Don't be discouraged if things don't change at the same rate; it's a long-term goal. Some weeks, you'll see a lot of progress; other weeks, you'll realize that you're declining. The most important thing is that these combined efforts will give the final result.
If you use Grit+Tonic cycling watches or other similar devices, you will find that your fitness improves as you progress. You will also notice that you are probably faster on some segments, which will give you a great sense of accomplishment.
Your clothing can also offer great clues that can help you check if you’re meeting your weight loss goals. If you have a favorite clothing item, wear it every two weeks to see how it fits. It may begin to fit you better as you continue your cycling routine.
6. Control your sugar consumption
Sugar and processed foods can give you a lot of energy, but they often have little nutritional value and therefore may not substantially satisfy your cravings.
So instead of snacking on that mid-morning chocolate bar, replace it with fruit and try cooking nutritious dishes.
Keep in mind that your body will store any sugar you don’t burn immediately as fat, which is precisely what you are trying to avoid.
It's not that you should never eat cake, but you should limit your intake to once a week.
If you're trying to lose weight or maintain the weight loss you've trained hard for, cycling can be a great way to work towards that goal.
The best thing about cycling is the fun it provides. Whether you like to speed down country roads or take long, contemplative rides alone or with friends, there is a lot to enjoy, and you'll almost forget that you're working out.
To maximize your weight loss and fat burning ability, try increasing your bike workout duration or intensity. Cross-training and interval training can also help you lose weight and burn fat.
Whenever you get the chance to hit the road on your bike, you have to make the most out of it because every mile counts when it comes to weight loss.