cycling for weight loss

Does Cycling Help You Lose Weight?

Question; Does cycling help you lose weight?  The answer is yes, but you can’t just eat anything you want even if you’re riding consistently. 

You would think if a masters cyclist rides 7-10 hours a week, you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight. I mean who doesn’t like eating a whole pizza and throwing back a bunch of beers after a big ride right?  Unfortunately, this is not a good weight loss strategy, I know because I’ve tried it…a lot. 

The truth is that riding only accounts for 30% of weight loss with diet accounting for the remaining 70%.  I know you’re disappointed, please don’t shoot the messenger.  The bottom line is as we get older, our bodies have less muscle to burn calories causing us to gain weight. 

Weight gain has been a constant battle for me as I love sweets and alcohol, both major contributors to weight gain. 

I have found that staying at your ideal weight is really a mindset.  Think of yourself like a race car. Would you put low-quality fuel in your race car or would you run it on race fuel?  Here is how I keep my weight down to the high 150s on my 5’10” frame. These should work for you as well.  

  • No fast food EVER with the exception of Chipotle. 
  • Eat sweets only when you’re riding.  Sweets are a major contributor to weight gain.  
  • Substitute red meat for lean proteins like chicken, fish, and turkey.  
  • Cut down on the alcohol. Fact, (1) 12oz IPA has approximately 250 calories. That’s 12.5% of the recommended 2,000 daily caloric intake.  

I have found the MyFitnessPal app to be a great way to keep my weight in check.  You can track your weight and the calories consumed all in one place.  

Weight Loss Don’ts:

  • Don’t cut our carbs.  Carbs are the fuel that gives you energy.  No carbs = no energy = going slow on your bike.
  • Don’t lose more than 2 lbs a week.  Losing any more than 2 lbs a week leads to calorie deficit and no energy. 
  • Don’t forget to fuel before and during your bike rides.  Remember, you’re race car won’t run without proper fueling. 

Tell us how you maintain your weight in the comment section below. 

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