Lose weight pedaling: how to lose weight by riding a bicycle
Thinking about cycling as a tool to lose weight is undoubtedly a good idea: if in general physical activity is the only way, along with a healthy and balanced diet, to lose weight, doing it pedaling also has other undoubted advantages, first among all that to put less to the test joints such as those of the ankles and knees compared to other aerobic activities and fat burning like running or even walking.
However, it is not enough to ride the bike and take a few turns to burn calories, turn on the metabolism and ultimately reduce the extra pounds: sure to use the bike is usually a good way to achieve the objectives of daily movement recommended by the World Health Organization, but for those who have specific weight loss needs you also need to know how, how much, when and even where to ride a bike. Because it is now established that training too much and without a clear method does not help to lose weight, as we wrote here.
So here’s all you need to know and do to really lose weight practicing a pleasant activity like cycling.
Use the bike for daily trips
It is undoubtedly the first step, the simplest, to do a little more movement every day: apart from going to work on a bike it makes you healthier and that riding a bike has something to do with happiness, according to some studies it also seems that using the bike regularly even in the city allows you to lose up to 5kg in a year without changing other habits, including food. And if the metropolitan traffic frightens you, start with these 10 practical bicycle safety tips.
Cycle before breakfast
In general, doing activities in the morning immediately after waking up is the best way to reduce the sense of hunger and lose weight, so much so that it is one of the 6 recommended things to do in the morning to lose weight. This does not mean skip breakfast, which in any case has many benefits and it is better to do it, but if the Pro cyclists for years now make at least 20 ‘pedaling on the bike before sitting at the table to have breakfast, there is a reason According to research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, the activity on an empty stomach burns more fat than that performed with a full stomach. How to do? For example, going to work – or bringing children to school – by bike and only after breakfast.
Bike to the maximum
It is exactly the same reasoning already done about how and how much to run for weight loss: prolonged activity at low intensity turns on the metabolism and burns calories and fat much less than a short, intense activity and at intervals like HIIT. What does this mean in practical terms? That it is better to push a hard relationship, or to pedal at a high frequency, for short stretches rather than to take a long ride at a moderately slow and steady speed and with an agile relationship. According to some studies published in the Journal of Applied Physiology it is not so much the calories burned in the saddle to be different, but those that our body continues to burn once you get off the pedals to really make the difference (even up to 9 times as shown exams made to sprinters compared to cross-country skiers).
Leave the asphalt road and take dirt roads and climbs
Deciding between road bike or MTB is the logical consequence of the previous point: a varied activity is more useful to burn fat and lose weight than a monotonous and continuous. Of course, if you live in hilly areas the road can go well, but abandoning the asphalt and riding on a dirt road, maybe with some ascents, is the perfect interval training cardio, in addition to the fact that develops the strengths, tones the muscles (and not just those of the legs) and more toned muscles substantially mean a greater calorie consumption. After all, the secret is to turn the kilograms of fat into kilos of muscles, right? And if you really want to get the most out of the mix of the route you can also try to pedal both sitting and standing on the pedals, to stimulate different muscles and accelerate the heartbeat.
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Eat while you ride a bike
It seems a contradiction, but no: certainly not worth a short ride, under the hour of time, but if there is scheduled a half-day or more trip, munching something while cycling (and cycling is the only activity that allows eating while practiced without risk of rejection) allows you to arrive at your destination without a stabbing sense of hunger that inevitably leads to binge eating. The rule at the bottom is always that: many.