Things to consider when using a bike to lose weight

Cycling is a great way to keep fit and lose weight. Our cycle blogger looks at things you should consider when using your bike to lose weight.

Less in – more out

As a general rule dieticians and doctors always say that if you burn off more than you put in then you will lose that weight. You do however need some energy to cycle without keeling over so it is a case of eating sensibly.

Protein is one way of killing off the hunger pangs and you don’t just get that from steak and eggs. How about lentils and beans for that protein? They contain no fat, and if you’re new to them at least on the bike no one will be able to smell you as you trump along…

Water not energy drinks

While you are riding you need water to keep up your performance. Just drink water as you ride.

Except for top end athletes, sports energy drinks are a success of good marketing over good sense. They are full of sugar and your body uses that sugar to make the fat you are trying to burn off.

Post ride food binge

In early stages of all exercise regimes you do get very hungry after a ride. Eat sensibly – cut out the fat and sugar and fill your body with good stuff. Nuts are reasonably good (though not ones with salt, sugar and other additives). Again, try the odd veggie meal to avoid the fat.

Booze!

Sometimes fellow riders may stop at a favoured watering hole during or after the ride. Lime and soda or just the soda is a good drink as it replaces the fluids but cuts out the sugar. Beer is at least as full of sugar as a soft drink, and those non alcoholic adult drinks are full of sugar too. Cordials are very low in sugar by comparison…

Don’t be afraid of hills

Cycling is a very efficient way of transportation. This means you go farther for less effort than on foot. In my own experience from losing weight on my bike in the past, this meant finding the ugliest and nastiest hills I could nearby and trying to get a personal best time in climbing them. You are sweaty, knackered and struggling for breath at the top, and the fitter you are the harder you should push. If you are maxing on heart rate, soaked in sweat and gasping for breath then that is a sign you are burning off the flab. If your legs are sore as well, it really is a case of ‘no pain no gain’!

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