Rubber Side Down | 10 Tips That Help Cyclists Lose Weight

What do many members of your average bike lane and most members of the professional peloton have in common? Well I’ll tell you. Both parties share an acute attention to their health and enjoy the incredible fitness benefits of riding a bike. Whether you’ve taken up cycling just to get fit or you’re looking to improve your fitness to become a better cyclist, one thing is at the top of everyone’s list; losing more weight. And for good reason! Excess weight stresses your knees and hips, drains precious energy, and decreases overall performance. Do you want to go faster? Do you want to look and feel healthier? Lose weight, it’s as simple as that. If only it was as simple as that. Losing weight can seem like a daunting task but I want to share with you some methods that any cyclist can employ to lose weight and ultimately improve performance and overall health.
  1. Start your day right. If you’re like a lot of cyclists, you can’t do anything before you get your morning caffeine fix. And you know as well as I do, that it’s hard to stop at one. Try cutting out the sugar and creamer from your daily coffee or tea for an easy calorie reduction.
  2. Ride before breakfast. When you wake up your body is in a fasted state. Studies show that in this state your body is more likely to burn pure fat than when you’ve already eaten. I like to set up my bicycle trainer the night before so I can jump on and spin for 20 minutes before I get fueled up and ready to start the day. Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast after your spin, approximately 25% of your daily calories, and keep the ride short and sweet whether it’s on the trainer or on the road. A great way to do this is to follow Tip #3!


    Lycra keeps you honest.

  3. Commute to work. This has personally done wonders for me. It doesn’t take me much longer to get to work by bike than when I’m sitting in traffic, and I’m able to log extra miles even on the busiest days. This is a perfect way to get in that morning spin and you could even take the long way home to get an actual ride in. If you don’t have the right bicycle commuter gear, we’ve got your back.
  4. Mix up your training. The Long Slow Distance (LSD) ride has been shown to do wonders for weight loss, but we don’t always have time to log enough of those moderate intensity fat-burning miles. Interval training is a fantastic way to get in a quality workout in less time.  Try to mix in a few high intensity intervals when you go out for your next ride and don’t be afraid of the hills.
  5. Wait, lycra is not just for aerodynamics? It is incredibly hard to lie to yourself about your fitness when you’re standing in front of the mirror in a bike kit.  Make sure to get a cycling jersey and some cycling shorts that fit properly and keep you honest about those extra pounds you put on during your last vacation. Being fit and wearing a cycling kit is the closest a lot of us ever come to being a superhero so live it up!
  6. Hit the trails. Take out your mountain bike every once in a while to get a true full body workout. There is nothing like dodging rocks, jumping over roots, and burning your lungs up climbs to teach your body who’s boss. Not to mention, you’ll be so distracted by how much fun you’re having that you won’t even notice the 600+ calories you’re burning per hour.
  7. Train with real food. Gels and chews are great when you’re looking for that quick carbohydrate boost during a race or high intensity ride but may not be necessary for your average training ride, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. If you’re looking for healthier, more natural options for your workout sustenance, the Feed Zone Portables Cookbook teaches you 75 new recipes that can be wrapped up and taken with you on a ride. Eating enough during your ride is pivotal to keep your body burning fat instead of muscle and preventing the post-ride binge.
  8. Stick to a sensible diet. This is important whether you ride a bike or not. Try to cut out or limit the amount of alcohol, soft drinks, sweets, and deep fried and fatty foods you consume while upping the amount of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, and whole grains in your diet. If you need recipe ideas for everyday meals, Skratch Labs comes to the rescue again with the Feed Zone Cookbook.

    Fluid Trainer

    The trainer is your friend.

  9. Ride the trainer! If you can’t get a real road ride in throughout the day, the trainer is your very best friend. The trainer is great because there’s not as much preparation involved, you can complete a quality workout in less time and you can do so in the comfort of your own home. At the end of the day, it helps take away excuses so you can get those legs moving.
  10. Set a long term goal and map out how you are going to get there. Whether you ride five days a week for an hour, commute to work three days a week or spin in front of the TV during your favorite show, make a plan and stick to it. This will allow you to make working out a priority instead of moving things around to squeeze in a ride.