Cycling used to be one of those fun things we used to do to relax and have a good time. But then came the knowledge of it actually being super beneficial for weight loss, tightening of thigh muscles and our overall physique, so then is when we got really interested in how to use it more for our benefit!
After doing an extensive research on the topic and talking to some of the best fitness experts, we are giving you a sum up of super informative facts that will help you cycle yourself thin!
Understand the mutual-correlation of fitness and nutrition
One won’t work without the other or even if it does the results will be short-term. Once people start cycling for figure not general relaxation they start overeating, thinking cycling will neutralize all the calorie intake. Wrong! For the weight loss to have effect your nutrition needs to be healthy and balanced with a lot of veggies, fruits and water involved and all sorts of sweets and processed sugars eliminated from your diet. Observe cycling as an extra, fun nudge in the right direction – not the means, per se.
Nothing kick-starts your metabolism like a big, healthy breakfast; many make the mistake of going on their cycling spree without eating a breakfast first, thinking an empty stomach (i.e. no calorie intake for the morning) will burn more calories but the truth is – the body holds on to its fat stores instead of burning them if its not properly fed. “Starving the body of food causes the metabolic process in the body to save what it might need for a later date, and in most cases this means fat—just the thing you want to lose the most”, says fitness expert Roy Smith from CycleCircle.
Forget about layers
True, layers of clothes will get you sweating more and you may even notice a drop in the pounds, but losing weight by dehydration is not good, especially for cyclists. In mild temperatures, take the leg warmers and your jacket off and keep the body hydrated. The key to burning calories is proper fluid intake, so make sure your water bottle is always full.
Forget about dietary supplements
The market is full of “efficient” supplement offers that will help you lose weight “quickly, while still enjoying all of your favorite meals”. Wrong! If they work, these supplements are a quick-fix solution for a long-term issue. Instead of swallowing a citrus-made body slimming pill, drink a few glasses of freshly squeezed lemonade with no sugar; instead of relying on grapefruit supplement, eat an organic grapefruit… you get the drill.
Introduce (more) vegetables and lean protein in your diet
“Vegetables and lean protein like chicken or fish should be a staple of any good cyclist’s diet”, advises MD Reed with Reed Nutrition. Try getting most of your vitamins and protein from food as they are definitely a better option than supplements. Eliminate bread (especially white-flour bread) from your nutrition and limit your portions (replace a large plate with a small, desert one and make it your regular portion).
Eat more often on the bike
Whether you are cycling at the gym or you’ve embraced cycling outdoors (hint: if you are a fan of the cycling adventures outdoors, we highly recommend you try out eurocycles – they are amazing, affordable and protective of the environment!), having a snack while cycling has proven super efficient for weight loss, especially on long rides.
Save the hard efforts for last
“Post-exercise oxygen consumption can trigger the burning of fat stores”, explain studies; do a few hard efforts right before you finish to kick your body into overdrive after a long or easy ride and that way you’ll have your body consuming oxygen even after you’re finished with your workout and the fat will consequently continue to burn.
For all of you eager cyclists all of the above insights should be a great starter, so – paddle away!