I started riding a bike in March of 2013 and 3,500 miles last year (most of the miles was May – September). During the year I was able to lose 40 pounds but, I gained several pounds back between October and December (ate the same and didn’t get as much exercise). Since the first of the year I have been faithful to spin 5 days a week and get some other form of exercise on one of the remaining two days. Consequently, I have able to lose the weight I gained plus another 10. Now that it is getting warmer and the time is changing I will move outside and discontinue the spin classes.
Since I have another 50 pounds to lose to reach my goal weight I want to get the most out of my efforts while on the bike. Depending on which bike I ride and the wind, I average 15 – 17 mph over 50 miles on my hybrid and 17 – 19 mph over 50 miles on my road bike. My fitness level and time availability is such that I can ride 50 miles several days in a row but, I was wondering if I would be better off, weight loss wise, if I did more interval training rather long rides.
I would like to solicit the advice from some of the experts on this forum.
FYI – I am planning on doing a 30 minute HIIT class on two mornings a week once I move outside.
Weekly mileage takes off weight. If you substitute intervals, you'll reduce your weekly mileage since you'll need to recover. Most riders try to lose weight during their base period, when they ride long moderate miles. Once intensity season starts, one also has to fuel that intensity so there's a tendency for weight loss to cease. My advice is to not worry about intensity and just log the miles. If you're riding 200-250 miles/week, you'll be as strong as most folks who concentrate on intervals: most of them do that because they don't have the time for 250 miles/week.
CFB nailed it. Just keep at it.
If you want to lose weight, you probably need to reduce snacking and get used to going to bed just a tick hungry. If it were me, I'd be less prone to adding HIIT and more likely to add a day or 2 of weights per week. Adding intervals will likely increase your cortisol, which will make leaning out more difficult. Lifting weights will probably add a little muscle which will raise your resting metabolism and give you a better hormone profile (lifting heavy stuff tends to increase testosterone). Also, make sure you get plenty of _good_ sleep (this a bigger deal than you think). Good luck!