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Cycling and Fat loss

Old 07-10-19, 02:43 AM
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Cycling and Fat loss

Hi to all, I am a 16 year old and although I do have a good physical shape I would just like to ask if cycling can help with loosing belly/waist fat. I also do upper body/back/core training aswell but Im just looking for an answer if cycling can effectively help with excess fat loss around those areas.
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Old 07-10-19, 03:03 AM
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Yes. as long as you don't overeat.
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Old 07-10-19, 04:17 AM
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Thank you, I will keep that in mind.
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Old 07-10-19, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by EuanTait View Post
Hi to all, I am a 16 year old and although I do have a good physical shape I would just like to ask if cycling can help with loosing belly/waist fat. I also do upper body/back/core training aswell but Im just looking for an answer if cycling can effectively help with excess fat loss around those areas.
Cycling, being a low-impact cardio exercise, is an excellent way to lose body fat, in general. But (as you you seem to be asking about) , you can't target specific area for fat reduction (as with sit-ups, for example). Unfortunately, it just don't work that way.
Oddly, the body seems able to put it on in selective areas,(particularly belly,butt,thighs, depending on the individual's genetics) but you can't really reduce it the same way (to any meaningful degree, anyway.)
You're body is going to reduce fat, however it's programed to do it, all you can really do is keep exercising and eating properly till you get where you want to be.
A big positive you have going for you, is your age. You should have the energy to do enough exercise, and you're young enough that your body isn't desperately trying to hang onto any fat it has ( both issues us guys in our 50's have to deal with ! )
So (if you haven't already) completely drop the Cokes, candy, chips, high calorie junk food, etc., and drink nothing but water, and keep hitting the gym and the bike, and at your age, you should be able to lose fat very easily and quickly.

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Old 07-10-19, 05:06 AM
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I read an article by a woman triathlete who was trying to lose that type of weight. She was calorie conscious and regularly training but couldn't get rid of it. The article referenced a study that used 2 groups of women. One group did 45 minutes of high resistance training and the other did 20 minutes of interval training. The study measured HGH levels and found them elevated in the interval group.
The interval training group lost more weight overall. I will say that it supposedly had to do with fast twitch muscle as opposed to slow twitch muscle. I will say supposedly because that is a source of controversy.
I will try to find that article as I found it quite interesting.

ETA a couple of interesting links. Lots out there. Although I believe that a strong base is desired which comes by time in the saddle, intervals and hill repeats have a great benefit.

4 weeks of high-intensity interval training does not alter the exercise-induced growth hormone response in sedentary men
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4363223/

11 Research-Backed Reasons You Should Be Doing HIIT Instead of Traditional Cardio
https://www.trainforeverstrong.com/1...tional-cardio/

Last edited by bakerjw; 07-10-19 at 05:13 AM. Reason: Add some links
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Old 07-10-19, 05:12 AM
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The easiest mistake to make is to assume because you work out a bit, you can also eat a bit more. It's going to depend on how much you exercise generally and how you balance your calories. Probably good thing also to do some resistance training to build some muscle and encourage bone strength.
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Old 07-10-19, 05:15 AM
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Any exercise can help you lose weight, if the exercise causes you to burn more calories than you eat. If you do that, and eat a balanced diet, you will lose weight - both by reducing fat and muscle. Resistance training can help build up muscle while you are doing this, so that your muscles get bigger while your fat cells get smaller.

Cycling is great resistance training for your legs and glutes (rear end), have some benefit for your abs - but there are some exercises (like planks) that are really good to do on days your not riding to improve core strength. Google "core exercises for cyclists" and you will find lots of suggestions.
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Old 07-10-19, 06:19 AM
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Bikes are a bit "too" efficient, it doesn't burn a lot of calories when riding at a moderate pace.

A good rule of thumb is around 20-25 calories per mile, often closer to 20. (Long climbs and pushing a fast pace burns more of course.) So a 30 mile ride might only be 600 calories.

~~~
I would come home from a fairly fast group ride and eat a lot of food, I was hungry and tired. It's likely that was a net calorie gain!

A long, steady easy effort ("Zone 2" heart rate) can be good. It's a pace where you can recite the whole alphabet in one breath, where your breathing is easy. A longer ride at this pace can help your body to burn fat reserves instead of carbs, and I'm often not overly hungry afterwards.

A hard ride, with intervals of full effort mixed with easier recovery riding, is good for boosting your cycling muscles. Maybe once a week.
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Old 07-10-19, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bakerjw View Post
I read an article by a woman triathlete who was trying to lose that type of weight. She was calorie conscious and regularly training but couldn't get rid of it. The article referenced a study that used 2 groups of women. One group did 45 minutes of high resistance training and the other did 20 minutes of interval training. The study measured HGH levels and found them elevated in the interval group.
The interval training group lost more weight overall. I will say that it supposedly had to do with fast twitch muscle as opposed to slow twitch muscle. I will say supposedly because that is a source of controversy.
I will try to find that article as I found it quite interesting.

ETA a couple of interesting links. Lots out there. Although I believe that a strong base is desired which comes by time in the saddle, intervals and hill repeats have a great benefit.

4 weeks of high-intensity interval training does not alter the exercise-induced growth hormone response in sedentary men
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4363223/

11 Research-Backed Reasons You Should Be Doing HIIT Instead of Traditional Cardio
https://www.trainforeverstrong.com/1...tional-cardio/


That second link is a sales pitch, and I know that some of the research it cites has not held up to later studies. Also, it's contradicted somewhat by your first link.

The "boost metabolism" claims that are being made for HIIT are wildly overstated to market HIIT as a 30 minute a day weight loss program. It's only about a 250 calorie bump per day from a half hour of traditional cardio, and doing HIIT every day is not recommended for sound medical reasons.

For me, the advantage of biking over other workouts is that biking is fun, therefore I can do more of it. I find that the more I ride around, the more likely it is that I will just end up places I really WANT to ride fast, and that's sufficient to push up the calorie burn.


There's no miracle here, doing anything for only 20 minutes a day is really not going to burn much fat.
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Old 07-10-19, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Bikes are a bit "too" efficient, it doesn't burn a lot of calories when riding at a moderate pace.

A good rule of thumb is around 20-25 calories per mile, often closer to 20. (Long climbs and pushing a fast pace burns more of course.) So a 30 mile ride might only be 600 calories.

~~~
I would come home from a fairly fast group ride and eat a lot of food, I was hungry and tired. It's likely that was a net calorie gain!

A long, steady easy effort ("Zone 2" heart rate) can be good. It's a pace where you can recite the whole alphabet in one breath, where your breathing is easy. A longer ride at this pace can help your body to burn fat reserves instead of carbs, and I'm often not overly hungry afterwards.

A hard ride, with intervals of full effort mixed with easier recovery riding, is good for boosting your cycling muscles. Maybe once a week.
I'm not a big fan of the "rule of thumb" calorie estimate, but that is by far the lowest per mile figure I've seen. Calorie burn is determined in large part by the weight of the rider and the effort of the ride. It increases a lot with speed, climbs and headwinds.

The weight of the rider increases it mostly because the metabolic needs of a larger person are higher, not primarily because of the extra effort needed to propel the larger mass. That 20-25 calorie figure probably only makes sense for a very small rider and/or a very slow pace (single digit mph).
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Old 07-10-19, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Bikes are a bit "too" efficient, it doesn't burn a lot of calories when riding at a moderate pace.

A good rule of thumb is around 20-25 calories per mile, often closer to 20. (Long climbs and pushing a fast pace burns more of course.) So a 30 mile ride might only be 600 calories.

~~~
I would come home from a fairly fast group ride and eat a lot of food, I was hungry and tired. It's likely that was a net calorie gain!

A long, steady easy effort ("Zone 2" heart rate) can be good. It's a pace where you can recite the whole alphabet in one breath, where your breathing is easy. A longer ride at this pace can help your body to burn fat reserves instead of carbs, and I'm often not overly hungry afterwards.

A hard ride, with intervals of full effort mixed with easier recovery riding, is good for boosting your cycling muscles. Maybe once a week.
A good reason to set goals in whatever your sport is and get stronger.

A person new to riding may only burn 400 KJ in an hour. A low level racer or fast A-group rider might be able to squeeze 800 KJ in an hour.

Multiply a difference of 400 KJ across several workouts per month and that's a lot of extra energy spent!
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Old 07-10-19, 07:13 AM
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Fat loss is mostly due to diet. Consumer fewer calories than you burn and you'll lose weight. Strength training will signal your body that you need to retain/build muscle which will result in a higher % of that weight loss being fat. Cycling, and other aerobic activity is great for your health, and can help burn calories, but doesn't signal as strongly to your body about the need to retain muscle.
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Old 07-10-19, 07:32 AM
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I can't imagine someone burning just 20kcal/mi. Their power output would have to be under 100W. So either very small, or moving very slowly. The only way I can personally dip below 30kcal/mi is to coast-- a lot. Somewhere around 40kcal/mi is typical for me.
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Old 07-10-19, 07:58 AM
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consume fewer calories than you burn

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Old 07-10-19, 08:32 AM
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I quit swilling beer which in Texas is easier said than done I drop weight fast. I wonder if there is a correlation? Diet is the main component but having that calorie burn and increase fitness is better. Both diet and exercise.
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Old 07-10-19, 08:48 AM
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While you canít target fat in specific areas of the body for reduction through exercise and diet, you can target specific muscle groups for strength and definition through exercise. While cycling can improve your core strength with enough dedication, intensity, and repetition there are other exercise modalities that better target the abs. Just search for core strength training.

Also, keep in mind you need to burn approximately 3,000 calories more than you consume to lose one pound of body fat. Body fat is only used when you experience a large enough calorie deficit over an extended period of time.

Good luck!
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Old 07-10-19, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
A good reason to set goals in whatever your sport is and get stronger.

A person new to riding may only burn 400 KJ in an hour. A low level racer or fast A-group rider might be able to squeeze 800 KJ in an hour.

Multiply a difference of 400 KJ across several workouts per month and that's a lot of extra energy spent!
Not just a goal, but a plan to get there.

PS. I originally wrote a comprehensive response but the computer timed-out, backspace shenanigans thing deleted it out.
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Old 07-10-19, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I can't imagine someone burning just 20kcal/mi. Their power output would have to be under 100W. So either very small, or moving very slowly. The only way I can personally dip below 30kcal/mi is to coast-- a lot. Somewhere around 40kcal/mi is typical for me.
I weigh about 75kg and average around 40 Cals/mi commuting to work. Hard rides don't change it much unless there are bigger hills when it can go up above 50.
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Old 07-10-19, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
The easiest mistake to make is to assume because you work out a bit, you can also eat a bit more. It's going to depend on how much you exercise generally and how you balance your calories. Probably good thing also to do some resistance training to build some muscle and encourage bone strength.
Yeah, definitely this.... I lost nearly 70 lbs in a few years (from 245 to 178) through a combination of non-maniacal bike commuting/riding and getting as close to organic/vegan as I can. Gained back nearly 20 lbs from cola and candy habit.... Time to increase one and decrease the other!
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Old 07-10-19, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by EuanTait View Post
Hi to all, I am a 16 year old and although I do have a good physical shape I would just like to ask if cycling can help with loosing belly/waist fat. I also do upper body/back/core training aswell but Im just looking for an answer if cycling can effectively help with excess fat loss around those areas.
Cut out sugar in your diet. Refined sugars. Added sugars. Products that contain sugar. Don't eat fast food. Don't drink sodas. You'll lose the fat pronto.
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Old 07-10-19, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
PS. I originally wrote a comprehensive response but the computer timed-out, backspace shenanigans thing deleted it out.
sometimes I will write off line in MS Word or something, then copy/paste after logging in
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Old 07-10-19, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
Cycling, being a low-impact cardio exercise, is an excellent way to lose body fat, in general. But (as you you seem to be asking about) , you can't target specific area for fat reduction (as with sit-ups, for example). Unfortunately, it just don't work that way.
Oddly, the body seems able to put it on in selective areas,(particularly belly,butt,thighs, depending on the individual's genetics) but you can't really reduce it the same way (to any meaningful degree, anyway.)
You're body is going to reduce fat, however it's programed to do it, all you can really do is keep exercising and eating properly till you get where you want to be.
A big positive you have going for you, is your age. You should have the energy to do enough exercise, and you're young enough that your body isn't desperately trying to hang onto any fat it has ( both issues us guys in our 50's have to deal with ! )
So (if you haven't already) completely drop the Cokes, candy, chips, high calorie junk food, etc., and drink nothing but water, and keep hitting the gym and the bike, and at your age, you should be able to lose fat very easily and quickly.
Thanks for taking the time to educate me on this. I have already cut out the soft drinks, I'm working on my consumption swapping fast food type fats with healthy ones such as Nuts. Im also starting a daily routine with 'at home' exercises such as the plank which I can hold for about 4/5 mins to further aid me. But my biggest issue is motivation and I know I like to put days off to just chill out but I will set a target and work up from there. Once again thank you for taking the time to write me a reply.
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Old 07-10-19, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
The easiest mistake to make is to assume because you work out a bit, you can also eat a bit more. It's going to depend on how much you exercise generally and how you balance your calories. Probably good thing also to do some resistance training to build some muscle and encourage bone strength.
I have watched alot of videos and alot of them mention don't over eatafter a ride. Also im setting myself healthy portions of food regardless of how hungry I am.
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Old 07-10-19, 04:00 PM
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Cycling alone isn't going to get rid of belly fat. You also need to do some full body intense resistance training and clean up your diet. Eat foods which are very high in fibre. Try to fuel your body with complex carbs instead of refined carbs... If you're eating a lot of carbs, then lower your fat intake. If you're eating a lot of fat, then lower your carb intake. Keep your protein intake a little higher. Experiment and see how your body responds to different types of food, and at your young age I would definitely try to build some muscle.
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Old 07-10-19, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by EuanTait View Post
Thanks for taking the time to educate me on this. I have already cut out the soft drinks, I'm working on my consumption swapping fast food type fats with healthy ones such as Nuts. Im also starting a daily routine with 'at home' exercises such as the plank which I can hold for about 4/5 mins to further aid me. But my biggest issue is motivation and I know I like to put days off to just chill out but I will set a target and work up from there. Once again thank you for taking the time to write me a reply.
No problem, glad to help. But, while nuts are definitely healthier to snack on than Doritos, cookies or 'tater chips, they're also surprisingly high in calories (not to mention, expensive as hell, these days).
Take a look at this site, it illustrates how few nuts it takes to get to 100 calories (or to get to a thousand !! )
https://www.thekitchn.com/a-visual-g...-kitchn-201778
If you're lounging around on the couch with a big jar of nuts, you ain't doing your diet any favors !
One of my favorite healthy snacks is sliced sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are one of those "super-foods", and a much better complex carb than regular potatoes,bread,or pasta.
After washing them, I slice several of them about 1/4" thick (maybe a little thicker), then rub them down with olive oil, then liberally sprinkle them with cinnamon (plain, no sugar in it) ,and toss a couple cookie sheets of those into the oven for about an hour.
After they cool, I put them into a couple zip-lock baggies in the fridge, and eat just a few at a time, as it occurs to me that my diet is lacking some complex carbs. They don't go bad quickly, either.
(Toss a few into a teflon pan on the stove, and they're really tasty heated up again, but i usually can't be bothered, and just eat them cold.)
Carrots are another healthy, cheap snack. I'm always surprised at how well a carrot or two will ward off the hungries for a while.
If you have an Aldi's near you, they sell organic spring mix, spinach, and kale, pretty inexpensively (cheaper than wal-mart). I've been eating a jumbo kale/spinach salad, in a bowl about the size of a football, almost everyday for the past year or two. (the more salad-like spring mix is almost mandatory, to help dilute the seaweed/pinestraw taste and texture of the kale and spinach !)
But for rare occasions,I stay away from those high-calorie creamy dressings, and use a low-cal Italian (Wal-mart's house brand Great Value is only 25 cals per serving), or lately, I've been making my own oil & vinegar dressing, and I'm loving that stuff !!!
I almost always toss in a whole Roma tomato, some cucumber, and some broccoli.
BTW, not eating late is a time-honored weight loss technique. Get used to going to bed a little hungry, it helps.

Last edited by Brocephus; 07-10-19 at 05:30 PM.
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