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Can bike riding help lose weight?

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Can bike riding help lose weight?

Old 03-29-21, 08:59 AM
  #26  
MRT2
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
I started cycling in the fall of 2013, at the time I weighed I believe 215lbs and by cycling (and of course cutting back portions and what not) I got down to 155 in a few months. Without cycling to facilitate I don't think I would have lost so much so quickly. I'm currently around 160 and I train pretty seriously, and I credit cycling for being able to sustain a healthier weight.

One thing I like to note when it comes to cycling/weight loss type topics is that the amount of calorie burn the average newer cyclist *thinks* they're burning during a ride is likely to be far less in reality. As an example, I, a pretty well trained amateur, burn about 700 calories/hr at an endurance pace. A newer person might be half of that, so I think people eat because they think they burned a lot, but really the key is to realize that beginner rides aren't going to make a big dent in creating a caloric deficit. So cycling can help if you do it properly, either working to increase intensity in workouts or increasing duration. Really both need to be done eventually, I think. But that's my experience.
That sounds about right. Every person will be a little different. But if you can ride and carry out a conversation easily, you are working at a very leisurely pace. not that you should turn your nose us at an extra 300 or 400 calories burned, but it takes a 3500 calories burned to lose a pound. My guess was about 500 calories burned for an hour of moderate intensity riding for an average person. That is riding intense enough to work up a sweat, and you can talk if you need to but probably can't carry on a conversation without gasping for air from time to time. So, ride an hour a day, every day, and DON'T eat back the calories you burn, and you should be able to burn off 1 lb a week.
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Old 03-29-21, 08:59 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
90% of cyclists that I see are slightly overweight in their belly area...They have an overall skinny appearance ,except that they have extra fat in their belly area. That right there tells me that cycling is not enough to loose fat. Sure cycling can make you loose weight but most of that weight loss will be muscle tissue and water weight, to burn fat you need to do more than just cycling.
But if you ride the hated recumbents, you are expected to have an "aero" belly. A beard is optional.
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Old 03-29-21, 09:03 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Just be careful with those "well-earned" brownie sundaes after a long day's ride.
Yeah. I forgot to mention that for a period during the cross country leg of my nearly 4 month tour I actually gained fat weight in the midwest. We went west to east, and I was still eating like I was riding in the mountains when I wasn't. Also, a few of us would often eat second breakfasts. In the midwest, portion sizes were larger. I dropped the added weight once we hit the hills of NY and New England.
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Old 03-29-21, 09:15 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
That sounds about right. Every person will be a little different. But if you can ride and carry out a conversation easily, you are working at a very leisurely pace. not that you should turn your nose us at an extra 300 or 400 calories burned, but it takes a 3500 calories burned to lose a pound. My guess was about 500 calories burned for an hour of moderate intensity riding for an average person. That is riding intense enough to work up a sweat, and you can talk if you need to but probably can't carry on a conversation without gasping for air from time to time. So, ride an hour a day, every day, and DON'T eat back the calories you burn, and you should be able to burn off 1 lb a week.
I bolded the part of the quote that is super important. People get into this thought process of depending on massive amounts of motion to maintain weight. NO. Some amount of exercise and movement is totally necessary to be healthy. But one does not need to be a Tour de France rider to hold a good weight. After a point, people need to recalibrate what portions and daily food allotment really looks like. And you can't recalibrate instant overnight. I'd say you need to taper so you don't yoyo diet. Long term patterns and habits. Smaller attainable goals that increment over time.

I've gotten into the argument with more than one person before that thought they HAD to ride tons of hours a week to stay at a weight. No. Likely intake is too high.

I added some "Covid sympathy" weight with drinking in 2020. I stopped the excess alcohol each night and cut it to two nights a week and voila........10lbs off with about the same volume of riding the bike. Now I added some actual food for now to slow the loss a bit, but still stopped the drinking.

Anybody into this, I recommend a body composition scale with a phone app. Weigh daily, but don't necessarily "look" at the scale each day. Review your progress weekly or so on the app. Tape over the display on the scale itself if you must. I like this as weight is more than just "mass" but also fat, bone, muscle. If you lose but lose only muscle.........no good.

Weight varies too much day to day to look at only weight. I notice most when I'm low on glycogen versus fully topped up and rested. So, the long term fat/muscle/bone trend I like having as it's the stuff that matters.
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Old 03-29-21, 11:16 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Yeah. I forgot to mention that for a period during the cross country leg of my nearly 4 month tour I actually gained fat weight in the midwest. We went west to east, and I was still eating like I was riding in the mountains when I wasn't. Also, a few of us would often eat second breakfasts. In the midwest, portion sizes were larger. I dropped the added weight once we hit the hills of NY and New England.
Yummmmm, second breakfast. Second best reason for a bike tour!
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Old 03-29-21, 11:35 AM
  #31  
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the health gains of weight loss is contingent upon diet, exercise, & overall health. To gain the benefit of loosing lbs, all areas should be considered.
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Old 03-29-21, 11:38 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Yes. Cycling helped me lose 90 lbs. in nine months.
But eating an entire pizza after a relatively tame ride probably wonít help with weight loss. See what Iím getting at?
That eating an entire pizza helps overcome the sadness brought on by a tame ride?
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Old 03-29-21, 11:41 AM
  #33  
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Reading the posts, here, and elsewhere, in BF, the answer is "yes." As people get more involved in cycling they often become obsessive about weight and buy successive frames and components to make their bike weigh less.
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Old 03-29-21, 11:41 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Not so at all in my case. After about 3 months into the cycling season I lose 10 to 15 pounds.
Yeah, but what about the bed sores?
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Old 03-29-21, 11:47 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Only if you eat less than you burn.
Sometimes the simplest answer is the best answer.
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Old 03-31-21, 09:08 AM
  #36  
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What I have noticed is that come spring riding I loose the winter fat and weight down to a point. Then I stop loosing because of the increase in muscle weight.
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Old 03-31-21, 10:20 AM
  #37  
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I lost 70 lbs through dieting/calorie counting about 10 years ago, no fad diet, walked a few miles a day, nothing gimmicky. After I've maintained that weight for a long time, I've slowly fluctuated back up a few pounds over the years. I go through a pattern where I gain some weight back during winter, and then lose it back during summer when I'm exercising more. I happened to go a bit overboard last year during lockdown in the gaining and am in the beginning stages of another weight loss session now. I should be back to my ideal weight by late June or early July.

Losing weight is usually pretty simple(aside from Thyroid/hormone issues that may throw off metabolism) and shouldn't be done through fad diets, you need to do it through a method that's maintainable. I estimate or count calories I take in, make sure I'm under my limit to maintain my weight. I usually, aim for 150-300 Calories per day less than the Calories it takes me to maintain the weight. The calories it takes you to maintain your current weight depends on your metabolism, weight, height, muscle mass, etc. Easiest way to figure that out is by watching your weight and counting your calories for a month.

For example, if you kept at a strict 2000 Calories per day and lost a pound or two over a month, you can probably assume 2100 Calories/day is likely where you need to be to maintain your weight. In that case, if you aim for 1800-1900 Calories/day, most people will likely lose around 1lb per week, which is a healthy rate to lose your weight. If you're losing more than 2lb per week, you should up your Caloric intake so you don't pass out or have other health issues come up from sudden weight loss.

Using the same example, if you go for a bike ride and you use 1000 Calories during that ride, you can eat 2800 Calories that day and still lose weight. Simple.
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Old 03-31-21, 10:47 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by EliasGoodman View Post
Hi everybody,
cycling can lose weight or not?
Yes. I shrunk over 60 pounds cycling.

My friend cycled daily around the area where she lived but did not seem to notice the weight loss but also tended to increase slowly. Do not know where the problem lies? Can someone point me out the problem?
Thank you very much for your interest in my matter.
She's eating too much or cycling too little, noting that relaxed cycling can use just 300 calories per hour.
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Old 03-31-21, 11:13 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by EliasGoodman View Post
Hi everybody,
cycling can lose weight or not? My friend cycled daily around the area where she lived but did not seem to notice the weight loss but also tended to increase slowly. Do not know where the problem lies? Can someone point me out the problem?
Thank you very much for your interest in my matter.
yes. riding and eating less can help you lose weight
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Old 03-31-21, 02:47 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Yummmmm, second breakfast. Second best reason for a bike tour!
... but what about Elevenzies?
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Old 03-31-21, 03:08 PM
  #41  
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From Dec '19 to June '20, I lost 40 lbs. during a program of reduced calories intake (portion control, mostly) and regular (3-4x per week) cycling. Although I have continued to ride about the same amount, my weight has stagnated because I've relaxed the intake limitations part of the equation. In the last part of '20, I put 5 lbs back on because I relaxed those limitations a bit too much. I'm currently a couple lbs below my June '20 weight - again - due to intake limitation.

Last edited by Eric F; 03-31-21 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 03-31-21, 03:46 PM
  #42  
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Even spinning at home i lost weight(atleast orange zone). 7lbs since February.

But if you just coast, it will take very long to lose weight, maybe even gain weight.

If your friend doesnt have a heart rate monitor to gauge intensity, my ma used to tell me, "ya gotta sweat." That would be good indication.




​​

​​

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Old 03-31-21, 03:59 PM
  #43  
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Christmas 2019 I was darn near 300 pounds. Today I weighed in at 198 pounds. Counting and recording every calorie (MyFitnessPal) and walking when my FitBit told me to is how I started. Up and down the stairs as recommended by the FitBit. Eventually I was riding a hybrid bike, 5 miles, 10 miles up to about 25 miles. Upgraded to a road bike and now I ride 40 to 60 mile rides on my days off. Exercises upgraded to dumbbell weight lifting. I feel great. I bought a mountain bike last week. My wife pulled into the drive the other evening while I was practicing wheelies on the MTB, she said it looks funny to see a 60 year old man playing with his bike.

I gotta say, I feel great.


edit: late last summer I bought an elliptical trainer. With winter approaching I needed another exercise option. During the winter I hit that 45 minutes everyday. Now that I can ride outside, just 30 minutes in the morning to get me loosened up.

Last edited by Hit Factor; 03-31-21 at 04:43 PM. Reason: added elliptical
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Old 03-31-21, 04:33 PM
  #44  
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There are some riders who gain weight while competing in the Tour de France, which shows that it's possible to eat more than one can burn even at the most extreme end of endurance cycling.

On the other hand, I lost 10 lbs and my BMI fell under 20 after half a year of bike commuting 2-3 times a week plus a longer weekend ride, because I simply didn't adjust my diet to eat much more until I noticed myself getting a bit less mentally sharp.

During the pandemic, I've not commuted and have gone outside far less for any reasons, but have continued to ride often indoors and have not gained any weight despite having a diet that still includes pre-pandemic levels of dessert and booze. If I don't ride as much for a while, I'll have to eat less or gain weight.

Long endurance rides can be used to train one's body to use fat as a fuel source. Fat-adapted cyclists will naturally notice less need for calories if their bodies tap into existing fat stores. But one won't get such adaptation without forcing the body to produce energy beyond what is easily tapped (glycogen store) or replenished by carbs during activities.
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Old 03-31-21, 04:49 PM
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it takes a while to become aware of how much to ride and how much to eat. As well as what to eat. Everyone is different
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Old 03-31-21, 05:44 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by EliasGoodman View Post
Hi everybody,
cycling can lose weight or not? My friend cycled daily around the area where she lived but did not seem to notice the weight loss but also tended to increase slowly. Do not know where the problem lies? Can someone point me out the problem?
Thank you very much for your interest in my matter.
Ketosis.
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Old 03-31-21, 06:26 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
Ketosis.
I don't understand how ketosis could be a/the problem?

?
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Old 03-31-21, 07:45 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Bearhawker View Post
I don't understand how ketosis could be a/the problem?

?
Eat carbs makes you fat.
Go into ketosis to train your body that fat is fuel. Then your body burns your own fat.

So the above is the answer to ďI work out but Iím fatter than ever.Ē
If you didnít gain weight by working your core till muscle failure (gain muscle mass) youíre probably diabetic or prediabetic and ketosis is your health answer.
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Old 03-31-21, 07:57 PM
  #49  
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Eating carbs doesn't make you fat. More calories in than calories out makes you fat.

Your body doesn't need to be trained that fat is a fuel. It already knows this. Bike at a moderate pace and about 1/2 the energy used will come from fat and the other 1/2 from carbohydrates. Eat carbohydrates and your body will replenish the depleted glycogen and not turn those carbohydrates into adipose tissue. Do this long enough and you lose weight.

On the other hand, ketosis is a recipe for inadequately fueling your body for high energy aerobic work.
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Old 03-31-21, 08:27 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by EliasGoodman View Post
Hi everybody,
cycling can lose weight or not? My friend cycled daily around the area where she lived but did not seem to notice the weight loss but also tended to increase slowly. Do not know where the problem lies? Can someone point me out the problem?
Thank you very much for your interest in my matter.
Why do people ask this?

Weight gain / loss is pretty simple: If you have a calorie deficit, you lose weight. If you have a calorie surplus, you gain weight. A pound of flesh is about 3500 calories. So if you create a 3500 calorie deficit, you lose a pound.

Most people in the "Gosh, I need to lose weight." category aren't up to the feat of burning 3500 calories in one day, above and beyond the number of calories they consume in a day. But it is not unreasonable to burn an extra 3500 calories in a week if they're riding 5x/week. That would require enough riding to create a 700 calorie deficit every day for five days of the week. But a deficit means also not increasing intake. That's hard to do. It's really easy to say "I rode for 45 minutes, so that hamburger is fine." But the hamburger is going to add more calories than were consumed on the day's ride.

When I was in weight loss mode, I made it a point to create a 3500 calorie deficit per week. So if I had a bad day where I ate too much, or a day where I didn't ride enough, I could make it up the next day so long as at the end of the week I lost a pound.

Ok, I lost more than a pound a week because once I got into the habit my rides got longer, I burned more, and I was more vigilant about eating healthily. I ended up losing 30 pounds in about 25 weeks.

But really the math is simple. Target a calorie deficit every week. Target a calorie deficit of 3500 calories if you want to lose a pound a week. This can be achieved through reduction in consumption, or increase in activity. Cycling is a great way to increase activity. But it's not going to lead to weight loss if you increase your consumption as much or more than the calorie benefit of the rides.

"Ooh, I rode 30 minutes, so now it's ok to have a couple extra beers and a slice of cheesecake after my steak dinner." Nope, you just gained a pound.
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