Regardless of whether you are an amateur rider just starting out in the sport or a seasoned pro that is looking to increase their power to weight ratio, it is very likely that you’ll want to lose weight cycling and be lighter and leaner in your lycra.
Losing weight through cycling can be achieved by applying a few simple techniques both on and off the bike, like eating regularly and eating less as well as making what you eat and how you exercise really count.
>>> Benefits of cycling: reasons to get on your bike
However losing weight through cycling can require a great deal of patience, self-control and making the most of your time.
Unless you are already at your optimal racing weight, losing a few extra pounds is the fastest and arguably easiest way to increase your speed, especially if you find yourself climbing up a few hills.
Here are some of our top tips on how to lose weight cycling.
Motivate yourself with an event. Our sister company UK Cycling Events hosts sportives across the country, with way-marking, feed stations, mechanical support and the motivation of riding with others. See the events here.
1. Eat regularly
Sticking to a daily routine of three meals a day, will mean you are less likely to snack and over indulge after missing a big meal.
You can ensure you achieve this by setting out organised weekly meal plans and completing weekly shops.
This also means you steer clear of any temptations when popping into a supermarket every day to pick up an evening meal.
This will also mean you are much more time efficient, giving you extra spare time to ride your bike!
Shop right, eat right, ride right and you could lose weight fast Photo: Chris Catchpole
2. Eat less
This may seem ridiculously obvious, but it is a matter of fact if you want to shift those pounds.
But you can help yourself with a few extra mind tricks, such as serving smaller portions by filling up smaller plates, rather than stuffing down a large plates full of food.
>>> The hidden motor in your head: How mind training can make you ride faster
Remember it takes several minutes for the brain to signal to the stomach that it is full and doesn’t require any more food.
Dehydration can sometimes be misinterpreted for hunger, so if you start to feel a hunger pang during the day sip a glass of water and see if it feels the gap.
3. Limit high fat and high sugar food and drinks
Avoiding high sugar food and drinks as much as possible is key to losing weight
Once again this may seem an obvious point when it comes to weight loss, but in spite of their evident negative nutrition factors.
These foods are also very likely to be highly calorific, and not provide any substantial satisfaction to your hunger cravings.
So instead of munching on that mid-morning chocolate bar swap it out for a piece of fruit and try cooking some healthy recipes.
Or immediately after a ride instead of a fizzy drink to satisfy your sugar craving, sip on a recovery drink to help replenish diminished protein and carbohydrate stores.
This is one of the dangers with losing weight, as it is important to ensure you are burning fat rather than just losing muscle. Ensuring damaged muscle fibres are assisted nutritionally will help you achieve this.
4. Cut down on alcohol consumption
Alcohol is one of the main factors that can contribute to unnecessary weight gain. It is usually a three-pronged attack, with highly calorific alcoholic drinks piling on empty calories.
The alcohol content can also alters your senses on the situation and how much you have actually drunk, which can lead to greater consumption of alcohol itself.
Which can also lead to binge eating which piles on additional calories as well.
All three scenarios are a recipe for easy weight gain.
Over doing it on the booze can be a detrimental factor to you efforts in trying to lose weight
5. Avoid on bike fuelling if it isn’t needed
It may be one of the most appealing things about riding a bike, but when it comes to weight loss it is vital not to over indulge on unnecessary carb consumption unless you really need it.
Any ride less than an hour shouldn’t require you to drink or eat anything other than a bottle of water.
After that you’ll only need around 60-90g of carbohydrates an hour to avoid bonking whilst not over consuming. An easy way to avoid this temptation is to only take the necessary food and drinks out on a ride with you.
6. Make your commute count
You can make your commuting by bike boost your efforts to lose weight
Commuting is often an unavoidable part of day-to-day life, however this everyday routine is the perfect opportunity to boost your weekly mileage.
Whenever you get the chance to hit the road you should make the most of it, because every mile counts. In the summer months heading home a longer way or on a hillier route is a great way to rack up even more miles.