Cycling is incorporated in several workout regimes today. People swear by cycling as a great way of losing overall body weight. But the main question here is – Is cycling good for weight loss on the stomach?
To save you from any disappointment, YES! Cycling is an excellent way of burning calories and thus aids in losing weight on the stomach. If you want to know more about how you can lose those belly weight only by cycling, you may continue reading this article.
Does Bike Riding Burn Belly Fat?
I personally enjoy cycling. Cycling amidst nature’s beauty, enjoying the cool breeze with the added benefit of losing weight and staying fit? Who wouldn’t want that? It’s been a year since I incorporated cycling into my daily routine, and I have seen some great changes in my body.
My endurance level has increased dramatically from before I started. Also, it has helped a great deal with my posture, but that might be a side benefit. However, cycling, along with maintaining a healthy diet, has truly helped me burn those long-due to go belly fat.
So, if you were wondering if cycling does burn belly fat, then trust me when I say it can. But you need to do the right things to make it work!
Here are some of the best cycling methods to lose weight on the stomach:
Pace Yourself with HIIT
No doubt, your stomach muscles do not stretch as much as it does during glutes or quads while cycling. However, cycling is a kind of aerobic exercise, which means you are burning off fat while you cycle. The first method to get started with burning stomach fat is just to start biking, but make sure you start at a moderately intensive pace.
Most cycling coaches recommend sticking to the 80/20 rule when it comes to intensity. This means you need to work out 80% of the time at a lower intensity and the other 20% of the time at medium to high intensity. Cycling like this is an excellent way of maintaining your energy when it’s time to cycle at harder intensities.
To make it easy to pace yourself, try leaving home early and cycling to work or around your community for a few days. While doing so, incorporate the 80/20 method of HIIT while cycling, and overtime, you will see how effective it is in burning fats and calories. With time, your fitness and endurance level will increase, you’ll burn calories and cut belly fat.
Cycling on an empty stomach is another effective method to lose weight belly fat. This method is often referred to as fasted cycling and has produced impressive results for many persons. However, although this method provides great benefits, it also has some negatives attached to it, such as being hard to stick to and tiring. So, try not to do this every day.
So, one may ask, what is Fasted Cycling? It is doing your regular cycling on an empty stomach. I always recommend an 8-hour window interval between when you last ate something to the time you plan to start fasted cycling. You can drink a cup of water or coffee before starting if you need to.
Also, if you’re planning to ride for a long time, you can carry some high energy foods with you to eat along the way.
Remember, the goal is to start on an empty stomach and not to starve yourself. After cycling for about two hours on an empty stomach, you can eat.
Also, don’t rush. Go steady at low intensity. And remember that when you cycle on an empty stomach, due to low glycogen levels, your body will burn more fat as fuel. So stay focused and push through it regardless of how hard it may seem at first.
Another way to lose belly fat is by doing exercises off the bike. You always want to incorporate different practices in your routine not only to lose belly fat but also to target other areas of your body.
To improve your endurance level and strength, what you do when you’re not cycling also plays an important role. The more you exercise, the more your fitness level increases. The more your fitness level increases, the more cycling you can do. And the more cycling you do, the more fat you can burn off your stomach.
Instead of just doing sit-ups and stomach crunches, we also recommend you to do some aerobic muscle exercise. One popular off-bike exercise that aids while you cycle is the “lying down bicycle” exercise. You can also do some planks, Pilates, yoga, Zumba, etc. All these exercises prove beneficial for cyclists and strengthen your core.
Commuting to Work
Short bike trips like commuting to work regularly can also burn some levels of calories over time. Even if it does not make a huge difference, commuting to work periodically will keep you fit by improving your BMI. By reducing your BMI, you will, in turn, lose plenty of hidden body fats.
Any workout regime, including cycling, will not give you the best results if you don’t eat right. Avoid eating foods like cheese, sugary sweets, butter, etc. since these have high saturated fat content.
Also, try not to consume anything with the label “Low fat.” Most of these have high sugar content and thus are rich in calories. Make sure you do a quick ingredient check before consuming such foods. Moreover, you should avoid alcoholic beverages and salty foods as well.
Instead, you should add more foods that are rich in lean protein. Foods such as eggs, leafy greens, lean beef and chicken, beans, potatoes, and salmon will undoubtedly help a great deal in losing weight on the stomach.
Get proper rest
While cycling is essential for weight loss. It is just as vital to get adequate rest and sleep after cycling. Many studies have shown that you are most likely to gain excess weight if you are sleep deprived.
So, after a long day of cycling and burning those calories, make sure to get a good rest.
Here are some more tips to keep in mind when cycling
Get the right bike fit
Riding a bike that fits well will automatically give you a better and more efficient experience. It will also keep you away from unwanted fatigue and soreness. Besides, it’ll help you better your posture.
Never ride with headphones on
This does not need much explanation as we all know how extremely dangerous this can be. Whether you are riding on a busy road or not, we do not recommend you to put on headphones while cycling. Be fully aware of your surroundings.
Put on a helmet
Again, this needs no further explanation. This is the first and foremost step to be safe while cycling. Never get on your bike without a helmet.
Change your position while cycling
Cycling in the same position for an extended period will make your arms and body ache. By “changing your riding position,” we do not mean to say to change your entire sitting posture. You can simply move around your hands on the handlebars or shift your grip. Or, you can stand up to pedal every few minutes and try to do HIIT while cycling.
How long should I cycle to lose belly weight?
The answer to this question is quite tricky. If you follow the tips mentioned above and tricks, then cycling for about 6-10 miles per day will prove beneficial to losing belly fat quickly.
However, if you are just cycling for leisure and pedalling easy, even an hour of easy pedalling won’t make any difference.
Which bicycle is best for weight loss?
There is no such bicycle mainly meant for weight loss. It depends entirely on you and how you ride it. But when it comes to ease and comfort, you might want to check out road bikes, mountain bikes, or a hybrid bike.
How can we cycle safely?
Whether you are out for a 30 minutes ride or out for a long two-hour ride, never forget to put on your helmet as that’s the number one way to stay safe. If you’re going to be out for long, carry enough water and food. Also, apply lots of sunscreens to protect yourself from the harmful sun rays.
Additionally, you could install side mirrors, bells or horns, headlights, and backlights.
Losing fat from your stomach through cycling isn’t hard. You just need to be consistent, follow the tips in this article, and try to stay safe while riding. Losing weight takes time, but with enough effort, it can be done quickly. However, you must always take a break from exercising whenever you feel your body needs rest.
Also, do not compare your weight loss journey to someone else’s. Every human body works differently. So, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the results as quickly. Motivate yourself every single day towards your goal.
It is not a one-day to success trick. But slowly, with consistency and determination, you will achieve your desired weight loss goal.