Cycling can burn calories at a rate of 400-750 calories an hour, depending on the weight of the rider, speed and type of cycling you’re doing, so can aid weight loss.
If cycling is your main exercise for weight loss you have to ensure you are calorie deficit, that means that the total calories consumed to allow you to ride are less than the calories burnt during the ride. Why am I saying this? Well, its too easy to eat too much and not see the expected benefits. Let’s look at an example.
I recently joined a Pack beginners ride on Zwift, my Strava details for it can be found here https://www.strava.com/activities/3594367340
Strava shows I burnt 407 calories during the 1 hour ride. Whoop Whoop, I’m shedding those pounds….
But what extra calories did I consume to allow me to complete the ride?
- Slightly bigger meal before ride 100 calories
- Banana during ride 105 calories
- Energy drink during ride 146 calories
- Protein shake post ride 265 calories
That is a total of 616 calories….. Hold on, I had to consume 209 calories more than I burnt to be able to do the ride. Now i’m putting on weight….
In reality I ate a banana during the ride, only drank water and didn’t need a protein shake on a recovery ride so was in 302 calorie deficit.
This example shows how important it is to consider your nutrition to ensure you are in calorie deficit if your aim is weight loss. The image shows that I’ve lost over 1 stone during the last year, I’ve achieved this through considering nutrition on rides. I have to ride more than 50 miles to justify a cake stop!!!