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20 miles is a challenging, but still very realistic target distance for many cyclists per day. Many will do this commuting – cycling 10 miles to work and 10 miles back. How much weight loss can you expect if this was your cycling schedule every day?
It is estimated that you can burn 563 calories every hour by cycling at a speed of 10 miles per hour. You would therefore burn around 1126 calories over the 20 miles. The average person will lose 2 pounds per week if they are in a calorific deficit of 1000 calories per day.
12 miles per hour is quite an achievable speed for most amateur cyclists. If you are cycling more quickly, then you will be burning even more calories.
There are many other factors at play if your goal is to lose weight from cycling 20 miles a day. In this post, I’ll look at:
- Exactly the kinds of weight loss to expect if you cycle 20 miles per day
- The sorts of weight loss to expect with other distances as your target
- 5 ways to optimize your ride for weight loss
- The reasons why cycling is an excellent weight loss option
- The different cycling options available to you
Cycling 20km A Day Weight Loss – What To Expect
In a nutshell, the average cyclist will lose 2 pounds (1kg) per week from cycling 20 miles a day. This is at a relatively slow average speed of 20km per hour.
The average rider would burn somewhere between 450 and 1500 calories per hour while cycling. (Source) More normally, the figure would usually be somewhere between 500 and 900.
This depends on a range of factors, including:
- The intensity of the ride
- The type of terrain you’re cycling on
As an example, let’s take the weight of the average male in the United States – 197 pounds (87 kg). If this man cycled at 10mph they would be burning about 550 calories per hour. This would be 1100 calories over the full 20 miles.
Bear in mind, that 10mph is pretty slow!
However, if they rode at 18mph (pretty fast!), they would burn about 1145 calories an hour, equating to 1172 calories over the full journey.
This highlights a crucial point – speed!
If you go faster, then you burn more calories over the course of the full journey, as well as finishing sooner.
There is a brilliant calculator that you can use to find your own speed here: https://captaincalculator.com/health/calorie/calories-burned-cycling-calculator/
Here is a table that shows you how many calories you can expect to burn when cycling at 12mph for a full hour at different body weights:
|Weight||Calories Burned Over 12 miles||Calories Burned Over 20 miles|
Bike Riding Distance for Weight Loss – How Many Miles Should I Ride?
Biking is not only fun but also a fantastic aerobic exercise that can aid in weight loss, muscle gain, and decreased cardiovascular disease risk. ‘
Experts agree that even only 5 miles (8km) of riding every day can help you get closer to your weight loss target. Because even a modest bike ride such as this will still help you burn somewhere around 250-500 calories.
If you want to speed up the process, riding 10 miles every day will help you reach your goal weight faster. A beginner cyclist will take roughly an hour to ride 10 miles, so keep that in mind if you’re not the type to measure distance.
According to research conducted by Harvard University, a person weighing 155 pounds (70 kilograms) may burn 298 calories in 30 minutes of cycling at a moderate speed of 12 to 14 mph (19 to 22 kilometers per hour).
At a pace of 14-16mph (22.5 to 25.5 kilometers per hour), a person of the same weight will burn 372 calories.
5 Tips to Effectively Utilize Cycling for Weight Loss
The name of the game is optimization!
Along with the goal of riding 20 miles per day, there are lots of little extra things you can do to help weight loss, and get the best out of this routine.
Here are 5 ways to optimize your ride for maximum results…
1. Maintain a Steady Speed When Riding
If you want to lose fat, you need to ride in your first and second training zones.
Riding at a tempo that raises your heart rate to between 68 and 79 percent of your maximum is optimal for fat loss.
You can install this with a heart rate monitor and a bike computer.
If you do not have these, then you should cycle at a pace that causes you to become somewhat out of breath but allows you to continue a conversation. This level of exercise, known as base training, is where you should spend most of your workout time.
While it is still demanding, you won’t be entirely exhausted after every ride. You should aim to spend around an hour a day on it.
2. Utilize Cycling To Commute
If you want to get in shape by riding, one fantastic method to do it is to use your commute. This has been shown to aid in weight loss and is, therefore, a fantastic strategy for keeping active.
Even better, research conducted by the University of East Anglia demonstrated how simple it is, with participants losing an average of 15 pounds (7 kilograms) after switching to bicycling to work.
If you want to lose weight by biking but don’t have a commute, try riding your bike to complete daily errands or just going out for half an hour every morning. You can accelerate your weight loss by creating a calorie deficit while also boosting your workout intensity.
3. Give Yourself the Proper Nutrition
Although a calorie deficit is necessary for weight loss, it is not recommended that you go on a starvation diet when cycling.
Instead, focus on striking the proper balance. Some people can do exercise on an empty stomach, but if you want to get the most out of your ride, it’s best to fuel up on carbs and protein at the correct times.
If you intend on going for a long ride while biking to lose weight, you might want to bring some energy bars or gels with you. These portable sources of fuel will increase your blood sugar and keep you pedaling for longer when you’re doing a lot of riding.
4. Add 2–3 High-Intensity Sessions per Week
By boosting your cardiovascular fitness, high-intensity interval training makes your body more efficient at burning fat.
You can substitute two or three of these rides for your usual ones, or you can add them on top of your regular rides if you’re feeling strong, or you can combine them by doing a high-intensity session at the end of a moderate ride.
You should spend the majority of the workout at 70 to 90 percent of your maximal heart rate or at a pace at which you can’t keep up a conversation.
Interval training is more effective than maintaining a constant pace for the duration of a workout.
5. Integrate HIIT into Your Rides
Finding HIIT workouts that involve cycling may be your best bet when trying to slim down.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of cardiovascular exercise that consists of alternating periods of high intensity and rest. If you’re trying to get in shape via cycling, this is a wonderful way to ramp up the intensity of your workout.
An example workout would be to ride at top speed for 30 seconds, then rest for 10-20 seconds, and repeat for 20-30 minutes.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is fantastic for weight loss by cycling since it burns so many calories and helps you enter that all-important calorie deficit.
This type of cycling is great for weight reduction since it can be done in a variety of settings, and scientific research has shown that high-intensity interval training increases both glucose metabolism and endurance performance.
This video provides a fantastic HIIT fitness training indoor cycling session:
5 Reasons why Cycling is Ideal for Weight Loss
Weight loss efforts are aided by cycling because it burns calories and improves aerobic fitness. Of course, the same can be said for nearly any physical activity, so what makes cycling a superior choice? Read on to find out!
1. Cycling is a Sustainable Activity
When compared to jogging, cross-training, and even walking, cycling is the most sustainable sport, especially for beginners and/or persons carrying a lot of excess weight.
Most of a cyclist’s weight is carried by your bike, making cycling a non-load-bearing form of exercise.
Cycling is also low-impact. In other words, this results in reduced strain on the body’s articulations.
For this reason, many people can ride for much longer than they could with ground-based exercises. That’s crucial for boosting overall energy expenditure and generating a fitness-boosting training stimulus.
2. It Has the Potential to be a Fulfilling Hobby
There are a variety of factors that lead people to stop working out, including financial constraints, lack of free time, and interest in pursuing other activities.
However, the most discouraging is the general lack of drive. Even while many of us still plan to work out more consistently at the beginning of each new year, we seldom stick to these commitments later on.
But why is that?
The explanation is far more straightforward than you might think: we haven’t discovered our ideal schedule yet. If you don’t enjoy your work, it can become a chore and less of a passion project for you.
To keep at it, though, you need to view cycling as more than just a sport; doing so will make you much happier and more committed to the activity.
3. Aerobic Endurance is enhanced by Cycling
Although not specific to cycling, developing aerobic endurance is important for short-term weight loss and long-term weight management. The rate at which fuel is converted into usable energy determines how much work can be done in a given period.
Endurance training – including cycling – boosts the amount of fat and glucose you can burn each hour.
That’s why we put more value on fitness training than on cardio for burning calories. However, if you exercise simply to shed pounds, you won’t be able to burn more fat in the future.
4. Cycling is Repetitive
When engaging in a workout routine, it is essential to allow time for rest and rehabilitation.
However, the necessary recuperation time between exercise sessions is determined by the exercise stress applied by training. So, exercises that are harder on the body need a longer recovery time, which limits the amount of training you can do each week.
As a non-weight-bearing, low-impact sport, cycling allows for large amounts of training with minimal risks of injury.
5. Cycling Boosts Fat-burning
The transport of fatty acids from the body’s fat stores to the working muscles is essential for fat burning.
Bicycle endurance training improves this by elevating protein levels that bind fatty acids and enzymes that transport fat. The objective is to use more oxygen to burn more fat, and that can be done only when you are fitter.
Can You Lose Belly Fat By Riding A Bike?
As an aerobic activity, cycling can help you lose belly fat by creating a caloric deficit and speeding up your body’s natural fat-burning processes.
Getting on a bike and doing some high-intensity interval training is a great way to get rid of that stubborn belly fat.
It enables you to repeatedly raise your heart rate to near its maximum, which stimulates your metabolism, causes you to burn a lot of calories, and helps you become more physically fit.
To maximize fitness gains and allow for proper healing between intense workouts, it is best to incorporate a variety of exercise intensities into your routine. This should be taken into account when planning cycling workouts around your running routine. (Source)
Here’s a fantastic video about the impact of cycling every day to lose body fat:
Different Biking Options for Beginners
Biking offers a wide variety of options, so you may pick the mode that suits you best. Let’s check out some of the most well-liked places to ride a bike, both indoors and outside.
Enjoy the Indoors
Is working out in a gym more your style? Some suggestions for indoor cycling:
A Peloton or Stationary Bike
Whether you have your stationary bike at home or utilize one at the gym, you can do a fantastic, individualized exercise.
You can set the pace, intensity, and length of your workout in any way you like, thanks to the many programmable settings.
Spin Classes in the Gym
This could be a great option if you need a little extra motivation to finish your workout on the bike.
A handcycle might be a great alternative to regular stationary cycling if you’re unable to utilize a standard bike. This machine is powered with your arms instead of your legs.
Explore the Outdoors
When you want to get out of the house and enjoy nature, you can choose from a variety of outdoor bicycle activities, such as road biking, trail biking, and mountain biking. Forget driving to and from work or errands; instead, hop on your bike and go green!
However, that can’t be a one-and-done occurrence.
If you want to use riding as a means of weight loss, you need to incorporate it into your normal workout program.
Several apps allow you to record your workout’s distance and/or intensity. An app that monitors your fitness progress could be an excellent way to keep yourself motivated as you work toward your objectives.
One of the best parts about cycling is that it’s a lot of fun. Whatever your preference – racing down winding country roads, tearing up rugged mountain bike routes, riding solo for introspective purposes, or chatting it up with friends – you’ll find much to enjoy and perhaps even forget you’re getting in a workout!
To sum up, cycling is a fantastic physical exercise that does much more than just aid in and sustains weight loss. Plus, it improves your stamina, cardiac health, and the quality of your social connections. The cherry on top is that it’s a fantastic hobby that, if given a chance, may blossom into a full-fledged obsession!