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Trying to lose 2 pounds in a week is very achievable for most people. Here’s how it breaks down:
In one hour of cycling, the average person burns 600 calories. To lose only two pounds (1 kg), the average person must expend 7,500 to 8,000 calories. That means you’ll need to hit the saddle every day for two hours if you want to shed 2lbs in one week.
This target is definitely doable! Plus, there are lots of ways you can optimize your weight loss plan, and potentially cycle a lot less and still reach this goal.
In this post, I’ll take a look at:
- Exactly how much cycling is needed to lose 2 pounds in a week
- How to increase your weight loss while cycling (there are lots of sneaky tips!)
- Six essential tips that can add to the weight loss experienced by cycling
- Four ways to plan to optimize every ride
How Much Cycling is needed to lose 2 Pounds in a Week?
If we want to shed 2 pounds (1kg) by cycling, we need to burn 7,700 calories. In general, you may expect to use 688 calories per hour while cycling at a moderate speed (about 12 mph or 19 kph).
Doing a little bit of elementary math (not really my forte!), if you want to shed two pounds every week, you would need to cycle for 11 hours, or 1 hour and 58 minutes, per day. (Source)
However, this is assuming that you change nothing else in your life – and surely it’s absurd to expect that! If you want to lose 2 pounds in a week, just spending two hours a day on your bike or an indoor exercise bike is a challenging method.
I would recommend more of a 50:50 approach. So…
To shed that extra pound, you’ll need to make a deficit of about 500 calories every day.
For a man aged between 26 and 45 this means the following – if you want to stay the same weight, say 200 pounds (90 kilograms), you need to consume 2,600 calories each day. To lose one pound each week, you would need to reduce your caloric intake to 2,100 calories per day.
If you’re a woman of this age, you would need to eat 2000 calories to stay the same, and just take about 500 calories off this to lose 1 pound a week (about 1500 would be ideal).
The remaining one pound of weight loss would require daily cycling sessions of 1 hour. You should expect to lose about two pounds of body weight per week when you combine cycling with a calorie deficit diet.
Here are the latest United States Government suggestions on the typical number of calories that need to be consumed by both women and men of different ages:
|66 and older||2,200||1,800|
5 Ways To Increase Your Weight Loss While Cycling
Whether your goal is to combine diet and cycling, or just to go for cycling alone, learning how to optimize your riding schedule will make a huge difference!
Here are 5 ways to increase your weight loss while cycling. (Source)
1. Pick Up The Pace
In principle, the faster you go, the more energy you’ll expend. However, keeping a fast pace over long distances and several days can be difficult.
So, pay attention to your needs, and avoid overtraining. While many people would like to lose weight, their lack of consistency prevents them from doing so.
New cyclists need to be patient because their bodies will take some time to adapt to the activity.
The winning formula is to go as fast as you are able to with a view to sustaining this speed several times per week over the long term.
2. Explore Different Terrains
Strenuous terrain, in contrast to smooth roadways, puts your muscles to the test.
As a result, it will help you build lean muscle across your entire body, not just your legs. A flyover or a road with a natural incline would be ideal for uphill riding if you can’t find any challenging terrain.
Don’t shy away from hills when cycling outside. Use them to your advantage to raise your heart rate and boost your calorie burn.
3. Schedule-In Breaks
Improve your cardiovascular health and calorie burn by alternating between high and low-intensity intervals.
Studies have shown that interval training is 40% more effective in fat burning than steady-state cycling. However, interval training should only be done three times a week, with a day of rest in between each session.
4. Improve The Resistance
Resistance can be added to a stationary cycle to increase the difficulty of the workout and the benefits to your legs and heart.
When you add resistance to your workout, your heart rate rises, and you burn more calories.
When you get on the exercise bike next time, crank up the resistance.
5. Increase Time Intervals
Regular cycling will quickly allow you to increase your time spent in motion. Let’s say you have a full schedule between your personal life and your professional obligations.
Take the weekend to go on a long bike ride. This will allow you to spend more time on the bike, resulting in a greater calorie burn.
5 Essential Tips to Effectively Lose Weight With Your Cycling Regime
The process of cycling your way to a healthier weight loss might take time and effort, so it’s crucial that you make the most of your efforts.
If you’re fully motivated to lose some weight and have chosen cycling as your main source, then here are a few tips that will help you along your journey! These all will optimize your weight loss, and help you get to your goals more quickly.
1. Maintain A Regular Eating Schedule
Sticking to a schedule of three square meals a day will help you avoid unhealthy snacking and have more stamina and less hunger during the day.
If you make a weekly meal plan and grocery list, you’ll be more organized and less prone to binge on random foods.
You’ll be more productive in the long term if you take the time to plan out your meals for the week instead of stopping by the store every night to buy something to eat. You’ll be able to devote more time and effort to do what you want to do; riding your bike through your favorite terrains!
2. Set A Realistic Goal
“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” –Bill Copeland
While fast weight loss is desirable, it is not sustainable and can even lead to a rapid regaining of the lost weight. Two pounds per week is a reasonable goal for most people who exercise for an hour per day.
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) might serve as a metric for selecting your ideal weight. One’s Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measurement of their weight in relation to their height.
BMI is the ideal statistic to use when trying to establish a weight goal that is both healthy and achievable.
A healthy man should have a body fat percentage of 15%-18%, and a regular bike-riding lady should have a body fat percentage of 24%-28% as her weight goal.
There is a wide selection of tools for determining body fat percentage on the market. This kind of product investment is essential for maintaining a record and overseeing your weight loss goals.
3. Avoid Snacking During Riding
Despite being one of the best parts of cycling (in my opinion!), eating too many carbohydrates when trying to lose weight is not a good idea unless required.
There is no need to bring anything except water on rides less than an hour long, and only 2 to 3 ounces (60-90g) of carbohydrates are required for rides of more than an hour.
Bringing more food and drink on a bike than is strictly necessary increases the risk of indigestion.
4. Have A Balanced Diet
Everyone wants to be fit and healthy, but keeping a healthy weight depends greatly on a good diet. The low-fat muscle in the legs can be built with consistent cycling, which also increases caloric expenditure.
Even after months of cycling, people still don’t see the best outcomes. You can find two possible causes:
- Not being consistent
- Unclear weight loss goals
As a result, most people don’t prepare for the rides and diet ahead of time. But if you’re serious about losing weight by riding, then this nutrition training will be useful.
Also, a healthy diet of 50% carbohydrates, 30% fats, and 20% proteins is essential.
If you want to see better results, you should stay away from processed and junk meals. This is the one true rule of successful dieting!
5. Maintain A Progress Record
Keep your motivation up as you work toward your weight loss goal by keeping track of your achievements along the way.
Keeping track of the following indicators may help you evaluate your results and spot places for development:
Regularly weighing yourself at the same time each day or week will help you see progress. People often choose to do this right as they wake up, before having breakfast.
ii. Body Fat Percentage
Skinfold calipers are the cheapest tool for determining a person’s body fat percentage. However, you may also find out your body fat % by using a body fat scale or a smart scale.
iii. Body Measurements
You can also measure your progress (in inches) by keeping track of how much you’ve lost or gained in various body sections. You may get a decent idea of your progress by measuring your waist, arms, legs, and hips.
4 Important Considerations when Biking for Weight Loss
1. The Distance
It is more important to ride for a longer period (duration) than to cover a greater distance while trying to shed pounds by cycling.
That means you can lose weight without riding the entire Tour de France route. Relieved? Good. However, keep the odometer handy.
If you’re just getting started with working out, a basic test is a great way to kick off your bicycle training routine.
To find out how far you’ve cycled in 30 minutes, check your odometer or use a GPS watch or app on your smartphone.
Write down the time and resolve to reduce it by the next time you ride the same distance and route. You’ll be able to log more miles in less time and increase your calorie burn as your fitness levels rise.
Here’s a brilliant video about two different ways you can track your distance when you cycle:
2. The Speed
When it comes to weight loss, intensity beats out speed every time. More energy is consumed during an intense ride.
How hard you work and how fast you go while biking depends on factors like the bike you ride and the trail you take (how fast you travel).
To maintain a speed of 12 mph while riding a heavy mountain bike on muddy, off-road routes, for instance, you will likely have to exert a lot of effort.
When riding downhill at high speeds on a road bike, though, you can maintain that speed with minimal effort.
I’ll advise you to master the use of a heart rate monitor. A precise evaluation of your exertion level is made possible by the tool. You should strive to spend most rides at 70-75% of your MHR.
3. The Track
Your calorie burn will depend on the duration and intensity of your workout, and these factors are both affected by the course you choose.
To get the most out of your cycling, pick a route that doesn’t need you to stop for long periods at lights and intersections.
These rests will slow your heart rate, eat into your workout time, and prevent you from burning as many calories as possible during your ride.
Bike lanes that go on forever can be found in many urban areas. Avoid the dangers of riding on the street in favor of one of these alternative routes, especially at the outset of your cycling journey.
If you’d want to go for a bike ride but don’t have ready access to a bike path, it can be worthwhile to drive to an area with a long, peaceful road.
4. The Bike
There is a wide variety of bicycles available, some designed for commuting, others for racing, and even more for pure exercise. If you want to get in shape and lose weight, what kind of bikes should you buy?
Bicycles such as road bikes, gravel bikes, workout bikes, and mountain bikes are ideal for anyone looking to shed extra pounds.
These bikes are wonderful for exercise because they can be ridden up and down hills and across rough terrain. One of these bikes may be more suitable for you, depending on your intended use and the condition of the trails or roads you’ll be riding on.
Some other articles you might find useful are:
Can you shed pounds by riding a bike?
It’s a terrific activity for anyone attempting to reduce weight because it’s low-impact and has many other health benefits.
Just remember the basics, like keeping a calorie deficit and giving yourself enough of a challenge to make progress.
Always remember to keep your rides fun so they can have a beneficial effect on your lifestyle in both the physical and mental aspects!