Everybody knows that if you get more exercise and decrease your calories enough you will lose weight. And what better way to exercise than with biking?
When I started regularly cycling, I thought it would be great for weight loss. While I am no doubt more fit, pounds have not really dropped. Periodically I diet and lose a few pounds, but I lose 10 pounds and then put it back on. Last year I rode over 2000 miles and managed to maintain my normal fat weight. It seems my body wants to maintain a certain great weight regardless of activity, so what is going wrong?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week. That’s about 22 minutes a day or maybe 25 minutes a day with one break day. I have certainly been doing that, and I would guess most people can find that much time for activity.
So how many calories do you have to drop to lose weight? About a 500 cut in calories per day will help you drop one pound a week. Now that is a bit less easy and near impossible if you are not counting your calories. I have typically made various cuts from my diet like no snacks and limit myself to say one dessert a week. Some weeks it will work and some not so much. The problem is that without counting you don’t know how bad what your eating is and whether you can eat more or not. I probably starved myself some nights when I could have eaten more and ate too much without knowing it other days. Did you know just one of those delicious buns at Texas Roundhouse with the cinnamon butter is 227 calories? I’ve been known to eat 2-3 of those before the meal arrives! So, the calories must be counted.
Many people probably think they can exercise away that 500 calories. Well, I cycle for 25-30 minutes a day and according to my fitness app it’s a really fast pace 😊, but that still only burns 200 calories! So that still leaves 300 more calories to cut. Sometimes I no doubt ate more thinking well I exercised today. But my daily exercise doesn’t even cover one delicious bun with cinnamon butter…
Exercise really helps, but it’s too easy to mess up if you are not keeping track of calories. If you add in your exercise bonus you don’t have to cut quite so much. For example, I am trying to stay under 2,000 calories and get a 200 calorie bonus from my exercise most days. So, I could eat 2,200 and still lose weight, or 2,000 and lose a little faster.
Technology has given us some good ways to count calories and keep track of activity. I use the myfitnesspal app on my iphone to calculate calories, and that works with my watch to also keep track of activity. My workouts are automatically added to the app and I enter all the food eaten each day. So far it is working well, and I’ve lost 9 pounds in a month. Having to add food to the app before eating it really helps me think about whether I really need to eat. Often, I see the calorie count and decide I really don’t like this food that much. And when you start the free app it will let you know how many calories to eat and meet your weight goal.
Here is a review we did:
I’m not going to try to tell you that losing weight is easy, but from a biking perspective it’s very frugal. There are weight weenies out there paying a ton for the lightest bikes and accessories. You can drop weight for free! And I know being hungry sucks, but I’m sure all that business about your stomach shrinking is maybe, possibly true and it will all get easier. So, start some healthy biking and counting your calories, the pounds will start dropping off. I will discuss more tips in future blog posts so stay tuned. FAB is here to help.