How To Lose Weight & Get Fit Cycling

Having an expensive bike doesn't mean you will cycle up hills any easier and any quicker. You can, however, start by losing some weight, buy a run of the mill bike and then use the money you saved buying your partner a present.

Cycling is a great way to keep fit, whether it's a new year start or a healthy lifestyle change it should be taken with the right mindset!
But contrary to what you might think, you won't lose weight purely cycling!

"This post is intended for those new to cycling and want to get in to shape"

In fact, you may have to lose weight first, to avoid hurting your knees, or you may not be enjoying cycling and then give up! (This will depend on your weight and the last time you cycled or done any type of physical exercise)

"Exercising & diet speeds up your metabolism and makes it easy to lose weight"

Diet is over 80% the way you will lose weight. Cycling in time will help burn off the stubborn fat around your belly, tone muscle/preserve muscle and increase your cycling performance.
Sleep and rest days are more important than riding days, your body needs time to recover after being stressed. Have a day or 2 of rest between riding, in fact, recovery is crucial to building you a leaner body.

"Losing a bit of weight before you start cycling will make it easy on the hills and on your legs, making cycling more enjoyable"

Losing weight and getting fit - Needs to come from your vision, the right attitude and making sacrifices. By that I mean; if you plan to go for a bike ride Sunday morning, but you go drinking with your friends Saturday night! - If you don't change then in 10 years time things will be the same.

How To Lose Weight & Get Fit Cycling

Preparation
Before jumping straight on to a bike
  • First, visit your Doctor for a check-up and tell your Doctor what you intend to do. Especially if you have an office job or driving job where you are sat down all day. Or have an old injury or suffer from back pain, or better then a Doctor visit a good Chiropractor.
  • Having the right mindset - One step at a time
  • Start off slowly and don't expect to lose weight overnight! Overdoing it and then not enjoying it, you could end up on what's called the yo-yo diet and putting more weight on then you started with!
  • Don't expect to cycle 20 miles or more including hills straight away without some pain.
  • Start by walking, even if it's to the shops and back, build up to doing 10,000 steps a day and/or include some hills.
  • Do some light exercises like squats - start by sitting on a chair and standing up and sitting back down. Try 3 sets of 6. This will help in getting the muscle used to working on your legs again.  
  • Any chest pain while cycling - STOP, it could be that your body especially your heart or lungs as they are not used to it, but get checked out.
  • Change your diet slowly by removing fizzy drinks, fast food, and processed so-called foods and add more fruit and veg.
  • Having the right bicycle and setup to suit your needs, as many bikes have a maximum weight limit for the rider as there is a chance of breaking parts of the bike or injury. Bikes are made light with modern materials and are for someone of 14 stone or less.
  • Later you can add a more regimented workout routine, which will really help maximize all the other healthy lifestyle changes you've implemented.
 If you are going to jump straight on your bike:
  • Get some cycling undershorts to help your backside
  • Your bike setup - Correct tyres and pressure, handlebars and saddle are in the right position.
  • Know where you are going to cycle to and back, start by keeping it flat and keep it to 5 - 6 miles and increase slowly
  • Start off in a low gear to warm up.
  • Stretch legs on return
Diet
There are so many diets out there it can get confusing, I have studied many of them and the only one that will not only get you to your optimum weight it will also build/heal your health. It's the Weston A Price Diet.
Eating a healthy diet is 80% to losing weight and maintaining health. Cycle/exercise, sleeping, and reducing stress is the other 20%.

Start by removing one or two of these items and adding whole clean foods.
Wheat should be the first thing you stop eating. (That's bread, pizza, pasta, bagels and cup cakes) As wheat increases insulin levels higher than sugar, that results in storing fat and a high risk of disease.
Eat all foods in moderation, increase portion intake using vegetables, then from meats, eggs and cheeses. (Do not over do protein as your liver needs to work harder and that go's for coffee intake on your kidneys)

Educate yourself:
  • Misleading food labels
  • The truth about fats
  • Not everything is created equally - you make think you are buying something healthy as in the past it was, until it was re-pressed and made cheap for profit
  • Carbohydrates - Not eating sugar and grains rains - rice, wheat, (Bread) spaghetti
What not to eat:
  • Wheat - Bread, pizza, pasta, bagels and cup cakes.
  • Processed foods - Pies, cakes, ham, sausage, tinned meats, fast foods, takeaways, convenient foods. Going out to restaurants keep to a minimum.
  • Bad fats - Vegetable oils, soy
  • Low fat - Anything that says diet on it.
  • Drinks -Alcohol, fizzy drinks, fruit juice (Only what you juice yourself)
What to eat:
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit - (Organic from local farm where possible) Sweat potatoes.
  • Bone broth - Soups (Made from animals that are grass fed and locally farmed chicken)
  • Good fats - Coconut oil, Olive oil, avocados, full fat butter from local farm, ghee.
  • Meats - Grass fed and locally brought.
  • Drink - water, coconut water, juicing, water with a squeeze of lemon. Keeping hydrated while cycling is very important.
  • Energy bars - Try our home made bars for longer rides
Don't:
  • Don't go too long between meals and eating in a 8 hour window ( Breakfast at 9 am then last meal at 5 pm) 
  • Don't miss pre-ride meal
  • Don't over eat carbohydrates (Eat all food groups in moderation)  
  • Don't drink coffee randomly
Give time from your body to change to running on fat and not storing it. This should be while you do moderate excursive and build up slowly. Make it a life change and not a fad!


Exercises
After a few weeks of walking you can move on to these two exercise:
TIP: I don’t advise using weights on your legs unless you can recover in time for your cycling workouts.

Get riding more
And start to see a difference
  • After a few weeks, set up a weekly cycle schedule of say twice a week as minimum.
  • Buy a computer - and see how fast, distance and total mileage, you are doing.
  • Set targets - A rout of say 2 hours with hills, and pace yourself and go a little faster each ride, then after a few weeks do in reverse.
  • Wet days or not much time - a turbo trainer or rollers that you have room to setup in your house, garage/shed or join a club for turbo sessions.
  • Cycle with friends, do a charity ride, join a local cycling club.
  • Training needs to be split between - short and intense, with long and slow
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Happy cycling, From Martin and The Cycle Tech UK Team