Thus far this year I’ve offered a variety of suggestions to make your bike lighter and faster. However now it’s time to focus on the elephant in the room – your own body weight. Losing as little as 5 or 10 pounds can make a dramatic difference in your speed, especially up hills. It’s all about your power/weight ratio and dropping 10 pounds translates to 20 more watts, which is much cheaper than buying a new set of carbon wheels.
Unfortunately it’s not that easy. Many of us have metabolisms that are much slower than in our younger days. If you have the time, you can just get in that “fat burn” zone and exercise it off. However, if you have a job, a family or just a busy life, you don’t have that kind of time. Here are some suggestions that might help you get to your goal:
1. High Intensity Rides – If you’re going to ride, hit it hard, either outside or inside. You’ll burn plenty of calories and won’t be as hungry when you’re done.
2. Water – Drink a big glass of water right after a ride and before each meal. This acts as an appetite suppressant.
3. Eat on the Ride – Eat little and often on rides over 90 minutes. This will prevent you from overeating at the end of your ride.
4. Hard Efforts at the End of the Ride – Studies have shown that post exercise oxygen consumption can actually help burn fat. You can get into that state by hitting it hard at the end and you’ll continue to burn fat while at home sitting on the sofa.
5. Make an Achievable Goal – Write down your weight loss goal and weigh yourself at the same time on a regular basis. Most of us track our miles, but you need to track your weight as well.
Obviously this is a complicated subject and everyone is different. Perhaps some of you can share your success stories.
Here are a couple of videos about cycling and losing weight:
Quote of the week: Before thinking about buying a lighter bike, make yourself lighter.