Getting Lean: Using Your Bike to Shrink Your Waistline - Cycling Magazine

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Monday, 24 July 2017

Getting Lean: Using Your Bike to Shrink Your Waistline

Getting Lean: Using Your Bike to Shrink Your Waistline

THE BIKE IS A GREAT WAY TO GET LEAN. IF YOU’RE NOT ALREADY fit or athletic, you’ll likely find that you’ll shed a few pounds as you go farther and farther on your bicycle. However, some people find that they gain weight when they start cycling. How could this be?
There are a few reasons. The most common is the reward system. Hey, you worked hard on the bike today, so maybe you have an extra cookie or two, or one more beer at the end of the night. But it’s a delicate balance between losing weight and treating yourself. Don’t overcompensate.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are the riders who cut their calories way back and hope to see the pounds magically melt away. Unfortunately, our bodies have a built-in safety system to keep us alive as long as possible. If you drop your calorie intake too much or too suddenly—especially when you’re exercising—your body goes into a panic and will try to conserve as many calories as possible to keep you from starving. Instead of burning calories, your body will be saving them.
The best way to shed a few pounds is to figure out how much on average your body can burn from cycling, and then take in just slightly fewer calories than that number. This can be challenging because you need fuel before you ride, fuel on the ride, and fuel to recover. To really be successful, you need to pay close attention to portions and trade out any bad eating habits—like too much processed food or sugar—for eating healthy, real foods rich in nutrients and the right kinds of fuels.
Take these tips from Dr. Sims. “The body is primed for carbohydrate consumption in the morning and becomes more sensitive as the day wears on. Protein becomes the goer in the afternoon and evening as most reparation occurs during sleep. To maximize the body’s natural hormonal rhythms, think of eating complex carbs with a bit of protein in the morning, combination at lunch, and more protein orientation with veggies and a bit of fresh fruit toward the evening.”
Some will find that they shed some pounds right off the bat, but eventually we’re all faced with this tipping point and when we get there, we have to either decide to love our bodies for all the wonderful things they can already do for us, or knuckle down, pay attention, and concentrate on getting lean. Neither one is right or wrong, good or bad. It’s up to your priorities and goals, not only when you’re on the bike, but just as much when you’re off it.

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