Not many meatheads are into cycling, I could tell you that for a fact. We prefer a gentle jog on the treadmill or a quick blast on the cross trainer.
So what is it about cycling that’s so unappealing to bodybuilders?
I think the answer lays in aesthetics. The first thing that comes into your head when you hear the word ‘cyclist’ is a skinny-ass man in leotards that you always want to run over (a joke). But if you think about it, people cycle for various reasons and there are two distinct benefits of cycling, and these are enhancing fitness, and staying slender. Cycling has shown to be extremely effective when trying to lose fat, providing it is done alongside a sensible diet. The best thing about cycling that I could think of… It’s great for the knees. Remember, running, although brilliant for losing weight, destroys your knees in the long run. Cycling, in my opinion is the next best thing.
So to get the best out of your cycling, should you choose to do it at some point in the future, nutrition is essential.
I have compiled a list of eight tips that will not only ensure weight loss; they will also help you get in to healthier eating habits.
1. Don’t Miss Your Breakfast
The first thing you want to do when you wake up this to fire up your metabolism, and that’s where a healthy breakfast is a must. If you miss your breakfast, you will fall short on fuel that you need to ride effectively. What’s worse, by starving your body from food, you are encouraging it to store fat because that’s exactly what starvation mode does.
2. Don’t Over Dress
Trust on me on this one; don’t do as the French do because they are known to wear more clothing than necessary in the winter. Although you might lose weight a bit quicker, it also means dehydration. Wear what you need to wear more don’t overdo it and keep plenty of fluids with you because that’s what your body needs to ride further.
3. Cut down on Gluten
Gluten awareness is at an all-time high, and chances are that you know about at least some of the unwanted symptoms associated with too much gluten intake. Although you don’t necessarily have to have a gluten allergy to limit your gluten intake, it will decrease the amount of processed foods you will be consuming on a daily basis. Reducing gluten intake also reduces chances of bloatedness, which is always great for when you’re cycling away.
4. Avoid Weight Loss Supps
Weight loss supplements are a quick fix solution, and this is not what I am about. I always look for long-term solutions. I’ve never seen a weight loss supplement that will keep your weight off in the long term, because usually the moment you stop using it, that’s when your fat comes back with a vengeance. Weight loss supplements have shown to flush out essential minerals and fats which can negatively affect performance.
5. Increase Lean Protein and Veg
Lean protein foods like chicken and fish as well as vegetables should be a staple of your diet, regardless of your aims. Instead of relying on supplements, why not get all your vitamins and protein from the food you eat. Not only will protein from food absorb quicker, it will help you feel much better also. Think about it, your body is feeling great; this will help you ride longer burning those extra calories.
6. Eat and Ride!
More cyclists tend to skip out on food during a ride day because there’s simply not enough time. Recent years have seen a change in attitude by cyclists because they can now be seen eating and riding at the same time. Studies seem to suggest that eating whilst riding may improve performance, especially on extremely long rides. Moreover, this is a great deterrent from overeating at the end of the ride.
7. Reduce Portions
From experience I’ve learnt that by cutting out my pleasure foods from my diet is not always a good thing. I’m a big chocolate lover and the mere thought of depriving myself from chocolate will only exacerbate rate my cravings. So instead of starving my body of my pleasure foods, I have learned to limit my portions.
8. Go Hard at the End!
According to a number of studies, post exercise oxygen consumption creates a fat burning furnace inside the body. The theory is that you should kick your body into overdrive after a long and steady ride. This will help your body consume oxygen even after your ride, which means that the fat burning process will also continue after your hop off your bike.