Cycling, whether outdoors or on an exercise bike, is considered anaerobic exercise so long as it includes intense pedaling for 30-60 minutes. However, you can employ HIIT cycling where you pedal hard for 30-60 seconds and then rest for 1-3 minutes before pedaling hard again.
Does Riding Bicycle Reduce Belly Fat Effectively?
Like most exercise options, bicycle riding can reduce belly fat efficiently. But, it’s not as simple as simply jumping on the bicycle a few times a week and the belly fat just disappears. After all, a leisurely ride through the country on nice flat roads won’t burn many calories. However, an intense and quick-paced ride over uneven terrain burns a lot more fat. So, does cycling help reduce belly fat? Yes, but how efficiently and quickly belly fat gets burned depends on a lot of variables. Here are some tips to increase fat burning when riding a bicycle.
Try Bicycling Before Breakfast to Burn More Stored Fat
When and under what conditions you ride your bicycle can dramatically impact fat burning success. Research shows that fat burning significantly accelerates when bicycle riding if done before breakfast on an empty stomach. Why does cycling help reduce belly fat faster on an empty stomach?
It’s known as “fasted cardio” and the idea is pretty simple. If you have no food in your stomach from a recent meal, then the body must burn stored fat for energy. Just be sure to hydrate with water first but this is a proven and effective means to burn more fat.
Pedal Intensely or Strive for HIIT While Cycling to Burn Belly Fat
A leisurely ride is unlikely burn significantly more fat than a brisk walk. First, you aren’t building leg muscles nearly as fast. Muscle cells burn significantly more energy than fat cells. So, the more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your baseline metabolism rate. Therefore, to burn more belly fat, you need to pedal harder to really build those leg muscles.
On alternative to a sustained brisk pace is to strive for HIIT (high intensity interval training). Here, the goal is to pedal intensely for 30-60 seconds and then recover over the course of the following 1-3 minutes. Rinse, and repeat.
Combine Cycling with Complementary Training to Burn More Fat
Bicycling is a tough form of exercise to classify. When it’s leisurely, it’s effectively cardio or aerobic exercise. But, when it’s intense or you are using HIIT when riding, cycling is anaerobic. Ideally, you really want both but long-term, anaerobic will help you burn more calories at rest and make it easier to keep weight off.
You really want a good mix of the two for best results. So, depending on how much intense pedaling you do, you want to complement your cycling regimen. If you primarily pedal all out at a brisk pace, then you want to complement this with more aerobic exercises, such as:
- Cross Country Skiing
- Brisk Walk
- Any Cardio Exercise Machine
However, if you are just starting out and riding at a more modest pace most of the ride, then you should complement with anaerobic exercises, such as:
- Jumping Rope
- Weight Lifting
- HIIT (on or off bicycle)
Realistic Expectations for Cycling and Losing Abdominal Fat
First, cycling is a challenging exercise to engage in regularly due to weather and geography in some cases. Plus, a comprehensive weight loss strategy is necessary for best results and long-term success. Therefore, you always want to pair your exercise routine(s) with a healthy diet for best results.
But, to look at the impact results of cycling on weight loss alone, you can reasonably expect to lose 20 pounds every 3 months. However, this assumes you cycle for 1 hour per session 5 times per week. But, the intensity of the pedaling and terrain impact caloric burn significantly.
As a good rule of thumb to follow, you want to strive for:
- An Average Speed of 15 mph (with max speed up into the 30’s)
- Average Distance Per Session of Around 10 miles or So
In most cases and on relatively flat terrain, this nets about 600 calories burned every 40-45 minutes.
Reducing Belly Fat in Seniors
Jumping into a fast-paced exercise routine of cycling 5 times or more a week for up to an hour per session just isn’t viable for everyone. However, a great many seniors are very active and do love fast-paced rides that help them stay fit and healthy. Thus, you need to be realistic about your current health, previous activity levels, and diet to form the best plan for you.
If activity levels have been pretty low in the past few years, then starting with diet is a good idea that still helps burn fat now. Here are a few dietary suggestions for seniors that they can use immediately to increase fat burning:
Eat More Protein
Recipes for roasted lamb, salmon (and just about any kind of fish), chicken or turkey breast, and other high protein fare should be prioritized in your weekly meal planning. Consuming protein helps you burn more fat faster for several reasons, including:
- Protein Naturally Reduces Cravings: Protein impacts satiation hormones in the body. Studies show that even eating a high protein breakfast can reduce late night cravings by up to 50%.
- Protein Increases Metabolism Rate: To digest protein, the body burns 4-5X’s more calories than digesting fats or carbohydrates.
- Protein Naturally Reduces Caloric Intake: In one study, getting at least 25% of total calories from protein led to participants consuming 400 fewer calories per day.
Without pedaling a single mile, protein can help create a caloric deficit and burn fat naturally.
Burn Fat Naturally With Supplements that Reduce Inflammation
Does cycling help reduce belly fat? Absolutely, but there are other steps you can take to speed up the process and get better results. Finding the right supplements can go a long way to increasing fat burning and achieving lasting success.
However, not all weight loss or fat burning supplements are created equal. While many are formulated with high doses of caffeine and other stimulates to artificially boost metabolism and suppress appetite, some actually address the underlying problem.
Chronic inflammation is a huge problem particularly as we get older. It is caused by both stress and the additives and preservatives in processed foods. In addition to taxing your immune system, chronic inflammation leads to leptin resistance. This condition is what caused most people to gain unwanted pounds in the first place and is preventing them from losing weight now.
Leptin resistance causes more frequent cravings, larger portion sizes, and slows the metabolism rate. Combined, these three effects make losing weight near impossible.
Tetrogen is formulated to reduce inflammation 24/7 with a Day and Night formula. In just a few weeks, Tetrogen helps lower inflammation levels enough to reverse leptin resistance. Once this occurs, fat burning accelerates and losing weight becomes natural.
Of course, there are other options so you want to look for dietary supplements formulated with ingredients that naturally reduce inflammation, including:
- Green Tea Extract
- Capsaicin (chili powder extract)
- African Mango
- Cissus Quadrangularis
Does cycling reduce belly fat effectively and efficiently. The truth? No, not by itself. Plus, cycling isn’t necessary the best option for burning fat for some people depending on location, living situation, and current health.
Burning fat and keeping it off requires a comprehensive approach that includes diet, exercise, and the right dietary supplements. The key is to develop a strategy that is both realistic and best suited for you so that you will consistently adhere to it for long term health and sustained weight loss.
Mike Dorfman is BS in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado. Mike’s has worked as a personal trainer for Gold’s Gym and helped many clients achieve their weight-loss and fitness goals.
To health first, weight-loss second. Mike and Tetrogen are here to help you make the transition to the healthier, happier, and thinner you!