How effective is biking for losing weight

The “weight loss” term has been thrown around a lot and it’s only natural that an average person would like to look as good as possible, which in many cases includes losing weight. When it comes to that, every individual has a different approach even though the goal is the same. 

One person will restrict the intake of their favorite food and stay hungry most of the day. Another will eat their favorite burger at McDonald’s but then would do a proper workout that would burn the calories, as a compromise for having the takeaway burger. That leads to the question… What kind of effective workout one can do to burn fat and lose weight? Of course, there are many different ways, but my money would be on a sport whose athletes look fit, slim, and muscular. 

Let’s take boxing for example. Some boxers look great, but we still have those like Tyson Fury or Andy Ruiz, athletes who look like an average office worker that goes to a barbeque twice a week. And then you can look into a sport like biking. Have you ever seen a professional cyclist who doesn’t look like a superhero straight out of the Marvel Universe? That’s a proven sport that would assist you lose weight and with proper discipline, it might make you look like Lance Armstrong. 

That being said, we will look into the question of how effective is biking for weight loss. 

Difference between indoor and outdoor cycling 

Indoor and outdoor cycling both require the same movement and muscle activation. However, there are a few differences that separate them from a practical and physical point of view. 

Most of the indoor bikes have a “flywheel”. And what does the flywheel do? It provides resistance as you pedal, which is why the pedals keep moving even when you stop pedaling. Spin bikes are ideal for beginners because the pedals can do some work for you when you get tired. On the other hand, it activates the muscles on the back of your legs since they need to work hard to slow down the moving pedals. 

Outdoor biking works on your body differently. The outdoor biker pedals against the wind, the road, and it require the involvement of your quadriceps and hip flexors. 

Long story short, for a beginner or an average person, the indoor bike is the right choice for you. While for professional athletes and those who are really into this sport, outdoor biking could get you better results. 

Also Read: Best Weight Loss Tips That Work If Diets Don’t Help Anymore

How to start cycling for weight loss

There is one general rule which is not rocket science and everyone can follow, and that’s “the faster you ride and the longer you do it, the better results you will have”. The only issue here is how to start and make a program that can be easy to follow and keep the routine discipline for a long time. 

Outdoor biking could be met with some difficulties sometimes. Bad weather, lots of traffic, you name it. Indoor biking has some other tiny issues, like getting you bored sometimes, and both ways can be met with a lack of motivation and feeling under the weather. 

To avoid escaping a solid routine, you can follow these three easy steps; 

Set a realistically achievable goal 

Every individual knows himself the best, what can and what cannot do and follow. You don’t always need to ride fast to make a difference. Instead, you can try with a slow pace and do some long routes, as long as you can follow this routine for a long time. 

Even 30 minutes of bike riding a day is enough to burn calories. To start, set yourself a goal that is easy for you to follow, a goal that will not interfere with the other activities in your life.

Increase the pace and intensity

Did you get bored of slow and long cycling? Try faster! The faster your cycle, the more energy your body uses. That leads to burning more calories and losing weight. 

If a slow-cycling could burn around 300 calories in an hour, imagine if you speed up the pace. According to Harvard Health Letter, a biker who rides at around 15 miles per hour can burn around 370 calories in just 30 minutes. 

Set yourself a routine of 30 minutes ride, 3-4 times a week, and the results will be there sooner than rain during a monsoon season.


Try riding at least once a week before breakfast 

A morning ride can be nice for many reasons. It’s peaceful, people walk their dogs, and you can even hear the birds around you. Not only that, but it’s a very unique way to achieve fast weight loss, as well. 

When you ride before breakfast, your body has to use its fat reserves because there is no food to process. It’s called “fasted training”, and it’s almost cheating when it comes to burning calories. 

However, if you go riding before breakfast, try not to over-exhaust yourself. An interval of 30 to 40 minutes is enough, and you need to eat something at least if you want to do longer than that.


Whether you do indoor biking while watching your favorite TV show, or you do it outdoors on a mountain with friends, biking is a fun and enjoyable process to reduce weight and stay healthy. 

Besides burning fat and calories, biking helps you beat your boredom, increase your energy, better your mood, and improve your health. 

It’s easy, and practical and everyone can do it. And on top of that, you’ll have many benefits to be happy about. So don’t wait. Get off the couch and do it. Your body will thank you.

frequently asked questions

Which indoor bike is best for weight loss?

There are few indoor bikes suitable for weight loss, but the most common one is the upright bike. It’s strengthening your core muscles and legs, and since it’s similar to an outdoor bike whose pedals are positioned under the body, it gives you super cardio practice which is a great way to reduce weight. 

How much should I bike a day to reduce weight? 

Cycling for 30 minutes daily at a medium speed is enough for a start. When you are ready to burn even many calories, you can increase the time to 45 minutes up to an hour.

Can I lose belly fat by cycling?

It will take time, but yes, cycling helps you to lose belly fat. In recent studies, it was concluded that regular cycling reduces overall belly girth, and it’s effective to reduce belly fat.

A bike ride burns how many calories?

It all depends on the weight of the individual, but in general, biking for an hour can burn over 500 calories.

Medical Disclaimer
: All the content available on the website is just for informational purposes. It’s not a substitute for any Professional advice. Don’t take it personally. As a medical student, I’m just trying to use my information through my content, and please keep in mind it’s not written by a professional doctor. Use the data just for educational purposes.

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