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Does Riding a Bike Burn Belly Fat?
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Does Riding a Bike Burn Belly Fat?

Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 August 17
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7 min

Riding a bike is an effective way to burn fat around your waistline. It is a good strategy to eliminate those extra pounds, helping you achieve your body goals.

does riding a bike burn belly fat

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It takes sheer determination to head to the gym on most days. You might be tempted to give up and quit your fitness journey because everything feels repetitive and boring. 

But have you considered riding a bike? You can lose weight and get your cardio in while enjoying a scenic view. 

Regular cycling coupled with a healthy protein-rich diet is a sure means to get rid of belly fat and promote healthy fat. Your consistency and determination are all it takes. And the best part is the fun you have while at it.

Belly fat could result in several serious health conditions. Choosing to lose your belly fat by cycling is a wise step into achieving a healthy lifestyle. You are simultaneously reducing the risk of diseases like diabetes, stroke, obesity, depression, and many more.

Does Riding a Bike Burn Belly Fat?

Yes, riding a bike can help you burn belly fat, and cycling regularly can help you stay fit and healthy. It is considered a top-notch cardio activity that has an excellent effect on all other major muscle groups.

Cycling also results in minimal stress on your joints compared to other cardio exercises you may be considering.

How Does Cycling Burn Belly Fat?

Based on a survey carried out in 1990 by the USDA on the calorie intake of Americans, it is necessary to burn more calories than you gain to efficiently lose extra weight. Consistent cycling can help you burn 300 calories per hour. A recent study revealed that consistent cycling may aid overall fat loss and promote a healthy weight.

Harvard Health Publishing also revealed that a 155-pound person can burn 260 calories in 30 minutes cycling at moderate intensity, and a 125-pound person can burn about 210 calories.

All these studies prove that the first hack to burning your belly fat is by riding your bike consistently. This isn’t just a way to burn fat – it also builds your muscle and raises your metabolic rate.

You’ll see faster results if you gear an extra effort towards cycling every day. Interval training will help you do this with more ease; to try out interval training, start by warming up for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Then, increase it to about 90% on a percentage level for about 30 to 60 seconds. Make sure you’re breathing hard during the process – but not gasping. Decrease the speed for 1 minute. Go ahead and repeat the procedure 5 times, and then calm down for 3 to 5 minutes.

Does Stationary Cycling Burn Belly Fat?

Stationary cycling is one of the most effective means of burning belly fat and calories, where you can burn up to 300–700kcal per hour. While cycling on your stationary bike, you don’t only lose fat in your stomach, you also work on your thighs, legs, and buttocks.

You can follow a consistent routine of stationary cycling to burn calories and lose weight, and this requires you to spend 30 minutes on moderate-intensity cardio, 5 to 6 times per week. By following the moderate-intensity cardio exercise routine, you will effectively raise your heart rate to about 50–70% of your maximum.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) addressed how you can determine workout intensity through a “talk test.” To test your workout intensity, being able to talk but not sing during your exercise proves that it is moderate. The need to take a breath every few words shows how intense your workout is.

What May Cause Belly Fat? 

All food groups are essential for the body, and none should be cut off, including fat, but you should consume healthy fat like olives and almonds as opposed to fries and cheese.

Unhealthy eating could make you develop fat in the belly. Here are some of the common causes of belly fat:

Sweetened drinks and foods 

When you consume sweetened drinks and foods, you’re creating a recipe for that midsection to enlarge. 

The extra pounds come in when you’re in a calorie surplus, and foods with extra sugar contain more calories, restricting weight loss.

Scientific research has proven that cutting down on sugar-sweetened beverages will decrease the prevalence of obesity.

Sweetened foods like cookies, soda, and french fries will only introduce more calories into your body. 

To stay safe, choose healthy foods instead. Vegetables, avocados, brown rice, fish, nuts, and broccoli are good substitutes for weight loss.

Too much alcohol

Alcohol consumption is one of the contributing factors to belly fat. Alcoholic drinks are regarded as “empty drinks” because they provide you with nothing but calories.

All alcoholic drinks contain excess calories, not just beer. They can also lead to the accumulation of visceral fat in the body and a higher body mass index (BMI). 

When it comes to losing belly fat, you need to halt drinking or do it in moderation until you can finally stop. The recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that women should only have one drink daily while men can have two drinks. 

It is also recommended to drink more water instead of alcohol if you are seeking to drop some belly fat and increase weight loss.

Not enough sleep 

You need to get enough sleep to lose belly fat. Research revealed that stress and anxiety can increase cortisol hormone levels in the body.

This hormone reduces the metabolism rate, which ruins the chance of losing fat significantly. 

When you are sleep-deprived, your cortisol level increases, as well as your cravings for high-calorie foods. You may end up overeating, resulting in weight gain, especially a spike in belly fat. 

It is imperative to manage your stress level and maintain 7–8 hours of sleep per day. This will help you keep a healthy weight and control belly fat. 

Try to go to bed at the same time each night, skip alcohol before bed, and put down your phone before sleeping.

Lack of exercising 

You’re likely to gain belly fat when you eat too much and do not engage in physical activity. To be in shape, regular exercise and workout is the cheat sheet as it helps you limit fat accumulation around your waist and promote weight loss.

A small study reported that people who sit for more than 8 hours daily had a 62% risk of being prone to obesity compared to people who sat for less than 4 hours daily.

In another case, scientists published that those who did aerobic exercise for one year after losing weight were able to avoid gaining visceral fat, while those who didn’t perform the exercise regained a 25–38% increase in belly fat. 

Tips to Lose Belly Fat 

Go cycling in the morning 

Cycling on an empty stomach is one of the most efficient means of promoting belly fat burn. Studies have proven that in the absence of carbohydrates, our body tends to rely on fats as a source of energy. 

You can survive riding for about 30 minutes to one hour in the morning without food, so give it a shot. Your body is more resilient than you think.

Eat high-fiber foods 

Eating fiber-rich food can help you feel full, which is the right way to lose weight. You can get fiber from food like beans, oats, peas, whole-grain bread, lentils, and brown rice. You can also use the Cycling.Diet app.

Cycling.Diet is a great product that helps people lose or maintain weight, build muscle, and achieve fitness goals while riding a bike. 

The app contains various monthly cycling plans along with recipes by professionals. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and improve your fitness level with the app.

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Cut alcohol and soda drinks 

According to Dr. Rodriguez-Lopez, a primary care physician at Geisinger Medical Clinic, “Cutting soda out of your diet not only lowers your risk for weight gain but may help you actually lose weight as well.”

Limiting your alcohol and daily soda intake is one of the surest means of cutting down belly fat. A glass of wine is made up of as many calories as a piece of chocolate.

In an American Heart Association report, it’s recommended that women and children over 2 years old shouldn’t consume more than 25 grams of sugar in a day, while men should not go beyond 36 grams of sugar intake. 

Do other cardio exercises 

Aside from cycling, there are various other cardio exercises you can engage in to lose tummy fat.

Make sure to choose a cardio activity you will enjoy doing that will help you stay motivated and always look forward to your exercise routine. 

Other cardio exercises you can try out include swimming, running, rowing, or group fitness classes.

A Word From Our Coach

Riding a bike to lose weight is an activity you should consider if you have belly fat.

In the process of losing fat in your midsection, make sure to abstain from alcohol and soda completely.

Women have a higher body fat percentage compared to men, so it is advisable to only take one alcoholic drink per day for women while two for men.

If you are consistent with morning cycling on an empty stomach, you will burn calories quickly.

Also, maintain a healthy diet by eating more high-fiber foods. Do away with disappointment by expecting results in a limited time.

Keep working toward your health goal and believe you can do it.

Conclusion

Riding a bike is a fun activity that will help you eliminate belly fat in the long term. 

It is important you know that losing belly fat by cycling isn’t a journey of a few days. So, be patient and remain motivated in the process. By staying consistent, you will burn body fat and reach your health goals in no time.

Written by
Isabel Mayfield is a certified Yoga Instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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