Weight Loss: Do Healthy Eating Habits and Cycling Go Together?
Weight loss is just what happens when someone throws their unhealthy eating habits into the dustbin and switches to a more satisfying lifestyle ahead. They feel lighter, better, faster, sharper, and happier after it. There’s just one caveat though- old habits die hard- and that’s just where you should join the mutually strong forces of a better diet and easy exercises.
Forget the treadmill or the aerobics classes. More people are now catching on to how to do cycling in the western parts of the world. The healthy fad is catching up fast- be it the traditional way outdoors on the open road or using a static bicycle in the gym for a cycling or “spinning” class or whatever. It is one of the lesser-known, yet highly effective exercise methods for losing weight.
Taking up cycling is a fun and enjoyable form of movement that can also lead to many health benefits, including weight loss. By cycling every day, it is possible to tone the body, to improve overall fitness and even lose some excess weight in a steady and healthy way.
The way that cycling can kick-start your weight loss efforts is through a combination of factors. Firstly, it is a low-impact sport that strengthens your hip muscles, hamstrings, glutes, and quads, and the stronger these large muscles are, the easier it is for your body to burn fat.
Cycling also requires doing short sprint workouts that are known to effectively increase levels of human growth hormone, which helps to boost lean muscle and burn fat. Finally, during cycling, you also do interval training (spurts of activity and rest) that increases your body’s metabolism, so you keep burning fat even when you aren’t cycling. It doesn’t get better than that!
Like all forms of safe weight loss, the results you achieve will depend on the amount of effort you put in. To lose 1kg body weight in a week (which is a safe and healthy weight loss speed), you will need to develop a consistent cycling routine (at least 3-4 times a week).
You will also find that your weight may not change dramatically at first because your muscle mass will first increase from the strengthening of your muscles that happens though cycling. This will mean the numbers on the scale won’t change- even though your body shape will be more toned.
The great thing about cycling is that it can be easily integrated into your current lifestyle. Start riding from place to place rather than taking your car. Or set up a stationary bike in your living room, and burn calories while watching your favorite TV show. The ease of being able to cycle in different situations also means you can have plenty of variety in your exercise routine, and many people soon find they become quite addicted to the cycling rush.
You will also need to combine cycling with a healthy diet to get the results you want to achieve. Cyclists benefit from having more protein in their diet to keep hunger at bay and to kick start their metabolism before a ride. Don’t skip meals when regularly cycling and eat a protein-rich meal combined with healthy “good” carbohydrates within thirty minutes of completing a ride.
The powerful combination of a well-rounded diet with managed portion sizes, avoiding junk food and sugary snacks, drinking plenty of water, along with a regular cycling routine will see you reaching your weight loss goals before you know it!
One of the major problems that are faced by weight watchers is to stick to a healthy eating plan and stay within their calorie target limits. Sometimes they tend to go beyond the total calorie limit and sometimes the intake is very less, both of these actions lead to unnecessarily delay in the weight loss process.
The main aim of the healthy eating plan is to put forward the daily food intake items with an optimal number of calories, which will ultimately contribute to boosting the weight loss process.
Cycling is a mean feat and it would take out a lot of your calories before it shall start to melt your body fat for good. You should thus focus on keeping yourself hydrated (that’s the first thing) and stay away from junk foods and the nonsense of munching something at all times. Remember to eat a proper diet that offers high proteins and vitamins at the very least, and you may also rely on your trainer’s guide for some better options.
Here’s a golden rule. Your total calorie consumption in a day should be divided effectively so that you remain satisfied and have enough to eat throughout the day. If you eat too many calories in the early part of the day, you’ll be hungry for the rest of the day. Also, if you save all your calories for the later part of the day, you may anyway sabotage your cycling routine and the consequent weight-loss program.
Adopting a healthy eating plan shall also help you keep surprises at bay. If you have a predefined plan about what to eat at what time, it would make sticking to healthy eating patterns easier. The main elements that you need to think about for a healthy eating plan are:
The main element of creating a healthy plan is the number of calories you need to consume in a day. While creating a healthy schedule make sure you space out the calorie intake, so you don’t feel too hungry at any time.
For example, you plan to consume 1800 kcal in a day through 3 meals and 2 snacks. Proportionately each meal should contain 500 calories and each snack should contain 150 calories. Make sure that you pile up your plate with healthy and nutritious meals and snacks and keep fatty and sugary junk foods at bay.
Another major aspect to consider is during what times of the day do you feel like having a meal or a snack. For example, if you have a traditional first-shift functioning schedule, you would find it easy to eat your meals in the morning followed by regular food intake patterns.
But if your work schedule is different, you would require far more adjustments. It would be convenient for you to split the calories into 5 small meals rather than the same large meal pattern followed in the traditional rule of thumb.
You must eat every 3-4 hours to lose weight. Avoid longer gaps in meals and snacks as they could cause your blood sugar levels to drop too low, resulting in energy slumps, mood swings, and the temptation to overeat. Having moderate calories throughout the day keeps your energy levels stable and stomach happy. It also boosts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories. Again, stay away from oily and junk foods and drink enough water.
So, even if you haven’t stuck to a healthy eating schedule in the past, these benefits are enough motivation for you to do it now. You will immediately notice changes like higher energy levels, better mental clarity, and emotional resilience.
This is because you are providing your body with the fuel it requires so that it can perform its functions properly. You may bring all these benefits to some good use as you go cycling to reduce your flab.
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