Can you lose weight by Indoor Cycling? Yes! We explain why Indoor Cycling can support you in achieving your ideal weight in the text below.
The basis of a healthy weight
“You are what you eat.” I’m sure you’ve heard this saying before. And it’s true. In the end, it all starts with nutrition. If you’re healthy and don’t eat too much, you’ll keep a good weight. If you eat too many calories, you gain weight, and if you create a shortage of calories, you lose weight. It sounds so simple. But of course, other factors also play a role, causing one person to gain or lose weight faster than the other.
Gender, age, and muscle mass, among other things, influence how each person’s metabolism works. Still, a calorie deficit is necessary to lose weight. You can achieve this by dieting, but this is often a temporary solution. As soon as you stop dieting, you’ll gain the weight back.
Can you lose weight without a diet?
The art of losing weight is to eat in such a way that you don’t create a ‘bad’ deficit. Your body needs sufficient nutrients, such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins to maintain your immune system and to feel fit. When losing weight, you prefer to lose fat rather than muscle mass. With too little or the wrong proportions of food, this is a risk.
Usually, if you eat healthy, you can also create a calorie deficit through exercise so that you lose weight in a responsible way. You can choose between cardio and strength training, but of course, you can also alternate these. Most importantly, do something that you like and that you can keep up. If you are quite overweight, then running is not the best option, because it is very taxing for your joints. Swimming or Indoor Cycling would then be a better choice.
A flat stomach or thick legs due to Indoor Cycling?
People often wonder if Indoor Cycling gives you a flat stomach. It used to be thought that you would get a tight belly by training your abdominal muscles. Unfortunately, abdominal exercises alone don’t create a six-pack. If you want to get a flat stomach, besides training your abs, you will also have to watch your nutrition and train your large muscle groups. These are your legs, back, chest, and shoulders. By training these large muscle groups and the growth of your total muscle mass, your metabolism will increase, even at rest.
“Doesn’t Indoor Cycling give you thick legs?” The answer is: “No.” Look at racing cyclists, they never have fat legs. If you cycle regularly it is likely that you will lose fat on your legs. This makes your legs look more beautiful and more muscular. But the idea that you get thick legs from Indoor Cycling is wrong.
Burn lots of calories and lose weight by Indoor Cycling
Indoor Cycling classes are a very effective way to lose weight because you burn a lot of calories per workout. Exactly how many calories you burn differs per person and has to do with your weight, among other things, but a person weighing 80 kilos burns 561 kcal with a 45-minute average Indoor Cycling workout and 748 kcal with 60 minutes of the same workout. That’s two big lunch meals!
‘MET-value’: Metabolic Equivalent of Task
Do you want to apply this calculation to your weight and know exactly how many calories you burn? Then use the following method. We use the MET value for this calculation. MET is an abbreviation for the Metabolic Equivalent of Task and this value says something about the intensity of the effort. Sleeping has the value 0.9, walking the dog 3.0, and normal Indoor Cycling workout 8.9. A heavy Indoor Cycling workout is valued at no less than 9.8! This MET value is multiplied by the weight in kilograms, then by 0.0175 and finally by the number of minutes.
So if you weigh 60 kg and do 30 minutes of Indoor Cycling, then the sum for a normal Indoor Cycling workout is -> 8.9 x 60 x 0.0175 x 30 = 280 kcal.
You can imagine that this form of cardio is very popular for losing weight. In addition, Indoor Cycling is much less stressful for your hips, knees, and ankles than, for example, running. More and more people don’t want to depend on the weather or class times anymore and buy a Indoor Cycling bike to use at home. There are several apps available to do online Indoor Cycling workouts. You can read more about that here.
Losing weight as a goal
If you want to lose weight by Indoor Cycling, we recommend doing a workout on your Indoor Cycling bike three times a week. Start slowly, build up your fitness, and don’t overdo it, then it will remain fun. It is also important that you eat healthy. That means varied; limit your sugars and fats. For a good balance in nutrition, you can visit the website of the Netherlands Nutrition Centre, for instance.
Do you want to calculate how many calories you need in a day and keep track of how many calories you take in? That is when you have to calculate your calorie requirement.
That can be done by means of this formula:
1. You can calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR) or the number of calories burned in 24 hours without activity using the formulas below:
BMR Women -> 655 + (9.6 x weight in kilos) + (1.8 x length in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)
BMR Men -> 66 + (13.7 x weight in kilos) + (5 x length in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)
2. The next step is to calculate your PAL value. Your PAL value is the amount of exercise you get on average per day.
– Little to no exercise (all day in bed) = 1.2
– Light exercise (if your work is not active and you don’t do any sports) = 1.375
– Normal exercise = 1.55
– Heavy exercise (physically active work, or daily exercise) = 1.725
– Very heavy exercise (professional athletes) = 1.9
3. You now have your BMR and PAL value. With these 2 numbers, you can calculate your daily calorie requirement: BMR x PAL = your daily calorie requirement.
So your movement is already included in the above calculation!
Lose weight without yo-yo effect
Now that you know your personal calorie needs, it is important to know how many calories you are actually taking in. You can keep track of this with, for instance, the MyFitnessPal app. It helps you keep track of what you eat and drink. Usually, it’s sufficient to get a good idea of your diet, and after a while, you can estimate what and how much you can eat to stay on/under your calorie requirement.
Suppose your calorie requirement is 2500 kcal a day and your goal is to lose weight; then you have to make sure you consume less than this amount of calories. A deficit of 200-300 kcal per day is easy to maintain, a large daily calorie deficit can cause dizziness, a feeling of hunger, and other complaints. If you lose weight in a healthy and responsible way, the process is pleasant and the result is permanent!