Cycling is one of the best sports you can do to lose weight, giving you an early advantage to achieving your weight loss goals for 2017 right off the bat.
But what's the best way to go about shifting that extra timber? Is it epic 5 hours sessions at low intensity? Replacing milk on your cereal with recovery shake? Eating nothing but your base metabolic rate no matter the ride?
Here are our five top tips for losing weight whilst cycling.
Fast Rides - Not the MPH Version
Fast to get faster! Morning fast rides are excellent ways to shift the fat because your body doesn't have as much food to burn as energy, meaning it will instead turn to fat reserves. Be careful though, if you ride att oo high an intensity you risk losing muscle mass instead of fat to fuel the ride - as a rule we recommend that fasted rides are no longer than 60mins at a light intensity or 30mins at threshold/high intensity.
Ensure you have a good breakfast lined up for afterwards with lots of protein and good carbohydrates to fuel your day, if you don't plan ahead you may find yourself binge eating at brunch, undoing all your good work!
Losing weight is hard, and achievements, however minor should be celebrated and rewarded. Not only does this help keep you motivated, it also stops you going stir crazy from cutting out everything that's good and bad for you.
You are much more likely to achieve your weight loss goals if you keep eating the things you love but in moderation and as a reward for reaching targets - cutting everything out is a recipe for failure.
Set yourself micro-goals based on weight lost, miles ridden of even sessions completed based on your long term goals and make sure you recognise and reward each achievement - within reason!
Become Accountable to the Masses (ie Facebook)
On the 1st January everyone states their New Year's Resolutions but the majority of people won't stick to them - a way to ensure you're not one of the failures is to make yourself accountable to social media.
Depending on how comfortable you are with using these channels, putting your goal out there for all to see and listing your micro-goals will help you to feel a dual sense of responsibility for reaching your goals - both to yourself and to your commitment online.
Add another element by allowing third party apps such as Strava or My Fitness Pal to post workouts/food diaries to Facebook so you can become even more accountable and encourage your friends to motivate you and ensure you keep it up.
HIIT It Hard
HIIT sessions - or High Intensity Interval Training - is a key part of any weight loss regimen and one that should be embraced as well as feared.
These are usually short, hard sessions of around 30-45 minutes and should be undertaken at or near threshold. If you have a turbo trainer you can take advantage of the myriad HIIT videos on Youtube or if you are a gym member you can take part in a spin class, which are usually HIIT structured.
These sessions actually burn a higher percentage of fat than long, low intensity rides; and their short length makes them much easier to fit into your day than a 3 hour low intensity ride.
Whilst there are many fad diets out there most of them are just that - fad diets. The best way to make a real, significant change to your diet is to change your basic eating habits by controlling things such as portions or the macro-nutrients in meals.
When losing weight diet is 70% of the battle, and engineering your diet for cycling can be a key factor in whether you are successful or not in reaching your goals.
Cycling requires energy and if you are committing yourself to regular rides you will need to eat foods that provide you with the right fuel for the ride. Carbohydrates such as wholemeals and cereals will allow you to keep eating pasta and bread whilst increasing the amount of protein you eat will help your body repair itself and aid recovery.