Nutrition & Weight Loss

Sponsored Features

We provide cycling enthusiasts with the finest components and gear, from the best brands, at the lowest possible prices and deliver it faster than anyone else.
Weight Loss
Your Ideal Cycling Weight
Find it, reach it—and stay lean for life
BySelene Yeager
StumbleUpon Share
Printer Friendly Version

Behold the mighty pound. Each one has potential. To put raw power into your pedals. To outsprint the masses to the line. To ascend the likes of Mont Ventoux. But pack on too many (especially of the non-power-producing variety—in other words, fat) and they'll weigh you down, slow you down, and maybe even shorten your life. Shave off too many, and you risk losing some of your crank-churning power. That's why, of all the figures cyclists track, from heart rate to mileage to speed, perhaps none outrank the one on the bathroom scale.


"I spend a lot of time helping riders achieve their ideal weight because the rewards are so great," says Hunter Allen, founder of the Peaks Coaching Group and coauthor of Training and Racing with a Power Meter. "Every extra pound you carry above that weight makes you 15 to 20 seconds slower for each mile of a climb." Off the bike, the rewards are just as substantial. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that losing just 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight can lower your blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and protect against diabetes and cancer. Even if you never compete, slimming down will help you enjoy riding more because your heart won't have to work as hard. Maybe you'll even drop some of those leaner-than-thou types on the group ride. You get the idea.


But this is about being strong, not skinny. Fat plays a key role in immune-system function—if you don't have enough, your energy will flag and you'll get sick. Become so lean that you start to burn muscle, and your power will plummet. The idea is to find a sweet spot where you can ride strong, yet be healthy, too.


This sweet spot depends on numerous factors, including your current weight, height, and body-frame size. Below, we give you three ways to find a target ideal weight you can live, ride, or even race with for life. Focus on the one that best fits your goals, or try all three. Then, read ahead for our training and meal plans designed to help you achieve your ideal cycling weight—and stay there for good.


Option 1: Shed Excess Pounds
Option 2: Get Leaner and Faster
Option 3: Get Competitive


Ride It Off: Your Quickstart Plan


Now that you know what you want to weigh, it's time to plot how to get there. The following two-week plan from coach Hunter Allen will jump-start your weight loss by training your body to become a fat-burning machine. "It combines intense efforts with on-bike fueling strategies to teach your body to burn fat more effectively," he says. "It's not about drilling it every day. It's about becoming a strong, well-rounded rider and an excellent fat burner." You'll get noticeable results fast. For a longer-term program that will help you shed pounds for good, sign up for Allen's premium eight-week Get Lean Now plan.


How It Works


The program assumes you hop on your bike (or a stationary bike at the gym) four or more days a week. If you've been riding less than that, take the easy days as full rest and begin with the fewest number of intervals indicated on a given day.


Keep your calorie intake in check by limiting snacks on easy and rest days. On days that include hills, intervals, and/or other hard work right after your warm-up, have a preride snack. For endurance rides (Days 6, 7, 13, and 14), when you'll pedal at a lower intensity, roll out the door on an empty stomach, ideally in the morning before breakfast or a few hours after a meal later in the day. But take plenty of food with you (see the GO FASTER eating plan) for on-bike snack suggestions). You can fuel up after the 90-minute mark before you drain your glycogen stores and bonk. "The idea is to train your body to become an efficient fat burner while still properly fueling your ride," Allen says. At first, it may be difficult to wait this long to start eating. Remember to ride at an easy to moderate effort. You should be able to carry on a conversation easily. If you're really flagging, have a bite or two at the one-hour mark and extend from there on subsequent rides.


Note: The formulas and plans in this article are not a substitute for medical advice. Consult with a physician before embarking on any weight-loss program.


Want more Bicycling? Subscribe today and get 2 free gifts.
Order your copy of Ride Your Way Lean today!
Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Yahoo! Icon LinkedIn Icon


You need to control your current nutrition. If you tight eating habits, you have to consume significantly water and keep away from junk foodstuff. Top recommended Belden Catalogue
Weight loss is about your attempt. It's impossible to weight loss if you just consume a pill but you forget to sleep regularly at night or your nutrition is not good. The result must be bad. Motorcycle bracelet
Get a plan of weight loss for good health,it is very important thing,this article is helpful.I think be better to take note about exact calories consumed,use a app on ulefone smartphone to testing,or garmin devices
Weight loss would be a very difficult thing done by many people today. There are many types of ideal body weight if your height is different. Man Made Diamond Engagement Rings
Ideal body weight will usually be owned by those who diligently exercise. You had better find a type of exercise that right. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Minnesota
Those who have an ideal body weight can keep the body well. One is to maintain food intake and exercise in a week. Auto Repair Kent Company
Thanks combination of suitable and useful information and well-written sentences that will certainly entice your sense.There are so multiple comments here that are really entertaining and conducive to me thanks for sharing a link especially for sharing this blog. Wedding Ideas
Disini Bunda bisa mengetahui informasi seputar gizi dan nutrisi anak, pola hidup serta kebiasaan anak. Ayo telusuri sekarang
Dear Selene, Why would Lance be used as an example for the 2.1 ratio associated with elite racers, when his stats are severely tainted? Wouldn't it make sense to go with some clean pros where possible?
Achieving your ideal weight is difficult but keeping it is an even bigger challenge.
Excellent article, thanks for sharing, I found very interesting. cuentas sin comisiones
ideal weight for article thanks for sharing this. cheap smartphones
Bundle of thanks for sharing this valuable info. Check my website for 3d scratch map of the world scratch globe. Thx
ideal weight for article thanks for sharing this.cell phone plans
excellent article. What the author says about being *too* lean is absolutely true. The lowest average weight I can achieve before burning muscle is 124lb (I'm 5'4"). Beyond that, if I do so much as skip breakfast, my muscle mass the next day is substantially reduced and it takes a week of interval work to get it back. It's a PIA for whoever is around me. if I get hungry I have to eat IMMEDIATELY. During the winter months my average weight goes up to about 128lb - during this time I can afford to skip a training ride here and there and even eat lighter and my power output still stays fairly consistent - if you have enough fat to fuel your muscle your body holds on to the muscle also it should be noted that running burns fat more effectively than cycling. There's a pretty conclusive study that finds the same:
I seriously love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you build this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my own personal blog and would like to know where you got this from or just what the theme is called.good luck man and thanks for sharing this post with us..I seriously appreciate people like you..visit my site and Play sbobet and feel confident,have fun and win big..
Thank you for such a fantastic blog. Where else could anyone get that kind of info written in such a perfect way? I have a presentation that I am presently working on and I have been on the look out for such information. villas mykonos
When My partner and i go through some sort of blog site, I'm hoping who's isn't going to let down everyone approximately this blog. What i'm saying is, I realize it turned out my own option to learn to read, yet My partner and i actually considered you would have got something fascinating to state. Almost all My partner and i find out will be a variety of whimpering regarding something that one could deal with if you were not also chaotic searching for interest.For additional data click on Hyundai Tampa
Not to pick a fine point in a great article, but I question Watts/Kg for beginning and fast recreational riders. The article uses 2.5 to 3.4 for a beginner rider. I am 69 years old, weigh 205 (too much), 5'11" and ride about 4000 miles per year. At 180 watts output on flat terrain, I average 19.5 mph. This is time trialing with no drafting. My total rolling weight is 227. That calculates to approximately 1.9 watts/Kg. At 300 watts output, I average 25.2 mph, thats 2.9 watts/Kg. According to the article, that does not put me in the category of a fast recreational rider! It just barely puts me in the category of a beginning rider. I stopped riding for 10 years and have been back on the bike for 3. Weight is down from 228, and at this age, it is really tough to drop pounds. I struggle on team rides, but generally stay close to ex CAT2 and CAT3 riders in the group (now in their 40's and 50's). Our top dog (early 30's and built like Mister Clean) can TT at about 28 MPH. I doubt he is putting out more than 350 watts and weighs in at 185 lbs and is 6'0". That puts his watts/Kg at 4.4 and he is an animal. No one can come close to keeping up with him and he does 4 1/4 hour Centuries.
It's amazing to see that just simple little steps have such a wide ranging effect. I have yet to get into bike riding but many of my friends swear by it. Right now I travel a lot, so it's somewhat hard to fit it in on the road.
watts/kg is measured vs your weight, excluding weight of the bike+water. Also, it is only applicable if measured within time intervals. Obviously, a 65kg rider who can average 300 watts over an hour is stronger than a 65kg rider who can only hold 300 watts for 20 minutes. here is a chart that outlines experience levels vs functional threshold watts/kg for different time intervals: From what I have seen it is pretty accurate, but will soon have to be adjusted to account for increasing talent across the board (ie. right now I feel it is under-reporting. As a 3 year old rider and former fatty my 20 min ftp still puts me in the middle of Cat 1 according to the chart, but I would struggle to keep pace with the cat 3 riders in my club)
Hi Selene, Cycling builds strength, tone muscles and helps in reducing and maintaining body weight. Cycling improves heart health, strengthens immune system and reduce the risk of cancer,stress and cardiovascular problems. Cycling builds stamina and improves coordination. san antonio fitness
You'll just have to pack a lighter lunch. hehehehe
2.1X67'' 140.7 pounds I would have to put on 20 to get there. I know I'm skinny but thats a lot. I've been that heavy before and my knees we not happy with me.
Where is the calculation for men shorter than 5'5"?
This quote: "Every extra pound you carry above that weight makes you 15 to 20 seconds slower for each mile of a climb." is very hard to believe. For a rider plus bike that weighs 150 pounds, one more pound is just 0.7 percent. For a climber going 8mph 15 seconds slower is 3.3%. How is a .7 percent increase in weight supposed to slow someone down by 3.3%? Justify, please.
There was a study done by the American College of Sports Medicine that showed the effects of adding 1 kg of weight to a bicycle in a ~2000 meter climb. The subjects were all competitive riders from cat 5 to cat 1. While most of the subjects had to increase power output and produced slower climbing times (around 20 seconds), there were riders who showed no change in power output or climbing time. In fact, some riders showed a decrease in power output and no change in time when 1kg of weight was added- the opposite of what was expected. Considering that 1kg is 2.2 lbs, that's a significant amount of weight. But what do these results tell us? Weight isn't everything. If you're already lean and close to your optimal weight, muscular strength and power will determine climbing performance more-so than simply reducing weight. This is a major reason why tour level riders lift weights. Improving maximal muscular strength improves endurance. If you look for videos of pro level riders lifting weights, you'll notice that they lift extremely heavy weights for only 4-8 repetitions. This is a technique that improves muscular strength. Check out my blog for more information on training.
I commute 18 miles in and 19 miles home. I drive to work with my stuff and leave my car at work and ride home. I ride back and forth every day I can and drive home at the end of the week or if the weather is bad. How can I work this type of work-out into my commute schedule? I live in the Atlanta area so I have lots of hill climbs on my routes. Thanks
You'll just have to pack a lighter lunch. hehehehe