Bike riding weight loss question


I like to run/walk, and it's been a long time since I've owned a bike. I was considering purchasing one because I thought it would be a fun way to lose a little extra weight. I wanted to see what others had to say about biking to lose weight, and I have seen several different things whilst researching the topic.

It's been stated more than once that you will NOT lose weight riding a bike without changing your eating habits. I don't understand this, however, because it seems to me that if you weren't biking before that adding biking to your daily regiment would in fact help you lose a couple of pounds overtime. If you were to start eating even more than usual I would understand it if biking didn't help you lose weight...

So what exactly does biking do for you, does it help at all? I would have thought it would be beneficial but I'm getting mixed signals :0

Thank you for your insight,


  • bv109
    bv109 Posts: 83
    any form of activity will burn calories. so obviously you lose weight from biking assuming you ate the same amount
  • _Zardoz_
    _Zardoz_ Posts: 3,987 Member
    Weightloss is all about calorie deficit. So you can ride a bike all you like but if you're still eating more than you need you won't lose weight. In reality exercise is for fitness and diet is for weightloss combining the two will obviously help your overall health, Yes you could create a bigger deficit by cycling but you need to be sure you're eating enough to do the exercise in the first place. The way MFP is set up is that once you put your details in it gives you a calorie allowance with a calorie deficit built in. Any exercise you do on top of that you are meant to eat those calories back.

    If i've not been clear enough in my explanation this is a great link but yes cycling is a great aerobic exercise .
  • AmykinsCatfood
    AmykinsCatfood Posts: 599 Member
    Cycling is great for the legs and bum, not to mention a fun way to get out and see the world! Do it up!
  • Hornsby
    Hornsby Posts: 10,324 Member
    I obviously believe in the power of pedaling.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
    You can certainly burn a load of calories cycling, if that tips you into deficit then you will get weight loss.
    My outdoor cycling alone burned 80,000 calories last year, that's not including my indoor training.

    It certainly means you get to eat a lot more nice food while still losing or maintaining your weight plus the health and fitness aspects.
  • David_AUS
    David_AUS Posts: 298 Member
    Losing weight is as a result of a calorie deficit. The only thing we cannot "add" to a day is time. If you make time to ride whether you are supporting weight loss is dependant on what you would have been doing with this time otherwise - so the overall "extra" calories is the difference between these two.

    Is getting out and moving supportive of becoming healthier and maintaining a healthy weight - absolutely. My take is - if you enjoy riding then make the time to get our there and enjoy yourself.
  • mstripes
    mstripes Posts: 151 Member
    Yes cycling can help you lose weight. However like others have already stated you will need a calorie deficit for it to happen. What I found is that I went from 289 pounds to below 240 by just riding my bike, lots, and changing my diet a bit. As time went on my diet became focused on how it impacted my riding to some extent. I'd think twice before having an extra snack. I'd eat salad more often for lunch rather than a burger.

    This February I also started using MFP and since doing that I am now at 215 and losing. I'm still riding my bike, lots, 3,421 miles so far this year. Riding more makes me want to eat more and I do.

    Ride a bike because it is fun track food and exercise because it will help you lose weight while not starving.
  • Libby283
    Libby283 Posts: 288 Member
    Cycling is great for the legs and bum, not to mention a fun way to get out and see the world! Do it up!

    This! I bought a cheap bike at Walmart in May. I have had a good time pedaling the neighborhood with the kids and burned some calories. Total Win- Win.