Lose weight with mountain biking – 14 steps

Lose weight with mountain biking

Losing weight with mountain biking, it’s possible! If you want to get fitter, leaner and lighter – not to mention healthier, cycling mountain biking is a way to lose weight.

It’s efficient, enjoyable, easy to fit into a busy day and, best of all, it has emotional, mental and physical benefits. What’s not to like?


  • Tips to lose weight with mountain biking
    • Build up slowly
    • Set realistic goals
    • Count the calories every day
    • Track what you eat
    • Avoid alcohol and soft drinks
    • Don’t overtrain
    • Keep it Durable
    • Don’t weigh yourself every day
    • Vary Your Training
    • Ride your mountain bike to work
    • Buy a decent mountain bike
    • Drink lots of water
    • Start in Spring or Summer
    • Keep Your Lifestyle

Tips to lose weight with mountain biking

  1. Build up slowly

If you’re a couch potato you shouldn’t go all-in in one go. Build up slowly and just start mountain biking for an hour once or twice a week. You don’t necessarily have to drive on gnarled trails, some quiet trails or even just the road will do just fine. After a few weeks you will get stronger and you can ramp up your workouts.

If this sounds like too much, just start with half an hour, take it easy, 30 minutes is better than nothing and you will develop a love for mountain biking. Don’t worry about being overweight either, just get a decent bike and go to your local bike shop for advice.

After mountain biking for 5 days in a row I usually have muscle pain in my legs. To still burn calories, I also decided to train my upper body and go to the gym. At first I only went once a week, but I really liked that I got stronger and soon went twice a week.

A stronger upper body is a huge advantage when riding trails, it made climbing a lot easier and it just feels right!

  1. Set realistic goals

It is important to set realistic goals and milestones. Somehow this works to help you achieve your long-term goals. Breaking your long-term goal down into several smaller goals makes it seem less intimidating and makes it more likely to succeed.

Don’t think too much about how much weight you want to lose, but about how often, how long and when you want to ride your mountain bike. You will burn fat anyway! What I did was just try to break my track record, it’s a great feeling to beat your former self.

You can even decide to take a break for a week, it will help you recover and you will feel stronger the next time you ride. Perhaps you can also go for a walk . As long as you watch what you eat, a short break will be beneficial. It allows your body to recover and you do not run the risk of overtraining.

Don’t forget to treat yourself , yes you can eat a pizza, hamburger or fries. Just make sure your total calorie intake per week is less than what you need. Don’t do this too often though, a burger (or whatever you like) just tastes so much better when you’ve worked hard and earned it! Don’t feel guilty, you’ll just ride a little harder next time.

  1. Count the calories every day

You need a calorie deficit, the average man can handle about 2500 and the woman about 2200. It also depends on your height. Either way, make sure you eat less, but stay healthy. I consumed about 500 to 800 less than I needed and this works. In combination with mountain biking, my weight went down drastically and quickly.

Make sure you eat an average of 500 calories less by the end of the week. Some days you eat more and other days less, depending on how fast you cycle. Taking in fewer calories in combination with mountain biking is all I did to achieve my goal.

A good way to keep track is to buy a scale that can measure accurately. It can be annoying at first to put all your food on a scale, but it really helps you understand exactly how much you can eat.

At some point you get a good idea of ​​how much is too much and you do n’t even have to weigh your food anymore. It also helps you get enough of the right ingredients every day without starving yourself.

  1. Track what you eat

Get a scale that can accurately weigh food so you know how many calories are in your food of choice. For example, I skipped my cappuccino and replaced it with tea. That saved me 120 calories (including the sugar). Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and eat yogurt for protein (your muscles need them to grow and repair).

When shopping, make sure to read the back of the products you buy. Sometimes food seems healthy, but looks can be deceiving. Also try to avoid processed food, it has a lot of extra ‘ingredients’ that can kill your diet.

Don’t forget to eat something you really like every now and then. Sure, you can eat fries or a burger every now and then, but just make sure you’re still in a calorie deficit or training harder. This does not apply to people who like low carb diets, of course, there is no one diet that is perfect. The best thing you can do is eat healthy and cut back on sugar. Do not eat like a child.

  1. Avoid alcohol and soft drinks

I like a cold one now and then, but alcohol is just the worst. I can now afford to have a cold beer after an intense ride, but in general it is better to avoid alcohol. It certainly doesn’t hurt to drink a beer now and then, but stay away from alcohol as much as possible.

As for soda, that’s almost pure sugar. Drink tea, water (ad a little lemon) and the occasional diet cola. People underestimate how many calories soda contains and it kills your diet.

  1. Don’t overtrain

It can be incredibly motivating to see results quickly, but one of the biggest mistakes people make is burning themselves out. I can imagine, I was completely absorbed in it and got results quickly, but after 4 weeks I fell off the wagon. I overtrained and was too tired. My legs felt constantly sore and my workouts became inefficient.

I decided to take a break, but still watch my diet. After a week my body recovered and I went back to my routine, well I toned it down a bit so as not to burn myself out again. I started to eat some more protein and made sure I recovered before going outside again.

  1. Keep it Durable

If you go into it too hard, you will have a hard time sustaining such a lifestyle. Don’t starve yourself or overtrain yourself. You can eat a little more on training days and a little less when you recover. Recovery is important to keep your mountain bike sessions efficient and fun. Climbing a slope is hell if you don’t have the energy.

There are tons of trackers that can make you aware of your eating habits. I took a scale and weighed everything I ate and counted the calories. On intense training days I eat more, my muscles need the fuel and it helps not to feel sore all the time.

Remember to treat yourself every now and then within reasonable limits. It shouldn’t feel like you’re punishing yourself, but more like a fun way to lose some weight.

  1. Don’t weigh yourself every day

Don’t pick up your scale every day. Your weight varies every day and it can become an obsession. It can be downright demotivating to weigh more after a few days of dieting and training. You also build muscle and your body is mostly made up of water. This has a major impact on what the scale says.

Instead, weigh yourself only once a week at the same time. Also use your mirror, you will see results even if the scale tells you otherwise. At some point you may even gain weight, not because of the calorie intake but your muscles start to grow.

  1. Vary Your Training

Gone are the days of riding within a fat-burning zone, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is what matters. You burn more calories, even 24 hours after your workout. Just ride slowly for a few minutes and then give it about 80%-95% for a minute and repeat. Good news for trail riders: trail riding is interval training. You have to accelerate, slow down and repeat. Mountain biking is great for shedding a few pounds!

If you don’t have a trail nearby, roads or gravel are also fine. Just make sure you don’t cycle at the same pace all the time. Your body gets used to it over time and it becomes less efficient. HIIT helps you get your body used to your rides and it is very forgiving compared to HIIT training when running.

If you feel your legs getting sore, consider hitting the gym at least once a week. Do some core training, train your upper body and you can always skip a leg day. You already train your legs when you cycle and they could use a break.

  1. Ride your mountain bike to work

I do this often, but I’m lucky that my job is a 45 minute (intensive) ride. I just put on my mountain bike clothes and cycle like mad. At work, I take a shower and feel great when I sit down at my desk. It really helps me work more efficiently and I can stay focused longer. I even take my bike when it rains.

On the way back I usually cycle a little slower, but enough to call it a workout. Somehow I have the problem that I can’t cycle slow, I just have to keep going fast. When I get home I don’t have to go to the gym or anything, which saves me some time. If you decide to do this, make sure you have an emergency repair kit with you. A flat tire is no bueno on your way to work.

  1. Buy a decent mountain bike

A good mountain bike is one that fits well and has quality parts. Don’t buy a cheap bike, it won’t last long and will be a frustrating ride. Count on at least 1000 euros for a good mountain bike. Hardtails are cheaper than full suspensions.

Go to your local bike shop (if it’s a good one) or see if you can get a good deal on a used mountain bike. Check out my guide on how to buy a used mountain bike to save yourself a lot of money.

Riding a good mountain bike will help you stay motivated. I used to ride an oldie but once I got a decent mountain bike I was hooked. Riding always felt like a struggle, but once I got a new bike I couldn’t wait to get out there again.

  1. Drink lots of water

Take plenty of water with you on your ride. I really had to force myself to drink more water and after a while I got used to it. It gets you going on your ride and is just a healthy thing to do.

  1. Start in Spring or Summer

Winter is depressing here, so tip this is just for those people. You go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. I can take it for a while, but after a few months I just had it. Personally I couldn’t have done this in the winter, sure it’s the perfect time to get that beach body for the summer, but the lack of light depresses me. I always couldn’t start in the winter.

When spring has sprung, it’s time to ride your mountain bike. More sunlight, more vitamin D, just everything better. I need less sleep in the summer and feel more energetic. If you recognize what I’m describing, start cycling as soon as the weather gets better, it’s a huge motivation boost. The woods are alive, birds are singing, everything is green and it just lifts your spirits in general.

  1. Keep Your Lifestyle

The danger of wanting to lose weight quickly is blowing up like a balloon when you have reached your goal. You have to keep watching what you eat and keep cycling on your mountain bike to stay in shape. The way I did it is often not the best way. Certainly I lost a lot of weight, but the real challenge is not to gain weight again.

I reduce the beers and pizzas, train more often and still cycle at least 2 times a week. The moment I stop doing that, I’ll be back on in no time.

It’s about changing your lifestyle, eating healthy, not drinking too much and eating a varied diet. Exercise regularly and especially if you don’t feel like it. Changing your behavior is much more challenging than losing weight. So keep riding your mountain bike and hit the trails. It’s fun and exercise at the same time!


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