Tips for overweight cyclists: How to lose fat cycling

Megan Smith
 min read

On this page you can find all kinds of tips for overweight cyclists. The main focus is on how to efficiently and effectively burn fat on the bike

tips for overweight cyclists how to lose fat cyclingAs we learn more about our health, doctors remain steadfast: Exercise is essential for people of any size.

Thin doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. For example, an obese person who exercises could be healthier than a skinny couch potato.

Tips for overweight cyclists: Introduction

Don’t let your weight stop you from finding enjoyment in the activities you’re interested in.

Even if cycling tips for weight loss are not your main interest, remember that biking is also excellent for your lower limb strength and a healthy heart.

We cannot stress this too strongly: You need to select the right bike and one of the best bike saddles for the larger, plus-size person.

Read on for some more pointers:

Make sure your bike fits your body

There are many bike options for heavier people; you don’t have to struggle on a bike that is uncomfortable, or worse, painful.

You can actually find tools online to input your weight and height, which will guide you to the right bike.

The right bike is designed to accommodate your body type, and it will allow you to cycle better, and we promise you’ll enjoy it more.

Keep your temperature down

If you’re an Eskimo, you’re probably glad to have some extra fat as insulation.

You are probably less enamored if you’re toiling up a hill in the hot sun.

It’s tough enough if you’re lean, but the heat poses an even harder challenge if you’re obese.

Not only is it more difficult to keep cool, but you’re probably going at a slower pace and have less of a breeze that could cool you down.

You’ll need to schedule your trips for cooler times of the day, which is relatively straightforward but not always obvious.

You should try your hand – or foot – on flatter surfaces, especially on hotter days, so you can go faster and enjoy a stronger, cooler breeze.

Keep a positive mindset: Tips for overweight cyclists

Our mind can be our worst enemy.

If you’re feeling that you’re not performing at your best and that you could do much better, it’s very easy to give in to the despair caused by that nasty little voice in your head.

Sometimes, those negative feelings show up as anger, and that anger can fuel you more but don’t punish yourself for not doing better.

We understand what it means to feel like that, but try something else…

Concentrate on the feeling of being on a bike and the fact that you’re working on your physical fitness.

Discover the simple joys of cycling, which will automatically transfer into more productive sessions.

Cycling must be enjoyed whatever your weight or experience. And there are no rules stipulating what a cyclist should look like.

Be kind to yourself. No matter your size, just make sure that you’re enjoying yourself.

The more you ride, the more changes you’ll want to make, and you’ll be doing it for the right reasons.

Do pay attention to accessories

Whatever your bike accessories or outfit, you need to check them out.

Do you have the right bike seat size? Tip: Discover some of the best bicycle saddles for bigger buttocks.

Are your leggings helping you avoid chafing? Set yourself up for success by choosing what works for you.

Some riders find it helpful to use an anti-chafing gel or cream on their rides.

Choose a helmet with holes for ventilation (don’t ever forgo safety).

As an obese bicyclist, it is easy to overheat, and aerated helmets make a massive difference.

Stay hydrated so you can go the extra mile

If you’re feeling uncomfortable, tired and perhaps nauseous, the last thing you feel like doing is feeding your stomach.

If you’ve got some tummy fat, it’s normal to experience frequent burping and to feel full even before you’ve eaten anything.

That, and the propensity to retain heat and sweat more, means you’re more likely to get dehydrated and you’re going to hit a wall (metaphorically speaking).

How to prevent? Drink while going downhill and try to eat or drink by standing instead of your regular cycling position.

You’ll find yourself stopping more, but this slight adjustment is a small price to pay.

Beat yesterday

Who’s your opponent? No, it’s not the flashy rider who surpasses you every time. It’s yourself.

Stop seeing cycling as a race against someone else and start seeing it as a race against your previous ride. It’s definitely more motivating.

Being overweight means that it might take you longer to get up hills and that’s fine.

You might even want to take weight loss objectives off the table.

Simple movement means that your body is burning calories, but oh, biking does so much more!

It helps you avoid cardiovascular disease, strokes, arthritis, depression, and more. So much more.

You may want to concentrate on this rather than obsessing over the scale.

For more weight loss tips we would like to refer you to our blog post Is cycling good for losing weight?.

Focus on your breathing: One of the best tips for overweight cyclists

When you’re overweight and out of shape, it’s normal to expect shortness of breath.

But your hitherto untrained cardiovascular system is not totally to blame. There’s a mechanical component too.

The forward-leaning biking position puts pressure on your upper body and stops your diaphragm from inflating your lungs.

During high-intensity efforts, leaner athletes breathe harder, and as a result, their abdomens distend.

We typically refer to it as “stubborn belly breathing”.

But a large stomach means it is more challenging to make it bigger as you breathe in.

So your breathing is faster and more shallow. You might, unknowingly, raise your shoulders to expand your chest area. So we need a position change.

If you can’t breathe properly, you can’t exercise to your best, and therefore you won’t get fitter and lose weight.

Raise your seat or place your hands on the tops of the handles.

You could also try a recessed channel or a cutout seat, which will stop excess pressure while at the same time rolling your hips forward.

About Megan Smith

Megan has been fighting overweight and her plus size since her teenage years. After trying all types of remedies without success, she started doing her own research. Megan founded Plus Size Zeal to share her findings. She also developed various detailed buying guides for plus-size people in order to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Read More