One of the many benefits of stationary biking is weight loss. With an indoor bike at home, you can be committed to exercising, even with a crazy schedule, and you can hop on your bike whenever you have time. This level of convenience makes stationary biking one of the best activities for people who want to maintain a consistent exercise regime and lose weight.
If one of your goals is to lose weight, you’ll need to work out the level of output you need to maintain to reach your goal. So, how long should you ride a stationary bike to lose weight?
Theoretically you can lose weight by riding just 30 minutes a day. However, a more accurate answer will depend on several factors, including your weight and your lifestyle.
To give you a clear idea of how much you should ride to lose weight, I’ll get into the details about the determining factors, calories burnt via indoor cycling, and how you can lose weight more efficiently.
So keep reading.
- Stationary biking is a convenient and low-impact exercise that can help you lose weight by creating a calorie deficit.
- The time and intensity of your indoor cycling sessions will affect how many calories you burn and how fast you lose weight.
- Your weight, body composition, and diet also influence your weight loss journey with stationary biking.
- You can boost your calorie burning and fat loss by incorporating high-intensity interval training and weight training into your workout plan.
- You need to be consistent and follow a healthy diet to see results with stationary biking.
How Long Will It Take You to Lose Weight with an Exercise Bike?
Weight loss is all about calories. If you eat more than you need, you’ll gain weight. If you eat less than you need (or burn more than you consume) you create a calorie deficit – and that’s how you lose weight.
A calorie deficit of 3500 is equal to one pound lost. So the time it will take you to lose weight depends on the calories you burn per session as well as your diet and general lifestyle.
How Many Calories Do You Burn on a Stationary Bike?
According to Captain Calculator, a 150-pound person can burn 251 calories in an hour of light stationary cycling, 344 calories in moderate intensity, and about 630 calories in vigorous intensity.
In a spin class, it’s possible to burn as many as 609 calories in an hour. However, the heavier you are, the more calories you’re likely to burn (and conversely, lighter people may not reach such high numbers).
For instance, if you’re 300 pounds you can burn over 600 calories an hour while cycling moderately, and up to 1260 calories with vigorous indoor cycling! It’s worth noting that these numbers are very broad, however, so individual results are likely to vary.
Indoor Cycling and Weight Loss: The Determining Factors
To know how long you should cycle for weight loss, you first need to understand the factors that determine how much weight you can, or will, lose.
Your Body Weight
A heavier person will burn more calories than a smaller person doing the same activity with the same level of intensity.
Heavier people need more energy to move their body compared to a lighter person during exercise. Larger people also have larger internal organs, which require more energy to function.
This translates to higher energy expenditure so they, therefore, will be burning calories at a higher rate. And more calories burned can help you create a higher calorie deficit and, in turn, lose more weight.
It might explain why, as you lose weight and become lighter, you start to burn fewer calories.
Note that your body composition affects how you burn calories. Two people of the same weight may burn a different number of calories because of the difference in muscle mass. The person with more muscle mass is likely to burn more calories because muscles spend more calories than body fat.
The Intensity of Your Workouts
Two people may use an exercise bike for an hour but one of them will burn twice as many calories as the other one.
You can double the number of calories you burn with indoor cycling by increasing your intensity.
From the calorie calculator data above, you see that a 300-pound person can burn 600 calories when riding at a moderate pace and 1260 calories when riding vigorously. Those are twice as many calories! And they make a huge difference in weight loss if you’re consistent.
Lastly, your diet will impact your weight loss journey. We have established that losing weight is all a matter of calories–your input and output.
So you can put all your effort into your stationary bike and burn a good number of calories in a session. But if a healthy (calorie controlled) diet is not part of your weight loss strategy you may not see a difference.
This is because you may be burning calories efficiently but then you undo all that work with unhealthy food.
On the other hand, a healthy diet coupled with consistently riding a stationary bike could help you achieve your fitness goals faster.
How to Lose More Weight with an Indoor Exercise Bike
You’ve learned about calories and how they fit into the whole weight loss issue, and you’ve seen the factors that will affect the weight you lose with indoor cycling.
So now it’s time to learn how to burn calories more efficiently with exercise bikes. How can you lose more weight in a shorter time?
Make Your Workouts More Intense
You can still lose weight with moderate indoor cycling, as long as you’re creating a calorie deficit.
But if you want to speed up the process and burn fat quicker, try vigorous workouts. A 200-pound person can burn up to 458 calories in an hour of light to moderate indoor cycling. But they could raise this number to over 800 if they decide to do vigorous cycling.
A more intense cycling session means you get to burn more calories in a short amount of time. This is perfect if you can’t afford to spend a lot of time on your stationary bike. You can even make significant progress with just 30 minutes of vigorous indoor riding a day.
Try high-intensity interval training to challenge yourself and get closer to your goals.
Incorporate Other Physical Activities
While cycling is a fantastic low-impact workout that can help with weight loss, it shouldn’t be the only physical activity that you engage in.
First, it works some muscles more than others and the muscles in your lower body do most of the work. It’s not just about how much weight you lose, you also want to challenge all your muscles and tone your entire body.
Incorporate weight training into your workout plan to strengthen all your muscles and improve your physique. This also makes your training more interesting so you won’t get bored stuck to your exercise bike every day.
Make Your Indoor Cycling Sessions Longer
The longer you ride a stationary bike the more calories you burn and the easier it will be to create a deficit.
If you have been cycling indoors for 20 minutes, try going for 25 minutes and then for 30 minutes, pushing yourself each time. You will burn more fat and improve your endurance in the process.
Adopt a Healthy (Calorie Controlled) Diet
Exercise bikes are great for helping you to burn calories. But without a proper weight loss diet, where you maintain a calorie deficit, you won’t see many results. Unless you’re an elite level cyclist practicing for multiple hours every day – you won’t be able to out ride a high calorie diet.
Eating well plays a huge role in helping you lose weight; a healthy diet could see you achieve your weight goals in a shorter amount of time. You need to eat enough to fuel your rides, but not so much that you lose your deficit.
This is where healthy, non-processed and filling foods such as lean proteins, adequate fats, fresh fruit and veggies come into play. Much like tailoring your workouts to your own specific circumstances, it’s a good idea to work out your own specific calorie needs for weight loss, and then build a nutritional plan based on that (there are plenty of online calculators that can help you to do this).
Also , it’s worth noting that eating well combined with biking workouts has lots of health benefits, not just losing weight. Adopt a healthy diet and you’ll be a healthier and happier person all around.
It doesn’t matter how hard you spin or whether you use the fanciest stationary bikes and training plans. If you’re not consistent with it, you’ll see very little progress.
The key is to keep going, even on those days when you don’t feel like it.
I highly recommend creating a plan before you begin. This gives you something to look forward to and you won’t just be riding randomly.
It’s also good to break down your goal into smaller ones and have daily or weekly targets. Achieving small goals gives you the motivation to keep going. Most cycling apps offer training plans and you can use them to track your progress too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a Stationary Bike Help You Lose Weight?
Yes, a stationary bike can help you lose weight. It’s a physical activity that burns calories. By riding indoors you can create a calorie deficit which will translate to weight loss.
How Long Should You Ride a Stationary Bike to See Results?
This depends and the answer will vary from person to person. But generally, you should see results in one month. If you’re consistent you may notice that you’ve shed some pounds and your muscles are starting to become defined.
How Many Times a Week Should I Cycle to Lose Weight?
Even cycling three times a week can be enough to lose weight. The key is to make sure you’re burning more calories than you consume. Don’t forget to incorporate a healthy diet into your plan too. That’s important.
What Is the Fastest Way to Lose Weight on a Stationary Bike?
You won’t see results overnight, but you can speed up the process by being consistent. If you consistently and efficiently burn calories, creating a significant deficit every week, you’ll lose weight fast.
You can also try riding at a vigorous pace and increasing the duration of your sessions to burn more calories. Additionally, involve yourself in other physical activities so you can engage all the muscle groups in your body.
So, how long should you ride a stationary bike to lose weight? While there’s no straightforward answer, I hope the above discussion has given you an idea of how long and how frequent your indoor cycling sessions should be for you to lose weight.
It all comes down to calories. If your calorie output is more than your calorie input you create a deficit and lose weight. Stationary bike riding helps you lose weight by burning calories to help you increase your calorie output.
Factors that determine how fast you’ll lose weight with an indoor bike include your weight, intensity of exercise, your diet, and body composition.
You can lose weight faster by including high-intensity rides in your training and spending more time on your exercise bike. Make sure you eat well too and participate in other physical exercises to get a full-body workout.