Cycling Diet for Weight Loss

Cycling is a great way to improve cardiovascular health, mental health, and muscular endurance. It’s easier on the joints compared to running so it’s a good option for a variety of people at all ages at different fitness levels. The CDC currently recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week and a regular cycling routine can help meet this guideline. In addition, consistent cycling over time can potentially help reduce the risk for hypertension. Studies have also shown that regular exercise may help reduce the risk for anxiety or depression. 

Along with improving heart health, it can also be used as a part of a lifestyle strategy to maintain a healthy weight. Since cycling is considered an aerobic exercise, it requires more oxygen and energy from the body and can provide a higher amount of calories burned per session. While the total amount of calories burned will vary depending on gender, height, weight, speed, and individual metabolism, cyclists can generally expect to burn around 150 calories for every 30 minutes of cycling at less than 10 miles per hour. Again, the intensity of the workout will depend on how much total effort you individually put into it along with personal factors such as height and weight. If your goal is to use cycling as a tool to support weight loss, you’ll want to make sure to include nutrition choices that can help you both recover and meet your nutrition goals. Ultimately, losing weight comes down to the balance between energy intake and energy output. Therefore, it’s not always necessary to cut out specific food groups. Rather, it’s about being smart about portions and knowing when to consume what foods specific to your goals. The best cycling snacks for weight loss will include food options and sources that combine a mix of protein, high-fiber carbohydrates, and healthy fats. 

Here’s a list of portable and convenient snacks perfect for cyclists with weight loss as a goal:

1. Chomps Original Turkey Stick 

Chomps meat sticks provide 9-10 grams of protein per 1.15 oz stick, which helps with overall satiety and feeling fuller for longer. Plus, there’s no sources of added sugars, which can be a sneaky source of excess calories that may contribute to weight gain. Adding protein to snacks and meals stabilizes appetite and helps reduce overeating. Because protein takes longer to digest, it helps keep us full in-between meals and increases overall satiety. 

2. Dried Fruit  

Dried Fruit and Nuts

Dried fruit such as dried apples, dates, or mangoes contain micronutrients and carbohydrates that can provide quick sources of energy before and during a ride. In comparison to other food groups besides vegetables, fruit overall is lower in calories but contains more nutrients per serving and can be a very healthy addition to a cyclist’s diet. Look for options on the ingredient label that includes the whole fruit without any additional added sugars. Pair with a source of protein, like Chomps meat sticks for long lasting energy. 

3. Fresh Fruit  

Portable fruits such as apples and bananas are also healthy, lower calorie options for cyclists. Not only do they provide prebiotic fiber that help support gut health, they also contain quick sources of carbohydrates to help the body fuel up for rides. In addition, bananas naturally contain electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium to help assist with hydration. Again, pairing fruit with a protein source such as Chomps meat sticks can help increase overall satiety. 

4. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs are low in calories but packed with protein and essential nutrients like Vitamins D, E, and K which all work together to support a healthy metabolism. 

5. Sweet Potatoes 

Sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of energy for cyclists because they provide beta-carotene to support recovery and essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamin A. Plus, there are only around 100 calories per one serving of a medium sweet potato and contains 4 grams of fiber per serving to support gut health. 

6. Chomps Original Beef Sticks 

Chomps Original Beef Sticks are less than 100 calories and provide 9 grams of high-quality protein to the diet. Including this source of lean beef into the diet can support not only weight loss goals, but also provides sources of iron and Vitamin B12 that are important to maintain overall energy.

When it comes to choosing snacks and food options for weight loss, high protein options can help cyclists refuel and stay satiated. Increasing the intensity of the ride by adding resistance - whether if it’s indoor on a stationary bike or outdoors with an elevated terrain can create a more challenging session to increase the overall calorie output. Combining a higher calorie expenditure with a diet that prioritizes protein and fiber-rich carbohydrates can help support those with weight loss goals. For more easy, high protein, and convenient snacks that support cyclists in their weight loss and nutrition goals, head over to our Chomps shop page to check out a variety of options - all under 100 calories or less per serving. 

About the author
May Zhu
May is a Registered Dietitian and nutrition media consultant based in Chicago, IL. She’s also the founder of Nutrition Happens, a nutrition counseling private practice where she helps women discover healthier relationships with food by building sustainable eating habits for life. May earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition from Clemson University and also has a Master’s degree in Business Administration. You can follow May online at Nutrition Happens (http://www.nutritionhappens.com) or on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/nutritionhappens) for weekly seasonal meal ideas and health tips.

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