Worth the Weight

If you're like most of us in the Prudential RideLondon office, you might want to shift a few pounds before you take on your next big cycling challenge, so we’ve put together some top advice on how good diet and effective cycle training can give you a head start if your goal is to win the battle of the bulge.

The Burn Rate

Know your metabolism. Work out your total daily energy expenditure in calories using the Harris-Benedict equation. This is a formula that applies an activity factor to your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). First determine your BMR:

Men BMR = 66.5 + (13.75 x weight in kg) + (5.00 x height in cm) – (6.78 x age in years)

Women BMR = 655.1 + (9.56 x weight) + (1.85 x height) – (4.68 x age)

To find out your daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate number: 1.2 if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, 1.375 if you’re slightly active, 1.55 if you’re moderately active, 1.725 if you’re very active and 1.9 if you’re extra active. You need to burn 3500 calories to lose 1lb of body fat, but to maintain muscle mass and only lose body fat, reduce your calorie intake by no more than 1,000 calories per day. Take into account calories burned through extra exercise too.

Short & Sharp

Ramp up the intensity of your riding for short bursts. Work on the bike at 90 per cent of your maximum heart rate for two minutes, then actively recover for two minutes at 60 per cent and repeat. This style of training results in a considerable after-burn effect. Train this way and you’ll keep burning calories for six to eight hours after you finish, which can result in a net increase of up to 15 per cent calories burned.

The White Out

Cut out all white carbs, which have been shown to spike blood sugar, triggering the body to store that sugar as fat. Eat brown and wholegrain equivalents and mix them with protein to slow this effect. Familiarise yourself with the glycaemic index of carbohydrates. Carbs with high GI numbers are bad for weight loss.

Getting Twitchy

Focus on either hill climbs or sprints on the flats. Both climbing and sprinting recruit larger ‘fast twitch’ muscle fibres, which not only give you a great after-burn effect, but require more calories to sustain them. Work hard, eat smart and target two pounds weight loss per week. Within six to eight weeks you can knock off a stone of body fat, improve your health, self-confidence and give your cycling a massive boost.

Discover more great features on every aspect of cycling and get ahead of the pack with a subscription to Cycling Plus magazine. Prudential RideLondon participants can click here for an exclusive offer.