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What you can expect if you can manage the time to ride a bike on a regular basis…

So, what can you expect if you ride a bike, just one hour a day, four hours on a weekend day and eat smart?

This answer is going to be incredibly short, beautiful and inspirational but it will require a few things from anyone who wants to go from flabby to fit.

For only a tiny minority, weight loss may be a form of rocket science.  For only a fraction, who may have special problems, this won’t work.  The chance you’re in this group is somewhere between slim and none.  I’ve never met one though, and that’s how rare they are.  There are also those with food allergies and mental issues that will have to be worked around.  Those with a perfect life are even more rare than those who require the rocket science weight loss plan.

First and above all, you will have to be honest, with yourself and others.  If you choose to bullshit yourself (or others), you really may be f@©ked and there’s an excellent chance you will die fat.  Of course, that’s a choice too but chances are, because you lack the capacity to be honest, you’ll blame this on some external force that only you will believe.

Second, you will have to work.  You’ll have to sweat.  You will have to give it your best effort (refer back to honesty).  Half-measures end in half-results and disappointment (that much isn’t rocket science).

Make sure your expectations line up with your effort.  Remain dedicated while remembering that this is a one day at a time thing – you will have off days, second thoughts and difficult times.  Do the right thing, right now and you’ll get through the difficult stretches.  Let go of the rope on your personal @$$-kicking machine, perfection is not a requirement but progress sure helps.

Excuses.  The only people who believe your excuses are you and the person selling you your donuts.

With that out of the way, I’ve heard of people losing as much as 80 pounds in a season.  Eighty pounds.    That’s a little on the extreme side but if you’re just looking to twenty or thirty, that would be easy when compared to 80.  It’s not all that difficult either.  Get your basal metabolic rate, stick to that, and ride every day.  Every calorie you burn on the bike comes off your butt though your job would have to be taken into account as well.  I have a desk job so you might as well call that sitting on the couch, if you’re more active at work, take that into account.  Decide when you want to ride – before work, after work, even at night…  Then just make sure to eat within 30-45 minutes after your ride and eat responsibly as normal.  As far as effort is concerned, if you’re cursing you’re riding hard enough.  Mix hard, medium and easy efforts.  The order should be hard, easy, medium – rinse and repeat.  Hard efforts should have you back at the house bathed in sweat and winded.  Easy efforts should, once your fully committed, have you embarrassed to be riding so slow (keep the cadence up though).  Medium efforts should be right smack-dab in the middle.  Sweating and breathing heavy but able to sustain the effort.  If you can, ride in the morning on an empty stomach.  There is evidence that this helps train your body to burn fat.  I never bothered with that but it’s definitely work a shot.  The one good thing that I did stumble on was long rides.  If you want to lose some serious weight, train for and do as many long rides as you can.  Intervals are great if you’re short on time, an hour a day is better than nothing, sure – but if you want to drop some pounds, you can’t beat four or five hours on a bike at least once a week.

So, to that answer.  If you manage to find the time to ride a bike on a regular and consistent basis, you can expect to look younger, feel younger, sleep better, be happier and live longer (assuming a Buick doesn’t take you out first).  Oh, and if you’re a sober fellow, as I am, you can expect for the fitness to help you enjoy your sobriety that much more (at least that’s how it works for me).  Of course, on the other hand, you could find out that you hate cycling altogether.  That’s a possibility, I suppose.  It might be worth the try though.

It was for me.