But here's the real shocker: Working out can make you retain water. "To ensure that you don't get dehydrated, the plasma in your bloodstream will store an extra 2 to 4 pounds of water," explains Michele S. Olson, Ph.D., a professor of exercise science at Auburn University at Montgomery in Alabama. "You'll always carry that extra water unless you become inactive; it's not fat or muscle, but simply superhydration. It's a good thing." It's also a good thing to keep chugging H2O, which can, counterintuitively, help minimize additional water retention. So I'll take Olson's advice and stay active, well-hydrated...and off the scale.
When you are new to exercise, you can start your biking workout program with a simple test. Use your odometer (or a GPS watch or smartphone app) to see how far you travel when you bike for 30 minutes. Jot down the number in your workout journal and set a goal to decrease the amount of time it takes you to ride that same distance and route. As your fitness level improves you'll be able to log more miles in less time and you'll burn more calories in the process.