Stationary bikes are a mainstay at most gyms, but there’s a reason most people aren’t waiting in line to use them: “You must be willing to go at an intense rate,” says Adams—so no pedaling while scrolling through your smartphone. “During a vigorous indoor cycling or spin class, the average 180-lb. man may burn close to 1,150 calories per hour, while a more moderate ride will only burn half that amount at about 675 calories per hour.”
Pilates helps you burn calories, but not as many as a vigorous run or indoor cycling class. In 50 minutes of Pilates, a 150-pound woman can expect to burn between 210 and 360 calories. Exactly how many depends on the intensity of the class — advanced practitioners are usually performing moves that require more energy and muscular work, so they burn more calories.
Around this time, Bernarr Macfadden, an American exponent of physical culture, popularised the use of fasting to restore health. His disciple, the osteopathic physician Dr. Hugh William Conklin of Battle Creek, Michigan, began to treat his epilepsy patients by recommending fasting. Conklin conjectured that epileptic seizures were caused when a toxin, secreted from the Peyer's patches in the intestines, was discharged into the bloodstream. He recommended a fast lasting 18 to 25 days to allow this toxin to dissipate. Conklin probably treated hundreds of epilepsy patients with his "water diet" and boasted of a 90% cure rate in children, falling to 50% in adults. Later analysis of Conklin's case records showed 20% of his patients achieved freedom from seizures and 50% had some improvement.[10]
When you get up in the morning, your body is in a fasted state, having gone at least 8 hours without food. Hitting the road before eating will encourage your body to burn fat. Your ride doesn’t need to be particularly long…30-60 minutes is ideal. Just make sure you refuel after the ride with a healthy breakfast that includes both carbs and protein. Oatmeal and a couple scrambled eggs are a great choice. Never skip the post ride meal as you will do more harm than good.
Having worked as a certified fitness trainer for over 23 years, I’ve long since come to the conclusion that if you’re looking for the best exercise to shed a few pounds—and keep them off—nothing beats cycling. Over the years, I’ve seen clients shed half their size and heard from readers who have lost more than 100 pounds by adding cycling to their weight loss arsenal, which, yes, must include a healthy diet. (But you already knew that.)
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