In the past when I wanted to lose weight, I would always take a very scientific approach.
Now, don’t get me wrong, being a scientist is GOOD! I want you to be objective, and put that metaphoric lab coat on when it comes to looking at any kind of data related to weight loss.
Especially when you are looking at that number on the scale. It’s just a number. Data. It doesn’t mean anything until your thoughts make it mean something.
The approach that I took to weight loss, though, always involved a lot of calorie counting, restriction, and rules.
And all of that was hard. It felt bad. It took a lot of time. It just wasn’t sustainable for me. I couldn’t keep it up, and then just found myself saying “Eff it” and I gave up.
It wasn’t until I stopped buying into the myths that I was able to lose my weight for the last time.
In this article I am going to bust right through 3 big myths about cycling weight loss. If you are buying into these myths, you may find that you are really struggling in your weight loss efforts. I don’t want that for you! Read on to find out exactly what you should avoid doing if you want to lose weight as a cyclist.
Myth #1: You Need to Ride Your Bike a Lot if You Want to Lose Weight
Ahhh this is a big one. So many of us think that we need to ride “x” miles a week in order to lose weight.
This just isn’t even remotely true.
I am here to tell you that you can lose weight without riding your bike at all.
People lose weight without exercising all of the time.
In fact, I actually was riding my bike a lot more before I lost weight.
Riding your bike is something that you should do for fun. Because you love it. When you start to use any kind of exercise as a means to lose weight you are in danger of starting to hate that exercise.
NO one wants this! We want to enjoy our time on the bike! Right now we have absolutely beautiful fall weather here in the northeast.
It’s the perfect weather to bundle up, grab your bike, and take in some of the beautiful foliage. There is just something about the crisp fall air that makes a bike ride SO satisfying.
Think of how lovely and wonderful those thoughts are about riding, and how much it sucks when you feel like you have to ride so that you can meet your weight loss goals.
Feeling that way about your bike is NOT going to get you on your bike. In fact, in many instances, it will do the exact opposite.
Ride your bike because you love it. Don’t ride it to lose weight. Not only does that make cycling a chore, but it can actually get in the way of your weight loss goals.
Myth #2: You Have to Count Calories if You Want to Lose Weight
We have all heard that it’s calories in, calories out.
If we want to lose weight we need to be aware of how many calories we are taking in, how many calories we burn, and we have to shoot for a calorie deficit.
Now, I am not saying that a calorie deficit doesn’t lead to weight loss. What I am saying is that counting calories sucks.
I hate math.
If you love math and counting calories, you do you! Go for it!
But, at the end of the day, it’s just not necessary for weight loss.
What is necessary is being mindful of what foods you are choosing to eat, to make sure that you are fueling properly for your rides, and to stop eating when you are satisfied.
You do not need to be counting every single calorie that goes into your body in order to lose weight.
In 2020 I lost almost 50 pounds and I never, not once, counted a single calorie.
What I did was make a plan of what I was going to eat each day, and focused on sticking to the plan. If I wasn’t hungry for something? I didn’t eat it. If I was satisfied before I finished my meal? I stopped eating and wrapped up what was left.
Being mindful of what we put into our mouths is how we lose weight. We don’t have to count every single calorie in order to make that happen.
Myth #3: Weight Loss is Hard
Nope. It’s not. At least it doesn’t have to be.
When I lost weight I was bound and determined to make it fun and easy. I didn’t want to be miserable, and I really wanted to enjoy the process.
Now, of course there were moments where it was tough to make the right choice.
There were times that I was standing in front of the pantry. I had a rough day and I just wanted to shovel a bunch of food into my face.
The thing is though, that instead of making the whole thing all about math and counting calories, I made it about loving myself and feeling good.
I realized that in order to lose weight I had to love myself first.
I needed to care about myself and my body enough to want to take care of it. To want to be around for my son for a really long time. To appreciate my body for all that it can do to support me right now.
Then, from this place of love and acceptance, I asked “What is one little thing that I can do to make today better than yesterday.”
I didn’t try to change everything all at once! I made one small change at a time. Like putting some Doritos into a bowl instead of eating out of the bag. Or having 3 cookies with my afternoon tea instead of bringing over the whole box.
A Final Note
It is so tempting to buy into weight loss myths. At the end of the day, though, they are just that. Myths.
Weight loss doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be a struggle. It absolutely can and should feel good and be FUN.
We don’t have to get a bunch of different apps, count all of the calories and macros, or be super restrictive.
What we need to do is love and appreciate our body for everything it can do. We need to stop beating ourselves up and give our SELF the support and encouragement that we are so willing to give everyone else.
You’ve got this. I believe in you. Don’t buy into these myths. They are just that. Myths.