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  • Anyone else cycling as part of their diet & exercise regime?

    I am now up to about 60 miles per week (at usually around 15 mph average), and attribute roughly half my 8kg weight loss in 5 weeks to that. I always cycle on my fast days, as it seems sensible to burn energy when there is no available food as fuel, thus forcing my body to turn to its reserves.

    I’m already below the weight I was when I finished a Land’s End to John O’Groats ride a couple of years ago….

    i put cycling in search & 2 pages came up
    hope this helps

    Yes! I vary miles covered, today was a milestone (33 miles), but usually 10 miles daily, so about what you’re doing Mike. About the same speed too – and I believe as well that the cycling is a big part of weight loss (plus muscle gain!). Hm, just about to start the fasting diet, I might try that – I wasn’t sure if the fasting days would be weak ones, but as long as the limited calories available on those days included a good proportion from proteins, I can see it adding muscle while burning brown fat. Wow, quite an accomplishment, keep the sole to the pedal! Thanks for the links wiltldnrUSA, I’ll check them out. πŸ˜‰

    I have been given an exercise bike which I shall start using after my hols. It’s sitting in the spare bedroom at the moment so I wont be seeing any nice scenery πŸ™‚ I have joint probs due to Lupus so must be wary of getting to over excited with it as I don’t want to upset my body. Can you cyclists advise me of how far I should cycle from the start and how quickly I should build up please? It has various settings and a mileometer on it, it can do hills etc but I need to ease myslef in. At the beginning of the year I was doing Zumba twice a week but I was then very ill for a while and have lost all my fitness and gained weight. πŸ™ Although I have lost a stone on the 5.2 since January.

    Hello jellyneanz!
    Whatever gets you moving, I’ve given the exercise bikes a go for it at the Uni, nice to pedal and listen to music, or watch the readouts too. Hm.. well, all I know is I started on a mild 3-mile / 5-Km ride the first couple of days, gradually adding at first a half mile, then a mile, and so forth, with a day or two a week to allow the muscles to repair as they build; once I was in a little better shape, I added 2 miles a day, up to 10 on average, 34 once-a-week for endurance and strength. But there are no hard and fast rules – do what you feel comfortable with, but definitely do the cadio-fitness hills for a few minutes each time, to get that change in body chemistry (here, the hills do that no doubt!). If you want precise time intervals, Michael Mosley suggests the best, I can’t recall the exact time, but it’s not too long, you just have to push yourself to the max for a little while (with all the gusto you can muster ;). Hey, if you can do Zumba, the biking will be smooth sailing!
    Keep loosing those stones, pretty soon you’ll be floating on air!
    from Chuck.

    Just to update this…….

    Good to see others are cycling too as part of this regime. I am now up to 100-120 miles per week, regularly doing 30 and 40 mile rides at a good speed. I have found it pretty much as easy doing them on fast days as non-fast ones, although I sometimes run short of energy right at the end of a ride on a fast day.

    If you cycle every day, great! But I cycle on alternate days, and am now looking around for some new shorts as I am too skinny for the old ones, and for some kit for the winter so that i can carry on even as the weather changes.

    Keep it going! It’s a great lifestyle, and it helps the pounds fly off. I’ve lost 25/ 26 in 7 weeks……and it’s staying off now, forever!!


    Thanks for that Chuck I’ll certainly do some hills. I shall wait for the weather to cool first as it is like an oven upstairs so exercising in that heat wouldn’t be a good idea. Think I’ll do 2 miles at first and see how I get on with that. Will include getting my head down and “going for it” :-0 too. Well done Mike for the weight loss, when you said you needed new shorts I thought you had worn them out from the inside πŸ˜‰

    Thanks guys – onwards and downwards.

    I bike to work four days a week for a little over 15 miles each day, so 60 miles in the week, plus swim practice with my master’s team three times a week and various adventures around the city. I have found the biggest, most exciting change in my cycling has been my pacing. Because the route I use to get to work is a mixed use path, I have to hold back a bit, but since I started the 5:2 I’ve seen a my pace climb from an average of 14mph to 17mph, and we moved a mile further from my office, but I’ve cut off five minutes from my commute each way. Living in Chicago I don’t get a lot of hills in the city but when we go adventuring on paths out of town I find I am ready to crush hills instead of dreading them. I also am thrilled with the reduction in my asthma because now the lakefront winds don’t slow me down, I’m able to power through and keep pace. And Mike, I agree with you, I can bike well on fast days but on longer rides (20+ mi) I do find myself losing steam near the end. Jellybeanz, to protect your joints, find a friend or a bike shop who can help you measure and adjust your bike to your body. A good fit, properly placed seat and handlebars will prevent aches and help you ride further. Good luck and have fun!

    Hello beccadarby!
    Sounds like you’ve been exercising all along, great to hear that. Swimming is one of the few low-impact exercises, glad you’re helping out your joints as well! Adventures around the city – I’m glad you have a city amenable to cycling, that makes all the difference. Ah, yes, strength and stamina do get better, I agree! I was pondering that today as well – I think part of it is that as we loose weight, we don’t have to lug around all that extra freight – I think that too puts more zip in our steps (plus the workout build muscles, more horsepower).
    Yes, I know Chicago quite well (our family hails from the windy city) – contending with the lake wind, that’s as much as a hill energy-wise to overcome! But I understand as well, the pollution in the city is a problem, so anytime you can get fresh air and hills, I can see the relief in that, especially with asthma!
    Loosing steam on the long rides – I have to agree, today’s 76 mile journey had me pretty well pooped at the end, but then as the metabolic shift to fat burning occurs, I wonder if it’s just temporary? A little low, then back to normal? Today’s run wasn’t a good test of hypothesis, as I was shivering near the end as a storm rolled in, with enormous headwinds and stinging rain, loss of energy gets balled up in forces of nature, but it was invigorating in a psychological sense, like riding up Mt. Olympus.
    Good suggestions on the seat adjustment and handlebars – I will take the time to set mine right too.
    from Chuck.

    Hello Mike-in-Suffolk & jellybeanz!
    I love that saying Mike – ‘cars run on money make you fat, bicycles run on fat and save you money’ – that would make the perfect bumper sticker, if only there was a place on the bike to put it! :_).
    jellybeans, I think you’ve got the right idea starting out with a mild 2-miles; it takes some getting used to, I hadn’t ridden for years when I started to ride again, easy-does-it at first, and yes, if the weather is a scorcher I would wait too.
    Yes, and the pants keep falling off from the weight loss, I was lucky to have a pair of thrift-shop shorts that were too tight at first, and now are just right, but my pants need suspenders! A happy problem to deal with, glad you’ve had the same results Mike. Come to think of it, the smaller sizes are available in quantity in the thrift stores I’ve visited, so maybe this works to our benefit?!
    I’ve actually cycled quite a bit last winter, and all I needed was thermal underwear under pants and wind-tight jackets to wear over a few layers, then a poly-hat under the helmet on most days worked out alright, the only problem were the wool socks which got damp and then cool, probably some natural solution there as well. I’m looking now for some good cycling rain-gear. Any suggestions?

    Just an observation. I cycle with a social club doing about 40-50 miles on an outing. I fasted on the day prior to the ride and found that on the next day’s ride I ‘hit the wall’ after about 2 hrs of riding (ave speed 13 mph). My conclusion is that I had depleted my glycogen reserves in my muscles, which were low due to the fasting day before the ride.
    I now re-arrange my fasting, so as to cycle when only after a day of normal eating. Not yet tried to ride on a fasting day.

    Try it Jabez. I’m convinced it has had a major impact in my rapid return to my old weight. Running your ride on fat rather than on food seems obvious to me…..

    Yes, that is what I was thinking as well, and I’ve lost weight rapidly burning the fat, though there is a transition phase during the cycling day, but after a little while it seems that my energy levels return during the ride. I usually keep my outings to around 30-40 miles, but I did try a 76-mile ride and survived it quite well, so just bear down and you’ll make it too!
    My thoughts though are on proper protein intake on cycling days, as I would like to build some more muscle, and on the day after a vigorous ride (when the muscles repair themselves). I’ve come down to 155 pounds / 70 Kg, but at one time weighed 185 and was leaner/muscular, so it would be nice to get back to that level of fitness. And thoughts or suggestions? Also, I have discovered that one can wear out a bike! Busy welding the frame in the shop tonight.. ;).

    A fast day for me and struggling a little, so husband just got home from work and suggested I go for a bike ride whilst he goes for a run! So have now just completed a ‘fast’ 5 mile route and got a personal best! Can put up with rumbly stomach a little longer now. πŸ™‚

    Also started cycling to work only 5 mile a day 5 days a week. Really enjoy it but the roads can be a wee bit daunting some drivers are wild.

    Hi, I have always been a keen cyclist, but over the years as weight crept on, have not noticed the effect on my cycling (combined with the justification for another snack as I had been cycling that day). All I can say is that since starting the diet I have noticed a return to previous form when hill climbing on the road bike and when out on my mountain bike. On fast days I sometimes notice I feel a bit weaker, but I also agree with Mikes comment re using the body’s reserves. (Just as an aside, I also monitor my heart rate when on the bike, its a good indicator if I am tired or depleted of energy before I even realize it myself.)

    ” I always cycle on my fast days, as it seems sensible to burn energy when there is no available food as fuel, thus forcing my body to turn to its reserves.”

    I do cycle with an e-bike, so it’s not the same as regular cycling except when I run out of battery charge.

    I don’t have access to a stationery cycle for indoor sprints.

    So, I do sprints on the treadmill, and because of the accessibility, I am able to do it frequently and consistently without the hindrance of Chicago weathers.

    My metabolism slows down on my second day of fast & as you say, that may be the best time to burn fast as fuel. I will do that for better & quicker results.

    Glad to connect here.


    Hi all cyclist. New world record top speed on a bicycle. If nothing else we can be inspired with the endurance of the team to get this trophy

    I have been on the fast diet for ten weeks now, an have only lost 2 kg. For the first eight weeks I did not lose any weight at all.
    As I have read in the above comments: not losing weight does not mean that your body doesn’t change. I go to work by bicycle 4 days a week, which is about 15 miles away. That means I cylce 120 miles a week, both on fasting and non-fasting days. The result is that I have incredibly muscled legs, a slimmer waist, feel very healthy but yes, I am almost as heavy as before.
    Sometimes I wonder if burning 1000 kcals on a fasting days is healthy. What do you think?

    ” That means I cylce 120 miles a week, both on fasting and non-fasting days. The result is that I have incredibly muscled legs, a slimmer waist, feel very healthy but yes, I am almost as heavy as before.”

    You certainly have endurance and burning calories on any day is positive.

    Without knowing more specifics about your regimen, I wonder if you have tried to mix in hi-speed interval training?

    Even so, more specifics about your food intake may reveal answers for you.


    I cycle three times a week, 30 miles a ride, and average 14/15 MPH.
    Any advice?

    How are you doing?

    Correct. Most knee pain is a result of improper seat height. Women espically have their seat too low.
    Place your heal on the pedal, and your leg should be straight at the bottom of the stroke.

    Wish the authors of 5:2 Fast should address the exercise on Fast or non-fast days issues?
    As a cyclist, I can’t afford to “bonk out” half way through a 30 mile ride. Must I then only ride on non fast days? Must I eat more protein and/or fat for breakfast (250 calories) if exercising?

    A 30 mile ride, you wont bonk if you ride at 85% of what you normally ride at. So ride at about 13mph if you normally ride at 15mph. How long have you been fasting for? Given enough time you should be able to ramp up to about 95% of what you can do fully carbed up. I regularly ride while fasting and as long as I pace myself at 90-95% of max its not a problem. The conversion of ketones into energy takes a more convoluted pathway and as a result the conversion is slower than for glucose conversion.

    Hello there – IF (16:8) and I cycle regularly, always at the end of my fasting period. Rides in the ~30-40 km range (ergo, ~20-25 miles) and done at 20~22 kph – in a rather hilly area. Longest fasted state rides have been in the 50 km (30 mile) range – not because of fasting/energy issues but rather due to cycling fitness.

    Thus far no issues noted, and as the weight comes off and the regular riding continues I am noticing a significant improvement in performance.

    Love cycling, have neck problems so can’t do anything like as much as I used to, but getting back into it again. I don’t think I’d have a problem cycling on a 5:2 FD, sometimes do EF & not as strong on those days.

    The 5:2 is helping keep my weight consistently at a level where I am now riding long climbs faster than previously. I’m 63 and have just returned from Majorca where I managed several personal bests on long climbs that I have ridden many times before. I am managing to stay with riders who are 10 years younger than me and I put this down to not having to carry unnecessary fat up hills! The one thing I avoid though is a fasting day before a big or hard ride as I find I need a breakfast and a lunch to get back to full RPM.

    @charliemil et al – I am another passionate cyclist and one of the main reasons I am pursuing this lifestyle change is to improve my climbing and riding in general – and of course, the chance to buy new gear!

    Great to hear that you are seeing results. I am finding that I am riding very well and achieving PRs regularly based on my weight loss. As an aside, I follow the 6:8 diet and it really does work for me – no counting calories – but that’s just me.

    I’ve lost nearly one stone over the past 2 years. I increased my cycling and my annual mileage doubled to 3,000 miles a year during this time. I have to say that I didn’t really start to lose any weight until I reduced my food intake. I don’t subscribe to the theory that calories in must equal calories burnt through the exercise as I think that the fitter you get the more efficient the body gets with its use of food energy.

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