Where should I start?
So, you’re a weekend warrior, you work flat-out all week and apart from looking forward to getting some moto’s in on the weekend you don’t put any thought into how you could get faster? The obvious go to or perceived obvious route is bike upgrades, why put effort in when you can buy your way to faster lap times, right? Well to some extent yes, a new pipe, bars, reed valves, hydraulic clutch etc. can make your ride more plush and speedier, the truth is for 90% of the riders out there your stock bike is more than capable of allowing you to be the fastest rider at the track. A tough pill to swallow, I know…
The biggest thing that’s letting you down (apart from the absence of some skill) is your lack of fitness and thus technique. It’s pretty tough to access correct form and riding position if you can’t stand up on your bike for more than a lap without your legs giving in to agonizing burn.
As you’re reading this, chances are you’re holding a few extra lbs. the immediate first port of call you need to address is diet. There’s no point in busting your ass out on the road bike or hours in the gym if you’re going to ignore the fact your diet consists of food with low nutritional content and slowing your mind and body down. You can’t out train a bad diet and that definitely applies here.
Calories: Be it intermittent fasting, Atkins diet, carb free or any other weird and wonderful health fad that people swear by for weight loss, the one thing that all of these share in common to allow success for the person following them is calorie deficit. In one way or another be it cutting out entire food groups or just reducing certain elements of one’s diet they’re all creating a calorie deficit, in simple terms reducing a person’s energy intake (eating food) enough so their energy output (exercise/calorie burn) is greater than their intake.
Track your intake: How do you know how many calories you’ve eaten or should be eating?
There are many apps out there that make tracking your daily intake or setting a calorie goal a doddle, the best and free of charge is the ever-popular MyFitnessPal available on IOS and ANDROID.
According to NHS UK: An ideal daily intake of calories varies depending on age, metabolism and levels of physical activity, among other things.
Generally, the recommended daily calorie intake is 2,000 calories a day for women and 2,500 for men.
So, the take home advice is be honest with yourself when it comes to how active you are day to day. A fairly active male of average height can expect to burn anywhere between 3,000 and 4,000 calories per day, depending on output. One good way to gauge your output is to invest in a fitness tracker or smart watch, although not 100% they’re great for keeping up motivation and accountability.
Aim to lose weight slowly and consistently, jumping into a 2,000 daily calorie deficit will see fast results but also see your hunger be unbearable and energy levels drop drastically, likelihood of binge eating and yoyo weight loss. Small daily deficits of 200-500 calories won’t be too hard to maintain. Remember 3,500 on average = 1lbs. of body fat.