I have noticed quite a prevalent and unsightly trend as of late. It’s called Bike Belly…cyclists with bellies that shouldn’t be there considering a lot of these people are riding bikes well over $2000 or $3000 in price. While it is great that these folks are out riding and getting exercise, they need to step it up in terms of their meal formats and cutting down on the consumption of useless calories.
Cycling is a sport that taxes all systems of the body and the more intense and longer distances you ride, your body’s requirements for food and recovery nutrients increases. Your body’s trigger to get more of these calories is hunger and if you aren’t careful, you can pack on weight pretty fast. Keep in mind that your body doesn’t need “just any” nutrients but rather high quality foods that are low in saturated fats, white flour products, sugar and everything else that helps to prevent the bike belly from creating its own little universe that hangs down as you ride.
Yes, it is great that you are out riding and hammering out miles but you have to craft your eating format and choices with the same amount of discipline as you exhibit in your riding. Are there riders out there who can eat whatever they want and still look great? Yes but that group of people is a small minority and there are more bike bellies out there tooling around than there are genetic freaks!
Don’t get me wrong, I have ridden with people who have bike bellies and they were great riders. However, the fact of the matter is that 10 or 20lbs of needless bodyfat is still not good for you and could cause health problems in the future, no matter how much you ride. Heck, what do I know? maybe you’re building the belly for this coming Christmas to give the kids an authentic Mr. or Mrs. Santa experience as they unwrap the gifts. Either way, it’s not healthy!
Stock up on healthy foods, prepare your meals in advance, use higher end supplements that supply needed recovery nutrients rather than too many simple sugars and if you have bike belly…you have more work to do both on the bike and the road to earn your after-ride beer!
Rather than trying to tuck the belly away under you cycling gear, try losing the belly altogether. Whether it entails you riding harder, longer or both…make sure you dial in your nutrition and even add some cross-training activities to help you lose the bike belly and take your performance, recovery and overall health to another level! Be the whole package not a poser, happy hammering!