In high school and college, 20 miles per day was my usual daily ride. It was short enough that I didn’t get too bored and long enough that I got a solid workout every day.
As I became more serious about my sport and started racing, those mileages increased.
But then, in a period of six months, I graduated college, got a desk job and married my high school sweetheart.
Fitness was no longer my top priority. Climbing the corporate ladder was my new daily workout
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Desk Jockey Weight Gain
As you would expect, I started gaining weight. And fast.
Granted, I was underweight when I got married. Years of serious bike racing tends to favor a tiny skinny body type.
I also was used to eating a large quantity of food every day. And that habit was hard to change. Especially now that I could stay up late watching movies with the wife.
It was like college all over again with that “Freshman 15” that packed on in the first 12 weeks. By the end of our first year of marriage, I was a solid 20 pounds heavier.
How Many Calories Do You Burn Riding 10 Miles?
That depends on the intensity of your workout, and how much you weigh.
Here’s an example of a 200-pound man riding 10 miles:
10 miles per hour = 400 calories
12 miles per hour = 600 calories
14 miles per hour = 1100 calories
Keep in mind that it isn’t the calories that matter. We can quickly reduce calories by eating less. We don’t have to sweat them out on a bike!
We use exercise to trigger the hormone response necessary to weight loss.
Consistent Daily Exercise
We all know it. Consistency is everything.
I’d rather you workout 10 minutes every day over 30 minutes once a week.
All too often we set these insane goals for ourselves. And then life happens and these goals don’t happen.
Some of the fittest people I know get that way by incorporating fitness into their life. They are climbing the stairs during their lunch break and walking the parking lot during their midday breaks.
Sure, we all want a ripped body, but that ripped body is a lot more feasible once we’ve created a system for easy weight maintenance.
Daily exercise is essential because it stimulates the right hormones. It helps turn off the fat storage and kickstarts the fat burning mechanisms. It tells your body to be less inclined to store fat and makes more of the hormones needed for processing the fat.
Shows like “The Biggest Loser” give us the idea that we need to stay on treadmills all day to lose weight.
And I’m sure that can help (if it doesn’t cause injuries, first).
But if you combine a little bit of consistent exercise with a healthy diet, you can easily drop 2 pounds a week.
As we discuss below, exercise isn’t required for weight loss. But a little bit can trigger the body to cut loose of the fat and retain muscle.
Recommended Daily Exercise Amounts
The CDC recommends 2.5 hours of moderate exercise. For a lot of our readers, that’s only 25 miles of riding each week.
When you crank the speed up, ou can work out less because your effort is higher. For vigorous exercise, the CDC cuts their recommendation in half to 1.25 hours every week.
That’s a pretty minimal workout requirement, and most of us don’t even reach that level.
Why 10 Miles Per Day?
In reality, 5 miles of road riding can probably do the trick if you go hard enough.
But for most readers, 10 miles a day is about 40 minutes of intense workout.
And that’s the maximum time they have for it.
We have a lot of readers who wonder if a 10-mile ride will do them any good.
I can attest to the power of a 10-mile ride. I’ve seen so many commuters do 10 miles consistently and then have no problems showing up and riding a century.
For myself, 10 miles 2 or 3 times a week does quite a bit for keeping my body and brain on target.
How To Lose Weight On 10 Miles Per Day
The key here is intensity and consistency. Heck, cut it in half and just ride 5 miles a day.
But ride those miles as hard as you can.
If you have a 5-mile ride to work, commute slowly in the morning and pedal like the devil on your way home.
Some days instead of riding for a certain distance, I find a hill that I repeatedly climb for 30 minutes. (Who am I fooling? I climb the hill three times and go “this is stupid” and then pedal around for another 20 minutes).
I’m Not Losing Weight On 10 Miles Per Day
The amount you exercise doesn’t matter.
Did you get that?
As a blogger, I now spend long hours behind a desk. And I frequently have to travel.
But it’s important for me to keep my weight down and stay in good shape. After all, I still enjoy riding with the local club and completing at least one century per year.
Staying in shape is important to me.
So how does a desk jockey like myself stay in shape when they don’t have time to exercise?
For me, it comes down to high-quality calories.
Lettuce, carrots, meat, taters, oatmeal… and beer.
No one likes counting calories. I get that.
But the very real fact is that our hunter-gathering bodies are not adaptable to modern living.
Sugar triggers our brains to eat more. There was a not-so-distant time when sweetness meant our bodies could put on fat necessary to our survival.
Our brains are still programmed that way. The only problem is that our society has an unlimited amount of food. It’s incredibly easy to overeat by an additional 200 — or 500 — calories per day.
One beer can undo your entire day’s workout.
On top of that, the cycling industry is full of overly sweetened power and protein bars. At the elite levels, they serve a role. For the casual rider, these bars a perfect way to get fat.
The only way I’ve had success keeping my weight in check is to take 5 minutes every night to jot down my calories in the MyFitnessPal app.
Cycling Makes You Hungry
One of the challenges with consistent workouts is that it can trigger those hunger hormones.
I find I am starving after a good workout.
The trick for me is to have a protein shake immediately following the workout. This guarantees that my body has the sugars and the protein that my body needs.
Then I drink large quantities of water to help create a sensation of fullness.
Granted, it doesn’t remove the hunger entirely. But this method helps lessen the hunger pains to a controllable amount.
It’s one of those things you simply must go through on your journey to getting in shape. As your body adjusts to a consistent workout, those pangs will lessen considerably.
Just be aware of “workout cravings” they are very real, and they can dramatically set you back on your workout goals.
I am 59 about 310 lbs. I atarted my bike routine about a weeks ago. I find myself riding in 5 mile incramints for a total of 10 to 3 miles a day. I already seeing some good reaults. Im buring about 1200 calories in 10 miles according to mapmyride. I love being on the bike now and feeling great.
I’m biking every day twenty miles. I just finished a fifty mile Saturday and Sunday. But I’m not loosing weight. I’m eating a low calorie diet. Should l stick with it?
For those of you with a desk job, I’d highly recommend DeskCycle. It’s basically an exercise bike that fits under your desk and you use from your office chair. I got one recently and now I pedal while I work. Between that and switching to only drinking water…the weight has just been falling off. I work 9 – 5, I do about 40 miles in about 270 minutes of pedal time. According to their calorie calculator I’m burning about 1200 calories a day. With my BMR, 1400 calories a day is my rapid weight-loss area…so basically I can eat until I’m full and still lose weight…and i have been. I’m down almost 5 pounds in the last few days.
John, I think if more of us just set our mind to a “bare minimum” of daily activity and accomplished it, we would be so much better off.
My grandfather was always a “mile a day” kind of guy. Sometimes he’d do three miles. But he’d never walk less than a mile.
He lived until he was 89, despite a pack-a-day smoking habit he picked up in the war.
I always figured it was all that walking that he did.
I’m impressed that you can ride with the neuropathy. Does the cycling affect your symptoms in any way?
At 54 yrs old I started riding 10 miles / day 3 weeks ago. So far I feel great and can already see a difference. BTW – I was paralyzed by chronic inflammatory demylinating polyneuropathy 2 years ago. I can’t walk much due to nerve pain and numbness, but I can ride!!
Dave thanks a bunch this article really helped me.
I just read this Dave. Started at 43 to attack the battle of the bulge. 12 miles return commute Tues-Thurs and 6 on Mon and Fri. Feel the benefit of it but you say incorporate into routine. It’s my commute, faster than the bus or tube in central London.
That is incredible!
I haven’t found that it does much to increase muscle size. I do notice an improvement in strength and overall energy, however, and the calves and buttocks of a cyclist tend to be very nicely toned!
I started riding 10 every other day and I’ve gone from a 34 to 32 waist, from 194 to 184 and shrank my thighs and bahooki considerably in about 4 weeks. I think it takes me about 40 minutes. I have felt a bit hungrier but have resisted the urge to bulk up on Calories. Another 10 lbs and I’ll adjust my appetite as necessary. I experience severe leg fatigue trying to stand and ride. I’ve been at a desk job now for 20 years. I’m 58 and 5’11”. Can I increase muscle mass riding 10 miles in this fashion?
You do, but also keep in mind that your body natural burns calories throughout the day to power your breathing, heart, etc. This is called your Basal Metabolic Rate.
Exercise + BMR should be greater than the number of calories you have eaten.
Do I need to burn more calories a day than I eat? I burn roughly 1500 calories a day but eat around 1700… will I lose weight?