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E bikes for weight loss

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    E bikes for weight loss

    I've seen this topic come up before, people wonder if e bikes can aid in weight loss. It so happens that I'm currently trying to lose 40 pounds (18kg).
    My method is diet and exercise. I walk 3-5 miles (4.8-8km)a day keeping my heart rate elevated, 2-3 times a week I ride my 75 pound (34kg) e bike 25-30 miles (40-48 km) keeping motor watts at ZERO on flat ground while trying to ride at a pace that keeps my heart rate up and and my leg muscles working hard. I do let the motor assist me on hills, though I still put in a lot of effort. Along with this exercise I also do some upper body resistance exercises.
    My diet consists of eating as little sugars as possible, as little fat as possible, I also don't eat a lot of carbs. What I do eat is mostly fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts.
    I am usually under the recommended calorie count for the day BUT the things I eat are nutritious. I do take vitamins to make up for areas I lack in like calcium. If I'm below the recommended calorie intake for the day but I'm not hungry or feeling crappy in general then I don't worry about it. I've been as low as 960 calories for a day and felt fine because the calories I did eat were nutritious.

    I typically lose 1 pound (0.45kg) a day with just diet and walking. On days I ride the e bike and walk I typically lose 1.5-2 pounds (0.7-0.9kg). These weight loss figures are in addition to adding muscle mass. In my case just the fitness walking has really added muscle strength in my legs.
    This is a diet that I've had success with in the past so I know it works for me. My problem is I didn't keep to a maintenance diet and exercise plan after reaching my goal. This time I will.

    So in my opinion yes you can use an e bike to aid you in weight loss. Just because it has a motor doesn't mean you have to use it 100% of the time. It helps to get you moving and go up hills which is great if you are out of shape or heavy or both.
    But just an e bike alone probably won't do much, it also take a good diet plan.

    Has anyone else had success using an e bike in their weight loss plan?

    FWIW while exercise definitely has health benefits unless it's distracting you from eating it has almost nothing directly to do with weight loss

    As much as it seems intuitive it's just not how it works

    One thing and one thing only (at least as far as healthy things go) will - less consumption

    They did this crazy study with these guys in africa that live entirely as hunters/foragers and found they burn almost no more (<10%) calories than the average sedentary westerner even though they spend nearly every waking minute exercising

    For one thing the amount of calories you burn doing any kind of exercise is a lot less than might be obvious - say we are the normal healthy fit bicycle rider producing 100W for half an hour (this is more than many of us really do)... let's do the math

    If we say we are about 25% efficient at converting calories to mechanical energy (this is what I've recently seen, but correct me if it is off, it won't make a lot of difference to my point, and remember pedaling is going to be a fairly efficient physical method relatively speaking) then we would be burning about 200Wh (100W x 0.5hr / 0.25) worth of food calories (actually kilocalories) in that hour... sounds like a lot?

    1kcal = ~1.163Wh so 200Wh = ~172kcal... not even half a beer or 172/2500 = <7% of the "normal" adult requirements of ~2500kcal/day

    By far, most of the calories burned in a day go to metabolic processes, only a small fraction converted to mechanical energy

    But even more important, our bodies are amazing how they budget what we take in

    Generally speaking if we exercise more (or less) the calories consumed (or not) just get shuffled from (or to) other metabolic activities. So even these marathoners and hard core endurance athletes can't sustain their burning of far more calories than the normal human for days on end.

    That's not to say throw the exercise out the window at all. For one people that exercise a lot tend to eat less. It has a ton of health benefits even if not weight loss. If you don't exercise or consume too much then those excess calories get shuffled by our body into metabolic processes and the excess tends to do things like hyper-stimulate immune responses and inflammatory processes - like allergies and auto-immune disorders. I do blood work every six months and my HDL ("good" cholesterol) level tracks pretty much right on with how much exercise I get. OTOH my LDL ("bad" cholesterol) tends to track very closely with my weight (FWIW mine are both pretty good). Aerobic activity is what strengthens the entire cardiopulmonary system which is a very good thing for a western man.

    Prior to losing my leg I was pretty athletic - had been all my life. I'd put on a few kilos in my early 40's in spite of getting a lot of exercise but once I lost the leg I not only became very sedentary but also increased my consumption since I wasn't out doing stuff, especially the unhealthy stuff. Exercise is way harder when you are heavy too. I'd get winded walking down a long corridor, forget about many flights of stairs.

    When my blood work was showing I was knocking on type II diabetes' door I knew it as time for a change. Turn this ship around! Lifestyle. So still being sedentary I restricted my intake - some would say severely. In a year and a half dropped 30kg (~66lb)... it was only after the first 20kg that exercise became appealing and I discovered electric bikes.

    Since then I've "replaced" ~10kg (I'm 180cm and ~80kg) but in very good health and fit, even without considering I'm in my 60's with a significant disability.

    Now for me, trying to ride the MTB with one leg when I was heavy wasn't even remotely fun and didn't get much better after dropping the excess. I was getting worried that what remained of my leg was going to get bad and when I discovered electric bikes (which were super fun!) I would turn the pedals without pushing much - more just to turn them which really helped my leg. Surprisingly even though I could barely turn 50-60rpm's I found I was not getting winded as easily. Just being in motion is really good for you even if not "working out" all that much. Fast forward.... I ride hard, turning 70-80rpm and putting out ~100W continuous with sustained peaks around 175W. I don't get remotely winded and have a resting pulse rate ~50bpm...

    So exercise - yes! But not for weight loss. As they say you can't run from a bad diet...

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      I would go with the distraction theory. I for sure eat a lot more sitting on the couch. I hardly ever eat while riding my bike. No sugar on the bike either because biking I only carry water. I don't think that works for everyone. I see a lot of bikes at the brew pub near my house.


        Ketogenic diet here. When I retired I blew up to 260#, down to 205# now. Ride to lunch and skip the bread, sugar, and taters. Meat, cheese, eggs, and veggies. Nuts for snacks. I go off of it every now and then but generally that's what I eat. Just about impossible to become diabetic doing this.


          I've been doing the only eat for 8hr out of 24, and It's kinda crazy how much weight I have lost in the last couple months. about 40# since june. It really ends up being 2 meals a day instead of 3, but the extra time off for your liver -16 hr- makes ya go into a fat rejecting state- so they say. Anyway, that and super distraction- (more like Obsession) having a new Eclipse, and the couple months deciding, waiting and prepping myself for it has done a lot towards getting off the couch and back into fuller life as well.

          Cutting off the bad foods and consuming the whole good stuff has also been part of my newish routine, AS well as spending ALL my money on bicycle upgrades instead of bad food on the lazy boy in front of the TV!

          Just installed my new MT5's, motorcycle flavored, right front stopper - no switches.... damn these things let ya go real slow real quick. Am I hearing the spokes growling a bit when I get on it hard?


          • AZguy
            AZguy commented
            Editing a comment
            Water has never been alive but I'm going to make an exception for it LOL

            Seeing as beer is barley, hops and yeast which were all alive at one time - I'm good

          • Retrorockit
            Retrorockit commented
            Editing a comment
            My local pathologist cut open a bunch of beer drinkers over the years. Squeaky clean arteries is what he found. The hops does the trick.

          • Retrorockit
            Retrorockit commented
            Editing a comment
            Water is more alive than you think.
            Emoto’s water crystal photographs prove thoughts, sound and intention impact the living consciousness in water.

          Biking won't hurt. But if you look at the average calories burned, even modest physical activity is remarkably small. Biking for an hour... ~300 calories ... running for an hour ~600 calories. E-biking would likely be even less than 300/hr - unless you have assist at 'zero' and are actually working against the extra weight of the bike.

          Trying to lose weight or at least not gain more? Find out how many calories are burned by an hour walking, swimming or using the elliptical.

          A typical fast food burger/fries/soft drink is 1300-1500 calories... or 5 hours of biking / 2-1/2 hours of running (@ 5mph is essentially a half marathon!) . ...after which you'll probably be "starving" and want to eat something else!

          So moral of the story is that you will never 'out exercise' a bad diet. For true and lasting weight loss you have to cut down on the carbs going into the 'ol pie hole.


          • lectrik al
            lectrik al commented
            Editing a comment
            Yup, I agree about limiting what's going in the pie hole. Not so much what, but for how many hours pie hole is open for eating per day. When I can stick to only eatin for 8 hrs per day, I lose weight. Over holidays I started stretching it to 10 and 12 hrs eating, (not excessive, just stretched out), and started putting a few pounds back on. BOO hiss... back on 8 only, and heading back down! 260 a yr ago, 188 today. I ride as often as possible, and pedal not so much

          • Retrorockit
            Retrorockit commented
            Editing a comment
            I'm not going to argue with calorie counters.
            Do your own research.
            Ketogenic diet.
            Time Restricted Eating.
            I'll enjoy my Bacon Eggs and Avocado breakfast at noon.

          Using an e-bike can be an effective tool for weight loss, for sure. But it should be combined with a healthy diet. Btw, the guys from Bethlehem PA Weight Loss Doctors may help with it. Regular exercise is needed too. Remember that weight loss is about making sustainable lifestyle changes. These include healthy eating habits and regular physical activity. An e-bike can be a great way to make exercise more enjoyable and help you reach your weight loss goals. Yet, it should not be relied upon solely.
          Last edited by YasminReynolds; 02-15-2023, 02:18 AM.


            Hey there! It's great to see you're making progress on your weight loss journey. It's interesting that you're considering using an e-bike as part of your plan. While an e-bike can be a helpful tool, it's important to remember that sustainable weight loss involves a combination of factors. These include exercise, diet, and overall lifestyle choices. There are various approaches people take to enhance their weight loss efforts. Some individuals may choose to explore options such as incorporating the best fat burning steroid into their regimen. It's essential to prioritize your health and consult with a healthcare professional who can provide guidance on the safe and responsible use of such substances. Remember, everyone's journey is unique, and finding what works best for you is key.
            Last edited by JulieSimpsong; 05-15-2023, 05:15 AM.


              I think e-bikes can be a great tool for weight loss. They make cycling more accessible to a lot of people who might find traditional bikes a bit daunting. With an e-bike, you can control the level of assistance you get, so you can start with more help and gradually reduce it as you get fitter. One of the things I love about e-bikes is that they make longer rides more achievable. You can cover more distance without feeling completely exhausted, which is great for building up your fitness levels over time. Of course, like any form of exercise, e-bikes are most effective when combined with a healthy diet.
              Last edited by Derawood; 06-17-2024, 05:44 AM.


                Hey there! It's great to see you're making progress on your weight loss journey. It's interesting that you're considering using an e-bike as part of your plan. While an e-bike can be a helpful tool, it's important to remember that sustainable weight loss involves a combination of factors.