Happy Girl on an Ebike

Lose Weight, the Ebike Way

Ebikes have a motor, they power you along, glide you uphill with virtually no effort, so how the hell can you lose weight on an ebike?

The big mistake most people make when considering ebikes, is thinking that no effort is required, at all. In reality though, unless you have a powerful throttle machine, then ebikes have to be pedalled to operate. You have to pedal to engage the motor. Even at the highest assist levels on an ebike, when you pedal to go, then you are exercising.

Ebikes make cycling easier, but they don’t negate all physical effort

If you seriously need to lose weight, rather than just want to lose a few extra pounds, then obviously you should consult professionals like your doctor, and a nutritionist, and perhaps also, a personal trainer, to come up with a regime that will help you lose the excess weight, and most importantly, keep it off. Dieting and exercise tend to go hand-in-hand when losing weight and keeping fit. Keeping active through exercise is the key to keeping the weight from piling back on once you have lost it. But how do you start to lose it in the first place, without such a harsh regime of physical activity that you keep to, once or twice, then let drop because the severity and strain has made you miserable and put you off?

“Health benefits of electrically-assisted cycling: a systematic review.”

“Findings reported here suggest that e-cycling may be suitable for individuals with compromised health. Hansen and colleagues showed that e-cycling elicited moderate intensity activity in older, obese individuals recovering from surgery due to coronary artery disease, while Cooper and colleagues reported that e-cycling was feasible for middle-aged, overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” (source)

Moderation is the Key

If you have not exercised seriously for a length of time, perhaps not for years, then going into a routine of heavy exercise activity, and having to do this in regular bouts several times a week, will probably put you right off. It may be more appealing to start your exercise regime gently, and slowly up the pace over time. Your body will soon get used to regular exercise, and exercise that is not too severe and exhausting from the get go, will soon develop into exercise that you want to do, and most of all, enjoy doing.

Keeping Fit on an Ebike
Scenic routes that are pleasant to traverse are much less of a chore when exercising

Setting Targets

Treat the exercise you do on your ebike not as a training session, but as a pleasure ride. This will be an easier task for someone living in the countryside or by the sea, rather than a city dweller with nothing to view but grey buildings and road traffic. If this is the case for yourself, then check if there are any parks nearby where the visual aspect of your exercise will be more pleasant, and you will be breathing fresher air rather than air tainted with exhaust fumes.

“What’s more an e-bike can get you just as fit as riding an ordinary bike, especially if you’re a little out of shape, according to a study earlier this month at the University of Basel, where research showed that unfit, overweight individuals made similar fitness gains through using an e-bike for a month, compared to those riding an ordinary bike.”

“Whether you ride an ordinary bike or an e-bike, your still burning calories and fat. Up to 444 calories in an hour in the case of an e-bike, compared to 552 calories on an ordinary bike according to a recent study. So only 20% difference. ‘There’s definitely a potential for weight loss,’ says Dr Peterman.” (source)

Starting Off

Set an easily achievable target for the first month. Nothing too severe, and nothing that takes away the positive aspects of the exercise. Your personal circumstances will probably dictate how much you want, or have, to achieve, and the spare time you have in which to do it. But don’t try to rush weight loss.

An example, though everyone is different, so not set in stone, may be:

A gentle ebike ride of three miles, three times a week. Using full assist to begin with, and easing back as you proceed.

This may seem like a lot to some, and a paltry distance to others, so alter to suit your own circumstances and preferences.

After two weeks you may lengthen the distance, and use less assist. This will mean exercising more, and therefore burning more calories, and you should begin to notice some weight loss.

The ultimate goal is to lose weight, so bear in mind, that the easier it gets, the less work your body will be doing. Therefore, increase distance and use the lower assist levels more. Although you will not be doing any strenuous exercise, you will feel as if you are doing a genuine workout. You will begin to lose weight, and feel fitter and healthier.

See also: Keeping Fit on an Ebike and Mental Health and the Ebike

Consistency is also the Key

If you start your regime at three ebike rides per week, keep to three ebike rides per week. Do not drop off to two or even one or you will soon start missing any weekly exercise at all. Keep to three times a week, and if you are really enjoying the exercise, perhaps up it to four or even five times a week. If you have a busy work and life schedule, you may have to carefully plan your time to ensure you keep up, which may mean getting up a bit earlier, or rearranging your evenings, but if you have already noticed some weight loss, and feel fitter and healthier, then that may be your best incentive to continue.

Ebiking Together, Couple on Ebikes
Finding a friend to keep fit with on your ebike exercise regime may keep you both focussed and motivated

Ongoing Ebike Exercise

As time goes by, and you’ve lost a bit of weight, and your muscles begin to relax into your regime, then that is the time to step it up a bit. Increase your mileage, cut the assist down another level, perhaps change your route to take in some hills if you have only been exercising on flat ground. Keep your goals and your weight loss targets achievable, but become more daring in your exercise regime, perhaps one day a week try double the distance, or add an extra day of exercise where the target is double the distance. Keep it enjoyable though. Scenic routes that are pleasant to traverse are much less of a chore than the same old circuit around some boring city streets.

As You Attain One Goal, Make Another

Seeing on the scales, and in the mirror, that you have lost weight is great motivation to continue. But why stop there. When you have lost your target of 6 pounds, or 8 pounds, or whatever, then create the next target. However much you are over your natural weight for your height and build, plan to continue till you are the healthy weight for your body. Reaching one target hasn’t been bad, has it? You are enjoying your ebike rides? Then keep going, till you reach your next target. You are already fitter and healthier, and your muscles are conditioned to exercise. You’ve done the hard bit, which was starting. Now enjoy the next round of exercise, you are already on track and motivated. You know you can do it, and enjoy the ride as you do.

21 Sep 2021

Comments are closed.