If you're overweight, like me, and you want to lose some weight before the race season..try this..it works! Currently, I weigh 179 lbs. and my goal weight by February 6th (when I head out to Death Valley/Mohave Desert for a week of hilly riding) is 165 lbs. That's 14 lbs. I need to lose in just over 10 weeks, or 1.4 lbs. per week. To do this, all I need to do is burn and/or eliminate 500 more calories per day (500 calories/day x 7 days=3500 calories= 1 lb.) If that sounds hard, it really isn't. Here's how to do it:
a. Determine your maximum fat-burning heart rate zone. This is going to be close to 55-65% of your maximum heart rate. Although you won’t burn maximum calories at this heart rate, you will teach your body how to utilize fat effectively without causing muscle damage or inhibiting recovery. It’s important that you be able to insert this strategy into a pre-existing workout program without having to restructure for rest and recovery.
b. Every day, immediately upon waking (when your liver’s carbohydrate stores are nearly empty) exercise for 20-30 minutes in this heart rate zone. You can do this by either running, walking fast, using an elliptical trainer, etc. (I don't recommend doing it on the bike/trainer or you're going to burn out as you should be doing plenty of cycling training indoors already). In doing so, you will maximize fat-burning enzyme activity. Do NOT skip breakfast after the workout - just ensure that the actual exercise session is performed on an empty stomach.
c. To maximize this effect even more, eliminate any eating for at least 2 hours prior to bedtime the night before. This will ensure empty liver carbohydrate stores and more efficient fat burning in the subsequent morning routine.
d. In addition to the morning exercise, knock-out or reduce intake of the following: soda, candy, ice cream, and alcohol from your daily diet. (If you need to drink, like me over the holidays, stick to wine and light beer, it has less calories than mixed/alcohol drinks. And, keep it to 1-2 drinks per day max. If you need to eat ice cream, choose a light ice cream..they really don't taste too bad..once you get used to them.)
If you do this, exercise first thing in the morning and drop the soda/candy/ice cream/booze out of your daily diet, in addition to what you've normally been doing to maintain your current weight, I guarantee you that you will drop at least a pound or two a week.
Give it at try!