Avoid the tedious process of getting back into cycling shape after taking some time off the bike, by staying lean year round. Some cyclists make it a regular thing to take a breather or just have some ‘easy time’ (while also eating more), knowing that they can slash the weight off by getting back on their steed. But that may not be a good long-term plan. Not only does more weight put a damper on your performance (just 2kgs will make you 30 seconds slower on a 5km climb), it also leads to physiological changes that can affect your cycling long-term. A series of studies published in the International Journal of Obesity reported that when you put on weight, even as little as 5kg, you change the composition of your fat cells, slow your metabolism, and have a harder time losing weight. Worse, repeatedly gaining and losing year after year can make you more susceptible to packing on weight in the future. Over time those kilos add up, says dietician Leslie Bonci, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre. Try these changes to sidestep the larding effects of a short break, without feeling deprived.
Pick Power Carbs
Replace conventional starchy carbs with ones that serve your body in more ways. Beans, for example, provide those carbs, along with satiating protein and filling fibre (a cup has 12 grams). And findings from the National Nutrition and Health Examination Survey show that people who eat beans weigh 3kg less on average than those who snub them.