Lose Belly Fat Mountain Biking (Important Facts)

The most frustrating thing is looking in the mirror and seeing how out of shape you are. A big belly is the result of a sedentary life combined with unhealthy eating habits.

After you clean your diet it is time to incorporate some daily exercise to get in shape, maybe now you are wondering if mountain biking is the right choice.

Mountain biking is a great way of losing weight because it is a full-body workout that demands a great number of calories. You can’t target the body parts where you what to lose weight but decreasing the overall body fat will result in a reduction of belly fat.

In this article, we will answer the most common question about losing weight cycling, and mountain biking in particular. We will break down how much weight you can lose in different time amounts and hugely by the end of the article you will have a general idea about losing belly fat mountain biking. So keep reading!

Does Mountain Biking Burn Belly Fat?

Mountain biking combined with a good diet plan is one of the best ways of losing weight due to the increased energy spent riding the trails. The body will start burning fat from the last places he has stored it and this usually is the belly for men and hips for women.

Mountain biker

As you can see if you don’t eat more calories and you start mountain biking you will start to lose belly fat, but keep in mind that you need to be in a calorie deficit for this to happen.

Do not forget that fat loss proposes sleep plays an important role, you need to sleep at least 7-8 hours a night if you what the maximum results. Pushing yourself on the trails and not sleeping enough is a recipe for disaster, you will have an increased injury rate and will enter the overtraining territory.

Is Mountain Biking Good for Fat Loss?

Mountain biking is a demanding sport that requires great effort and dedication from its participants. Almost every ride will have an uphill portion, this is where your heart rate will be highly increased and the energy demand will be huge, your body will be forced to use the excess fat for energy.

When you ride your mountain bike on trails you can’t control the environment and the types of terrain you need to ride, on every ride, you will encounter variations in the terrain (roots, rocks, ascents, descents, etc.) and this will make the intensity of your effort vary from low to high. This makes mountain biking enter the HIT (high-intensity training) territory, which is the best type of cardio training for fat loss.

Mountain biking is one of the best outdoor sports to lose weight because it has a high caloric demand without putting a lot of stress on your joints. If you are overweight and you start running to lose weight, your joint will be under a lot of stress generated by the excess weight, and the risk of injuries is increased.

Does Mountain Biking Get You in Shape?

man with red mountain bicycle outdoor

Mountain biking is an intense cardiovascular exercise that requires lower and upper body strength, this makes it a great full-body workout. Riding on the trails regularly will improve your overall health and endurance, and over time you will get in great physical shape.

In general, all types of outdoor cardiovascular exercises will do wonders for your body, the most important benefits of mountain biking are:

  • Improves lung capacity: When you’re at the top of your game, your lung performance will be more than 25% better when compared to the average Joe who leads a sedentary life.
  • Protects your joints: Mountain biking is considered a low-impact activity (as long as you remain above your bike) and your joints while being more supported by your new-found muscularity, will be more flexible and much more capable of taking impacts.
  • Your waistline: Cycling increases your metabolic rate so you’re making efficient use of the food you’re fueling your ride with.
  • Your fitness: This is easily measured by your resting heart rate, your peak heart rate (depending on your age), and your recovery time. Mountain biking helps people get fit and fitter people will live longer, healthier lives than people who aren’t. 
  • Your mood: When you get out on your bike, your central nervous system and your pituitary gland release a chemical called endorphins. These will interact with receptors in your brain that induce a positive feeling in your body.

How Can I Lose Weight Mountain Biking?

The secret to losing weight in mountain biking is consistency, you need to incorporate mountain biking into your daily routine. Riding 60 min per day is a great way to start but don’t overdo it, if you can only ride 20 or 30 min start with that.

If you find it hard to train every day start with 3 times a week and slowly increase the number of training days. After you reach six or even seven training days per week start to increase the length of your rides. If time is a concern for you increase the intensity of your rides so you will consume more calories in a shorter amount of time.

Do not forget that diet is as important or even more than training, you can’t compensate for a bad diet with training. One of the most important improvements you can make is to take out of your diet sugar beverages and alcoholic drinks.

If you drink two 500ml bears you need to ride for at least an hour to compensate for the calorie intake. Having bad sleeping habits will reduce the efficiency of your training and will increase the chance of an injury. Shoot for seven to eight hours of sleep every night and you will be in the golden zone.

One of the most important things you can do to lose weight faster is to make 3 of your weekly rides high-intensity interval training. To do this you ride at a low pass or around 15 to 20 min for warmup and then rise the intensity for one minute, then lower the intensity for 2 minutes. Do this 10 to 20 times depending on your fitness levels and you will have far better results than with normal cardio.

Be aware that high-intensity interval training is not recommended for two days in a row and don’t do it more than three times per week, don’t overdo it because it can be too stressful on your heart, be patient and results will come.

Will I Lose Weight by Cycling 30 Minutes a Day?

Cycling 30 minutes is a great way to start your weight loss journey, depending on your body weight cycling 30 minutes will burn approximately 0.05 pounds. This will result in you burning around 1.5 pounds on a month of daily 30 minutes rides.

Mountain biking Road biking
Bodyweight30min [pounds]30min [pounds]
70kg / 154.3lb0.0890.078
80kg / 176.3lb0.1020.09
90kg / 198.4lb0.1140.1
100kg / 220.4lb0.1270.112

As we can see from the table above there are differences between cyclin disciplines regarding weight loss, some are more efficient than others. The most efficient of the cycling disciplines is mountain biking due to the greater number of muscles involved.

So if you are 200 lb and you will mountain bike every day for 30 minutes, in a month you will burn a total of 1.89 pounds which is great taking into consideration the low amount of time you put in.

Be aware that all these calculations are made taking into consideration a good diet plan, this means that you only eat the number of calories that your body needs to function properly, and the calories burned by mountain biking are considered a deficit.

Keep in mind that when you start training your hunger will increase, you need to resist this temptation to eat more, or your training will be wasted.

How Much Weight Can I Lose Cycling for One Hour a Day?

Cycling is a great way to lose some extra pounds accumulated by living a sedentary life. Mountain biking for one hour will burd on average from 0.178 to 0.254 pounds for a body weight of 154 to 220 lb. Road biking for one hour will burd on average from 0.157 to 0.224 pounds for a body weight of 154 to 220 lb.

Mountain biking Road biking Mountain bikingRoad biking
Bodyweight60min [pounds]60min [pounds]pounds/monthpounds/month
70kg / 154.3lb0.1780.1575.344.71
80kg / 176.3lb0.2040.186.125.4
90kg / 198.4lb0.2290.2026.876.06
100kg / 220.4lb0.2540.2247626.72

Cycling on the road for one hour a day can burn 4.71 to 6.72 pounds/month for a body weight of 154 to 220 lb but if you are mountain biking for the same body weight you can burn 5.34 to 7.62 pounds/month.

This calculation is made only taking into consideration the calories burned cycling, not bad eating habits.

How Many Calories Can You Burn Mountain Biking?

On average you burn 600 to 900 calories while mountain biking, this number can change depending on your riding style and intensity. If your weight is more than 220 lb you will burn more calories but you get closer to the whey limit of most mountain bikes.

Bodyweight60min [kcal]
70kg / 154.3lb624
80kg / 176.3lb714
90kg / 198.4lb803
100kg / 220.4lb892

These numbers are on average but if your rides incorporate lots of climbing sections the total number of calories you burn grows, on uphill sections, you burn almost double the number of calories that you burn riding on flat terrain.

Incorporating more uphill sections in your rides and increasing the intensity at which you ride will make a ton of difference.

If you like numbers and you are wondering how many calories mountain biking burns compared to other outdoor sports, you need to read this article!

How Long Do You Have to Mountain Bike to Burn 500 Calories?

On average a mountain biker will burn 500 calories in less than an hour of riding, this is highly impacted by the rider’s body weight and the intensity of the ride.

Bodyweight500kcal [min]
70kg / 154.3lb48
80kg / 176.3lb42
90kg / 198.4lb37
100kg / 220.4lb33

For a 200 lb rider, half an hour is enough to burn 500 calories while a 154 lb rider needs almost 50 minutes to burn the same amount of calories. This comparison is made considering that both riders ride in the same conditions and do not have long portions uphill on the course.

Long climbs will increase the total number of calories you burn in your ride and the effort that the body exerts when climbing is almost double.


In conclusion, we can say that if you what to lose belly fat you need to lower your overall body fat proceed and mountain biking is a great way of doing that but you need to ride consistently and remove the unhealthy eating habits from your diet, like eating fast food, drinking alcohol or sugary drinks.

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I started mountain biking many years ago to improve my overall health state. After my first ride, I fell in love with the sport. Now I spend dozens of hours a week researching and training to compete in local XC and Enduro events.