Does Cycling Burn Belly Fat?

If you want to lose weight, you may be wondering what is the most effective exercise to burn belly fat. Cycling can be a great option for people who want to burn calories, tone their abs, and lose weight.

The Science Behind Cycling

Cycling is a low impact aerobic exercise that can help to burn fat and calories. When you ride a bike, you engage your legs, core, and back muscles, which can help to strengthen and tone your body. Cycling can also help to improve your cardiovascular health, increase your endurance, and boost your metabolism.

According to studies, an average person can burn around 500 to 1,000 calories per hour by cycling. However, the amount of calories you burn will depend on your weight, intensity, and the duration of the ride.

Cycling and Fat Loss

Fat loss occurs when you burn more calories than you consume. When you create a calorie deficit through exercise and diet, your body will start to burn stored fat for energy. Cycling can help to create this deficit by burning calories and increasing your metabolism.

One study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that cycling at a moderate pace for 45 minutes can increase your metabolic rate for up to 14 hours after the ride. This means that you may continue to burn calories at a higher rate even after you finish your ride.

The amount of cycling required to burn fat can vary depending on factors such as your weight, intensity of cycling, and individual metabolism. Here’s a table outlining estimated calorie burn for different durations of cycling at moderate intensity:

Duration of Cycling (at moderate intensity) Approximate Calories Burned (for a 150-pound/68 kg person)*
15 minutes 130-190 calories
30 minutes 260-380 calories
45 minutes 390-570 calories
60 minutes 520-760 calories
90 minutes 780-1,140 calories
120 minutes 1,040-1,520 calories


Please note that these calorie burn estimates are approximate and can vary based on individual factors. Heavier individuals may burn more calories, while lighter individuals may burn fewer calories.

To maximize fat burning, it’s recommended to combine regular cycling with a balanced diet and potentially incorporate higher-intensity intervals or longer-duration rides into your routine. Additionally, consistency and progression are key factors in achieving and maintaining fat loss goals.

Keep in mind that individual results may vary, and it’s always beneficial to consult with a healthcare professional or a certified fitness trainer who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific goals and circumstances.

*Calorie burn estimates are based on a person weighing around 150 pounds (68 kg). Adjustments can be made based on your weight.

Cycling and Belly Fat


While cycling can help to burn fat and calories, it is not a targeted exercise for belly fat. Spot reduction, or the idea that you can target fat loss in a specific area, is a myth. When you lose weight, you will lose it from all over your body, not just one specific area.

However, cycling can help to tone and strengthen your abdominal muscles, which can help to give you a flatter stomach. When you cycle, you engage your core muscles to stabilize your body, which can help to tone your abs.

The Benefits of Cycling

Cycling offers a range of benefits beyond weight loss and belly fat reduction. Some of the benefits include:

  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Increased endurance and stamina
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved joint mobility and flexibility

Cycling for Beginners

If you are new to cycling, it is important to start slowly and build up your endurance over time. You can start by cycling for short periods of time at a low intensity and gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your rides.

It is also important to invest in a good quality bike that fits you properly and to wear appropriate clothing and safety gear. You should also warm up before your ride and cool down afterwards to prevent injury.


In conclusion, cycling can be an effective exercise for burning belly fat, but it is not a targeted exercise. Cycling can help to burn calories, increase your metabolism, and tone your abs, but you will lose weight from all over your body, not just one specific area. Cycling also offers a range of other benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, increased endurance, and reduced stress. If you are new to cycling, start slowly and invest in good quality equipment to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.


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