what type of ride should I choose? I own kross k10 bike. Currently I am doing 7.7 km lap with combination of slow-fast-slow (40%-20%-40%) of total path.

Am I doing it correct?

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    Basically, you need long durations (at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour or two) to burn fat. You must cause the body to use up it's readily available blood sugar (and whatever remains in the gut from your last meal) and start converting fat to sugar in the liver. Prolonged high intensity is probably not good as that drains muscle glycogen rather than calling on the liver, but it's not a bad idea to "mix it up" a bit. Dec 30, 2014 at 13:20
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    7.7 km is only about 5 miles, which is quite short unless the grade is quite high.
    – Batman
    Dec 30, 2014 at 14:26
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    You cant target fat in any particular area. Long rides in your heart rate zone 2 are good for burning fat.
    – user400
    Dec 30, 2014 at 22:16
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    Another good tip is to go for a longish ride first thing in the morning with no breakfast and water only. Your body shifts over to fat burning mode overnight and you will train your body to use fat and spare glycogen. When i was doing this I found I could go a couple hours at zone 2 this way. If I waited an hour to start my ride I'd bonk. It's a good idea to carry an emergency snack when you do this.
    – Eric
    Dec 31, 2014 at 3:47
  • what is meant by heart rate zone 2? @Iain Dec 31, 2014 at 8:09

4 Answers 4


When you say "to burn tummy fat", presumable you're talking about weight loss and general toning?

What worked for me was a short, 10-minute / 2-point-something km commute, twice a day, five days a week, over two or three years. Because the ride was so short I was able to give pretty much 100% for the whole ride, with natural stops at red lights.

I went from maybe 110kg down to about 80kg in this time. It was kinda counter-intuitive - in that if you just think about calories I burned during the ride, the shortness of the ride should not have made too much difference. But I lost weight. I'm now lighter still, but that loss has happened over a far longer period and is more regulated.

The way I knew I was losing weight was by clothes (including weird stuff like shoes, hats and my wedding ring) becoming looser. I did not weigh myself at first - I do these days and with hindsight I should have got some scales sooner. Without measurement, it is certainly possible to convince yourself that nothing you are doing is making any difference.

So, for my money, you need some degree of intensity there. I'm not sure that cycling anywhere without much effort (which I suspect is what you mean when you say "slow") will do much to help weight loss. But by the same token you don't necessarily need to be in the saddle for hours. Also it is a gradual effect and takes time.

On top of all that, if you want to specifically develop tummy muscles, I'd recommend some other form of training as well. Cycling is great for aerobic exercise and for developing your legs, but leaves something to be desired as regards upper body muscles. Some professional cyclists, for example, will work with weights a couple of times a week, especially in the off-season, to keep themselves at peak fitness.

  • One reason that such short but regular activities lead to fat reduction is that they increase the overall metabolism.
    – andy256
    Dec 30, 2014 at 21:00
  • Site note: his is a perfect example of slow and steady wins the race The way @Pete did it was the right way. Slowly over time.. Lately too many people think we must do things like lose weight quickly, infact that's not such good thing. Losing lots of fat too fast will have you skin sag. It needs time to adjust.
    – gideon
    Jan 3, 2015 at 8:07

You can't really burn "tummy fat." Your body has an order that it will store fat in and it will lose fat in the reverse order. You can lose bodyfat, but it goes away in the reverse order that you put it on. You can make it appear that you've proportionally lost more weight in your tummy by building up the muscles there.

  • Bigger question: how does this answer the question? You only address the concept of burning tummy fat, not what the OP can do during his bike rides to burn tummy fat
    – yuritsuki
    Dec 30, 2014 at 23:54
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    @thinlyveiledquestionmark it addresses it just fine. What you can do is nothing. You can't make the body burn fat preferentially in one place.
    – hobbs
    Dec 31, 2014 at 0:16
  • @hobbs No it does not. Fundamentally it does not answer the question.
    – yuritsuki
    Dec 31, 2014 at 2:45
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    I was trying to dispel the common misconception that you can burn fat in one area instead of another. It's really beyond your contro
    – Eric
    Dec 31, 2014 at 3:23
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    I think I did answer part of the original posters question. He asked how to burn tummy fat. I tried to dispel the commonly held myth that "spot reduction" is possible. I didn't feel that the original answer, while it contained a lot of useful information, made that clear enough.
    – Eric
    Jan 1, 2015 at 18:51

I'll second Eric's answer, but with a little more detail.

There is no way to exercise that will produce "spot removal" of fat. The only way to do that is via liposuction. Each person's body will deposit fat differently. For instance, my body starts with deposits on my lower back, then on my belly, and then my upper arms and face. Other people start on their belly or upper arms. If you reduce or increase your body fat percentage slowly over time, you can easily observe the pattern your body uses. You can also see it in videos of the morbidly obese, who have massive variety in how their fat gets stored.

If you want to lose tummy fat, the best bike ride is the one that burns the most calories, since (provided you don't eat to make up for the lost energy) this will cause the burning of fat. Energy expenditure is just time * intensity, and there are lots of good calculators for this floating around online. For the untrained cyclist, I think they're pretty accurate (trained cyclists can be more efficient).

Short, hard rides are probably a good choice if you want to lose weight, because they take less time per calorie spent. 60 minutes as fast as you can maintain it is a good choice, because it's a nice length of time where you shouldn't need a snack, even at maximum effort. At first you may not be able to go fast if you lack cardiovascular strength, but even at a walking-level effort you should be able to cover about 12-15km in that time, about twice the distance you're doing now. For a typical person, this would burn maybe 500 kcals. Then just work on going faster (and therefore further) each time you go. Doing that level of exercise daily should result in the loss of a 1lb of fat/week, provided you don't eat more to make up for it.

  • Short hard rides burn blood sugar and glycogen, not body fat. Dec 31, 2014 at 2:43
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    In general that's true, but higher intensity exercise will stimulate testosterone production which will tend to increase muscle mass and decrease body fat. As an example look at the physiques of short distance track and field athletes. Their overall training volume isn't that high.
    – Eric
    Dec 31, 2014 at 3:30
  • @DanielRHicks Well it's true that a short hard ride will burn blood sugar, if you don't then eat back the calories expended, your body will obtain them from your fat over the remainder of the day. As Eric says, a sustained caloric deficit will induce lipolysis (and testosterone can as well), whereby stored fat -> gylcerol -> glucose to replace the sugar and glycogen stores once they're depleted. If you burn 1000 calories in glycogen or glucose in one hour or two, it still gets replenished the same way: either you eat, or it comes out of your fat. The difference is that 1 hour takes less time. Dec 31, 2014 at 5:20
  • @DanielRHicks To continue: it's true that over a very long ride you can burn more fat, but that really comes down to how fast you can metabolize fat. For most people, you can only get a few hundred kcals/hour, unless you have a ton of body fat. In practice, this means more than an hour or so of max effort will leave you either eating to recover energy, or else bonking. In contrast, at a more relaxed pace, you could go for hours and hours (since your net deficit is smaller, your initial energy stores last longer). If your primary goal is to lose fat, a short, intense ride might be better. Dec 31, 2014 at 5:27
  • Part of the equation is that the liver needs to be "challenged" to kick up its rate of fat breakdown (basically grow more fat-burning tissue). This contributes to "increasing the metabolism". Dec 31, 2014 at 13:37

The basics are that in short and intensive you will burn more fat in shorter time. However you can hold easy and steady pace for longer time burning more calories as you go. You can choose either approach.

Don't look too much at minutes&speed&terrain. Heart rate monitor is more important.

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    Actually, unless you exercise long enough and intensely enough to deplete the blood's stores of glucose you have difficulty losing weight by exercising. Sep 22, 2015 at 16:10
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    And intensive exercise can have adverse effects on the body. Longer and more gentle is better for you overall than going hard for a short time. For example a ride along a road with ups and downs is going to be less damaging, and more enjoyable than biking straight up a hard climb.
    – Criggie
    Sep 22, 2015 at 22:54
  • During intensive training you burn all available energy sources including fat. The % is lower than in easy training, but actual ammount of fat burned is still more in the intense training. Also the glucose argument is theoretical because your extra food will be stored as fat.
    – mkpaa
    Sep 24, 2015 at 8:59

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