The Body Factor
Several factors go into determining how many calories you burn during any kind of physical activity. Men burn more calories than women on average because they have more muscular tissue on average. Having more muscular tissue means that you burn more calories as your body uses up more energy. This is why younger people have an easier time losing weight as older people tend to have less muscle mass.
How quickly your body burns through calories depends on your metabolic rate, which can be unique for everyone. Maintain healthy muscle mass to keep your metabolism at its peak.
The Effort Factor
How much effort you put into physical exercise is sure to have an impact on how many calories it burns. This effort factor is the reason that bigger people burn more calories than people thinner than them doing the same exercise. It takes more effort to move more weight.
The key to losing weight and burning calories is to include some challenging sections in your ride. Bikers can get caught up in the trap of cruising, which requires minimal effort and will burn minimal calories. You won’t burn as many calories on your bike if your ride is all downhill, and you barely use the pedals. Put yourself in a situation where you force your body to put in more effort.
How Does Cycling Stack Up?
The Mayo Clinic recommends burning 500 calories more calories than you consume per day for safe and effective weight loss. This works out at around 45 minutes of cycling at a moderate effort for a 180-pound cyclist, or a vigorous 45-minute bike ride for a 155-pound cyclist.
The best way to understand how much effort you need to put in to burn calories is to invest in a heart rate monitor. Heart rate monitors track your heart rate and use it to determine how many calories you’ve burned during an activity. A reasonable rough estimate is that cycling burns between 500-1,000 calories depending on your weight and how much effort you put in. The more effort you put in, the more calories you burn.
As you can see, there are several factors that go into determining how many calories you burn while cycling. The only way to know for sure is to get a power meter or heart-rate monitor, but you can use rough estimates to get a good idea.