If you’re anything like me, one of the key factors that lead you to buy a Peloton bike was that you wanted to lose a few pounds – and of course, keep them off!
Losing weight is only one of the many benefits that you can take away from owning the bike, but many people discover that they don’t drop the pounds in the way they expected once they start their new cycling regime.
When you’re working out regularly and making an effort to eat heathy foods, and you’ve also spent a small fortune on your new equipment and all the accessories, it can be really frustrating to say the least!
If you’re not losing weight with Peloton, there are likely a couple of issues at play.
The good news is that they can be fixed, and with a few tweaks, you can get yourself on the right track towards smashing your weight loss goals.
Here, I’m going to share a little about my own Peloton weight loss journey, walk you through the reasons you might not be losing, and share some useful tips and advice that you can start actioning straightaway.
My personal weight loss with Peloton
I had my Peloton delivered in January 2021, and I eagerly got stuck into a routine of cycling around 4 times a week.
Over the previous year I’d gained 14lbs that I was a little unhappy with, so I was keen to shift them and get into a healthier and more active lifestyle.
I did a variety of classes, making sure that I checked out all the different instructors and discovered the ones I enjoyed the most.
I also added Peloton strength classes to my schedule, and would regularly do a 20 minute weights session before jumping on the bike for a 20 minute ride.
By April 2021, I’d lost 14lbs, and hit my weight loss target.
All in all, I’d lost on average 1lb a week, whilst also enjoying regular treats and celebrating occasions like birthdays.
In April I discovered that I was pregnant, so of course I didn’t maintain the weight loss throughout the rest of the year! Though I did continue to ride regularly and happily through my first and second trimesters, gaining a healthy amount for pregnancy.
I think it’s worth noting here that whilst weight loss was one of my goals when I decided to buy my Peloton, it gave me so much more. I definitely experienced a greater sense of general wellbeing from committing to the regular exercise, as well as more energy and a genuine love for jumping on the bike.
What I ate whilst losing weight with Peloton
I do want to add here that this wasn’t my first rodeo when it came to losing some weight, and I’d learned a lot from previous experiences.
I knew that riding the bike could support my goals, but I was also well aware that ultimately, I needed to be in a calorie deficit in order to lose weight.
So I counted calories, using the My Fitness Pal app. This is easy to do once you get your head round the basics, and the beauty of it is that you can enjoy any type of food that you like, so long as it fits into your calorie allowance.
To find out more about exactly how it all works, check out this guide to counting calories with My Fitness Pal.
What I love about this approach is that you don’t have to feel like you’re on a diet, or that you’re missing out on anything. I ate out at restaurants, I drank wine, and I had the occasional takeaway. Because nothing is off limits, I find this to be a really sustainable and long lasting approach to achieving and maintaining your weight loss goals.
Reasons why you’re not losing weight with Peloton
Are you pedalling away on a regular basis, but not seeing the progress you want on the scales?
Here are some things that could be happening that are holding you back…
You’re consuming more calories than you’re burning
This is what the issue very likely all boils down to.
If you’re eating more calories than you burn (during your cycling class and also with your day to day activities), then you’re going to gain weight.
The good news is that this is an easily identifiable problem that you can take steps to fix. Using some simple calculations, you can establish the amount of calories you need to eat each day to lose weight. This calorie deficit calculator will help you with that.
You’re not counting all the calories you’re consuming
It’s so easy to underestimate what you’re really eating on any given day!
You might forget to count the milk that you had in your morning coffee, that biscuit that you grabbed mid morning, the leftovers you ate from your kid’s plate, the oil that you used to cook your evening meal.
All these calories can very quickly add up, and before you know it, you’ve consumed far more than you initially thought, and you’re no longer in a deficit.
I try to overcome this by ensuring that I add all my foods to My Fitness Pal as soon as I’ve eaten them.
I also find it helpful to weigh my food, so I know exactly how much I’ve had. With foods like cereal and pasta, for example, you might be surprised at what a standard portion actually looks like!
You’re overestimating the amount of calories you’ve burnt
Peloton will provide you with an estimate of how many calories you’ve burnt in each session. This can be a good ballpark guide, but many people find that it isn’t entirely accurate, and it may well be the case that you’re burning less than you think.
One thing you can do here is ensure that your weight is correct on your Peloton profile, and that you update it regularly if your weight increases or decreases. This is because it’s a factor that the bike uses to calculate your calorie burn.
Many riders (including myself!) also like to use an Apple Watch when riding. This acts as a heart rate monitor throughout your ride, tracking your exertion in real time, and therefore is likely to provide you with a more accurate reading when it comes to calories burnt.
My personal approach is that I rarely eat the extra calories that I’ve burnt on the bike. Of course, if you’re doing lengthy classes or really intensive sessions, this might not be the best approach for you, as you might decide that you need that extra food. Sometimes, it’s about experimenting to find what’s best for you, and listening to your body.
Can Peloton make you gain weight?
Yes, it’s possible to gain weight whilst doing regular Peloton workouts.
This is likely to be if you fall into one of the above categories – if you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning, if you’re not counting all the calories you’re consuming, if you’re overestimating the calories you burn, or a combination of these factors.
So is Peloton good for weight loss?
Peloton can certainly support your weight loss goals, just like any kind of exercise that burns calories. Ultimately though, you do need to ensure that your nutrition is on point, and that you’re in a calorie deficit.
If you’re serious about weight loss with Peloton, it’s likely that you will need to spend some time ensuring that your diet is also optimised for the best results.
Which Peloton workouts are best for weight loss?
If you’re using your Peloton as a weight loss tool, then consistency is what’s really important. To ensure that you stick with your plans, it helps so much if you’re enjoying the sessions and you genuinely look forward to jumping on the bike.
As such, it makes sense to choose workouts that you love! For you, this could be sticking with your favourite instructor. It could be choosing sessions that focus on a particular music genre, or you might find that you love a particular style of workout, such as HIIT and hills, or tabata.
Experiment with different things so you can find what works best for you. Ultimately, this is what will help you to achieve weight loss with Peloton.
My final thoughts on losing weight with Peloton
My own experience of losing weight with the bike has been a very positive one, and I feel extremely grateful to have access to something that has such a wide ranging selection of benefits when it comes to general health and wellbeing!
If you’ve found that you’re not losing weight with Peloton, it’s very likely that you need to take a closer look at your diet and ensure you’re not making one of the key mistakes that we’ve covered here.