For losing weight quickly cycle touring is hard to beat. If you cycle 50 miles a day and eat normally you will almost certainly lose weight. For many cycle tourists it’s a challenge simply getting enough calories! Cycling with loaded panniers uses a lot of energy so on long tours it’s possible to lose a lot of weight.
How many calories you will burn depends on a number of factors. A rough guide can be found here. It’s not unusual to burn over 5000 calories a day when covering long distances on a loaded bike.
So what’s the downside? Well, cycling for hours on end can be pretty hard-work, particularly when there are hills. But you’re out in the open air enjoying the scenery rather than being in a sweaty gym so it doesn’t really feel like work. You can cover considerable distances in a surprisingly short time making it a rewarding and relatively low-cost way to travel.
There are dangers. Cycling undernourished can lead to headaches, nausea and loss of concentration, which could result in an accident. Your body will constantly crave energy so it’s not advisable to stick to a normal diet. You should aim to eat small amounts regularly, though this isn’t always convenient, and increase your overall calorie intake. That’s one of the great things about cycle touring. You can eat more and still lose weight!