Weight Loss Made Easy!

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Easy Spring Weight Loss

Ask a Pro — Diane Stibbard

Coach, Personal Trainer, and Two-Time Canadian Duathlete of the Year

Diane Stibbard - two-time dualthlete of the year

Question: “I’ve gained a few pounds over the winter months. What’s the best way to get lean now that spring is here?”

Diane’s reply: 
We tend to move less and eat more during the winter, which results in weight gain. But no worries, you can kickstart your metabolism to burn off those few added pounds by using the following two easy protocols:

A. Tweak your diet.

B. Tap into your anaerobic system – introduce one ride per week at a higher level of intensity.

Tweaking Your Diet:

1. Reduce sugar
• Eliminate or halve the sugar you add to your tea/coffee.
• Don’t eat cookies, cakes, buns etc.
• Fruit juice – Eat your fruit, don’t drink it. And don’t drink soda pop.
• Read the labels on your pasta sauces etc. Many brands add sugar, so switch to a brand that doesn’t.
• Buy plain yogurt and add some chopped fruit instead of purchasing fruit-flavoured brands.
• Buy plain unsweetened almond, coconut or soy milk.

2. Combine protein with carbohydrates with your meals and snacks. This will release blood sugar at a slower rate, keeping you more satiated longer.

3. Reduce your serving portion size slightly at each meal.
Ladle one less spoonful of food onto your lunch and dinner plate, and keep your breakfast the same. Breakfast is your first meal of the day. Make sure you eat enough to restoke your body’s metabolism after the previous night’s fast.

In addition to the above weight loss protocol, I recommend adding fats to your diet such as coconut oil, avocado, cold-pressed virgin olive oil and nuts. These fats, called medium chain fatty acids, are metabolized differently than the other fats and actually stimulate the body to burn fat. Once ingested, they are sent straight from the liver to the digestive tract, where they are used for energy right away.

There are many ways you can add good fats into your diet. Coconut oil can be added to your shakes, and used to cook your vegetables. Cold-pressed olive oil can be drizzled on your salads, vegetables, fish and poultry. Avocado can be sliced and added to your salads, or on top of an omelette, for breakfast. And finally, nuts are a great snack when eaten with a few dates or some mixed berries.

Tapping into your anaerobic system:

You will get leaner by doing a ride that is short and intense, interspersed with periods of short rest (intervals). After workouts of high-intensity intervals, your anaerobic metabolism is revved up for several hours, and your body continues burning body fat well after the workout has finished. Below are two types of high-intensity fat-burning workouts you can add to your ride schedule once a week.

Workout 1:
Warm up for 20 minutes – easy.
Ride as hard as you can for 5 minutes.
Follow with 5 minutes easy spinning in the small chain ring and in an easy gear.
Repeat the 5 minute effort.
Begin with 2 sets and build to 3 sets, then decrease your recovery time to 3 minutes.
Cool down for 15 minutes – easy.

Workout 2:
Warm up for 20 minutes – easy.
Ride as hard as you can (consistently throughout each interval) for 2.5 minutes.
Follow with 2.5 minutes easy spinning in the small chain ring and in an easy gear.
Begin with 4 sets, and build to 6 sets.
Cool down for 15 minutes – easy.

Now that it’s spring, use these tools to take you into a leaner and healthier riding season.

Training for a two-day cycling eventDiane provides training programs for recreational and competitive cyclists, duathletes and triathletes, including nutritional counseling and personal training. Does your company need a fitness consultant? Get in touch with Diane to discuss fitness seminars for corporations

You want personal training but don’t live near Diane? No problem. Diane does email and telephone consultations. To learn more, visit Diane’s website or contact her at

Check out Diane’s e-programs: Keeping Fit in the Off-Season and Training For a Two-Day Charity Event For the Time-Starved Cyclist.

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