Social media is awash with stories about walking for weight loss results. It’s all very inspiring…until you have a go yourself and the scale barely budges.
But don’t give up just yet! I’m guessing you didn’t gain weight in just a few weeks – maybe it was months or even years in the making – so it’s unrealistic to expect quick results overnight.
But, by following these simple tips, you can maximize your weight loss results while walking…
There’s No One-Size-Fits-All Solution
Everybody is different. Some may see quick results just walking a few times a week, while others might need to add in other forms of exercise or adjust their diet. It’s important to take the time to find out what works for you.
Hitting weight loss goals is about building a calorie deficit – but how big that deficit needs to be for weight loss depends on so many factors. Your gender, age, current weight, metabolism, and fitness level will all make a difference.
Related post: Walking For Weight Loss: Everything You Need To Know
Walking For Weight Loss Works
The good news is walking for weight loss is effective. This research published in the Journal of Nutrition found that when people controlled their calorie intake they lost more weight and body fat by adding walking to their weight loss program.
Lose Weight With A Walking Routine
When you’re trying to lose weight it’s regular walking that counts. Decide how far you’re going to walk every day or every week and commit to your daily routine.
You can measure your walking distance in steps or miles… or set a time goal for each walk.
Don’t have time for a long walk every day? Break it up into shorter walks throughout the day. Every little bit adds up!
Related post: How Much Walking For Weight Loss (How Many Miles Does It Take)
Track Your Progress
Keeping track of your progress can be a great motivator. Use a pedometer or fitness tracker to track the distance you walk and the calories burned.
If your weight loss is slow try keeping a food journal. Record the number of calories you eat over one or two weeks. You may be eating more than you think.
Related tool: Track the calories you burn walking with this Calories Burned Calculator.
Set Fitness Goals
Try splitting your target weight loss into a series of weight loss goals. For example, try to lose 10 pounds in 9 weeks with my Fat Buster Walking Program. At the end of 9 weeks, reward yourself with a non-food treat and aim for your next target.
Goals and rewards are a great way to stay motivated and focused on your weight loss journey.
Aim For A Realistic Target
It’s best to use your body mass index BMI to set a target for your body weight. Aiming to be underweight will make you miserable and unhealthy. Don’t do it.
Find out how to use a BMI calculator.
Expect Some Weight Gain
Your weight won’t always go down. Sometimes it’s better to look at your weight loss over a week or even a month for tracking progress. Hormone fluctuations and water retention are just some of the reasons you may not lose weight consistently.
Related post: Why You’re Not Losing Weight Walking
Try Walking More
Sometimes you need to up the ante to lose weight. If you’re normally moderately active, it will take walking further than normal to start seeing results.
There’s no magic number for distance. For some people walking 2 miles a day is sufficient. For others, it may be 5 miles or 10,000 steps.
If you’re new to physical activity you need to build a base level of fitness. It could be walking regularly for 30 minutes a day. After a couple of weeks, you might start walking more, maybe one hour walking every day – just don’t do too much too soon.
Make Some Effort
When you’re losing weight, you need to make some effort. Walking for weight loss isn’t a leisurely stroll around the park.
It’s walking briskly. You’re walking fast – still able to talk but your heart rate will be elevated.
As you walk faster, at a brisk pace, you’ll burn more calories. Try speeding up over the last 5 to 10 minutes or try walking intervals – where you alternate fast-paced walking with walking at a steady pace.
Related post: Walking For Weight Loss Plan – Fat Busting Workout Schedule
Vary Your Exercise Routine
Doing the same thing every day can get boring and lead to plateaus in weight loss. That’s why it’s important to mix up your routine.
Try different walking routes, walking in nature, experimenting with different paces, and mixing up your distances.
Walk Whenever You Can
Take every opportunity to walk. Walk to work or the store, park further away from building entrances and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Try and burn calories by volunteering for any household chores that have you up on your feet and walking. It will make you popular!
You Don’t Need To Run
Thinking you should be running to lose weight. Do all those runners make you feel inadequate?
Don’t be pressured into running. It’s not essential. You may burn more calories but the difference isn’t great.
Fast power walking can be just as fast as running slowly or jogging. So don’t assume that running is the better option.
Vary your walking routine and lose weight walking by working on your speed and fitness. A brisk walk is always a good calorie burn.
Find A Hill
Just as walking faster burns more calories, so does walking uphill. Hills are your friends – embrace them, seek them out and add them to your walking routes.
Power walking up hills helps build leg muscles, and the added effort means you’ll burn even more calories.
So when it comes to walking to lose weight – think hills!
Enter An Event
Events aren’t just for runners. More and more walkers are entering 5K and 10K races and even half marathons. There are even events specifically for walkers.
Training for an event is a great way to stay motivated and track your progress. Plus, it’s a great feeling crossing that finish line knowing you did it!
Diet Is Just As Important
Don’t underestimate the importance of diet in weight loss. It’s not just about the calories burned from exercise, but also what you put into your body.
To aid weight loss make sure to eat a balanced and healthy diet. Watch portion sizes and cut out any junk food or excess calories from high-fat or high-sugar food. Beware those sugary drinks!
Physical And Mental Health Benefits Of Walking
A regular walking routine has many health benefits, not just for weight loss. It can improve heart and lung function, reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol, boost your mood and increase energy levels.
So lace up those walking shoes and hit the pavement – walking is a great way to lose weight and improve your overall health.
Related post: How To Start A Walking Program For Beginners
Lose Weight Walking Myths
Myth 1: Burn calories by carrying hand weights
Walking with hand weights can be good for strength training but it’s unlikely you’ll burn extra calories. The hand weights tend to slow you down. It’s better to ditch the weights and try and walk faster.
Myth 2: It’s good to take longer steps
Taking longer steps can mean overstriding where your foot ends up so far in front of your body it acts as a break. Instead, speed up your walking by taking shorter steps and increasing your leg turnover. Increasing your cadence, (number of steps per minute), is the best way to improve your walking speed.
Myth 3: You don’t need to diet.
Most people get better results and lose weight when they combine walking with improving their diet and eating fewer calories.
Sometimes just small changes will be enough to make a difference. Certainly, your weight loss will suffer if you start eating more and replace all the calories you burn while walking.
Getting Results From Walking
Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed these weight loss tips and you’re now inspired to follow a walking program.
Remember to walk briskly, vary your routine and incorporate hills. And don’t forget about your diet and eating better – it’s just as important as exercise in reaching your weight loss goals.
I’d love to hear about your walking success – feel free to comment below with your progress in losing weight or any tips you have for others. Happy walking!