There are so many options when it comes to exercise that it can be quite difficult to choose one that works for you. Perhaps, you’re not cut out for high-intensity workouts and want to consider walking for weight loss but you have your doubts about its efficacy because it feels so easy. This begs the question, can I lose weight by walking?
Yes, you can lose weight by walking as long as you exert enough effort to burn a certain number of calories. Walking is one of the least impactful exercises for your joints and is known as steady-state cardio.
In fact, some bodybuilders will attest to the efficacy of walking because it allows them to burn calories easily without engaging in strenuous cardio exercises that have the potential to damage joints or cause muscle loss.
Personally, I’ve tried many forms of cardio training for weight loss and I have to admit, walking has been one of the ways to lose weight.
I live with an autoimmune disease called psoriatic arthritis which is basically an inflammatory condition that affects my joints.
Because of this disease, I was forced to abandon HIIT training because it was too taxing and painful. After suffering from some injuries, I started experimenting with different exercises to burn fat and lose weight.
From everything that I have tried, jumping rope or skipping, running and walking have been the 3 best exercises for weight loss.
With that being said, let’s discuss exactly how you can lose weight by walking and how to do it effectively for fat loss and good health.
How to lose weight by walking
Dare I say, losing weight is simple. It might not be easy but the method for losing weight is actually straightforward and simple.
One pound of weight or fat is the equivalent of approximately 3500 calories.
If you were to consume 2500 calories per day to maintain your current body mass, a deficit of 500 calories every day for a week would amount to 1 pound of weight loss.
This is known as being in a caloric deficit.
You can choose to eat fewer calories than you burn per day, you can choose to exercise and burn calories to be in a deficit or you can do both.
So, to lose weight by walking, you simply have to walk for long enough each day to burn enough calories that you are in a deficit at the end of each day.
If you consistently do this, you will lose weight by walking.
I would like to emphasize that calorie consumption is a big factor in weight loss. You can spend all day walking but if you are consuming more calories than you burn, you will not lose weight.
So, by mindful of what you eat.
Try to track your calories.
But, if you’re a beginner, start eating healthier meals by substituting unhealthy items like processed fried foods and sugary drinks with natural whole foods and herbal teas or water.
These small changes to your diet will make a significant impact on your weight and overall health.
Trust me, you’d be surprised by how many calories these unhealthy food items contain compared to something natural and whole.
Related post: Will running burn belly fat?
How many calories can I burn by walking?
Honestly, the number of calories you can burn by walking will depend on your body weight, duration, amount of steps, and intensity.
On average, a 180 pound person could burn 100 calories walking one mile.
The more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn by walking.
To be in a deficit of 500 calories per day, a 180-pound person would have to walk 5 miles every day based on the calculations mentioned above.
It’s quite clear that the more you walk, the more calories you burn.
A good rule of thumb is to lose a pound of weight per week.
If your goal is to lose 10 pounds, you would have to walk 5 miles a day for 10 weeks.
If you wanted to lose that same amount of weight in half the time, you would need to walk 10 miles a day.
How long should I walk every day to lose weight?
The average person is known to walk 1 mile every 15 to 20 minutes. Based on that average, you would need to walk between 75 minutes to 100 minutes per day to burn 500 calories.
If you would like to reduce the amount of time it takes to lose weight, I would advise you to walk faster and to challenge yourself by walking on rough terrain with an incline.
By increasing your speed and the intensity of your workout by walking on an incline, your body will need to exert more energy.
This will help you to burn more calories every day by walking the same amount of time.
Alternatively, you can cut down the time it takes you to burn the same amount of calories you would by walking faster and on an incline.
How many days should I walk for weight loss?
Ordinarily, it is advisable for the average person to get some physical activity at least 3 times per week. But, I don’t think this is enough.
Your weight loss goal will take an incredibly long time to achieve and that can lead to disappointment and frustration.
If you were choosing to do high-intensity interval training or something similar, working out daily would be inadvisable because the body requires adequate rest for recovery.
Given that walking is such a low impacting exercise and is a form of steady-state cardio that barely impacts your cardiovascular system in a strenuous manner, you can walk at least 5 times a week without many issues.
At this point, I walk every single day because it helps me to maintain my lean frame without having to worry so much about counting calories.
It’s also a wonderful habit that allows me to get away from technology, connect with nature and clear my head while I’m walking outside.
Start by walking 3 – 5 times per week and pay attention to how you feel as well as your weight. If you find that it doesn’t affect you negatively at all and you’re enjoying it, walk every day and vary the intensity according to how you feel.
Related post: What happens when you run every day
So, can I lose weight by walking? Yes, absolutely! Walking is one of the best exercises for weight loss because it’s a low-impact exercise that preserves the quality and strength of your joints compared to other forms of exercise.
It’s free and won’t cost you a cent. Depending on your weight or health, walking offers an exercise solution that won’t impede your immune system when compared to other forms of exercise.
You would need to walk atleast an hour a day to lose weight.
This should be the equivalent of 350 to 500 calories which amounts to approximately a pound of weight loss per week.
If you would like to burn more calories by walking, simply speed up and choose a rougher terrain with inclines. This will make you exert more energy and lose weight slightly faster.
With that being said, I hope you enjoyed this article on walking for weight loss. Please feel free to leave your thoughts or questions in the comment section below and I will reply to you as soon as possible.