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Is Walking Effective For Weight Loss?

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So, you want to lose weight but can’t exert yourself with extreme forms of cardio workouts or strength training. Your only option is to walk. But, you’re worried that it won’t work. This begs the question, is walking effective for weight loss?

Yes, walking is effective for weight loss because it’s a form of cardio that steadily burns calories without impacting your joints or affecting muscle mass. However, you need to walk a significant amount of miles in order to burn enough calories to lose weight. 

Currently, I’m recovering from a Hashimoto’s flare up and I’m unable to work out as hard as I normally do. 

Goodbye crossfit, hello walking. 

My metabolism isn’t what it used to be so I need to gradually develop my body to handle harder workouts as well as to burn more calories every day. 

I’m also trying to lose 10kgs within the next 3 months. I want to do it gradually and I feel like 12 weeks is a healthy amount of time to accomplish this goal without overly stressing my body out with intermittent fasting, low-calorie intake or strenuous exercise.

For that reason, I plan to walk 10000 steps every single day for the next 3 months.

You can burn approximately 500 calories by walking 10000 steps a day. 

If my goal is to lose a pound per week, walking 10000 steps or for about an hour and a half every day would amount to 3500 calories burned through walking.

A pound of fat can be equated to approximately 3500 calories. 

Sure, you could burn far more calories with other exercises in half the time but if you can’t jump, swim or cycle, then walking is your best option.

If you can jump, I would highly recommend jumping rope to lose weight because it is highly effective and you can burn almost twice as many calories in the same time as walking. 

Related post: Can I lose weight by walking?

How often should you walk to lose weight?

I stand by the idea of walking every single day to lose weight. I think it’s one of the healthiest exercises available to people of most ages.

Because it’s so low impacting, given that you’re not really exerting yourself other than maintaining a brisk walk, it doesn’t impact your joints.

So, if you suffer from conditions like arthritis, walking could prove to be a healthy way to mobilize yourself, get blood flowing and staying fit. 

It all depends on your ability to walk for a sustained period of time.

Here’s what I would do as a beginner. Start by walking outside for just 20 minutes per day for one weeks.

Increase the time you spend walking by 10 minutes the following week.

Continue to add time on your walks each week until you’re burning at least 350 calories per day from this form of exercise.

If you can walk every day, you’d achieve more results in a smaller space of time.

However, if you’re severely unhealthy or overweight, you can start with 3 – 5 sessions per week until you can manage to walk every day. 

Related post: What happens when you run everyday?

If you would like to walk in the comfort of your home without spending loads on a treadmill, you can try using a stepper. It’s the next best thing and won’t break the bank. I use this on days when it’s raining outside. Click here to check out the Sunny Health & Fitness mini stepper on Amazon. This is an affiliate link so I may earn a commission but at absolutely NO EXTRA COST to you.

Tips on walking to lose weight

Here’s a list of tips on walking that will improve your weight loss results while preventing you from getting bored or wasting your time.

1. Walk at a brisk pace

Effort makes an impact on the amount of calories you will burn while walking. 

If you were to increase your pace, you’ll work up a better sweat, make your heart beat faster and cover more distance in a faster time.

You’ll avoid getting bored by doing this and it can actually be a challenge to try and complete 10000 steps in a specific time frame.

I don’t run but I do walk with haste and I find this to be more effective for weight loss. 

2. Choose a location with hills and valleys

If you’d like to burn more calories while walking, the best thing you can do is challenge yourself by walking on rough terrain.

Hills and slopes will force you to exert more energy to climb or descend.

It will also enable you to engage your core while strengthening your calf and leg muscles because of the resistance created by gravity. 

3. Don’t take many breaks while walking

If you need to take a break while walking, you’re probably going too fast and actually jogging or you’re procrastinating for some reason.

Walking is easy enough that you can do it for a long duration of time without necessarily taking a break.

A break is okay but not if you’re walking on a flat surface at the same slow pace consistently. You’re trying to work up a sweat and improve your cardiovascular health while losing weight.

4. Don’t drink energy drinks

Most energy drinks are packed with sugar and calories.

They’re a waste of time other than giving you a short burst of energy. 

When trying to lose weight, calories matter. If you’re not in a deficit at the end of each day, you won’t lose weight.

So, if you’re drinking energy drinks on walks, I would suggest not to.

If you decide to, make sure you account for it in your daily caloric consumption.  

5. Don’t over-consume calories 

To lose weight, you have to be in a caloric deficit. You see, all of us require a certain amount of calories per day to maintain our weight. 

To lose weight, you simply have to burn more calories than you consume.

This is why it’s important to track your calories. I’m not saying that you have to count every morsel of food that enters your mouth. 

But, most meals should be planned in advance so that you are aware of how many calories you’ve eaten and burned in a day.

You could walk every day and still not lose weight if you’re consuming too many calories.

For that reason, I strongly advise you to use this calculator to determine how many calories your body requires per day to function as it is right now. 

Based on that amount, you can try to attain a caloric deficit through walking and diet.

A word of caution – tracking calories does not mean starving yourself. Proper nutrition is paramount to health and fitness.

Try to keep your daily deficit between 350 – 500 calories and you’ll healthily lose weight.  

6. Listen to a podcast while walking

I’m the kind of person who likes to switch things up before they get boring so on some walks, I listen to podcasts while on others, I just avoid all music and just think.

Walking can be quite therapeutic and a great way to switch off from your worries and stressors. 

However, I do recommend listening to podcasts or audiobooks while walking. You’ll be losing weight while learning valuable information.

That’s a huge win! 

7. Hydrate throughout your workout

Drinking water is paramount for good health, especially during long walks.

The last thing you want to do is be walking for a long time, out in the sunlight while dehydrated. 

This could be really dangerous for your health. Carry a water bottle with you on all walks and you’ll be just fine. 

8. Walk on an empty stomach

Intermittent fasting is all the craze right now and for good reason. It’s a great way to target fat by entering a state of ketosis. 

For this reason, walking on an empty stomach can be a great way to enter that fat-burning state quickly by walking while in a fasted state. 

This does not mean that you should not hydrate or starve yourself.

Be sure to drink lots of water and to eat properly and healthily when you break a fast.

Related post: Will running burn belly fat?

In conclusion

Is walking effective for weight loss? Yes, walking is effective for weight loss because it’s a form of cardio that steadily burns calories without impacting your joints or affecting muscle mass.

I find walking to be a healthy form of exercise that is therapeutic and relaxing, especially for someone who is stuck up in an office or at home all day.

Getting some fresh air and vitamin D while walking will greatly improve your wellbeing.

I would strongly advise you to eat healthily, be at a caloric deficit and walk regularly. This will drastically improve your chances of losing weight and getting fit.

With that being said, I hope you enjoyed this article on walking for weight loss. Feel free to leave your questions in the comment section below and I’ll be sure to reply.

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