In today’s world of training options, we can literally suffocate with the sheer volume available. From high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to CrossFit, TRX to the long-forgotten Tae-Bo. How did walking step down from the ranks for fat loss?
While I believe exercise variety is great, for most of us we’re only after one thing… Weight Loss.
To get down to a leaner figure and maintain it.
Personally, after losing over 100 pounds I can tell you with great certainty that the biggest player in your goals is going to be sustainability. You absolutely must ensure the activities of your choice are something you can keep up with. Exercises you can incorporate as part of your life, your new identity as a leaner individual.
In this article, we’re going to cover the top reasons why walking is the best choice to achieve your fat loss goals, along with some bonus tips at the end to maximize its effectiveness.
Why Choose Walking For Fat Loss?
This low impact and steady-state calorie burner is one of the simplest and effective for fat loss for a few reasons:
The biggest one being that there is next to nothing standing between you and starting a daily walking routine other than your own decision to do it.
Think about this for a moment.
People of any fitness level can do it, you don’t need to join a gym, therefore there’s no cost and you can literally start right now.
Not only this but aside from all the benefits of walking, it’s one of the easiest calorie burners.
It may not burn the most amount of energy per hour, but with any high-calorie burning exercises, they’re not exactly easy to do for that length of time.
For example, burpees are one of the highest fat burning exercises per hour.
But have you ever made it past 60 seconds? How about an hour of running, or boxing? You see where I’m going with this…
Is Walking Enough to Lose Weight?
For the average person walking at a moderate to brisk pace can burn 250 to 350 calories per hour. If done five days per week at one hour per session that’s hovering around the 1500 calorie mark. This is nearly half a pound of fat burned!
Hopefully, this will spark your interest to aim for those 10 000 steps per day 🙂
Use This Calculator to Estimate your Weight Loss from Walking.
If this has excited you enough to get your walking shoes on, that’s great! But Hold on just a moment.
Probably the biggest reason a daily walk is so overlooked for weight loss has to do with one major factor.
The Minimal Impact of Walking on Hunger
There’s a reason why getting your daily stroll on is my top coaching tip for any fat loss plan I put together for a client. Your hunger levels may very well be the “make it or break” it on your weight loss journey.
You see, exercise affects your hunger hormones which in turn stimulate your appetite. This is a natural survival mechanism we have built-in reminding us to replenish what we’ve burned. Unfortunately, evolution hasn’t caught up with how easily most of the world has access to dense calorie foods and our lower activity levels.
When it comes to more intense forms of cardio the big side effect is their hunger spiking characteristics.
Granted you can burn twice as many calories jogging over walking for 30 minutes, but at what cost?
I’m not saying we can’t manage hunger spikes but design always beats willpower. Inevitably it will be much harder to stay consistent with your calorie deficit in order to actually drop the pounds over time.
Likewise, since walking is not an intense exercise so it has nearly no effect on increasing your hunger levels while dieting.
Simply put, in order to drop the weight you must maintain a calorie deficit for the amount of time it takes to achieve your goals. For this reason, it’s much easier to eat 500 fewer calories per day than trying to burn 500 from an hour of intense exercise.
And when combining 5 to 10k steps per day with a moderate calorie deficit it should easily get into a 1 to 1.5-pound total weight loss per week.
So regardless of stepping down to a smaller number of burned calories, it’s a far more sustainable approach that really adds up.
Need any More Reasons to Start a Walking Routine?
It’s likely you’ve heard the variety of benefits walking has which I’m not going to bore you with, but there are a few things to note:
Traversing on a daily basis is a great stress reliever and mind clearer. It’s a reason to get you outside for some real air and sunlight to boost your mood.
We don’t have to worry about gyms being closed down to get a power walk in. This makes it completely cost-effective on tighter budgets during uncertain times.
And here’s another one that may not have crossed your mind: You’re more likely to do it over intense cardio.
You know what I’m talking about when that inner voice comes up…
“Do we have to do this today?” “Camon, you’re tired, let’s take the day off”
Make Your New Walking Habit Stick
1.Commit to your self when you will start and how you can fit it into your day
It doesn’t have to be an hour, start with less and work your way up. If you’re having a hard time with this then make the commitment such a ridiculous amount that you would feel silly not to.
Call it 5 minutes or so.
This is an age-old trick to adopt new habits. It’s one where it puts your brain into this place of saying “Of course I can do that!”
2. Listen to audiobooks, podcasts etc.
Associating one positive experience with another can really help wire your brain to enjoy it even more. Aside from this, learning new information during this daily exercise is a serious plus.
Walking is one of the few things, if not the only thing we can add something to for real multi-tasking.
3. Walk through parks or green spaces
It always feels great personally, to walk and breathe around some greenery. Nature is one of those things that will make the experience even more enjoyable. Plus there’s some great benefits to our eyesight when focusing on things at greater distances compared to the strain we put our vision through with screens every day.
4. DON’T HOBBLE
Stand tall, feel your glutes, activating and squeeze your core. This extra mindfulness will not only nurture a meditative space but will work wonders for your posture.
Even simply looking ahead instead of down will help your back and aid in maintaining a faster pace. Besides looking up may help you really get some bounce in your step.
Strut Those Pounds off
For the record, I’m not just an inexperienced cardio basher. I went through countless cardio “ordeals” during my lengthy 100lb weight loss journey. In fact, I even put myself through 60 straight days of hell using probably the most intense HIIT program ever:
“As seen on tv’s- INSANITY program.”
In any case, exhausting yourself with 500-800 calorie-burning workouts, leaving you unable to walk for days at a time isn’t likely something you’ll be able to keep up, let alone desire to do for long.
I’m not trying to put down HIIT, running or any other forms of cardio. If that’s your thing then go for it.
Developing any exercise habits you feel good about is what’s most important here.
Personally, I believe this is an essential part of keeping yourself physically, mentally and psychologically healthy.
So Regardless if you’re looking to lose a whole bunch of weight, or drop the last 10 pounds to get completely shredded; there’s a saying that’s become so prevalent for me on my weight loss journey and those whom I coach…
Slow and steady wins the race.
Want to go through the info again in a visual fashion? I made a YouTube Video For it.