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Walking For Weight Loss
Walking For Weight Loss is one of the most underrated exercises out there!
Yep, I know, it isn't sexy, doesn’t involve any special equipment or routines but nonetheless it is a superb weight loss activity that virtually everyone can do.
I myself, used to dismiss it as a low value tool for weight loss. However, I have changed my mind completely over the last few years.
Walking For Weight Loss Benefits:
- Walking is very low impact – you are not pounding your joints with a run or heavy lifting in the gym.
- Walking doesn’t drive up hunger like an intense exercise session does.
- Walking gets you outside and gets your heart & lungs working.
- Walking forces you to get away from your desk and allows for some proper relaxation – just pop on your favourite CD or podcast and the time will fly by...
Tools To Track Walking For Weight Loss
I had a Fit Bit HR2 as a Christmas present but I am not writing this post to promote the Fit Bit! (I am planning to write a full review article on the Fit Bit HR2 in the near future and will tell you all that I like and dislike about it there).
Where the Fit Bit comes into this, is it's the tool I am using to track my daily walking activity. Without it, I found I had very little idea as to how much non gym related exercise I was doing on a daily basis.
Equipped with my Fit Bit, I set myself a challenge to walk at least 10,000 steps per day for 2017.
10,000 steps may seem a lot to some and probably not that much to serious walkers and that is really the point – it’s not a ridiculous amount of steps to achieve. Which is why I set my target at this level. I didn't want a target that would feel too difficult to achieve each day.
Walking For Weight Loss Findings
What I have found interesting is that there are days when I move very little. When I am doing desk work: writing for the website, creating courses or 1:1 coaching etc.
On these days, I can end up clocking in less than 3000 steps! On the flip side, there are days when I have consciously made an effort to go for a long dog walk, not use the car for my errands of going to the local shops / dropping the recycling off etc. and on those days I can easily sail past 10,000 steps.
How do I feel on these two ends of the spectrum?
- Well at the low end, I feel like I have been very sedentary. Like the day has passed me by and I’ve not really been active or engaged in it.
- At the top end, occasionally if I go over 14,000 steps then I know that I’ve been out for a long walk.
- Interestingly at around the 10,000 mark, I see no impact to energy or hunger levels.
This is a great outcome and I would estimate that from the walking, I’ve burnt off around 100 calories per mile. Now 100 calories probably doesn’t sound that much but remember that ideally (to make our weight loss effortless and sustainable) we are only looking for a 20% deficit on our daily calorie budget. Which in turn would result in a 1-2Lb drop in weight per week.
Why Use Walking For Weight Loss?
Using walking and without any dieting, I can achieve a 20% daily calorie deficit by eating at maintenance and including around 4 miles of walking.
Now 4 miles might be difficult for some to achieve but if you do a lesser amount of walking and combine it with mindful eating and careful food choices - you can quickly see how easy weight management and loss can be.
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