When it comes to losing weight, it’s not only our appearance and weight loss that are at stake, but also our health: overweight and obesity are risk factors in many serious diseases. , such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems or cancer, among others.
That’s why many of us strive to find an affordable, easy-to-integrate, and effective method of shedding pounds of body fat.
Could walking be this method? Is it possible to lose weight by incorporating a simple activity like walking and without the need to diet? The answer is a little more complex than a yes or a no. Walking is indeed one of the best ways to incorporate exercise into your daily life, but on its own it is unlikely to help you lose weight.
Walking burns calories
Let’s start by explaining that in order to lose weight, your body needs to burn more calories than it consumes. Calories are the energy the body needs to perform all of its functions, which allow you to move, breathe and think.
However, each person uses a different number of calories. The total depends on your age, gender, genetics, and daily level of physical activity.
In our current, predominantly sedentary lifestyle, making physical activity a part of our routine is in many cases a conscious effort. Walking more can help you get there,
Depending on your weight, gender and age, walking at a leisurely pace of 1.5 km burns approximately 100 calories. One study found that people unaccustomed to exercise who walk about 3 miles an hour (a light pace) burn about 270 calories per hour.
To increase the calories burned, it is worth picking up the pace or walking in areas with inclines.
Walking burns belly fat
Storing a lot of body fat around the waist is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. In fact, a waist circumference greater than 102 centimeters in men and 88 centimeters in women is called abdominal obesity.
One of the most effective ways to reduce belly fat is through regular aerobic exercise, such as walking. A small study found that obese women who walked 50 to 70 minutes three times a week for 12 weeks had an average height reduction of 2.8 centimeters and lost 1.5% of their body fat.
Another study found that people on a calorie-controlled diet who walked one hour five times a week for 12 weeks lost 3.7 inches in height and 1.3% more body fat than people who only followed diet to lose weight.
Walking helps maintain the new weight
Many people who lose weight later have difficulty maintaining their new weight. To achieve this, it is essential to exercise regularly, which can be achieved precisely by walking: walking not only increases daily activity, but also helps to build more muscle, which in turn helps to burn more calories even at rest.
According to some studies, to maintain a stable weight, it is best to walk for about 150 minutes per week. However, if you’ve lost a lot of weight, it may take a little longer – around 200 minutes a week – to avoid putting it back on.
How much and at what pace should you walk to lose weight?
If you want to make this activity part of your daily weight loss activity, consider taking your dog for a walk around the block is fine if your previous activity level was zero (a little is always better than nothing), but that this is not enough and you should increase the time and intensity of the walk if you really want to notice its effects.
The ideal way to lose weight is to walk at least 150 minutes per week, for a total of 2.5 hours. Try to walk most days and don’t jump more than one in a row. If you want to lose weight, being consistent in your new habits is the most important thing. Again, ideally, each session should last at least 30 minutes.
The reason is that during the first 20 to 30 minutes of exercise, your body uses blood sugars for fuel, and it is from this point on that it uses body fat to continue to maintain its level of. activity.
As for your pace, try to find a speed that will keep you between 60% and 70% of your maximum heart rate. Normally this means walking at a light pace, between 5 and 6 kilometers per hour (between 3,000 and 4,500 steps every 30 minutes), but this can vary depending on your usual level of physical activity.
Does walking without a diet lose weight?
We regret to tell you that in all likelihood no. While it is essential to exercise and stay active in order to stay healthy and a great help in losing weight, diet is the protagonist and the most effective way to achieve this.
As we said before, weight loss depends on balancing the calories you eat and the calories you burn: the former should be less than the latter. This is what we call a calorie deficit, and it is the only real secret to burning body fat.
This means that neither walking, running, nor any type of physical activity will help you lose weight if your diet does not take calorie intake into account and place it below your daily calorie needs. This deficit does not have to be very pronounced: it must be large enough that its effects are noticeable, even little by little, but not to the point that you starve or your body cannot function.
Bottom Line: Walking is an affordable and convenient form of exercise that can help you lose weight and keep it off. To achieve this, practice it for about 150 minutes a week at a good pace and try not to skip for more than one day in a row. Of course, if you want to lose weight, you will necessarily have to take your diet into account as well.
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