Walking helps you lose weight when it contributes to a calorie deficit. By increasing your activity and decreasing the number of calories you eat, you force your body to dip into your fat stores to fuel you. A deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories yields a loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Most people can afford to cut 250 to 500 calories from their meal plan without dipping below 1,200 calories, which can cause your metabolism to slow down and can also cause nutritional deficiencies. This means that to make notable weight loss happen, you need to burn another 250 to 500 calories daily by walking. The American College of Sports Medicine makes a general recommendation that 250 minutes per week of moderate activity, such as brisk walking, is necessary for significant weight loss.
ow many calories you burn when walking will depend on your speed, the terrain and your size. A slow, 2-mph pace burns 204 calories per hour for a 180-pound person. But, if that person doubles the speed to cover four miles in an hour, she can burn 409 calories. Take the walk uphill for the entire hour, and burn 490 calories.
Smaller people burn fewer calories – a 125-pound person uses 270 calories in an hour long, 4 mph walk. Larger people burn more – a 185-pound person burns 400 calories walking for an hour at 4 mph. The more slowly you walk, the less energy it takes and you’ll burn fewer calories per hour. If that 185-pound person walked an hour at 4 mph for nine days, without increasing calorie intake, she could burn enough calories to lose 1 pound.
If physical activity is new for you, start gradually with just 10 to 15 minutes a day. Slowly increase the amount of time you spend walking and increase your speed when you feel more comfortable doing so. Walk outdoors if the conditions permit; if you need to head indoors, choose a treadmill, a shopping mall or an indoor track. You don’t need to do all of your walking in a single continuous session to provide you with health and calorie-burning benefits. Break it up into 10-minute or longer increments so you can easily schedule walking into your day.