We hear it all the time. “My doctor told me to walk so I could lose weight.” That’s only really true as far as some movement is better than no movement. So why do doctors keep recommending it? Because it’s easy… easier than say, getting a person to join a gym.
My trainer has an expression that I’ve come to adopt: Walking is Worthless for Weight loss. And he’s right. When I was trying to lose weight, I got on a treadmill or went for a walk almost every day, but still the pounds wouldn’t come off. I eventually went on to lose 100 pounds through only diet and exercise, but it wasn’t from walking. So here’s the truth:
For a 150 pound person, walking at 3 mph (a 20 minute mile), that person burns approximately 120 calories in a half hour. Most people walk about a half hour, and 3 miles per hour is a pretty common pace unless you are really pushing it. And most people walk 3-4 times per week. Soooo… they burn 360-420 calories per week.
You have to burn 3500 calories to lose one pound of fat. At 420 calories per week, it would take over 8 weeks to lose 1 pound of fat. But let’s take someone who is serious about losing weight through walking and figure high. That same 150 pound person walking at 4mph (pushing it) would burn 128 calories in half an hour. Let’s say they went for an hour 5 times per week. That would be 1280 calories in a week (128×2= 256 x 5= 1280). It would still take nearly 3 weeks to lose 1 pound of fat!!
Tomorrow, find out why you might need strength training more than you might think. Spoiler alert: It plays a role in faster weight loss