By: Kimberly Rodrigues
Experts state that a highly effective weight loss strategy is to combine calorie restriction with a regular walking programme. By adopting this approach, you can achieve your desired weight loss goal.
However, if you aim to maintain your weight loss over the long term, it’s advised to adopt a slow and steady approach. Walking is an excellent way to start your workout regimen, especially if you are overweight or obese since it is low-impact and gentle on your joints.
Fitness trainer Simran Valecha recently shared on Instagram how incorporating just one hour of walking per day can help you maintain a calorie deficit, where the number of calories burned is greater than the number of calories consumed, The Indian Express reports.
“Girls, losing 2-3kg every month is not hard, and stop listening to anyone who says you have to learn carbs or sugar to lose weight. You can eat everything and still create a calorie deficit of 200-300 calories daily. Moving your body daily will not only help you lose weight but will also help you live a longer and healthier,” she wrote.
Losing weight can be challenging, despite our attempts to try different diets and exercises. Often, this is due to our tendency to overlook the fundamental principle of achieving any fitness goal: consistency in our workouts and making essential dietary changes.
Let’s take a look at the concept of calorie deficit as explained by experts, and how walking can contribute to achieving it.
Calorie deficit and walking
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends aiming to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, the Chron. site informs in a previous report. This goal can reportedly be achieved by creating a calorie deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories through a combination of reducing calorie intake and incorporating walking workouts.
For instance, you can burn an additional 250 calories by walking and consuming 250 fewer calories daily to lose 1 pound per week. Alternatively, you can burn an extra 500 calories by walking and eating 500 fewer calories each day to shed 2 pounds per week.
Harvard Health Publications reports that a 155-pound individual can burn approximately 334 calories per hour by walking at a speed of 4 mph.
Incorporating a daily one-hour walk can reportedly aid in burning calories and promoting weight loss, Healthline explains.
Additionally, if your goal is to lose a considerable amount of weight (greater than 5% of your body weight), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends engaging in at least 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.
Benefits of one hour of walking
Walking for an hour every day can help you achieve this target. Moreover, it’s common for individuals to experience a loss of lean muscle mass during the weight loss process. By walking regularly, you can reportedly help preserve lean muscle mass, which can further assist in maintaining your weight loss outcomes.
To maintain a caloric deficit, you need to consume fewer calories than your body burns in a day. This can be achieved by reducing your food intake, which will lower the overall number of calories you consume. “However, one must make sure they are eating above the basal metabolic rate (BMR) levels. Moreover, keep the protein intake adequate to prevent muscle loss,” Rachit Dua, co-founder of Fitpathshala told The Indian Express.
Dua states that walking, despite being commonly overlooked, can significantly enhance overall fitness levels. This simple exercise can make a notable contribution to one’s physical well-being.
“An hour of walking is somewhere equivalent to 5,500-6,500 steps, depending upon the speed of walking. It is the easiest and most cost-effective way to improve general wellness, including in burning body fat, improving cardiovascular health, reducing stress levels, and so on,” he said.
Other benefits of walking
Registered dietician Garima Goyal emphasises that walking offers more benefits than just weight loss. She is reported to have said that in addition to assisting with weight management, it can also help decrease LDL-C and increase HDL-C, boost mood, and lower blood pressure.
Moreover, by reducing the risk of chronic ailments like cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes, walking can ultimately enhance one’s quality of life.
“Walking is a great way to strengthen the body’s muscles such as hamstrings, glutes, quads, calves, and core depending on various factors such as walking speed or incline. Along with walking, if you actively pump your arms, walking will involve and work all the muscles of the body,” Goyal shares.
Conclusively, according to experts, when aiming to lose weight, there are a couple of key things to keep in mind. First and foremost, it’s crucial to consume fewer calories than your body burns. This can be achieved through a combination of methods, such as increasing physical activity to burn more calories or reducing caloric intake through diet, or a combination of both approaches.
“For most people aiming for weight loss, a calorie deficit of 500 calories is sufficient to lose 0.45 kg per week. Hence, walking is a great form of exercise that along with helping you to lose weight offers other health benefits too,” Goyal said.