Hey Angels and Alphas,
Whether you’re on a long-term weight loss journey right now or you just want to lose weight so you can look great in swim trunks, I’ve got you covered. Whether you realize it or not, one of the best goals you can set for yourself right now is to cut down on sugary desserts and snacks.
And if you’ve ever tried losing weight, you know cutting down on sugar is one of the best places to start – but it’s difficult! But what you probably don’t know is that researchers did a study and concluded that walking 15 minutes a day could be enough to curb a lot of sugar cravings, especially those related to chocolate.
How does walking 15 minutes a day help you lose weight?
Well, besides the obvious movement and calorie burn, scientists in the U.K. did a small-scale study of 25 habitual chocolate eaters and asked them to either:
(1) take a short walk at a specific time every day or
(2) rest for that same period of time.
Nothing too crazy in terms of researchers, but researchers were still able to find some pretty interesting things.
Participants reported significantly reduced cravings when they took a walk, compared to the people that chose to rest.
One of the leading researchers in this study, Adrian Taylor, Ph.D., pointed to the fact that previous studies have concluded that this same tactic can be used for curbing down a nicotine addiction. This means that whether you’re craving a cigarette or a piece of cake, taking a walk helps either way.
Yes, walking isn’t just a great way to stop sugar cravings for weight loss. There’s more.
Although this study was frankly modest in participant numbers, it’s definitely not the one and only piece of research to make this connection. Other similar studies have also noted the benefits of brisk walks, even when they’re done on a treadmill.
A few years ago, Austrian researchers examined a group of overweight individuals who kept reporting consistent cravings for sugary snacks. They allowed the participants to abstain from sweets for upwards of 3 days, and then walk on a treadmill for 15-20 minutes at a slow pace. For comparison, other study participants were told to spend those 15-20 minutes at rest. Once those sessions were completed, both participant groups were asked to hold up a piece of their favorite candy without eating it.
The group that walked on the treadmill showed diminished interest in eating the candy compared to those who were at rest.
Researchers pointed that this could be because of a variety of reasons, from the increased mood and regulated blood sugar to just the fact that walking on a treadmill felt healthy and people desire to be consistent with their behavior.
Whenever you can, take your walks OUTSIDE to aid weight loss.
Losing weight and treadmills are almost synonymous at this point, but choosing to walk outside rather than in the gym can bring massive leverage toward crushing your sugar cravings.
A study that examined over 3,000 Tokyo residents discovered that spending time outside every day helped improved physical and emotional health, regardless of age, gender, and physical activity levels.
Not to mention, outdoor activities tend to breed interest in being and staying active. Furthermore, they bring us a wide variety of benefits all directly linked to weight loss, such as a stronger immune system, reduced stress, and improved mental health.
What does this mean for you? That knocking out your cravings once and for all could be the result of taking brisk walks outside… and this could bring you a ton of weight loss-related benefits as well.
If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re constantly stressed…
Short walks outside could become your new best friend. A short walk can provide you with a measure of prevention in the long-term, by helping you build up resilience to reduce cravings from showing up in the first place.
During periods of active rest, you’re training your mind to anticipate and embrace upcoming activities, basically pivoting your brain away from your sugar craving triggers. And that’s crucial when it comes to dealing with one of sugar craving’s biggest triggers, stress.
More often than not, we think about rest as complete relaxation as if we’re lying down and not moving a muscle. But rest can also take the form of short walks, helping us get much-needed stress relief that helps us progress towards our goals with less friction.
Stress manifests in many different ways, from feeling frantic or frazzled to flat-out overwhelmed. But it also shows up as boredom, irritation, sadness, and fatigue. When this happens, don’t be the person who runs to their snack drawer and pulls out that dopamine boost and gives themselves a blood sugar spike to feel better. Instead, be the person who consciously embraces that taking a 15-minute walk will be the better, healthier, more productive solution to dealing with stress and eliminating that craving for sweets.