Hey Angels and Alphas,
If you want to lose fat, it all comes down to the calories in vs calories out equation, also known as creating a caloric deficit. And you need it over and over every day. Without a caloric deficit, you will find it much more challenging to achieve weight loss results. Do it for long enough, and your body will start using the existing fat stores it currently has for energy. The result? Losing fat (and weight altogether.)
There are countless ways you can create a caloric deficit through dietary changes, but one other important element is exercise. In fact, exercise could serve as an amplifier to your results.
In one study, overweight and obese women followed a diet and exercise program for one year. What they found is that they lost more weight than women who followed a program consisting only of dietary changes. (More specifically, 10.8% versus 8.5%).
If you’re sitting right now thinking, “what type of exercise should I add to my fat-loss plan?” The answer might stand in considering the easiest option: Arguably, one of the easiest types of getting into exercising is creating a walking routine.
Check out this study that dates all the way back to 2009. It concluded that walking was associated with less weight gain over time. Or, in other words, walking is the easiest thing you can do to maintain (or even lose) weight over the long haul.
Walking constitutes getting your daily dose of regular cardio in, and it can also lower levels of abdominal and organ fat. Both of them play a role in the development of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and more. Even though you might not initially see much change on the scale, some studies have found that regular aerobic exercise helped to improve liver fat by up to 25% in people who were overweight or obese… and this was regardless of the intensity of exercise!
DEVELOPING A WALKING ROUTINE
Thankfully, it doesn’t get much more straightforward than walking. It’s the fundamental form of locomotion every human being learns as soon as they can stand on two feet. It can be done in any environment with minimal equipment.
Walking at any pace will offer its own set of benefits, but developing a walking routine and varying intensities may even bring you greater fat-loss advantages. On average, you’ll tend to burn about 150 calories in 30 minutes. But if you up the intensity a bit, you can go up to 170-180.
What could you really qualify as high-intensity walking, anyway? According to the CDC, walking at a pace of about 2 and a half miles per hour is considered “brisk” walking. It even falls under the category of moderate-intensity exercise.
However, if you were to walk at a pace of about 2.5 mph, the intensity you would feel depends a lot on your height, weight, terrain, fitness level, and more. That’s why, for simplicity’s sake, you might be better off gauging your intensity on a scale of 0-10. On this scale, 0 will correspond to sitting, while 10 will correspond to the maximum level of effort you can exert. According to the CDC, brisk walking should feel about the 5-6 level.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can start with these easy recommendations:
1. Aim to get in at least 2 ½ hours of moderate-intensity walking every week. To maximize the health advantages you experience, double that recommendation.
2. Be sure to start pairing your walking routine alongside a healthy diet. While your exercise can help you develop the caloric deficit you need, your diet will also be critical. The key to fat loss is how much energy you expend in each exercise session, as well as how many calories you’re going to be consuming through your diet.
3. Think of your walking routine as a steppingstone for more activity. At some point, you will naturally be drawn to doing more. Once you start deciding to make your walks a little longer or do a walk on your off day, it’s time for you to move up!