Walking and weight loss are two concepts that are inextricably tied together, or at least they should be because the first will invariably lead to the other. To understand how and why walking is the single most effective exercise a person can do to lose weight and keep it off, it is important to first look at this process from a biological perspective.
There are two types of weight loss. One where a person is simply losing water and the other, the type that people are actually after, where a person is burning fat. In order to burn fat an individual must consume less calories on a daily basis than there body needs to get through the day. For example if a person’s body needed 2000 calories to power itself throughout the day, then consuming less than 2000 calories should lead to weight loss. In theory, under this scenario, if a person simply ate 1995 calories they should slowly lose weight over time. Of course the process is not that simple because the exact number of calories that someone truly needs to eat varies from day today based on a number of environmental factors.
To allow for this fluctuation the dieter should take the base calories that their bodies need per day and subtract 300 – 500 calories from it. This will give them the target range that they should be aiming for in their daily calorie consumption. If 2000 calories is the base then the target range for weight loss would be 1500 – 1700 per day.
The next part of this weight loss equation is exercise and, as was mentioned, walking and weight loss are two concepts that should go hand-in-hand. This is because walking is the simplest exercise that any person can do, yet it is highly effective in the diet process. More importantly when one looks past the initial weight loss phase, walking is an exercise that can integrated into the dieter’s daily life without any fuss.
For example if a person wanted to hit a target goal of walking for 60 minutes everyday their would be several ways they could accomplish this. They could simply get up earlier in the morning and go for a 60 minute walk. They could walk in the evening. The walk could be divided into one morning and one evening session. There is no equipment involved in this exercise so it can literally be done at any time and at any place. Walking is the most versatile exercise that anyone can use. It is this versatility that makes it so incredibly effective.
In order to lose weight with walking a person needs to go on a calorie restrictive diet as was discussed before that primarily consists of vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. Second they need to go on a 30 – 60 minute walk 5 times per week. Ideally this walk should be a daily event, but 5 times should be the minimum.
The most important factor to keep in mind about walking and weight loss is that it is not something one should stop once a target weight is reached, rather it is a lifestyle change that the person should follow forever.