Is Walking Enough to Burn Fat? 3 Tips for Walking to Lose Weight 

February 12, 2022

Adapted from Walking for Weight Loss by Dr. Tricia Pingel, NMD

When we think of weight loss goals, we tend to envision restrictive diets and grueling workouts. But did you know that researchers have found that one easy, flexible exercise works great? I'm talk about walking to lose weight!

But there’s a caveat: Not just any type of walking will do! There are certain parameters around the type of walking that results in effective and lasting weight loss.

You know what that means? This year, you don't have to turn to Weight Watchers or an expensive gym membership to improve your health—and your waistline. You just need to embrace walking to lose weight and all the other benefits it comes with!

Keep reading to learn what you need to know in order to begin walking to lose weight.


Walking to Lose Weight: What the Research Says

One of the easiest exercises to integrate into your daily life is walking. It doesn’t require any money or equipment (other than a good pair of sneakers) and it’s completely customizable to your current fitness level.

Plus, you can walk almost anywhere—in your neighborhood, in a local park, in a mall or airport, etc. Basically, life won’t get in your way and get you off track!

But there’s another reason why walking is such a great exercise for weight loss: According to a 2013 randomized clinical trial, you can lose up to 33 percent more weight by walking 20 minutes a day than by remaining sedentary! [1]

Basically, in comparison to a dietary intervention-only group, who lost an average of 15.4 pounds over 12 weeks, those who also completed a walking program lost an incredible 19.4 pounds—a 33-percent increase in weight loss!

But that’s not all. The walking group also experienced a more significant reduction in their total fat mass! Specifically, they lost an average of 14.1 pounds of fat mass while those who focused only on their diet lost an average of 10.6 pounds of fat. That’s a 28 percent difference!

But not just any walking will do. If you’re interested in walking to lose weight, you have to tap into the right type of walking to get results. So, let’s look at what type of walking will help you shed some pounds.


Walking to lose weight - Dr. Pingel


How to Lose Weight By Walking

When it comes to walking to lose weight, research shows that there are a few guidelines to follow. Here’s what researchers have found to be most effective for weight loss.

1. Walk for at least 2.5 hours each week.

Remember the trial that showed you can lose up to 33 percent more weight by walking 20 minutes a day? That equals about 2.5 hours per week.

Whether you choose to walk 20 minutes each day, as they did in the trial, or walk for 30 minutes five days a week, try to meet this minimum.

2. Choose shorter walks over longer walks.

Surprised by this one? Here’s what it was based on: A 2019 study revealed that completing two daily moderate-intensity walks lasting 25 minutes each resulted in 23 percent greater weight loss than completing one daily moderate-intensity walk lasting 50 minutes. [2]

3. Be mindful of your diet.

The bottom line here is that you need proper nutrition to give you energy to complete your walks. Plus, eating processed, sugary, inflammatory foods will stall your weight loss progress.

Focus on incorporating as many nutrient-rich, plant-based whole foods as possible.

Getting Started

As you can see, while the guidelines are pretty straightforward, it can still be tough to get started—especially if you’re beginning from “couch potato” status.

Alternatively, if you’ve been walking or exercising with no results, you may be wondering what you’re doing wrong.

If you’re looking to take out any guesswork and want to follow a specific plan, including a walking to lose weight chart that provides an exact protocol to follow, check out my brand-new Walking for Weight Loss eBook.

It includes two different four-week protocols that will meet you at your starting point as well as a tracker to help you stay motivated and remain aware of your progress each day. Click here to learn more about this offering and how you can make 2022 the year you finally meet your weight loss goal!

Walking to lose weight - Dr. Pingel

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