Muscle tissue, hormones, height, age and diet are some factors that influence weight loss. If you burn an excess of 3500 calories a week, or 500 calories a day, you will shed one pound. The good news is that you don't have to create this deficit by dieting alone. If you decrease your calorie intake by 250 and burn 250 calories by walking, you will create a daily deficit of 500 calories and begin to safely lose the weight you want.
What You Need to Know
Figure out how much you weigh so you can understand how much time you have to dedicate to walking. While walking does not burn as many calories as jogging or running, it does burn more calories per minute than sports like tennis or golf. If you weigh 180 pounds, for example, you will burn around ten calories per minute, and if you weigh 160 pounds, you will burn around nine calories per minute.
Calculate your daily calorie intake so you can decrease it by 250. Your daily caloric intake is your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) multiplied by your daily activity. Use this version of the Harris-Benedict formula to find out what it is. Multiply 6.23 by your weight in pounds and add that to the value you get when you multiply 12.7 by your height in inches. Subtract from that sum the result you get when you multiply 6.8 by your age in years. Add 66 to this value to determine your BMR.
Multiply your BMR by 1.375 if you exercise one to three days a week, 1.55 if you exercise three to five days a week or 1.725 if you exercise six to seven days a week. Consume 250 calories fewer than this number and burn 250 calories with exercise every day to lose one pound of fat per week.
Add hills or inclines into your walking routine to keep things interesting, but also to increase difficulty. Your muscles activate more, your heart pumps faster and your lungs work harder when you go uphill, and this forces you to burn more calories. Going downhill is also beneficial and causes your muscles to work harder as you balance and control your weight, thus burning more calories than walking on a flat surface.
Throw some intervals into your routine as another way to increase difficulty and burn additional calories. Interval training, which involves periods of high-intensity activity followed by periods of low- intensity activity, can be combined with other things like hill training. Start with 30 to 60 seconds of high intensity, followed by 60 to 90 seconds of low intensity. High intensity could involve walking faster, jogging, running or skipping, just as long as it increases the difficulty. If you’re new to intervals or walking, try doing interval training twice a week. Intervals increase the challenge on your muscles, and they also increase your heart rate, thereby burning more calories than steady-pace walking.
Add weight to your body to make your muscles work harder, thus increasing your calorie burn by five to ten percent. Though adding weight to your body does increase the number of calories burned, doing so has some risk, according to the American Council on Exercise. Holding or strapping on more than three pounds to your wrists or ankles can stress your joints and walking mechanics, thus heightening your chances for injury.
Eat complex carbs, like whole grain pasta, 60 to 120 minutes before you walk, and some simple carbs, like an apple, 15 to 30 minutes before you start. This will give you the necessary energy to work your hardest and burn the most calories.
After your walk, consume some lean protein and amino acids to help your muscles recover.
Drink about eight ounces of water every ten minutes of exercise to prevent dehydration side-effects such as muscle cramps, decreased cardiovascular ability and fatigue.
If you feel lightheaded or dizzy, stop working out.
Warm up and stretch before you start walking.