Walking is one of the best routines for weight loss.
If you are overweight or have not exercised for a long time, walking is the most efficient way to help you incorporate exercise to your overall slim down plan.
It is easy, cheap and you can do it almost everywhere. All you need is a pair of comfortable sneakers and off you go. You may walk anywhere, in a park, by the beach, in the countryside or simply in your neighborhood. You can walk every day, anytime, in all weather, all alone or with company.
The only trick is to keep a vigorous pace or even better try interval training to increase calorie burn:
Start with a moderate pace for 10min. Then jog or walk fast for 90sec (by fast we mean not to be able to maintain a conversation) before returning to a moderate pace. Continue this cycle throughout your walk.
It is recommended to walk for at least 30min 4-5 times a week, to have results. Soon, though, you will be able to extent those sessions to 1 hr or more. For even better results, try using weights, sticks, walking up hills or using the elevation feature on a treadmill. All these tricks will raise significantly your calorie burn.
The most important factor is consistency. It is estimated that walking just for 30min/day equals to 90calories which leads to a weight loss of 10 lbs in a year without any dieting! A brisk walk (at 4mph/hr) burns approximately 350 calories per hour. It takes 3,500 calories to equal 1 lb of fat, which means that you need to burn 3,500 cal more than you take in with food in order to lose 1 lb a week. Cutting 500 cal/day from your diet will help you accomplish this target but if you also walk, you may lose more than 1lb/week.
Walking for weight loss and following a balanced nutrition, will help you get rid of your extra pounds in a relatively short time. You will soon be leaner, healthier with a firmer body and an overall better mood.
If you are like many people, you have probably been through the fat loss process more than once in your life. Lose weight, increase energy, look fabulous and feel healthy, are your main concerns.
Therefore you have tried every single new diet on the planet, spent countless hours in the gym sweating breathless on fancy equipment or within demanding boot-camp groups, to end up seeing little or no results at all.
So, what can you do? You are so tired of trying to lose a couple of pounds and then seeing them coming back again and again, but you are not willing to compromise with a “big you”.
First of all, there is hope. You can lose your overweight and keep it off forever. Remember, this is not gonna happen overnight, no matter how much weight you have to lose. It is not a matter of a fancy diet or some miraculous fitness plan. It has to do with a different approach to nutrition and fitness and, mostly, with commitment.
Before we go on giving valuable tips, let’s talk about fat and fat loss.
It is true that gaining weight results from taking in more calories than we expend. But what does this exactly mean?
Our body uses a process to turn food into fuel- the so called metabolism. When the body’s metabolism doesn’t function correctly we end up with excess weight.
The food we consume is mainly one of the three following categories:
Protein– complex chains of amino acids- is the basic building block of life and essential to almost every chemical reaction in the human body. Food rich in protein includes meat, fish, fowl, eggs, cheese, nuts and seeds. Many vegetables fall in the same category but unlike animal protein, they don’t contain all the essential amino acids.
Fat provides glycerol and essential fatty acids, which the body cannot make. Fat is found in meat, fish, fowl, dairy products and the oils derived from nuts and seeds as well as from some vegetables.
Carbohydrate includes sugar and starches that are chains of sugar molecules. Carbohydrate provides the quickest source of energy.
Today’s nutrition in most of the world’s developed countries is primarily low-fat, high-carbohydrate based. Less fat in a food means higher percentage of carbohydrate and sugars in order to keep it tasty.
During the last 40-50 years there has been a huge campaign against fat, which is accused for weight gain and health problems. Just a quick tour in the super market and you will be bombarded with lean meat, low fat cheese and yoghourt, low fat margarine or butter, low fat cookies and pasta and cereal and… and…and… You name the food, we’ve got it in this list. Surprisingly, though, the number of overweight people and severe health problems such as heart attacks, diabetes and strokes has increased immensely!
Think, for a moment, of your typical daily menu. Some milk or coffee with bread, or bagels, or biscuits and cakes, for breakfast, or maybe some skimmed milk with low fat cereal and fruits if you are a healthy eater. Then a sandwich at work or pasta for lunch and then maybe some lean protein with salad (either with a “rich” sauce or with no or too little oil) with potatoes, rice or pasta as a side dish. Not to mention a couple of cookies for snack, or that juicy burger at lunch break or the endless sports nights in front of TV full of pizzas and sodas. Fat and carbs, what a killing combination!
Even when you try to stick to a healthier plan, just because you try to eliminate fat, you end up eating too much carbs and sugars (in the form of low fat products or excess amounts of fruits and starchy vegetables).
Carbohydrate is transformed to glucose, the main fuel for the human body to function. Excess consumption of carbs leads to excess production of glucose that the body cannot use right away, therefore, it stores it in the form of fat- belly fat, fat on thighs or in the mid-section in general and the most dangerous inner fat that wraps around our inner organs or circulates in our blood in the form of cholesterol.
Accumulated fat over time leads primarily to severe health problems, low energy and a very ugly and depressive figure.
So weight loss should focus on fat loss and not only on reduced calories intake. To achieve fat loss and keep it for life, we have to change mentality, first, and then change our habits. A different nutritional approach along with some physical activity will transform our bodies forever. Keep reading the following posts to discover the best strategies for permanent fat loss and better health.