Walking to lose weight seems like an easy task, but not when you are walking like a sloth.
Walking is a physical activity that you and I do virtually every day.
You need to walk to the fridge to get your lovely soda or beer perhaps. You also need to walk to the loo or anywhere you want to go.
Actually, you can crawl if you want to, but you better not.
Now is the time for you to walk to lose weight! Buckle up your seat belt and let’s get started!
Follow these 24 best walking tips to lose weight fast:
1. Just start walking to lose weight
You won’t be doing much if you are lazy to move and being a couch potato watching Netflix and chilling.
I know starting is always the hardest, but you still need to start walking to actually lose weight.
Try starting slowly and gradually, so you can slowly get the feel of exercising. Yes… Walking is also a form of exercise.
According to this post, you burn about 100 calories per mile (1.6 km) walking for a 180 lbs (82 kg) person, and you burn about 65 calories per mile for a 120 lbs (55 kg) person.
A heavier person burns more calories than a lighter person.
Walking is a great way to maintain your overall health and have many health benefits such as:
- Lose weight.
- Reduce excess body fat.
- Improve cardiovascular fitness.
- Reduce risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc…
2. Walk faster to lose weight faster
It is time to pick up the pace and walk faster than sloth to burn more calories and lose weight fast.
This is also known as walking briskly. The pace of walking faster is determined by your level of fitness.
Fast walking pace varies between individuals, usually between 3.5-4.5 mph (5.6-7.2 kph). It can be hard to keep up with this walking speed.
Therefore, try to measure in terms of steps instead. Aim to walk briskly with 100 steps per minute. You can use a walking app to track your speed and steps per minute.
By walking faster, you use more energy and burn even more calories than slow walking.
According to this post, the amount of calories burned is dependent on your body weight and walking speed:
- If you weigh 180 lbs (82 kg), walking about 4 mph (6.4 kph), you will burn about 210 calories in 30 minutes and about 420 calories in 60 minutes.
- If you weigh 120 lbs (55 kg), walking about 4 mph (6.4 kph), you will burn about 140 calories in 30 minutes and about 280 calories in 60 minutes.
So how do I measure my walking speed?
- Use a walking app.
- You can walk at a running track on lane one, for 4 laps (each lap is 400 m) and is equivalent to 1 mile. Record the time it took you to walk 1 mile.
- Get a smartwatch or fitness band that uses GPS to show you your walking speed and distance walked.
3. Walk uphill to burn more calories
Now you shall walk against nature’s greatest resistance, gravity… When you walk uphill, your muscles need to exert more force to keep walking.
Therefore, you effectively burn more calories and can improve your legs muscular strength, to a certain limit.
You also increase your metabolic rate, which will help you burn more calories even when you are resting like a sloth.
Depending on the gradient (steepness) of the slope, you can achieve similar benefits of running on a hill without the same amount of wear and tear on your joints, especially your knees.
Note: When walking downhill, try to shorten your strides and bend your knees. This is to reduce the impact on your joints and your knees will thank you for it.
4. Walk upstairs to further challenge your muscles
Ehhh? Walking uphill isn’t the same as walking upstairs…? No… The concept of going against gravity is the same, but different.
When walking upstairs, you need to lift your legs higher (dependent on the steps height) and your legs need to exert even more force to bring your body upward to the next step.
Unlike walking uphill, the gradient of the slope is usually linear. But walking upstairs varies according to the step height.
Besides, walking upstairs two steps at a time is more challenging and tiring than taking one step at a time.
So when you are working harder with each step, you effectively burn more calories, eventually leading to weight loss.
You can try this at-home stairs workout plan to further improve your fitness level, burn fat and lose weight.
5. Swing those lazy arms to work your upper body
Swinging your arms as you walk helps you increase your walking speed and provides a good upper body workout.
Try to bend your arms while swinging like you would do while jogging.
Initially, this can be uncomfortable, but try to swing naturally and don’t tighten yourself.
Swinging your arms vigorously help in burning more calories and work your lazy upper body muscles.
6. Walk on different surfaces
Walking on different terrain such as sand, grass, uneven surface and alike causes your body to expend much more energy than walking on solid and flat surface.
Walking on different surfaces along with a faster walking pace is a good combination for a really effective workout – that is if you can keep up with the same walking pace on different surface.
You will also strengthen your foot and ankle when walking on sand, grass, uneven surface and alike.
7. Do body weight exercises while walking to lose weight fast
Walking to lose weight shouldn’t be all about walking only, it can be boring, let’s spice things up.
The easiest way to do this is to incorporate strength training into your walking routine, i.e., body weight exercises.
You don’t need to do strength training in a separate session when you can do body weight exercises while walking.
For every minute of walking (set a timer for this), stop and do 8-12 squats. You can even try to add in 5-8 incline push ups with every alternate minute of walking.
This is an example of incline push ups outdoor:
If you think you are up for the challenge, try doing walking lunges:
All these exercises helps to further increase your heart rate, build muscles and to make your walking routine more enjoyable.
8. Limit your calories intake
Trying to lose weight by walking won’t be effective if you are still munching on your favourite donuts, chocolate, ice cream, pizza, burgers, etc…
Losing weight is 85% diet and 15% exercise. Therefore, to see more weight loss improvements is to restrict your diet and limit your calories intake.
Looking at delicious food is okay, consuming it, is not. :p
If the intensity of your walking routine is mainly low-to-moderate intensity, you need to make sure your diet is appropriate to lose weight.
Even if you are walking or exercising on a frequent basis, you still need to decrease your calories intake.
This is because you are not burning enough calories to the point you can eat anything you want.
So how do I limit my calories intake?
- Cut your sugary drinks and foods to minimum or none.
- Try to avoid fried and oily foods.
- Reduce the consumption of dairy products (egg, milk, cheese).
- Say no to alcohol.
Alcohol is another common cause of weight gain, cut it to a minimum and you will see instant weight loss results.
Furthermore, alcohol has 7 kcal of calories per gram compared to sugar that has 4 kcal of calories per gram.
This means that alcohol has way more calories as per equal weight to sugar.
9. Eat proper meals
This helps your body replenish glycogen level (energy), increase muscle growth, decrease muscle breakdown and improve recovery.
Therefore, you should try to eat more carbo and protein after your workout.
Also, try to eat within 45 minutes post-workout.
This is because within this time frame, your body is craving protein and carbo to rebuild muscles and refill your glycogen stores (energy), respectively.
So what kind of foods should I consume?
- Rice, preferably brown rice.
- Lean meat… Lean.
- Fresh fish… Fresh.
- Potatoes, beans, legumes, peanuts, seeds, etc…
- Lots of green leafy vegetables.
- And some fruits… Some.
Fruits itself have high content of fructose (fruit sugar) and when it is digested by the body, is no different from glucose or sucrose. Our body still breaks down fructose as energy (ATP).
Therefore, if you eat a lot of fruits (fructose), your body will still convert the excess energy into fat.
Don’t worry about it, you can eat fruits, but eat moderately.
10. Drink plain water to help you lose weight
Believe it or not, by drinking plain water, can help you lose weight. Water in essence has no calories.
Therefore, you can drink as much water as you want after your workout (of course, not too much!).
When you drink water, you re-hydrate yourself and fill up your tummy with fluids.
This leads to the feeling of fullness and a decrease in appetite to eat.
Surprisingly, drinking plain water can also increase your metabolism rate by up to 30% for both men and women.
11. Walk for 30 minutes
Walking to the fridge to get your soda takes 15 seconds.
Walking to lose weight takes 30-60 minutes, daily.
Which you prefer? Of course soda…
Walking at least 30 minutes, five days a week, can be effective in your weight loss journey.
However, that’s only applicable if you don’t grab the soda that’s sitting in your fridge. It is better to grab a cup of plain water instead, remember to stay hydrated!!
12. Try high intensity speedy walks
This is not your usual low-to-moderate intensity brisk walking. This is called fast walking!
You can try speedy gonzales walking speed up to 10 minutes, 1-2 times a week to burn those stubborn body fat.
Don’t walk so fast until you end up jogging, make sure you walk faster than brisk walking and that will be good enough.
Try to keep your speedy walking speed fast enough that you are tired but can maintain it up to 10 minutes… Can you?
You gotta swing your lazy arms to help propel you forward and walk like flash.
For this speedy walk, focus on shorter strides. Shorter strides allows you to walk more steps, walk faster and less impact on your joints.
You won’t be able to enjoy the scenery nor talk to anyone, but don’t forget to breathe.
13. Try interval walking
Interval walking consists of fast walking and slow walking with a short rest period between bouts of fast walking to burn even more calories.
Get yourself warmed up, then fast walk for 30 seconds followed by slow walk for one minute.
Do for 20 minutes and you are done.
Once you are comfortable with the pace, try to increase the fast walk duration to one minute. Gradually increase the pace and duration over time.
14. Aim to walk at least 10,000 steps everyday
Wait a minute… How do I know how many steps am I walking per day? You can use a pedometer or activity tracker to record your steps.
A pedometer is a portable device used to count your steps by detecting motion of the hips. The pedometer should be clipped or fastened securely to a belt or pants, and be aligned with the knee.
The pedometer must remain in a vertical position, as it counts your steps using a pendulum and spring mechanism, which moves up and down as you walk.
For your information, an average American walks about 3,000-4,000 steps per day, mainly living a comfortable sedentary life.
People who are somewhat active walks about 5,000-8,000 steps per day and people who are regarded as active walk at least 10,000 steps per day.
Don’t be alarmed! It is better for you to roughly know the total steps per day you walk. This is to know your own baseline.
If you are not walking at least 10,000 steps per day, you can slowly work to increase 1,000 extra steps a day until you have achieved 10,000 steps or more.
On the other hand, if you are walking more than 10,000 steps per day, you might want to gradually increase your total steps to 15,000 over time to continuously lose weight.
15. Get a good pair of walking shoes
A good pair of shoes is crucial for the prevention of pain and injuries.
You can use a running shoe for walking, but it is better to use a walking shoes instead.
Running shoes and walking shoes differs slightly, in terms of:
- Cushioning – walking shoes have less cushion.
- Heel height – walking shoes heel height is thinner.
- Heel flare – walking shoes has no heel flare.
- Flexibility – both shoes must be flexible.
A good pair of shoes will have sufficient heel cushion (not too thick), a decent heel to toe drop, a snug fit on your foot, flexible and comfortable.
There is no one-size-fits-all shoe, every individual is unique. Besides, there’s nothing wrong to use a running shoe for walking.
16. Walk with faster strides
Yes, you read it right, walk with faster strides… Don’t walk with longer strides.
When you walk with longer stride, you tend to over-stride and this places excessive stress and impact on your knees and hips.
Also, your foot will be acting as a brake instead.
Aim to shorten your strides and you will be walking with faster strides, this will lead to an increase of walking steps.
To roughly know how many steps you are walking with your usual strides, count how many steps you walked in 30 seconds.
Repeat the same thing, but this time you walk with faster and shorter strides. Then compare the difference and make sure it is more than your usual strides.
17. Make walking a habit
It is not necessary to start walking 30-60 minutes a day, you can start with 10-15 minutes per day or any duration you are comfortable with.
You can walk as little or as much as you want, but try to do either uphill walking, stairs walking, speedy gonzales walking, interval walking or brisk walking, at least 1-2 times per week.
Furthermore, this doesn’t mean walking needs to be your workout.
It is easier to integrate walking into your daily routine. For example, you can park further away from the shopping mall or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Increasing your walking steps a little each day will add up to a huge difference sooner or later. So try to make it a daily routine and a habit to walk.
18. Get a walking buddy
You can chit-chat, joke and laugh with your walking buddy and burn even more calories. Yes… Talking and laughing can help you burn more calories.
19. Walk with someone faster than you
To keep up with someone faster than you, you need to walk as fast as them. They can be a source of motivation to push you to walk faster and lose weight faster.
However, the downside is that you may feel de-motivated that you can’t keep up with them.
Don’t worry, you can always slow down or ask them to slow down so you can keep up with them.
20. Follow a walking plan for weight loss
A walking plan will outline the volume and intensity you need to walk, rest days (if any), the type of walk, and so on…
Try to follow this weight loss walking plan for 4-8 weeks:
- Monday – Long walk up to 45 minutes or more if you can.
- Tuesday – Speedy gonzales walk for 10 minutes and then do body weight exercises.
- Wednesday – Brisk walk up to 30 minutes or more if you can.
- Thursday – Uphill or upstairs walk up to 15 minutes. <- You can substitute this with interval walk up to 20 minutes.
- Friday – Long walk up to 45 minutes or more if you can.
- Saturday – Do body weight exercises while long easy walk up to 20 minutes and then brisk walk for 10 minutes.
- Sunday – Rest. <- You can substitute this with interval walk up to 20 minutes.
You can modify the walking plan as you see fit; walk less or more during each session or interchange the workout days.
Besides, you need to progressively overload your walking routine to keep losing weight.
Progressive overload refers to the increment of intensity and/or volume over time to continually see fitness improvements and in your case, weight loss improvements.
Note: Remember to swing your lazy arms and take shorter, but quicker strides.
21. Listen to your favourite music playlist
Walking alone can be boring, don’t forget to prepare your favourite music playlist prior to walking.
Listening to music while walking can help to motivate you to go harder and farther without noticing the extra effort you put into your workout.
22. Use a walking app to track your progress
You need an app to track your progress, otherwise you are just walking blindly without any goals.
These apps can track your walking distance, elevation gain, pace, speed and calories burned.
Examples of walking apps to help you track your progress:
- Map My Walk by Under Armour.
- Argus: Calorie Counter and Step.
- Walkmeter Walking & Hiking GPS.
- Fitbit App MobileTracker (No Fitbit Required).
You can download these apps (free!) onto your smartphone and try it out for yourself.
23. Be consistent
You won’t see any fitness and weight loss improvements if you are lazy or you give up halfway.
Keep going when it is tiring and tough, it is meant to be tiring and tough anyway.
Bounce back stronger when you think you can’t do it and keep striving hard!
Don’t let negativity or challenges get into your way, be extremely focused onto your weight loss goals.
You need to be consistent for weeks, months and even years to continuously see fitness and weight loss improvements.
Don’t let your effort go to a waste, never give up, stay consistent and keep pushing through the ups and downs!
24. Rest and sleep well
No matter how hard you push yourself during your walk or workout, you need to have a good night’s sleep, every night. Afternoon naps doesn’t count!
Your body and muscles only recover and rebuild itself while you are asleep, not when you are working out.
Try to sleep 6-8 hours every night.
This is one of the most important factor to be fit and lose weight.
If you don’t sleep enough, you can gain weight instead. When you are sleep deprived, your body are “stressed out” and crave high calories food.
Therefore, you binge eat and consume loads of calories in a short period of time. Eventually leading to weight gain instead.
Benefits of walking to lose weight
Walking about 7,500 steps is good enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle and improving your overall health.
Walking can prevent many health-related problems, chronic diseases, and yes walking is effective to lose weight.
The amount of weight you lose by walking will vary between individuals.
Note: Walk to improve your health and lose weight, don’t walk because you are forced to walk.
Dangers of sedentary lifestyle
According to the World Health Organisation, approximately 3.2 million deaths each year are attributable to insufficient physical activity.
Sedentary or inactive lifestyle can be the cause of many health-related problems such as:
- Cardiovascular diseases.
- High blood pressure.