Research has shown that it’s possible to lose a pound of fat each week by walking 10,000 steps a day. That’s about the equivalent of burning 3500 calories.
However, there are some caveats. If you want to lose weight you need a walking program that works your cardiovascular system, makes you sweat and cause you to breathe deeply.
Brisk walking or fitness walking programs are specifically designed to help you lose weight. In addition, the 500 calories a day rule relates to body type and the amount you eat. You’ll only lose weight walking if you are also a ketogenic diet.
One study even shows that the idea of walking 10,000 steps a day to lose weight is a myth. What researchers found when they experimented on female students in their first year of University is that walking 10,000 steps a day prevented them from putting on weight.
However, this study does not mention the pace at which the participants were walking or whether they combined exercise with the proven weight loss diet.
How Many Calories Should You Burn?
People that exercise religiously do not put on weight. They put on muscle. Exercise burns fat and muscle-building exercise create muscle. According to some experts, building muscle is the secret to weight loss.
The number of calories you lose will depend on the nature of your workout and the amount of weight you are already carrying. On average, the more a person weighs, the quicker you burn fat because you have to work your muscles harder to move.
A ballpoint figure quoted by fitness specialists is that somebody weighing around 180-190 lbs will burn around 500 calories if they complete 10,000 steps. That’s about 5-miles.
If you weigh closer to 300 lbs, you’ll burn around 750-800 calories covering the same distance. To get an idea of how much you could personally burn, check out this calories burned calculator.
Health experts say to lose weight you should aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day. Walking 5-miles at a brisk pace will almost triple that.
Health Benefits of Walking
Whilst a brisk walking program does not guarantee the pounds will fall off, a growing body of evidence to show that brisk walking has many health benefits. And the faster you walk, the better it is for your health.
Several studies have shown that walking faster increases your life expectancy. Most people will benefit from an improved heart condition and a more effective cardiovascular system. The American Heart Association found that walking can lower the risk of developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The other benefit of walking – especially if you are overweight – is that it’s a low-entire barrier. You don’t need any special equipment, expensive clothing or pay for a club membership. Brisk walking is free.
What’s more, because you walk almost every day anyway, it can be easier to start a walking program than any other weight loss exercise. Dr Rangan Chatterjee says the best way to achieve any goal is to start small and integrate new habits into existing routines.
A good way to start with a brisk walking program is to consciously pick up the pace whenever you’re out walking. Ideally, you will use this as a platform to dedicate at least 30 minutes – but preferably 90 minutes – a day to tackle a brisk walking program head-on.
If weight loss is your target, it’s important to remember that your diet plays a large part. Exercise alone does not make you lose weight if you are still eating sugary snacks and meals that are heavy in carbohydrates.
How does weight loss happen?
It has always been thought that weight loss occurs by burning more calories than we eat. That has not turned out to be quite accurate. However, the science still seems a little bit muddied and there are several new theories floating around.
It turns out that the science of weight loss is complicated. Not all weight loss is necessarily fat loss. When the body loses weight, some of it may be fat, but some of it may also be muscle.
Ideally, you want to avoid burning lean muscle. Muscle gives your body the healthy, lean, sexy look everybody who exercises is striving for. A movement that makes you sweat burns fat, but brings calories and also removes muscle.
Exercise triggers hormones that unlock fat cells for the body to tale energy. Fat is essentially the body’s storage system for energy. The enzymes break fat storage down into small units that can be consumed as and when needed.
However, fat cells cannot be broken down if insulin is present. Which means cutting sugar and refined carbohydrates out of your diet as much as possible. Basically, anything you buy from a supermarket should be a no-go zone.
That means that no matter how many steps you walk a day, no matter how many calories your body burns if your diet is stuffed with processed foods, chocolate bars, cakes and sugary drinks, walking 10,000 steps a day will not help you lose weight quickly.
Download the Sweatcoin App
Exercise alone will not help you lose weight but nor will cutting processed foods out of your diet. You need to exercise and eat healthily. To encourage you to walk faster and more often, download the sweatcoin app. It has a built-in pedometer that will count your steps.
Not only that, but we also convert your steps into a digital currency called SWC. You can use SWC to purchase merchandise from over 300 retailers. So the more you walk, the more you have to spend.
It pays to walk.