Walking is one of the easiest ways to increase your physical activity and lose weight. Our guide will teach you how walking helps you lose weight and give you a 4-week walking for weight loss plan to help you get started.

You’ll also find a quick rundown of the ketogenic diet and how it can help you lose weight faster with walking.

Walking for Weight Loss: Does It Work?

Here are some ways walking can help you lose weight.

Walking can help lose belly fat

Walking is one of the best aerobic exercises that can help reduce the subcutaneous (the one you can pinch) and visceral (dangerous) belly fat. One study investigated the effect of 12-week walking exercise on abdominal fat, insulin resistance, and serum cytokines in 20 obese women. Results showed a significant reduction in both subcutaneous and visceral belly fat in the women who were in the walking group compared to the control group. Walking also helped improve their insulin resistance 1.

Walking helps burn calories

Walking burns calories and you’ll lose weight if you burn more calories than you ingest. One study found that walking can help you expend more energy than jogging at the same speed. In this study, fifteen healthy women were assigned to either walking or jogging at different speed levels on the treadmill. Results revealed that walking at 8.0 km.hr speed expended more energy than jogging at the same pace 2.

SEE ALSO: How tracking your steps can help with weight loss.

Reduces stress

Chronic stress can cause weight gain in several ways such as lowering your metabolism and increasing your cravings. Increased physical activity such as walking can reduce stress and enhance your mood 3.

Can help maintain weight

Most people who lose weight often have a fear of gaining it all back. Research says that increased physical activity of at least 30 minutes per day can help maintain weight. Walking is one of the simplest ways to increase your physical activity, and you can walk anywhere 4. In addition, walking puts lower stress on joints and tissues, thereby decreasing the chance of injury.

How Much Do You Have to Walk to Lose Weight?

One mile of walking can burn 90-100 calories 5. One study found that walking for at least 300 minutes per week and making diet changes can help lose weight and walking for 150 minutes per week can help maintain weight 6. Walking at different speed levels and combining it with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can further speed up your weight loss.

 

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Following the Keto Diet Plus Walking Can Help You Shed Even More Weight

Here’s a brief walk down of what the ketogenic diet is and how you can incorporate it into your life to speed up your weight loss with walking.

If you don’t know what the keto diet is, it’s a low carb diet that emphasizes on getting at least 60-75% of your daily calories from fat, 20-30% from protein, and the rest from carbs. Your body usually uses glucose for fuel but the ketogenic diet forces it to use fat instead via a process called ketosis.

Here are some ways the ketogenic diet can help speed up your weight loss:

Sugar elimination

The keto diet eliminates sugar from your diet and limits carb intake to 50 grams or less per day. Removing sugar and consuming a low carb diet are proven ways to lose weight. Some studies have also found that sugar contributes to abdominal fat, thus eliminating sugar from your diet can help reduce belly fat.

For example, a 2014 cross-sectional study found that regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was positively associated with belly fat 7.

Appetite suppressant

The high fat and protein intake of keto diet help suppress your appetite and experience satiety. You’ll feel fuller for longer and have more willpower to avoid cravings. This is one of the reasons why a lot of people in the keto community have had success with this diet to lose a substantial amount of weight.

One study investigated the effect of ketosis on appetite in 50 non-diabetic overweight or obese participants. Thirty-nine of the participants completed an 8-week very-low-carb ketogenic diet followed by 2-weeks of reintroduction to foods. Results showed that the keto diet helped participants to lose 13% of their initial body weight and also suppressed weight loss induced ghrelin (the hunger hormone) 8.

Improved insulin sensitivity

Insulin resistance is one of the well-known factors of weight gain and obesity. It’s when your body cells don’t respond appropriately to the signals from the insulin hormone. As a result, your blood glucose level rises, and your body also gets into the habit of storing away excess glucose as fat.

Weight loss and stress reduction are some ways to improve insulin sensitivity, and the ketogenic diet can help with both. A 2005 study investigated the effect of the ketogenic diet on body weight, insulin sensitivity, calorie intake, and other health factors in 10 obese patients with type 2 diabetes. The patients were put on the keto diet for 14 days. Results revealed a significant reduction in calorie intake, body weight, and improved insulin sensitivity in obese patients 9.

Intermittent fasting

A lot of people who are on the keto diet also practice intermittent fasting which has been proven to help with weight loss and also offers other health benefits. Intermittent fasting can also improve insulin sensitivity which in turn can help with weight loss.

One study examined the effectiveness of intermittent fasting in 51 obese men. They were assigned to 16 weeks of either continuous or intermittent energy restricted diet. Results showed a higher body weight and fat reduction in those who completed the intermittent energy restricted plan 10.

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5 Quick Tips to Get Started with the Ketogenic Diet

1. Clear your pantry of carbs and sugar

This is the first best thing you can do to lose weight even if you’re not on the keto diet.

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Get rid of all the junk food and high carb food items. You can also keep your ketogenic foods in a separate food cupboard if you live with others who’re not on any diet.

2. Stock staple items

Buy and stock some staple items like meat, cheese, butter, coconut oil, almond flour, coconut flour, and your choice of low carb sweeteners. Doing this can help avoid the temptation to eat other foods when your keto foods are not available. Oftentimes, people will “cheat” on their diet due to decision fatigue. This is a psychological process that involves decreased willpower during the day, if you have those “bad” options available to you. Simply not having those options, reduce this problem.

3. Start slow

Start by slowly eliminating sugar from your diet and replacing high carb foods with low carb alternatives. E.g., you could learn how to make low carb keto bread as an alternative to regular bread. If you love fast food and often eat out, try eating your burger without the bun and opt for salad instead of fries.

Start by making small changes at a time, and they’ll speed up your weight loss with walking.

4. Meal plan + prep

Starting a new diet can be overwhelming and often time-consuming. You could escape from this by meal planning and cooking a week’s worth of meals in advance. Meal prepping can also come in handy if you travel a lot or have a busy schedule. Another benefit of meal planning is that you can be sure that each of your meals will have the right amount of fat, protein, and carbs.

5. Remember your electrolytes

The diuretic nature of the keto diet can make you lose too many electrolytes and cause flu-like symptoms. This can be avoided and treated quickly if you replenish your electrolytes regularly. Here are some ways to get your daily dose of electrolytes:

  • Bone broth
  • Sipping some sea salt or Himalayan salt water throughout the day
  • Magnesium supplement
  • Avocados
  • Eating more healthy fat

4-Week Walking Plan for Weight Loss

Here’s a 4-week walking plan to get help you get started with walking for weight loss. Print it and stick it on your bedroom wall or somewhere you can easily see to keep as a daily reminder.

Week 1: Warm up + gradually increase walking time

Warming up and steadily increasing your walking time should be your primary focus in the first week. Splitting the exercise into two sessions per day will make it even easier for you to follow. Walk at your comfortable pace and try to increase your walking time by 2-3 minutes each day of this week.

 

Monday Morning: 5 minutes

Evening or night: 5 minutes

Tuesday Morning: 7 minutes

Evening or night: 7 minutes

Wednesday Morning: 10 minutes

Evening or night: 10 minutes

Thursday Morning: 12 minutes

Evening or night: 12 minutes

Friday Morning: 15 minutes

Evening or night: 15 minutes

Saturday Morning: 17 minutes

Evening or night: 17 minutes

Sunday Morning: 20 minutes

Evening or night: 20 minutes

 

Week 2: Increase your speed

In the second week, your focus should be on increasing the pace of your walking which means you’ll be doing a lot of brisk walking. You can also practice different styles of walking like climbing up and down the stairs, walking on the treadmill or a hilly trail.

 

Monday Morning: 20 minutes brisk walk

Evening or night: 20 minutes brisk walk

Tuesday Morning: 5 minutes stair climbing + 10 minutes brisk walk

Evening or night: 10 minutes brisk walk

Wednesday Morning: 10 minutes normal pace walk + 10 minutes brisk walk

Evening or night: 10 minutes brisk walk

Thursday Morning: 5 minutes stair climbing + 20 squats

Evening or night: 10 minutes brisk walk + 10 lunges

Friday Morning: 15 minutes of normal walk + 10 minutes brisk walk

Evening or night: 10 minutes brisk walk

Saturday Morning: 10 minutes on the treadmill or hill trail

Evening or night: 15 minutes normal walk + 10 minutes brisk walk

Sunday Morning: 10 minutes brisk walk

Evening or night: 10 minutes normal walk + 10 minutes brisk walk

 

Week 3: Focus on strength building

You can start strength training without any fancy equipment by walking at different paces, duration and combining it with other exercises such as squats and lunges. Strength training will help tone and build your muscles.

 

Monday Morning: 15 minutes brisk walk

Evening or night: 15 minutes normal + 10 minutes brisk walk

Tuesday Morning: 10 minutes brisk walk

Evening or night: 10 minutes brisk walk + 2 sets of 15 squats

Wednesday Morning: 15 minutes normal + 10 minutes brisk walk

Evening or night: 10 minutes brisk walk + 2 sets of 15 lunges

Thursday Morning: 10 minutes brisk walk + 5 minutes stairs

Evening or night: 15 minutes normal + 10 minutes brisk walk

Friday Morning: 15 minutes normal + 10 minutes brisk walk

Evening or night: 15 minutes normal + 2 sets of 15 squats or lunges

Saturday Morning: 15 minutes normal + 10 minutes brisk walk

Evening or night: 20 minutes normal walk + 20 squats

Sunday Morning: 10 minutes brisk walk

Evening or night: 10 minutes normal walk + 2 sets of 10 lunges

 

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Week 4: Combine High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a proven way to speed up your weight loss, and it’s easy to combine it into your walking schedule. Remember it as walking at a comfortable speed for a few minutes and then follow up with 1 or 2 minutes of high-intensity exercise and then walk at a relaxed pace again.

 

Monday Morning: 5 minutes normal walk + 2 minutes sprint + 5 minutes normal walk

Evening or night: 10 minutes normal walk + 2 minutes jump rope + 10 minutes normal walk

Tuesday Morning: 5 minutes normal walk + 1-minute jump squats + 5 minutes normal walk

Evening or night: 10 minutes normal walk + 2 minutes sprint + 10 minutes normal walk

Wednesday Morning: 5 minutes treadmill (normal pace) + 20-30 seconds forearm plank + 5 minutes treadmill (normal pace)

Evening or night: 5 minutes normal walk + 5 minutes brisk walk + 5 minutes normal walk

Thursday Morning: 5 minutes normal walk + 20 seconds forearm plank + 5 minutes normal walk

Evening or night: 10 minutes normal walk + 50 seconds jumping squats + 10 minutes normal walk

Friday Morning: 5 minutes normal walk + 10 minutes brisk walk + 5 minutes normal walk

Evening or night: 10 minutes normal walk + 20 seconds forearm plank + 10 minutes normal walk

Saturday Morning: 5 minutes normal walk + 3 minutes brisk + 1-minute high-speed walk + 5 minutes normal walk

Evening or night: 5 minutes normal walk + 45 seconds jumping squats + 5 minutes normal walk

Sunday Morning: 5 minutes normal walk + 2 minutes brisk + 1-minute high-speed walk + 5 minutes normal walk

Evening or night: 10 minutes normal walk + 2 minutes high-speed walk + 10 minutes normal walk

 

Approximately 40-60 minutes of walking per day or at least 300 minutes of walking per week can help you lose weight. You’ll get faster results if you make diet changes and also try different speeds and styles of walking.

Takeaways

  • One mile of walking can burn up to 100 calories, and a McDonald’s cheeseburger has roughly 313 calories. It’s easy to overestimate the calories burned during walking and end up overeating. However, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn to lose weight.
  • You need to walk for at least 300 minutes per week to lose weight.
  • Combining high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with walking can speed up weight loss.
  • Making diet changes such as reducing carb and sugar intake can help speed up your weight loss with walking.
  • Consider trying the ketogenic diet to lose weight faster with walking and also to reap the other health benefits of keto.

REFERENCES:

  1. Hong HR et al. Effect of walking exercise on abdominal fat, insulin resistance and serum cytokines in obese women. 2014 September 10 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25566464

  2. Greiwe JS, Kohrt WM. Energy expenditure during walking and jogging. 2000 December - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11296999

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