It’s a tough one to answer … Yes, but only if it’s done in a certain way.
I know people hate those kinds of answers so I’ll make it simple.
Does Walking cause you to Lose Weight?
Depends … just kidding. The answer is mostly a ‘no.’
When sedentary people take up walking they do initially lose some weight. If they walked 45 minutes a day then they’d shed a few pounds initially and then plateau. It’s not nothing but when most people ask if walking for exercise makes you lose weight they want to know if they can slim down, not just lose a few pounds.
STILL DO IT
Don’t be put off by the bad news though. Walking can still lead you to losing the weight you want to lose. It also is good for you in so many ways – which nobody cares about when they are visiting a blog about weight loss and eating emotionally.
Often when you simply start something positive for you it leads to the next thing and the next thing and before you know it you have gone places and done things you never expected you would.
I knew a woman who started walking to lose weight and didn’t end up losing that much. She felt better though and when a friend asked her to try a 15 day pilgrimage walk with her in Spain she was fired up and upped her walking daily to be able to complete the challenge.
She ended up doing it and lost a good amount of weight too. More than that though she became closer to her friend, she saw another country, her self esteem and belief in what she could do skyrocketed, and her general health improved dramatically.
The problem afterwards was that she couldn’t keep that walking schedule up indefinitely. But she did join an exercise class that focused on cardio and toning which had her losing a bit more weight. After a few months of that the instructor asked if anyone was interested in trying spinning classes.
She signed up and has been doing it ever since, losing 3/4 of the weight she initially wanted to lose through walking.
Other Ways to Walk
The problem with walking and losing weight is that after the initial period of adaptation to the new exercise, your body keeps you right where you are. In other words, doing the same thing all the time gets you nowhere as your body adapts to the new stress – a bit more strength, a tad less fat – and then is able to keep you doing your walking workouts without needing to change anymore = no more fat loss needed.
That’s why you see many athletes doing a whole variety of workouts mixing in easy, long sessions (walking, slow cardio) with more intense workouts like weights and hill running.
So if you want to lose weight through walking you’ll have to do the same.
You’ll have to have some long, slow or regular paced days of enjoyable walking. Some moderate intensity walking where you’re going faster or walking with ankle weights. And a few high intensity sessions like walking hard up hills, hiking uphill or walking up a steep incline on a treadmill.
So technically yes, you can lose weight walking but most people generally have in their heads the idea of taking it easy and listening to tunes as they do it. Again, it’s really good for you so I highly recommend it but by itself it won’t move the scale much.
But, if you combine it with a few easy changes in diet, changes that don’t hurt (see the main page of this website) then you will see results, all without pain, going without or depriving yourself.
Again though, just take that first step and get started walking. It’s easy. Then you can take another (easy step) and another until you are happy with your progress, and are being pulled along by the momentum of confidence and good vibes.
The carrot is often better than the stick and much more effective for long term change and gratification.
Happy walking, change yourself.
THE EATING LOVE GUIDE (FREE)
The Eating Love Guide has helped many people regain control of their eating patterns, resulting not only in weight loss but also better health and improved self-esteem. To read it online, click here.