It is possible to obtain significant weight loss walking?
I just started walking faithfully every day two weeks ago. The walk includes a long hill with about a 6-7 incline and I do that twice and then finish off on the bike path for an additional half an hour. I can feel muscles inside my body getting tighter (I am very overweight) but I don't seem to be getting much smaller. I heard that it takes 4 weeks for me to notice, 8 for my family and 12 weeks for the world. I just want some confirmation that if I keep this up that it's really going to make a difference!! I have a bad foot (6 foot surgeries) and a bad back, so this is quite a challenge for me. Please tell me this is going to work!!!
congratulations on your resolution to improve your health by starting a walking program. You have made an important proverbial first step.
Your walking program will be an important component in your weight loss effort but studies have shown that, without a reduction in caloric intake, your walking alone will not yield a significant weight reduction. That is not so say that walking alone will not have great health benefits. You have noticed yourself that the muscles inside your body are getting tighter which points towards an improvement in body composition (that is the ratio between fat and lean body mass). You will also soon notice greater endurance, and there may be improvements in internal data such as blood pressure.
Two weeks of walking are great, and please keep going. Together with a caloric reduction, a weight loss of 2 pounds per week is an achievable but tough goal. But that also takes a little for others to notice so don't be discouraged when other people do not mention it as soon as you would like.
Please keep going You are on the right track.
It's great that you're trying to take charge of your health by walking. As Karin pointed out, you absolutely have to combine your walking with a reduction in calorie intake. Here's some quick math: Depending on your current weight, you'll expend about 100 to 125 calories each mile you walk. Just to lose 1 pound of fat weight, you roughly need to create a caloric deficit of about 3500 calories - about 30 to 35 miles of walking - that's a lot. Now, if you cut back your calorie intake by about 500 calories per day, you now created a deficit of 3500 calories per week, roughly equal to about a pound of weight loss per week (just by doing that & nothing else). Do that & add your walking to the mix, you'll see much better results. But check with your doctor or a dietician first about that.
By all means, continue your walking - it's great for you. It provides many health benefits - heart, lungs, etc. Hopefully I didn't discourage you with those numbers, but unfortunately, that's reality. Sure it can help you lose some weight, but a significant amount (without adjusting your diet), I'm going "no" on that.
Bottom line - my advice to you is to continue your walking but look into making some dietary adjustments. I would also suggest adding some strength training to the mix. Also, you need get to the bottom of your foot & back issues - you need answers. Keep getting different medical opinions until you find some solutions - your workouts will go a lot better when you do. Good luck Jude & keep up the good work.
Congratulations on all of your efforts so far! If walking is an exercise that you enjoy and can tolerate due to your foot, then keep going! You are off to a wonderful start.
In order to continue the efforts for your weight loss goal, you also need to pay particular attention to your nutrition. A combination of exercise and calorie reduction will be the best combination for weight loss. Furthermore, I also suggest adding strength training to your exercise program. This will aid in fat loss, as adding muscle (you will not bulk up!) will burn more calories for you throughout the day. Strength training is also important for your bones and aids in activities of daily living, so it is strongly encouraged.
I encourage you to keep going--and keep these other "rewards" in mind as you continue your journey: More energy, better sleep, reduced stress, better mood, reduction in risk of many diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, adult onset Diabetes, and possibly less back pain. These are all wonderful benefits of exercise and a healthy diet.
Good luck to you and please keep us posted, Jude! You can do it!
Best to you,
Let's be honest, nobody is going to become a supermodel overnight (bummer). Healthy weight loss is a time bound process that is the result of consistant effort & determination. The awesome part is you already made the choice to do something about your health through physical activity. Now that step 1 is in the books, you need to consistantly stay at it and then progressivly increase intensity. To help stay on track, setting small goals will help in maintaining that motivation because you achieve small victories along the way.
To help "eat clean" I would suggest investing in an online meal planning tool so you can stay on track. The good ones can even provide you with a grocery list to help make it easier!
Finally, understanding how your body actually works in relation to weight management can be the "secret" to your success. Knowing what happens to food when it enters your body can help you in your effort to "eat clean" just like knowing how your body burns food when you exercise can help you stay on track.
Good luck with your goals :)
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Good luck! You started, don't quit!
Your walking program sounds like a good idea. Your ability to keep this up for two weeks is great!
The results you seek may not appear right now due to the amount of time you've been on the program and your walking speed.
a)As mentioned in your question it will take time for you and others to see the results. Your body needs time to adjust to this new activity level (keep in mind the 'muscles...getting tighter').
b)Walking speed is another factor: the faster your walking speed, the more calories you burn (the Centers for Disease Control lists energy expenditure for walking and other activities. Calorie expenditure (measured in METS) doubles when anyone goes from a 3 mph pace to race walking at 5mph or more).
However, I would not recommend increasing you speed or mileage due to the knee and back pain. A visit to the doctor is a good idea; this can determine what causes the pain and lead to these walks not being so much of a challenge'. (Note: if the pain persists or becomes worse please see a doctor).
Hope this helps you out.
Once you get stronger go for more incline than flat.
Walk with a purpose: strong abdominals, shoulders back, head held high!
Time yourself and see if you can beat yourself the next time, even by one minute!
I must add that weight loss comes with dietary adjustments. Exercise is fantastic for calorie burn and muscles, cardio and pulmonary systems but you need to also focus on your food choices.