/Does Walking Burn Fat? | Weight Loss by Walking
does walking burn fat

Does Walking Burn Fat? | Weight Loss by Walking

Many people ask that, does walking burn fat? Aerobic exercise, such as walking, burns calories which, if combined with a sensible diet, helps create a calorie deficit, necessary for weight loss. Any aerobic exercise will burn some stored fat.

Does Walking Burn Fat?

How to Lose Weight by Walking

You can lose weight by walking but it takes patience, persistence, and hard work. To see results you must follow a consistent, moderately-intense workout regime and consume a healthful, reduced-calorie diet. Creating short-term goals and keeping track of your progress helps keep you focused and organized for “does walking burn fat?”. Other than a quality pair of walking shoes, little to no equipment is required.

Plan and Log Your Workouts

Consider using an inexpensive notebook or calendar to plan and log your workouts. Most fitness experts agree that adding ankle, foot, wrist, or hand weights may cause strain, increasing your risk for injury. Adding weights burns few extra calories per mile, may slow you down, and prevents you from swinging your arms, necessary for momentum.

Though walking poles or weighted vests are options, these extras are not required. A pedometer helps you keep track of your steps per mile but you can also estimate this by using a walking pedometer step equivalent tool or chart.

Aerobic Exercise to Lose Weight

Aerobic exercise is an answer to “does walking burn fat?” In terms of ‘where’ (on your body) or ‘what’ (fat or carbohydrate) is used as a primary energy source to fuel your exercise, misconceptions abound. It is a myth that engaging in low- to moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking, burns more body fat than higher-intensity activities, such as jogging. For weight loss, it is all about total calories expended within a set period of time.

Read About: Best Cardio for Weight Loss

High-intensity aerobic activities, such as running, may burn a lower percentage of body fat like burn belly fat, but it is compensated by enabling you to burn more total calories than a lower intensity workout. Regardless of the type of aerobic exercise you choose, your body draws upon stored carbohydrates and fat for energy, more carbohydrate than a fat. Exact ratios are difficult to calculate but can be estimated to solve your question “does walking burn fat?”.

Walking Workout to Weight Loss

Toward the beginning of your workout, your body may draw upon stored carbohydrates and fat in a metabolic ratio of 70:30, carbohydrate to fat. Later in your workout, there is a shift in the metabolic ratio since you have limited carbohydrate stores in your body. After about 15 to 20 minutes, you gradually burn more fat than carbohydrate, or a metabolic ratio of about 60:40, fat to carbohydrate.

The fittest individuals enjoy this shift earlier in their workout to get the answer for “does walking burn fat?” and draw upon more fat than their fewer active counterparts. During a workout, an endurance athlete may have fat to carbohydrate ratio of up to 75:25. Again, in terms of weight loss, it is more important to create a calorie deficit than to worry about how much fat versus carbohydrate you burn.

Regular Aerobic Workouts

Regular walking workouts to solve your query “does walking burn fat?” are very easy for you. Unfortunately, you cannot ‘spot’ reduce, or burn fat from a certain part of your body. Where and how you carry and lose body fat depends upon factors such as age, gender, and genetics.

The best way to get lean is to participate in regular aerobic workouts, at least 2½ hours weekly according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), perform total body strength training exercises at least twice weekly, and follow a healthy, fiber-rich, reduced-calorie diet.

Intensity, Duration, and Frequency

The intensity, duration, and frequency of your workouts play the most important role in the success of your efforts.  The faster and longer you walk, the more calories you will burn, helping to create a calorie deficit. You need to expend 7,000 calories more than you need for weight maintenance to lose 2 lbs. per week.

Exercise Sessions

Trimming your diet and walking, at a brisk pace for about one hour, most days of the week is the best way to create this deficit. Walk at a brisk pace, about 4 miles per hour (mph).  According to the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), those able to maintain a significant weight loss usually engage in at least two sessions of total-body resistance-training exercise sessions weekly.

No Need to Pedometer

If you do not have a pedometer, estimate your pace using walking pedometer step equivalents. One mile is the equivalent of about 2,000 average steps. Count your steps for one minute every so often to make sure you are walking at your goal pace.

For example, if you are striving to walk 4 mph, you should average about 152 steps per minute. If you clock 242 steps in one minute, your pace is closer to 5 mph. You can vary your pace by workout but keep in mind that race walking burns approximately 30% more calories per workout than walking at a moderate pace.

Read About: Best Exercise Bikes for Workout at Home

REFERENCES for The “Does Walking Burn Fat?” 

  1. J Achten and AE Jeukendrup. Optimizing fat oxidation through exercise and diet. Nutrition; Jul-Aug 2004.
  2. MC Venables et al. Determinants of fat oxidation during exercise in healthy men and women: a cross-sectional study. J Appl Physiol; Aug 2004.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Physical Activity for Everyone.
  4. Ainsworth BE et al. Compendium of Physical Activities: An update of activity codes and MET intensities. Med Sci Sports Exerc.2000; 32 (Suppl): S498-S516.
  5. National Weight Control Registry Facts

R Wing and Suzanne Phelan. Long term weight loss maintenanceAmer J Clin Nutr; Vol. 82, No. 1, 222S-225S, July 2005.