Am I Walking Enough to Lose Weight?

Walk Daily and Eat Less to Lose Weight

Walking shoes, water bottle, tape measure, pedometer
All the tools to walk off weight. Don Nichols/E+/Getty Images

Question: Am I Walking Enough to Lose Weight?

I am trying to lose weight. How much do I have to walk to lose weight?

Answer: Walk for 30 Minutes Per Day Minimum for Health and Weight Loss

For weight loss and general health, the US Surgeon General recommends: "Be physically active for at least 30 minutes (adults) or 60 minutes (children) on most days of the week."

This level of activity burns approximately 150 calories, which would burn 5 pounds in 6 months.

That assumes that you aren't replacing the calories burned by eating a little more. This level of exercise reduces disease risks and should be considered the minimum daily requirement, regardless of weight or whether you want to lose weight. You need it just for good health.

Walk Briskly An Hour a Day, Most Days of the Week for Weight Loss

Most weight loss programs recommend building up to an hour a day (most days of the week) of moderately intense physical activity, such as brisk walking. This amount of exercise burns approximately 300 extra calories, leading to losing 10 pounds in 6 months. This level of physical activity is also associated with even lower health risks for major diseases.

Watching What You Eat is Also Essential for Weight Loss

An extra candy bar or bag of potato chips each day will eliminate any weight loss you may hope for from exercise alone.

To lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than you burn. Most people cannot estimate their calorie intake accurately unless they keep a food diary for a few days and do the totals. Weight loss success is due to eating fewer total calories than you burn off each day.

  • Calorie Count: Use Calorie Count to find the calories and nutrition content of each item you eat. With a free membership, you can track everything you eat and get recommendations on healthier choices.
  • Best Fitness Trackers for Dieters: These pedometers and fitness trackers match calories burned with calories eaten, to help you balance them and lose weight.

Weight Loss Resources

Sources:

CDC: The Importance of Physical Activity. US Centers for Disease Control, Updated June 5, 2015. Accessed 10/21/15.

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