Want to lose fat faster the “easy” way? You’ve come to the right place.
When it comes to speeding up the fat loss process and breaking through plateaus, one of the first tools people turn to is cardio.
And while it’s true that incorporating cardio can indeed be an effective way to lose fat faster… let’s face it; cardio sucks.
For the majority of people, including myself, it’s more often than not just flat out unenjoyable. Which is why so many people struggle with implementing and adhering to a cardio routine.
But luckily, there is one often overlooked exercise that enables you to lose fat faster without even breaking a sweat. And no, it’s not one of those gimmicky vibrating machines promising to melt fat away effortlessly.
It’s instead something you likely already do everyday….
…and if you haven’t guessed it yet, it’s walking!
Now although it may seem like nothing compared to the more intense forms of cardio out there, it’s something I’d recommend taking more seriously as a tool for fat loss for a variety of reasons.
#1: Walking Is Scientifically Proven To Effectively Speed Up Fat Loss
First off and most importantly for you, adding some walking to your current fat loss regimen is an easy way to enhance the fat loss process.
This is not only something I’ve personally experienced but is also proven in the literature.
For example, one 2017 paper from the Journal of Nutrition analyzed the effect of walking on fat loss in 91 overweight men and women.
Subjects were randomly assigned to either just a low calorie diet OR the same low calorie diet plus brisk walking. The walking consisted of a total of 3 hours of added walking per week, or in other words an added 25 minutes of walking a day:
After 12 weeks, the walking group lost around 3 lbs more fat than the non-walking group:
This may not sound like much but really is a huge difference given that we’re talking specifically about fat loss here and not merely weight loss.
Note that this result isn’t necessarily surprising due to the added calories burned in the walking group compared to the non-walking group.
BUT – it still goes to show you how powerful a little bit of walking can be for long term fat loss.
#2: Walking Minimally Impacts Muscle Gains
Another major benefit of using walking for fat loss is that it minimally impacts muscle gains when compared to other forms of cardio.
This is important because as you drop your body fat, you want to also maintain as much muscle mass as possible in order to prevent simply looking “skinny-fat” after all your weight loss.
And the main downside with most forms of cardio is that, as summarized in this 2011 meta-analysis:
“The more cardio you do, the more it interferes with strength and muscle gains.”
However, with walking, it’s such a low impact exercise that it requires very little recovery.
Meaning that it’s an easy way to burn additional calories without affecting your recovery and progress in the weight room.
#3: Walking Doesn’t Spark Your Appetite
And finally, another reason why walking can be so effective for fat loss is its minimal effect on appetite.
Now although the effect of cardio on appetite depends on the form and intensity of the cardio you do, multiple studies have indicated that it often causes an increase in appetite and/or a desire to be rewarded with food…
…which results in subjects eating back a significant portion of the calories they burned WHICH then results in less fat loss.
Whereas with walking, as shown in this 2010 paper by King and colleagues, calories burned while walking are less likely to be compensated for by food intake. Mainly because walking doesn’t trigger hunger as much as other forms of cardio nor does it trigger a response to be rewarded with by food.
Thus, making it easier to maintain an energy deficit.
How Much Walking Should You Do To Lose Fat?
So it’s clear that walking can be an effective tool to speed up the fat loss process.
But how much walking should you do?
Well, based on a decade’s worth of research, this literature review by the American College of Sports Medicine can provide some insight. They found that between 150 to 250 minutes of additional brisk walking per week is enough to speed up fat loss – when combined with a calorie deficit through your diet of course!
So starting out with roughly 150 minutes of added walking per week (e.g. 30 minute walk 5x/week) would be a good starting point.
And a really easy way to make this more enjoyable or productive is to use this time to listen to podcasts, take your dog out, and so on.
It would also be wise to gradually increase the duration of your walks overtime. Or you can make them more difficult by increasing the pace for example or walking on an incline or hill.
This will just help you continuously progress throughout the weeks and avoid reaching plateaus as your body adapts to the current regimen.
Exactly How Much Fat Will You Lose From Walking?
To put the effect of walking on fat loss into perspective, the average person burns roughly 200 calories when brisk walking for 30 minutes.
So given that one lb of fat consists of ~3,500 calories… Walking for an additional 150 minutes per week will theoretically enable you to burn an extra 1/3 of a lb of fat per week.
This amounts to over a lb of extra fat loss per month.
And although this may not sound like much to you, when combined with a proper calorie deficit through your science based diet and a solid weightlifting routine, it will make a significant and noticeable difference in speeding up the fat loss process overtime.
With that being said though, walking definitely isn’t the fastest way to burn additional calories and therefore if needed, can be paired with other more intense forms of cardio throughout the week.
BUT, the fact that walking IS so convenient, enjoyable, and can be done anywhere, means that it’s a form of exercise that you’ll be more likely stick with. And in the long run, that’s what matters the most and that’s ultimately what makes walking such a powerful tool for fat loss – and a tool that you should definitely consider incorporating into your routine.
And that’s pretty much it for this article! Just remember that you MUST prioritize your diet and weightlifting workouts first. Otherwise, the added walking likely won’t have any meaningful effect.
Feel free to let me know in the comments if you have any questions/concerns that I can help you with. And don’t forget to show me your support by giving me a follow on Instagram , Facebook , and Youtube where I’ll be posting informative content on a more regular basis. Cheers!