Doctors heavily prescribe walking to patients who need to lose weight and increase physical fitness because it's low impact, requires little or no equipment and provides all the necessary benefits of physical activity. Walking burns calories which contributes to weight loss. It also strengthens muscles which causes you to burn more calories throughout your day. If you're interested in losing 10 pounds per month by walking, you need to do a few calculations to determine how much walking you'll have to fit in.
Calculate how many calories you need to consume each day to maintain your current weight. This will give you a baseline calorie number to build your weight loss plan around. Use a basal metabolic rate calculator or employ the formula 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x your age) for women; or 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x your age) for men, according to Good Housekeeping magazine. Multiply your result by 1.2 if you are sedentary, by 1.375 if you are lightly active, by 1.55 if you are very active or 1.9 if you are extremely active.
The number you get is the number of daily calories you need to maintain your current weight.
Calculate how many calories you burn per hour by walking. For example, a 200-pound person who walks at 3.5 miles per hour will burn 346 calories in an hour. Use a fitness calculator like The Daily Plate to determine how many calories you burn by walking.
Calculate how many hours you need to walk to lose one pound. You have to walk off 3,500 calories more than you eat to lose one pound so divide 3,500 by the number of calories you burn per hour by walking. For example, if you weigh 200 lbs. and therefore burn 346 calories per hour by walking, you would divide 3,500 by 346 to get 10.11. This means it takes a 200-pound person 10.11 hours of walking to lose a pound.
Multiply the amount of hours it takes you to lose one pound by your 10-pound goal. Following the example above, 10 x 10.11 = 101.1. This is the total number of hours you need to spend walking in a month to lose 10 pounds if you eat the required number of calories each day to maintain your weight.
Earn yourself additional calories by cutting back on the calories in your diet. If you eat 500 fewer calories per day, for example, you would lose a pound per week before you even factor in your walking, which lowers your monthly walking goal to 6 lbs., or 1.5 pounds per week. Consider your adjusted calorie needs and work this into your walking weight loss formula by adjusting the pounds to lose goal in step 4.
Check with your doctor before beginning any weigh loss program.