Eating a proportionate, balanced, well-rounded meal will always yield greater results in losing weight than exercising and not watching what you eat. The combination of the two, however, can yield magnificent results in a short amount of time. Walking 20km, or 12.4 miles, is a daunting task that many people will have to work their way up to over time. If you are able to successfully walk 20 km every day and watch what you eat, you will be on the fast track to a healthy and fit body.
Purchase some comfortable walking or cross-training shoes as well as supportive, comfortable clothing that reduces your risk of chafing. Twenty kilometers is a considerable distance, about half a marathon, and even if you walk at a brisk pace, you'll likely take a minimum of three hours to complete the walk. Having comfortable shoes that fit the contours of your feet as well as appropriate clothing will make a huge difference in whether you spend your second scheduled week of walking laid up in bed or out walking your route.
Make a diet plan that limits the amount of unhealthy food that you eat. Make sure you're getting plenty of food from all six of the major food groups -- grains, dairy, fruits, vegetables, meat and fats. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends no more than 2,200 calories daily for an active person in some cases, depending on your sex and age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that one pound of fat is equal to approximately 3,500 calories, so in order to lose a pound of unwanted flab, you have to burn through 3,500 more calories than you take in.
Plan out a route. The route should be in a safe area with a relatively flat walking surface so you can accurately estimate how many calories you burn each trip. Regardless of the speed in which you complete it, 20 km over flat land will burn through approximately 1100 calories for a 155-pound person.
Eat a medium-sized meal heavy on carbohydrates two to three hours before walking. When you exercise, your body burns through calories as for fuel. According to a study published in 2009 in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research," a minimum of 46 percent of those calories come from carbohydrates, so eat carbs beforehand to keep your body fueled during your walk.
Take a sports drink with you on your walk. When you walk for this amount of time, you'll need the extra energy from the carbs in the drink. A sports drink will also help keep you hydrated and replenish your electrolytes.
Bring some music or design alternate routes. This will help mix things up. Even if you're going on a walk through a tropical island, several months of walking the same route everyday can become monotonous.
Warm up before and stretch after every 20 km session. Failing to stretch can result in strained hip flexors and leg muscles, potentially putting you out of commission for days or weeks.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: What Is Healthy Weight Loss?
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: Estimated Calorie Requirements
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Quantifying Differences in the "Fat Burning" Zone and the Aerobic Zone
- Walking Healthy.com: Healthy Athletic Walking Technique