You can lose a considerable amount of weight by walking and cutting calories. But to have permanent results, you don't want to lose more than 1 to 2 pounds per week. Ideally, you want to cut out 250 to 500 calories daily from your diet and burn 250 to 500 calories a day through exercise to lose no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week. Combine a sound nutrition plan with daily exercise to see lasting results.
Energy Balance Equation
One pound of weight equals 3,500 calories. To lose 1 to 2 pounds of weight per week, you would have to reduce your calories through diet and exercise by 3,500 to 7,000 calories. To determine your daily calorie needs go to the American Council on Exercise Daily Caloric Needs Estimate Calculator, an online interactive calculator. Subtract 500 from your daily calorie needs to determine the calorie deficit you need in order to lose 1 pound per week. Subtract 1,000 calories to lose 2 pounds per week.
Walking to Burn Calories
On average, a 155-pound person burns about 300 calories per hour walking a 17-minute per hour mile -- that's about 3.5 miles, according to Harvard Medical School. At that weight and rate, to lose the recommended 1 to 2 pounds per week, you would need to walk 90 minutes or more per day..
Cutting Calories in Your Diet
To cut 250 to 500 calories per day from your diet, avoid soda and other sweetened beverages. One soda has up to 130 calories per 12-ounce can. Reduce portion sizes by using smaller plates and measuring servings. Replace highly processed, fatty foods, such as potato chips and cookies, with fresh fruit and vegetables. Switch from whole milk to fat-free milk to reduce calories. Choose sources of protein such as fish, lean chicken, nuts, seeds and beans.
Tracking Your Exercise and Food Intake
Write down what you eat, how much you eat, and the number of calories eaten during each meal or snack. Add up the number of calories you burn through walking by estimating you burn about 100 calories for each 20 minutes of walking. Subtract the number of calories you burn through walking from the total calories you have eaten each day to see if you have hit your target calories for the day. A weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds each week will leave you 4 to 8 pounds lighter after one month.
- American Council on Exercise: Get Fit: Fitness Tools and Calculators: Daily Caloric Needs Estimate Calculator
- United States Department of Agriculture: Food Groups: How Many Calories Does Physical Activity Use?
- Harvard Medical School Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights