Walking is one of the best things for weight loss, I see it over and over again in my practice and a popular question is “what walking speed is best for weight loss”? So that is the topic of this blog, put on your walking shoes and start walking with me.
Walking is the most accessible and basic form of aerobic exercise and just about anyone can use it boost energy, burn calories and reach their weight loss goal. In my books I talk about walking speed as one of the things you can work on to burn more calories. Monitoring your walking speed with for example a step counter, an activity tracking app or an activity tracker (smartwatch) like my favorite Apple Watch or a Fitbit is a good thing especially when you are a newbie at walking or when you are motivated by numbers.
The fat-burning zone.
In a lot of health programs, coaches talk about the fat-burning zone, which is defined as walking at about 55 to 65 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR). Your MHR is 220 minus your age. When you walk within that so-called fat-burning zone, your body tends to burn the highest percentage of calories (around 50 tot 60%)from fat compared to other walking (or running) intensities. According to sports scientists a moderate walking pace of about 2 to 3 mph is more than vigorous enough to help the average person get in the fat-burning zone. I prefer to not track that ideal fat-burning zone as in my method I focus on overall wellbeing with my TAKE YOU TIME method and I also saw it stressed out a lot of my clients. And stress increases stress hormones like cortisol which results in… weight gain. It also is a very brisk tempo that is attained with running and that is not my method.
What is brisk walking in my method?
So if you feel ok doing this, fine, but you do not need to do this to get good results. Focus on what I call in my books ‘brisk walking’. In my book I explain it like this in chapter 1: “Brisk means that you walk faster than you normally would. The name refers to your exertion level, the moment when you realize that your breathing needs to be taken up a level. A brisk walking pace increases your heart rate and results in heavier breathing. Walk briskly to the point where you break a light sweat and breathe more heavily, but you can still carry on a conversation with a friend (this is less comfortable than sitting in a café, but it should be possible).”
So what walking speed is best for weight loss?
My overall advice: keep it simple and don’t overcomplicate it and aim for that brisk walking speed in my book. It is one of the ways I see people self-sabotaging themselves. If you walk on an everyday basis you will see results. Start walking first then start adding the gadgets. Doing the activity is more efficient than overthinking it. In my method you will eventually walk for 1 hour a day and reach a step count of 15k steps. Say what?!!! Don’t panic, there is a method to get you there step by step and it has worked for thousands of clients and readers of my books. Just start and then work from there. And please, do not compare yourself to others. Work with your body not someone else’s body. Anyone can walk and you can walk anywhere. But there is one warning about that one thing you ABSOLUTELY need!
What walking shoes are best for walking?
The only important thing you need to start walking and working my method is a good pair of walking shoes (please READ my other article HERE!) as it will prevent injuries which are a common reason people stop walking. And the other thing is your mindset. Just decide that you will do it. And then you will see that even the question “what walking speed is best for weight loss” is one you do not need to get answered if you want to lose weight walking.
Curious about my method? Then a good start is my bestselling book “Walk yourself slim and happy. How taking more steps can change your life.”. Available in all major bookstores and on Amazon.
My name is Lies Helsloot and I call myself the first TAKE YOU TIME™ Expert. I am the author of 3 health books (“Walk Yourself Slim & Happy. How taking More Steps can Change Your Life”, “Move yourself slim and happy”(English translation coming soon) and “The Complete Guide to healthy Hair“), I blog here at takeyoutime.com and coach individual clients, groups and companies around the world to a happy, healthy life and more work-life balance with my 7-step concept of self-care called TAKE YOU TIME™. For more motivation and free training and challenges, be sure to sign up for the newsletter on this site and follow me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Or get in touch to know about my online- and coaching programs.