It is well known that a regular walking regimen can help you lose weight. There are many things walkers can do, however, to sabotage their weight loss journey. Here are some mistake walkers make that can hinder your weight loss.
Short-Term Guidelines instead of Long-Term Goals
When trying to lose weight, you want to see results right away. As motivating as that is, it just doesn’t always happen like that. You’re very likely to build muscle as you lose fat, which means the scale might stay the same for a while. Don’t get discouraged. Instead make your goals reasonable and look at the bigger picture of weight loss. Check the scale weekly, not daily, and make your monthly weight-loss numbers a higher priority than weekly numbers.
Not being consistent with daily exercise
Walking is a low-impact activity that can be done daily by most people. By taking too many days off each week, you can negate your weight loss goal. Consistency helps you build habits that are needed for long-term weight loss goals while training your body to work out longer and burn more calories.
Being sedentary throughout the day
Even if you walk for an hour every day, if you sit around the rest of the day, you likely are hindering your weight loss opportunity. If you are sedentary for most of the day – working at a desk, for example – try to get up and walk around for 5 or 10 minutes every hour or two.
Walking the same flat routes
Your body will adapt to the terrain on which you walk. If you usually walk a flat path at a park, you might start out by losing weight, then see the weight loss taper off. If that happens, it’s time to change it up. You can still walk through your neighborhood or at the park a couple of times a week, but also add in somewhere with hills and different terrain, such as an off-road or cross-country trail.
Not utilizing other forms of exercises
Walking is a great start but to lose weight, you should use all forms of exercise. Walking four or five days a week combined with different forms of exercise on other days gives your body the variety it needs to achieve maximum results. Cross-training also gives you a mental break from doing the same activity every day.
Overeating after exercise
Overeating after exercising can be a problem with walkers that can cancel the benefits of your workout. If you’re trying to lose weight, you have to adjust your diet and calorie intake.
If you’re eating out of balance (not enough carbs or protein, for example), you’ll feel hungry and eventually overeat. That’s why it’s helpful to have a food log.
Not counting calorie consumption
Many people guestimate how many calories they are taking in, which leads to overeating the wrong foods and negating your workout. Research the foods you eat and keep a food log. Knowing exactly what you’re consuming and how many calories you take in is one of the most important steps you can take on your weight loss journey.
A consistent walking program provides countless benefits for a generally healthy lifestyle, but it can be tricky to use it as a weight-loss tool. Follow these guidelines to avoid unnecessary setbacks, challenges and disappointment, and you’ll be on the way to success in no time.