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Am I Walking Enough to Lose Weight?

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Updated February 28, 2014

Weight Loss Success

Weight Loss Success

© James G Brey / Photodisc

Question: Am I Walking Enough to Lose Weight?

I am trying to lose weight. How much do I have to walk to lose weight?

Answer: For weight loss and general health, the US Surgeon General recommends: "Be physically active for at least 30 minutes (adults) or 60 minutes (children) on most days of the week." This level of activity burns approximately 150 calories, which would burn 5 pounds in 6 months. This level of exercise reduces disease risks and should be considered the minimum daily requirement, regardless of weight.

An Hour a Day, Most Days of the Week

Most weight loss programs recommend building up to an hour a day (most days of the week) of moderately intense physical activity, such as brisk walking. This amount of exercise burns approximately 300 extra calories, leading to losing 10 pounds in 6 months. This level of physical activity is also associated with even lower health risks for major diseases.

Watching What You Eat is Also Essential for Weight Loss

An extra candy bar or bag of potato chips each day will eliminate any weight loss you may hope for from exercise alone. To lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than you burn. Most people cannot estimate their calorie intake accurately unless they keep a food diary for a few days and do the totals. Weight loss success is due to eating fewer total calories than you burn off each day.

Printable Food Diary: Print this .pdf page to take with you to write down what you eat throughout the day.

Calore Count: Use Calorie Count to find the calories and nutrition content of each item you eat. With a free membership, you can track everything you eat and get recommendations on healthier choices.

Weight Loss Resources

Sources:

Surgeon General's Walking Advice

CDC: The Importance of Physical Activity.

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