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Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: April 22, 2022
It is normal to assume your routine is the reason for gaining weight. This can include starting to walk more and then seeing your weight goes up.
This can lead you to wonder whether it’s better to stop walking in a bid to control your weight. Is this a good idea or are you making the wrong connection when it comes to weight gain?
This article is going to take a peek into the ins and outs of walking along with the impact this cardiovascular activity has on weight gain.
Why Does Walking Cause Weight Gain In Some People?
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This is the question you are going to ask. Walking can cause weight gain in some people because you overcompensate when it’s time to eat during the day.
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Let’s assume a person eats 1,500 calories per day but doesn’t walk too much.
The same person might start walking three miles per day and burn 300 calories. However, if they go ahead and start eating 2,000 calories, they are going to end up with 2,000 calories – 300 calories (walking) = 1,700 calories.
This means they end up in a caloric surplus even though they burned 300 calories through walking.
A lot of people do this because they get hungry after a long walk. It is easy to head to the fridge and grab whatever you can find without thinking about the caloric intake.
This is why weight gain happens even if you are exercising. You need to rein things in to lose weight or at least maintain it.
How to Avoid Weight Gain When Walking
1. Know How Much You Are Eating
The first thing you are going to need to do is track what you are eating. This is the only way to keep tabs on what is going into your body and how it is impacting your weight.
It doesn’t matter how much you walk if you don’t know the number of calories that are going into your body. This is a common mistake and one that is easy to rectify as long as you have the right midnset going into the process.
Start by reducing the portions you are eating. This is going to help control how many calories you eat. You should also take the time to record the calories you consume during the day.
Do this for a week or two and start finding issues in your dietary intake. You will know which meals are adding too many calories to your diet and what is required to remain in a caloric deficit. It is this information that is going to make it easier to fine-tune your routine to lose weight.
Otherwise, you are going to continue to gain weight even though you are walking for miles at a time.
2. Count Your Calories
It is important to count your calories.
This is about taking a tracker and recording everything in the app as you go. The beauty of doing this is knowing the amount of calories you are eating and how it is impacting your body during the month.
You will start to appreciate how many calories are in the meals that you are eating and what the portions should be moving forward.
Just this type of information is a game-changer for those who want to do things the right way. Otherwise, you are always going to be guessing as to what works and what does not.
The reasons include:
- Helps Eat The Right Way
- Helps Maintain A Caloric Deficit
Most people never take the time to record the calories they are eating. This leads to a situation where you might be walking a lot but it doesn’t have much of an impact on your weight.
Instead, you end up going in the opposite direction and overeating leading to weight gain.
3. Progressively Overload Your Sessions
Your workout sessions are going to matter and that applies to walking as well.
Some people think walking does not need to be overloaded. This means they walk a set distance every day and that is all they do.
The body is going to adapt especially if you are walking. The body learns to walk at a young age and naturally gets better at it to conserve calories. This is not good because you want to burn calories.
So, how do you progressively overload the walk that you are doing?
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There are a few ways that you can do this.
The first option is going to be to simply increase the distance you are walking. If you are walking three miles per day, why not increase it to four miles per day?
Another option is to speed up how you walk. You can continue to walk three miles, but do it at a faster pace each time.
This is going to push the body to work harder even though you are walking the same distance each time. This is the type of progressive overload that is a must when you want to do things the right way.
4. Include Other Workouts
It is important to be a well-rounded person when it comes to working out and staying fit.
Walking is wonderful and it is a good starting point. If that is all you can do, it is not the end of the world. However, if you do have time, you will want to mix things up a bit.
You can do this by including other workouts into your routine.
The benefits include:
- Helps Build A Well-Rounded Body
- Improves Your Workout Sessions
A workout can be something as simple as lifting weights. You might even want to start playing a sport to incorporate a unique way of sweating things out.
The beauty of a well-rounded workout is it keeps the body fit. It will also help burn more calories because your body is going to be working out hard during these sessions.
5. Eat The Right Way
There is nothing more important than the food you eat when it comes to weight control.
You can’t walk your way out of trouble when it comes to this issue. Instead, you want to take the time to meal plan and ensure you are eating with a purpose.
This means taking out all of the junk food that you have become used to consuming. Instead, you are going to want to eat denser foods such as fruits, vegetables, and other similar options that are going to be low in calories but filling at the same time.
This is a powerful way to start controlling your weight.
6. Rest More
This is a simple change and one most people don’t even think about when it comes to weight gain.
You might assume it all comes down to how you eat and how much you walk. Yes, these are fundamentals associated with caloric usage, but it is also important to rest.
The benefits include:
- Helps Optimize Caloric Use
- Keeps The Body Ready For Walking
Getting at least 8 hours of sleep is powerful because it will allow the body to burn through calories in the resting state. It will also help the body recover from the walking and/or workouts that you complete during the week.
If you don’t give the body time to rest, it will get injured making it harder to lose weight.
How Walking Can Help You Avoid Gaining Weight
1. Helps Burn Calories
The first thing to think about will be the caloric use while walking. Your body is going to burn approximately 100 calories per mile walked.
This is a good calculation to work with even though it is a rough estimation.
If you walk more, you are going to naturally burn more calories. This is a simple equation and one that is always going to be true. However, this is assuming you change nothing else in your routine and continue to eat the same way.
On its own, walking is not going to increase your weight. It will push you in the opposite direction by helping shed more weight. This is due to the increase in caloric burn as you walk more miles during the month.
2. It Will Improve Your Performance
It is also going to help bolster your performance, which starts to impact every aspect of your life.
If you are someone that tends to work out during the day, you will know how hard it is to complete sets when you are huffing and puffing to catch your breath. This will tire you out and it is not good for your performance.
Walking is great because it’s gentle on the joint and tends to help a lot when it comes to improving your performance.
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You will start to find it easier to lift weights or complete any workout that you are doing aside from the walking. It is a great complementary exercise that is a must in your routine regardless of what your goals are.
3. It Will Make It Easier To Shed Weight
You have to take the time to shed weight and that is not always easy to do.
Most people think walking might be the reason for their sudden weight gain but that is untrue. Instead, weight loss journeys tend to incorporate walking into the program because it is easy-going and works like a charm.
If you are not walking, you are not doing everything to lose weight.
Walking is a stress-free way to lose weight and it will burn calories. It is that caloric burn which will help lose weight because it will keep you in a caloric deficit.
Once again, this is assuming you are not taking the time to start eating more because of the walking. Everything has to stay the same for weight loss to occur.
Walking too much is not going to make you gain weight.
It is going to be everything else you do during the day. For example, a person that is eating too much after a walk is going to start to gain weight.
It is as simple as the calories you are putting into your body compared to the calories you are burning from walking. If you are eating too much, even a long walk is not going to help.
You burn 100 calories per mile walked. It is easy to eat 300-400 calories with a simple meal at home. This is why eating the right way is one of the most important things a person can do when it is time to get things right.
Start to meal plan and you are going to see the results you crave.