Walking for Weight Loss

In 2007,  SportMedBC published Walking for Fitness, a one of a kind resource to get you geared up to start your new walking and nutrition program. Increasing your physical activity through a walking program can benefit your overall health by improving bone and heart health, cholesterol levels, flexibility and coordination, and can help control weight by increasing the number of calories you burn daily. The right nutrition plan, including a moderate calorie intake and a diet with balanced protein, carbohydrate and fat, will put you well on your way to losing body fat and building muscles.

Calories Used Walking
The average person burns 80 – 100 calories per 30 minutes of walking. Walking a faster pace, hilly or more challenging terrain, will increase the amount of energy or calories you burn. Choosing different terrain will also improve your cardiovascular fitness as your lungs and heart to work little harder and gain strength. Since the amount of energy expended while walking is relatively low compared to some more intense activities, weight loss success also depends on the modification of food intake in addition to activity.

The SportMedBC Walk Program will have your calorie expenditure starting at an extra 200 calories in the initial week before reaching a maximum calorie loss of up to 700 calories in Weeks 11 and 12. By balancing your exercise with a nutrition plan that promotes a tailored calorie intake, you will be well on your way to losing weight.

It takes approximately a 3500 calorie deficit to lose one pound of body fat.  For the average person to lose a half pound per week they will need to create a calorie deficit of 1750 calories over the week or 250 calories each day. It is easier than you think!

Easy Ways to Decrease Calories from Your Diet:

Walking – 30 minutes = 100 calories
Dinner – choose 1.5 cups roasted peppers over baked potato with sour cream = 200 calories
Total daily calories down = 300

Meal                     Choose This Instead of This Calories Down
Breakfast 1 cup Kashi GoLean
¾ Skim milk
1 piece fruit
¾ fat free yogurt
1 cup Roger’s granola cereal
¾ cup 4% milk
1 piece fruit
3/4 cup yogurt
Lunch 2 cups Garden salad with 1 T Vinaigrette dressing
1 serving grilled chicken
2 cups Caesar Salad with grilled chicken 236
Dinner 2 slices thin crust pizza with vegetable topping and ½ cheese 2 slices vegetable and meat pizza 270
Dessert 1/2 cup Sorbet ½ cup ice cream 60
Snack Kashi granola bar

1 Starbucks oatmeal cookie, apple


* exact values may vary with different brands

3 Other Diet Changes That Saves Calories:

1. Bulk up your snacks and meals with vegetables and fruit:

Choose This Instead of This Calories Down
½ cup fat free cottage cheese with 1 cup Blueberries 6 large crackers with 4 slices cheese 120
1 cup sliced peppers, carrots, cucumber with 2 T hummus ½ bagel with 1 T cream cheese 150
1 apple with 1 T natural peanut butter ¼ cup trail mix 120

2. Pair carbohydrate foods: Fruits, cereal, breads, potatoes, corn, cracker, etc. should be paired with lean protein foods like; cottage cheese, chicken, fish, eggs, low fat cheese and low fat yogurt. This will not only ensure that you are eating more balanced meals and snacks, but will also prevent you from getting hungrier for longer because protein slows the rates at which the carbohydrate is digested and absorbed. 

Choose This Instead of This
1 cup sliced strawberries with ¾ cup low fat plain yogurt 2 cups strawberries
1 whole wheat wrap with 4 deli slices chicken & veggies 2 chocolate chip cookie with banana
½ cup cottage cheese with 1 cup fruit salad 2 cups fruit salad
½ cup pasta with chicken tomato sauce 1 cup pasta with tomato sauce

3. Hydrate regularly. Aim to drink 500 ml of water or low calories drinks with each meal and at least 250 ml water with each snack. Low calorie drinks can include water with lemon, herbal tea, or half juice/half water.  Your hydration schedule can look like this:

  • Breakfast – 2 cups
  • Mid morning – 1 to 2 cups
  • Lunch – 2 cups
  • Mid afternoon – 1 to 2 cups
  • Dinner – 2 cups

Making it Work
Remember that real success takes time and consistency. Aim to stick to the 90/10 rule. 90% of the time making wise food choices and then 10% of the time feel free to let things slide a little. Not a free-for-all, but allow yourself to indulge in a couple slices of pizza. If you are eating 5-6 meals/snacks per day, 10% equals about 3-4 meals/snacks each week.

Losing weight can be a challenge and working with a professional can make all the difference in your success. For further dietary and nutrition information or to connect with a Registered Dietitian contact info@sportmedbc.com.

Copyright SportMedBC.


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