Calories burned walking an hour: how not fool yourself

I just googled it for you:

60 minute walk will burn between 200 and 350 calories

Well, you are ready for this ambitious calorie-burning affair. 

Wait a minute, before searching for a new fitness watch or a pair of Nike’s walking shoes, what is your true purpose? 

Maybe you want to burn away belly fat, decide to lose weight for the last time, want to go back to being the person that was sporty and healthy. 

To lose 1 pound of body fat, you must burn around 3500 calories

It feels good to be on a focused plan. Go walk every day for one hour and you will lose about 2 pounds per month. 

2-pound weight loss a month will add up to 24 pounds a year.

Amazing progress well done on weight loss. 

You know, it sounds really good in theory, but theory and practice are two totally different animals. 

I want to cry. 


My calorie-counting-weight-loss journey started in August 2018.

I was then 166 pounds (75 kg).

I knew I can do it if I push every day. So,  a one-hour walking every single day was a new challenge. I really wanted to get fitter and hit my daily goals.

I religiously tracked my calories and updated daily my diary with how my walking’s going. 

On the first day of the walking challenge, I’ve walked  5 miles. 

Hey, it was so good. Smile, smile, like from my app. 

But it was great fun, maybe for the first week.

Just less than a month later, I felt like my diary is so boring. But don’t stop and never give up, you know, go through something like this.

And I had been walking for a couple of months on a regular basis with no weight loss.

I’ll tell you more. My weight is out of control.  I’m not kidding, the worst experience I’ve ever had.

 After three months I was a 170-plus-pound fatty.

The biggest question for me was how did it happen?  I was exhausted mentally and physically.

Done so many different things:  diet,  walking, calorie counting, etc… 

It was frustrating but made me more thoughtful.

 I wondered, where did it all go wrong. 

I know you’re going to tell me, out walking in the fresh air is the best exercise ever. Well, I guess so. 

But for working up an appetite, there’s nothing like walking. That’s what has happened to me.  Benjamin Bikman Ph.D. calls it The Compensation Effect in his book Why We Get Sick, 2020.

Your body tries to maintain a stable state. Reducing Calories In reduces Calories Out. Increasing Calories Out increases Calories In. 

And you simply begin eating more after walking. You’re thinking to yourself that is okay –  I’m burning so many calories,  I need to eat something. You trick yourself.

One cup of yogurt can easily wipe out all the calories you burn during an hour of walking. You can’t lose a significant amount of weight only walk one hour a day. But, please, don’t be so frustrated.

While a one-hour of walking may not help you directly in fat loss, it can do much to improve your mental and physical well-being.

Five positives I learned walking one hour every day

  1. When you walk you do not eat
  2. Walking  is an excellent time not think about food either
  3. During out walking your brain consumes oxygen in an optimal way and works well 
  4. You got an hour to reflect on what’s wrong with you*
  5. You got an hour to enjoy music, podcast, book, more

*Don’t think about your size. Your body is under construction right now. Focus on the new opportunities, not on something else. 

For the best result: 

Move your body, use it freely for everyday tasks, don’t worry –  it was designed for movement all day.

Don’t sit. I mean that literally. Yes, standing burns more calories than sitting, about 100 calories per hour.  Increase your standing time that’s where you can accumulate the massive calorie burn for the day. 

Stand during phone calls or tv-news, do any activities with your kids or pet,  clean up your house, take the stairs, park your car in the spot farthest from the door. You’ve heard this before? So, why aren’t you doing it? I don’t drive to the grocery store  I walk or ride my bike.

Tracking the food you eat and your activity for a week could be helpful. If your weight is stuck you need to move more or eat less. Try to change one thing and see what happens.

By the way, you can read why the calories counting theory is not working. 

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