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THE WALKER'S GUIDE

"Mistakes That Sabotage Weight Loss"


WRITTEN BY ZILLA


Walking is, of course, one of the most important acts of physical activity that helps lose weight. However, there are ten common mistakes walkers make that can have a negative impact on weight-loss and your fitness goals.


Based on nutritionist Jill Maher and strength running expert Jason Fitzgerald, these are the most common walking mistakes to make that can slow your weight-loss process.


MISTAKE 1: SHORT-TERM TIMELINE FOR LONG-TERM GOALS

When you are trying to lose weight, you often want to see results immediately. However, getting the body you want over night is not realistic. This is because you're building muscle while losing fat, so your body weight can stay steady for weeks, drop, stay steady, increase, stay steady, and drop again.


This causes walkers to become discouraged because they have a short-term timeline attached to a long-term goal. it's important to make your goals reasonable: check the scale once a week and not daily, make monthly #'s a higher priority than weekly #'s, and trust the process. This will help you stay consistent and become discouraged from your progress.







MISTAKE 2: FAILING TO BE CONSISTENT WITH DAILY EXERCISE


It is important to build up your tolerance to exercise and progress slowly to higher intensities and distances. While Walking is a lower intensity workout, walkers and/or athletes will underestimate their capability. Short-changing yourself (not being consistent) can negatively impact your weight loss timeline and goals. Short- changes includes taking too many days off in your workout routine or disrupting your intensity balance (such as too many reps or speed one day and too little the next).


TIP: Staying consistent will build habits so you can increase your tolerance and exercise longer -- in turn, you will eventually burn more calories towards your weight-loss goal.


Check yourself: After each workout, were you consistent in your speed? Did you do too much or too little? Did you not put in as many days? If so, reassess and get back on track. Sometimes it helps keeping a daily log of your exercises.







MISTAKE 3: NOT INCLUDING VARIETY IN YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE


In the beginning of your fitness journey, just moving your body will bring results. BUT, at some point, your body will adapt to the activity. In your exercise process, it is crucial to implement a variety of workouts and intensity so you avoid hitting an elongated plateau and your prior results from leveling off.


Once your fitness improves, you can do similar efforts during your walk by increasing your speed or even jogging for short periods of time.


TIP: Avoid walking at the same pace each workout and add higher intensity efforts. This is the best workout for when you do not have time for longer workouts.







MISTAKE 4: BEING SEDENTARY THROUGHOUT THE DAY


Similar to intensity, your body will eventually adapt to the terrain on which you commonly walk. If you’ve hit a point where you’re no longer losing the pounds you expect, it could be time to mix up where you’re walking. Consider only walking the route a few times per week and hitting an off-road trail once or twice. This will help build strength and burn even more calories in the same amount of time.


TIP: Set a timer on your phone or watch to get up and walk around every hour or two, even if it’s only for 5 or 10 minutes. This can provide you with that little extra boost when it comes to your daily steps and calorie burn while getting rid of those sedentary behaviors.







MISTAKE 5: WALKING THE SAME, FLAT ROUTINES



You should focus on your daily exercise habits and try to avoid being sedentary for large chunks of time throughout the day. This includes getting in your daily workout, taking a lap in between TV commercials, getting up from your desk once an hour to move, and more.


TIP: Hill workouts are another option that will up your calorie burn while building strength at the same time. If you are walking a treadmill, up your incline.

Even if you exercise for an hour a day or acclimate 10,000 daily steps, sitting for long periods in between bouts of exercise could be a contributing factor to you not seeing the weight-loss results you’re looking for. In fact, sedentary behavior may be a contributing factor to weight gain and obesity.







MISTAKE 6: NOT UTILIZING OTHER FORMS OF EXERCISE


Even though walking can be a great introductory exercise for beginners because of its low-impact, when it comes to losing weight, you should use all forms of exercise to achieve maximum results. For instance, walking four or five days a week combined with different forms of exercise on other days could provide your body with the variety it needs.


TIP: Cross-training, like cycling, strength training, and other modes can also give you a mental break from doing the same activity every day, which can often lead to burnout or quitting the activity altogether.

Just drink the water!








MISTAKE 7: CONSUMING SPORT DRINKS DURING LOW-INTENSITY EXERCISE


When it comes to consuming calories, knowing what to do and not do during exercise can be tricky. From nutritionist perspective, skip the sugary drinks when intensity is low; unless you’re really sweating and losing a good deal of electrolytes, you’re just consuming more calories and sugar than your body needs. This cancels out the benefit of exercising.


The exception to this is when you might be forced to exercise in extreme temperatures, it is best to find electrolyte replacements without all the added calories and sugar that are typically found in sports drinks.







MISTAKE 8: OVEREATING AFTER EXCERCISE


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Overeating post-exercise can be a problem that can cancel all of the benefits of the workout. “Sometimes, people use exercise as an excuse or justification to eat more or

choose unhealthy foods,” says nutritionist Maher. To lose weight, you must adjust your diet and calorie intake.


TIP: Track your food, make sure you’re eating enough and eating a balance of

macronutrients comes into play. If you’re eating out of balance (not enough carbs or

protein, for instance), you’ll likely feel hungry and eventually overeat. The key to

steady weight loss is not eliminating any food groups but portions.


Check yourself: to better track your food, download MyFitnessPal

One of the biggest mistakes walkers make is guesstimating calorie consumption. While you might think you’re on track, in reality it’s common to overeat and miss out on the nutrients your body needs to sustain increased activity levels day after day.







MISTAKE 9: NOT COUNTING CALORIE CONSUMPTION


One of the biggest mistakes walkers make is guesstimating calorie consumption. While you might think you’re on track, in reality it’s common to overeat and miss out on the nutrients your body needs to sustain increased activity levels day after day.


TIP: Make sure you are reading your food labels and logging your food. Like every other mistake, consistency is key. You may think you can eat what you want and make up for it with extra exercise, but that my friends is not how the process works, and you will just disrupt your weight-loss process.






MISTAKE 10: NOT TRACKING YOUR ACTIVITY LEVELS


Once you’ve started logging your food, the second step is to calculate and keep track of how many calories you’re burning during your walks. This will help to ensure you’re creating a deficit, burning more calories than you’re taking in — a key component to any weight-loss.


TIP: Fitness trackers, like a smart watch or Fitbit, are useful in giving you an idea of how active you really are. It is nearly impossible to know for certain how much you are moving throughout the day unless you are consistently tracking what you’re doing. Wearing these devices can also help encourage you to get up and move your body.



CONCLUSION:

While a consistent walking program provides countless benefits for a generally healthy lifestyle, things get slightly more complicated when trying 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.





For accountability and walking help, reach out to JaQuinton Thompson and follow us on social media!



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