Walking And Light Exercise Does Nothing For Weight Loss!

Have you gained weight during the pandemic? Are you looking to lose weight and get healthier? Unfortunately, walking and light exercise does very little for weight loss. If you want to lose weight, you must concentrate on reducing your caloric intake.

I consider myself a health conscience guy who plays tennis three times a week, watches what he eats, and goes on frequent hikes and bike rides. That said, I've definitely been overweight before. And each time I reflect on why I gained weight, it's simply because my caloric intake was too high.

During the pandemic, we are mainly staying at home and not going to the gym. There's food everywhere, so we snack and snack and snack. That's no good if you want to get to the ideal weight for your height!

Good Reasons To Stay Fit And Healthy

* I don't want to die before my time. Although we don't know when we will die, we can at least try and reduce our chances of an early death by eating right and exercising regularly. The pandemic has shown that obese people suffer more greatly from COVID-19 as well.

* I want to watch my kids grow up and become independent adults. With two young kids now, it's imperative I survive until they are 25. At 25, they should have the skills to take care of themselves.

* I don't want to burden my family with unnecessary health complications. Being a burden to loved ones is a terrible, terrible thing. I would hate to see my wife, kids, or relatives have to constantly check in on me because I've received brain damage from a stroke, or can no longer go to the bathroom on my own due to some manly cancer.

* I don't want to financially burden my fellow Americans who will have to subsidize my medical costs thanks to universal health care. As honorable citizens, we should try to give back more to our country more than we receive. This is the best way to ensure the health of our nation's future.

* I don't want to let my US Tennis Association teammates down when it's time to battle other teams. We all train very hard in the off season so that come game time, we're ready to compete. Being physically fit is standard, but can also be a huge edge as we battle less in shape competitors. Once we are fit, we can then concentrate on our skills and mental fitness which are crucial to winning matches.

More Good Reasons To Lose Weight And Stay Fit

* I'm frugal and don't want to spend too much on new clothes. During the first year of college and the first year of work I had to buy new shirts and pants because I gained about 15 pounds. I'm not big into clothing in the first place, but when you've got to buy three new suits of different color, things add up! Dress shirts and jeans are easily $50-$200 each and higher. Imagine being able to fit in your jeans from 10-15 years ago, how much money you can save!

* I don't want to ignore the plight of others. I grew up in several third world countries and I've witnessed immense poverty. When I know there are millions of people starving around the world, there's no way I can overeat and not remember. America is a country of abundance and it's easy to consume more than normal. We just have to remind ourselves how lucky we are, as we're not even being asked to help others, only ourselves.

* I want to feel good. When I was heavier, I didn't have as much energy and I didn't feel as good about myself. I'd look at new pictures and come away shocked because they were so different from how I used to look. When you feel good, you look good. And when you look good, you have more confidence to succeed.

The Ideal Weight

Despite all these reasons, I still find it very tough to stay in ideal weight of 152-163 pounds for someone 5 feet 10 inches tall. 152 pounds sounds ridiculously light, but hey, that's what the doctors and researchers say is ideal weight for a medium bodied person my height, so who am I to make excuses?

The problem is, when I see a batch of lemon meringue mini pastries, I cannot help but eat six of them at a time! When there is all you can eat BBQ ribs, the same thing happens. Tell me I'm not the only one!

Check out this ideal weight chart for men by height and frame size.

Ideal Weight Chart For Men
Ideal Weight Chart For Men

Proof Walking And Light Exercise Does Little For Weight Loss

My friends and I walked on average four hours a day for 10 out of the 17 days we were in Europe. Our ship would dock by 8am, and we'd go from around 8:30am all the way to 5pm exploring every single city. That's 8.5 hours off the boat at each port, with half the time walking.

Given it takes 16-20 minutes on average to walk a mile, we walked 12-15 miles a day for 10 days. We walked another three miles a day for the other seven days the rest of the time.  If we add up everything, we averaged about 8-9 miles of walking a day for 17 days!

During long lines at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, or during down time at the gardens of Catherine's Palace in St. Petersburg, we'd try and get at least 30 pushups and 50 sit-ups in as well. The reason being we knew that a dinner buffet or scrumptious meal high in butter and joy awaited us once we returned to the ship!

Furthermore, we'd all hit the swimming pool and gym at least twice a week to try and get at least a 30 minute sweat in.

Weight Loss Meal

* Breakfast: Omellette, bacon, sausage, a couple mini pastries, Norweigan fish, and OJ.

* Lunch: Local meal on land if at port, or another buffet meal on board while at sea. We'd generally eat a salad, piece of flank steak, shrimp cocktail and some juice.

* Dinner: Rib-eye, filet mignon, prime rib, rack of lamb, beef wellington, lobster, sushi, sashimi, chef salads, creme brulee, hot fudge sundae, apple cobbler, cheese platters and much, much more.

* Evening snack and beverages: The restaurants would open up at 10pm again until midnight where you could eat the same food that they served during lunch. Every other night there would be some type of dessert extravaganza, and of course, if you are like me, you enjoy the cocktail at a ship bar or while you're playing poker until 2am!

Despite the availability of food, I did my best to eat until slightly full and not pig out until I felt sick. I went for quality food items instead of quantity. But, when you are eating such treats every single day, it is hard not to put on some weight.

You Will Gain Weight Even If You Exercise More

Mini Lemon Meringue Pies! Walking And Light Exercise Does Nothing For Weight Loss!
I ate 10 of them in two days

Now that you know my daily exercise routine and meal itinerary, guess how much weight I gained in just seventeen days? Remember, I walked 8-9 miles on average, put in the occasional work out, and tried to eat in moderation.

I went from 160 pounds to 170 pounds in two and a half weeks! 10 pounds is a whopping 6% increase in body weight in such a short time.

I knew I was gaining weight because my jeans felt tighter each day that passed by, but I didn't realize how much I gained until I got back to San Francisco.

After spending the first 3-4 months of the year trying to lose 8-10 pounds, I was shocked I had gained it all back in just a matter of weeks.

The Workout Action Plan For Weight Loss

The ideal body weight of 152-163 for someone 5′ 10″ pisses me off. As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, I have many reasons why I want to stay in shape, and I'm assuming that many of you guys have similar reasoning.

My exercise routine for weight loss will be as follows:

* Three sets of 20 push-ups for a total of 60 a day

* Three sets of 50 sit-ups for a total of 150 a day

* Five hours of tennis a week

* One hour of biking a week

* One hour of hiking a week

The goal is to burn about 500 calories a day beyond normal activity.

As for food, I plan to go back to my normal eating habits of fruit and barley green in the morning, a regular lunch under 700 calories, and dinner under 1,000 calories for a total of 2,200 calories or less.

If I can consume a net 1,700 calories a day, I'm pretty sure that within a couple months I'll be able to get back down to 160 lbs and hopefully down to 155 lbs, the weight I was back in high school.

It's too bad walking and light exercise does nothing for weight loss. However, walking and light exercise has been great for one's mental health. Therefore, continue to get out there and move! Just don't expect to lose any weight if you don't reduce your caloric intake.

Make Sure You Have Good Life Insurance

If you are out of shape and unhealthy, all the more reason to get life insurance. Check out PolicyGenius, an independent insurance broker that is revolutionizing the way we shop for life insurance – for free! Answer a few simple questions on PolicyGenius’s website and instantly receive free, personalized and comprehensive life insurance quotes.

PolicyGenius provides free, unbiased advice on more than 25 A-rated top life insurance companies they have thoroughly researched and vetted. Because life insurance prices are regulated, you don't have to worry about not getting the best deals.

coronavirus death toll

PolicyGenius helps you compare the best quotes all in one place. Check out their free life insurance rate quotes with PolicyGenius today. Continue to work on your weight loss goals. Not only will you feel better, you may live longer as well. My wife was able to double her life insurance coverage and pay less thanks to PolicyGenius.

Related posts on health:

The Healthiest Foods To Get You Rich And Fit

Be Risk Averse With Your Health, Risk Loving With Your Money

Why You Shouldn't Bother Cooking Your Own Food To Save Money

For more nuanced personal finance content, join 50,000+ others and sign up for the free Financial Samurai newsletter. Financial Samurai is one of the largest independently-owned personal finance sites that started in 2009.

97 thoughts on “Walking And Light Exercise Does Nothing For Weight Loss!”

  1. Stumbled across this you really have no idea what you are talking about. If you want to lose weight and eat 2500 calories a day a walk 8 miles a day the weight will literally fall off you. You gained weight cause you ate like a pig. It had nothing to do with walking. Plus it was probably alot of water weight cause of all the sodium you ate. You didn’t gain 10lbs in to weeks and if you did well that means you weee eating about 3000 calories more a day than you were burning. Oink oink

  2. Lol…. You were eating 4 times a day and wondering why you weren’t losing weight walking. An 8 mile walk will burn approx 700-1000 cals a day depending on weight. If you were eating 4 times a day, and by the sounds of it carby stodgy food, you would be eating 4000-5000 calories a day at least. Hence you put on weight. Nothing to do with the walking not working.

    1. This a very bizarre article. He’s giving arbitrary numbers to whether diet or exercise is better for weight loss. 80% diet 20% exercise means nothing.

      If your normal diet is 2000 calories & then you start walking 10 miles a day burning 1000 calories, then the walking is 100% the factor causing the calorie deficit.

  3. Shasta Lightfoot

    I just got back from a 16 day trip to Disney World where I walked an average of 8 miles per day. I did eat whatever I wanted, although we were so busy there wasn’t any excess eating. Just stops when we were absolutely hungry, but I did eat pizza, bacon cheeseburgers, chicken strips, pie, ice cream, ect. I lost 9 pounds and 2 inches off my waist. I don’t really think you prooved much of anything other than maybe you were already fit enough that the walking had little impact and that you ate enough to outpace your walking.

  4. Daniel Kulkarni

    Damn, you eat a lot. Of course if you shovel that much food down your throat, light walking won’t do much. It should be common sense.

  5. Had to leave a comment. 6’0’’ male here, was 260 pounds in February now I’m 175 pounds in October. All I did was change my diet and started walking at least 20,000 steps every single day, no gym membership, no running. So it’s definitely false saying walking doesn’t help you lose weight.

  6. sounds like ya should blame WHAT you ate, the alcohol, and probably your genetics to a point, rather than being critical of the merit in walking and light exercise.

    Things like desserts, pastries, and most sauce for steaks are just bullshit sweet food.

    Paternally i descend from indigenous farmers in japan and Guam, and maternally my moms side moved from Europe in the 19th century and were mostly mill workers on the male side.

    I lose weight if I eat like shit and walk around as much as you walked each day at a day job.

  7. Is this article supposed to be making the point that diet is more important than exercise, or is this a serious article?

    Of course walking will help someone lose weight, IF the walking leads to a calorie deficit. As long as there is a consistent calorie deficit (through diet or exercise or both), someone will lose weight. 1lb lost for every 3,500 calories burnt off or cut out.

    If you walk 10 miles a day, and you burn around 100 calories per mile, you burn about 1,000 calories per day. Max, maybe 1,500. Cocktails can contain as much as 500 calories. So drink a few of those in an evening and it cancels out the calories burned through walking. Add all the extra stuff, and there’s your weight gain.

  8. Jarrod Clay Wells

    Absolute lies. I can’t believe anyone falls for this. You burn calories when you walk or do light exercise. It may not be as many calories as when you jog or lift heavy weights, but you do burn calories. A five mile walk at slow speed will burn 400 calories, as opposed to burning 800 calories if you jog five miles.

    1. The author does not realize that his vacation eating was probably 2000 calories a day above what he is used to eating and you aren’t burning that off even with 8 miles of walking.

        1. ginger snaps

          I have lost almost 20 pounds in one month walking, and watching what i eat. When you start adding calories… you will be suprised at how much you eat. You can pig out somedays.. but not everyday, and not expect to gakn wait. Not to mention… walking isnt really putting on muscles as a push up would. Muscle weighs more than fat. I suggest dont put as much food in your mouth, and walk… and youll be amazed :)

  9. Ridiculous! So much rubbish on the internet. Walking (at a decent pace) is GREAT for weight loss when your diet is in check!

  10. “I burned about 1k calorie a day walking and only ate 4 thousand, pft, that proves walking doesn’t help weight loss”

  11. Oh my. You ate so much, I’m not surprised at the weight you gained. And the walking? No. It didn’t help you lose weight but it does really work. You say this is proof? It isn’t. And 2200 calories per day is too much even if you’re doing that exercise. Someone 5 foot 10 doesn’t need that much.

    To put this into perspective, you ate way too much food. That’s okay on a cruise/holiday but you shouldn’t have been surprised you gained that much.

    Let me tell you my diet and exercise regime, as evidence (not PROOF, that’s a very strong word which you grossly misused) that walking and light exercise work.

    I am 5 foot 9 and 120 lbs. Yes, 120 lbs. 152 lbs for a male of my height seems ridiculously high to me. I do ZERO sports, no intense exercise and don’t work out.

    My diet is this exactly, every single day for the past year.

    Breakfast: eaten 4 out of 7 days a week. Three days per week I have no breakfast. On the days I do, I have coffee (56 calories) and 1/2 of a brioche (80 calories).
    Lunch: I drink 1 coffee a day for lunch every day (56 calories). However, lunch is only eaten 2 out of 7 days per week. For the 5 I don’t I just have coffee. On the days I do it’s usually noodles (75 calories) or a sandwich (300-ish calories).
    Dinner: eaten every day. Usually consisting of chicken, a small amount of rice and salad. (Under 700 calories). In total I consume around 1,100 calories each day.

    My average walking distance (since 2018 began) is 7 Miles. Highest is 12.6 Miles, lowest is 0.001. I do NO other exercise.

    Walking works.

    1. You probably need to gain 30 lbs of muscle. It will probably help with self-confidence, sports, work, and finding a partner. But of course, every person and society is different.

      1. Id have to agree. Im pretty much exactly 5’10” and weighed today 158 lbs ( we have a big floor scale at work). This fluctuates a bit and as work has gotten busier this spring im losing about a lb a week the last two months. Im not on a diet but im a light eater these days for my energy level/calories burned. I eat a lot of fruit and vegan foods though im not a vegan. I walk an avg 8 miles a day according to my apple health app and i consistently lift 50-70 lbs from many positions including crouched to above my shoulders (when im feeling extra spunky ill curl or wrist roll whatever im moving while working. I also lift a lot of light stuff prob an avg of 30 lbs. 30 mins or so a day i push 1500-2200 lbs of weight (on wheels) and this is 30 mins cumulative. I purposely work fast enough that im sweating almost all 8-9 hours at work. I do spend a bit of time on Reach lifts, fork lifts, Genie lifts, and standing motorized pallet jacks (these are actually a pretty nifty semi light core work out if you use them aggresively) but im rarely sedentary longer than 10 mins at a time. Three years ago I was 210-215 lbs and felt like shit. Was doing the same work but living in an unhappy relationship and eating my feelings and out of boredom. I am definitely more heavily muscled than avg but not grossly so. Think construction worker/truck driver/shipping receiving blue collar build. At 210 i was absolutely fat though. Changing my diet made all the difference ( not only in weight but in feeling better physically and mentally i truely believe that cutting garbage carbs and bad fats and CORN SYRUP aka poison from your diet makes your mind sharper obviously an opinion and not science). After ditching the bad relationship and drastically changing my caloric intake and quality of food the weight melted so fast that my arm and belly skin was actually a bit loose for a bit until muscle replaced fat and toned me out. It was such an abrupt weight loss though it left stretch marks on my biceps amd abs/hips. In about 6 months i lost approx 35-40 lbs it slowed down and the last 12-20 or so pounds came off gradually until i guess my body hit its stasis with the new diet and now ill lose a few lbs if im very busy and gain a few if i eat a pizza or two for a treat! After that long introduction though my point is that i agree with him probably feeling better and more confident gaining about 30 in muscle. Im his height basically and feel like id look like a concentration camp refugee if i weighed 120. Honestly. Im wearing size 28-30 skinny fit jeans and i wear a belt even with size 28 though at 28 its a good fit. Not snug not overly loose. So from shoulders to hips its basically an upside down triangle aka my waist looks quite slim compared to my upper body and thats at near 160 lbs. P.S. love skiing hiking etc but envy your coordination to excel at tennis.

  12. Brian Hayslett

    You are 100% wrong concerning walking not helping to loose weightx or increase fitness. I am also 5’10 and I’ve gone from 203 to 164 pounds since September 2016, and the only exercise I do is walking. You were walking very slow. A 16-20 minute mile isn’t going to do anything. I walk a 12 minute on average, about 10 miles a day, 5 days a week, with a modest diet. You can walk fast, and get great results. My blood pressure has also normalized, and my resting heart rate has dropped significantly. Science, and common sense proove that walking can and does get results.

  13. Kurt Wetzel

    I disagree that walking won’t help with your weight. Walking burns calories which can help you maintain or loose some weight.
    Lets say you walk 3 miles a day 5 days a week which is 15 miles a week. You burn extra calories which helps you maintain your weight or even loose a little but not a lot. That is if you eat a sensible diet and amount of food. Lets say you stop walking and are sedentary most of the time. You don’t burn many calories being sedentary so those calories not burned can turn to weight gain but if you walk that is enough to maintain your weight.

  14. The ideal body weight for someone 152-163 and 5 feet 10 inches is irrelevant and unimportant. What counts is your body fat percentage. That depends on your sex and age. Two people with the same height and sex could have the same weight – and one could be considered healthy and the other unhealthy – one may have higher percentage of muscle weight than the other. BMI is garbage. Body fat percentage is the important metric. You may not have lost weight or even gained weight, but perhaps you have more muscle weight now. Here is a body fat percentage chart you can look at to see Forget tracking your weight, track your body fat percentage

  15. The reason you didn’t lose weight is because of your diet. The only way to lose weight and then maintain it is to exercise daily and find a diet that’s right for you. Moderation is probably one of the worst ways to monitor a diet simply we tend to err on the side of massively over-eating. Cutting out dairy and processed foods would probably do the trick, and it would work quickly. As someone who has lost a lot of weight, I know that I can’t slack in either area. But light exercise is most definitely beneficial. Especially if it’s done with extreme consistency.

  16. You gained weight because you ate at a caloric surplus. Those pancake breakfasts and buffets were filled with poor nutrition choices and an ob seen amount of calories. Even with the walking. Pay more attention to your nutrition and you can loose a crap ton of weight. I once lost 5 pounds in a weekend walking 8 miles each day and eating 3 protein bars and 4 strips of grilled chicken each day. It’s possible.

  17. I’ve walked between 10-20 miles a day, 3 times a week for the last 10 months and I’ve lost 2 stone! I’m now 8st 11lb, I don’t think I even weighed under 9st when I was born ha.
    I still eat all the same foods, but my portion size is much smaller.
    So in my opinion, walking is great for loosing weight.
    Hope it goes well for you, good luck.

  18. I’ve been a postman (mailman) for 3 months now, walking on average 8 miles per day, 5 days per week. I haven’t really changed my diet, except I eat a little more because I’m hungry after my shift. I’ve lost 28 pounds since I started. Walking does work. Apart from the weight loss, my fitness has improved dramatically.

  19. This is not true at all. On November 1,2011 I weighed 300 lbs. I started walking 10 miles plus per day and stopped eating after 7pm and I have lost 102 lbs. as of 10/24/12. You can lose weight by walking and adjusting your diet. I used to work out with weights all the time and would be hungry and eat like a pig. All I did was gain pound after pound of fat.

  20. I am completely psyched I read this because my friend insists light exercise and walking will work in time. I’ve been waiting and nothing is happening. I just invested in weights and started a running regime and knocked off three pounds in just five days. It’s time to step up the pace and leave his behind while he walks his way to nowhere.

  21. Lifting weights does miracles for me. I think it is the only thing that kept me from being over weight. Running and other cardio is healthy for your heart and overall stamina, but weights is the thing for me. :)

  22. Thanks for the site! After having children it’s a lot harder to workout consistently, but this is the motivation I needed.

    I will start out by doing
    50 push ups and 50 situps M-F every morning when I wake up.

  23. I like your routine. There is a lot of cardio in there and it’s perfect for people our age. I’m not doing very well right now because I can’t get away from baby RB40.
    Here is my weekly routine
    10 hours – chase kid around the park, taking kid to the park, etc..
    50 push ups/day – as I’m in the park
    boot camp routine – maybe 10 minutes total. I sneak in jumping jacks, squats, lunges, burpies, and other quick exercises at the park…

    I don’t know what I’m going to do when it starts raining.

    1. I was reading the study with somebody just eating twinkings for a couple weeks and losing weight b/c he ate less twinky calories than normal.

      The question is.. how heavy was the K STate professor to begin with who lost 27 pounds? That ex football coach Manginini was a big guy!

  24. Exercise, what’s that? ;-)

    Seriously, I used to work out all the time when I was younger.
    And the last time I exercised with some intent was about 8 years ago and shortly after that my wife gave birth to our 3rd child, and then another one the year after that out popped number 4. I did that because I had tipped the scales at about 240 lbs.

    I have a small ‘inner tube’ around my waist, but manage to keep my weight at about 165 on average for 5’11”, with eating ok (only 3-4 snacks a day in addition to 2 meals), and a decent amount of water … 60-90 oz a day.
    My real downfall is chocolate. I often eat an entire large bag of M&M’s within a week by myself. When I say large bag I’m referring to the 42oz size — and yes I’m really serious. I have actually eaten 1 of these ) in about 5 days on occasion.

    1. Darn, wish I could edit my post. The largest weight gain/loss I’ve had in a single day has been 4 lbs. And yes that’s with weighing myself at the same time every morning after waking up.

      I’m not quite sure why that is, it just is. And yes my blood sugar levels always check out ok, not to mention the other levels.

      The easiest way to describe me is I’m an abnormal. :-)

  25. Jason: You should totally check us out! We are here to provide the necessary workout logging tools, workouts plans, and much more to help you become more fit. If you ever need anything, we are here to help you!

  26. that is quite an impressive weight gain over 2 weeks sam! If I were in your shoes, I’d probably have the same problem!
    I didnt “gain” weight this summer per se, but I actually did. The way that my body has worked in the past is that when I stop going to the gym and lifting weights (like I was doing from jan-april), I usually start to lose a lot of weight – on the order of 20 lbs, and I go from about 175 to about 155.
    This time when I stopped going to the gym, I didnt lose any weight – I was staying around 170! Even though I’m tall enough to wear it well, I knew it would be problem that I needed to fix. I dont want to start to tip the scale anywhere near 200 lbs!
    I’ve started going to the gym every morning, and working out with a slosh pipe – which has helped quite a bit.
    I had my body fat tested today and I was at 7.7% – I’d like to get this down a bit, closer to 5.5 I think, but after a summer worth of craziness, I should be able to nudge this lower in the winter!

  27. Hi Sam,
    Every summer up til now I would drop ten pounds or so from intense activity, sometimes more. I am now a tour guide and my waistbands are swimming on me – for now. I agree, reduced eating is really the key.

    Just as a throwback to what you said, have you considered the Mediterranean diet? It is basically a continental breakfast (no meat), a full course lunch and a light dinner of vegetables, olive oil, french bread, half a glass of wine and a hard boiled egg / chunk ‘o cheese. This diet seems to work well because like eggs, the veggies take more calories to digest them than to eat them, LOL. The big lunch is also smart, gives you all afternoon to burn that off. My cousin dropped about 30 lbs. this way.

    Best to you,

    1. Hey Anastasia! Good to hear from you. I am impressed you are a tour guide, as that requires A LOT of energy!

      I was kind of sad in St. Petersburg b/c our tour guide was huge, but she was awesome and did the 5 hour tour with us 5X a week. I would have thought that would have burned a lot of calories, but again, it proved to me light exercise doesn’t do much. We must eat in moderation.

  28. Darwin's Money

    Work = Force x Distance. One of the fundamental laws; so whether you’re walking or jogging, you’re burning the same amount of energy (roughly), the only thing being it takes much longer to walk 10 miles than jog it of course. So, it’s all relative based on how much time you have on your hands, but I wouldn’t say mild exercise doesn’t help you lose weight.

    What I would say though, and many people don’t want to accept this, is that diet is a much larger determinant of weight loss than exercise. In fact, even avid exercisers can gain weight if they have a sedentary job that has them sitting most of the day.

    1. It’s weird though… b/c I could NEVER run 8-9 miles a day for 17 days in a row. I would die. I can’t even run 8 miles non stop now. But if I did… I think I would have shed 10pounds or at least not have gained 10 pounds in 2.5 weeks… so I think there is something more where runnin 8 miles does not equal walking 8 miles.

    2. Hey Darwin, wouldn’t it be safe to say that running involves a lot more force than walking? I think that it takes a lot more energy (based on how I feel) to run or even jog 5 miles than to walk it. In fact, after walking 5 miles it feels like I haven’t done anything at all.

      I agree that diet is more important than exercise (and it is also the harder of the two to control); but for me, walking has never helped me to lose weight, while I’ve lost about 50 lbs doing H.I.R.T. and eating healthy.

  29. I lost 20 pounds in 12 weeks this summer through a simple 10k steps a day program.

    1. Walk 10,000 steps a day (kept a pedometer to track it). This comes to around 5 miles a day.
    2. Eat 5 servings of fruits/vegetables 4 days a week.
    3. Drink 48 ounces of water a day.

    That was all I did. I went from 228 to 208 (I’m 6’3″). I don’t think I would have lost that much weight without the combination of eating and exercising.

    Your weight also varies a lot depending on when you weigh yourself. In the morning just after taking care of business and before I’ve eaten anything or taken a drink, I’ll be at least 2-3 pounds lighter than at the end of the day on a full stomach. Just last week I saw a 4-pound swing over 3 days.

    Good luck to you!

      1. Good question, I should have clarified. No, I definitely did not eat just fruits and veggies! I did try to stick to only what I packed to work and only what I ate for dinner, but what I ate varied widely and I didn’t stick to a strict diet by any stretch. Just getting to 5 servings though definitely fills you up on something other than junk food, so I think that helped. I played softball 2 nights a week, so that helped with getting my 10k steps in, but for the most part it really was just walking.

        I don’t mean to knock your original post since I know what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone, but I can definitely say that since the end of that 12-week program, I haven’t lost a pound. Not that I really need to lose much more, but I definitely need to get moving again! And the program I did was a lot more feasible for me than a gym membership (which I finally cancelled this year). The gym was just really tough with 3 kids 2 and under. I’d rather be out playing with them when I get home.

        1. Sadly age and for ladies menopause make a HUGE difference in weight gain, plan on as you age a big reduction in allowable calories. My wife can’t for,the life of her lose weight, only goal is to,keep,from gaining, this inspite of a 3-4 times a week hard work out and a very careful diet, unlike she never eats between meals.

  30. Walking or any other exercise is never enough to offset too much eating. The contrast is equally true, a diet cannot by itself counter inactivity because you cannot be perfect all the time. You need both in reasonable measures. When we cruised, we were in the gym daily using the bike, treadmill, weight machines and free weights. We were only able to maintain our weight thanks to the change in eating habits.

  31. 10 lemon meringue squares in 2 days? That’s gorging on sweets… I am not surprised you gained 10 pounds despite all the walking.

  32. Sounds like a fun challenge! I’ll sign up when I get home tonight. Although I highly doubt I’ll rack up a ton of points it’s always more fun and motivating to work out when there’s a little competition involved. I’ve been saying to myself that I should start doing situps again so this will be a good kick in the pants to get me started.

  33. Well to be fair, it sounds like you were consuming a TON of extra calories. If you had been able to maintain your typical caloric intake and walked an average of 8-9 miles per day plus the occasional workout, you wouldn’t have gained 10 pounds. (Not that there’s anything wrong with putting on weight when you’re on vacation – food is damn tasty – but I don’t think it’s fair to conclude that walking 8-9 miles a day is insufficient exercise.)

    1. I definitely ate more than normal, but I wasn’t gorging myself. I purposefully ate until I was almost full and stopped. I went for “quality” over “quantity”. I can undertand gaining 2-3 pounds in 2.5 weeks, but not 10 pounds after walking 8-9 miles a day!

  34. Well it’s great that you’re getting back on track. It’s crazy how once we become adults it’s SO EASY to gain weight. As kids, I ate all I wanted and ran around playing like a maniac. I was always a skinny kid. It’s a good thing I’ve got a blue collar job where I work outside with my hands all day because otherwise, I just know I’d be a fat slob. Couple beers, couple pieces of pizza and I wake up the next day still full. ?? ? But being a working man means I work up an appetite again so that’s good.

    Good luck on getting back in shape, man!

    1. Ahh, the good ol days when we were kids and could eat anything.

      I remember actually shuddering from hunger and starving as a kid…. b/c we exercised SO MUCH! We could go skateboarding for four hours after class a day, every day and then swim for an hour!

  35. No Name Guy

    Yeah, walking doesn’t get you in shape, nor burn any substantial number of calories, nor control weight. /snark

    Sam – now that you’re FI and have the time, try a little walk in the woods why don’t you. At the end of April, head on down to Campo, at the Cali / Mexico border and hop on the Pacific Crest Trail and head north. Keep going until you get to Canada. It’s only 2663+ miles away. [What, that’s too much for you? OK then, head up I-80 to Truckee in mid July and get on there to cut it down to only ~1400 miles].

    At the end of that little walk, which should take you only 3 to 6 months, depending on how fast you are, report back on your weight and physical condition. You’ll be the leanest you’ve ever been and your cardio conditioning will be second to none.

    Oh, and if you goal is to burn 500 / cal a day extra, the above will do that (with only walking – no pushups required)….about 4 to 6 times over. You’ll need to eat 4,000 – 6,000 calories a day to keep from breaking down and wasting away. Figuring out how to eat ENOUGH is a challenge (hint – 2nd breakfast and 2nd lunch on trail are your friends, as is a quart of chocolate milk, with a half pint of heavy cream mixed in, when you get to town.). As a side benefit, you’ll get to see some of the most spectacular scenery the mountains of the western US has to offer.

    (BTW – I’m not talking out my arse here, I did it in 2006 so am speaking from first hand experience).


      1. No Name Guy

        Actually, the end is at Manning Park Lodge – quite a nice place. A few hour ride cooped up on a Greyhound gets you to Vancouver. The North Cascades this time of year (about when a lot of people are finishing) is quite beautiful.

        If the whole PCT (or even Truckee to Canada) is too much for you, consider jumping on the John Muir Trail – from Yosemite to exiting at the Whitney Portal. It’s a nice 212 miles or so. I can guarantee that after that wee little walk you’ll have lost weight.

        In the first month on my little walk, I shed 10 pounds. Over the next month, I’d shed another 15 or so and at that point was 5 to 10 pounds below my high school end of track season weight. Then I learned how to eat enough, stabilized my weight, got stronger and was able to push up the mileage I’d walk every day to mid to upper 20’s.

        BTW – some of the other tricks the hikers use to keep from wasting away while they’re doing their walks is to pour olive oil into their dinners – at 160 calories an ounce, it’s a good way to pump up the energy content. Nido – full fat powered milk (in the Hispanic section) is way better than the non fat junk. Like I mentioned above, chocolate milk when you get to town is a fav. Next time, I’ll do the heavy cream add on to it – it’s hard to find 2% or whole milk based choc milk. And don’t even get me started on how low cal regular sodas are – milkshakes all the way when in town.

  36. People have a tendency to underestimate their calories and overestimate the effort they put into losing weight or getting “in shape.” I vividly recall the first time I used an elliptical to discover a half an hour of “tough work” only burned about 110 calories… less than my dessert for the day! haha!

      1. I weighed 300 lbs and walked 10 miles a day for 9 months and lost 90 lbs. I ate the same amount of calories as before. Everyone is different.

  37. “I’m frugal and don’t want to spend too much on new clothes.” My wife keeps complaining that my weight loss is costing us money!!!!!! Thanks for making me smile.

    I used to weigh about 175 with a size 32 waist – I’m now about 142 with a size 29 waste. The size 31 pants got worn about twice each (I did not know how much I was going to lose and how quickly!!!!). The size 30 pants got worn about 10 times each. For about a year now I have been in the size 29 pants.

    I am keeping my size 30 and 31 inch waste pants – hoping to never have to wear them again. However, I will keep so that I do not have to spend money buying again later – they are all like brand new!

    How did I lose the weight – increased exercise, cut back on meal sizes, increased the vegetables and stopped eating desserts for many months.

    Now that I have dropped the weight – I get to eat dessert again!!!!

      1. I’m 5′ 7″ – so not to thin. I feel really good at this weight.

        I was overweight for about 20 years. It took me about 18 months to drop the weight and have been holding steady for about 1 year now.

        Well except for putting on 8 pounds during my 6 week vacation last November-December. It took about 3 months to get rid of the vacation fat.

        I’m running a marathon in November – I ran about 25 years ago – really looking forward to this one!

  38. Good luck on your challenge, but no matter the exercise it all comes down to eating and drinking habits. From what you listed above, you ate fairly healthy, but if you pounded a beer here and there, ate late than usual, then that could be your answer for weight gain.

    In terms of walking, I agree with your thinking. Anytime you walk and you’re moderately walking (heart rate not elevated) and you’re not breaking a sweat, you’re not doing anything.



  39. Money Beagle

    Well in your case you were consuming thousands of extra calories per day compared to a normal diet, so the walking couldn’t keep up. I think that light exercise can work if you consume a normal amount of calories.

    1. Don’t think so MB. Light exercise does nothing, except for allow one to get out of the house and breathe some fresh air imo.

      I hear people tell me their goal is to do 20 situps a day. That is going to do jack! And they wonder why they haven’t lost any weight 6 weeks later. Gotta burn baby, burn!

  40. Is that ideal weight a person with no muscle tone whatsoever? I waiver between 5’10 and 5’11 and the Marine Corps puts my ideal weight at between 132 and 192. Now I am by no means skinny, but I am your hieght and am considered fairly muscular and not by anybody’s (except maybe the first lady’s) defiinition fat, and I come in at between 175 and 180 depending on the day.

    1. Your height changes – first time to ever hear that!

      Also, are sure about the weight number 132-192? 132 seems really low for 5′ 10 or 5’11?

      1. Chris Winter

        Isn’t everybody a little taller after being in a horizontal position (sleeping) for an extended period?

        1. I dont know! I have never heard or see someone say there height waivers between 2 different heights. I guess you learn something new everyday!

      2. Thats the benefit(or curse) of having many different individuals take your height. Everybody sees things slightly different, and they round so little over half go up an inch,
        little under half stays in that measurement.

    2. If the Marine Corps says the ideal weight is 132-192 for 5’10-5’11, then the average is 162, which is in the ideal weight chart of 152-163.

      What am I missing?

      152-163 is normal muscle tone, not beefcake for sure.

      1. Sorry, I didn’t clarify, that range is acceptable weight in the USMC.
        You had posted “ideal” weight in the article, and I don’t necessarily equate
        average and ideal. If that were truly the case, wouldn’t our supposed
        obesity problem in the US not really be a problem, just an increase in our average(read:ideal) weight?
        Either way, I certainly wouldn’t consider your additional weight gain necessary to remove
        unless you were a stick with a gut hanging over your belt. (even then its all about personal choice I guess)

  41. Hi Sam, I totally agree, I always put weight on while on my holidays. As you said the best thing to do is to try and not indulge everyday – maybe just 2-3 times a week. Or you could go on some self catering holidays instead.

    We’re going to Scotland for a week soon, just hoping on some nice weather!


    1. Scotland for a week soon at this time of year? Never been, but hope you do have good weather!

      It was overcast and raining in Stockholm and St. Petersburg several weeks ago.

      I tried not to indulge, I really did!

  42. Definitely keep up the good work! I am getting myself back in the habit of getting up early to run then try to take a couple walks in the afternoon. I also found cutting out a bunch of the sodas that I was drinking helps a lot with reducing weight too. Just don’t forget to build muscle in the process as well!

  43. I will be going on a cruise later this year but it isn’t nearly as long as yours was. I do think I will gain some weight but will work it off when I return home… hopefully! The holidays are coming and that is a rough time to lose weight.

  44. walking and light exercise do nothing for weight loss when you are massively overeating! look at your diet on the trip and your diet at home…walking is great exercise if you stick to a normal amount of calories…wow did you chow down on the ship. To eat like that you would need to work out a lot harder… to keep from packing on the pounds…tennis is a great sport by the way. I love it.

    1. With WeightTraining.com, we provide the necessary fitness stats that will help you obtain a healthy lifestyle.

      Every workout logged is saved, and a user can see their progress over time through our various fitness charts. We are here to help you! :)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *