You can wait for someone to take you to the top of the mountain, or you can tie your shoes and climb there yourself.
Following along in the spirit of Heidi’s great “belly fat reduction” post (http://bodyofeve.com/a-new-way-to-fight-belly-fat/) last week, I thought I’d share how I’m currently combining her recommendation to eat earlier in the day with a little “walk this way” action. And, it seems to be working. I’m on target to lose about ten pounds in the next couple of months.
It’s certainly no secret that I love to walk. Several marathons, along with too many to count half marathons are on my “hoofing resume.” I’m proud of the fact that I’ve walked many miles in almost every state in the United States, even being accompanied by Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on numerous occasions. Who knew they like to walk, too?!
I’ve been walking for years as it’s my main form of exercise and I rarely go a day without carving out time for at least a five-mile stint—most days my daily walking total is upwards of ten miles (according to my trusty Fitbit). But, I’ve never really used walking as a primary solution to weight loss. Instead walking has been my way of centering myself, clearing my mind and motivating myself to achieve some of my greatest accomplishments. Basically, it’s when I make all of my major life plans and decisions. By the end of a two-hour walk, I’ve figured out or let go of all of my issues/problems—each step putting a puzzle piece in place. I’ve definitely put together some big puzzles while out on one of my infamous long walks.
Heidi’s mention of losing belly fat motivated me to pick up one of those magazines in the checkout line with that flashing headline we have all seen a million times—Walk Off the Weight!! I found several on the stand that specifically said they could help me lost five pounds of belly fat by walking. Instead of spending $50 on magazines, I came home and did some research compliments of the handy-dandy intranet. And, here is basically what I learned: I need to mix things up a little. I have basically been walking the same distance and pace, seven days a week.
A recent study done by researchers at the University of Virginia found that women who did three shorter, fast-paced walks a week (plus two longer, moderate-paced ones) lost 5 times more belly fat than those who simply strolled at a moderate speed five days a week, even though both groups burned exactly the same number of calories (400) per workout. Those power walking also dropped more than two inches from their waistlines, pared about two times more fat from their thighs, shed 4 times more total body fat, and lost almost eight pounds over 16 weeks—all without dieting!
I’ve been doing this for the past week and I have to say, I have lost a few pounds and my pants are loser in the gut—all without dieting. This in conjunction with eating more in the morning and less at night seems to be a great combo for me. Maybe there is something to these walking and eating techniques? I know for sure my heart rate is getting up into my target “burn rate” on a more consistent basis. If you need to figure out your own target heart rate, here is a link to a great calculator and chart that explains each zone: https://www.walkingwithattitude.com/fitness-tools/heart-rate.
I’m looking forward to continuing this little experiment. Feeling better in my pants always makes me a little happier in life. I live for loose pants! And, it makes me extra happy to be able to combine two of my very favorite things —walking and eating (not at the same time)—to slim down and feel healthier. I hope you will join Heidi and I in our quest to keep belly fat at bay. I’m headed out right now to walk. Why don’t you do the same!